For years, gunmakers and gunsmiths have dealt with problems such as being right-handed but having a dominant left eye by simply altering the gun to suit. Changing sides can work for a youngster, but as one gets older and eye problems become more prevalent it can be increasingly difficult to shoot from the opposite shoulder.
With modern over-and-unders (and a few side-by-sides) incorporating an internal stock bolt, there are limitations on how far a stock can be cast. Sometimes, to get the correct fit, it is even necessary to remove wood from the comb and reshape the face of the stock next to the shooter’s cheek. Most guns can be altered to suit the user except in the more extreme cases where the traditional answer was a crossover stock.
For the shooter with one gun who intends to use it long-term, stock alterations are usually the best solution. But for those who might want to swap guns fairly regularly or have severe eye dominance problems, there is a simpler solution than learning to shoot what the old chaps would call “cack-handed”.
A simple solution
Over the years, gunmakers have invented various devices to fix to gun barrels to counter vision problems. HPX, better known for its custom Perazzi shotguns, has designed a modern attachment marketed under the name Eyemaster. It is neatly constructed, lightweight, durable and adaptable to both right and left-handed use. It clamps to the muzzle end of the barrels of both side-by-sides and over-and-unders with a soft gasket, so the barrel is not marked and can be fitted in minutes. It offsets the foresight bead from the centre line of the rib and has lateral screw adjustment and vertical adjustment via different heights of foresight.
The principle is simple; the right-handed shooter with a dominant left eye tends to shoot to the left of centre. With the foresight bead offset to the left, the eye picks this up, but then the barrels are pointing slightly to the right and correcting the vision error.
Fixed to a side-by-side game gun, it does, at first, look a little odd, but if you want success then it does not matter. For the competitively-minded clayshooter, fitting the Eyemaster (when permitted) could hardly be regarded as a styling disadvantage where success is paramount.
But how well does it work? I conducted the most extreme test – shooting from the right shoulder with the right eye closed. With the Eyemaster adjusted to suit, it was possible consistently to place the shot pattern centrally. The device (above) clamps to the muzzle end of the barrels. You offset the foresight bead from the centre line of the rib in the appropriate direction depending on your eye dominance on the pattern sheet. It takes some getting used to, but the eye and brain can quickly be trained to ignore the assembly and just pick up the foresight bead. A pattern sheet is needed in setting up to adjust the sight – so the shot pattern strikes in the right place – and then it is a matter of practice.
The Eyemaster certainly works and may be the answer for some shooters with eye dominance problems. Work is ongoing to accommodate guns with swaged muzzles and smaller gauges such as 20-bore. At £475, the Eyemaster is not cheap, but it could well mean the difference between being an average Shot and a good Shot.
For more information, contact John Jefferies, tel 07711 456524.