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Anticipating recoil

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Byrd666, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    So here's my problem. I went to the range the other day after finally finding some ammunition, and noticed during my practice session I was developing/having a problem with heeling, or anticipating recoil too much and a lot of my shots were going to the upper right of my target. Not all but, a good deal more than I would like.

    What can I do to correct this problem?

    Additional factors: I am paralyzed on my left side, so I only have the use of my right arm/hand for shooting. NO second hand support at all.

    Edit: This range trip was with was is going to be my EDC, a S&W M&P 9c and the target range varied from 7+- yards to about 50+- yards using 200 rnds of115 grain ball Wolf ammo. And one twelve round clip of Black Hills 124 grn HP, My SD/carry ammo.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  2. SilentScream

    SilentScream Well-Known Member

    I think dry firing will go a long way towards curing your problem. And of course range time, I know easier said than done these days.
  3. loose noose

    loose noose Well-Known Member

    Silent Scream said it all, "practice dry firing" especially if you are forced to shoot one handed. Infact I can't emphasize enough to my students the importance of dry firing.
  4. PlaneJain

    PlaneJain Well-Known Member

    If you have a revolver, load it up with 4 or 5 out of the six holes, randomly placed. Spin the wheel, and not knowing where the empty chambers are, practice shooting (with a lot of friends). The laughter you get from your friends of your flinching on the empty chambers will soon cure you.
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    All good suggestions so far and I'll add one. Shooting a 22 will also help cure a flinch. You can work on your trigger control without the recoil as you can dry firing.

    For now, since you know you're shooting high right you can make an adjustment in your point of aim to compensate so you can hit center mass. It's not a cure but it will adjust impact point. (temporally)
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Can we see a picture of your grip...of can you at least describe it.

    When shooting one handed, a common error is to try to strengthen your purchase on the grip gripping with the thumb...this has a tendency to throw your shots off.

    All you need to do is use your fingers to pull the gun into the pocket in your hand below the web...something like this:


    You can avoid anticipation by just watching the sights and adding pressure to the trigger until the gun fires..never stop and never speed up the press
  7. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    I'm a big fan of some good quality .22 time for working on the basics. But dry firing can certainly help a lot.

    Concentrate on pulling the trigger SMOOTHLY to the rear travel limit and hold it there through the BANG! and recoil. When the gun returns to steady your trigger should still be held back.

    And "pull the trigger" isn't really a great way to say it correctly. Instead of moving the trigger just build pressure with your trigger finger smoothly and increasingly to move the trigger back. Let it move as and when it wants. By doing it this way and smoothly building pressure to bring the trigger to the rear travel limit you'll remove the focus from the BANG! and put it into holding a clean sight/target picture and building trigger finger pressure.

    Try this with dry firing. When the trigger breaks the gun should not move at all. Then, if you have one, work on this aspect with a .22. Finally use it with the center fire. Go back to dry firing in this way or .22 shooting as needed when the flinch comes back.

    The other aspect may be that you're overcompensating for only using one had and holding the gun with a death grip. When you do that you make it very hard to isolate your trigger finger from the rest of your hand. Lighten up to a firm but friendly handshake sort of grip strength and see if that helps. If in doubt try relaxing a little instead of tightening up.

    In the end accept that you can't fight recoil and win. All you'll get for trying is groups that look like they came from handfuls of thrown gravel. Instead work at a smooth and calm support for the gun where you do your best to simulate a Ransom Rest while moving only your trigger finger. Train to ignore the BANG! while focusing instead on the sight picture and trigger pressure build up in a smooth way.
  8. Blackstone

    Blackstone Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I always thought anticipating or flinching moved shots to 6 o'clock. At least that's the way it was (and still is) for me.
  9. 45_auto

    45_auto Well-Known Member

    I'm with Blackstone. I've seen a LOT of people flinch down in anticipation of recoil, never seen anyone flinch UP!!
  10. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member


    My grip is pretty similar to the pic you show, webbing of right hand placed against the curve under the beavertail, firm, but not squeezing grip on the grips with my thumb pointing in a straight manner towards the muzzle/target. Focus of my target is on the target with the front sight only. Squeezing/slowly pulling trigger to the rear until firing occurs. Some shaking does occur the longer I go during my range sessions, as can be expected.

    And for what it's worth, I do dry fire exercises 5-7 nights/days a week. And I did recently purchase a .22lr pistol just for practice in getting my basics down a bit better. Unfortunately said 22 is a p.o.s. and needs to go back to the factory for repair. Another story for another day.

    Thanks for all the help so far.
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Anticipation of the trigger breaking is manifest in more than one way.

    I usually dismiss the Correction Wheel because many folks still use it as a diagnostic tool when shooting two-handed, which is in contrast with this situation where the OP is shooting one-handed...as the wheel was designed to diagnose. Well aren't talking about flinching the trigger, but heeling the gun

    Heeling a result of tightening/straightening the wrist, it has the opposite effect of tightening the fingers while leaving the wrist flat. It is more common among 1911 shooter than Glock shooters due to the wrist geometry of pointing the gun
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Have you tried the different backstraps to see if they affect your hold?

    Do you normally lock your wrist?
    Try a more relaxed hold to see if it makes a difference
  13. YZ

    YZ member

    I'd like to let you know, not everyone practices dry firing. I have been taught to, and to this day I find it tedious and unnecessary. As long as you know your handgun. (If you are into serious competition and such, then listen to someone else)

    One tidbit you might find useful. Don't hold your gun in a death grip. Your grip can be firm but supple, not spastic. Tell yourself not to worry about the muzzle flip. Just let it fly up if it wants to. (Single action revolver shooters do it all the time)Your shot will still go where you aimed. Forget the double taps, speed shooting, or what the guy next lane might think. Focus on one shot at a time, and go from there.
  14. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    I don't normally lock my wrist per se but, it is normally pretty firm to avoid the "limp wrist" problems.

    I tried several different grips during my last session. Some more firm, some more loose, some higher grip and some lower grip. Along with different placement of my finger on the trigger. Unfortunately I didn't bring my log with me to record what worked best, etc., as I was going through it the night before and left it on the table.

    Maybe I'm just nit pickin' as all my shots were hitting center mass on my target and were well within acceptable qualifying parameters. They just weren't hitting close enough, for me, to what I was aiming at.

    Never thought about changing out the backstraps. I'll have to take that with me next time out.
  15. YZ

    YZ member

    Speaking of the limp wristing. A lot of talk is dedicated to it. I used to believe in it, too. Until I took lessons from people who didn't. They demonstrated repeat shots while holding a production semiauto handgun between a finger and a thumb.
    Nothing may be absolute, but in the vast majority of limp wrist cases the real problem is what you described. Anticipating the recoil. An active though imperceptible hand movement, not a weak grip.
    This is not to start another !@#$storm in a cup, only answering your question. Make it limp or tetanus, you will hit what you aim at the moment your gun goes off.
  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    It might make a difference and it can't hurt.

    Most folks use the Med that comes installed, but it really isn't a much about hand size as it is not filling or over filling your hand. I get a more consistent grip with the Large backstrap installed. The larger palm swell fills my palm better, but the larger rear arch almost over extends my finger reach...plus the web of my hand feel empty.

    I finally went back to the Med. backstrap and built up the rear surface, the recurve and palm swell with Sugru
  17. dirtykid

    dirtykid Well-Known Member

    It may not be feasible with your weapon,

    But I found that when I installed a pair of CT-grips on my SP101 .357, my trigger pull
    quickly improved , when you can see the red-dot bouncing around thru the cycle of pulling the trigger, you learn to correct your grip pretty quick
  18. Feanaro

    Feanaro Well-Known Member

    Load some snap caps or, if your pistol will feed them, empty cases into all your magazines. (Or load your revolver with snap caps, as the case may be) It works better if someone else does it where you can't see it - then it's a complete surprise. Focus on pulling the trigger back slowly, so it's hard to tell when the shot will break. This helps me.
  19. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    Dumb question but, I'm gonna' ask anyway. Do ya'll think a single action only pistol will help?

    I'm looking for a Real good reason to buy a Sig P220 SAO carry.

    Thank you all for the responses and or help.
  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Help stop anticipation, no

    Mask the effects, yes

    It might make you feel better in the short run, but it is likely to permanently instill a bad habit

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