How To Determine Eye Dominance To Improve Your Shooting Performance

Eye Dominance

Eye dominance refers to the brain’s tendency to prefer input from one eye over another; it is similar in this way to right- or left- ‘handedness.’ Eye dominance comes into play with regard to wingshooting when, in the case of a proper shooting form, the shooter keeps both eyes open. Assuming the dominant eye is the one positioned nearest the butt stock and barrels, and assuming that the gun properly ‘fits’ the shooter, the barrels will point in the direct line of sight, and the eye need only see the target and assess lead to ensure a broken clay or dead bird.

The challenge comes when the shooter suffers from ‘cross dominance,’ a circumstance in which the eye opposite the stock and barrels takes over, and misaligns the sight picture in relation to the barrels. But how to know which eye is dominant, and which is not?

The following is a simple test of eye dominance: with both eyes open, extend your arms in front of you with hands together and your palms facing away, creating a small triangular opening between thumbs and forefingers. In the space created, center a target that is a minimum of ten feet away, perhaps a doorknob or a stationary mark on the wall. With the target centered, remain frozen in place, and close your left eye. If the target remains centered in the space between your hands, you are right eye dominant. If the target disappears, you are left eye dominant. To prove this out, still remaining stationary, open your left eye and close your right. The target should now again be centered.

Determining eye dominance will help inform proper shooting technique, and may shed light on longstanding challenges in shooting performance.