Lessons from the cross dominant [Archive] - Glock Talk


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05-27-2011, 15:38
I am not cross dominant and have the blessing of being right handed with a right dominant eye.

However, I do on occasion practice weak/left handed shooting. For me this is ONE handed shooting using left hand to prepare me for situations where my right dominant arm/hand may be injured.

I am not very good at it, in sense slow and relatively inaccurate. I could probably hit a man more than 50% of the time at 25 yards. But not solid hits and it takes me a long time to line up sights. I have been bringing my left hand over to the right and bending my wrist. Slow and not very stable.

So I am looking for a better technique. I know you have trained many people, some of whom I assume are cross dominate. I thought you may have developed some techniques, that may be of use to the NON cross dominate shooter, when shooting weak handed.

As always thanks for any advice or insights.

Mas Ayoob
05-27-2011, 19:42
Jack, I suggest you try the McMillan/Chapman Technique.

Lock your left arm straight out, rigid at every joint. (As you've discovered, a bent wrist destroys control.) Now, rotate the sights SLIGHTLY (15 degrees to no more than 45 degrees) to the right. This should bring the sights dead in line with your right eye, with your firing arm still solidly locked.

It's named for Bill McMillan, who came up with it when he was on the Marine Team and promptly won a gold medal for the US shooting this way (in the Pan Am Games, circa 1960, IIRC). Former Marine Ray Chapman, who would soon become the first world champion of combat pistol shooting (I believe in 1975, a year before IPSC was founded by Chapman's close friend and colleague Jeff Cooper). Chapman liked it so much for control that he recommended it for same-side-dominant one hand shooting as well. This turn of the arm strengthens the hand and the grasp. When I went through Thunder Ranch, Clint Smith was teaching it that way also.

Give it a try, and come on back and let folks here know how it worked for you.

05-27-2011, 22:21

I have tried the technique you describe without much success.

Anyhow, began to think more about what I was doing.

I think I have a tendency to put my right foot farward when shooting right handed and put my left foot forward when shooting left handed.

I am now thinking my right foot should aways be forward regardless of what hand I am using. The idea being to use foot position to help put the gun in front of the dominant eye.

This make any sense? Did McMillan advance the foot to correspond with hand using or dominate eye?

Mas Ayoob
05-27-2011, 22:26
Jack, photos I recall show McMillan with same foot as hand forward. This will normally get more weight into the gun, and afford better balance...the reason one-hand bullseye shooters use it universally.

Tell me what didn't work for you when you tried the stance.


05-27-2011, 23:02

Naturally, the McMillan sight picture looked strange. But focus did not seem right either. Now I am person who was nearsighted in early teens and now in later years need reading glasses as well.

However, my "walking around glasses" are distance corrected with right eye corrected a bit less than 20-20 to give me fair sight picture/mid distance vision. Don't want in gunfight to say, "wait until I put on my special glasses". So I shoot with my "walking around glasses"

I am like a lot of right handers not very good with weak hand. So a lot of things going on.

What made me think again about this subject was article in recent Rifleman where author discussed technique where cross dominate shooter using strong hand places his cheek/jaw on weak side shoulder, which was eye dominate side.

I have not tried this technique yet and it looks like it might be hard to achieve under stress. Overall just looking at ways to get sights in front of my right dominate eye when shooting weak handed.

I can appreciate that "reverse hand-foot position" may lessen control, but in case of injury in a gunfight may still be a viable option, if in fact it helps accuracy and is able to be executed quickly.

All things to try in ones golden years. Thanks again for your insights. Jack