Odd as it might sound, you have a dominant eye. And if your left eye is dominant, but your right hand is also dominant, then you’re cross-dominant.
There isn’t anything wrong with cross-dominance whatsoever, but it can make shooting more difficult. You can quickly develop bad shooting habits if you don’t know how to compensate for your cross-dominance.
After giving a brief look at how to test for cross-dominance (just in case you’re wondering if that’s why your aim is off), we’ll take a look at how to overcome it as a shooting obstacle.
Am I Cross-Dominant?
An easy way to tell is to look at whether your shots are consistently landing high and to the left or right of where you’re aiming.
On the other hand, that can also be due to any number of other issues.
Here’s how to identify your dominant eye:
- Make a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs
- Looking through your triangle, focus on an object about 15 feet away
- Close each eye alternatively
You’ll notice that when one eye is closed, the object seems to “jump” to the side. After switching eyes, the object remains in the center of your triangle.
This eye – the one that sees the object properly – is your dominant eye.
1. Cover Your Dominant Eye
This tip works equally well for shooting with a long-barrel firearm, like a rifle or shotgun, and with a handgun.
The idea is simple: by covering your dominant eye while shooting, you force yourself to use your non-dominant eye together with your dominant hand.
You can use an eye patch, or smear some chapstick across the corresponding lens of your shooting goggles.
Of course, the obvious issue with this method is you limit your field of vision.
2. Use a Holographic Optic
If you’re shooting with a long-barrel firearm, it’s worth considering the investment of a holographic optic. This will help you focus on your target better.
Granted, they aren’t as great as magnified optics are, so you might find your shooting is affected in other ways. Still, it will certainly help you compensate for your cross-dominance.
3. Use Your Non-Dominant Hand
Rifles and shotguns are more forgiving than handguns when it comes to switching hands, and using your non-dominant hand is a straightforward solution to cross-dominant shooting.
Don’t be fooled, though: this will still take some practice to get right.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to switch to your non-dominant hand if you use a handgun. It’s easier to make the transition if you’re a new shooter.
However, even more experienced shooters will benefit from learning how to be ambidextrous with their firearms.
4. Tilt Your Head
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best one.
Tilting your head to the side until your dominant eye comes in line with your sights is easily one of the simplest options. You’ll probably look a bit odd to anyone watching, but your aim will improve.
I am left eye dominant and right-hand dominant. I’ve used it to a tactical advantage. Over time, I’ve trained myself to shoot rifles and shotguns left-handed. Here’s why it became a tactical advantage —
My dominant hand was doing everything necessary for bringing the weapon to bear … racking the slide, working the bolt, changing magazines, tracking targets,etc. The only thng my non-dominant hand was doing id working the trigger. If,for whatever reason, I needed my sidearm, it was on the right side of my belt, ready to be brought into action simply by drawing it with my dominant hand while my non-dominant hand still had a hold of the grip of the long gun.
Again … cross-dominant proved to have its tactical advantage.