Recoil Control

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Recoil Control

Post by Soupy44 on Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:55 pm

I'm struggling to understand how recoil control works in bullseye.  I've shot smallbore and air rifle up until I started bullseye last fall.  In smallbore the weight of the gun reduced much of the recoil, but what does happen, we let happen and just try to make it consistent.  We also train to remove as much muscle tension as possible.

Enter bullseye.  I've accepted I can't remove all muscle tension and will have to grip the gun more than I gripped my rifles/  Breaking my wrist is my major issue at the moment.  Early in the match it creates vertical stringing, later in the match as I fatigue, shots go everywhere.  Perfect example is a NMC this weekend: 87-1 SF (with a 6 low left and a 7 high left), 95-1 TF, 72-1 RF (2M high right and a 6 out the right).  I was pleased with the holds and trigger squeezes on those no so good shots, very much not pleased with what happened after that with the sights.  I'm not the greatest as calling my pistol shots yet, especially the not so nice ones, but all of these shots were on call-ish at least.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Re: Recoil Control

Post by BE Mike on Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:10 pm

A Dyna Flex Power Ball is a great piece of equipment to strengthen the wrist and arm. Tight grip = tight group in bullseye pistol shooting. The better your hand, wrist, arm and shoulder are toned, the better and longer you will be able to control the pistol. One mistake some people make with sustained fire is to wait until the sights are perfect and then commence trigger squeeze. This results in poor shots. Read up on sustained fire technique and train for it. It'll come.
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Chris Miceli on Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:14 pm

Keep the trigger moving, don't wait for everything to be perfect before you squeeze and don't start and stop the trigger squeeze. Also learn to put the gun down in slowfire and start over. These two things are where I struggle
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by CR10X on Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:25 pm

Sorry for the additional post.  I would recommend you talk with a couple of shooters at the next match.  I don't want to use his name without permission, but at the last match was a outstanding shooter with previous military team time about 2 positions from you that has some very good advise on shooting positions and sustained fire.  As a matter of fact, we were having a brief discussion about some of those issues during the match (position for standard / sport pistol / free pistol versus bullseye, similarities / differences). 

Basically, there are about 4 things to address - grip, position, trigger control and actively driving the gun back to the target.  If you have a consistent grip and good position; it doesn't matter where the gun winds up in recoil, as long as the trigger control is consistent, starts on the way back into the black and we're actively driving the gun back to the center hold area.  We don't really "control" recoil as much as set ourselves up to direct it into as much of the body mass as possible (getting a position as comfortable as possible "behind" the gun (a much mass as we can in parallel with the line of sight), without inducing neck / shoulder / arm / torso stress that makes the position uncomfortable or introduces additional tremors, stress, etc.  

As shooters progress, gain strength and mobility in the shooting position, they will generally be able to move the position more and more in line with the recoil.  Some people can shoot great with a almost square to the line of sight, some get to about 45 degrees and stay there, some get between 45 and almost parallel to line of sight, etc.  Most of the best .45 sustained fire shooters I've seen are pretty well behind the gun and absorbing the recoil almost directly back into the mass (between 45 and almost completely parallel to line of sight).   

(Now I'm not the best short line shooter, but the guy I mentioned or Grayson Palmer can really give you some good pointers if you can catch them at a match.) 

CR

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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Soupy44 on Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:17 am

I'll work on my wrist and arm strength. I coach/teach tennis full time so I have a nice workout every day for my dominant arm, at least when I'm not playing lefty against the younger kids. Unlimited supply of squeeze balls!

I am probably more prone to rejecting a shot/hold than most newbies to the sport. I am pretty regularly rejecting a shot or two in TF, and have realized that's not really an option in RF.

I saw the shooter you are talking about Cecil, had some really impressive targets in 22 that caught my eye. I had a good day that day through SF in the 45 900 (still shooting 22, but had 91 and 92 at 50y) and my middle 900 was a PR for me both in score and number of plasters used (my little way of reducing my number of wild shots). I'll try to track him down the next time I see him.

Thanks everyone!

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Re: Recoil Control

Post by sixftunda on Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:52 am

John Zurek recommends push ups on your fists.  Just ten push ups.  Roll out of bed onto the floor and get it over with every morning.  No need to try to do 50.  Just do ten every morning.  It has made a difference for me.

Driving the gun back to the target is something that your eye is involved in as much as your arm.  Pick up the dot/front sight with your eye as it comes back down to the target.  If you wait until the dot/front sight is in the black then you have lost precious time.
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Soupy44 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:57 am

Is making the path of the gun's recoil on the way up something you all focus on?  I've had a number of people mention a good trigger squeeze repeatedly, and many people have mentioned driving the gun back down to the target.  In my discussions, I haven't head anything about the path of the muzzle on it's way up after you go bang.  That was incredibly important and highly stressed in smallbore (I know we don't have TF and RF).  Is it not the same in pistol?

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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Chris Miceli on Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:00 am

Soupy44 wrote:Is making the path of the gun's recoil on the way up something you all focus on?  I've had a number of people mention a good trigger squeeze repeatedly, and many people have mentioned driving the gun back down to the target.  In my discussions, I haven't head anything about the path of the muzzle on it's way up after you go bang.  That was incredibly important and highly stressed in smallbore (I know we don't have TF and RF).  Is it not the same in pistol?
I'm a lefty it recoils up and to the right, just a little bit out of the black
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Wobbley on Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:33 am

A lot of recoil control is in the grip.  Grip your pistol like firmly enough to elf lock the wrist.
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Jon Eulette on Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:35 am

I had to give this one some thought. I never think about recoil with the exception of I believe you have to work harder on the short line using 50 yd ammo for the shortline. I believe I just let the pistol recoil and I recover for the following shots. I've never really trained for it but just accepted it. So I spend 99% of my training/shooting working on the fundamentals and 1% of my time (now) thinking about recoil. I believe proper stance and grip take care of the recoil. You just need to be consistent. I know some shooters have a deliberate get back on the target for the next shot. I've never done that. I think the more you shoot the easier it is to just accept the recoil and shoot; you get used to it. So here's my reality check for recoil vs. fundamentals. Are you shooting high 880's & 890's with the .22? If not you have some fundamentals to work on. So basically if you're not shooting .22 exceptionally well then I wouldn't expect you to shoot 45 well. So back to recoil......grip and stance should conyribute positively to recoil control.
Jon
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Jack H on Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:28 am

An analogy.  A car suspension is engineered (we assume) to handle bumps and potholes in the road.  Recoil is like a bump in the road.  Your process is flowing along in cruise and you hit the recoil bump.  Your linkage, springs, and shock absorbers just like muscles, bones, ligaments handle the recoil and return you to smoothe flow of align, sight, and trigger.  This is only if you engineer your own grip, position, stance, strengths, to best absorb the pothole.  Note the car does not think.  So your mental side on this must be at best a subconscious subroutine. 

I know this sounds kind of stupid.  But if you think outside your pistol box for a bit.....I'll go away and hide now.
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by robert84010 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:49 am

Jon Eulette wrote:I had to give this one some thought. I never think about recoil with the exception of I believe you have to work harder on the short line using 50 yd ammo for the shortline. I believe I just let the pistol recoil and I recover for the following shots. I've never really trained for it but just accepted it. So I spend 99% of my training/shooting working on the fundamentals and 1% of my time (now) thinking about recoil. I believe proper stance and grip take care of the recoil. You just need to be consistent. I know some shooters have a deliberate get back on the target for the next shot. I've never done that. I think the more you shoot the easier it is to just accept the recoil and shoot; you get used to it. So here's my reality check for recoil vs. fundamentals. Are you shooting high 880's & 890's with the .22? If not you have some fundamentals to work on. So basically if you're not shooting .22 exceptionally well then I wouldn't expect you to shoot 45 well. So back to recoil......grip and stance should conyribute positively to recoil control.
Jon
it's a shame many people will overlook this posting. They are too busy weighing brass or bullets or the ultimate rabbit hole, proving cracked brass shoots just as well as good brass. The last couple of sentences really sums up the reality of pistol shooting, do you shoot .22 well? if not, then concentrate on fundamentals and stop chasing the stuff that only matters if you are shooting benchrest rifle.

I'm only an expert so nobody listens to me but I know that I am an expert still because I don't practice, not because my brass has dirty primer pockets or some other perceived problem with ammo. big difference.

Thanks Jon, and also John, Ed, Cecil and a couple others i'm forgetting, for telling "the secrets"

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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Soupy44 on Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:38 pm

Thank you for the feedback. I've been approaching BE the same way I teach Juniors smallbore: beginners take almost every shot and learn the connection between what they see and where the shot goes and get a strong handle on shot calling, intermediate shooters start focusing on distinguishing between good and bad and will tend to reject the most shots in a effort to train themselves to only take good shots, finally advanced shooters train to do everything right the first time. There are positional and proceeded parts in those steps such as shot plan, position, etc, of course.

My general shot plan is as follows:

- Set feet just short of perpendicular to firing line, check balance
- Reiterate stage to be shot
- "Load" - load, chamber, set grip, thumb web up in top of grip, meaty part firmly behind grip, fingers wrapped around and applying steady pressure, some emphasis on fingers applying pressure on front of grip towards back of grip
- "Line Ready" - deep breath, calm body, check balance, imagine first shot
- "On the right" - deep breath, confirm grip pressure, imagine another shot, eyes up looking at target
- "On the left" - raise pistol through Target or black, once black is blocked out by pistol focus on front sight, come down on target and apply "first stage" trigger pressure (usually finish all this at "line is ready")
- Targets appear
- Trigger pressure increases as hold settles, goal to break shot in the center of my hold
- Shot breaks, mental image taken of sight alignment, watch recoil to call shot in SF, classify as well executed or not in TF and RF
- SF settle back on target for a few seconds, rest pistol, go back to appropriate step above, rinse and repeat
- TF and RF - release trigger at top of follow through, let gun start dropping back on target (not driving it down at the moment) while reapplying "first stage" trigger pressure, return to hold step above, rinse and repeat

So that shot plan probably screams smallbore shooter, but after 25 years, two distinguished badges, some national records, shooting in college, and coaching Juniors for 15 years, it's kind of engrained.

The grip I mentioned is only what I currently am doing for consistency and is evolving as I go. I have more notes on it at home. My SF shot calling is no where near the level I want it to be (value and clock direction correct every time), but I'm getting better. TF and RF I'm pretty good at distinguishing good from bad, and more often than not I have more good shots against call then bad shots against call.

It's that part I struggle with since I'm not really pleased with 10s and X's I call elsewhere, and and I'm more please with 7-9s that I do call since I see the connection between shot execution and result. I've heard so many people mention trigger control and grip, but not many at all mention where the recoil goes and looks like. My last match I had numerous shots with poor recoils in my opinion that were good shots on paper. That has we wondering if I'm focusing on something that simply isn't important. I've seen something similar when I shoot service rifle standing. It's very different (boardering on easier) than shooting smallbore or air standing.

Really put myself out there in this post. Blast holes in it please!

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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Jon Eulette on Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:58 pm

Recoil.......you have to know what a 10 looks like and what a10 feels like!
When I fire a shot that looked like a 10 but didn't feel like a 10 I know it before I even lowered the pistol.
From experience I can call the shot location and scoring ring. You have to know what a good shot is to replicate it. If you can't call your shots you need to learn how to. It's more than just seeing the red dot go screaming out of the 10 ring to somewhere in the 8 o'clock direction:p) because you jerked the trigger. BE shooting requires finesse and precise articulate movements. From these we can call our shots. Otherwise how do you know what to correct when not shooting 10's?
Jon
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Re: Recoil Control

Post by Ghillieman on Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:05 pm

Different shooting disciplines have different focus points.

When I shot smallbore I knew I was really in tune when my sights made just a small blip under recoil, straight up, straight down, centered on the bull.

NRA Precision Pistol focus is mainly proper trigger control, a confidant squeeze straight back that doesn't steer the sights. Accept your wobble and squeeze the trigger.
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