Tactical Wink- a Useful Technique for Cross-Dominant Shooters

I think the term 'tactical wink' (not pictured above)was coined by a user on Glocktalk- at least thats what my research attempts (and lack of sources) point to. However I found this useful enough to share it here, so any accolades belong to user TsiWRX on Glocktalk.

I am right-handed but my left eye is dominant- this is called cross-dominance. it affects about 30% of Americans and can impact lots of activities – including shooting techniques. Maybe we could blame my gradeschool teachers who shunned lefties…. meh. That was long ago- but not in the sense that the Obama Administration talks about the treachery at Benghazi.

For pistol shooting I simply adjust my grip to acquire a sight picture using my left eye– Jeff Cooper and Larry Vickers both do this and both are renowned for their legendary gun fighting skills – no link necessary. Others believe in 'retraining' your weak eye to become dominant by blurring out one side of your glasses or obstructing that eye. Two reasons I don't think that's a good approach are:

  1. Police are reluctant to trust their weapon (read: their lives) to their weak hand (with its weaker dexterity and strength)
  2. When the average citizen ends up in a life-threatening situation stress takes an incredible toll – tunnel vision, loss of fine motor skills, etc. That sounds like a pretty bad time to worry about falling back on anything less than my instincts.

I find that the Cooper/Vickers technique works pretty well, although as I write this I wonder about leaning in from the right side of concealment or cover…

The real challenge I run into is sight picture when I pickup a rifle. When bringing up a rifle from low ready I tend to start with competing sight pictures because my left eye wants to dominate- especially after all the pistol reps I have performed (it's much easier for me to shoot pistol than rifle and I estimate a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio of pistol reps to rifle reps).

But there is a technique you can use – the newly coined Tactical Wink:

The “tactical wink” – temporarily and quickly closing one eye to acquire the necessary sight-picture before shifting back to binocular vision) is another valid technique as well, and for even the least cross-dominant individual, sometimes this method is still necessary in order to effect precision/surgical shots, particularly at longer distances, or to insure that the muzzle actually clears the barricade when shooting from the strong side (which, if you'll keep in mind, is with the non-dominant eye).

As silly as this sounds practice a few transitions from rifle to pistol and back to rifle- that's all it takes for me to get competing sight pictures.


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