• Friends, our 2nd Amendment rights are always under attack and the NRA has been a constant for decades in helping fight that fight.

    We have partnered with the NRA to offer you a discount on membership and Muzzleloading Forum gets a small percentage too of each membership, so you are supporting both the NRA and us.

    Use this link to sign up please; https://membership.nra.org/recruiters/join/XR045103

To go left-handed or not

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

TarponStalker

54 Cal.
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
623
Reaction score
641
Location
Florida
I'm sorry for my long sob story but please bear with me.
Three years ago, I was in an accident that ultimately caused retina damage in my right eye. Ever since then I have had a tough time shooting my Flintlock rifles or any rifles for that matter.
Any vertical lines are always distorted. A especially the front sites on my rifles. The doctors tell me it will never get any better. No matter what I've tried when I shoot sometimes the front site is there and sometimes not. I can see parts of it, but I cannot always tell if I'm looking at the top of the site or not.
This has been very frustrating since I used to be a pretty good shot. Not so much anymore.
About a month ago, a friend talked me into trying to shoot left-handed. After about 50 shots with an open sighted.22 rifle I started thinking maybe I could learn to shoot left handed. I could see the front site clear as day.
I then tried a left-handed shot with my .54 percussion Plains rifle. Those cap fragments were hot against my right wrist.
I'm actually afraid to try shooting my right handed flintlock rifles left-handed because I don't want to damage my other eye.
I have a friend of a friend that has a left-handed Flintlock rifle but he's about 300 miles from me. I want to try a few shots with it to see if I can actually shoot a flintlock rifle left-handed very well. Every day I pick up one of my rifles and practice holding it left-handed to try and get used to it. However, is not just aiming the rifle but everything that goes along with hunting and shooting left-handed. Not only looking through your left eye but pulling the trigger with your left finger and even the stance of your feet when shooting left-handed is different. Even sitting in a tree stand with a gun laying across your lap, the opposite direction feels strange.
The other option I've been considering is selling one of my current rifles to raise funds and buying a Kibler Woodsrunner. My theory is the woods Runner has a shorter barrel and possibly I could see the front sites a little better with my right eye.
My two long guns both have 42 inch barrels. One is a John Armstrong style rifle that I built years ago and the other is one of Jim Kibler's early colonial rifles from about 10 years ago.
My thought would be to get a WR and then immediately replaced the front site with the thickest blade I could get. I have no idea if this will work.
Maybe I'm looking for an excuse to buy a new rifle? I'm trying to do anything I can so I don't have to give up a hobby that I love so much. Never take your eyesight for granted.
At 64 years old, it's gonna be tough to change from right handed to left-handed shooting, but I'm sure I could do it if I put my mind to it. But I'd rather not.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my story. Ideas will certainly be appreciated.

I'm going to start another thread to see if anyone near me in central Florida has a woods runner that might be willing for me to come look at just to see if it might work before I buy a new one.
 
...
At 64 years old, it's gonna be tough to change from right handed to left-handed shooting, but I'm sure I could do it if I put my mind to it. But I'd rather not.

....
Do it. It's a good thing to retrain your mind and your body to adapt to new limitations. It will help keep you young despite your other physical losses. Your mind hasn't been adversely affected. Best wishes to you. Keep a positive attitude. You will prevail.
 
Try it for awhile, what have you got to lose? (Wear safety glasses)

Hate to hear your dominant eye is vexing you, but life throws us curveballs and we can't let 'em stop us from playing.

It's generally a good idea to practice shooting with one's "off" side just in case. I'm certain it will be frustrating to take two steps back in terms of your skill level from before, but go easy & slow and just keep doing it!! You'll get there.

And you get to go gun shopping!

Godspeed and good shootin'.
 
Go for it. It may take a while but you will get used to it. It might feel weird but you can still shoot right handed guns left handed too. Granted it might be scary with a flintlock shooting that flame out close to your face. But that is what the shooting glasses are for too.

Yes, I have fired my left handed flintlock on the left side. It felt a bit awkward at first but I don’t have a problem with it. But I am semi ambidextrous anyway. My right eye is the dominant one though. But as a little kid the teacher forced me to write right handed and I was stuck with it ever since.

But a year ago I had surgery to install a bypass graft in my shoulder to send blood to my legs as the abdominal aortal aneurism repair stent failed and clogged up blocking blood to my legs. So now I cannot shoot any rifle more powerful than a 22 rimfire right handed.

So anyway you are not alone as there are many right handed people that have to shoot left handed as well.
 
Last edited:
When I was 16 I bought my first recurve bow. I did not know it was left handed. Shot it for 10 years then went to a compound. Yes shot it left handed for another 10 years. Had my hunting buddy ask me, are you left handed ? I said no but this is what I started with. Switched to a right handed bow and shoot it now.. Here’s the thing… Get the left hand gun. Learn to shoot it. If I can learn to shoot right handed after 20 years shooting left handed I have no doubt that in just a little while you will be splitting playing cards at 30yards in no time. 😃
 
I'm sorry for my long sob story but please bear with me.
Three years ago, I was in an accident that ultimately caused retina damage in my right eye. Ever since then I have had a tough time shooting my Flintlock rifles or any rifles for that matter.
Any vertical lines are always distorted. A especially the front sites on my rifles. The doctors tell me it will never get any better. No matter what I've tried when I shoot sometimes the front site is there and sometimes not. I can see parts of it, but I cannot always tell if I'm looking at the top of the site or not.
This has been very frustrating since I used to be a pretty good shot. Not so much anymore.
About a month ago, a friend talked me into trying to shoot left-handed. After about 50 shots with an open sighted.22 rifle I started thinking maybe I could learn to shoot left handed. I could see the front site clear as day.
I then tried a left-handed shot with my .54 percussion Plains rifle. Those cap fragments were hot against my right wrist.
I'm actually afraid to try shooting my right handed flintlock rifles left-handed because I don't want to damage my other eye.
I have a friend of a friend that has a left-handed Flintlock rifle but he's about 300 miles from me. I want to try a few shots with it to see if I can actually shoot a flintlock rifle left-handed very well. Every day I pick up one of my rifles and practice holding it left-handed to try and get used to it. However, is not just aiming the rifle but everything that goes along with hunting and shooting left-handed. Not only looking through your left eye but pulling the trigger with your left finger and even the stance of your feet when shooting left-handed is different. Even sitting in a tree stand with a gun laying across your lap, the opposite direction feels strange.
The other option I've been considering is selling one of my current rifles to raise funds and buying a Kibler Woodsrunner. My theory is the woods Runner has a shorter barrel and possibly I could see the front sites a little better with my right eye.
My two long guns both have 42 inch barrels. One is a John Armstrong style rifle that I built years ago and the other is one of Jim Kibler's early colonial rifles from about 10 years ago.
My thought would be to get a WR and then immediately replaced the front site with the thickest blade I could get. I have no idea if this will work.
Maybe I'm looking for an excuse to buy a new rifle? I'm trying to do anything I can so I don't have to give up a hobby that I love so much. Never take your eyesight for granted.
At 64 years old, it's gonna be tough to change from right handed to left-handed shooting, but I'm sure I could do it if I put my mind to it. But I'd rather not.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my story. Ideas will certainly be appreciated.

I'm going to start another thread to see if anyone near me in central Florida has a woods runner that might be willing for me to come look at just to see if it might work before I buy a new one.
Have been shooting from both sides all my life you can do it. You don’t have have a left hand gun but it’s a chance to buy a new one good luck.
 
Have been shooting from both sides all my life you can do it. You don’t have have a left hand gun but it’s a chance to buy a new one good luck.
I found a left-handed .50 New Englander several years back. It was my 1st (& only) left-handed long gun. Still, I probably make half my shots right-handed when a deer is on that side of me. When I got a flinter, I got what was available in my (low) price-range. Of course, it’s right-handed. It takes some practice, but I’ve become an acceptable shot either-handed, with either rifle. I always wear glasses, so no eye worries. If I had cap fragments hitting my wrist, I’d wear long-sleeves, a glove, or both! While hunting, I doubt I’d even notice…
 
I'm sorry for my long sob story but please bear with me.
Three years ago, I was in an accident that ultimately caused retina damage in my right eye. Ever since then I have had a tough time shooting my Flintlock rifles or any rifles for that matter.
Any vertical lines are always distorted. A especially the front sites on my rifles. The doctors tell me it will never get any better. No matter what I've tried when I shoot sometimes the front site is there and sometimes not. I can see parts of it, but I cannot always tell if I'm looking at the top of the site or not.
This has been very frustrating since I used to be a pretty good shot. Not so much anymore.
About a month ago, a friend talked me into trying to shoot left-handed. After about 50 shots with an open sighted.22 rifle I started thinking maybe I could learn to shoot left handed. I could see the front site clear as day.
I then tried a left-handed shot with my .54 percussion Plains rifle. Those cap fragments were hot against my right wrist.
I'm actually afraid to try shooting my right handed flintlock rifles left-handed because I don't want to damage my other eye.
I have a friend of a friend that has a left-handed Flintlock rifle but he's about 300 miles from me. I want to try a few shots with it to see if I can actually shoot a flintlock rifle left-handed very well. Every day I pick up one of my rifles and practice holding it left-handed to try and get used to it. However, is not just aiming the rifle but everything that goes along with hunting and shooting left-handed. Not only looking through your left eye but pulling the trigger with your left finger and even the stance of your feet when shooting left-handed is different. Even sitting in a tree stand with a gun laying across your lap, the opposite direction feels strange.
The other option I've been considering is selling one of my current rifles to raise funds and buying a Kibler Woodsrunner. My theory is the woods Runner has a shorter barrel and possibly I could see the front sites a little better with my right eye.
My two long guns both have 42 inch barrels. One is a John Armstrong style rifle that I built years ago and the other is one of Jim Kibler's early colonial rifles from about 10 years ago.
My thought would be to get a WR and then immediately replaced the front site with the thickest blade I could get. I have no idea if this will work.
Maybe I'm looking for an excuse to buy a new rifle? I'm trying to do anything I can so I don't have to give up a hobby that I love so much. Never take your eyesight for granted.
At 64 years old, it's gonna be tough to change from right handed to left-handed shooting, but I'm sure I could do it if I put my mind to it. But I'd rather not.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my story. Ideas will certainly be appreciated.

I'm going to start another thread to see if anyone near me in central Florida has a woods runner that might be willing for me to come look at just to see if it might work before I buy a new one.
Have you tried shooting right handed with the stock on your left shoulder?
 
Thank you all for your well wishes, advice, and encouraging thoughts.
It appears most of the vote is going towards me switching to shooting left-handed. I think I'll give that a little more effort after hearing this.
And by the way, just so everyone is aware I do use shooting glasses and ear protection at all times. Well, maybe not all times. I don't use them while I'm hunting.
I'm going to either have to find a used left-handed flintlock rifle or go to a company that has the parts for me to build a left handed rifle.
This may be a long road, but it also could be a great adventure.
 
Back
Top