Cross-dominance, RMRs and point shooting
By Alex Nieuwland, Suarez International Staff Instructor
Earlier this year, I had TSD install a Trijicon RMR sight on my primary Glock 19 carry gun. When I started practicing with it, everything was as expected when it came to sighted fire: I was keeping all of my shots in the silhouette at 100 yards, plinking at 8” plates at 50 yards, etc. Point shooting while moving, however, did not feel right. It felt as if something was slowing me down. I recently figured out what it was, and thought I’d try to explain it here in case others are in the same situation.
Now, point shooting looks and feels different to different people. That’s why you should come to a point shooting class to experience it for yourself. If this is not how it looks and feels to you, move right along.
I'm cross dominant: my primary hand is on my right side, but my dominant eye is on my left side. If you’re not already cross dominant, you may be in a similar situation when you are shooting with your support side hand. During sighted fire with iron sights, I solve my cross-dominance issue by holding the gun in my primary hand (right) and closing my dominant (left) eye. During sighted fire with the RMR, cross dominance is a non-issue: I just keep both eyes open and use the red dot which is only projected into one eye (my right eye).
While moving, I like using point shooting from the half-homie position (gun canted about 45 degrees to the left). Shooting from the half-homie position rather than trying to keep the gun straight up and down allows for much faster movement. To aim the gun, I keep both eyes open and line up (or rather, lined up) the corner of the slide with my right eye. An imaginary line drawn along the corner edge of the slide indicates where the shot is going to hit. The image below shows pretty much what this looks like for my right eye.
Meanwhile, my left eye is sending a stronger image to my brain, but the image doesn’t contain useful aiming information, so I have no difficulty ignoring it. The image below shows pretty much what it looks like for my left eye.
As you can see, with the RMR sight BOTH images contain useful sighting information. The right eye is seeing the corner of the slide. The left eye is seeing what has been referred to as “the TV screen of death.” When I move with the gun in this position, my eyes are vying for dominance. This is what was slowing me down.
The solution is simple: push the gun further to the left, so the corner of the slide is aligned with my dominant (left) eye. The image from the right eye now has no useful sighting information and is easily ignored, especially since it is my non-dominant eye anyway. The image below shows what it looks like to my dominant eye.
Aside from solving the eye dominance conflict, this combination has some additional advantages: the image coming from my dominant eye is stronger, so the imaginary line coming from the corner of the slide to the point I want to hit now really pops out at me, and I feel even stronger holding the gun in this position. Compare it to doing push-ups with your hands together compared to spread out. Which is easier? The push-ups with your hands together, right? The same thing applies here.
I like this hand and eye position so much, that I have switched to it for my point shooting with iron sighted guns as well. I have been using a modified version of the “walking drill” from the Close Range Gunfighting course during dry fire practice to ingrain this hand-eye cooridination while moving.
As I said before: If this is not how it looks and feels to you, don’t worry about it. If you’d like to try this out, however, come on by. On March 17-18 Chris Upchurch and I will be teaching another Close Range Gunfighting course in Columbia, SC. This course will also serve as a prerequisite for Randy Harris’ “Beatdown Extravaganza” (better known as Zero to Five Feet Pistol Gunfighting) on April 14-15 in the same location.