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Discussion Starter #1
I was very pleased with the result of an experiment today and wanted to share the experience with the rest of you.

Every so often, my shooting gets absolutely lousy - as in all over the target. I dry fire at home quite a bit, and the motion is very smooth. (There's no flinching at trigger pull.) Well, last week, we noticed that, after the shooting the XD40, then moving to my kids' Beretta Neos (.22), that I anticipate recoil by pushing the gun down at trigger break pretty energetically. That was my first hint that I was not holding the gun still after firing the XD40, even with all that dry fire practice.

So today I devised a method to check and correct this problem. First I shot five rounds, then removed the magazine and dry fired at the same target. The flinching (pushing and pulling or whatever in anticipation of recoil) was amazing. I knew that there was not going to be recoil, but my mind still pushed my strong hand forward in anticipation of recoil with a forward flinch. So I kept racking and dry firing until that flinch was worked out of the motion. It took some some time to convince my mind not to flinch. When all was smooth again, I put the magazine back in and begin firing again. My groups immediately got smaller on the next five rounds.

Then I removed the magazine and began dry fire again. The same thing happened. But the flinch was easier to remove. After doing this repeatedly, my groups got smaller and more accurate than ever before.

Then I pulled out the most expensive ammo (and maybe the best) I've ever tried: Hornady Custom Pistol XTP (.40 155GR JHP). After shooting a group of eight shots in a 2.75" group just above the bullseye at 35 feet offhand, I decided that this was how I wanted to end my day. (For me and my stock XD40, that is VERY good.)

From now on I'm going to have to use the dry fire technique at the range to get the recoil anticipation out. Maybe some of you have had the same experience and can even improve on the routine. Any comments would be appreciated.

- Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #2
If decent shooting is this diffcult at the range, then I wonder how to work out this flinching so that good shooting is an automated response. Maybe the body needs to be trained more than I had previously thought. If a threat presented itself, I would want to be as accurate as I could be. But a local Sig trainer explained that you'll shoot worse under a lot of pressure.

So it appears that the answer is some serious hours in training in both dry and live fire.

- Mike
 

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The same thing happened to me today. I was firing low and could not figure out why. One clip I rapid fired, and I guess I got excited and pulled the trigger after the last round - and I found myself pushing the gun in anticipation of the recoil! Thanks for the tip on dry firing - will try that out!
 

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Your shooting skills will deteriorate at least 50% under severe stress, both speed and accuracy. If you can draw and fire two rounds into the "A" (high center of mass) zone of a target in 2.5 seconds at 20 feet, figure at least 5 seconds and 10 feet under stress.

As to avoiding the flinch, dry fire MORE. As much as you can and as much as you can stand. Do it enough, the flinch will be pretty much trained out of you, but keep up the practice to retain the muscle memory.
 

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ZBoater: I assume that you're new to the forum - so welcome! Hope you enjoy using your XD. The guys and girls here are very helpful. (Can I assume that you are using an XD?)

Snake-eater 1: Thanks for the confirmation. I thought that dry-fire a couple times a week would help, but it appears that I'll need to do it more often. Based on my experience today - I may have to practice every day. I've got a lot of other things going on now, so range time can be limited. My goal for range visits is once a week, but that doesn't always pan out. Also, I don't have time for IDPA and the like. However, I can dry-fire pretty much every day if I choose to make it a priority. My goal is automatic competence under stress for self-defense in all aspects of gun handling, from grip in the holster to follow through after the shot.
 

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mcone said:
ZBoater: I assume that you're new to the forum - so welcome! Hope you enjoy using your XD. The guys and girls here are very helpful. (Can I assume that you are using an XD?)
Thanks for the welcome! I have been reading the forum for a while and learning quite a bit. A lot of the posts here are indeed very helpful!

I haven't purchased my XD yet. I am set on getting a subcompact, but am not sure whether to get a 9mm or .40. I currently shoot an HK USP Compact 40. My previous handgun was a Glock 22 (.40 caliber full frame). I am leaning towards the 9mm hoping to get less recoil and less "flinching", although I suspect it has more to do with me than the ammo... :roll:
 
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