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  1. #1
    falshman70's Avatar
    falshman70 is offline Member
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    Any Way to Cure a Flinch?

    My wife (honest!) has a flinch when shooting handguns that keeps her from being consistent. She will shoot a bullseye at 18' and then miss the 8" circle with the next shot. I watch her and can see her anticipate the recoil with a flinch - especially when she hasn't counted her rounds or realized the slide has locked back. So loading a dummy in the mag won't help - we know she's flinching.

    Any advice? Back to a .22? This is akin to having the putting yips in golf - it may not be curable.

  2. #2
    Benzbuilder's Avatar
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    Tryb going back to the .22. you could also try dry firing to help her with trigger control. have her concentrate on the movement of the trigger and sight alignment. Instill in her that to make a good shot, she must move the trigger straight back without disturbing the sight alignment. If you give her enough to think about, she might get over the flinches.

  3. #3
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Good idea from Benz. Also Take a revolver .22cal and you load it one cylinder empty and have her consentrate on tigger control and sight alignment. When she fires that empty cylinder you and her both will see what she is doing wrong. Just keep working at it till she doesn't flinch anymore and is inside the 9 ring all the time. Then move up to a 9mm or .38 and she should be doing OK. Good luck and let us know if this helps her.

  4. #4
    falshman70's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. Part of the challenge will be tactfully getting her to acknowledge the problem as significant enough to address with cures.

  5. #5
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    Probably tired of hearing this, but...........

    My contention is that good handgunning is 99% mental. When flinching happens, concentration has been broken.

    The shooter must think "Front sight. Squeeze." The shot must come as a surprise. That is, align the sights, and slowly begin the trigger squeeze.

    I take some ribbing for this, but any range session that begins to go downhill is usually because of the lack of concentration. When bullets begin to stray, go back to basics. And practice often. Practice developes muscular coordination so that becomes natural. When concentrating on grip, stance, or whatever, concentration is distracted from the basic.

    Bob Wright

  6. #6
    hal9000 is offline Junior Member
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    Double Hearing Protection?

    I haven't tried this, but I wonder if double hearing protection might help (plugs AND muffs).

  7. #7
    Benzbuilder's Avatar
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    They might help. But, It won't help recoil flinches. Try a .22 revolver with some colibri ammo (no powder charge). You can find it at cheaper than dirt dot com.

  8. #8
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by falshman70 View Post
    Thanks, guys. Part of the challenge will be tactfully getting her to acknowledge the problem as significant enough to address with cures.
    That's the key. A shooter with a problem will nod when you describe it, repeat it back to you when asked, discuss at great length what is needed to overcome the problem, and then go right back to doing it wrong.

    That's where a ball-and-dummy drill can help; making the shooter realize not only what they are doing wrong, but what happens to the gun WHEN they do it. The shooters-eye view of that front sight nosediving out of the sight picture when they snap on an empty chamber should be verbally reinforced with something like this:

    "Did you see that movement? That's not a good thing. What you can't see is that when the sight moves, it actually starts moving BEFORE the bullet leaves the barrel, because it takes a small amount of time for the hammer to fall, the firing pin to strike the primer, the powder to ignite, and the bullet to begin moving. You don't see that downward movement on a live shot because the gun's recoil 'bounce' covers it up. It's very important to squeeze the trigger so slowly and/or gently that the sights (and therefore, the gun) do not move after the hammer falls."

    Then you can do some dry-fire practice. Align sights, hold on target as best they can, WHILE SQUEEZING THE TRIGGER. Make it just like a live-fire shot, so the habit will transfer over to live fire without modification.

    If you have a video camera, or a digital still camera with a video mode, you can record a couple of short movies of the shooter snapping/jerking the trigger to show them what you're seeing. Shoot the video off a tripod (or set the camera on the solid benchtop), viewing from the side so the gun's movement is visible, and if you can line-up the gun with something behind it (a mark on the wall, etc.) so the movement is more noticeable, then that will help your case.

    If the person is still snapping/jerking the trigger during dry-fire practice, use a penny or other coin placed flat on the top of the gun once they are in position. When they can hold position and sight alignment while squeezing the trigger gently enough that they don't knock the penny off of the gun when the hammer falls, ten times in a row, they are ready to go back to live-fire.

    Don't use the penny/coin on a loaded gun, BTW. It can be hard on the sights, the shooter, and anyone else nearby...

  9. #9
    JeffWard's Avatar
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    3 proven ways to cure the flinchies...

    1) Practice
    2) Practice
    3) Practice...

    nuf said

    Time, familiarity, self confidence. If she's afraid of the gun, she'll flinch. If she's in control and shooting it agressively, she'll squeeze it every time. Also, the more you switch guns on her, the more unique trigger pulls she'll have to learn. Learn on one gun.

  10. #10
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    And try this:

    Dry firing practice at home. Empty and clear the gun. Assume the shooting stance. You, or someone else, place a coin on top of the barrel or slide after the student has acquired the sight picture. Then have them squeeze off the "shot" without toppling the coin. Tell them to mentally concentrate on "Squeeze" as the make the "shot."

    Good practice.

    Bob Wright

  11. #11
    milquetoast is offline Member
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    Ball and dummy. It's been curing flinches since David was practicing for his big match with Goliath.

  12. #12
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    It takes time to learn to shoot well. For me, lots of it. My daughter is going through frustration with flinching right now. I've done the following with her:

    worked on trigger squeeze
    put a snap cap in the mag to demonstrate the flinch
    told her to take each shot individually.
    all the hand position stuff

    Somebody else recommended working with a 22 for a while. That's next.

  13. #13
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Double ear protection can also help (snug-fitting defenders/muffs over earplugs). The less "bang" they hear, the less likely they are to jump, flinch, or react in a negative manner to each shot. After they've formed and practiced the good habits, the ear protection can be cut back to one set with no (or little) ill effects.

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