Why ‘eye dominance’ is critical for pistol success

Shooters oftentimes have early success or frustration with shooting because of vision issues, like eye dominance.

Eye dominance issues have a big impact on shooting performance and enjoyment, but the “normal” eye dominance test you see in almost every online video and in-person class gives the wrong answer 25% or more of the time.

For those ‘other 25%’, shooting can be a frustrating experience.

To make matters worse, the same visual issues that make shooting frustrating can cause issues with reading, catching, throwing accurately, and more.

In short, it’s a big deal.

A lot of problems like this were whitewashed for decades.

Both the military and law enforcement had more recruits than slots and they could afford to use their trianing programs as a filter and kick out people with vision issues.

We don’t live in that world anymore…we can’t afford to give good people the boot who could be easily helped.

If we zoom in and look at an individual family, there aren’t 100-200 people fighting for the chance to protect the family.  There’s 1-2.  And we need tools to help people who might be natural athletes because of vision issues develop the skills they need to be their family’s protector.

So, on eye dominance, the standard dominance test used for shooting will tell us that someone is either right eye dominant or left eye dominant.

​But there are actually 4 types of eye dominance that I look for.

Ideally, we’d use one eye for aiming and the 2nd eye to provide depth perception and triangulation for distance estimation and to judge timing on incoming objects.

Unfortunately, the brain doesn’t always do that.

#3 is “Cyclopean dominance” which is really cool.  Basically, the brain combines the images of the 2 eyes into a hybrid 3rd image that doesn’t exist in reality.  That image appears to come from an eye right between the eyebrows.

Depending on the study, about 11% of the population has cyclopean dominance.  That’s about the same percentage as the number of people who are left-handed, so it’s not something we can’t write off.

When the brain tries to use that hybrid 3rd image for aiming, there’s a constant struggle between the hybrid image and what each eye is actually seeing.

It’s relatively simple to stabilize dominance to one eye, but few instructors know how to assess whether someone has this going on, let alone helping the shooter shoot better if they have it.

#4 is mixed dominance.  This gets real complicated, so I’m going to keep it simple here.  With mixed dominance, shooters’ brains prioritize and suppress the images from the eyes in an ever changing ratio.

For some shooters with reading issues, dominance can completely change from one eye to the other every few seconds.  This is frustrating for the shooter and a completely foreign concept for most instructors.

For others, it might just change from the brain using 80% of the right image on one rep and 70% the next.  This causes lateral stringing groups (and frustration).

If you had a shooter aim at the center of the lens of a camera, this is what each of the 4 types of dominance would look like.  (right, mixed, cyclopean, left).

So, what’s the answer?

What we want to do is get the brain to use a single eye for aiming…the same eye each time we present the gun.

When that happens, performance gets more predictable and shooting gets a lot more fun.

The easiest way to do this is with my new patent pending “Ox String” which you can find more about >HERE<

It not only stabilizes eye dominance for shooting, it helps with distance estimation, reading, catching, throwing/punching accuracy, and more.

Simply put, it’s the ultimate gun training shortcut for days when a shortcut to performance is exactly what most shooters need.

As I wrote this, the Lake City Ammunition plant ceased civilian sales.  It was announced that there was an explosion at the Hornady plant in Grand Island.  People are stocking up ammo high & deep “just in case” something cooks off and the combination of all 3 factors means that we need to be more effective with every round of ammo we have than ever before.  Vision Training and the Ox String is the way to do it.  Oh…and even if you don’t need superior vision skills to save a life with a firearm, you’ll benefit from it every day of your life.  I’ve got a free presentation that will tell you all about it >HERE<

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