Fine tremor


September 23, 2009, 05:27 PM
I've developed a fine tremor in my hands that has markedly reduced my accuracy and has come to the point that it has caused me to cut my range time short. I should say that I don't have the tremor normally. I first noticed it after shooting 50 rounds of .357 and then dropping down to 9mm. I figured it was the shock to my system delivered by shooting the .357 from a K frame w/ 2.5 inch barrel. The next range trip, I started with the 9mm and moved up to a 1911. Same results. I've tried resting a bit before changing calibers and have 'shaken out' my arms to relieve stress. It is taking the fun out of shooting as I can't hit what I'm aiming at. My groups have gone from 2 inches to 6 inches or more. Very frustrating. Anyone have any advice on how to deal with this?

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September 23, 2009, 05:54 PM
Considering that I've seen seniors with scary-shaky hands punch out the center of a silhouette, and then move on to the head because they couldn't be bothered to crank the target back ... I think you can work through it, given plenty of practice.
Do you have a .22 handgun that mimics your EDC somewhat?

September 23, 2009, 06:09 PM
Have you seen a doctor? This may be a symptom of something more serious.

September 23, 2009, 06:37 PM
bigfatdave...I have a conversion kit for my 9mm and like shooting it quite a bit. I shoot silhouette from time to time but like bullseye a lot better. It's more challenging for me and more gratifying when I do it well (I don't do it well all the time). I'm wondering if a longer spacing of time between shots might help.
grizz...I thought about that but think that if something was wrong neurologically, I would have the tremor all the time. As it is, the tremor disappears about 30 minutes after cease fire. I've been looking for it to appear when doing hard work, etc. but it only seems to happen while I'm shooting.

September 23, 2009, 06:57 PM
Essential tremor ( is very common and usually develops later in life. It effects muscles only when they are working and disappears when the muscle return to rest.

Your doctor may be willing to prescribe a low-dose beta blocker or other medication to help alleviate the symptoms.

September 23, 2009, 07:54 PM
I had a tremor like that in my late '50s. Couldn't figure out what was going on. Then my doc found that my left carotid was pretty blocked. I had it cleaned out (endarterectomy) and the tremor cleared right up. I'm back to shooting my usual tight groups.

The docs I tell this story to tell me there should be no connection. YMMV.

September 23, 2009, 08:23 PM
hirundo...thanks for the link. Very interesting reading. I'm an operating room nurse and have heard of surgeons taking a beta blocker prior to surgery to calm their fine tremors.
japle...I turned 60 earlier this year. I guess the only thing worse than getting older is the alternative. I've helped with many carotid endarterectomys over the years and agree with the docs that say it was unrelated (in that there shouldn't be a connection) but it worked for you. Go figure. As Griz suggested earlier, maybe it's time for a trip to the docs.

September 23, 2009, 11:34 PM
I know I get shaky after firing any strong caliber for a while.

Usually after 50 rounds of 9mm in my subcompact, despite my very stable hands (I used to do circuit board rework) I'll have a light shake. From a .357, I'd assume it would be a bit more pronounced.

September 24, 2009, 06:54 AM
No caffeine, nicotine and make sure you are hydrated when shooting. Yes, of course see a Dr. to make sure blood pressure is okay and the ticker is working fine. The more you practice with the little S&W with hot rounds the more you will get used to it. I think with more practice you will become tolerant with the recoil and the adverse reaction will decrease.

September 24, 2009, 08:58 AM
Good advice above
Agree that you probably should see your doc to make sure its not anything more serious. Thyroid disease...Early parkinsons...side effects to some meds are three that come to mind immediately.

Essential tremor is a common and benign condition but its diagnosis is made after everything else is eliminated. In its early state it might be only noticable during fime motor movements (such as shooting) and higher stress conditions and not as noticable during other times

B-Blockers work wonders for this, are very safe in most people, and can be used as needed but will require a prescription first

If you get this tremor only when you shoot...then it might be non-medical...

Hypoguninemia...?... whose only cure is to buy another firearm

September 24, 2009, 10:52 AM

You should definitely consult your doctor. I have a tremor that occurs when start shooting after long periods of not shooting. Apparently it's because of muscle fatigue. I was able to remedy it by using one of those hand exercisers between shooting sessions. It's hard to explain, but they are essentially a spring loaded mechanism that you hold in your hands and squeeze repeatedly. Just a few minutes while watching TV does wonders. This exercises the muscles in your forearm and builds up your endurance. It helped me tremendously.. Good luck

September 24, 2009, 12:14 PM
I have found the same tremor while shooting a particular gun. A Kahr PM9. Something about the length of trigger pull, light weight and recoil sets something off in me. After about 100 rounds, my arm is praticaly vibrating. Usually go back to a single action Ruger .22 for awhile, or something with a markedly different trigger, and, it goes away.

Who knows? I once went to my doctor complaining about shoulder pain, he poked around a bit and said it looked like I might have a little bone spur...I asked him how I got that and he said: "Who the hell knows, you might have gotten that in the birth canal for all I know, if you take Motrin, does it stop hurting?" I said yes. He said "Well, whenever that hurts, take a couple Motrin."

I said, you went to school for eight years to tell me that???

His presponse, that has stayed with me since then was:

"Boy, sometimes I start my days with Motrin, after the age of 40 or so, if you wake up without any aches and pains, its a sign that you passed during the night."

Reasonable advise from an old very smart Doctor....

September 24, 2009, 12:16 PM
my great grandpa (90 something) shook like a leaf in a hurricane. he could still shoot the .22 pretty good though.
i think he just learned to compensate for it.

that was 40 years ago so his diagonosis was a bad case of getting old.

sometimes he would take a swig of THE MEDAICINE (terpinhydrate and codine) before we went out back to shoot.

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