How I Defeated a Shooting Flinch

Pistol ShootingI’ve, of course, been shooting all my life, but I’m really not that good at it. My rifle shooting is mediocre, but I don’t flinch. That just comes down to my accuracy.

Pistols are another story entirely. I only started getting heavily into handguns within the past few years, and with how little I shoot, I haven’t been able to experiment and work on getting rid of a nasty flinch I had. I couldn’t hit jack with a pistol unless I was lucky enough to flinch AFTER the bullet left the barrel.

Everybody says that all you have to do to cure a flinch is lots of dry firing and squeeze the trigger slowly, so the break surprises you, instead of slapping it. Well, I did both.

Didn’t work.

Dry firing is a different beast. I never flinched while dry firing, so I really don’t think that carries over into actual shooting (unless you do it thousands of times, maybe), and squeezing the trigger slowly didn’t make a difference because I would stand there flinching repeatedly throughout the trigger pull, anticipating the break. So you know how I got over it?

I stopped holding onto the gun.

As soon as I stopped squeezing it in a death grip like it was a fish trying to escape, the flinch was gone. With a Weaver stance, I apply the most grip with my support hand, but still don’t give it a death grip, and only apply minimal force with my dominant hand. You only need enough force to keep the gun from slipping through your hands, holding onto it harder doesn’t reduce recoil, that’s in the wrists and arms.

The tension in my hands seemed to worsen the feeling of recoil, making me anticipate it more, and therefore I would flinch and throw the muzzle down just before every shot, totally wrecking my aim.

I’m still a pretty bad shot, but I can at least hit within a couple inches of where I’m aiming instead of going a foot or two low every time. 😀

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