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Stance, grip, and recoil recovery

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Ed Hall
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Stance, grip, and recoil recovery Empty Stance, grip, and recoil recovery

Post by Stork 2/20/2020, 9:43 pm

I've shot less than 500 rounds through my 45 and my arm, wrist, and shoulder are about as sturdy as a wet noodle. I can shoot a mid to high 90's 22 RF target while feeling like there's an entire 2 sec between shots, but with the 45 I'm chasing and driving it back on target for what feels like a full 2 sec after every shot. The pistol recoils too far from my aiming area and I mentally fall apart as I rush into poor trigger control and awful sight alignment. It's frustrating since I know I can shoot better. On the positive side, it's highlighted a lack of mental strength, so I'm working on that too. Anyway, how can I recover quicker?

I like dry fire, so let's start there. What can I work on at home? I've recently started gripping the gun much tighter, but that didn't help enough in over all recoil control. Since grip wasn't enough, what muscles should I also be tensing up and focusing on?

Does using a 45 deg vs 90 deg stance to the target matter if I'm only 160lbs? I can feel the recoil in my lower back after 60rds of 45. Not sure if that's a sign I should change my stance or workout more. Or both...

What about strength training? Any specific exercises I can do that will help with controlling the gun during recoil?

Lastly, when shooting during a training session, what drills can I work on? 

Thanks, and I'm hoping with some help and training, my goal to shoot above a 270 with my still very new 45 will be much much more achievable.

Stork

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Post by rburk 2/20/2020, 10:19 pm

I'm new to 45 also, so I am not ready to give advice on stance, grip, etc.  I will say the first thing is load the lightest ammo that will function in your gun.  Make sure it has a 10 to 12 pound recoil spring, then load the lightest ammo that will reliably work the action.

I am using the 160 grain Brazos bullets with 4.4 grains of WST, with a 12 pound spring.  You can also load light loads with 180 grain bullets.

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Post by Stork 2/20/2020, 10:35 pm

Rburk, that's a good point. I'm shooting 3.6 gr of Bullseye behind a 185 gr lswc. Very light recoil, but others have commented that I still look like I'm shooting full power ball.

Stork

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Post by mikemyers 2/20/2020, 10:49 pm

I don't feel qualified to even try to help, but I can suggest you search out the Brian Zins videos, easy to find online, and watch them all, one after another.  

People keep sending me to the "Bullseye Encyclopedia", where there's a LOT to be learned.  

Dave Salyer made me a dry-fire magazine, filled with lead.  After using that for a while, when I removed it, the gun no longer felt so heavy.
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Post by Stork 2/21/2020, 12:03 am

Mike, his videos have been of help in the past, and I should definitely rewatch them. 

I read a lot on the Bullseye Encyclopedia when I started last year. I forgot about it and will look for info there as well.

As for gun weight, I'm not lacking the physical strength to hold the gun. My strength deficiency primarily revolves around how I use the strength I have. I rarely shoot my 9mm and shot my 22 about 3000rds last year, so my whole grip, stance, position, everything is very soft from learning to shoot bullseye with a 22 and almost never shooting anything else one handed.


Last edited by Stork on 2/21/2020, 12:04 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos)

Stork

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Post by Steve B 2/21/2020, 6:41 am

I find by keeping everything from my hand through the shoulder very firm that recoil is minimized and the dot falls back into the black without having to force it.  After a shot do you see the sight(s) coming back down into the black?  Or is it to the left, right or below the target?

Regarding body angle to the target, you need to be angled...  How much?  You have to figure that out.  I'm definitely not part of the camp that promotes Natural Point of Aim with a pistol.  Your ideal body angle is the one the minimizes both horizontal and vertical wobble.

Strength training is VERY beneficial to how your body reacts to recoil.  You should exercise the whole body.  Legs and core are more beneficial than one might think.

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Post by Ed Hall 2/21/2020, 9:54 am

I never really did any strength training other than inclined push-ups (feet raised on a chair or similar).  I got to where I could do around 100 at a time.  I never did figure out one-handed, that some of the other military members did.  I do use a very firm grip which is driven by my forearm, but the rest of my arm is not tensed.

One very important thing to do, is to make sure you are starting the trigger during recovery.  It needs to fire when you get back on target.  If you wait to start the trigger, you'll be way behind and have that sense of urgency.

As to stance, find one that naturally puts you back on target after recoil.  If you are constantly to the right (left), move your back foot to the right (left).

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Post by Stork 2/21/2020, 9:59 am

Steve B wrote:I find by keeping everything from my hand through the shoulder very firm that recoil is minimized and the dot falls back into the black without having to force it.  After a shot do you see the sight(s) coming back down into the black?  Or is it to the left, right or below the target?

When you say your shoulder is firm, what parts are you talking about? And do you have a process you incorporate to do it the same every time? Are you tightening your deltoid and the muscles in your back? What about pulling your shoulder blade into your spine or maybe pulling back and down at the same time? 

I've separated my shoulder in the past, so I'm probably over analyzing this. My right shoulder will never be as stable as my left, but that hasn't affected me until shooting the 45. Now I just need to figure out what muscles to engage to lock it in better.

Stork

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Post by Stork 2/21/2020, 10:15 am

Ed Hall wrote:One very important thing to do, is to make sure you are starting the trigger during recovery.  It needs to fire when you get back on target.  If you wait to start the trigger, you'll be way behind and have that sense of urgency.

As to stance, find one that naturally puts you back on target after recoil.  If you are constantly to the right (left), move your back foot to the right (left).

I'm working on early trigger pressure as well. It's causing a few early shots, and that's messing with my head and causing me to hesitate after the early shot. Much more training time is needed, but I'm glad you pointed it out as I am struggling with this on the heavier trigger

Stork

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Post by Oleg G 2/21/2020, 11:02 am

1. As others have said, keep your arm firm and straight from the shoulder joint to the wrist. Visualize your entire arm as a stiff tree branch (I do this).

2. Your entire arm should rise from recoil in a straight line from the shoulder, and not have an appreciable bend in the elbow or the wrist. Then, the entire arm will return to the firing position in the same straight line. (For a right-handed shooter, the line will angle about 45 degrees to the left).

3. Your stance should be angled to the target. As others have said, you will have to determine the exact angle, which helps to minimize your wobble.

4. When you do live fire training, start with one-shot drills. These are different from Slow Fire: you are executing the first shot of the 5-shot string. Your goal is to execute a single shot and recover. NO TIME LIMIT! Teach yourself to comfortably execute the first shot of the string.

5. Once you have mastered One-Shot drills, move to the 2-shot drill. NO TIME LIMIT! Teach yourself to comfortably execute two first shots on the 5-shot string.

6. When you feel good about firing two shots in sequence with no time pressure, add time limits. Start with Timed fire, and learn to shoot a one-shot drill in 4 secs and a two-shot drill in 8 secs. Then move to rapid fire.

There are NO shortcuts. You need to first ingrain the fundamental control and movements of shooting sustained fire with your .45. The speed can and will come after that.

Regards,
Oleg.
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Post by Aprilian 2/21/2020, 11:11 am

another drill is... 
load a mag
chamber one round
drop the magazine
start the commands - after "load"
fire first shot (live)
fire second shot as a dryfire and see what you learn
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Post by kjanracing 2/21/2020, 1:36 pm

Try a more forward biased lean too. I have more weight on my front foot especially during RF, kind of leaning into the gun. This makes the gun "heavier" and it doesn't recoil up as much, so I'm back on target quicker.  Focus on moving the trigger above all else. If you're around the black and the trigger is moving, it will be a good shot.  It's like I'm turning my brain off with regards to aiming, just focusing on the trigger. It's a beautiful thing when it works.
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Post by Steve B 2/21/2020, 3:02 pm

Ed Hall wrote:I never really did any strength training other than inclined push-ups (feet raised on a chair or similar).  I got to where I could do around 100 at a time.  I never did figure out one-handed, that some of the other military members did.  I do use a very firm grip which is driven by my forearm, but the rest of my arm is not tensed.

One very important thing to do, is to make sure you are starting the trigger during recovery.  It needs to fire when you get back on target.  If you wait to start the trigger, you'll be way behind and have that sense of urgency.

As to stance, find one that naturally puts you back on target after recoil.  If you are constantly to the right (left), move your back foot to the right (left).

100 push ups at a time?  Wow!!  My normal routine is 4 sets of 30.

Great comment on starting the trigger prior to being back on target...  I'm not sure what style you prefer but I find this is really beneficial with a smooth, long roll.

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Post by Steve B 2/21/2020, 3:12 pm

Stork wrote:
Steve B wrote:I find by keeping everything from my hand through the shoulder very firm that recoil is minimized and the dot falls back into the black without having to force it.  After a shot do you see the sight(s) coming back down into the black?  Or is it to the left, right or below the target?

When you say your shoulder is firm, what parts are you talking about? And do you have a process you incorporate to do it the same every time? Are you tightening your deltoid and the muscles in your back? What about pulling your shoulder blade into your spine or maybe pulling back and down at the same time? 

I've separated my shoulder in the past, so I'm probably over analyzing this. My right shoulder will never be as stable as my left, but that hasn't affected me until shooting the 45. Now I just need to figure out what muscles to engage to lock it in better.
Basically from the deltoids down to the gun.  Keeping my elbow and wrist very firm helps the gun re-center on subsequent shots.

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Post by Stork 2/21/2020, 5:31 pm

100 pushups at a time is crazy. Even while in the Marines I could not do that. I was more of the 15 mi run type. Always been long and lanky, so running was way easier than pushups.

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Post by Stork 2/21/2020, 7:05 pm

This topic has some good posts from Jon Eulette about keeping your shoulder blade down and against your ribs.

 https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t9696-shoulder-effect

I haven't heard anything like that before, but I might as well try it. 

Also, once again the search bar is our friend. I'm posting in my phone, so hopefully that link works.

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Post by DA/SA 2/21/2020, 8:39 pm

Yep, started shooting about a year ago and wanted to try to get started properly so after a couple months I searched around and found a coach, an Olympic level ISSF coach that shot Bullseye. Met up with him and first thing was to address stance and position. He hooked me up to a SCATT (Coach was from Turkmenistan) and had me try different stances to show me the effect they had on stability/wobblre and why. Then he had me tuck the scapula against the ribs, lower the shoulder, and turn my elbow joint horizontal. Things got good fast doing that.
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Post by Stork 2/25/2020, 9:19 am

So I finally got back to the range with the 45. I've been dry firing and shooting the 22 alot in hopes of refining my technique more before shooting the 45. That and I'm stuck with the 22 on a drill in the USMC workbook, so I've been focusing on that.

I changed my stance to get more of my body behind the pistol. I'm only 160 at my winter weight, so this helped alot. I no longer feel my body twisting under recoil. The pistol is recoiling straight or just slightly to the left too. This is an improvement.

The biggest change is arm, shoulder, and back tension. My grip is about the same, but I'm tensing up my forearm a little more. The shoulder and back muscle tension are from me trying to pull my shoulder blade into my ribs. Last night I tried a 90, 75, and 45 deg ish stance to the target and while I do prefer one over the other, the stronger harder hold helped more than anything. I need more dry fire to make this additional muscle tension normal. I'm thinking about it too much right now.

Early trigger pressure resulted in a group high in the 9 & 8 ring with a couple higher than that. As usual, trigger control is important and I need to work on that. The 4lb trigger is still messing with my process, but that's due to a lack of dry fire as well.

Anyway, still not where I want to be, but at least some of the comments here have helped direct my training. That and the 45 is more fun now.

Stork

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