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How to stop flinching, see the sights, and quit missing low-and-left

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by ATLDave, Jul 29, 2019.

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  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    There has been quite a bit of work on the yip issue in golf. One interesting line of argument/advancement is that tracking eye movements tends to show who is going to have/develop yips. Yippie players have eyes that dart rapdily all over the place before they hit a shot or a putt. Players without these issues tend to have "quiet eyes," which look to specific spots and tend to stay there.

    It's crazy how much of what we do is connected to, driven by, and revealed through our eyes. The fundamental premise of my views on flinching in pistol shooting is that the flinch starts with the eyes. Therefore, if you can fix the eyes (keep them open and seeing), then the mechanical flinch will go away.
     
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  2. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    I don’t flinch on my first two or three mags but it always starts after that. It’s frustrating.
     
  3. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Interesting. Does the problem go away if you stop shooting for 5-10 minutes? Does this manifest with all guns?
     
  4. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    The problem doesn’t go away until the next day and occurs with all guns. It’s all in my head somewhere.

    It’s kinda like my golf game, I think. After a few weeks of not playing, my game improves. I believe it’s a buildup of unconscious swing thoughts (or shooting thoughts in this case).
     
  5. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Given your post about hip rotation (see my response post, which boils down to "dude, do not overthink this"), I think you are dead on!

    I'm a hyper-analyzer, too, so I sympathize.
     
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  6. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Thank you for the excellent write up, Dave! Is there any chance for this thread to become a "sticky"?
     
  7. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    Maybe the longer hammer fall plays a part too?
     
  8. Cump

    Cump Member

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    I also wonder if it makes a difference whether you slow-fire or magdump those first mags. If shooting faster allows you to empty more mags before the flinch, it may be a way to build up reps to extend the unconscious build-up period. Or maybe pauses between or in the midst of mags, or switching to weak hand, or switching to a 22, would be ways to back away from the threshold, to extend the reps before you hit the first flinch.

    I know it's frustrating.

     
  9. Cary Turpin

    Cary Turpin Member

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    ATLDave thanks for taking the time to put this together. I have been trying to overcome the problem of the flinch for quite some time and have had no success. What you have shared makes sense and gives me some tools to correct it. Thanks again .
     
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  10. vba

    vba Member

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    Dave; Thank you for this post. I've struggled with this for years myself.

    I came from revolvers and didn't have a flinch problem. Then Auto's came along and I did develop a bad flinch. I believe it was the slide coming back during recoil. Subconsciously I thought the slide was going to strike my face. It took me a long while to build up confidence.

    If I don't shoot for awhile I must rebuild confidence.
     
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  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    That (slide movement) could be it.

    Also, sometimes people have a worse flinch with a 1911-ish trigger than, say, a revolver's DA trigger because the DA has so much travel that it's harder for people to know exactly when the shot is going to break. In contrast, you get a nice SAO semi-auto trigger and it's going to break as soon as you apply more than a trivial amount of force to it.

    I remember the first shot I took with a friend's revolver that had been slicked up for PPC competition (big Aristrocrat rib, etc.). The first shot went dead in the center of the bullseye because it was truly a surprise break. That trigger was so smooth that I had no idea the gun was about to go off when it did. It was pointed at the center of the target, but it was virtually an AD in terms of my level of surprise! It was a true "surprise break" - and, of course, there was no pre-ignition push or flinch to mess up the aiming I had done.

    Even without that grade of trigger, I find there's some anti-flinch medicine in watching revolver sights through the DA pull. Unlike a semi-auto, where it's easy to fool ourselves into thinking that aiming and firing are two separate and distinct steps, with a DA revo trigger, the sight is going to move around during the pull, so aiming has to continue throughout the shot. Unless you just give up and snatch the trigger completely, or try to fool around with "staging" it, it's easier to get wrapped up in watching and controlling the revolver's sights... and forget to blink in the process.
     
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  12. SSN Vet

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    Nice (if not wordy) write up. Lots of good points.

    I had an acquaintance (who is a security guard at a nuke plant an has significant professional training over the years) observe me shooting low-left and gave me these pointers that helped me a lot.

    > Bring the gun up to my line of sight and not my head down to the gun. I was attempting to mimic a Weaver stance and bending my neck. When I switched to an Isosceles stance and kept my chin up, forcing myself to bring the gun up to my LOS, I saw a great deal of improvement.

    > Slow fire with a very slow deliberate trigger squeeze, attempting to achieve surprise with the break. It's easy to catch yourself flinching when you do this as you'll blink and push without the gun discharging. Then you can concentrate on forcing yourself to look at the sight picture.

    My conclusion through all of this? Shooting handguns is not easy. It takes a lot of deliberate and thoughtful practice.
     
  13. Caplock

    Caplock Member

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    Mods they are talking about golf. For the love of god please shutter down!!

    LoL Just kidding
     
  14. Caplock

    Caplock Member

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    I played the load a cylinder up with one live round and five empties with a bunch of friends target shooting.
    Kept my 44 mag ammo from getting shot up too fast and helped a ton with trigger control for everyone.
    Of course for one guys turn I loaded up 6 empties.
    He couldnt figure out what we thought was so funny after 6 dry fires. When he got into double digits it was hard to stand or see through the tears.
    Fun times.
     
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