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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. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    Leave a good thing be.
     
  2. jpy15026

    jpy15026 Member

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    What did it for me is counting backward as I squeeze the trigger

    Best.jpg

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  3. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Interesting. When you say "counting backwards as I squeeze the trigger," are you counting down to a shot firing at one or zero or some other point? Or are you starting at a large number and the gun goes off at some point during the countdown before reaching the end?
     
  4. jpy15026

    jpy15026 Member

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    I just start with a random number as I'm about to squeeze the trigger like ; one thousand six hundred and fifty four,one thousand six hundred and fifty three,one thousand six hundred and fifty two and somewhere during the countdown the gun goes "BOOM"
     
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  5. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Interesting. I could see that being a useful way to start piling up those instances of eyes-open-ignition. Thanks for contributing. I'll have to play around with that next time I'm helping someone with a flinch... I'd love to throw it in the "bag of tricks." I like the notion of distracting the brain just enough, at least for getting over that initial hump.
     
  6. jpy15026

    jpy15026 Member

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    Two other things that helped me that you can add to your "Bag of tricks"
    (1) Myself (and shooting pards ) flinched until I started loading 1-3 dummy rounds in my mags and revolvers. We found we would flinch at a dummy round "click" and the muzzel would drop.
    Now I trained myself to pretend my every next shot might be a dummy round so there is no reason to flinch cause there may not be a BOOM and might just be a click
    (2) Balancing a penny on the front sight and dry firing without the penny dropping gave me unbelievable trigger control,hard at first but got very consistent with practice.I try to imagine a penny on my front sight now when shooting live rounds and I don't want that penny to drop when I fire,works great for me

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  7. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Those are both things I have found to be not very helpful for most people with a true flinch, although if you can truly tell yourself to expect a dummy round and fall for it, that might work.

    The penny thing is good for learning a straight trigger press. Doesn't do a thing for a blink-involved live-fire flinch in my experience.
     
  8. jpy15026

    jpy15026 Member

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    Ok ,scratch # 1 & 2
    How about this:
    Early on I always tried to align the front sight ,rear sight and bullseye perfectly and when I felt they were all lined up perfect, I squeezed the trigger,disaster! Low left and scatted every time.The longer it took me to make sure all three were "lined up" the worse it was.
    I learned to just get that front sight quickly on target (while counting backwards) and squeeze off the shot using only the front sight in focus and the rear sight only as a guide, and the target mostly a blur and never take your eyes off of that front sight to look at the target until your done with the exercise.Concentrating on the front sight only on what you want to hit,using muscle memory to count and squeeze the trigger took my mind off of any boom for me. Of course in a defensive situation this is the only option you have.
     
  9. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    All good advice for bullseye-type shooting - basically, "shoot the wobble."
     
  10. Mustangowner

    Mustangowner Member

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    Yeah I haven't been on here long, but I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that you're all experts on here and your experience is something I should be taking as the gospel because what you all think or feel or the way you deal with flinching is better and more expert than mine. And actually it is as simple as "quit it". Shooting is like every other sport, if you over think it you're going to miss. And gun writers "unpack" things, so does car and driver etc, they all want to over write and over articulate everything more than a Quentin Tarantino movie because there's only so many subjects they are "experts" on and they want to display it like a peacock. Here's the thing, no one really cares and your life isn't going to change because people on the high road think you're an expert. Just quit whining and accept the hit your going to take when you fire a gun, for me at least, it's that simple, and that's my opinion and advise on the subject. Though I'm now starting to question why I'm even spending my time attempting to help readers and members of THR, doesn't really make any difference to me and I quite enjoy always being the best at the range. So do what you guys want, no one besides you cares anyway.
     
  11. murf

    murf Member

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    yup, and everyone's opinion is just as valuable as everyone else. there is no such thing as an "expert", but your opinion helps get to a solution, so I hope you stay here and contribute to the vast knowledge accumulated on this site.

    murf
     
  12. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    Shooting: On the up side yesterday afternoon I did very effectively use some of the suggestions here from the OP.

    I have a copy of a chart identifying common handgun shooting errors.That chart is in the lid of my blackpowder shooting box. This chart has been in circulation for as long as I can remember. Reason being because if I cannot identify the problem I cannot "quit it." This morning that post has all the earmarks of a troll attack by somebody who does not shoot. I suggest taking post for what it is. Allow moderators deal with this individual/bad ass.

    Ironic the length of MOs post. Boasting and self-promotion. I'll bet we get an extensive resume next of remarkable shooting accomplishments from Mustangowner.. Any body want to make a bet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  13. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 Member

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    I'm going to try this for offhand service rifle shooting. Sometimes I stay too long on the hold as I stupidly try and make the sights freeze just long enough to take that perfect shot. I can usually control by lowering the rifle and re-shouldering. However other times its like I get a muscle shiver, like when one is really cold, just at the time I pull the trigger. It maybe happens once in 10-20 shots. I'm guessing that's a flinch right?
     
  14. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Good advice, for those for whom it works. For others, the problem is stubborn. For some people, a deep analytical understanding is the first step to solving a problem... for others, analysis is pointless. I'm someone who couldn't "quit it" until I had a good understanding of the why of flinching. My original post was for those who struggle with it and want help - or for people who are attempting to help those who are struggling. The post wasn't for you.

    As for "peacocking," it would be a pretty sad state of affairs for my ego to be built around being an expert at a particular way to screw up. I tried to emphasize that my "expertise" in the area of flinching comes from having struggled with it myself. Again, if the subject has never been a particular problem for you, then it will obviously be of little interest. That's cool. I am under no illusion that anything I say is interesting to everyone - my wife and daughter remind me of that fact pretty consistently.

    When I find myself to be "the best at the range," I've always taken that as an indication I need to find a higher level of competition.
     
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  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    When I was teaching my girlfriend to shoot she had all the handicaps and bad habits of a brand new shooter. I made the classic mistake of talking about too many things all at once. The result was she was all over the place, and was hitting so low left I was a little perplexed.

    When I really watched her, I saw several things going on. She was shooting an LC9s, and while it's a mild shooting small carry gun, it's still not ideal for learning due to the small grip and sharper recoil than a full size gun. I asked her repeatedly if she wanted to shoot my larger sized guns for training, and she flatly refused. She wanted to learn the gun she was going to carry, and focus on that.

    After sorting out her grip, and having her capture the trigger after firing she did improve quite a lot. Though rather than hitting the dirt in front of the target at 7 yards, she was shooting a pattern on the target. An improvement, but still pretty poor.

    I watched a video by Rob Leatham. In the video he stated that we tend to flood new shooters with too many techniques to improve at once, and that the starting point should be learning to squeeze the trigger without moving the sights. I thought about that, and decided I agree. Grip perfection doesn't really matter early on if you aren't squeezing the trigger in a manner that allows you to keep the sights steady and on target, though it can help mitigate recoil impulses which can have an impact on flinching.

    So we focused on dry fire and keeping the sights steady while doing so. I also noticed she was shooting way too fast. It kind of brought up that old saying that you can't miss fast enough to win. When I shared that notion with her, she took it to heart, and I had her start counting to 3 between shots, and I started observing her from the left side rather than from behind. What I saw was counting seemed to really slow her down and get her to focus on her trigger squeeze. But I also saw she was blinking with every shot.

    So we talked a bit more, and I asked her to keep counting, but not worry about her groups. Just focus on keeping the front sight aligned and generally on the target.

    After a few magazines I noticed she was so busy focusing on the front sight and counting, that she wasn't blinking after every shot anymore. Still on some shots, but not all. When she'd start shooting faster the blink/flinch would return.

    I think the end result, and really an unintended one, is that through the count between shots, and her focusing on the front sight, her mind was distracted enough focusing on those two elements that the actual firing of the gun wasn't in the front of her mind any longer and the flinch was greatly diminished. She wasn't actively anticipating recoil. It's not ideal, nor was it really meant to eliminate the flinch. I was concerned about her trigger control more than anything. But after reading your post I am speculating that there was an added benefit to the mental focus on something that distracted from the actual firing of the gun. It allowed her, as was stated in the OP to sort of get that live fire exposure without worrying about hitting exactly where she wanted, because the front sight was her focus.

    It was an unintended consequence, but not a bad subtle way to start the process of diminishing a flinch.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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  16. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    Did much better with my maxed out Super Blackhawk. Having some direction helps put these shooting problems into remission. From my experience it's possible for many to reappear. The process is in place to get back on track. The wheels really come off shooting a flintlock while flinching. Thanks for the help.
     
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  17. Bo

    Bo Member

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    I recently took a advanced shooting class to improve my accuracy.

    This was the first time I ever used dummy rounds, it was surprising to find out about the flinch.

    Now I practice like every next round is a dummy.

    The second thing the instructor noticed was, every time I shot, my left arm would drop a little, causing me to shoot low left.

    He suggested pushing on the slide with my left thumb when firing. It was amazing how well I shot with that little tip.

    So, if you're shooting low left, try adding a little pressure with your left thumb, (right thumb if you're left handed), you'll be amazed!
     
  18. WiTom

    WiTom Member

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    Thanks for this post. I was not having a problem with flinching, overall, in shooting BFR's, 45, 9mm auto, until the faithful day, that a little LCP 380 auto, on the range, blew up in my hand. No damage, physically wise, but the flinch bug was now in the brain. Alot of dummy loads practice, dry fire reps, and repeated range visits, with alot of rounds downrange, and the constant reminder, to watch through the muzzle blast, has the brain allowing me to overcome. Thanks again, for post. It amazed me that, for someone, that shoots a Magnum Research BFR, a Super Redhawk full tilt load 44 mag, and such, but a little 380 auto, threw me into a flinch, which took alot of my time, and practice, to overcome, in the head.
     
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  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yeah that’d do it. Glad you weren’t hurt badly.
     
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  20. murf

    murf Member

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    glad you got back in the saddle with your 380 auto. perseverance is the key as you know.

    murf
     
  21. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I hope you mean the frame & not the slide. I took my wife out to shoot & showed her a thumbs forward grip. A few minutes later she was fussing about her thumb being cut. It had never even occurred to me before then that someone might put their thumb against the slide & injure themselves. Another time she had her thumb up behind the slide. I managed to stop her before she pulled the trigger & got herself hurt again.
     
  22. Bo

    Bo Member

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    Sorry, yes, I meant the frame.
     
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  23. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    ATLDave,
    Excellent and well written. It is one of the most informative posts I've read.
    May I, with your permission, copy it to share with friends who are not site members?
    Thank you for your effort.
     
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  24. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Thanks for the kind words. Copy and distribute the information as you see fit. My only goal in writing it was to help people, and if it can find its way to more people who might benefit, that’s wonderful.
     
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  25. whisler

    whisler Member

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    Regarding counting backwards on the trigger press, I tried this with my bolt action 30-06 at the bench and shot the best groups I have ever shot. guess I was jerking the trigger, but counting backwards seemed to help a lot. Thanks!
     
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