How do you control recoil?


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Roseattle
January 30, 2011, 12:37 AM
I'm new to the handgun world, and thinking about joining competition. I have been watching competition videos online. Everyone shoots pistol like a machine gun without recoil. What's the right way to control recoil?

Thanks!

:o:o:o

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1SOW
January 30, 2011, 12:49 AM
Roseattle: I'm new to the handgun world.. .....the right way to control recoil.

I'm smiling, not to make fun of you, but because this could be the worlds longest thread.

Almost everything about shooting a handgun will eventually come back to grip, stance and trigger pull/press. Add in effects of various ammunitions, handgun differences and shooter physiology differences. Different types of handgun competition also come into play.

Here's the opening for round '1'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48

Enjoy the trip---it's fun.

Roseattle
January 30, 2011, 05:25 AM
HAHAHA! OK. I'll start from there. Thanks! :)

Fieldstone
January 30, 2011, 07:18 AM
if you go to the autoloader section at THR you will find a thread from last week called "to compensate or not to compensate", wade through the various opinions and find what "bds" has to say. He's a jedi. He touches on the subject of the shooter controlling recoil in answer to my question about gaining a mechanical advantage over recoil.

I am purchasing a new barrel for my Glock from Lone Wolf. It is more accurate and is threaded. This will accept my new Lone Wolf compensator that will help the flip of the front when fired. There is also a recoil reducing spring from Spring CO that will min. your felt recoil. THere are piles of opinions about altering your weapon. This should create some partisan gun talk.

waktasz
January 30, 2011, 01:38 PM
I would leave the discussion of compensators and recoil reducing parts out of this thread. He is a new shooter and the biggest benefit he will have is learning proper fundamentals of his grip first.

Fieldstone
January 30, 2011, 01:59 PM
I agree, in part, fundamentals first but there are tools that aid that. Used at the right time for the right reason could be vialble. I defenitely agree that the the shooters platform is mumber 1. But the platform can be established with any type of equipment, from classic 1911 to compensated Glock. It may be more enjoyable for the shooter to actually shoot a handgun that is compensated. What if he came to the table with a 44 mag? Good luck getting his platform after spinning the cylinder one time around. Lets not throw technology out the window with new shooters. Its not like the weapon is more dangerous or more powerful or harder to shoot with some mechanical aid.

Hawthorne2k
January 30, 2011, 02:47 PM
How do I handle recoil?

Poorly. :D :D :D

What those other guys said, along with practice, practice, practice.

I'm a semi- newcomer to this as well, but I'm on the verge on moving up a rank in competitive shooting, and I can definitively say that IF you practice your grip and IF you practice your stance and IF you put a decent amount of rounds downrange on a consistent basis and IF you pay attention to where you need improvement, you will get better

Wedge
January 30, 2011, 03:11 PM
Solid grip and stance and a full sized gun.

9mmepiphany
January 30, 2011, 05:04 PM
What's the right way to control recoil?
The right way is to not try. You can't control recoil/muzzle flip...it is a fallacy...but you can learn to manage it.

There was a time when the top shooters believe that if you could hold a gun with enough force or leverage (discounting compensated guns) that you could hold a gun down in recoil. This lead to several interesting developments like the hooked trigger guard, hard Weaver stance, locked down thumbs, beaten up wrist and elbow joints. They tested the theory back in the 70s and 80s and found that it just wasn't an effective way to shoot either quickly or accurately.

A better way, and the one used by all the top shooters today, is to use a neutral grip and stance and allow the gun to return, from recoil, to it original position and fire the next shot as the sights returned onto target. That is what you see in the Jarret video clip and what you see the top shooter doing. The gun is recoiling and the next shot is fired as it settles...it is just happening so fast that you aren't perceiving the muzzle bouncing.

Here's the opening for round '1'

I thought you were going to link to another clip ;)...that I linked below (WARNING: May be NSFW due to language)

I think everyone thinking about getting into handgun competition should first watch this YouTube clip to get into the right frame of mind

WARNING: NSFW due to Language

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGgVY6Ref4I

SDC
January 30, 2011, 05:54 PM
Like has already been said, grip, stance, and trigger control; one of the best things you can do is make sure you get a good, solid grip high on the gun, because that makes sure more of the recoil comes straight back into your arms, instead of trying to flip the muzzle up into the air.

Hoser
January 30, 2011, 06:15 PM
Dont use a death grip. Let the recoil happen, follow the front sight and wait for it to settle back on target. Then take another shot. Almost as easy as that.

Fieldstone
January 30, 2011, 07:00 PM
The comment from Hoser is right on, the new platform has evolved to just that and it works. Go to MyOutdoorTV.com and check out Army Marksmanship Unit Training videos. You will see the stance, draw, grip of the guys who get paid to shoot everyday.

ADD on: Sorry it was 9mmE who commented on latest shooter stance, Hoser is right on as well.

1SOW
January 31, 2011, 01:14 AM
I have been watching competition videos online. Everyone shoots pistol like a machine gun without recoil. What's the right way to control recoil?

9mmepiphany & Hoser +1 : old mid-C shooter (9mm, I liked your video).

"After the basics", Don't 'TRY' to be fast like the videos. Don't try to double tap. Shoot smoothly and carefully and watch and feel what the gun does. Keep looking at the target and "see" the front sight rise and come back on target. With practice you will 'know' when it's back on target and time for the follow-up shot. With plenty of practice this will happen faster and smoother.

Dry fire 'a lot' for basics.

Now let's see, where did I hear "smooth is fast"? I know, Kung Fu Panda !

Roseattle
January 31, 2011, 02:26 AM
HAHA! Thank you all!

I have been dry firing for about 2 months and practicing using two eyes to aim. This helped me a lot. The improvement is very encouraging. Right now, I have big trouble seeing or tracking the sights after firing a shot. It takes me while to find where the sights are and have a good sight picture again.

Tons of practice is needed. lol! :)

9mmepiphany
January 31, 2011, 02:35 AM
Right now, I have big trouble seeing or tracking the sights after firing a shot. It takes me while to find where the sights are and have a good sight picture again.

If you use a neutral grip and stance, they'll just come back to where they started from...you shouldn't have to look for them. If the sights are drifting/tracking off somewhere else, your body is pushing them

Roseattle
January 31, 2011, 02:50 AM
If you use a neutral grip and stance, they'll just come back to where they started from...you shouldn't have to look for them. If the sights are drifting/tracking off somewhere else, your body is pushing them
Okay... I think I need to work on my grip and stance..

And big thanks to everyone! I like here. :)

bds
January 31, 2011, 05:08 AM
Good thread, especially for new shooters looking to improve speed and accuracy. BTW, I am not a Jedi, please. Not even close. :D

Big ++1 to what 9mmepiphany posted.

What's the right way to control recoil?
The right way is to not try. You can't control recoil/muzzle flip...it is a fallacy...but you can learn to manage it.

There was a time when the top shooters believe that if you could hold a gun with enough force or leverage that you could hold a gun down in recoil.
Absolutely. Trying to hold a pistol like a vise to keep it from moving will only result in tremor/shaking of the pistol that will affect your shot groups to be erratic.

A better way, and the one used by all the top shooters today, is to use a neutral grip and stance and allow the gun to return, from recoil, to its original position and fire the next shot as the sights returned onto target.
Correct. Although high-end match shooters like Todd Jarrett makes it look like he's got a death grip on his pistol and tapping out double taps, what's actually happening is quite different than what seems.

Every shot fired, even in a double tap, is an independent shooting event. When I engage any target, I go through the entire routine of:

Stance > Grip > Sight picture > Trigger press

and the cycle repeats for another target, even if it is the same target for a double tap. It may appear that I am going "tap tap" but I am not. I am going "front sight on target, front sight on target" in my head. Regardless of the amount of recoil, my focus is getting the front sight to return back to the POA as quickly as possible for me to press the trigger. This is not controlling recoil, it is getting back on target, fast. When we see someone like Todd Jarrett shoot, we don't realize the years of trigger time and training that's got his whole body conditioned to do this smoothly, efficiently and quickly. Having highly tuned match pistol with springs/loads doesn't hurt either. ;)

When I assume the shooting posture, my arms form a triangle in front of me with the pistol at the point and my head LOCKS with the pistol sights. Your head and pistol sights must move as a unit. I repeat, your head and pistol sights must move as a unit. Imagine that you have an upper body cast that is holding your head, arms and pistol as a single unit. Any vertical/horizontal adjustment must be made at the shoulder (not at the wrist or elbows) and at the waist. No exceptions (On some stages, there may be some cover fire/shooting situations that will require modification to this). As I look for my POA with my head, my arms/pistol sights are tracking the same. So when I end up looking at the target's POA, my sights are already there and all I have to do is press the trigger. There should not be any adjustments to be made. If you need to make any adjustments to your sights, your head and pistol sights were moving independent of each other. Look at videos of high end match shooters again and focus on their head/pistol sights. You'll note that they move as a unit.

Another point for recoil. I used to lock my elbows. Todd Jarrett points out in one of the videos that elbows should be slightly bent to allow the triangle formed by the forearms and the pistol to recoil back like a howitzer firing. Once fired, your elbows give a bit but allow the forearm triangle to return back smoothly and fast without moving the pistol left/right, just front to back. If you see me shoot now, I assume a more natural posture with my elbows slightly bent. This is not only more comfortable, but helps get your sights back on target faster.

So, next time you are at the range, "Do or do not. There is no try - Yoda" :D

Here's the link to training videos - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=508844

Fieldstone
January 31, 2011, 06:31 AM
I was waiting for bds to come on board. The last time he sent me a message about shooting I skipped out of work early and sent 400 rounds against the plates. GREAT STUFF! But i feel i am being ignored will someone sell this guy a compensator!!!:):):)

bds
January 31, 2011, 10:29 AM
Fieldstone, no need for compensator for me and my recoil reducer is still in the bag, collecting dust.

Besides, shooting stock pistols that you will also use for SD/HD for USPSA will give you realistic practical practice just in case (my primary reason for switching to stock G22 and shooting the same 155/165/180 weight bullet as JHP loaded for SD/HD) and you can't shoot IDPA with compensated/modified pistol (except for trigger work).

I forgot to add, doing specific exercises to strengthen hand/wrist/forearm muscles will help with recoil.

ny32182
January 31, 2011, 11:21 AM
You say you are thinking about getting into competition; the equipment you will use will depend on what type of competition. There will be ways (through equipment optimization) to minimize the recoil you have to manage within the rules of your selected competition. Example; if your competition allows a compensator you will have to have one to be at the top. Regardless of what kind of competition, there will likely be rules about minimum power floors for legal ammo. The best shooters will load their ammo just above this floor, usually with heavy bullets, to minimize recoil.

Completely separate from that is your own skill/technique, which will also have to be very good for a top shooter.

Apparently there is disagreement here, but having tried it both ways, I believe physical strength is an important contributing factor in recoil management. If we can find anyone who says they started working out their forearms, thought it was no help, and then stopped I'll be surprised. You can't keep the pistol from moving, but the stronger your forearms are, the faster you can expect it to come back on target. I squeeze down pretty hard with my support hand. Not to the point I'm "trembling", but just under that. The stronger your maximum strength is, the stronger your "just under trembling" grip is.

Also for me, range to target determines whether I really get two sight pictures or not. My "hinge" is about seven yards. Beyond 7 yards I get two sight pictures. 5 yards or less, 100% of the time I will "hammer" the target (one sight picture, two shots as fast as I can pull, sub .2 if I don't screw it up). Over time you can practice this at the range and see at what distance you can get two good hits using the "hammer" method; it will be different for everyone, and likely best learned over time.

cavman
January 31, 2011, 12:12 PM
Dont use a death grip. Let the recoil happen, follow the front sight and wait for it to settle back on target. Then take another shot. Almost as easy as that.

And to add a finer point: as you get better acquainted to the trigger (done with a lot of dry fire practice) you will actually begin to apply pressure to the trigger DURING the return arc, continuing as the sight settles. Once the target is ACTUALLY acquired, your shot will finally break at that point.

9mmepiphany
January 31, 2011, 01:05 PM
Good thread, especially for new shooters looking to improve speed and accuracy. BTW, I am not a Jedi, please. Not even close. :D

So, next time you are at the range, "Do or do not. There is no try - Yoda" :D

Here's the link to training videos - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=508844

I didn't quote the whole thing, because you can just read it above, but this is a very clear explanation by bds

very good post

David E
January 31, 2011, 03:23 PM
Let the recoil happen, follow the front sight and wait for it to settle back on target.

I don't care where the front sight goes, I only care that it comes down in the same place, over and over and over again.....and that's where the technique comes in.

David E
January 31, 2011, 03:50 PM
I disagree with the phrase: "neutral grip and stance." This may lead someone to think that you're just holding the gun out there with no more muscle tension it takes to accomplish that.

While it may look that way, the top shooters have what's called "static tension" going on.

What is "static tension" and how do you get it? Do this: face a wall, arms straight out in front of you, hands flat, fingers overlapping fingers. (left index finger touches all knuckles on right hand) You should be about 14" - 18" away from the wall. Keeping your body straight, lean against the wall. CATCH YOURSELF! This step is important! it also illustrates the difference between "neutral" (face hits wall) and "static tension" (you're holding yourself up)

From there, do a couple push ups against the wall. Do one more and, just short of locking your elbows out, HOLD it for a few seconds. Pay attention to what muscles you're using to hold yourself up. THIS is the tension that we're using to hold the gun out there. Repeat as necessary to remind yourself what muscles you need to engage.

Ideally, the stance forms a symetrical "house." The gun/hands forms the peak, the forearms the roof, upper arms the walls and the chest, the foundation.

Feet are slightly more than shoulder width apart, the ball of the gunside foot aligns with the heel of the support foot. IE; gunside foot slightly back. Knees slightly bent. (just short of locked out)

Now, how to hold the gun. First, gun hand has priority! Don't move your gunhand to accommodate the support hand. Next, place as much meat on the gun itself. This does not mean flesh against flesh. Try for zero airspace under your hands. For most people, the knuckles of both hands should align. (the inside knuckle joint of the support hand should be touching the knuckles of the gunhand.)

Next, do a "clamshell" grip, trying to press the grip panels together with your palms. There is no push/pull dynamic going on here.

Now, the kicker for a lot of people......exert 70% of the pressure with the SUPPORT hand and only 30% with the gun hand.

If you do all of this correctly, you won't need to follow your front sight, as it'll come right back to where it was. When it does, you can shoot again....and again and again, quicker than you thought you ever could and still hit.

9mmepiphany
January 31, 2011, 04:41 PM
I defer to my learned colleague David E

What he describes is correct and what I was trying to say, but not as clearly...please don't levitate your gun at the ends of your arms. Although I am exploring the use of Tai Chi Chaun forms for stability and power ;)

I've gotten into the habit of using neutral to differentiate what I advocate from the push/pull, locked-in dynamic some would have you use.

His description is extremely clear and one I've never heard before...I was just shown how to do it and "do this more" doesn't translate well to the internet

NMGonzo
March 9, 2011, 06:44 PM
A question for the physics aficionados.

A frame on a 1911 weighs x.

At what frame weight will the 1911 not muzzle flip with the gun standing freely?

waktasz
March 9, 2011, 06:47 PM
http://fapit.net/imgs/317/divided_by_zero.jpg

sniper5
March 10, 2011, 07:13 AM
One thing that is so simple many forget: Don't blink when you shoot. If you don't see the muzzle flash you are blinking. You should see the muzzle flash and watch the front sight blade bounce up and then down. As it's coming down learn to take the slack out of the trigger so you are delivering your final squeeze/press/whatever as the sight comes into position. That, as many will say, is part of trigger control. And don't forget that many of those people you are watching are shooting near or over 100,000 rounds a year and practice on a daily basis. Jesse Abbate said on one show she goes through about 1000 rounds a day getting ready for a major shoot.

bds
March 10, 2011, 10:03 PM
I don't care where the front sight goes, I only care that it comes down in the same place, over and over and over again.....and that's where the technique comes in.
Amen. Very good posts continuing on this thread.


One thing that is so simple many forget: Don't blink when you shoot. If you don't see the muzzle flash you are blinking. You should see the muzzle flash and watch the front sight blade bounce up and then down.
Another good point. One exercise I do and share with other shooters at the range is this (helps prevent shooter blink). I have them place a blank 8x11 copy paper at 5 yards at the same height as POA. Next, I have them temporarily disregard the sights and just focus on the paper. I tell them to "mentally picture" holes appearing on the paper. They practice until holes appear where they pictured the holes. Next, they pick two imaginary spots on the paper and shoot spot to spot WITHOUT using the sights, just focusing on the paper POA.

This exercise helps me with point shooting double-taps at close ranges of 5-7 yards. After some matches, we even ran the same stages with our Glock front sights removed to test this exercise out.

This may be a bit "out there" for some shooters, but when you are trying to shave seconds off your stage times, some shooters will look at every area that they can improve on. Besides, this exercise has real-life tactical benefit. I can point-shoot blindfolded at 5-7 yards and get 4-6" shot groups consistently at multiple paper plates called out - Will come real handy if I have to shoot in low light/night time situations for SD/HD.

Jesse Abbate said on one show she goes through about 1000 rounds a day getting ready for a major shoot.
Even many "novice" shooters will easily shoot through 500-1000 rounds/practice session running through prior month stage setups. Sometimes, there's no substitute for trigger time - I think range time is the most critical component of shooting practice.

Ankeny
March 11, 2011, 01:46 PM
I think range time is the most critical component of shooting practice. I used to think that too, until I saw the results of a religious dry fire training regime.

MrBorland
March 11, 2011, 02:45 PM
I used to think that too, until I saw the results of a religious dry fire training regime.

+1 Ankeny.

sniper5
March 11, 2011, 08:53 PM
+1/2

I think it's a good balance of the two.

Cop Bob
March 17, 2011, 01:42 PM
I pray alot...;)

1SOW, thanks for posting that you-tube link.. there is some really good info there, I bookmarked it and will refer to it... There is something that he does a bit different with his grip that I have personally not tried... but I will.... anything to shave points and time..

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