New shooter report

Some friends wanted to learn to shoot so Barb and I reserved the training bay at the indoor range near us for late Saturday afternoon.

I was surprised to find both of them were right handed but left eye dominant. Many people who are cross eye dominant end up shooting with the hand which matches their dominant eye (daughter Kim is an example).

I put them at about 5 yards from the targets and gave them stance, grip, and trigger operation instructions.

I started them out shooting left handed for a couple of magazines of .22 with a suppressor then had them try shooting right handed. They both opted to continue shooting right handed. As they continued shooting I showed them how to load the magazines and operate the bolt (Ruger 22/45s) and safety.

They shot a few hundred rounds of .22 with both suppressed and unsuppressed semi-auto pistols on single targets as well as multiple bulls-eye targets. We then put up USPSA targets with “hard cover” and had them shoot two shots on the same target starting from the high ready position. We also put up barricades for them to shoot around at multiple bulls-eye targets.

I offered them some low powered .40 S&W loads. They did fine with those. I offered them full power loads. They did fine at first but then started to falter with some of the shots going a bit wild. The shots were still on the paper but off the target so to finish up for the evening I put them back on .22s.

We ended with them saying they had a really good time, asked about the class Barb recently took, and said they wanted to do it again with us.

WP_20160716_16_39_07_Pro__highresWP_20160716_17_05_32_Pro__highresWP_20160716_17_20_07_ProWP_20160716_17_38_05_ProWP_20160716_16_41_24_Pro__highresTracie with her new shooter smile.WP_20160716_16_41_51_Pro__highresKurt with his new shooter smile.


13 thoughts on “New shooter report

  1. the .22 long rifle is a great invention, a great tool, and a very useful caliber. a person could do far worse than to have a nice ruger .22 pistol, and/or revolver.

  2. Excellent work. Thank you, Joe.

    I too shoot right handed but was built left eyed. Being not un-athletic I can’t even wrap my brain around shooting left handed. I think it is because I can throw, and shoot a round ball accurately and consistently. I’ve considered this often and at length. Gently, calmly, squeezing is not a “natural” act of self defense at all, for me. I’m all punch, block, grab a stick, run, kick, stab and even bite. Left handed shooting, forget it. I should practice, time is short.

    • “Weak hand” shooting is a valuable part of your practice routine. It may seem awkward at first, but like anything else it becomes easier with practice. Remember the first time you tried to ride a bicycle?

      I was strongly cross dominant, and as a kid I always held a long gun weak handed because of it, without understanding what was happening. I didn’t realize I was cross dominant, and the implications that has on aiming and shooting escaped me until well into adulthood. Now I can shoot with either hand and aim with either eye.

      In fact I considered it more practical to use a light bolt action rifle “wrong handed”, and to this day I don’t understand why a lefty needs a special lefty long gun. Where is it written that the support hand must stay on the forend while the trigger hand works the action? Doesn’t it make almost as much sense for the support hand to work the action while the trigger hand remains at the ready?

      There are cases, such as when using a sidelock, especially a flintlock, or when other controls are on one side only or when the piece is much heavier, in which it makes sense to use the “correct” handed long gun of course, but then again there are ambidextrous designs too.

      Plenty of lefties use a righty handgun, operating the mag release and slide release with the trigger finger, and some cross dominant handgunners use the strong hand on the trigger and the opposite eye on the sights. Whatever works. I trained myself to use the weak eye on the sights, and so now my dominant eye is far less dominant that it used to be, and it just doesn’t matter. Assuming you have two good eyes, you should be able to use both, or either, as necessary.

      There are situations where it is a benefit to being cross dominant. For example, when using an occluded eye gunsight (O.E.G.) or when using the Bindon Aiming Concept (BAC), or shooting a reflex sight with the front cover closed, and even when having to shoot weak handed I think it’s a benefit.

      I have been surprised to find out how many people call us looking to mount an optic off to the left side of a righty rifle, so they can shoot right handed while sighting with the left eye. My first suggestion is always that they practice for a couple days shooting weak handed, and chances are that that will be the end of that. However almost no one takes that advice, favoring the gizmo option instead, even when I point out that a rifle so equipped will require a custom carrying case.

      The concept of “adapt and overcome” is much more valuable than either your perceived limitations or your gizmos designed to accommodate them. On the flip side of that; most of our limitations are self-inflicted.

  3. While I am a righty, both eye and hand, I have tried left hand shooting using my left eye and do only slightly worse at 7 yards with my 9mm. than right handed. Right handed/eye I can put all rounds in the 10 and X on a B-27, but get a few in the 9 shooting lefty.
    Some things I can do left handed, I don’t know why. I found out many years ago I could bat left or right in Little League. Came in handy with a lefty pitcher.

  4. Good job teaching new shooters, and introducing then to the full range of American civil rights. It’s a marvelous thing. I congratulate you.

    I’m left-handed, right-eye dominant, and I’ve found that it really doesn’t matter with handguns. Back in the day, I started carrying handguns in right-hand holsters because southpaw holsters were notoriously hard to find, but these days it doesn’t seem to be an issue. But, if I’m teaching handgun, I don’t worry about eye dominance unless I see a problem. Long guns are another story, but with handguns, it’s not an issue.

  5. Pingback: Quote of the day—Barb L. | The View From North Central Idaho

  6. I’m left eyed /right handed and I found out about it shooting trap. Even though I shoot both eyes open, my scores improved when I shot left handed. When I got serious about pistols, I just started shooting left handed. I do get an ambidextrous safety on 1911’s but for years carried a Sig 228 and decocked with my trigger finger. In fact when I changed a M&P Pro to left hand use it was so strange I changed it back.

  7. The recoil dynamics of the factory loadings in .40sw tend to be objectionable to quite a few shooters. I’ve noticed that in this regard, the .45acp is more acceptable.

  8. I had the chance to introduce some teenagers to shooting this weekend, and between a .22 pistol, rifle, and a steel popper we easily burned through a brick of ammo.

    Nothing but smiles and good times.

  9. Thanks again Joe for the shooting lesson and we look forward to the next one.

Comments are closed.