Gun Flinching is the unwanted motion of your body
when you anticipate recoil and the loud bang. Anticipated recoil is
difficult to overcome. When you anticipate recoil you tend to push
forward (or down) the
muzzle of the gun which usually results in low shots on the target.
These are some of the ways to
Stop Gun Flinching that I found on the internet during my research on
how to stop my own flinching problem.
Dry firing your gun in front of a
Dry firing your gun is always good practice but I found that I
did not flinch when I dry fired my guns. Since I knew that the gun
was unloaded and there would be no loud bang or recoil there was no
anticipation or fear when I pulled the trigger. Hence, no flinch.
Practice at the range with a low
recoil .22 caliber handgun.
In theory, the low recoil and reduced noise will help cure
flinching. This is probably true but it didn't work for me. I fired
.22 handguns every time at the range before switching to larger
caliber pistols (where I had the flinching problem). I knew that
there was nothing to the smaller caliber pistols and I did not
flinch with them. When I shot the larger caliber guns it was a
different story. I knew to expect a louder band and more recoil.
Moving only your trigger finger
during trigger squeeze.
If your other fingers move you may be applying sideward pressure to
the gun which will disturb the sight alignment. Good
trigger squeeze techniques are essential for accurate shooting
but I don't attribute this to flinching. I think it's more about
learning to shoot accurately.
Reduce flinching by wearing better
The less noise you hear when it goes bang, the less you will flinch.
This is very true. I believe that the noise that you expect to hear
is half the problem of flinching. I imagine that if I were deaf my
flinching problem would go away. Try wearing
better hearing protection, possibly even ear plugs with ear
muffs to reduce the noise level to the lowest possible level.
Practicing with a revolver at the
Load some chambers in the revolver some with normal loads and leave
some empty chambers. Spin the cylinder so you don't know when you
pull the trigger if you will fire a live round or an empty chamber.
If you flinch it will be apparent. This is very true. You will be
amazed at how much your gun barrel dips and moves after you pull the
trigger on an empty chamber.
Shooting slower and concentrating
After you realize that you have a flinching problem you then have to
overcome it. Try shooting slowly. Point the gun at the target but
forget about aiming it. Concentrate on holding the barrel still as
you pull the trigger. Forget about technique and everything else and
just try not to let the barrel move as you pull the trigger.
Using mental distraction.
Some people repeat a word or phrase in their mind as the squeeze the
trigger to take their concentration off of the expected flinching.
Other people try to stop flinching by concentrating on the front
sight and saying over and over while squeezing the trigger "front
sight...front sight...front sight...". Concentrate on the front
sight. I tried this and it did help a little. If repeating a
word in you head doesn't work try shouting the word in your head.
Practicing good breathing
Good breathing techniques are always good for practice and to
improve you aim and shooting but I did not find them related to
Practicing good grip techniques.
Remember, take a firm grip on the gun, not a death grip. How you
grip your gun and how hard you grip your gun does have a
pronounced effect on your flinching. The tighter you squeeze your
gun the more likely the greater the flinching will be. The trick is
to find the right balance. Try this at the range while making self
evaluations. Shoot your gun with a death grip on it and squeezing it
as hard as you can. Shoot again with a loosened grip, then more
loose, etc.. until you think you will loose control of the gun and
it will jump out of your hands. You will be surprised to find just
how loosely you can hold the gun while still maintaining control.
Practicing with this amount of grip will help relax you and improve
Recognizing that it's all in your
Flinching when shooting is almost entirely mental and is the
anticipation of and the response to something unpleasant such as
recoil or the gun shot noise. Neither of these two things will hurt
you. Fire your gun. Did it hurt? Not likely. Most of that
unpleasantness was in your head. If it did hurt you need to shoot a
different gun or reduce the recoil like changing grips, wearing
gloves, shooting reduced loads. Getting it in your mind that firing
the gun is not going to hurt will help solve your flinching problem.
Using exercise to strengthen your
hands and your grip.
With stronger hands you won't have to grip the gun as tightly and
you will be more relaxed. While this may be true it will help with
your shooting but it won't stop your flinching. You really have to
change your mind-set not your strength.
Practicing this flinching exercise.
Get a quarter and balance it on the barrel of an empty gun. Pull the
trigger. If the quarter falls off you have a flinching problem or a
trigger technique problem. While this may be a good exercise to see
if you jerk the trigger it's probably not going to help you cure
Stop practicing badly.
Practice good shooting techniques over and over to retrain your
muscle memory and break old habits. Don't practice when you are
tired. For the longest time I just went to the range to shoot and
have fun and did not pay attention to good shooting techniques. I
would look over at the other shooters and they were getting good
shots with tight groupings on their targets. My groupings were all
over the place and I was not getting any better. Then I started to
concentrate on my technique.
Desensitizing yourself to the
Train your mind by firing your gun and concentrating on and
recognizing how little the recoil actually hurts and how hard you
have to grip it to keep it from flying out of your hand. You will be
surprised that the recoil doesn't hurt at all. This is half the
battle in getting rid of your flinching.
Shooting a few rounds with your eyes
Do it safely of course. You will be able to concentrate on what the
recoil really is and what to expect from it. Have a buddy stand
behind you and make sure your gun does not go off target and to look
after your (and other's safety). This is an excellent first step in
recognizing your flinching problem. I tried this at the shooting
range. I first shoot a few rounds and both my friend and I observed
my flinching. I then pointed my gun at the target, closed my eyes
and slowly fired two rounds. NO FLINCH. My friend said that I did
not flinch at all when shooting with my eyes closed. This was
positive proof that my flinching was all in my head and not in my
grip, stance, breathing or shooting technique. My flinching was
connected with my vision.
Practicing flinching control with a
higher caliber gun.
Practicing with a higher caliber gun than you normally shoot is said
to be one way of curing flinching. When you go back to your regular
gun you will notice a difference. I am not too sure of this. On one
hand it could help on the other it could hurt your flinching. You
may be adding to your problem by reinforcing the fact that higher
caliber guns do hurt more and have a louder bang. You may in turn
associate that with the lesser caliber guns.
SDry firing with a laser on your
If the little dot moves when you pull the trigger you are either
flinching or doing something else wrong. If a laser is not available
buy the cheapest laser bore-sighter you can find. Stick it into the
muzzle of your gun and practice dry firing while watching the motion
of the little dot. This is a good way to practice staying on target
and your shooting technique but may not correct your flinching.
It is hard to unlearn bad trigger pull techniques
and overcome flinching. It may take several hundred or thousands of
rounds to overcome bad habits. Be patient. Flinching is your mind is
anticipating something and your muscle memory responding to it. To
overcome flinching you have to retrain your muscle memory. This is
accomplished by training and repetition.
How I Stopped My Gun Flinching
Since I could dry fire my gun and shoot it with my eyes closed
without flinching I knew that my flinching was entirely in my head and
would be a matter of conditioning my mind to overcome it. This is what I
did to stop my flinching.
I reload 9mm ammunition so I made up some "dummy
rounds" of 9mm Luger ammo. My dummy rounds had no powder or primer
and I marked them with an permanent marker.
At the range I loaded three rounds into the magazine, one of which
was the dummy. Before loading I would take two rounds combine them with
a dummy round and shake them (mix them) in my hands. Then I would load
the magazine and insert it without looking at it. It was like reloading
blind folded. Good practice.
It was a long session (that kind of practicing was slow and tiring)
but it actually helped. Towards the end I hardly flinched at all. I
figure a few more practices like that one will get rid of my flinch
permanently (I hope).
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