Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Teaching someone not to "flinch"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MrIzhevsk, Feb 29, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MrIzhevsk

    MrIzhevsk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    NOVA
    Hello THR,

    I've taken up a new hobby of teaching my friends who are willing the basics of shooting, basically just introducing them to it, and all the do's and don'ts.

    My last range outing with a friend went very well, she started off shooting consistent groupings center of mass with my CZ PCR. But by the time we made it to the second target, she actually developed a flinching habit. When this started coming up, I picked up on it right away as I could notice her pushing the muzzle downward before pulling the trigger.

    This is where I became sort of stumped, I didn't really know how to help her overcome this problem besides saying "don't flinch."

    Things I tried:
    1. I told her to very slowly pull the trigger and that the gun should almost go off as a surprise, in single action on my CZ this is not a difficult thing at all.

    2. I tried tricks like loading the gun for her, but not actually loading any ammo at all, so it was an empty chamber, so when she pulled the trigger all she would get is a *click* and would notice herself flinching.

    Besides these sorts of things, I felt somewhat helpless, all I could tell her was "don't flinch." Despite the two methods I mentioned above, and maybe some other ideas that I gave her, her flinch persisted almost all the way to the end, with it becoming somewhat lesser by the time we had gone through about 100 rounds.

    My question is, what else is there that I could do while at the range to help eliminate a flinching habit? Dry firing can't really be done since the people I'm teaching don't own their own firearms to practice with. Is there an "on the spot" technique to show someone to help them get rid of a flinch early on?
     
  2. cheesebigot

    cheesebigot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    The Southwest
    Double up on ear protection. Flinching can come from being naturally shocked by the loud noise of the report.

    In lieu of a second set of ear protection (presumably plugs), try placing some ear buds in her ears with some relatively loud music, then put her muffs (if applicable) on top. The noise of the music will help drown out the report, making it less "surprising" when the firearm actually fires. It's like watching TV with the volume muted, or, in the case of the music, drowning out the outside world with something only you can hear.
     
  3. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,061
    Location:
    S.E. Minnesota
    Have you tried the old "sneak up behind her and pop a paper bag" trick? :D (just kidding)

    Get a reasonably heavy .22 pistol and do most of the shooting with that and "Standard velocity" or subsonic ammo. (mix it up a little and sometimes load a magazine of CCI Mini-Mags, or other high velocity .22's)

    The next step is a .38 Special revolver loaded with target wadcutters.

    THEN the 9mm.
     
  4. bjl333

    bjl333 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    California
    She is flinching because she is anticipating the shot and recoil. Possibly she is afriad of the recoil and not telling you.

    IMO the best way to teach not flinching is with a revolver. Start with dry firing in SA and when the revolver remains motionless after the trigger is pulled. I would move them to loading select chambers in the cylinder so she won't know when the gun would fire. This way she can't anticipate the shot and she could concentrate on the trigger only. I hope this made sense!
     
  5. MrIzhevsk

    MrIzhevsk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    NOVA
    ^ I wish I had a .22 to loan her, Or a revolver. if I did I certainly would have started her on that, as well as everyone else.

    Unfortunately I don't own one. As for the empty chambers, or using snap caps, I didn't have any at the time, so I improvised. I would either not load the magazine and tell her it was loaded, or one time I just didn't push the magazine all the way in so it didn't chamber the round.

    She had no problem with the recoil of the pistol at first, but somehow became much more conscious of it after about 20 rounds or so. When I asked her about why she thought she was flinching, and if she was worried about the recoil, she said she didn't have a problem with the pistol, didn't feel like it was out of her grasp on a power scale. Instead, she felt she was "overthinking" the shot, in the most basic sense, anticipating the gun to go off.

    I like the idea of either doubling up on ear-pro, or using music to sort of distract her from the noise and the gun itself. What I'm interested in are tips that can be done on the spot to help steer someone away from a flinch.
     
  6. ShawnC

    ShawnC Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    No. Va
    A lot of people don't realize they are flinching. Get some snap caps and stagger a couple in the magazine. She'll see herself flinch when there's no bang. Have her fire a few shots with just the snap caps, consciously, slowly following everystep (front sight, front sight, squeeze, pop, repeat).
     
  7. MrIzhevsk

    MrIzhevsk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    NOVA
    I should have mentioned in my first post, she was not a complete stranger to firearms in general, she had used shotguns several times in the past. She had never fired a handgun, but understood the concept of using the front sight to aim.
     
  8. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,556
    Location:
    The Gator Nation
    best way to cure bucking and flinching is ball and dummy as well as small bore practice
     
  9. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    5,961
    Location:
    Near Camp Perry
    you need a .22 and you need snap-caps
    Both will foster good habits

    and if you're doing this "teaching" on a crowded indoor rental range, that isn't helping either ... a laid-back outdoor setting is better, particularly if you're the only ones there.
    The time pressure and inability to "pause" and take off the ear protection for a moment to talk about something, and the forced narrow lane structure of most indoor ranges are serious detriments to the teaching/learning process
     
  10. olafhardtB

    olafhardtB Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    356
    A double action 22 revolver shot double action is the best deflincher I have ever seen. I will go so far as to say you will teach a lot of bad habits until you get one. They make better carry pieces than they get credit for.
     
  11. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    5,961
    Location:
    Near Camp Perry
    olafhardtB that's not a bad idea, and an older H&R 999 wouldn't be too expensive.
    Mine I got as a toy, currently it has a tendency to light strike once in a while in DA ... it would be an even BETTER de-flincher! (I seriously need to get that fixed, I'm mostly joking)
     
  12. JimBoIHN

    JimBoIHN Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    You might try pulling the trigger for her, to get her used to the gun firing almost on it's own.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    18,706
    Location:
    northern california
    I think most folks here are missing the point/hint when the OP posted:
    Loading an empty or a snap cap doesn't help cure the problem, it only confirms it to the shooter. Telling them "Don't flinch" is really counterproductive when addressing the issue. Flinching isn't an accurate description of what is happening, it describes the action, but not the cause. Not all shot anticipation (jerk/snatch/dip) is caused by recoil.

    The problem you are having, trying to correct her snatching at the trigger is that you do not understand what is causing it...and so can't explain it.

    More than likely what is happening, since she says it isn't the recoil, or the blast, is that she is trying to hit the target. She is trying to make the shot go off when her sights are perfectly aligned...before they drift off again.

    Explain to her about the inherent wobble zone when shooting handguns and that focus on placing shots on the target are secondary to correctly running the platform
     
  14. deadasslast2004

    deadasslast2004 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    the Great country of Texas
    i have 2 daughters and started them both on 22's (pistol) and moved up from there to rifles in 223, 243, 270 and now they shoot my 300 rum on occassion, they did double ear cover and plug for a bit but now they do not.
     
  15. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,402
    Location:
    Central Fla
    For every action .....there is a re-action.

    To some "flinching" is just a way of life.
     
  16. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Messages:
    482
    Location:
    CLT, NC
  17. charlie echo

    charlie echo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    170
    I used a double action steel revolver, and load 2 or 3 of the chambers with spent brass, spin the wheel, like a roulette, then shoot. You can see the anticipary flinch. Be sure their torso is leaning a bit forward while still balanced in a comfotably wide and deep stance: I have then picture a kickboxing stance.
     
  18. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    4,908
    Location:
    Delaware home of tax free shopping
    Have her concentrate on the front sight slowly squeeze the trigger as slow as she can.
    Do this with no ammo in the firearm, dry fire practice is the best way to extinguish a flinch.
    Then she needs to practice with live ammo and a .22lr.
     
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,381
    Location:
    TN
    I would suggest you use a 22 with new shooters. Move her back from the 9mm to a 22 and start over and slowly go back to the 9mm when she has more confidence.

    I'd also say that in general, don't use compact or pocket sized guns to teach with at first.
     
  20. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    15,710
    Location:
    Hot and Humid FL
    BINGO! We have a winner - just like you don't start new shotgunners with 3.5" 12 gauge load, you don't start new pistoleros with high velocity stuff from small packages - that's the perfect reason for a flinch to develop

    Besides, shooting a.22 is a LOT cheaper, and in the beginning, more trigger time breeds more familiarity, which means more success, less fear to overcome, and a greater willingness to keep shooting as a hobby
     
  21. Clipper

    Clipper Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,243
    Location:
    Mt. Morris, MI.
    I find that concentrating, and I mean making it the over-riding concern, on sight/target alignment is key. With a good slow steady trigger pull, it's more apparent to the shooter (if he/she is really paying attention) when sights fall off target, and to get back on. It also teaches fine trigger control, as the goal is to stop the pull, but hold the pressure until realignment, and continue the pull. Yeah, sometimes it's not possible to maintain pressure without the gun firing, but believe me it will help with what I call 'squeeze discipline, and will tie it to sight alignment.
     
  22. Curator

    Curator Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,201
    Location:
    Bonita Springs, Florida
    Consider finding an NRA instructor class in your area and enrolling yourself. Your intentions are good but you should learn how to teach a skill before appointing yourself as teacher. While not the worst, a 9mm autoloader is not the best to teach a beginning shooter. At least you didn't opt for a .40S&W or .50AE. For many non-shooters, learning to shoot a handgun without first learning how to shoot a rifle is like learning to ride a bicycle by starting with a unicycle.

    New shooters should begin with a low recoil, easy to shoot gun. .22 rf caliber (revolver or even single shot) is ideal. New shooters should shoot from the seated benchrest position (with sandbags or pistol rest) until they master the fundamentals of shooting: grip, sight allingment/picture, breath control, trigger control, and follow through.

    Flinching is easy to cure with the old "ball & dummy" exercise where one of the shells is a dummy but the shooter doesn't know until it goes "click" instead of "bang." All of this you would learn in an NRA Basic Pistol Instructor Course.
     
  23. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    Recoil is reality. The first thing my little lady ever shot was a 9mm. Then a .45. Consideration of expected recoil is a simple matter of fact now.

    It is a greater challenge to get a new shooter to think past the stance, the muffled ears, the trigger pull, past the bang and the recoil, to the hole you're going to make downrange. All that stuff is essential to get right, but hopefully you learn to set it and forget it.
     
  24. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    4,380
    Location:
    'MURICA!
    I've been dry firing my new Glock 19 a lot to get used to a smooth trigger pull and not let myself jerk it. It has definitely helped my aim. Maybe she could try that, when you've dry fired 15 minutes a day for 2 weeks with a smooth steady trigger pull, your muscles tend to remember that and help you to be consistent. Working for me anyways :)

    And as someone pointed out, double up on ear protection seems like a good idea.
     
  25. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,454
    Location:
    eastern Massachusetts
    Until you get a .22, nothing else matters. A .22 will allow you to separate out recoil (and blast) issues from other issues (like those suggested by 9mmepiphany), and then manage them accordingly.

    JMHO.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page