Clay Shooting and Eye Dominance


What is eye dominance?

The human brain relies on both the dominant eye, and dominant side inner ear, to make subtle corrections in balance as a person sits upright, stands and walks. The fluid levels in the inner ear stimulate membranes that tell the brain when the head changes position and the dominant eye is used to look at the horizon in order to correct the balance of the upright body as it moves.

A simple description would be that the dominant eye is focused more on the distance and the non-dominant on closer up items.

Approximately 70% of the population are right eye dominant (and this mostly corresponds to their handedness). However, it is possible to be:

Cross Dominant – right handed and left eye dominant (or vice versa)
Central Vision – neither eye dominant
Slight dominance – where there is near, but not full dominance

Why is this important for Clay Shooting

It’s very important because it effects how we aim the gun. Lining up an eye so that it sights down the barrel correctly is a basic premise for consistent shooting. If there is a crossing of dominance with handedness and eye, it may lead to a number of different problem. For example:
Dropping the head across the gun
Lets assume you are right handed and left eye dominant. The temptation will be to mount the gun low in the shoulder to enable to head to move across the gun to sight with the left eye – not a good look!
Having the head correctly in line but shooting constantly to the side of the target
If this is happening, the shooter will have a dominating view along the left hand side of the barrel as opposed to looking directly over the top of the gun to the foresight.

How do you test for eye dominance

The good news is that testing eye dominance can be a simple process, particularly if there is a strong preference for one or the other.


Pick an object that is over 20 metres away and stand square onto it. Keep both eyes open. With your hands at your side, point the index finger of your non-dominant hand towards the ground. Without taking your eyes off the object in the distance, raise your hand and point directly at the object. Your finger should be a blur in your vision. Then close your left eye and check if you are pointing at the object. Then close your right eye and check where its pointing now.
If you are right eye dominant, you should be pointing directly at it with your left eye closed and off to the right of the object when you close your right eye.
The opposite will be true if you are left eye dominant.
If you have central vision, you should be off a little to either side with each eye!

How to overcome

Whilst we attempt to get everyone clay shooting with both eyes open as it gives us better depth perception and periphery vision, the technique isn’t suitable for everyone. This is especially true if they are just starting out.
A simple solution is to keep one eye shut when shooting. This enables people to stick with their handedness side rather than having to think about shooting left handed for example.
There are many people out there, however, who physically are unable to close one of their eyes without having to close them both! This is where modified glasses are useful. It enables the shooter to keep both eyes open but takes away the possibility of the dominant eye taking over.

For regular shooters who have never tested their eye dominance and have mixed results when shooting, this simple test may help therm enormously. When we do our lessons, the simple eye dominance test is something we do with all our shooters and some are often surprised by the results!

Contact us for your clay shooting experience NOW on 01425 629327



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