Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

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Close_enough
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Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by Close_enough » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:27 pm

Question for the Instructors here. I'm right hand and right eye dominant. Normaly not a problem, but my left wrist only has about 2/3 range of motion making it impossible to grip palm up. Rifles (both trigger and off hand) without pistol grips, guitar frets, barbells, etc. Given how common trigger hand pistol grips are compared to off hand pistol grips are (black rifles excluded), how difficult would it be to learn to shoot left handed?

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by JeeperCreeper » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:48 pm

I'M NOT AN INSTRUCTOR, FYI

However, my brother taught himself to shoot right handed and it took a few sessions, as it was not too difficult for him. Of note, when it comes to hand dominance, everyone will be different when it comes to training and retraining. He didn't have years of training behind the trigger and he is very good with his hands. So the transition was not difficult.

Not to change the subject of your question, is there anyway you can regain that ROM in your non-dominant hand?? Perhaps even compensatory processes or modifying equipment...
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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by Close_enough » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:53 pm

JeeperCreeper wrote:
Not to change the subject of your question, is there anyway you can regain that ROM in your non-dominant hand?? Perhaps even compensatory processes or modifying equipment...
Equiptment mods are straightforward. Attach a picatinny rail under the forearm (right word?) and mount an AR style verticle grip. But they preclude using rental gear, break barrel air rifles, and semi-auto without violating the AWB.
I've tried gaining back my range of motion, but unless I want to inl evl team of surgeons with a bone saw, it's not going to happen. Triple colles fracture some 29 years back did too much damage

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:12 am

Close_enough wrote:
JeeperCreeper wrote:
Not to change the subject of your question, is there anyway you can regain that ROM in your non-dominant hand?? Perhaps even compensatory processes or modifying equipment...
Equiptment mods are straightforward. Attach a picatinny rail under the forearm (right word?) and mount an AR style verticle grip. But they preclude using rental gear, break barrel air rifles, and semi-auto without violating the AWB.
I've tried gaining back my range of motion, but unless I want to inl evl team of surgeons with a bone saw, it's not going to happen. Triple colles fracture some 29 years back did too much damage
Ouch!!! Any nerve damage?? If it isn't painful, perhaps use a brace/splint to get it into a supported position. Or compensate with your stance/posture. I have a few ideas but this is one that has a picture. Most modern positions for shooting were unorthodox at one time or another, so having a crazy posture that is stable shouldn't be an issue if you practice it.

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Her secondary offense will be nagging.

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by shrapnel » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:55 am

This is relevant to my interests. I've got a ganglion cyst in my right wrist that isn't going anywhere, and shooting pistols righthanded hurts it. I'm going to try learning to shoot lefty, although I'm pretty strongly righthanded so o don't know how well that'll go...
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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:29 am

Sorry if I come off as a "know-it-all", but this is pretty much what I'm going to school for so I want to try to practice/apply what I'm learning in class.

To retrain your body on hand dominance, one of the best ways (I'm generalizing here), is to work proximal to distal (so near to far). Which means practicing your posture and stance with your head and shoulders first (possibly trunk), then work to the elbow, then wrist and hands. It's pretty similar to how the body develops as a kid, and how stroke patients will recover, and many PTs and OTs use this theory of practice everyday to compensate for deficits in motor control.

Do you normally have a staggered "weaver" stance with pistols or a squared-up "isosceles" stance?? That can affect trunk posturing.

With rifle in a staggered stance, you'll need to train yourself to put your trunk/hips in the proper stance before you worry about what to do with your hands.

You'll also probably have to get used to closing an eye if you keep both open. But many shooters have opposite dominance with hand and eye (Hickok45 is one I believe).

But I feel the best way to go about it is to attempt to compensate for the deficit than to retrain the entire system.
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Halfapint wrote:There are some exceptions like myself and jeepercreeper.... but we are the forum asshats. We protect our positions with gusto
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Her secondary offense will be nagging.

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by Close_enough » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:36 am

JeeperCreeper wrote:
Ouch!!! Any nerve damage?? If it isn't painful, perhaps use a brace/splint to get it into a supported position. Or compensate with your stance/posture. I have a few ideas but this is one that has a picture. Most modern positions for shooting were unorthodox at one time or another, so having a crazy posture that is stable shouldn't be an issue if you practice it.
No nerve damage, just a loss of my ability to supinate my hand past vertical. Some of the match (10m and silouette) holds that laid the rifle across the back of the knuckles could be adapted with a little padding. I couldn't work an action, but for a crossbow or other single shot weapon, it would work.

I have near zero experience with pistols. My prefered weapon is the bow, which requires a pronated grip. I'm interested in expanding into air rifles and x-bows, hence my interest in shooting left hand.

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by Dioxin » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:19 am

It will depend quite a bit on what type of shooting you wish to do. What type of rifles you have availables or wish to purchase.

For example, I see lots of 3-gun shooters and some of the tactical crowd that grip the forend of their rifle from the side rather from underneath. This is supposed to better control muzzle rise. These guys also train for weak-sided shooting, where they will swap shoulders and hand positions completely.

If you are shooting prone off a bipod, you dont need to put your left hand on the forend, I use mine to adjust the rear stock height with a sand sock.

Your best bet is probably to organise some instruction, only then will the instructor be able to see first hand what the range of movement limitations are.

I used to coach a young lady who was missing her left arm. She was shooting smallbore target rifles, and did rather well even for an able bodied person :)

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by Garand69 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:00 am

Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance is not to difficult, it just takes time and practice, and it is easier for new shooters than long time shooters.

At every range session practice both strong and weak sides. My wife is right hand, left eye dominant. She started out a bit clumsily, but now shoots hand gun much better left handed.

With a physical limitation, things are a little different but it can still be accomplished. A friend of mine has mobility issues with his right hand, so he modified his M14 stock by fiberglassing in a pistol grip (long before pistol gripped M14s were cool :wink: ) He is a crack shot with it and I would not want to be in his sights at any distance.

Personally, I would modify the firearm to suit your needs, however if that is not practical, consistent practice and quality range time will get you within 90% accuracy of your dominant eye.

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by Peregrinator » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:20 pm

I've had to answer this exact question often. The truth is, after a little practice, most people shoot equally well, and often BETTER, with their non-dominant hand/eye. The added focus and concentration required, in my opinion, often reinforces good shooting practices. In my experience, barring physical issues like eye problems or orthopedic troubles on the weak side, about two-thirds of you will actually perform at the same level or better with your less dominant hand/eye, "with practice". I attribute this to the added mental focus and attention given, due to the less comfortable/natural shooting position.

Myself, I am a bit of an oddity. A natural lefty, I suffered a very severe shoulder injury to my right shoulder. It healed, but the shoulder just isn't quite as stable as I'd like, even with a lot of exercise and training. Hence, I shoot most long guns a little better left handed, but with a pistol I actually shoot consistently better right handed. I am left eye and left hand dominant, but my right eye has better long range vision. My left eye is a little near sighted, my right eye is a bit far sighted.

Lightweight and low recoil long guns I shoot about equally well with either hand, so the shoulder deficit seems to be compensated by better eyesight and more focus if the weight and recoil are within manageable limits. However, I am always just slightly faster shooting left handed, not by much, but consistently a small bit quicker.

Don't be afraid to try weak-hand shooting. With a bit of practice, you may surprise yourself. Personally, I feel I am a better shooter because I shoot with both hands. I am convinced that the focus and reinforcement or shooting weak-hand, improves my strong hand technique.

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by Roch » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:31 pm

I was taught to shoot left and right handed, takes some practice to build your confidence but it isn't that difficult for most. I'm left eye dominant and naturally right handed if it matters. I also run my tools in the shop left/right handed and fight right handed and southpaw. I think it's handiness extends to more than just shooting, for me it makes sense as it's just another extension of being prepared.

I really enjoy letting someone try to shoot my left handed bolts just to see the confusion on their face, muscle memory and all.

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Re: Learning to shoot against hand and eye dominance

Post by wamba » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:10 am

Lots of good insights in the replies already given. My wife and I are both right handed but left eye dominant, so we both shoot long guns left handed. My advice is about the same as others have said, go slow and focus on the basics. You should be able to train yourself to shoot left handed just as well as right handed given time and practice.
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