How to stop flinching?


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tom11235
January 8, 2011, 05:09 AM
The title sums it up pretty well; Ive been flinching on the first shot of almost every group I've with my Mosin Nagant lately. At least that's what I assume is happening; I find my first shot is always a flyer and always roughly 2-3 inches off point of aim, usually to the right, but after the first shot the consecutive ones group nicely. So I'm looking for advice on how not to flinch, I have a slip-on recoil pad on it, and always wear earmuffs when shooting targets so it may be just a bad habit rather than anticipation of pain or whatever.

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walter34payton2002
January 8, 2011, 05:22 AM
Maybe see if you do it with a .22?

StormTac
January 8, 2011, 05:33 AM
Try dry practice the first press. And dry practice randomly with your live fire drills. Also have someone watch your shots to see if you are yanking, or if the rifle just has a different POI with cold bore.

Metal Head
January 8, 2011, 05:39 AM
Practice

FoMoGo
January 8, 2011, 07:30 AM
Start and finish your range time with a .22 rifle.
Have someone else load your rifle for you, you may or may not have an empty chamber on that first shot then.


Jim

243winxb
January 8, 2011, 10:04 AM
A first shot from a clean barrel will not go in the group. If it happens after the barrel is dirty, try this. Have someone load the rifle for you while you look away, dont watch. Have them leave the chamber empty on some loadings. When you pull the trigger on an empty chamber, you will see if you flinch or not. You must not know if the gun is loaded or empty. If recoil is a problem for you, try adding weight to the rifle along with some of the new high teck recoil pads.

KurtC
January 8, 2011, 10:47 AM
If your first shot is from a cold barrel, a flyer is not uncommon (for a broad spectrum of rifles).

If you are absolutely convinced that you are flinching, practice using the old "quarter on the barrel" technique until you are holding the rifle rock steady.

1Deernut
January 8, 2011, 11:49 AM
practice with a .22 and dry fire will help.

CraigC
January 8, 2011, 12:01 PM
Take a decent .22 rifle to an Appleseed. If you don't have one, get one, you need it.

aka108
January 8, 2011, 12:19 PM
Go shooting with a friend. Have that friend hand you the rifle to fire, maybe loaded or maybe unloaded. That way you will learn if you have a flinch. If the riflel goes click and you are squirming all over then you know for sure you are flinching. I never try to put a first shot on target. I find some object down range and fir 3 to 5 shots and then it seems the rifles settle down. Don't know what causes that but never worried about it either.

jpwilly
January 8, 2011, 12:28 PM
First thing to do at the range is dry fire 5, 10 , 20 times untill your mind and body are ready to do that same thing with a loaded chamber.

Relax, the rifle won't hurt you but it is more comfortable to shoot from a bench with a slip on recoil pad.

SlamFire1
January 8, 2011, 02:13 PM
A first shot from a clean barrel will not go in the group.

With old service rifles with worn barrels, flinging first shots are not unusual.

An another cause is that the rifle bedding may be awful, in which case it takes the first shot to slide the action to one side or another of the action.


I usually don't flinch on the first shots. I flinch when I get too beat up by the recoil.

If I shoot a rack grade Garand in a Garand Match, where you cannot pork up the rifle with lead weights, the first couple shots standing are usually great. Then by shot five I am having to work on controlling flinch, and by shot ten I am bucking and weaving in anticipation.

J-Bar
January 8, 2011, 02:22 PM
Start with a Daisy BB gun.

Focus, I mean really focus on the front sight. Start to press the trigger. Get your eye back on the front sight. Try to make the trigger press as long and slow as possible. REALLY slow. Refocus on the front sight.

Here's where you have to be honest with yourself. Did the trigger break unexpectedly? If you can do this every time without the front sight moving, and you have focused your attention on the front sight so completely that the trigger break is ALWAYS a surprise, then move to a .22 rifle over a rest.

Only you will know when to move up to something bigger. I would suggest not rushing it. It may take a dozen range sessions. When you are getting bored with the drill because you know you have it mastered, do it a few more times anyway. Use the BB gun and the .22 until you are SURE you are not going to flinch, then work your way up to a bigger caliber.

A flinch is nothing to be ashamed of. I have fought one before myself. Not admitting that you have a flinch is a problem...

Welding Rod
January 8, 2011, 02:29 PM
Some good suggestions. I will make another as I personally never had good luck shooting small bores in order to shoot heavier rifles... for me it just seemed to make the bigger ones feel even worse. If you access to a heavy hitter, shoot a fair bit with it, then go back and your Mosin will feel relatively soft and pleasant to shoot.

I am not a big guy - 5'8" and 170 lbs. I spent some time shooting my 375 H&H with Hornady ammo in their Heavy Magnum loadings and with my 416 Ruger. Holy cow. After that my 375 Ruger felt pretty tame, and something like a 7mm RM or light weight 308 feels like a 223.

RockyMtnTactical
January 8, 2011, 02:34 PM
Practice

^^this^^

I think that flinching is usually a reaction of an inexperienced shooter. I see it all the time with new shooters. Practice cures it. Dry firing and range time. Both will get the kinks worked out with enough practice.

Lincoln4
January 8, 2011, 02:46 PM
Lots of good advice here. Add snap caps to the mix, if available in that caliber. Let someone else load your rifle, mixing in (or not) a couple of snap caps. Then you don't know which presses of the trigger for that loadout will go bang. Really forces you to focus on your sight picture and trigger press. Very frustrating to press and only hear a click while your sights do the funky chicken! Fixed my flinch fairly quickly. ;)

zxcvbob
January 8, 2011, 03:05 PM
Lots of good advice here. Add snap caps to the mix, if available in that caliber. Let someone else load your rifle, mixing in (or not) a couple of snap caps. Then you don't know which presses of the trigger for that loadout will go bang. Really forces you to focus on your sight picture and trigger press. Very frustrating to press and only hear a click while your sights do the funky chicken! Fixed my flinch fairly quickly.This. Also range time with a .22 or with greatly-reduced-power reloads. (try 12 grains of Red Dot with whatever weight bullet is normal for that caliber) And make sure your hearing protection is adequate.

cleardiddion
January 8, 2011, 03:38 PM
Dry fire, practice, etc.
Also, if you look around you can find reduced power training rounds which are of Romanian (I think) origin. Comes in a box of 20 and is steel colored throughout. It's what I use to introduce new Mosin shooters.

ANother way that I recently saw, although more relevant to pistol shooting, was to load up fully and fire all shots without pause. Apparantly after a while you stop blinking and twitching when you shoot because you become accustomed to the recoil.

Matt-J2
January 8, 2011, 04:20 PM
Might also try doubling up on the hearing protection. Earmuffs are nice, but usually not as good as plugs, and neither is as good alone as both together. That really helps me when I get the flinch, anyway. My ears seem to have gotten a good deal more sensitive in the last year or two.
Though as was mentioned by someone else, you might not be flinching if it's just the first shot. Hard to say though, everyone has their own flinch, whether they'll admit to it or not. Some just take a while for it to creep in.

tom11235
January 8, 2011, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'm pretty sure I'm flinching and not a cold bore that causes the flyer, because sometimes the first shot from a cold bore is just about point of aim as well, I think I probably just haven't shot the Mosin enough to be familiar with it.

BrocLuno
January 9, 2011, 12:07 AM
Shooting vest or jacket? How's your squeeze? Are you just pulling the trigger back w/o any idea of when it'll go bang? Anticipation is the big flinch cause for me. If I think I know when the bang is coming on an 06 say, I'll get stupid and move. Just keep squeezing and be surprised :)

Hatterasguy
January 9, 2011, 12:10 AM
Its hard not to flinch with a Mosin or other big bore bolt actions. But with practice you can get a bit better. Mosin's kick though, more so if you shoot one a lot in one sitting your going to have a bit of a flinch.

The best you can hope for is to try to train out of it as much as possible. Do dry fire drills and shoot .22's and break the habit with them.

JDMorris
January 9, 2011, 12:14 AM
A Mosin Nagant, is probably one of the worst rifles to learn precision shooting with, you would benefit from a .223-.308 bolt action with a decent scope..

Robert Wilson
January 9, 2011, 12:31 AM
Speaking as a die-hard big bore shooter, "practice" is sometimes your worst enemy. If the amount of recoil is causing you to flinch, increasing the frequency of exposure to that recoil is the last thing you need.

I bring a .22 to every range session, and resort to it frequently.

brandon_mcg
January 9, 2011, 12:48 AM
when i first started shooting my .308, i found myself flinching and anticipating the recoil. what solved the problem for me, is i loaded up 5 rounds and shot them as quick as i could at the target without giving myself time to think about the recoil. after that, i found myself being able to shoot more accurately. i guess i taught myself that the recoil really wasnt as bad as i was anticipating. not sure if this is sound advice for everyone, but it worked for me.

unterlegend
January 9, 2011, 03:36 PM
Try focusing on breathing techniques, you will relax more and it helps some with the trigger pull. Also with good trigger control you shouldn't be able to predict the shot, think about a slow squeeze until it fires (dry firing will help with this).

Curator
January 9, 2011, 07:21 PM
AKA108 has the best advice. It is called "ball and dunny' exercise. Once you know that your coach is trying to catch you, your shooting will improve. When you jump at the drop of the firing pin on the dummy cartridge it will remind you to hold steady and practice your follow through. Good coaches use this technique all the time.

M1key
January 10, 2011, 12:53 AM
Practice under the influence of beta blockers...:cool:


works for me.


M

unterlegend
January 10, 2011, 01:15 AM
M1key has the best idea ever!!!! try it there's no way it could end bad.

ExtremeGunCare
January 10, 2011, 01:24 AM
I am sure a ton of people have suggestions, and I have one as well.

Practice! That is the only way to stop flinching! Inhale, hold your breath for a second, then as you exhale pull the trigger. Practice that and you will always become a better shooter!

Jason Lumetta
ExtremeGunCare (http://www.extremeguncare.com)

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