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Improved Shooting Performance — That's Our Goal & Our Promise

Is It Best To Shoot With Both Eyes Open?

Posted on March 27, 2012 by admin Posted in Old Coach’s Corner

The answer is yes – but only if you can do so successfully. Some shooters cannot decide if they should close one eye or try shooting with both eyes open. So they keep trying it both ways – never certain which way works the best. This approach always brings unexplained misses and inconsistent results.

The answer is to properly determine which eye is the master eye – the one controlling the barrel alignment with the target. But often there is conflicting advice. Expert testing is the answer because Master Eye is often misdiagnosed by well-meaning but untrained people using faulty techniques. When this occurs it creates immense problems for the shooter.

Ocular Dominance and Master Eye are terms which refer to the eye selected by Mother Nature when the nervous system begins to mature around the age of 7 or 8. Not the strongest eye necessarily but more like handedness. Nature determines whether we are right handed or left handed and whether we are right eyed or left eyed.

The impact on shotgunning is simple but profound. If you shoot from the right shoulder and are TRULY right eyed you should be able to shoot successfully with both eyes open. Reverse that for left handers.

The problem begins when a shooter is “cross dominant” meaning a right handed shooter with left eye dominance or just the reverse. This is when an experienced instructor, well trained in correctly diagnosing the condition can begin to suggest changes that will improve shooting performance. There are several remedies that have proven to work well. If this condition is apparent in your shooting be sure to discuss it with your instructor before you set up a lesson.