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June 15, 2006



Ah. But ahve you tried playing an FPS with the eyepatch? Per happes you aren't even playing at full potential!

Lisa Parry

Good advice. I'm going clay pigeon shooting in a couple of weeks on a work jolly. Gives me plenty of time to practice Duck Hunt on our new NES!

neil h.

The difference with a video game is that you are focussing on a screen right in front of you. Shooting at a real target brings depth perception into the equation as well.

You should try swords though - nothing quite like a saber or cutlass for getting up close and personal with ... :-)


I immediately thought "I'm both right, handed and right-eyed", did that pointing test and found, to my surprise, that I seem to be left-eyed.

I then got out my trusty PS2 lightgun and tried sighting down the barrel with both eyes open. Same thing - my aim was way off.

The thing is, I automatically shoot with my left eye closed. It's utter force of habit. No need for piratical props here!

I reckon it probably stems back to a very fun afternoon I had, quite a few years ago now, playing with a British Army SAT (Small Arms Training) range. It's a great bit of kit that I probably shouldn't have been on, but my mate Kyle's dad was one of the command staff of the barracks and brought us in to play with it on a day when it wasn't being used for Actual Soldier Training.

It's got a huge projection screen with a row of rifle emplacements facing it. The player trainee lies prone at one of the emplacements.

There's a number of scenarios, such as FIBUA and jungle. The movement is on rails (I think the idea is that you're firing from a troop transport, like an APC or a riverboat) as it's pre-filmed on location. Various hostile and non-hostile people - real video overlaid on the background, which is quite cool and very realistic - pop up for you to shoot at (or not, respectively).

The weapon itself is yer basic SA80 rifle, modified with light gun gubbins in the barrel and a compressed-air system to operate the moving parts.

I was quite good at the game exercise, but I got a bit trigger-happy on the first go and ran out of ammunition. You'd be surprised how quickly an automatic rifle will burn through three magazines of ammo...

Anyway, the point of all this (such as it is) is that the SA80's bolt handle is positioned on the right side of the weapon in such a way that one MUST fire it from the right shoulder, thus using the right eye to aim.

If you were to attempt firing from the left shoulder and sighting with the left eye, the bolt handle would cut open your face and smash your cheekbone, which doesn't sound nice at all...


Shooting at clay pigeons seems so much more exciting than my first and only trip to a shooting range. We shot handguns at paper targets. I didn't quite get the hang of it, and I was really bored.


So much for the "Columbine theory" of Doom/gun skill equivalence. ;)


Excellent, I buck the trend! I'm a right-handed, right-eyed woman. And thank goodness, because no matter how many times they check or up my prescription, the vision out of my left eye alone is always slightly blurry.

Is that Alice herself in the photo above, or lovely Anne from work?


Ah, that's me. With gun, but without eye patch. It was a very un-piratical eyepatch, in medical-white plastic - no good!


To make things complicated, I appear to be a right-handed, left-eyed guy...


W00t right handed right eyed!

Thanks for the top tip Miss Alice.


I'm also right handed and left eyed. It used to be particularly annoying when using a camcorder viewfinder. A lot easier now with the little monitors on them.

Its something I've never thought about with regards to shooting, so now I know if I ever have to take up arms I will have to make allowance for corrections :)


This handedness business is all something of a misnomer. We actually swap handedness regularly up to the age of about six when we start to stabilise, but we're rarely exclusively left- or right-handed. Which hand do you hold your knife in? Which do you write with? Which arm is on top when you fold your arms? Which thumb is on top when you clasp your hands together? They're all different ways we express a preference for left or right (I go right, left, right, left for those examples).

Okay, a little off-topic, but when the opportunity comes up to spew out a useless fact...

Chef Booyadee

Hmm... I'm a no-eyed guy then? Doing the eye test, I find that my finger is in between my right eye closed/left eye closed thingy. Makes sense though - I always aimed light guns by shooting in-between the "eye images" of the barrel and it seemed to work fine. Since you're trying handguns next, I wonder what eye you use when you go two fisted... hmm...

Actually, I think what's more important is what eyes you have after shooting - ever seen A Christmas Story?


Damn that was an entertaining read :D




You were absolutely right to be aiming in front of the clay -- there is real world lag: the time it takes for the shot to reach the clay. See Asa Denton's project at


Went clay-pigeon shooting for the first time today and realised the disadvantages of right-hand / left-eye 'contralateral dominance'. Not only am I left eyed - my right eye is short sighted, so I ended up shooting left-handed. Next time I'll try an eye patch with a parrot on my shoulder. Shiver me timbers!

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