Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

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Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:06 pm

Beeser echoed one of my frustrations in this thread (http://www.bullseyeforum.net/t3276-road-to-unfrustration-getting-rid-of-anticipation) which appears to have died.

My punching the gun in anticipation of recoil does appear to be related to the level of recoil. Never happens any more with the .22 and is pretty rare with the light .38s.  The mental part of the game plus the crisp revolver trigger makes it a bit easier for me--old-school hammer cocking occupies my brain so much that the revolver seems to go off by itself as soon as the dot settles in the black. Just need more time with that one to reduce the wobble...dot dances all over the place, much worse than with the .45.

With the .45, I sometimes twitch a flinch during the trigger squeeze, which is not really a problem SF but in TF most of the time and especially in RF can lead to Chicken Finger as I try to avoid the flinch by squeezing too slowly for the circumstances.

I can't do ball and dummy myself because I know when it's a dummy. The exception is a random full-size dummy I blindly load into the magazine.

I'm just wondering what other drills are out there to un-learn the flinch. The .45 trigger is almost a roll but really is just a little creep with a bit harder just before the release. the .22 is crisp and really light, and the revolver is also crisp and not quite as light. But since I want to keep the .45 legal for CMP stuff someday I'm stuck with that 4.5 or so pound pull, which my brain just doesn't seem to get along with.

So, how many "rounds" dry-fire, how many dummies in a magazine, and how to work all this in with the 1-shot and 2-shot drills for TF & RF?  I have a tendency to take way too long for the first shot anyway...

I have hung around over at the Brian Enos site off and on over the years, and it seems that their approach for that big A-Zone is to do targetless magazine dumps to train the brain that it's just trigger and bounce the gun back into the NPA position. Seems like excessively ammo-intensive, and NOT suitable for my TF and RF shot process.  I stopped almost all of the SF flinch by mentally "welcoming" the recoil pulse and thinking follow-through with the trigger back...

Is there some secret like singing Patsy Cline songs in my head to establish the shot cadence and keep my mind off of the trigger????

It sucks to drop 3 points on the first 5 rounds, then throw a pair of 7s and a pair of 8s on the next string!

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by TexasShooter on Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:13 pm

I would love to hear some answers to this one. The Patsy Cline idea isn't all bad...at least I would get some great music while scattering shots all over the target.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by dronning on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:43 pm

I'd forgotten this, when I was a subjunior/Junior trap shooter I use to hum to myself to keep my rhythm and my focus. I also shot barefoot.

- Dave
Tommy James and the Shondells - Hanky Panky (I knew someone would ask)

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Rob Kovach on Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:52 pm

The Pixies "where's my mind" has been part of my shot process in slowfire in the past.  I need to change my "action phrase" frequently otherwise it loses it's effect of keeping my brain from analyzing stuff.  "Analyze stuff" isn't part of my shot process so I need an "action phrase" to override any incorrect thoughts.
"Stay right here" is my current action phrase for the short line.  "right here" is where the front sight post is.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by kwixdraw on Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:31 am

I use "Waltz Time" as part of the coaching I have done with our department shooters...Bang, two, three. Bang, two, three. It really seems to help with folks that have not immersed themselves in precision shooting and lack a lot of technique or process so YMMV.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by BE Mike on Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:44 am

Switch to a hardball gun with hardball. Train for rapid fire with it. Do this for a couple of months (even in matches). When you go back to the wad gun, you'll think that you are shooting the .22. When you go back to the .22, you'll think that it is an air pistol.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:23 am

Thanks!

Any thoughts on the Zen NONverbal mental processes element??? I attained that for a while with smallbore rifle standing position years ago... Then in highpower I heard about a guy whose offhand process involved isometric tension and a chant of something like "hard with the right hand, soft with the left hand, front sight, front sight, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze". Forgot to ask the storyteller if that shooter had made High Master yet... Definitely not non-verbal.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Jack H on Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:42 am

I think any mantra used must be simple like one or two words that "trigger" the subconscious back on track, but is prominent enough to crowd out other thoughts.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:52 pm

I mentioned this in another thread.  Some of the 1911 airsoft guns are very similar to a real 1911.  One of the shooters that I hang out with rigged up a plug for the barrel and dryfires with the airsoft gun.  Because the barrel is capped, the slide cycles and you get recoil between shots.  He plays his commands on his phone into headphones, and since there is recoil and recovery you eventually condition yourself to expect airsoft recoil.

Any thoughts on the Zen NONverbal mental processes element??? 
Don't underestimate how important this mental step is.  For shooters with active minds, it is extremely important.

NO STINKIN' THINKIN'!

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:35 pm

You mean we don' need no steenkin' theenkin'?

I shall try to act like Federales...oh yeah, those wuz bandits...

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by JayhawkNavy02 on Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:05 pm

BE Mike wrote:Switch to a hardball gun with hardball. Train for rapid fire with it. Do this for a couple of months (even in matches). When you go back to the wad gun, you'll think that you are shooting the .22. When you go back to the .22, you'll think that it is an air pistol.

Working on my DP, and all I do is shoot hardball out of my service pistol in preparation for the EIC matches.  When I see the wad guns next to me I think it sounds like a squib....lol.  My RF/TF has gone way up (nothing special still), but I'm still working on my SF and my rhythm which can get out of sorts.  I think the waltz idea is great, I need to try that.

As always the BE forum is terrific!

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Motorcycle_dan on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:12 am

Ball and dummy can be self inflicted.  Use two magazines.  Load one with 3 dummy the other with two.  Random location.  Mix the mags.  Now you don't know which one is where.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Motorcycle_dan on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:21 am

Partner cycle.  If you have someone who is working on their own marksmanship goals this is wonderful practice.  Shooter takes stance and aims at appropriate sized target pointed in a safe direction.  Magazine out chamber empty.  Partner calls the range commands as if in match.  When shooter squeezes trigger partner standing beside shooter grabs and cycles the slide.  That is almost the exact same force you get in recoil.  Do this for 5 shot strings and then switch.  Partner not only cycles but also watches your trigger squeeze technique for jerk and anticipation.  Shooter "Calls the Shot" with each hammer drop.  Learn to call where it was after hammer fell. NOT  before when you started your squeeze.  Which direction did the sight go as you squeezed.  Think of the front/rear sight as a big bold letter "E" laying on it's back.  Your goal is to perfect that "E" as you squeeze.  Do not accept close.  Even if it is near perfect call the sight.  Slight right and slight down.  Your call is 5:00 close.  This will help BOTH shooters and is very valuable training.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Motorcycle_dan on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:27 am

Video record yourself while shooting sustained fire.  Record your body position, how your stance is formed and maintained through the string.

Video record your face while shooting sustained fire.  Are you squinting or worse (like I was doing) closing your eyes.  I was calling where the sights were before finishing my squeeze.  The reality was my eyes were closed at the moment of ignition because I was anticipating the shot.  Where was the sights?  How the hell would I know, my eyes were closed.  (This was a major breakthrough for me)

I started wearing safety glasses with side shields.  I didn't get that concussive puff of air and the urge to blink and anticipate was overcome.  Then I made master....

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Motorcycle_dan on Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:29 am

Grumpy old man, where are you located.  I could show you several of these tricks and I made up a batch of dummy .45 you are welcome to a couple of them.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by jmdavis on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:25 am

I am pretty new to Bullseye. But, I have been shooting and coaching rifle for a few years. One thing I always warn about is shooting to a cadence rather than to sight conditions. I have seen otherwise good shooters go automatic and screw things up.

No matter what your rhythm, you have to have sight alignment and be in your aiming area.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:15 pm

I agree with jmdavis that any shooter that doesn't shoot 100s regularly in sustained fire should NOT be training to maintain a cadence.  It's such a hard "habit" to break.  I would much rather shoot 4 good shots and have the target edge on me than shoot 5 eights or nines in a cadence.

Dan wrote:Ball and dummy can be self inflicted.  Use two magazines.  Load one with 3 dummy the other with two.  Random location.  Mix the mags.  Now you don't know which one is where
Oh heck yes...this is brilliant.  I'm using this.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by KenO on Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:28 pm

I have done the "ball and dummy" lots, but think its useless. Its good for finding out if you are anticipating or flinching, but it doesn't cure it by any means. There has to be another "head game" to try and fix it, like distracting, or convincing yourself you have a dummy round in the chamber and you are dry firing.

If you want to go down that road, put and equal amount of ball and dummy rounds in a coffee can, shake it up, and load the mag without looking at the primers. When You shoot and its a dummy, it goes back into the can, if its live, than add a ball in the can for the next mag.

If I was having the problem of flinching/anticipating, as long as I knew a live round was possible, I would still react the same. I would watch the sights move on the dummy, and think "yep, still doing it".

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:34 pm

Check out the bullseye group on Facebook.  On R Dan Pauly's most recent post, my friend Robert Parker posted this:

There are two different kinds of focus…. what your eyes see… and what your mind sees…. and they are not always the same. Ever drive down the road, relaxed, and then realize that you don't remember the last 5 minutes…. you're mind was drifting to other thoughts… but you were still able to function..? When you 'look' at the sights… what are you thinking..? You have to focus on two different things… sight alignment and point of aim… right..? WRONG. Like Brian says… you should be focusing on smooth trigger movement, into a very firm grip….body (your core) ready to 'accept' recoil and prepared to return to your NPA (natural point of aim) without extra effort. 
When all this is happening…. what are your eyes seeing…. ? Probably looking out over your sights… and mentally losing 'focus' on a solid grip and trying to control those things you can control, i.e., where the shot went…… to reference Brian; then your shot process was not followed…. or, your shot process sucks. You have to have confidence in your ability to execute the fundamentals of marksmanship… (work your plan).. How do you gain that confidence.? Focus on each part one at a time. then two… at the same time… etc., for example. While at the range, get into your stance, then position yourself for what you think is your NPA. Dry fire a time or two to confirm; then prepare to shoot one shot (25yd) and as trigger pressure is begining…. close your eyes, but continue trigger pressure. A shot will be fired… but let's not talk about that just yet. When you 'shut down' one of your senses, in this case your sight, this will help you 'focus' your mind on those things you can control: grip, a solid position, a firm and steady but not rigid stance, and, of course, trigger control. Shoot another one, just as before. You will notice that your mental awareness (your mental focus) is heightened and you can remember more vividly the memory of your grip, position, stance, and of course trigger movement, follow through, and recovery.
Do this drill often; every time you shoot. Your strength and awareness of 'mental focus' will increase.. and subsequently your confidence… And when that happens, you will be able to shoot a ten with your eyes closed. But be careful…. when you actually do this to shoot a ten, old habits will insert themselves into your 'plan' and you will be greatly tempted to 'backslide'. Practice to strength your discipline to 'follow your plan' (all with your eyes closed)…. soon, very soon, you will grow so confident that you will hunger to shoot a ten with your eyes open. But not yet; you can open your eyes… just enough to let a very little light in…… adding a new sensory perception will challenge you to remain on your 'plan'. Be ready for this. If your 'mental focus' gets weaker during this 'phase' then get determined and go back to eyes closed and 'feel' what you are doing…. mentally focus on it so strongly that it becomes a part of you. When ready, try again. As your strength of confidence builds… so can the opening of your eyes… just a little at a time……… build on this process……. and soon, you will be able to shoot 10s with your eyes open or closed. What your mind sees is what you will do…… what your eyes see is what your mind wants to focus on….. but work your plan. Only see enough to 'get the job done'.. 
Remember this statement.? "There are two different kinds of focus…. what your eyes see… and what your mind sees…. and they are not always the same. Ever drive down the road, relaxed, and then realize that you don't remember the last 5 minutes…. you're mind was drifting to other thoughts… but you were still able to function..? 
When you have trained your mind to focus on the fundamentals; your plan…. then your subconscious has also been trained… and the next point of achievement will be: Just like Bruce Lee …. and I quote:
"I don't hit, it hits all by itself" Your conscience can 'relax' while your subconscious 'drives the car..' When you have achieved this level of execution… your confidence will be solid as a rock.. just don't get sloppy or cocky…. you are just one 'weak' moment away from disaster. But stay strong in your plan, have confidence in your plan, then just work the plan….



and he followed that with:


  •  that's cool. I teach somewhat the same thing….. when dry firing, indoors, stand as such that your muzzle is about 6 inches from a blank wall. Then begin to dry fire; keeping all your energies and thoughts on the fundamentals. This will cause you to stay focused on what you can control; so next time you go to the range…. just 'take the wall' with you…...
    10 hrs · Edited · Unlike · 1




  • Robert Parker by the way… the wall is just 'there' it is not used for aiming purposes. The intent is for your 'mental focus' to be centered on: position, stance, grip, sight alignment, trigger control.. the five fundamentals.


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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by kwixdraw on Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:25 pm

I recognize that forcing yourself to shoot to a cadence can be as big a problem as the flinchies. Maybe I should have explained more how I use it. We had a good number of shooters who had the movieland impression of what "Rapid Fire" is and treated it as a contest to see how fast they could unload a magazine. They were transitioning from revolvers to autoloaders and being required to shoot a qualifying score within a (fairly generous) time limit. The Waltz Time was a way to get them to quit freaking out over the time limit and realize they had plenty of time to actually aim the shot and make it a good one. Prior to that I would have them shoot single, well executed shots. We would then go to two shots as quickly as the shooter could re-establish sight alignment and shoot another well executed shot. This was how I assisted people who were expected to be combat proficient before they were marksmanship proficient. I operated on the principle that only hits count and you can't miss enough times, fast enough to win the gunfight. Not exactly bullseye but somewhat related to controlling the mental game.


Last edited by kwixdraw on Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar/spelling)

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by jmdavis on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:04 pm

Yep, that's a whole different ballgame.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by kwixdraw on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:16 pm

It was sort of a way to get them to use BE technique without letting them know it had anything to do with the old pictures they would see in the hallway of "Obsolete" training from decades past. Pictures of officers shooting BE style matches. Ten seconds is still ten seconds and an X is still an X.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by GrumpyOldMan on Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:59 pm

Dan, I'm way out in the desert.

And I have almost a dozen dummies floating around I'm not using. Cast-offs from various reloading mishaps...

I must also confess that I'm pretty light on the dry-fire right now. Thus my interest in specific drills to work on this.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by bdutton on Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:59 pm

Try shooting the timed/rapid fire from a rested position.  You can use your gun box to rest your arm while you shoot timed/rapid.  Since you don't have to worry about recovery as much, you can put more focus on the sight alignment and trigger control.  Once you get a good 'feel' for it, then try it without the rest.

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

Post by Colt711 on Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:57 am

Shoot the back side of the target, or use the 50 yd SF for T & R practice. I have used mostly the 1st method when helping someone new to shooting. The large black method should be used sparingly as transitioning to the smaller blk doesn't work well for some.

I find I must start trigger pressure just as the pistol/sight returns to the black and finishing just as it settles.

Something to try.

Ron Habegger

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Re: Recoil Jerkie-itis Drills/Recommendations?

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