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  • Post last modified:October 22, 2023

Knowing your dominant eye is key to shooting accurately and handling firearms well.

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • How to find out which eye is your dominant one for shooting
  • How to identify and correct eye dominance problems
  • What steps to take if you have cross-eye dominance

Answers to some common questions to boost your skills. Every shooter should grasp this idea before doing a lot of training. It helps build good habits and avoids mistakes in the long run.

What Is Eye Dominance

Eye dominance is when the brain favors one eye to gather information over the other. It's also known as ocular dominance, eye preference, or eyedness.

Reasons to use the dominant eye?

Shooting AR15

Using your dominant eye to aim, especially when it's on the same side as your dominant hand, provides the most accuracy and control when shooting.

Trying to aim with the non-dominant eye opposite your dominant hand feels uncomfortable with a rifle, and many shooters can easily spot this issue.

How To Determine Your Dominant Eye

  • Find an object 10 - 20 feet away to focus your eyes on
  • Form a triangle opening with your hands so you can clearly see the object through the hand triangle with two eyes open
  • Slowing bring the triangle towards you while keeping the focus on the object
  • The hand triangle opening will naturally get close to the dominant eye

Use a CD by looking through the center hole.

When you do this, please don't over think it or consciously try to counter your bias.

How to Correct Eye Dominance Issues:

Many times, people who believe they have eye dominance problems are actually facing issues with how they line up the sights.


  • Blurry sight picture
  • Sights not aligned while focused on the front sight
  • Seeing double with both eyes open


  • Keep both eyes open and tilt the chin over to the dominant eye - The best solution
  • Switch hands to dominance eye side - Bad advice because you're using your non-dominant hand & dexterity and gross grip motor skills are lost
  • Use offset optic (tall mount)
  • Close one of the eye - Bad for situational awareness
  • Train other eye to be dominant

How To Deal With Cross Eye Dominance

Typically, your dominant eye matches your dominant hand. However, some people experience cross-eye dominance, where their dominant eye and hand don't match. Some might be right-eye dominant for distant objects and left-eye dominant up close.

From a brain perspective, it's trying to use both eyes simultaneously. To address this, you can either close one eye or slightly tilt your head. This way, one eye focuses on aiming, and the other stays alert to the surroundings.

offset magpul iron sights on ar15

For shooters with cross-eye dominance. It's best to use your dominant hand for the most control, rather than switching to your less skilled hand which can feel odd.

Most of us do almost everything with our dominant hands daily. So, it's simpler to handle a gun with that hand and learn to aim with the opposite eye.

Ultimate Fix - Use a red dot so the shooter can keep both eyes open. One eye focuses on the target and the surrounding, while the other sees the reticle superimposed on the target. 

Shooting a pistol

There are many suggestions available, but the reality is, whichever eye you use is fine as long as you align the sights correctly and maintain solid shooting basics on a level range.

In real-life scenarios or intense situations, shooters often aim and fire with both eyes open due to the stress.

Shooting Behind Cover From Left Or Right:

glock mos right cover

It's best to use your left eye to reduce body exposure when moving around cover.

glock mos left cover

Use right eye to minimize body exposure when aiming behind cover from left to right

No matter your dominant hand, if you close one eye, you'll naturally use the other eye to aim. Just make sure you don't shift the gun towards the dominant eye, which could affect your shooting stance.

Tilt your head instead of moving the gun. 

However, it makes a big difference when shooting a shoulder fired shotgun with front bead sight.

Shooting a shotgun

Hunting shotgun with Burris fast fire

If you use your right hand but aim with your left eye, you might point the gun wrong. It's best to use your strong hand and eye together. If you're good with your other hand, you can switch.

Our advice: Use your strong hand and practice with your other eye. Some guns have special stocks for this, but there aren't many choices.

Shooting a scoped rifle

ACOG 3.5X on FN SCAR 17

If you're crossed eye dominant while shooting a scoped rifle. All you have to do is operate the rifle with your dominate hand and train your non dominant eye to aim regardless the optic distance to the eye.

When using a reflex sight, the same principle applies.

Remember: If it doesn't feel natural for you to aim with your non-dominate eye while using your dominate hand. Just close your other eye.

Common FAQ

Is being left-eye dominant uncommon?

About 70% of people are right-eye dominant, while 29% are left-eye dominant.

Please read this study done by Vision Research

Can you change your dominant eye?

You can temporarily switch your dominant eye by wearing an eye-patch over it or using glasses that blur its vision.

Some shooters even manage to train their other eye to take over as the dominant one.

Can I shoot with my right hand if my left eye is dominant?

Yes, if you're dominant with your left eye but use your right hand, it's recommended to shoot with your right hand and teach your right eye to aim. It's simpler to train your non-dominant eye for aiming than to get used to using your non-dominant hand.

What Does It Mean To Shoot With Both Eyes Open On A Red Dot Sight

What does shooting with both eyes open on a red dot sight mean? When you aim using a red dot sight with both eyes open, you get these advantages:

  • A broader view of your surroundings
  • No need to align the front and rear sights due to the parallax-free reticle
  • You can concentrate on the target and overlay the reticle on it
  • More freedom to move your head behind the optic, even in unusual shooting stances.

What does it mean if you're right-handed but left-eye dominant?

Being right-handed with left-eye dominance (or the other way around) is called cross-eye dominance.

Does astigmatism influence which eye is dominant?

Many people have a bit of astigmatism since our eyes aren't perfectly curved, causing unclear vision. If one eye sees better than the other, you'll probably use that clearer eye for most tasks.

For detailed medical research data, please check out this study published on PubMed.gov