Story at a Glance
Scott Robertson of Elm Fork Shooting Sports in Dallas lays out four steps to improve your shooting:
- Correct eye-dominance problems
- Keep your head on the stock
- Maintain balance while shooting
- Learn proper lead
1. Correct eye-dominance problems
Robertson's first step is determining eye dominance and checking to see if a shooter's master eye matches the shoulder from which he or she shoots. Shooters who are right-eye dominant should shoot off their right shoulder, and vice versa. But some shooters shoot off the shoulder opposite their dominant eye, and this can cause problems.
To determine eye dominance, cut a small hole in a piece of cardboard and extend it out from your face with both arms straight. With both eyes open, center a distant object in the hole and slowly draw the cardboard back toward your face while keeping focus on the object centered in the hole. The hole will gravitate to your dominant eye.
Shooters who discover their master eye is opposite to the shoulder from which they shoot have cross-eye dominance. Should they learn to shoot from their other shoulder?
"I discourage people from changing shoulders," Robertson says. "I think it's easier to continue shooting from the shoulder you're used to and retraining your subdominant eye to become dominant."
But the solution isn't closing the dominant eye and shooting with only the subdominant eye open. "If you close one eye completely, you lose peripheral vision and depth perception, and you need these to acquire the target and determine lead," Robertson explains.
"Instead, simply put a half-inch piece of cloudy Scotch tape on your shooting glasses over your dominant eye," Robertson advises. "This will force you to sight with your subdominant eye, but will still provide for peripheral vision and depth perception." Robertson says shooters can achieve the same result by smearing lip balm on the outer lens of their shooting glasses. "It should be just enough to cover the center of the eye and no more," he states.