Which eye to close when shooting a pistol

Shooting With Both Eyes Open

which eye to close when shooting a pistol

Shooting Tip: Dominant Eye

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If you teach a large number of students like I do, you will find a surprising percentage who are cross-dominant. That means they are dominant with one hand, but their dominant eye is on the other side of the body. An example of being cross-dominant would be a shooter who is right-handed but aims with his or her left eye. Only a small number thought to be around 1 percent have no dominant eye. On the shooting range , the clue that the student is cross-dominant is usually misses that impact the target a bit high and way off to the side. In that study, Only 3.

I'll also share some info for shooting a pistol with your non-dominant eye and when it's acceptable. Look with both eyes open and then close one eye at a time.
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Shooting is a sport that requires you to use your eyes. It requires hand-eye coordination along with fine motor skills. It requires that you both move your eyes and make decisions on what to do with your hands, fingers, feet, and the rest of yourself based on the information that your eyes bring in. It takes mental awareness and purposeful, conscious focus to track and re-acquire the sights on a pistol during the shooting sequence. Our dominant eye is usually our strong eye.

The Problem: You have just completed a class at a nationally known shooting academy where you learned a lot of good techniques that improved your shooting. One technique you could not quite grasp, however, was the instructors insisting you keep both eyes open to see the sights properly in order to place precision shots on the target. As a result, your success in using this method was less than desirable. Yet, when squinting or closing one eye—using the other to focus on the sights—your results were excellent and at the top of the class. Even with that success, you were admonished with the insistence that the only way to shoot correctly was to keep both eyes open. The Solution: All too often, firearms instructors are doctrine-based and insist on a one-size-fits-all method of training.

For years, military sharpshooting instructors taught their students to close their non-dominant eye as a fundamental of shooting. The idea behind this practice is to lower the activity of the half of the brain that isn't technically being used, freeing it from distractions. Over the years, well-practiced shooters have determined that closing one eye helps you line up your target more easily. So, why keep both eyes open? The adrenal glands. When a hectic situation arises, and you need to draw your weapon, you're going to experience physical and physiological changes.



Shooting with Eyes Open or Closed?

When any of us first starts shooting we make a point to close our off eye so that we can have a clear sight picture. That clear, unambiguous sight picture is vital at this stage because we typically have no trained mechanics or muscle memory to assist with our effort to shoot accurately.

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