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Master Eye

Posted on August 31, 2015 by admin Posted in Old Coach’s Corner

Master Eye, Ocular Dominance, Cross Dominance: all are terms used to describe a visual component of shotgunning. Suggestions as to how a shotgunner should use his eyes to his best advantage seem to come from all directions. So let me jump in and offer the following for your consideration.

The 85-90% of shotgunners who can shoot successfully with both eyes open are a happy lot. While there might be some other problems with technique, they see the targets easily and naturally without any fuss.

But what about the other 10-15% who are cross dominance? The right handed but left eyed shotgunners need not despair. There are several options open to them in this often confusing situation.

Although awkward at first, changing shooting shoulders is possible for some. Young, untrained shooters find it easier than us oldsters whose habits are well-set. But when it’s successful the benefits of two-eyed shooting are possible.

For these 10-15% of cross-dominant shooters there are ways to take the dominant eye out if the equation and force the non-dominant eye to take over during the shot. Perhaps the simplest way is to squint or even close the dominant eye at some point during the shot.  However, there are some people who cannot close just one eye, or if they can they sometimes forget.

Another way is to place a small 3/4″ see-through dot one he shooting glass lens covering the dominant eye.  When correctly placed, the dot creates a small blurred area around the gun muzzle, allowing the non-dominant eye, which can sees clearly, to take over and align the barrel correctly on the target.

And finally there’s the cross-over stock. It’s affective but rather expensive and seldom seen on this side of the Atlantic.


Alas, efforts to force a change in eye dominance are not successful, although certain eye diseases can cause it. But the results are usually unwelcome.


There are plenty of really good one-eyed shotgunners. If you have this cross dominant situation it’s best to consult with an experienced and competent instructor who will begin with a careful diagnosis. Then you can start which plan(s) you might like to follow.