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Gun fighting Thoughts | Non-Dominant Hand/Eye Stratagem

Maximum cover advantage in a shootout

Cross-dominance or normal: For shooters with dominant right eye and weak right hand. Same stance for normal dominant right eye and right strong hand

One hand shooting for the cross dominant shooter with a dominant right eye and weak right hand

Img.1 The image shows a weak right hand and a right dominant eye combination single hand shooting behind a wall covering the left side of the body. Using the strong left hand will expose more body area. Simulate this picture by aiming at the camera lens to see how much of your body is exposed when your adversary is directly or is either 30o to your left or right. Use a toy pistol. It is not easy to aim a pistol at someone even with empty chamber and firing pin removed. If a toy pistol is not available, use a tripod set at a level of your firing hand with the shutter remotely activated. Don't forget to cover the view port of your camera so no stray light can enter and ruin the images. Use the manual focus mode. Img.2. shows my left palm resting on the wall for support and balance. View larger image


The advantage of using maximum cover during a shootout cannot be overemphasized. It has saved many lives and continues to save lives. But how can one take advantage of maximum cover when there is no place to take cover at all? That's a good question. The usual answer is “make yourself small and shoot back if you are armed.” I think that’s not quite advantageous to you, because your assailant/s will always get you no matter how small you make yourself when you’re under fire because you are, simply stated, a SITTING DUCK!

I don’t believe, though, that there will never be a nearby structure to take cover - 30, 50 meters away - unless you are in wide open fields with no trees nor even tall grasses nor even small mounds of earth where you can duck and take cover and make yourself small. These areas are usually controlled by rebels, and they, probably, even maintain it to gain tactical advantage against attacking forces.

Is there something I can do then not to make myself “sitting duck”? Yes, there is! Make yourself a “RUNNING DUCK!” Some of you might laugh at this, but yes, run, move, pray and don't look back or you might trip! Further, looking back will slow you down. A running or flying duck is harder to shoot than a sitting duck. Running in a erratically zigzagging fashion will entail them more effort, timing and precision as they aim and shoot at you. Run as fast as you can and increase your distance from them. You are harder to hit unless your attacker is using a rifle or a sub-machine gun. Run towards structures or cars or anything that can give you cover, if you are armed, engage them from there or you can just choose to totally leave the scene.

A logic to the above statement:

The above statement says you are in an open area. If your antagonist happens to be in that open area too, and you are armed, stand up and shoot back - if you can shoot better in that manner than trying to make yourself small.

The best stance is one hand shooting as shown on Img.1 in the Armed Defense Thoughts page since it has the least body area exposed to gunfire compared to the Isosceles Stance or the Weaver Stance. Use your sights and don't shoot as if you are firing a sub-machinegun, you will never hit anything with that. If you are left-handed but you can shoot well with both your left or your right hand, use your right hand since this will give some protection to you heart located at the left side of your body.

Let me get this straight, however, if you are not trained to fire your weapon using your weak and strong hand just use the technique you learned to do best since that will give you the best chance to survive!

A reminder: Cover or no cover, never fight with a pistol a man armed with a rifle. You simply can't win it - 98% of the time. But do fight - but be tactical - if you have no other option.

Normal dominant right eye and right strong hand two-hand grip

One hand shooting for the cross dominant shooter with a dominant right eye and weak right hand

Img.3 The image shows normal strong right hand and dominant right eye stance. The less than 1" added to the exposed area is negligible. However, please take note that a larger area of the face is now exposed. This is because the left hand has added about 2" to the firing hand and the eye has to follow the sights. View larger image

Cover Advantage

First, determine your non-dominant eye

It is easy to determine your non-dominant eye. With both eyes open, point your index finger at any object not bigger than a soda can at a distance of about 5 feet or less. Now close your left eye. If your finger still points to the object, your right eye is your dominant eye. If you close your right eye and see that your finger no longer points to the object, then your left eye is your non-dominant eye. No need to test which of your hand is the strong hand. If you are right handed then that’s your strong hand and the other is the weak hand. Weak hand is now called by experts as the support hand because of the negative connotation of the word “weak”.

Second, find out if you are one of the few people who are cross-dominant.

What is cross-dominant person? A non-cross-dominant person is a person whose strong hand may be his left hand (left handed) but his dominant eye, too, is also the left eye. A cross-dominant person, on the other hand, has a left strong hand but dominant right eye, or vice versa.

I don't give much concern about cross-dominance because I believe that training and practice overcomes several physical handicap. As an example, have you seen armless people sew and eat with their feet? Further, a cross-dominant person may have some advantages and one of that is ambidextrousness, which is the ability to use both hands equally well.

Wikipedia Defines Cross-dominance as "Cross-dominance, also known as mixed-handedness, mixed dominance, or increased hand efficiency, is a motor skill manifestation where a person favors one hand for some tasks and the other hand for others. For example, a cross-dominant person might write with the left hand but throw mainly with the right one.[1] It can also refer to mixed laterality, which refers to a person favoring eyes, ears, feet, or hands on one side of the body. A person who is cross-dominant can also be stronger on the opposite side of the body that they favor; for example, a right-handed person can be stronger on the left side. Cross-dominance can often be a problem when shooting or in activities that require aim, although athletes can still achieve success in sports that require accuracy, like passing in American football and shooting in basketball."

Wall on left: Dominant right eye, weak right hand combination

Img.1 shows one hand shooting using - the weak right hand - and the dominant right eye. This is the same as using your dominant right eye and strong right hand. This technique minimizes body exposure. As can be seen on the image, however, the right hand is still exposed to gunfire. The area highlighted in the image is exactly 5 inches wide as shown in the scale of the picture. That's easy to hit even at 25 yards (23meters) where stop plates 8 to 12 inches in diameter can be hit "bullseye" by good shooters. However, and take note of this, It's easy to hit a target when it is not shooting back at you!

Dominant right eye weak right hand combination with left palm support

Dominant right eye, weak right hand combination shooting

Img. 2 The image shows my left hand resting against the wall for support

I think moving away from the wall will not reduce the exposed body area/s even when gun muzzle or the gun's slide resting on the wall for support. Free shooting with one hand (no support) even with acceptable accuracy will not considerably reduce exposed area. However, if you can shoot one hand with acceptable accuracy using either your "strong hand" or your "support hand" (weak hand), with the dominant eye closed if you are aiming with your non-dominant eye, resting your firing hand or your palm on anything for support and balance may not be that important. See Img.2 showing my left palm resting against the wall for balance and support. Go to the firing range and find out which is best for you in a real life and death situation. Using your weakhand and your non-dominant eye is just a mirror of Images.1 and 2.