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Teaching kids to shoot - right handed wanting to shoot lefty?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Eric2340, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. He's right handed but left eye dominant. There's an easy test to verify this. Look up it because the it takes longer to describe the test procedure than to actually do it.

    (Or if you have a monocular or even an old style camera that has a view finder, ask him to look through it. He'll naturally use his dominant eye to look through the monocular or view finder. Then you'll know for sure).

    I'm also right handed but left eye dominant. For long guns, I've always shot left handed (ie: used left shoulder). Yeah, you have to get guns geared towards lefties. That's why I prefer semi-autos and shotguns where the safety is ambidextrous. For example, that why I prefer the Mossberg 500 shotguns because the safety is on the tang (thumb operated).

    For handguns, the pistol/revolver is held right handed. But when using the sights, my head tilts to the right, so that the left (dominant eye) is actually sighting in the gun.

    And don't worry. I started shooting since 7 or 8 y.o., some 40+ years ago.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. My wife is right handed, left eye dominant.

    Handgun
    right hand, left eye.

    Rifle
    left hand, left shoulder, left eye.

    Bow
    left hand on string, right hand on bow, left eye.
     


  3. ipscshooter

    ipscshooter Mostly IDPA now

    1,135
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    Jan 22, 2002
    Near Phoenix, Arizona
    From personal experience I think this is best.

    I'm screwed up like FireForged. A little of this, a little of that. Ambidextrous on some things.

    I am left eye dominate. Shoot pistol right and rifle left.

    I still remember my father trying to insist I use my right hand to use a fork when I was very young just learning to feed myself. My mother was of the "let him do what's natural" school of thought. Not huge arguments, but I remember the discussions. I remember this many years later. Not sure you would want your sons to carry that around. I'm not scarred by it, but I do remember.

    I have found that my tendency is to do power things better using the right (throw, golf, etc.) and detail things (shoot pool, write, archery) left.

    A short story on the archery. I had not had much of an opportunity to shoot a bow (other than a toy when very young) until I was in my mid 20's, I tried shooting right handed and it took some time for me to figure out why I really was bad at it. Frustration, perhaps, lead me try it lefty, and WOW, what a difference. If one is having trouble a switch to the other side may work.
     
  4. garya1961

    garya1961

    1,319
    486
    Mar 17, 2012
    NC
    I'm right handed and only shoot left handed. It started when I got my first BB gun 45 years ago and it's the way I shoot today. I never new it until I got a double barrel shotgun from and uncle and he was watching me shoot. He said why are you shooting left handed and I said what do you mean left handed.
    Let the kid shoot the way he wants too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  5. One of my sons is cross dominant. Right Handed, Left Eye Dominant.

    When I started him shooting rifles he learned to shoot left handed, shotguns and bows left handed as well. Handguns he shoots right handed and simply moves the gun in front of his dominant eye.

    He is almost 20 years old and shoots just fine this way.
     
  6. RJ's Guns

    RJ's Guns

    791
    0
    Dec 25, 2010
    I am right handed and my left eye is dominate. I shoot right handed because my fine motor skills (i.e. the coordination of small muscle movements, which occur in body parts such as the fingers) are better in my right hand, which affects grip and trigger control. I can compensate for shooting with my non-dominate eye (right eye) easier and better than I can compensate for the decreased fine motor skills that affect my grip and trigger control when I shoot with my non-dominate left hand.

    I have spent countless hours and literally tens of thousands of rounds (probably much more than that, if the truth be known) trying to shoot with my left hand, as well as I can with my right hand, all to no avail.

    In addition, you may need to adjust the ocular focus on the scope for his right eye as that could be a reason why he feels more comfortable shooting left handed.

    Overall, for numerous reasons, I am thankful that I was taught to shoot all firearms right handed.
    RJ
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  7. KalashniKEV

    KalashniKEV

    6,391
    3
    Sep 24, 2003
    NoVA
    There is no correlation between hand dominance and what shoulder you shoot a rifle from.
     
  8. RJ's Guns

    RJ's Guns

    791
    0
    Dec 25, 2010
    Am I to understand then, that trigger control and fine motor skills are unimportant when firing a rifle? That has not been my experience.

    RJ
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  9. KalashniKEV

    KalashniKEV

    6,391
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    Sep 24, 2003
    NoVA


    You have to put the dominant eye behind the sights or optic.

    That's all there is to it.
     
  10. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    41,602
    8,240
    Jan 16, 2005
    Kentucky
    He's cross-dominant. Very common problem. Some cross dominant shooters shoot a handgun right handed and a long gun left handed.

    That is pretty basic shooting knowledge. If you don't know that, have you considered getting them training from somebody who does?

    You should be able to control the trigger with either hand. One more example of a basic shooting skill people here seem to have missed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  11. glock_19guy1983

    glock_19guy1983

    2,555
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    Sep 8, 2002
    dixie
    When I was growing up my 4h shooting coach would always "retrain" the cross dominance shooter's eye to his dominant hand. If you are right handed but left eye dominant use an eye patch on the left eye and practice practice practice and vice versa with a left/right dominance person. His theory was its alot easier to retrain an eye than retrain a hand. He trained some mighty fine match shooters that way.
     
  12. Your coach was a moron.

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  13. Why? Because you never tried it?
     
  14. Some of my finest junior shooters have been right handed, left eye dominant shooting left handed.

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  15. No because I coach 3 junior rifle programs with over 100 kids in them every year.

    My teams are routinely the top ranked teams in NRA competitions every year. I send more kids to the USA shooting junior Olympics in Colorado springs every year than any other team.

    I currently have 11 of my former shooters on collegiate rifle teams with rifle shooting scholarships.

    Kids and former kids from my club held over 120 NRA national records last time I counted.

    In May if this year the kid who won the world junior 3p small bore championship was one of mine.

    What is your experience teaching kids to shoot?



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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  16. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    You can't "retrain" eye dominance. It is part of the way your brain is wired. Maybe a neurosurgeon could pull it off.
     
  17. I always start a cross dominant shooter out shooting with the dominant eye.

    If for some reason the can not shoot that way (very rare) I will have them shoot from their dominant hand side and will simply occuled the dominant eye with a piece of a scotch tape on the shooting glasses.

    I would never put a patch over a kids eye. The difference in lighting will cause eye strain and you won't retrain the eye anyways.

    In target rifle shooting it won't matter too much, but for hunting, shotgun shooting or action rifle shooting they will be at a disadvantage with the occluded eye.

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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  18. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
  19. KalashniKEV

    KalashniKEV

    6,391
    3
    Sep 24, 2003
    NoVA
    Sure you can.

    Nicholas Cage did it in the movie Thunderbirds by driving around the installation with a pair of panties over his head.

    Three laps around the flightline and he was done!
    :rofl:
     
  20. KalashniKEV

    KalashniKEV

    6,391
    3
    Sep 24, 2003
    NoVA
    I should add:

    1) This was in response to WiskyT's above post.

    2) I'm totally kidding.

    3) It is a rare blessing not many people enjoy to be cross dominant- he will drive the gun better and transition to pistol faster than any of his peers. His mag changes will be incredible!!! (look out!)