Strength and Recoil
I've been reading a few people who have said that a person's strength has a lot to do with how they control a gun. I've always thought that my P99 had a lot of recoil and wasn't the easiest gun to control. I've never considered myself weak, I mean, I go to the gym occassionally and I lift a lot of heavy box's at work (I only work a few hours a week), but now I'm beginning to wonder if the reason my P99 feels like it's having so much recoil is because I'm not strong enough.
Is a 9mm P99 known to have a lot of recoil, or is it just me?
Strength has nothing to do with perceived, or controllable recoil. It's an engineering thing. Pistol and human body. Where the pistol lacks in ergonomics, the body has to make up the difference in balancing the equation. Technique is what it all boils down to. The basics. Straighten that arm, lock that elbow, weak hand/arm support, etc......... Tools and humans work as one to be effective. The tools will not adapt to you....they can not, it's impossible. We adapt to the tools we use. If we cannot adapt, we choose a different tool in order to make up for our shortcomings.
Well, obviously the actual recoil is the same regardless of strength. What I meant was is the recoil more controllable if you are stronger? Lemme give an example, I'm not being clear. I see guys at the range who are shooting Glocks, S&W's and other handguns that are 9mm's and .40's and the gun looks like it doesn't have all that much recoil. It jumps a little in their hand but then falls right back into position. Whereas when I shoot it jumps up more and I have to bring it back down into position, thats the reason I have trouble doing double taps and rapid shooting.
Originally Posted by Ram Rod
Do you think it's my strength or that I'm just not experiences enough to be able to control the recoil better?
I see women who seem to handle various handguns pretty well, do you consider yourself stronger then most women?
Originally Posted by Marcus99
I am guessing that your physical strength has nothing to do with it. I would venture to guess that your grip is the problem. Make sure the gun sits as low in your hand as possible. In other words, make sure there is no space between you web of your hand and the pistol. Also make sure you grip the weapon hard enough. Here is a simple way to determine if your grip is tight enough: hold your pistol in your strong hand only and grip it so hard that it begins to shake a little. Then let up just enough so that the pistol stops shaking and that is how hard you want to grip a pistol.
Yes, definately, although I've never been in a fight with a girl, at least not a physical one, haha. I'm 240 pounds, 6 feet tall so I'm anything but scrawny.
Originally Posted by unpecador
That makes a lot of sense Ptarmigan. I just tried what you recommended and there is a big difference between holding it like that and the way I normally hold it. I think now I'm seeing how the reason why the gun is jumping so high is my grip not being tight enough.
Originally Posted by Ptarmigan
Thank you all very much. I'm going to go to the range tomorrow and I'll post back and let you know.
You may in some cases be watching competitive shooters that have lighter than standard loads and tricked out guns. Individuals that load their own ammo learn early on that less powder equals less cost and less recoil. They may also change recoil springs to fine tune operation.
They also may be using low recoil Factory loads if they can afford them. You are most likely using a stock pistol with standard ammo.
Just hang in there and you will develop the technique that fits you.
You are young and can improve, us old guy's have peaked and are going downhill fast.
Enjoy the trip, I have.
Hold the gun as high on the grip as possible (don't interfere with the slide's movement, ouch!). What this does is reduce the the gun's tendency to lever upward and will produce a recoil that is more straight back, making it easier to reaquire the target for quicker follow-up shots.
You are welcome. What you describe is very common and normally working on the grip will fix it. If this advice helps but you still have problems, I have a few other ideas.
Originally Posted by Marcus99"
I will look forward to your post.
Physical strength has far less to do with recoil than how you place your hands on the gun.
We used to think that Weaver, with its strong isometric push-pull, was the "only" way to shoot a pistol. This was exacerbated by shooters who didn't understand how to shoot from Weaver (with weak elbow pointed at the ground) and who tried to muscle the gun, to make it behave. But all this did was make the front sight move like a Mexican jumping bean under recoil.
Now we know better. In a correct Modern Isosceles, or a modern squared-up "Weaver," the front sight pops straight up, we track it with the eye, and it pops right back down into our sight picture. You will know what "correct" is when you can watch the front sight pop up with recoil, then pop right back down into alignment for the next shot. It is a revelation the first time you see it, and very fast when you do it right.
Do not worry about fighting recoil or muscling the gun - that's old school thinking. Instead, work on managing the recoil so that the front sight is directed straight up and straight down, with no side-to-side wobble. This will make you fast.
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As stated previously.
Originally Posted by Ram Rod
I tried what you guys recommended, you were right, the gun does seem to "jump" less when you hold it that tight. I guess I was holding it too loosely, and it doesn't seem to have anything to do with strength. I wish I had a mirror at the range so I could see how it looked from a side profile.
I think the recoil I'm experiencing now is just to be dealt with, nothing you can do about that. I'm still a crummy shot with the gun though, that I'm gonna have to work on. What really sucks is unlike you guys who bring 200+ rounds to the range, I bring 50, so by the time I'm really getting warmed up and having a good time I'm already out of ammo.
Shoot more, pay attention to the good shooters you see . . .
As stated, quite well, the relation of the bore axis to the hand is a factor, i.e. how high the weapon is held in the hand, and the grip, stance, presentation to the target intended. The best way to become a better shooter is to attend some formal instruction. I have been to Frontsight and Mike is a Gunsite guy. I went to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia and was taught by FBI, SS, US Marshall, and military instructors as well. At the S.O. we have a pretty awesome clearing house range that we shoot to qualify in all conditions. Check and see if you have a local IDPA chapter, try them on the web. That's a fun shoot. Work every evening with a grip builder as well and make sure that you divorce the movement of your trigger finger from the remainder of your hand. Most shooters I see shooting vertically displaced strings are "squeezing" with their whole hand or jerking the trigger in anticipation of recoil. Dry fire practice as well, carefully with no ammo anywhere available. I use snap caps, some don't. Have fun, keep an open mind and shoot, shoot, shoot!
So it's really not a question of strenght but a question of the correct way of holding a pistol.
Next time, besides the "get some training" cliche, ask the range master some advice on how to properly hold a pistol.
It may cause you to give up some bad habits, which is a good thing.
I am glad to hear that the advice helped. I think the next thing you should look at is your stance. I often see new shooters almost leaning back without even realizing it. By leaning forward you will have a stronger base from which to control the weapon. It is kind of hard to explain but it does make a big difference.
At this point, burning 50 rounds is enough in my opinion. Go home, think, or write down what you think you need to do next time at the range. practice dry fire routines, etc....... You can do it! You remember what he felt recoil was like.
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