Can You Change Your Dominant Shooting Eye?

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I’m trying something that might be crazy. After 25 years of shooting a pistol a certain way, this idea was sparked by countless questions from viewers. Can I change my dominant shooting eye … pirate-style?

A product by Birchwood Casey called “Off-Eye” puts a distracting visual barrier in front of my dominant left eye, forcing me to aim my pistol with my (apparently lazy) right eye. I hope that, with time, my right eye will take over the aiming chores. Then I can be one of the millions of Americans who proudly shoots right-handed while aiming with the right eye.

Are You a Cross-Dominant Shooter?

I honestly don’t know why I am trying to do this. It probably has to do with all the questions I get from viewers asking me, “Are you cross-eye dominant?”

I imagine their tone to be accusatory, as if there were something wrong with me and the way I shoot. There is also the issue of scientific experimentation. I want to know if this can really be done and, if so, how long it will take.

As I type this, I am wearing glasses with the left eye blocked by an 80-percent screen. I also conduct daily dry-fire training drills with my left eye so covered. Shooting with my right eye is easy with the lens covered, but so far, if I remove the covering from my glasses, I immediately go right back to aiming with my left eye. I assume that I will have to complete several thousand repetitions to build the new neuro-pathways that will make aiming with my right eye “natural” again.

Is It REQUIRED?

Once again, I don’t know why I’m doing this. The jury is still out about whether or not a person MUST shoot with both eyes open. I do it because the first firearms trainer I worked with told me it was REQUIRED — and, being young, I believed him. At the time, I literally could not focus on the front sight with my right eye while shooting with my right hand.

I have since worked with many respected firearms trainers who differ on the idea of shooting with both eyes open. I like the way George Harris says it: “The goal of shooting is hitting.” So, I tend to allow any safe method of shooting that puts rounds on target for the trainee. But I’m still going to give this a try.