Crossbow Academy Pt 9: I spy with my little eye!

If you have accuracy issues, it might not be your equipment that needs inspection but your nervous system! Read this blog to learn about how your eyes and brain may impact shooting results.

“Handedness” doesn’t matter
A nice feature of the AR-6 Stinger II design is that it is entirely ambidextrous. Whether you are left-handed or right-handed, it makes no difference. The features you may handle differently from people other-handed are the safety on the Survival or the speedloader retention bar found in the metal magazine upgrade or the Special Edition (if you were lucky enough to get one).

But that is it.

What about eyes?
Another consideration that you may never have considered is eye dominance. What is eye dominance? Well, first, we need to understand that each eye is sending information to the visual cortex of your brain simultaneously. That is like two voices talking to you about the same topic but with slightly different sentences and vocabulary. That could be confusing.

Your brain has a number of ways of dealing with that information flow, but one is to simply listen to one of those voices more carefully. The eye your brain prefers to listen to is your dominant eye.

So what?

Impact on shooting results and how to test
In the context of marksmanship, knowing your dominant eye is important because it can greatly affect your aim. When you aim a firearm, bow, crossbow, or indeed any projectile weapon, aligning the sights or target with your dominant eye typically allows for more accurate shooting.

Since we often use a particular hand for certain tasks, establishing whether you are right or left-handed is pretty easy. But most of the time, looking at stuff is done with both eyes, so which is dominant? Here’s how to check:

1. Extend both arms forward
2. Form a small triangle between your thumbs and forefingers.
3. With both eyes open, look through the triangle and focus on a distant object - think 20 meters away or something like that.
4. Keeping your hands in that position, close your right eye
5. Then do the same, but close your left eye.

The eye that keeps the object in view through the triangle is your dominant eye.
So if you close your left eye and the object remains in the center of your “finger triangle” but is off-center or hidden altogether when you close your right eye, your right eye is dominant.

Where the problem lies
Typically, if you are right-handed, you are right-eye dominant, but that is far from guaranteed. A quick Google search found various studies, and these studies put the number of people with cross-dominance between their hands and eyes (i.e., right-handed but left-eye dominant and vice versa) at between 25-35%, so pretty high.

Let’s say you are cross-dominant: Is that it? Do you hang up your crossbow and sell your arrows?

No! But you may need to adjust your shooting style to get better results, especially if you’ve struggled a bit with consistency.

Workarounds for cross-dominant shooters
Since eye dominance is harder to work around, the best thing is to adapt your shooting to either put your dominant eye squarely in line with your sights or simply get in the habit of closing your non-dominant eye. With only one eye sending information, your brain can focus on that message and that message alone.

Otherwise, technology may be your answer. Our Steambow red dot sight should fix this as it puts a red dot on the target, which stays on the target even if you don’t look straight down the length of the barrel, thanks to its curved, reflective lens. Another electronic fix is to use one of the lasers that we offer (green laser or red laser). Have a look at the shop links for more details, but in both the case of lasers and red dots, do check your local and national laws to be sure they are permitted to buy them.

So there you go: if you have been having accuracy issues that nothing seemed to fix, perhaps eye dominance is the cause, and hopefully this blog will help fix that for you so that you get bullseye hits from now on.

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