Weak eye rifle shooting

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 8,588 Senior Member
I have never shot a carbine or 3-gun match, but I'm thinking about looking for some around the area because they look like a heck of a lot of fun! In some of the videos i've seen of matches it seems like being forced to shoot from the weakside is not uncommon. I've been to IDPA matches where certain shots had to be made with the weak hand. Pistol shooting weak handed isn't too much of a problem for me because I can still use my dominant eye or both eyes to aim. However, on a rifle, I have a major problem in that I'm unable to close my dominant eye while keeping my weak eye open. This makes it nearly impossible for me to see down the sights when shooting from the weak side. I can aim with both eyes open with iron sights from my strong side just fine, but from my weak side with both eyes open my dominant eye takes over and my view is not down the sights. The best I can do if I really concentrate is get a sortof "ghost" view of the rear sight that floats in my vision but is far from clear. This issue applies to both shooting with irons or with a scope. I guess the obvious answer is to go with a reflex sight of some kind which I should be able to use much easier with both eyes open, but I actually like irons and don't want to give up my scope on my other rifle.

Has anyone else tried practicing rifle shooting with their weak eye? Anyone have any tricks to try to help establish a better sight picture with both eyes open? Other thoughts?
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
-DoctorWho

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,263 Senior Member
    Use a patch over your dominant eye, or smear one lens on your shooting glasses with Vaseline to blur the view. After a considerable amount of practice, it will become second nature to aim with the same eye as the hand you're shooting with.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,836 Senior Member
    Spot on advice...I'm cross dominant but with work you can get to the point that you can use either eye for sighting purposes...I'm more comfortable using my master (left) eye, but can use the right in a pinch...Strangely, I've found the evolution much easier to accomplish with my ARs than with my traditional rifles...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ADRidgeADRidge Member Posts: 173 Member
    I have a really funky eye thing. That's the best I can describe it. I had eye surgery when I was six months old, and whatever they did kind of messed me up, so I have almost no depth perception and I can't see 3D movies... the glasses just don't work for me because my eyes don't point in exactly the same spot. Because of this, when I shoot right handed, I use my right eye and when I shoot left handed I use my left eye. There's very little effort involved with making the transition.

    My advice, get eye surgery! :jester:
    In space no one can hear you scream... but if you put a helicopter up there, some jerk would complain about the noise!
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    If I see that on a stage on a 3 gun match i got to shoot anything with my weak eye I make a thin hoop from a piece of cardboard, .25-.50 of an inch usually does the trick, often from a discarded ammo box I put vertically on the end of my eye protection on the dominant eye and when I get to that spot I slide the hoop so it covers the middle of my eye protection, then it is a piece of cake to use the sights with my weak eye, when finished with that part I just slide it away so I get my full vision back.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,685 Senior Member
    I learned to shoot with ether hand while hunting squirrels as a boy. Since I am right handed, I always sat with the rifle across my lap, with the barrel pointing left. Invaribly, squirrels appeared on my right side, so, to avoid turning my body completely around, I shot them with my left hand. I never thought of this as a problem....Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,588 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    I learned to shoot with ether hand while hunting squirrels as a boy. Since I am right handed, I always sat with the rifle across my lap, with the barrel pointing left. Invaribly, squirrels appeared on my right side, so, to avoid turning my body completely around, I shot them with my left hand. I never thought of this as a problem....Robin

    The shooting isn't the problem, but the getting a proper sight picture with my weak eye with dominant eye still open is. If I could wink with either eye it would be fine, but I can't keep my left eye open if I close my right. I've been going through my safe tonight and a few of my rifles I can position my head so that I can actually see down the sights with my dominant eye, but others including my AR's I can't. If I block my right eye with something I'm fine. As teach suggested it may just be a matter of practice and training my weak eye to take over. With my iron sighted AR if I position my head right and focus enough I can get the rear sight to appear as a fuzzy halo floating out to the right of the rifle which may be good enough to put bullets into a 12" circle at 25yds or so, but probably not much better than that. Sounds like I've got some new things to occupy me at the range for a while.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    At some point I trained myself to shoot long guns with either eye, I can't close my strong eye by itself so you put a wide piece of tape vertically on the middle of your eye protection on your strong eye side and this enables you to focus on the sights with the weak eye, easier with a red dot or an optic, much harder with irons, as you go along you make that piece of tape thinner until you don't need it anymore, problem, at least for me was that if I stopped practicing shooting with my weak eye I would have to start the entire process again.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,263 Senior Member
    Acquiring a sight picture is like "muscle memory" in other sports. Swing a baseball bat or a tennis racquet often enough, or mount a shotgun a couple of thousand times at a sporting clays range, and the motions to do it correctly become second nature. By tricking your dominant eye into NOT seeing the sights, (or seeing a blurred image) the weak side will take over automatically, eventually. It's just going to take a lot of repetitive practice.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    Get a pair of safety goggles/plain glass spectacles with flip up sunshades. Tape up the right lense with electricians tape so you cant see through it. Just flip the lenses down when you need to shoot with your left hand.

    It is possible to train your non dominant eye.

    ( Being one eyed is quite common amongst democrats, you just have to stop drinking the koolaid.......:wink:)
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
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