Will I always need a patch for my left-eye dominance?
Is it a temporary thing or permanent?
Q: I’m a female Gun and have just begun shooting. I’m left-eye dominant and my instructor demonstrated that a small patch or piece of tape on the lens of my safety glasses helps. Will I always have to use this ‘patch on glasses’ technique?
Left eye dominance
Around 80% of women have left eye dominance but shoot from the right shoulder. If that’s the way you feel you’re most comfortable shooting then that’s fine.
But to shoot consistently, for anyone with a cross dominance issue, you will find you either need to close an eye or place a patch in a very precise spot on the lens of your safety glasses, in order to block out the target from the left eye.
You can also have the stock of your gun altered too to counteract the cross dominance.
The problem with patches on lenses
- A patch on safety glasses is okay for shooting trap targets but not for sporting/skeet or FITASC type targets, due to the acute angles thrown up.
- Another problem with the ‘patch on the glasses’ method is that shooting glasses will always be slipping down your nose – placing the patch in completely the wrong place.
- The patch also hinders your vision and is very annoying when loading the gun and looking for pick-up points.
What you need to know
- To judge speed, distance and angle of the target, you will need to see the target/bird with both eyes open at first.
- The patch on the lens technique can hinder this. By far the best technique is to see the bird with both eyes WIDE open.
- Once you have seen the bird you can then close the left eye and shoot the target/bird with the WIDE-open right eye, using the necessary technique to kill the target consistently.
- If the eye is open wide more light enters, so you see the target better along its entire flight path.
- When you’re practising dry mounting, try calling for the bird and then saying in your head: Two eyes, one head, bang.
- If you can’t shut/wink your eye then the patches on the glasses is the only option.
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New to shooting?
If you are brand new to shooting, learn to shoot from the left shoulder. It will only be a couple of weeks before it feels natural and you can keep both eyes open as well if you have left eye dominance.
In some cases it is possible to change your eye dominance, but the rigorous routine and determination it takes to do it is far beyond most shooters – as you really do need to be totally obsessed with getting to the very top in order for it to work.