How to fix cross-eye dominance for handgun shooters

how to shoot with cross eye dominance

In the military, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when firing a rifle for the first time is zeroing in on the target. While the fundamentals of breathing, trigger control, and stability are all important to hone a better technique, many marksmen discover a frustrating incongruity in their shot groupings.

For an estimated 1/3 of all right handed shooters, they'll discover they're actually left eye dominant.

Nothing to freak out about, though. In most cases, with rifles, it's as simple as changing to the non-dominant hand. Where it really becomes annoying is handgun marksmanship. Where time isn't of the essence, shooting from a non-dominant hand with a pistol is rather simple. However, developing the reliable skills necessary to employ a handgun from a concealed carry holster is a matter of practice.

Here are three decent techniques towards shooting with cross dominance.

Three Techniques to Offset Eye Cross Dominance

Depending on which technique is used, it may be necessary to switch up your holster configuration. If you're just now aware of cross eye dominance and are seeking to learn new techniques, it's best to practice out each style at the range prior to determining which holster configuration is right for you.

Shoulder fire from non-dominant hand

Training to use your non-dominant hand for a pivotal action such as drawing and firing a pistol is certainly nerve wracking. But it can be done. And if you are in that number of people who are opposite hand dominant to eye, it's something worth investing time and attention into.

Advantage: Easiest alignment potential for dominant eye.

Disadvantage: How comfortable are you using your non-dominant hand? For some, this may be an easy technique to adopt. For others, it may take a lot of arduous practice to master.

A further disadvantage is that you should probably equip your inside the waistband or outside the waistband holster onto your non-dominant side – something of a commitment for those who have stuck with dominant hand holstering techniques.

15-40° degree cant

With the pistol in your dominant hand, raise it up and cant your head slightly to bring your line of sight into the pistol or revolver's sights. This may require canting the pistol or revolver as well in order to make a comfortable, reliable match.

Advantage: Aligns the dominant eye with the dominant hand.

Disadvantage: Requires practice and coordination to ensure that this is your natural stance if it's what you find works best.

Center aligned from dominant hand

This may be the easiest because it's the best of both worlds – the hand you feel most comfortable using and the eye you aim better through. Pushing the pistol outboards to form an isosceles triangle between both shoulders will allow you to make a minor adjustment in eye alignment to bring your dominant eye to your non-dominant hand. Many shooters may discover that this technique is a bit more versatile than the 15-40° cant.

Advantage: This is a great tactical stance that offers a great balance of position as well as adheres to the fundamentals of marksmanship. Added bonus is reaction speeds and coordination are already high in comparison to training yourself in a technique you're unfamiliar with. The center aligned strategy is already employed by a lot of concealed carry permit holders because it allows the shooter to quickly adjust stance and aiming with changing conditions.

Disadvantage: If this isn't how you are used to firing pistols already, you will have to train.

Are you a cross dominant concealed carrier? What are some of the techniques you've learned to make this transition easier? Tell us about it in the comments section.


About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.