Gun Owners: Does Your Shooting Side Match Your Dominant Eye?

The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states,

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”


Does your dominant eye match your strong-side shooting hand? Does it matter?  For the most part, not if you only shoot handguns.  Once again, I will use the terms handgun training and shooting range practice.


Considering the number of articles available on this subject, it is something you need to determine.  The ideal is that they would match.  But, since we do not live in the ‘ideal’, many people are left-eye dominant and shoot right handed.  The opposite is also true.  And, just when you think that makes sense, you can add another factor.  A person can be left-eye dominant, left handed, and still be a right hand shooter.


At this point, some argue that the individual described in the last sentence, learn to shoot left-handed.  That is probably true, but not necessarily easy.  Left-handed people many times are ambidextrous because they live in a right-hand world.  Therefore, they may write, eat, and brush their teeth with the left-hand, but bowl, bat, and shoot with their right hand.


And, another ‘environmental factor’ is in this mix.  Left-handed parents with two right-handed children, in a home with the glasses and cups to the left of the sink, and the silverware in the drawer with the fork-tines pointing right.  That would describe our home.  Out of this mix, all are left-eye dominant, and two shoot right-handed. And, one of the right hand shooters is left handed.


Cross-Dominance — The Non-Issue“, is the title of the topic at  They say that this is a non-issue, because you put the handgun in front of the dominant eye.

Comments from an article by Tom Givens, owner of Rangemaster in Memphistitled, “The Cross-Dominant Shooter“,  in the USCCA Magazine.

Cross-Dominant Shooter

“It is believed that 85-90 percent of the world’s population is right handed. However, about 2/3 of the population is right eye dominant, and 1/3 is left eye dominant. Only a small number (thought to be around 1 percent) have no dominance by either eye.  In a study conducted in the early 1960s, more than 5,000 subjects were tested for eye dominance and almost one third were cross dominant. In that study, 28.6 percent were right handed, but left eyed. Only 3.9 percent were left handed and right eyed. In my experience, females are far more likely to be cross dominant, for reasons as yet unknown. In some groups of females we have trained, as many as one in four were cross dominant.

On the range, the clue that the student is cross dominant is usually misses that impact the target a bit high, but way off to the side.

Below are a few of the many methods for determining your dominant eye.

The one I think is best, is to have the shooter make a small frame opening at arm’s length, by bringing the hands together. With both eyes open, have the student center a small object across the room in that opening. Close only the left eye, and then open both. Close only the right eye, and then open both. For one eye, the target object remained in the opening. For the other eye, the target object disappeared. The eye with which the object stayed in the frame is the dominant eye.

Some methods, to me, are too ‘mentally’ adjustable.  You can make a circle with your thumb and finger, stay focused on an object, then bring your hand toward the eye that is still seeing the object.  Personally I can alter that idea, if I think too hard.

One method mentioned at, is to point the gun at the target and close one eye.  If the gun is still pointed where you want it, the open eye is your dominant eye.

Another option, which didn’t seem to be the favored one, is to cant the pistol inboard from 15-40 degrees to bring the sights into the focal plane of the left eye.

You can also focus on a pencil aimed at an object and then close one eye and see if your object and the pencil are still lined up.  Your firearms instructor will assist you with this.

And, as always, we at, continue to advocate gun training, gun safety and personal defense.  No matter what hand you shoot with or which is your dominant eye, the important factor is that you attend handgun training sessions, and that you continue to practice.

The video below features  Il Ling New, demonstrating yet another method for determining your dominant eye.


Photo Source:  Compliments of USCCA Magazine

Video Source:  Compliments of RugerFirearms featuring Lori Petroske with IlLing New.


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