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I have never been impressed with my ability to shoot accurately with a pistol so I went to the range last night and had friend watch me as I shoot my Xd40. He said that I am definately flinching right before the gun fires. I consiously try to not flinch and have done dry fire drills with a penny on the front sight, but it hasn't helped so far. What would you guys suggest, should I have a friend load my mags wiht a couple snap caps mixed in, or practice with a low/non-existant recoil pistol.. ie .22lr (this would also give me an excuse to get Sig's new Mosquito) What do you guys think?
 

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Silentknight said:
What would you guys suggest, should I have a friend load my mags wiht a couple snap caps mixed in, or practice with a low/non-existant recoil pistol.. ie .22lr (this would also give me an excuse to get Sig's new Mosquito) What do you guys think?

Both!
:wink:

bd
 

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Hey bro, you get over to banner at all??

one thing that helped me was doing dry fire drills at the range. Fire a mag and then stand their and dry fire. this helps to tell your brain that just because your at a place where the gun always fires (the firing line) doesnt always mean the gun will fire. the helps to allow yourself to be surprised when the gun is going to fire. tell yourself it wont fire even when it is loaded. one thing that also helps me is making sure i just accept the recoil. LET it kick back. dont even worry about the next shot just let your elbows bend back with the recoil. also be sure you are squeezing the trigger smoothly. i go to banner every weekend. im no expert but i have improved tremendously in the past couple of months. i could give you some pointers if you wanted to meet me out there sometime.

also- got to the range ALOT. the dry fire stuff at home did not help me nearly as much as going to the range did.
 

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Best thing to do, in my experience, is to concentrate on the front sight. Line up your sight picture, then change your focus point to that front dot. As you start squeezing the trigger, think "front sight front sight front sight" keep repeating it to your self as you squeeze back on the trigger. Concentrate more on the front sight than you do on how much force you're applying to the trigger...think about that front sight and nothing else. BANG! The gun going off should be a little bit of a surprise, and that hole in the x ring will let you know you did it right.

Front sight front sight front sight front sight front sight.....
 

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+1 for all the above plus...
It took me a while to realize this as being part of my problem. Be sure that you keep your eye(s) open through the shot. I was blinking everytime as the gun fired and that was really screwing up my aimpoint and adding to the flinch. Once I mastered that, the accuracy improved tremendously.
 

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Shoot off of a bench.

Dry fire for 10 minutes.....no ammo just line up the sights and pull the trigger. Cycle the slide if you want....

Then add using live ammo.

Shoot one round per minute.... spend the rest of the time getting settled, focused....

Line up your sights and 'sssssllllloooowwwwwlyyyyy pull the trigger. You will adapt yourself to how the gun reacts in your hand and rid yourself of flinching.

Shooting a .22 will not help you. You have to eventually learn how recoil works and what it feels like..

You have to like it to do it.....
 

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Another good drill is to have a buddy load you mags with a mix of dummy and live rounds, random order. That way you never know if it going to go off or not. It is a good way to practice malfunction clearing and also it helps clear your flinch problem if you are anticipating the recoil.
 

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If you haven't already tried, you might consider wearing a combination of ear plugs and ear muffs at the same time. That'll help attenuate the noise of the muzzle blast, something which often contributes to flinch.
 

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Silentknight said:
practice with a low/non-existant recoil pistol.. ie .22lr
Try the opposite...get a 50 cal S&W500. After shooting that the 40 should feel like a powder puff. Its like boxers training with 16oz gloves and fighting with 12oz. (Actually don't listen to me, I don't know what I'm talking about).

Try some breath-control techniques. My friend was flinching too. I watched him and he was holding his breath in anticipation of the recoil. Breath normally and try to time your trigger pull to the end of your last deep exhale.
 

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I will start off with the caveat that I am new to handguns myself. Thus I don’t know a whole lot about shooting them well. I have managed to control my flinching, or at least noticeable flinching by following basic rifle marksmanship guidelines. Perhaps I am just crazy, but it seems to tighten my groups.

I focus on breath control. I concentrate on gently squeezing the trigger until it breaks. This next part that seems to make the biggest difference in controlling flinch. My rifle coach called it follow through. Basically after the gun fires, for a second or two you remain in the exact same position you were in before the gun fired (taking recoil into account). You should have the same stance and the same approximate sight picture. Perhaps someone else can better articulate follow through than I can. I have no idea whether or not follow through applies to pistol marksmanship, but it seems to help with my flinch.

Justin
 

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In regards to follow through... i don't think that there is a set time that you have to be still, but rather i think its a method you follow like smooth constant rate trigger pull. Its a procedure you follow to develop your shooting skills. The idea, as far as i understand it, is to pull the trigger smoothly at a constant rate so as not to stage it(where you pull a little and stop, then pull some more then stop or slow), all the while maintaining a constant sight picture, and then even after the gun fires to allow your body to try and maintain that position so that the only movement is due to the recoil and muzzle flip. This is not to say that you have to be a stone, but rather that YOU should not be exerted any extra motions before after or during firing. Focusing on the front sight all the way through is a good way to accomplish this, i think.

On a side note, whats been helping me some with my anticipation is taking short sessions between regular firing and using my qd laser sight. I use only the laser sight to aim and don't sight and by doing so i focus all my concentration upon making a smooth trigger pull. By eliminating the task of sighting, it eliminates what otherwise would also require some concentration. The laser sight also allows me to see what i do with the gun before after and during trigger pull. It definitely shows me if i'm dropping the muzzle or pulling/pushing to one side. After a couple mags of doing this exercise, i go back to sighting like normal without the laser and i find i'm pretty much dead on. with no more anticipation

Hope that helps.
 

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I find when I flinch I also close my eyes the split second before I pull the trigger. Basically all I do to correct it is force my eyes to stay open. I've always had this problem when it comes to sharp/loud sounds. If I a song comes on in my car (I have a system) and theres a sharp snare in the song, I'm constantly blinking my eyes just before it hits. The only reason I can think of for a reason is I was a crack baby....j/k. Seriously, I have no idea why I do it but it gets annoying when I'm shooting.
 

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Dryfire for about 10-15 minutes every night before going to bed.
Mixing snap-caps in with the live ammo will probably be your best bet.
Have as many friends as possible watch you shoot like that, the first time you flinch like a lil' bijatch will be the most embarassing thing ever..... sure helped me quit flinching!!!!! :lol: :lol: :oops: :oops: :lol:
 

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sindiesel666 said:
Dryfire for about 10-15 minutes every night before going to bed.
Mixing snap-caps in with the live ammo will probably be your best bet.
Have as many friends as possible watch you shoot like that, the first time you flinch like a lil' bijatch will be the most embarassing thing ever..... sure helped me quit flinching!!!!! :lol: :lol: :oops: :oops: :lol:
um yea.. but don't mix in the live rounds with the snap caps when ur sitting on ur bed dry firing before going off to bed.... that'll give you a nice wake up call.
 

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Try this...

I had sin help me out with this..

We went to the range and when I flinched, he hit me in the head with a shovel...

Little by little the sessions became longer (first session was one shot, second session only lasted two shots, etc.) eventually I learned how to shoot without flinching.. Medical bills for the first few years were pretty high, but hey, at least I dont flinch anymore...

:lol:

T
 

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Silentknight said:
I have never been impressed with my ability to shoot accurately with a pistol so I went to the range last night and had friend watch me as I shoot my Xd40. He said that I am definately flinching right before the gun fires. I consiously try to not flinch and have done dry fire drills with a penny on the front sight, but it hasn't helped so far. What would you guys suggest, should I have a friend load my mags wiht a couple snap caps mixed in, or practice with a low/non-existant recoil pistol.. ie .22lr (this would also give me an excuse to get Sig's new Mosquito) What do you guys think?

i have a simple test to find out if you are flinching, and it can also be used to help solve it.

take your stronghand (shooting hand) and hold it out to your side with your elbow down and your palm facing away from you (like when you give a pledge, you hold your right hand up... or left if your lefthanded). now get a friend or someone willing to help. have them hit your hand at a steady pace, not hard, but enough to move it. then tell them to stop at random times that they choose. if your hand moves when they stop, your "flinching" - anticipating.

dont let it bother you its a natural reaction, but it will affect your shooting. run this drill randomly throught the day/week/whenever untill your reaction is reduced.

another good tip is: while you are shooting if you anticipat the recoil on a shot and you know it....STOP WHAT YOUR DOING, unload the gun stare at your target and rack the slide and dry fire,rack the slide and dry fire, rack the slide and dryfire, (more than 3 times, i would say 10-15) without looking at your sites. just stare at the target and feel the trigger pull.



if you have any questions just ask.
 

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Everybody is giving you great tips, but the best thing is just keep shooting. Eventually you'll get used to the recoil. Once you actually realize that its not going to hurt then you will really see an improvement in your shooting. Somebody mentioned it being like boxers train and it kinda is. Once they've been hit a few times and realize that its just part of the game they stop flinching and take the punches better. Remember when you first started driving and you would hit the brakes everytime someone got too close? Its the same thing. Repetition will increase you comfort level. I remember the first time I shot a 3 1/2" shell out of a 12 gauge. It scared the living crap of me. I thought my shoulder had been blown off. Now I'll shoot a box of them bad boys and not think anything of it. Granted my shoulder still hurts like hell and it usually black and blue but its just too much fun. Once you learn to feed off that little bit of adrenaline you'll be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks guys I really appreciate the help, I'm going to Sportsmans Warehouse tonight to get some snapcaps. I will definately try dryfires after a mag or two and then start mixing in snap caps. Again, thanks for all the advice! :)
 
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