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eye dominancy issue

4001 Views 40 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  firewagon
I have been shooting for a long time, I just started shooting trap serious about a year and a half ago. I have tired shooting two eyed and was really having a hard time. Today i decided to try it again. I shot a pretty bad score, which I expected to do. I was asking a buddy of mine to watch me and see if he could tell where I was shooting. He recommended talking to another guy that was there. He is a coach or one of the high schools and is not a bad shooter him self. I have done a eye dominancy test at home, but I didn't get much from it. He stepped back and told me to point at his finger, which was at his eye. Every time with both hands I was pointing at his nose. He was saying that my dominate eye was switching and I'm basically looking right down my nose and have central vision. He said if I was a sporting clays shooter I would great. So i put tape of my left sense of my glasses and then shot a round. Station 2 and 3 where all ink balls right out of the house, 1 and 4 where 2 misses each, but station 5 was zeros. This was for two rounds about the same score for each. On station 5 it didn't matter if it was a hard right or a straight away I have no idea where I was hitting. If I can shoot good on two stationed why can't I on all the stations. When I close one eye station five is not a problem. I really like the sight picture of shooting with two eyes and I'm looking for advice on what to do. I use tape of my left eye to blur the image and the helps so I don't see two back beads and two front beads. with one eye I'm about a 93 percent shooter if that matters. I don't know if I explained my problem well.
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I have a question. I am right handed and right eye dominant, I shoot with both eyes but I feel like there are times when I am picking up the target with my left eye and causing me to shoot behind left target as well as right targets. I will miss several in a row like that then it clears up and I go back to breaking targets. Anyone else have an issue like this?
 

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BT99, if you are a 93% shooter one-eyed, shoot one-eyed. Those 7 birds aren't being lost to shooting one-eyed, they have other causes.

I have a question. I am right handed and right eye dominant, I shoot with both eyes but I feel like there are times when I am picking up the target with my left eye and causing me to shoot behind left target as well as right targets. I will miss several in a row like that then it clears up and I go back to breaking targets. Anyone else have an issue like this?
It sounds like you are very weakly right eye dominant, to the point where you switch dominant eyes back and forth. Shooting one eyed for a while should help establish the right as more dominant.
 

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I have a question. I am right handed and right eye dominant, I shoot with both eyes but I feel like there are times when I am picking up the target with my left eye and causing me to shoot behind left target as well as right targets. I will miss several in a row like that then it clears up and I go back to breaking targets. Anyone else have an issue like this?
Yup. As Kiner explained it to me, when you have eye dominance issues, it can come and go. When your eyes decide to fight over who gets to do the "seeing", it happens irradically and in a split second. I often times will smoke 10 or so targets, chip a few and then drop 2 or 3 targets within 10 birds and then continue to smoke the rest. For me it seems to happen after about 50 or so targets. Ive since gone to blocking off the left eye completely (Kiners recommendation) with scotch tape and black electrical tape over top of it. Your hold points will likely need to change when switching to 1 eye.
 

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Everyone has a theory on eye dominance. They are probably
wrong because they never do solve it. My theory, weak eye
dominance is actually superior. Weak dominance also called
central vision. I believe that is a stupid name for it, because
no one sees with his nose.
The best exercises for training the brain on using the eye
that is lined up with the gun is probably done with a BB
gun. That can get your brained tuned in pretty well to
use eye that is lined up with the barrel. I doubt anyone
wants to do it though.
 

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I have a weak right dominate eye. If I point at something, I see 2 fingers. If I keep what ever I am focused on between the 2 fingers I end up with my finger on my nose. Since my nose is located centrally between my 2 eyes, sure seems like my vision is centered. ;)

Jason
 

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Yup. As Kiner explained it to me, when you have eye dominance issues, it can come and go. When your eyes decide to fight over who gets to do the "seeing", it happens irradically and in a split second. I often times will smoke 10 or so targets, chip a few and then drop 2 or 3 targets within 10 birds and then continue to smoke the rest. For me it seems to happen after about 50 or so targets. Ive since gone to blocking off the left eye completely (Kiners recommendation) with scotch tape and black electrical tape over top of it. Your hold points will likely need to change when switching to 1 eye.
Phil is likely the leading expert in eye dominance issues. Never took lessons from him but did call him for my son almost 2 decades ago. If I was to take lessons today for trap Phil would still be my #1 pick.

We went through all the common solutions for eye dominance issues and crossfiring but in the end nothing worked. Despite the fact of being young he couldn't do off shoulder shooting it just didn't work, neither did any of the other "tricks".

Phil said there is absolutely nothing wrong with shooting one eye if you have to. It is very common for females to be cross eye dominant and he likely has more experience in working with them then most people. My son ended up closing one eye right before the shot at Phil's suggestion after everything else failed to work. My son calls it the wink of death. And it is, recall well when he beat both his grandfather and I in sporting clays right before he turned 14. And also was the Mn. ATA Class runner up that year. IF you have to close one eye it is not the end of the world. Try the other methods first and then talk to Phil. He is very approachable IME, great guy that I have never actually met. But he knows of what he speaks.
 

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Check out this older thread on the topic and an email to Phil will certainly help.

 

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I would check out/try the XD Solution. It is like shooting with one eye closed but you retain a portion of the off eye vision when you are locking onto the target. I tried all the techniques - close left eye, blinder on rib, tape on glasses, etc. - but the XD Solution was the best answer for me.
 

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Everyone has a theory on eye dominance. They are probably
wrong because they never do solve it. My theory, weak eye
dominance is actually superior. Weak dominance also called
central vision. I believe that is a stupid name for it, because
no one sees with his nose.
The best exercises for training the brain on using the eye
that is lined up with the gun is probably done with a BB
gun. That can get your brained tuned in pretty well to
use eye that is lined up with the barrel. I doubt anyone
wants to do it though.
It's not a stupid name for it at all. If you want to see what it means by central vision, have someone point at the camera on your phone with both eyes open with their finger eye height and take a picture. Their finger will automatically go in front of their dominant eye. If someone has central vision their finger will be directly in the middle of their nose. I find this the quickest and easiest way to determine eye dominance.
 

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Everyone has a theory on eye dominance. They are probably
wrong because they never do solve it. My theory, weak eye
dominance is actually superior. Weak dominance also called
central vision. I believe that is a stupid name for it, because
no one sees with his nose.
The best exercises for training the brain on using the eye
that is lined up with the gun is probably done with a BB
gun. That can get your brained tuned in pretty well to
use eye that is lined up with the barrel. I doubt anyone
wants to do it though.

"Quick Kill" has nothing to do with firing at a flying target. It was developed as a system for developing non-aiming instinctive shooting for better survival in combat where .005 seconds can be the difference between the quick and the dead.

Shutting/Occluding the eye you don't want to be dominant for enough tie to make it permanent would seem to be the way to go, just coming from an optical background.

Working in the optical field, I fail to see where eye dominance that can change momentarily (and involuntarily) can be an advantage. Were one to voluntarily be able to switch eye dominance, (and there are those that claim to be able to just that) that could be advantage, particularly coupled with being able to shoot long guns off both shoulders, or handgun with either hand.

The XD System can work very well, but reports of them falling off the gun at the most inopportune times, as well as cost, have kept me form trying it in actual shooting, though I did put a mock-up one on one of my guns, and it does allow me to keep both eyes open without cross dominance issues. (L Eye dominant, R handed shooter, though I can shoot somewhat off the L shoulder. But not enough to switch shoulders.)
Were I to use this idea, I would machine a thin ring to fit onto the barrel with the 'ball' either threaded from underneath or machined on, instead of a plastic ball glued onto the barrel. But then I'd never be able to sell many to shooters who lose them off the guns, would I?
 

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I have been shooting for a long time, I just started shooting trap serious about a year and a half ago. I have tired shooting two eyed and was really having a hard time. Today i decided to try it again. I shot a pretty bad score, which I expected to do.
If you only just "tried" shooting both eyes you're not allowing yourself enough time for your eyes and brain to adapt. It is possible to train yourself to shoot with both eyes open, but you need to dive in totally committed to doing it. There are 2 main keys to it, 1) Allow yourself 300 to 500 targets to get comfortable doing it. You should find yourself starting to catch on within the 1st 100 targets if you follow step 2) which is concentrate on focusing hard on only the target. When you are calling for the target be sure to look out beyond the barrel. If your eyes wander over to looking at the bead or the barrel you will have a difficult time learning to shoot with both eyes.

At 63 years old I taught myself to shoot both eyes after being one eyed all my life. Yeah it was very awkward at first, but now I will never go back.
 

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I've had trouble with my eyes cross firing for about 10 years.
The only thing that seems to work for me is to close my off eye and keep it closed throughout the shot.
I think this week I will cover the left lens with electrical tape.
 

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People have different issues and different degrees of (occasional) cross dominance and there is a host of partial solutions/aids as enumerated in this thread alone.

I tried about everything ever suggested in this forum with varying degrees of success. Even had a pleasant half-hour conversation with Phil Kiner.

The problem is, virtually every suggestion turns a two-eyed shooter into a one-eyed shooter the moment the shot is taken. While that may help eliminate cross-firing, it introduces other ways to miss.

I finally CURED my crossfiring. It may not cure yours, but it's free and easy and can't hurt to try. Rather than close or squint my off eye during the shot, I keep the off eye closed for the 45 seconds I wait until it's my turn. Then I mount the gun and ready for the call with the off eye still closed. When I'm ready, I open both eyes wide, call for the target and execute the shot with both eyes open. Having been closed for 45 seconds, I now have full use of the off eye but it does dot interfere during the 0.5 to 0.7 seconds it takes to crush the target. Then I close it again until my next turn.

After losing 3 points off my average due to cross-firing, I regained those points and more, am shooting the best I've shot my whole life and haven't cross-fired in thousands of shots.
 

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I'm an Ophthalmologist and I have done some work with this myself and on another shooting forum. One aspect of vision is that like the rest of our body systems, vision works best when we're not thinking about it.
We see double all the time. Every time you drive and look at the car in from of you, the bugs on your windshield are doubled. It's called physiologic diplopia.

Here's my thoughts:
1. When you shoulder your gun, the eye on the comb should see the beads line up. You should fit the gun well enough and practice shouldering enough that it ends up exactly like that every time.
2. When you shoot, you should shoulder the gun and look down range. Don't look at your gun; just put it on the target/in front of the target.

That said, Mike's method is interesting.
 
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