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The Flinchies...And What To Do About Them

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Walk around the house with the unloaded gun. Point gun at various objects around the house maintaining sights on object, pull trigger, sights should be in exact same spot on object before the trigger was pulled.

Once that is done a few hundred times, flinching should be non-issue. Recoil will always be there, but the recoil occurs after the shot has already been taken, after the trigger has been pulled.
 

Reno

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I used to flinch a lot with visible hammers. Something about the hammer dropping was messing me up. Never happens with striker fired or internal hammers. Strangest thing. I don’t have any problems with lever guns though. Just pistols like 1911s and such.

Shooting them more and or dry fire practice helps tremendously.
 
OP
L84Cabo
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Walk around the house with the unloaded gun. Point gun at various objects around the house maintaining sights on object, pull trigger, sights should be in exact same spot on object before the trigger was pulled.

Once that is done a few hundred times, flinching should be non-issue. Recoil will always be there, but the recoil occurs after the shot has already been taken, after the trigger has been pulled.
Negative. You do not understand the power of the mind. The brain...at least my brain...absolutely knows when the gun is going to go bang and it knows when the gun is not loaded and there will be no bang. And it behaves differently under each scenario.

I have thousands of rounds of dry fire practice under my belt. I can do it perfectly time and time again. But load the gun and my brain still wants to anticipate the recoil. Dry fire helps but it is FAR from a miracle cure. And it's certainly not as simple as a few hundred rounds.
 
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Negative. You do not understand the power of the mind. The brain...at least my brain...absolutely knows when the gun is going to go bang and it knows when the gun is not loaded and there will be no bang. And it behaves differently under each scenario.
...
Revolvers are good for this, at least for me. What I like to do is load up the cylinder, fire a shot. Spin the cylinder. Fire a shot/or hit a previously fired case. Spin the cylinder. Repeat until all the cartridges go bang. You gradually go from most likely hitting a live round to most likely not hitting a live round, and of course, every flinch on a spent cartridge is clearly visible. When I find myself flinching, I like to go through a cylinder or two in this manner to get back under control.
 
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Negative. You do not understand the power of the mind. The brain...at least my brain...absolutely knows when the gun is going to go bang and it knows when the gun is not loaded and there will be no bang. And it behaves differently under each scenario.

I have thousands of rounds of dry fire practice under my belt. I can do it perfectly time and time again. But load the gun and my brain still wants to anticipate the recoil. Dry fire helps but it is FAR from a miracle cure. And it's certainly not as simple as a few hundred rounds.
Maybe you are shooting to much gun. At some point it boils down to physics, some cartridges and firearm combinations are more gun than some people can handle, hence I don’t carry a 12ga pistol like Hellboy. Flinching is equivalent to fear. If you don’t fear the recoil, the flinch should be nonexistent. I agree that dry fire can only take you so far compared to also firing live rounds, however, if a person has the trigger control to dry fire perfectly, overcoming the fear of flinching with live rounds is the second step that is possible once trigger control is mastered. A person with poor trigger control will generally always flinch, or jerk it in some way.

I think about it this way, if .22 lr doesn’t cause a flinch, (minimal recoil) than the issue is one of training, fear, and/or shooting something outside of ones relative competence.

Another poster said, “shoot, a lot” and that’s true, but to state it more specifically, practice, a lot, in a manner that isn’t flinching.
 
a suppressor helps :)
Silencers do indeed add to shooting enjoyment. It is a delight, with some of the suppressed arms, to be able to shoot without hearing protection, so one can talk with and laugh with the family whilst shooting. :D

As to flinching, never had a problem. Not sure why. I suppose I know what is coming, be it a mouse-gun or a cannon, will pass in less than a second. (shrug) Don't know my friends, but well wishes to those working on said though. :)
 

Koda

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pressout drills, also pressout drills dry firing at home really help. Also ball and dummy drills. Either dry or with a dummy round as you extend and press the front sight should not move off the target when dry firing. If it does, practice dry firing slowly until you can keep the front sight on the target.
 

dcfranzen

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A wealth of info in Chuck Pressburg's video. I also like Rob Leatham's AIMING IS USELESS! 3 Secrets to Great Shooting video. Another good dry fire drill is to balance an empty cartridge on top of the slide and pull the trigger without disturbing the cartridge. Overcoming the flinch is another good reason to leave the bullseye target in your range bag and use paper plates or Post-its.
 
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Watch a vid of some experienced shooter who didn't realize that he/she has run out of ammo when they pull the trigger. I saw Hickok45 have a small flinch that way in one of his vids.

The drills I have seen is to give a person a gun (at a safe place to shoot) where they don't know whether it isn't loaded, but they think it is loaded, and have them shoot it. You can then tell if they are flinching or not. There are variations on this, but the goal is to get them to the point where they don't anticipate the recoil such that they "flinch".

Personally, I like to warm up with rimfire and work up to heavier centerfire loads. Also, if the load/gun combo is such that it is painful to shoot, I don't shoot it very often. E.G., my 329 with standard to heavy loads is simply not fun to painful to shoot.
 

Mikej

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Negative. You do not understand the power of the mind. The brain...at least my brain...absolutely knows when the gun is going to go bang and it knows when the gun is not loaded and there will be no bang. And it behaves differently under each scenario.

I have thousands of rounds of dry fire practice under my belt. I can do it perfectly time and time again. But load the gun and my brain still wants to anticipate the recoil. Dry fire helps but it is FAR from a miracle cure. And it's certainly not as simple as a few hundred rounds.
I don't shoot any magnum rounds in my handguns so I've been mostly able to eliminate the flinch. Well, if I haven't been shooting for awhile I'd have to concentrate. I'm afraid I'm going to have a flinch that I won't be able to will away with the 03 A3.

Revolvers are good for this, at least for me. What I like to do is load up the cylinder, fire a shot. Spin the cylinder. Fire a shot/or hit a previously fired case. Spin the cylinder. Repeat until all the cartridges go bang. You gradually go from most likely hitting a live round to most likely not hitting a live round, and of course, every flinch on a spent cartridge is clearly visible. When I find myself flinching, I like to go through a cylinder or two in this manner to get back under control.
This works well. It's also a way to get a good laugh with a buddy or family member. Heck, anyone whose watching can get a good laugh!
 
Laser and a snap cap is the best way to get to know your trigger. The laser doesn't even have to be aligned with your sights albeit it is a advantage to be so aligned. it can even be a cheap check out at the quick stop counter sort of laser taped to your barrel.
Even sitting in your chair at home you can aim the laser mounted to your gun at a light switch or some other wall object and pull, squeeze, compress or whatever term you like to make it go boom. Properly done, the dot will stay where you put it, but much more likely it will wiggle all over the wall. keep practicing until you can keep the dot steady through the complete trigger sequence. The visual aid is of immense help in recognizing your trigger pull discrepancies. Also a fun game for yourself friends and family to see who can steady it the best.
 

bbbass

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Flinching.......................... "Relax, don't do it... when ya wanna sock it to it.... relax don't do it"

Flinching is mental tension... nothing more. Tell your brain!!!
 
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Everyone's mileage may vary, which I respect. When it comes to flinch control, I've not found much value in pulling the trigger when I know the gun won't shoot.

On the other hand, a surprise "dud" among live rounds (or a few), will quickly reveal a pronounced anticipatory flinch. When fellow shooters ask for help, or start complaining that they can't hit anything, I load a revolver for them with spent brass in at least one chamber. (The firing pin falls on something - and the shooter doesn't spy random empties coming around in the cylinder.)
- Bang
- Bang
- Bang
- Click
- Barrel jerks down
- That's most usually a flinch.
(Flinching or not, some shooters with weaker hands will also wave a pistol around if the DA trigger pull is long/heavy.)

Two shooters focused on this drill can really help each other. Keeps the mix more random and allows for close observation... not to mention video and demoralizing ridicule (good friends only on that last one). Too many people there? Suddenly everyone's a coach.

Repeat, repeat and repeat with different mixes until the shooter is holding consistently on target whether the gun goes boom or click. With practice, anyone can pull the trigger smoothly every time without jerking the barrel down to compensate for anticipated recoil and noise. Then it gets better. Those little holes in the target start making smaller and smaller groups, and gravitate toward the bullseye.
 
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