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Instructor Corner: Eye Dominance

Understanding which eye is your dominant eye can greatly impact your shooting capabilities.  With the multitude of women that have come through the trailer over the past several shows understanding eye dominance has played a huge role in the success of several of the newly empowered shooters. To determine eye dominance you can hold your arms straight out at eye level, fingers up, palms out, hands overlapping, leaving a small triangle between the hands  through which you sight a faraway object. Then you pull your hands back slowly, keeping the object in sight, until they wind up over one eye or the other. When shooting a pistol a right handed right eye dominant shooter uses her right hand as her shooting hand and conversely with a left handed left eye dominant shooter. With a “cross eye” dominant shooter meaning the shooters dominant eye is opposite of their shooting hand its still easy for the shooter to be accurate by aiming with the dominant eye while still being able to use their natural shooting hand.  
When shooting a rifle however, this poses somewhat of a challenge. If you find that you are right handed but your left eye is your dominant eye your accuracy could be greatly improved by switching over to a left handed stance.  Your left hand becomes your shooting hand and the butt of the rifle is placed in the pocket of your left shoulder as you stand with your left foot back turning your body at a 45 degree angle to the target. Similarly if you find you are left handed but your right eye is your dominant eye you may find your shooting more successful and enjoyable by switching your stance to a right handed stance where your right hand becomes your shooting hand and the butt of the rifle is placed in the pocket of your right shoulder as you stand with your right foot back turning your body at a 45degree angle to the target.  
It might feel awkward at first but in doing so you will allow your dominant eye the opportunity to focus on the sights and target which should with practice improve your shooting success! Let it be said that shooting with both eyes open is definitely best but for a good majority of us we have a habit of closing one eye. Nora Ross is an example of an incredibly accomplished one eyed shooter! 

Raychel Shaw is a Shoot Like A Girl Firearms Instructor and owner of East Texas Firearms Training.  You can read more about Raychel by going to and click on Pro Staff or follow East Texas Firearms on FaceBook and keep up to date with classes in the East Texas area as well as informative and fun gun related posts! 

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