How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

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How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by zanemoseley on 7/11/2015, 9:28 pm

I took on bullseye shooting this spring, I currently have a Les Baer Concept III and S&W 41. I have also taken up 10m air pistol to practice and have a regulation range in my basement. My .22 and AP shooting is decent but when I switch over to my .45 I seem to shoot ok at first but quickly degrade. I'm LH'ed and quickly start shooting low and right which if I understand would indicate a flinch anticipating recoil. I don't feel like I'm flinching but the proof is in the pudding. Any recommendations on how I can drop this nasty performance robbing flinch?? I've begun to dry fire and it seems to help slightly but once I start shooting the recoil starts getting into my head. I'm shooting 200 grain H&G 68 style SWC bullets with 3.9 grains of Bullseye, 15 lb Wolff variable recoil spring. I have a match next weekend, this will be my second, I'm participating mainly for the experience because the other guys run circles around me, last match I only shot about an 1830.

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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by Wobbley on 7/11/2015, 9:53 pm

Shoot the lightest bullet and load combo that will function the gun.  Adding a dot on the slide will reduce the slide velocity which will reduce to the impulse in your hand when the slide bottoms..
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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by jmdavis on 7/11/2015, 10:27 pm

Are you sure it is a flinch and not a loss of sight alignment during the string, perhaps coming from bad recoil recovery.
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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/11/2015, 10:49 pm

It sounds to me like you are jerk in the trigger.

Your .22 and air pistol likely have much lighter triggers and you need to dryfire more to keep the sights from moving when the hammer falls.

Can you weigh the trigger on your. 45 and let us know? It should be over 3.5 lbs but not much more than 4lbs
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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by LenV on 7/11/2015, 11:14 pm

Might be time to have a friend help you with a little ball and dummy training. I think that is one of the best training aids for new shooters. In case your not familiar with the term. You have a friend load the pistol(or magazine) for you and load it either with a live round (ball) or a not live round (dummy). When you fire the live round it goes off like you expect it to. But when you pull the trigger on a dummy round you will find out a lot about yourself and whether your jerking the trigger, flinching or pushing into the recoil. Dropping the trigger on a dud should be just like dry firing with no movement of the pistol. However I have seen new shooters do everything imaginable when the hammer falls and the pistol fails to fire. Remember for this exercise to work the shooter can never know before hand if there is a live round or a dummy in the barrel.

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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by Toz35m on 7/12/2015, 10:22 am

I have had the same issue and still see the results of a flinch but my shots end up on the repair center now most of the time. 

You can do the ball and dummy alone.  Take your good ammo and put it in a bowl or bag.  Then take some dummy rounds you will need to load up.  Take a spent case and add a bullet but no powder and leave the spent primer.  You will have to not look at the rounds you load in your mag so you do not see the dimple in the primer.  Load 5 rounds and shoot.  

Given where you are at I would spend time practicing slow fire at 25 yds on the 25 yd timed/rapid target. Do this until you can shoot 10 10's on 2 targets in a row.  This will give you the confidence you need so you know you can shoot a perfect score on that target.  The rest is about timing.  Keeping the trigger moving OR constant increasing pressure so when the sights are aligned on the target the gun goes bang at the correct time.  You also do not want to feel rushed.  At first you may feel a little anxiety about trying to get all 5 shots off.  It would be better to get 3-4 10's or 60-80 points than a few missing and some 5, 6, and 7's and get a lower score.  Plus you save some ammo.  In the next match do not try and shoot all 5 rounds try and get as many 10's as you can.  What a better way to practice.  Someone is calling range commands there are turning targets.  It does not matter what your score is.  I would have done this had a thought about it when I started out.  I would count your 10's from the match and track that as you get better.

Another exercise that is very good is 2, 3, and 4 shot drills.  The way I do this is load up 6 rounds in the mag.  Listen to range commands for 20s or 10s string and then shoot 2 shots (10's) and repeat.  Repeat when you are tired of shooting 10s every string then move to 3 shot drills and then 4.  Loading 6 round is convenient for the 2 and 3 shot drills to me.
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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by zanemoseley on 7/12/2015, 7:34 pm

Thanks for all the comments. The problem exists in all shots not just rapid fire. My 1911 has about a 4 pound trigger where the .22 and AP are close to 2 pounds, this doesn't help anything.

The ball and dummy training sounds awesome, I'll start that asap.

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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by Virgil Kane on 7/12/2015, 7:52 pm

Are you closing your eyes when the gun goes off?  When I started shooting the 45 I would close my eyes a split second before the gun went off when the trigger broke. Once I realized what I was doing I made an effort to keep my eyes open through the shot process. It amazes me how much a red dot can drift off target when I closed my eyes and just as amazing was the fact that when I kept them open I could call my shots (which I thought I was doing all along but really wasn't) and see the empty case fly out of the gun along with muzzle flash when shooting indoors.

Just another suggestion.


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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/13/2015, 4:54 pm

Also as effective as ball-and-dummy is training with a .22 conversion on your 4lb trigger lower.
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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by SmokinNJokin on 8/5/2015, 10:51 pm

I have found that dry-firing at least 3-4 as much with the 45 versus live fire keeps my flinch under control. I went and entire month of only dry fire (not by choice) and it helped a lot. To this day, my 45 scores with a 4lb trigger are always better than my 22 scores.

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Post by Ed Hall on 8/6/2015, 9:08 am

I didn't see anyone mention follow through.  Add that into your mix...

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Re: How to conquer my .45 flinch its driving me crazy.

Post by james r chapman on 8/6/2015, 11:30 am

I always have excellent follow through when dry firing..

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