T Nation

Shooting, Cross Dominance, Lousy Eyes


Alright, I’m asking this here cause I’ll be serving in the military somewhere around January of 2018.

I’ll have to use one of this.

The thing is, it’s right handed only. Well, there is a deflector for it but they don’t care enough to issue one for you.

My problem right now is, I’m right handed but left eye dominant. I was kicked in the face during rugby quite some time back and I am not capable of independently opening my right eye whilst my left eye is closed. I’ve been practicing for a couple of months now and I’ve no progress whatsoever.

Oh and guns aren’t legal so it’s not like I can actually practice with a gun or something. I’ve fired an AR whilst visiting in the US, shot on my left so it wasn’t much of an issue for my eyes.

Do y’all have any suggestions?


Shoot it left handed. I think that bullpup can eject the brass in either direction.

Are you going to be infantry after basic training? Or do you just need to qualify during basic to make it in?


It’s not allowed. Yup, you read that right. I’ve been told for a fact that they don’t allow you to shoot it on the left(during basic at least). You are allowed an eye patch for whatever that’s worth.

Yup, that’s the plan.


I am NOT an instructor but I have the same situation, different weapon and le application as opposed to to mil. I shoot a right hand set up colt carbine left handed without any issues. It spits brass the wrong way for me but it really doesn’t matter much (other than the very occasional hot one down the neck of my shirt). I shoot pistol right handed and just adjust to put the sights under my left eye. No issues there either.

The controls are ‘backwards’ on the carbine. Some things are actually easier, some things are a bit more awkward. Overall no difference from anyone else on the line performance wise. If you haven’t run the gun right handed it should be no real issue learning to run it left handed.

Just make sure your instructors are aware so they can walk you through it. You will not be the first person in this spot. In my experience, most instructors are there to teach you to shoot, not to make you feel like an idiot (although some will likely bust your balls a little). They want you to succeed.

It was a toss up on my user course whether I’d learn with my off hand or off eye (I can close either eye). Opted for off hand and and never looked back.

If it’s a red dot aimpoint style optic you shoot with both eyes open anyway and there’s no eye relief issues as you’d find with a magnified scope.

Your mileage may vary. If you can’t be safe, stay deadly.

Edit: Just re read that they don’t allow you to shoot it left handed. My post is not heloful at all. Sorry. I’ve read about people retraining eye-dominance over time with an eye patch but have no first hand experience with it.


I don’t own any bull pup rifles :cry:, but I do have a few with a similar length of pull to what you’ll be using.

I just spent ten minutes trying to figure this out. I was trying to hold a rifle on my right shoulder and look down the sights with my left eye and vice versa. I could not achieve any kind of cheek weld that would make that work.

Cheek weld is damn important. Your face has to be anchored in the same spot every time you pull the weapon up. I was taught the queue: “wood to wood” meaning your face has to be on the stock.

If they will let you use an eye patch to qualify then get used to it now. Then buy the deflector aftermarket and use your range time to shoot the damn thing left handed and get good. An infantryman who can’t shoot is No good to anyone.
No eye patches in combat.

In the US you would have had to tell the recruiter all of this already. Make sure you aren’t disqualified already. It’d be a shame to enlist only to come home 5 days later.


Just curious, but, what military? Singapore, Aussie, ect.

Jesus, what crap. I worked with the Aussies a lot in Kandahar. Never heard anyone mention this. Doesnt matter, it is what it is.

Teaching combat shooting has some basic principles but each individual will have to find their own method. I understand your problem. A couple of years ago, I caught some minor shrapnel in my right knee and the right side of my face. Nothing serious, but, my right eye and cheek were swollen for several weeks. Since I was right eye dominant, this was a wake up call and I decided to teach myself to shoot with my left eye only. Now, I had an advantage, since I was using an M6 and not a bullpup, which is not my first choice in a CQB carbine.

Pistol was not problem, I just turned my torso slightly to the left and canted the pistol the same way. Carbine was different. I was medium accurate shooting from the left shoulder, but, way too slow for combat shooting. As Basement_Gainz correctly pointed out, cheek weld is vastly important for accurate shooting. The key word here is “accurate”. For precision shooting past 50 yards, it is a must requirement (IMHO) but for CQB ranges at 50 yards or less, or clearing a room or being ambused in a vehicle convoy, you dont need to be that accurate, you just need to get a bullet somewhere in that body. I found that if I moved my carbine stock from my shoulder three or four inches to the left, and jammed it against my plate carrier, my left eye fell in line with the optic. Something to think about.

Having every recruit shooting right eyed/ right handed is just plain fucking stupid.

I am going to post a few links to articles and one to a forum dedicated to bullpup shooters. Hopefully, this will help and like Basement _Gainz said, check with your recruiter, this smells.




Singapore. And yup, that is the case. For the most part, they don’t actually care so long as you can pass the tests. After which they’ll assign you to whatever vocation(MOS) they see fit. Unless you want to go infantry that is, cause almost no one wants to go infantry.

As for checking with a recruiter… We don’t have any, not like the ones in the US anyways. Since we’re a conscription army, you just get a letter from the government and you enter. You only get to speak with a recruitment officer if you plan to sign on as a regular(make it your full time career), which I do plan to.

I know for a fact that I can pass everything that’s required of me but I want to better than that, obviously.


In Singapore, the SAR-21 (also another bullpup) is taught to be fired from the right shoulder, regardless. This was the result of a training incident in which a poorly handled/poorly maintained weapon used by a left-handed firer experienced a cook-off while the firer was clearing a stoppage during live-fire training. Given that the SAR-21 has a Kevlar plate on the inner left side to protect the cheek of a right-handed firer, deflecting the explosion to the right (and away from the right-hander’s face) in the event of a chamber explosion…the design ended up causing injury to the left-handed serviceman. Of course, if safety procedures were followed and the weapon well serviced, then this would not have happened, but I guess the SAF wanted to play it safe.

Found this in a forum somewhere, sounds like what Singapore would do alright…


As high as that scope is over the stock and bore, you may be able to simply rotate your head a bit and use your left eye while shooting right handed.


Do you have to qualify with an optic or irons?

I am cross eye dominant right handed, and oddly enough red dot/holographic optics pick up just fine with both eyes open on my non-dominant eye. (you should be shooting with both eyes open if possible) You need to practice and you will get better at picking it up and keeping focus.

If you are on irons, it will be difficult since you cannot close your dominant eye and will be next to impossible to get your non dominant eye to create a sight picture. Can you squint both eyes at the same time? If you make the sight in your dominant eye shitty enough you should be able to focus with the non-dominant eye. A populate trick is to wear glasses and put a piece of clear tape over your dominant eye lense, makes the vision blurry enough that your non-dominant eye will start picking stuff up.


I’ve to quality with optics that look something like that.

Now that I’m actually in the army, I actually have some hands on experience with the rifle. So far, I’m able to look through the scope just fine with both eyes open. Target acquisition does take a bit longer though as it doesn’t seem to come as naturally to me. I straight up can’t use to back up/emergency iron sights on it though so I’ve now idea what I’ll do if I ever have to use them.


Australian army? I was in Darwin in 2011 training the 5th RAR and during a training exercise they made me qualify, right-handed, on the AUG. I’m left handed. You can adjust. And a good instructor should have you looking through optics with both eyes anyway, using the Bindon Aiming Concept.

That gun and it’s sights fucking suck, by the way. Sorry.


Singaporean Army. Well, gotta work with what I’m issued with for now at least. Will read up on Bindon Aiming Concept, have never heard of that. Sounds interesting.