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Hand And Eye Dominance In Shooting

Hand And Eye Dominance In Shooting

on 21st Sep 2021

By Ben Baker

Most people know if they are right or left hand dominant and adapt their shooting style for that. Right handers are about 90% of the population. Left handers are around 10% and fraction of a percent are ambidextrous, meaning they can use either hand equally well.

Not sure which is your dominant hand? Which hand do you use to write your name. That is your dominant hand.

Eye dominance is a different matter. Most people do not know which is their dominant eye. Making matters more complicated, sometimes the dominant eye is opposite from the dominant hand. This is cross-eye dominance.

For instance, some people are right hand shooters but do most of their seeing with their left eye. That is cross-eye dominance. When using a shotgun, rifle or bow, this poses some difficulties. With handguns, it is much less of a problem.


Ballistic Magazine calls people who are cross-eye dominant freaks of nature in a joking way. Sean Utley then gives some excellent advice on how to cope with cross eye dominance.

Just to make things more complicated, some people with poor vision switch from eye to eye depending on the distance and whether or not we are wearing glasses or contacts. Some eye surgery corrects vision to let one eye see close items and the other eye see distant items.

I am right eye dominant with glasses and left eye dominant without glasses. You may wonder if this really makes a difference. At 2 a.m. when something crashes inside house, it very much makes a difference. Finding my glasses is not my priority. Protecting my family is.

An easy way to check eye dominance is with an eye dominance test. You can do it anywhere without a gun.

Eye Matters

Eye dominance matters, just not as much as hand dominance when it comes to shooting handguns.

You can probably shoot a handgun with either hand. Most of the time, you hold the gun with both hands, with your dominant hand on the grip and that hand's index finger on the trigger. The other hand supports.

Next time you are at the range, try switching hand positions and see how well you shoot. More in a moment.

To try the same thing with your eyes, close your left eye and shoot a few times. Now, close your right eye and open your left eye. Which eye gave you a better group and more comfortable sight picture?

The difference may be slight. May be no difference at all.


Sighting the gun is all that matters.The bullet goes where the barrel is aimed. Eye dominance matters less to a handgunner because you have two ways to adjust to your dominant eye.

1) Move the gun slightly left or right. The gun doesn't care, just like it doesn't care which hand holds it.

2) Shift your head to the right or left just a bit. Again, the gun does not care.

When you spend some range time, you will decide which method works best for you.


Practice is critical to getting better and staying good. You need to shoot regularly to keep your skill level up.

At the same time, you need to practice shooting with your off hand and using your non dominant eye. Why?

Sometimes you may not be able to use your dominant hand. When I had carpal tunnel surgery, my right hand was out of commission for two weeks. A broken arm will sideline that hand for six weeks or longer. If you need your carry piece and cannot use your dominant hand, what will you do?

What about shooting with your non dominant eye? Maybe the only shot you can get means using that non-dominant eye. Could be that is the only way you can see the target. Could be that is the only way you can limit your exposure.

You need to practice to be able to shoot with either hand and using either eye to gain a sight picture.

The Holster

You need a good holster for off-hand shooting. You don't need a fancy one, just a quality holster that lets you easily draw your carry piece with your non-dominant hand.

Tucker Gunleather is here for you. Most of our pictures show right-handed holsters because that accounts for 90% or so of our sales. We do make left-hand and ambidextrous models.

Our ankle holster goes on either leg. On the left leg, you are drawing the gun from the inside of your leg. Our pocket holster for small-frame handguns is truly ambidextrous, riding in your front right or left side pocket equally well.

Many of our top holsters let you choose a left-handed draw.

When you want to be the best, you need the best. Tucker Gunleather is the best no matter which side you carry your gun.