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Magnum Flinch under pressure.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CharlesT, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. CharlesT

    CharlesT Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    SW, Ohio
    I have a somewhat embarrassing problem...

    When shooting a .44 magnum I don't usually flinch. But when I am being watched I do, badly.

    I would eventually like to compete. (I'm 20) And this is something I need to nip in the bud if I ever dream of wining anything.

    I don't always shoot around people. Most of the time I'm with my father or alone.

    So how can I work to eliminate this annoying little foible?:banghead:
  2. BCRider

    BCRider Mentor

    Nov 15, 2008
    Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
    Ask the RO with the timer to look away? :D

    I really can't see any help for you other than to just focus on the sights, the target and your trigger pull. Make those three things the sum total of your little world of the moment to such an extent that the concept of anyone watching is just too remote to even be a spot on the horizon.

    The fact that you are worried about it suggests to me that you also worry too much about what others think in other facets of your life. We all need to be considerate of others so that we can all get along. But at the same time we need to be secure with our own abilities at whatever level they are at. So just go and shoot and to hell with how you think they feel about your scores. You're there for YOU to have fun and become better. Not to worry about what they think of your shooting.

    Sorry for the "Dear Abby" content but it just seems to me that such a feeling is something that transcends simply having issues with shooting around others. But work on fixing one and it'll help the other and vice versa.
  3. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Apr 13, 2007
    This...sorta. My recommendation is to forget about the target, though. You're likely flinching because you're likely already focused on (or more correctly, preoccupied with) the target, i.e. making a good or bad shot in front of others. Your job & challenge is only to apply the fundamentals well. The target will take care of itself.

    Other than the above, I can wholly recommend starting to compete. There's nothing like a little match pressure to train for patch pressure. ;)
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    What kind of competition are you thinking of entering that uses .44 Magnums??

    Maybe you should get a lighter kicking & less noisy gun and develop your shooting skills to the fullest extent possible.

    A .44 Mag is not a gun to learn good shooting skills with.

    A .22RF is a great training gun.

  5. pendennis

    pendennis Active Member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Your flinch is probably more due to failing to perform in front of others, than of any real recoil feel.

    At some point you have to "zone out" those around you, and concentrate on sight picture, breathing, trigget squeeze, and the target. While a .22 will help you in the sense that you can shoot without fear of recoil, you still have to have a mindset that will keep you on the task at hand, and not outside distraction.
  6. GP100man

    GP100man Participating Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Tabor City, NC.
    I handload , & for a little uspsa shooting (some yrs ago) I down loaded for my Redhawk

    The reason was I shot it better & it had THE best DA trigger pull of anything I had at the time .

    I went with the mind set to first be safe & to have fun doing it .

    After a bit I became competitive in the revolver circle after I stopped putting too much pressure on my self & started enjoying myself !!
  7. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Participating Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    People's Republik
    I'm exactly the opposite. If somebody is watching I tend to concentrate harder on fundamentals.

    Try watching the muzzle flash & calling your shot. I'm told that concentrating on these will improve follow through as you're NOT thinking about the gun going off.
  8. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    May 27, 2007
    When I practiceed shooting a revolver with my Dad we always loaded each others pistols. We always left 2 or 3 empty cases into the cylinder. Nothing will catch you flinching like droping the hammer on a spent case while your Dad watches.
  9. PabloJ

    PabloJ Senior Member

    Oct 17, 2010
    You need to stuff .44 specials into that cylinder Charlie.
  10. Remllez

    Remllez Active Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Just a thought but try doubling up on your hearing protection. I've found flinching to be more about the noise and flash not necessarily the recoil. Also try shooting with another person to give feedback and help overcome being watched.
  11. thomis

    thomis Active Member

    Jan 20, 2009
    NC for a spell
    Ditto. Love shooting specials out of my super blackhawk. Very mild and controllable.
  12. brnmuenchow

    brnmuenchow Active Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    If you want to use .44 Magnums, I would mabye suggest practicing with .44 Special loads instead of the full magnum rounds. (So yes, I agree with the other posters on the .44 Special load.)
  13. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Senior Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Learn to focus, learn to ignore outside distractions. It can take time to develop that kind of discipline.

    I grew up shooting, not necessarily in front of anyone but family, but I also grew up performing. Music, theater, whatever, I was constantly in front of others getting looked at and judged.

    Shooting in front of others, therefore, doesn't bother me in the least. You have to develop the ability to ignore the fact that other people are looking, watching, and perhaps judging. You have to focus on your task, whatever it is, to the exclusion of all other distractions. It takes time to develop that ability, to know what zone of thinking, or lack of active thought, you have to pursue, and then to be able to achieve it on demand.

    The .44 may be a bit much for starting out, but once you can achieve that state in one aspect of your life, with one tool, it should be easier to get there with other tools, and in other types of performance.

    Performance anxiety, some call this problem. Good luck!
  14. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Participating Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    (suppressed chuckle) s'all good, you've got plenty of time left to fix this and develop other bad habits to replace it with.

    Yup, performance anxiety still hits me when it's a bunch of people I've never seen at the indoor range around me. (Trees don't shoot or ask distracting questions!) No different than the rush before speaking in public, an athletic event, or a competition of any kind. Fight or flight... All hyped up and nowhere to run screaming to.

    Deep breathing exercises helped me... tense the abdominal muscles in the opposite direction of the expansion and decompression of air, do it for months on end until it's second nature. Gets your posture fixed as a side benefit, allows you to concentrate on that sweet spot in the middle of an exhale where your body goes still for just long enough to break the trigger.

    Thinking about keeping myself slow and controlled did more good for me than worrying actively about the actual shooting of the gun. If your grip is good, and you can hold the sight picture..... it should fall into place.

    It also has helped to just do some point shooting for the joy of it before any serious attempts on paper, don't discount the benefit of a good warm-up.
  15. rich642z

    rich642z Member

    Jan 20, 2007
    Flinches???????, We don't have no stinkin flinches with our short barreled .500 S&W mag revolvers. [joke]
  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Mentor

    Sep 15, 2007
    S.E. Minnesota
    Do like Dirty Harry did when he qualified in that movie; shoot .44 Specials.

    Seriously, practice with lighter ammo. Work your way up slowly. You'll find a load that you really like shooting somewhere in the middle.
  17. x_wrench

    x_wrench Active Member

    Oct 25, 2010
    since i have never competed in any shooting sports, i can not help you with that particular scenario. but, i do shoot magnum rifles, and a S&W629 44 magnum. in the spring, i end up with kind of the same situation. typically, i get snowed out of my woods shooting spot, and i am not big on ranges where someone tells me when to fire, when i can not, etc.etc.etc. so basically, i go for about 3 months w/o shooting anything except an air rifle. going from that, to the magnums or 45/70 is quite a shock. i find myself having to concentrate on the basics. grip, trigger pull, and of course, aiming. when i really concentrate on what i am doing, i forget about the recoil. and a few trips is all it takes to get me back to normal again. one little tip, NEVER shoot without hearing protection, unless you are hunting. just the report from some guns is enough to cause a flinch in some shooters. the spot i shoot at directs much of the blast back at me, and i can feel every rib bone vibrate every time i shoot the 44 less than 50 yards. it certainly reminds me just how much power is contained in those little shells!
  18. agtman

    agtman Participating Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Some flinch; some don't ...

    Well, maybe for target practice, but not for serious street use ... :evil:


  19. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Flinching is extremely common and worse than annoying. An old bullseye shooter suggested this to me quite a few years ago. It worked for me, and it's also worked for lots of my students.

    Shoot a few rounds of .22 long rifle. Shoot a few rounds of big caliber. Shoot a few rounds of .22 long rifle. Shoot a few rounds of big caliber. Shoot a few rounds of .22 long rifle. Shoot a few rounds of big caliber. Shoot a few rounds of .22 long rifle. Shoot a few rounds of big caliber.

    If you concentrate long enough and intently enough on your sight picture while switching calibers, your flinch will subside. I doubt I could tell you exactly how the trick works, but it does.

    Another help is to dry-shoot a gun every day for at least 50 shots. Do that for a month, and you'll notice you're flinching less and shooting more accurately.

    That's the good news; the bad news is flinching tends to reassert itself; the rest of the good news is what works today will work again next month, six months from now, a year from now, et cetera.

    Best of success to you, eh?
  20. Red Cent

    Red Cent Senior Member

    May 20, 2010
    McLeansville, NC by way of WV SASS 29170L
    It is called "Target Panic". Known widely in archery. Line up the sights, start the pull, the target comes up over the front sight and ...jerk!! Can't let it go by!!:evil:

    As another said the ego does get in the way. That is why I have reccomended here a number of times to shoot by yourself when doing this sort of practice. After all the focus, all the practice rounds, all the dryfiring, it will still come down to mind over matter. Simply squeeze, squeeze, and let it surprise you.

    That is why we say do not use a target. Great big piece of blank paper. No cans, dirt clods, rocks, just blank paper.

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