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Flinching Problem

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2009 at 21:59
JF4545 View Drop Down
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Im hoping some of you guys can help me. A few years ago I had to give up hunting and shooting completely.This was due to a fall I had taken which then led to a brain surgery and many, many more problems.. Some of which I still suffer from. So one of the things Ive noticed since starting to shoot again is a flinch. Im sure some of it was there before but not anywhere as bad as it is today. Especially when shooting medium to larger hunting rifles.. Sure I can still shoot well enough to kill a Deer within 200 yards or less. But the flinch sure makes it alot harder to make a clean shot! One of my goals when joining this site was to become a better shooter, so any ideas on what I should do or try guys? Sure would appreciate it.Smile
Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2009 at 22:14
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That sounds like a difficult situation to deal with but kudos to you for trying. I don't know if it would help, but perhaps a combination of dry firing (using snap caps) and firing a lesser caliber rifle like a .22 quite a bit will help condition your reflexes. Also while at the range, it may be good to use both ear plugs and muff-style ear protectors. Dampening the sound could help for a while. As far as controlling recoil, try to keep the butt of the rifle snugged tight into your shoulder. I wish you luck and keep trying.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2009 at 22:38
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 As Jon said, it is a difficult thing to deal with, and it will take a long time to overcome.

 The first thing you have to do is to realize that (especially so  in your case), the flinch is a reaction to what your mind/body perceives as a threat to your central nervous system and reacts accordingly, as it is naturally programmed to do.
 
You cannot possibly tough your way through it.
 
As far as I know, the only way to cure a chronic flinch is to eliminate all moderate to severe recoil, and as much muzzle blast as possible every time you go shooting. Use ear plugs AND comfortable ear muffs with a high Noise Reduction Rating. Shoot only a .22 rimfire daily for a month or more, concentrating on trigger control and follow-through after the trigger break.
 Slowly work your way through a little more blast and recoil in gradual increments- .223, 22-.250, .243, .257, .308 etc.
 You must stop and go back a step or two the very moment the finch returns, and at some point you have to decide how much is enough, and stop there for good, if you wish to completely master control.
 Everyone has a limit, and unfortunately yours is simply going to be one with much less recoil than it would be for someone who doesn't have the injury issues that you do.
 Good luck.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2009 at 23:03
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I think that flinching is simply psychological.  You are THINKING too much while pulling the trigger.....even sub-consciously.  Whenever I was shooting a Magnum--- and I wanted to Train Myself to NOT FLINCH ---I used to get my brain occupied on something else......LIKE HITTING THE TARGET!!    So I moved the target down to Twenty Five Yards and sat there and aimed at a certain spot on the target----like the last bullet hole----and I would just concentrate on aiming Right At That Bullet Hole....and I would just concentrate on squeezing that trigger without wiggling those crosshairs even the littlest bit.....and the gun would go off.
 
And after a while....voila.... you are not flinching.....'cause your brain was busy doin' something else.....and now, after two boxes of shells, you are used to shooting the gun.........
 
" That will be twenty bucks...."   
 
     Roll on Floor Laughing
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2009 at 23:51
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Ed?

Did this young woman help you not think while you were aiming at the last bullet hole?
The reader is in the mailYippee I am listening to you guys! Well I was until you sent me this picture of your sister....Wink


Edited by JF4545 - August/29/2009 at 23:52
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 07:51
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Julio, just stare at the picture while you are shooting.  Your flinch will be gone in no time.  You may not hit the target, but you won't really care...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 07:52
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I've just learned to concentrate on the trigger squeeze, and focus on where the crosshairs are. I never know when the gun is going to go off, so I can't flinch. I work my triggers until they break cleanly, and have no creep, that way if I am squeezing correctly, I can't anticipate the recoil, or trigger break. Maybe a trigger job will help? I've not really had a flinching problem, so I'm just throwing things out there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 08:18
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Great advice from just about everybody!  Shoot lots of small caliber stuff, really concentrate of teh POI and trigger pull.  With good clean breaking trigger you won't know when the gun will fire so you won't have time to flitch.  I really do believe that flinching is mostly a pyschological reaction to preceived danger.  Weither it is re-enforced by bodily injury or some other trauma, with the correct mental conditioning it should be controllable.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 08:50
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All good advice, conentrate on the trigger, target and put lots of time behind a rimfire.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 09:16
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I forgot to mention one other thing I've found that has helped. Think of the process of firing as a mechanical action instead of shooting a gun. We all know what the lethality of a weapon is and maybe that conditions us to react to the explosion even behind the trigger.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 11:33
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Im still trying to get over the picture of Eds sister, Wow Ed! No Offense But Shes a Keeper. I hope my wife does not find out she going to be target shooting with me later this afternoon.. This will strictly be a theraputic exercise of course.
 Ok back to the thread, Ive noticed the flinch got alot worse since the last time I shot a rifle about 6 Years ago. Ive just recently in the last year or so picked up a rifle again.  And yes you guys are right, from the top of my head to the base of my neck Ive received trauma, including having the base of part of my skull removed. And there is a titanium plate screwed in up above that. They also did two lamanectomies on the first 2 vertibraes just like I had recently done to my lower back twice....So Im thinking its mostly fear that is creating the flinch as my body/mind as a couple of you already said, wants to protect it self....And to be honest I do not blame itShockedIts as if My mind has a mind of its ownBig Grin and its tired of pain. With or without pain meds it does not matter...   So you guys are always talking about going to the range, well today will be my first trip ever with a a couple friends and NO my wife said Eds sister CANNOT GO! I just do not understand that! The rifle range is quite a ways away in another state, but it will be fun. Im going to let someone else shoot one of my Deer rifles now after reading what Ron & Jo said. I will give it a brake. I will shoot my 223 which does not seem to bother me, I love to shoot my AR....and I like shooting 22's also always have and I may even buy a newer one. The 22 I have is a Remington Auto 550-l, My Dad bought it for me 39 years ago here in town for 55.00 and it still shoots great .. I may look at a newer one though if Im going to be doing alot of shooting then again the 223 may work well enough. I will find out today! There is a chance I may never get beyond it, but I will give it a shot (no pun intended) So Thanks for the advice and I will let you guys know how it goes down the road.
JF
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 12:59
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Another drill for flinching is to have someone else to load the weapon with a snap caps mixed in so you do not know if the rifle is going to go off or not.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 13:08
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 I would carefully weigh the decision to confine myself to .223-class recoil vs. taking chances with heavier recoil possibly causing permanent damage. I'd sure hate to lose my ability to shoot any rifle, just because I further injured myself by foolishly shooting heavier ones than my body could handle. You should probably consult your doctor and try to get his opinion of how much recoil your system can handle without further injury. If he's not a shooter, it may be a bit difficult to explain to him what you mean, though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 14:55
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i'd double up on my hearing protection and get a lead sled. i always shoot with a pair of custom fit ear plugs and a set of ear muffs on top of that. and it really seems to help me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 15:01
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Yes....maybe you should just shoot a 243 or something and stick with that!! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 15:26
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I like the "dry firing" suggestion, posted earlier.
 
I spend an inordinate amount of time dry firing center fire rifles and my Glock 17, but only use Snap Caps for malfunction drills. I dry fire at the range before shooting groups for 20 minutes or so as well.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 15:28
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Originally posted by Ed Connelly Ed Connelly wrote:

 
     Roll on Floor Laughing
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm starting flinch everytime I open one of Ed's posts!!  I won't tell you what part of me is flinching!  Cencored
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 15:32
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Originally posted by sakomato sakomato wrote:

Originally posted by Ed Connelly Ed Connelly wrote:

 
     Roll on Floor Laughing
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm starting flinch everytime I open one of Ed's posts!!  I won't tell you what part of me is flinching!  Cencored

your eye lids?Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 16:32
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Originally posted by 3_tens 3_tens wrote:

Another drill for flinching is to have someone else to load the weapon with a snap caps mixed in so you do not know if the rifle is going to go off or not.
 
+1   works really well. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 19:32
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Julio you ought to see if one of the guys here wants to buy that 270 WSM Kimber from you before you hurt yourself trying to prove you can shoot it.  One other thing we have not really addressed is the idea of using an Encore Pistol in a rifle caliber for hunting
http://www.bullberry.com/   While you may not be able to sustain recoil to your shoulder a pistol's recoil is directed differently and you could very likely use one in any number of heavy calibers 30-06  280  6.5x284   300 Win Mag,  338 Federal  etc.  I have had one in  .308 which was very mild and pleasant to shoot and I currently have 45-70 which is a wicked painful beast almost unbearable with a hot 350 gr JHP and only a tad past uncomfortable with a 300 gr loaded hot. And it spits big clouds of smoke with 70 grains of black powder and a 405 gr so its lots of fun to load for.  I think that you might buy one and find you wanted a couple of different barrels and the 280 or 30-06 would be where I would start as those will let you know if you want stronger calibers or lighter.  These pistols are fully capable of taking elk several hundred yards out with a good Leupold  pistol scope or a Aimpoint.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/30/2009 at 22:54
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Julio, What I'm about to write may sound crazy but I can attest to this personally.  I use 33Db roll up plugs as a base.  A ball cap ( never shoot without head covering ) it helps deaden the muzzle blast on your head, your whole face and nasal cavities transmit vibrations to your brain as it is so you don't need the whole top of your head exposed to it too.  Then wear a good pair of slimline muffs of at least 26Db reduction capability. This should help out your flinching from the muzzle blast of your rifle or the one on the next bench.  

Hope that helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2009 at 00:33
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 I will be looking at another smaller caliber rifle after the first of the year...243 like Ed mentioned, 25-06 or 7-08. Im looking to shoot any and all these calibers before I buy another rifle though. I was told when I bought the 270wsm it had a little less recoil than a standard 270 which is what I was used to. Its my own fault for believing him and not looking further into it...Plus pride plays a big part in letting go of things you used to be able to do but cannot any longer... Its all one day at a time..

Ive been using all the ear protection I can ever since I started shooting again like what was suggested. I had not considered a ball cap but that does make sense, Thanks Steelbenz, I will try the slimline brand as the ones I have are not what I would call slim line at all. Im not familiar with snap caps but I will look into using some........ I have talked with the Dr's and you are right Ron, 2 out of 3 are not shooters but they all gave me the ok. I still do not trust there opinions entirely though, thats why I want to go to a smaller caliber of rifle. At least for a while and see how it goes.  Last week I did pretty well shooting, then this week it changed and Im not sure why the flinch got that much worse.... Its funny though mentioning the Lead Sled as I did buy one today, I may take it back though and get the newer stronger model as its supposed to be more accurate according to what I read online......It sounds like I will have plenty to keep me busy..Thanks for all the info guys!Smile
JF........
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2009 at 06:17
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Julio when all else fails to cure your flinching problems try the following;
 
Take a picture of your mother-in-law early in the morning after she has just gotten up.
If she is unavailable you can use your wife for the picture instead, as she eventually turns into her mother anyway.
 
Just keep the picture in your top pocket.  Pull it out several times a day and stare at it intensely!  When you can do that without flinching and shuddering you'll be cured for life!
 
ps   Is also a great dietary aid for weightloss!  Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2009 at 09:31
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Originally posted by JF4545 JF4545 wrote:

 I will be looking at another smaller caliber rifle after the first of the year...243 like Ed mentioned, 25-06 or 7-08. Im looking to shoot any and all these calibers before I buy another rifle though. I was told when I bought the 270wsm it had a little less recoil than a standard 270 which is what I was used to. Its my own fault for believing him and not looking further into it...Plus pride plays a big part in letting go of things you used to be able to do but cannot any longer... Its all one day at a time..

Ive been using all the ear protection I can ever since I started shooting again like what was suggested. I had not considered a ball cap but that does make sense, Thanks Steelbenz, I will try the slimline brand as the ones I have are not what I would call slim line at all. Im not familiar with snap caps but I will look into using some........ I have talked with the Dr's and you are right Ron, 2 out of 3 are not shooters but they all gave me the ok. I still do not trust there opinions entirely though, thats why I want to go to a smaller caliber of rifle. At least for a while and see how it goes.  Last week I did pretty well shooting, then this week it changed and Im not sure why the flinch got that much worse.... Its funny though mentioning the Lead Sled as I did buy one today, I may take it back though and get the newer stronger model as its supposed to be more accurate according to what I read online......It sounds like I will have plenty to keep me busy..Thanks for all the info guys!Smile
JF........
Julio,
 I love hunting with the .458's, but I hunted for quite some time with a Browning BAR .243.  I did have one deer go about 7 yards before hitting the ground, once.  One of my daughters had one go about 10 yards.  Shot placement and understanding effective range will eliminate any potential for "under power".   .243 is a fantastic round for deer hunting and elk.  I had a friend in Kalifornia who went elk hunting every year and he had never fired anything BUT a .243.  His dad got him one to start hunting and he never saw the need for anything else.  I think it is pretty darned "manly" to have enough confidence in your shooting that you know you don't need a big bore to hunt with. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/31/2009 at 09:50
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I say buy yourself a rifle in .223 and beat your flinch with that.  It will still give you the muzzle blast of a centerfire rifle which is important and you cannot get that with a .22.  Not much recoil but enough to let you know the gun has went off. 

I have been fighting a flinch for years as well from getting hurt with a gun when I was a kid.  To beat it I had to sit and tell myself over and over as i built pressure on the trigger (press, press, press, press, press, press) just slowly letting it build up until it breaks.  That way you are consiously concentrating on your trigger press itself and have taken your focus off the recoil.  Eventually (for me at least) the slow building of pressure has become second nature and my flinch is virtually gone.  It still creeps in once and a while, but if it does I just slow down and once again tell myself press, press, press, press, until it breaks.

Once you have got a handle on your flinch I would get a .260 and call it a day.  It will allow you to shoot a 40 grain heavier bullet than the .243 (140 vs. 100) which will help a lot with the elk.  While still being very mild in the recoil department.  Although I am also a believer in the .243 being elk capable as I have done it myself several times as has my dad.  But the 260 would be much better. 

Nothing is wrong with shooting a mild recoil gun.  Some people are just not built like Kickboxer and able to handle the recoil.  I can deal with it to an extent, but would much prefer to shoot short action calibers of mild recoil.  They accomplish everything I need power wise and are a joy to shoot.   

Edited by supertool73 - August/31/2009 at 09:51
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