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Getting rid of a serious flinch

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I have 2 not necessarily new shooters I’m working with Saturday. The female has an exaggerated flinch . Dropping 6” low at 3 yards.

other than dry fire, lazer trainer, and switching her to a .22( this problem is with her new shield in 9) what you recommend that could help?

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6 minutes ago, kc17 said:

One exercise I was shown...

Place an empty shell case on the top of the slide, just behind the front sight. Dry fire until you can do so without the case falling off.

Ya I think I like the casing idea after they start with a penny. Thanks for reminding me .

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It's so much easier to avoid developing a flinch than it is to eliminate one.  That's why it is so beneficial to start with a .22 and work up.  But that ship has sailed...

Switching back to a .22 for a time may still be beneficial, but it would require enough practice time to really eliminate the flinch.  Shooting a mag or two then going back to the Shield won't do it.

Dry firing, either with the empty case on the slide as KC17 described, or just with a blank wall as a backdrop can help.   Watch the sights closely, and repeat until you can drop the hammer with no visible movement of the sights.   That's a useful exercise no matter how proficient one is.

The old standby 'ball and dummy' drill will make the flinch more obvious to the shooter, and perhaps help in remediation.  Someone else loads the magazines, with a random combination of live rounds and snap caps.

It might be helpful for the shooter to fire a few rounds of the same ammo from a bigger, heavier gun, just to show the ammo need not be feared.   Starting with something as small as a Shield will be much more likely to induce a flinch than would a heavier gun.

Finally, if you reload, crank out some very light 9 mm loads and have the shooter stick with those for awhile.

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Most people develop a flinch because of noise aversion. Muffs and plugs and make sure they are operating their earpro correctly. 

Also in general, watch to see if their flinch is really just a flinch or if they are gripping a lot harder in anticipation. Milking the grip can drop your hits a lot. If they feel they need to clamp down on it, work with that and just have them grip the snot out of it from the get go rather than at the last moment. 

 

 

 

 

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Dry fire a double action revolver to develop a smooth trigger press without disturbing the sights.

Then move to single action dry fire with a revolver to develop staging at the trigger’s wall.

If at the range, start with a modified wall drill: 
• Draw a dime sized circle on the target.

• With the muzzle an inch from the target, conduct 15 dry fires without disturbing the sights.

••If you observe the sights move on the trigger press. Stop. Put the gun down. Count slowly to ten. Then start over with 15 acceptable dry fires.

• Move the target to one yard.

• Load five rounds and fire all five rounds at the dot you were dry firing on. Shoot for the best possible group.

• When one yard is easy, i.e. all five rounds are in the same hole in the target, move it back to two or three, or five, etc... yards.

This drill can be shot with any handgun (doesn’t have to be a revolver) and is a great warm up. If I am working on bullseye shooting for accuracy at distance during that range session, I will conduct this drill three times. There is no time standard on this. It is a pure fundamentals drill that works sight alignment, trigger control, and grip.

 

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Dry firing while keeping the sights on target and pulling the trigger slowly and deliberately.  Instead of wasting range time going click, click, click she can do this at home after your session is done.  The more time spent, the better.  I did exactly this to loose my flinch. 

The other is pulling the trigger slowly enough that she doesn't know when the gun is going to fire while focusing on keeping the sights on target.  This not only helps with a flinch or anticipation, it helps to overcome the issue of all of your hand muscles moving when you pull the trigger with just one finger.  Make a fist, now move your trigger finger several times.  Hard to keep your whole hand from moving isn't it? 

I don't know how big or strong she is.  I took a group of teens shooting a couple of weekends ago.  One of the girls was just not able to handle a 9mm without it hurting her hand.  She loved shooting .22 though and was doing it well.  You'll never get rid of a flinch if it hurts every time she pulls the trigger.  If that's the case, she has too good a reason to flinch. 

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Although there's not many of them, some people will flinch with a 22.

The solution is one has to be mentally convinced recoil is going to happen and just let it happen.

A consistent 3" low with a group could also be:

Sight Alignment.  Dots on the sights?  Many mistakes align them.

Trigger Control.  Mashing the trigger will create a shooting low condition.

@High Exposure brought out a very valid point.  Using a DA revolver with a smooth pull.  Smooth is more important than light.

@Zeke if this doesn't work out let me know. I'll show up for your next session with the tools.

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On 2/13/2020 at 12:09 PM, Zeke said:

I have 2 not necessarily new shooters I’m working with Saturday. The female has an exaggerated flinch . Dropping 6” low at 3 yards.

other than dry fire, lazer trainer, and switching her to a .22( this problem is with her new shield in 9) what you recommend that could help?

Heavy Metal Rock Music

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@Zeke it's mostly all been said, so I'll just reinforce what has worked for me:  @High Exposure's lesson plan with a 4" tubed .38 spl & wad cutters.  Double ears, especially if inside next to center fire rifles.  The noise of others can be very distracting.  Starting with a revo to build confidence & eliminate mashing a safe action trigger will go a long way.  So will using a heavier metal hand gun.  Ladies Day at Old Bridge always surprises the male instructors.  Those oft-times Newbie women gravitate to full-size 1911's enjoying a crisp singe-action trigger & a Hi-vis front sight to knock down or ring steel :) 

My friend Kim Snyder, a retired Pennington Cop, is a qualified Expert & works at TTC  as a RSO (is that where you're going?).  Sometimes women instructors have better luck with harder cases like this seems to be, taking less time & ammo to get results.  

Good luck & remember no matter the outcome, keep it FUN so she wants to LEARN :) 

~R

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

 

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Good advice Rosey!

Guys (Not saying you Zeke, just a general observation I’ve made) always want to give women the tiniest guns in shitty small “defensive” calibers they can find. These guns are typically harder to shoot. Don’t do that. Find a gun that fits their hand properly in a soft shooting caliber like 124gr 9mm. You’ll get better results from a 9mm 1911 than a little .380z

Also remember, as a man teaching a woman, they learn differently than we do. What worked for you will not work as well or as fast for them. 

Women are also much better students than men, as there is typically zero ego involved with women students. They will do what you tell them to do, not what they think you meant.

Keep the “peanut butter and jelly” lesson in mind.

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2 hours ago, High Exposure said:


...They will do what you tell to do...

Clearly, you and I are acquainted with different women.

:)

(actually, I agree with the points High Exposure made)

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1 hour ago, 10X said:

Clearly, you and I are acquainted with different women.

:)

(actually, I agree with the points High Exposure made)

Lol! I should have clarified - this generally does not apply to wives or girlfriends. Only to female students.

 

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4 hours ago, High Exposure said:

Also remember, as a man teaching a woman, they learn differently than we do. What worked for you will not work as well or as fast for them. 

Women are also much better students than men, as there is typically zero ego involved with women students. They will do what you tell to do, not what they think you meant.

I make it a point to NEVER, EVER disagree with you... because bluntly, I'm abundantly aware that my firearms knowledge is a teensy-weensy droplet - more of a nano-particle, really (LOL) - while yours is a vast ocean! ;) 

But, respectfully, sex-based differences - even the most studied ones - are never hard & fast rules. Some people - male and female both - have sensitive hearing, a greater startle reflex, weaker grip, etc. (In fact, I'm not even sure those first 2 factors are impacted by gender... and the 3rd can be as greatly impacted by age as by gender (due to arthritis, etc.!)  I think you prob agree with what I just said, since you said men often make wrong assumptions about what gun women "should" use...

But, likewise, I think everyone - male and female - will also have their own unique learning style based on myriad factors (inherited, physiological, physical, cultural, etc.) Every time we start making assumptions on THAT trait, do we blind ourselves to the many "exceptions to the rule"...?  If male instructors, based on your comment, are now expecting dutiful, compliant female students... they're undoubtedly in for some frustration when they meet those who don't fit that profile!

Would you agree that anyone who makes it a habit to work with new shooters should have an "arsenal" (pun intended!) of training techniques to deal with every situation, so that you can try different techniques until you find what "clicks" for that individual (regardless of sex, age, size, strength, attention-span, listening skills, speed of learning, compliance vs. defiance, etc.)? 

And I have a follow-up question, but I'll put that in a separate thread... because I don't want to hijack this one! 

 

 

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Mrs. Peel: Your comment makes sense to me. The same outcome can have different causes.

Especially after not using it for a while, I have trouble shooting my Beretta 92 as well as I know I can. I don't have this problem with my 1911 any where near so much. It is just because a lighter gun makes the effect of whatever flinch you have that much worse, I think.

I'm going to try that exercise with the empty cartridge or penny, as soon as I can find a flat part on the top of the Beretta to put it...

 

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21 hours ago, Mrs. Peel said:

I make it a point to NEVER, EVER disagree with you... because bluntly, I'm abundantly aware that my firearms knowledge is a teensy-weensy droplet - more of a nano-particle, really (LOL) - while yours is a vast ocean! ;) 

But, respectfully, sex-based differences - even the most studied ones - are never hard & fast rules. Some people - male and female both - have sensitive hearing, a greater startle reflex, weaker grip, etc. (In fact, I'm not even sure those first 2 factors are impacted by gender... and the 3rd can be as greatly impacted by age as by gender (due to arthritis, etc.!)  I think you prob agree with what I just said, since you said men often make wrong assumptions about what gun women "should" use...

But, likewise, I think everyone - male and female - will also have their own unique learning style based on myriad factors (inherited, physiological, physical, cultural, etc.) Every time we start making assumptions on THAT trait, do we blind ourselves to the many "exceptions to the rule"...?  If male instructors, based on your comment, are now expecting dutiful, compliant female students... they're undoubtedly in for some frustration when they meet those who don't fit that profile!

Would you agree that anyone who makes it a habit to work with new shooters should have an "arsenal" (pun intended!) of training techniques to deal with every situation, so that you can try different techniques until you find what "clicks" for that individual (regardless of sex, age, size, strength, attention-span, listening skills, speed of learning, compliance vs. defiance, etc.)? 

My post was absolutely a broad generalization and of course everyone has specific experiences and abilities that makes their learning “type” unique to them. There will always be exceptions to the rule.

My post also had nothing to do with physical abilities, reflexes, strength, or startle/flinch responses on either gender-side.

Basically, what I have learned/observed being a guy and instructing both male and female shooters over the last 18 years is this:

(Almost) every guy (I was the same in the beginning) thinks he innately knows how to do four things perfectly:

• Drive
• Fight
• Fuck (pardon my vulgarity)
• Shoot 

And anyone telling him otherwise is “attacking” his masculinity and they will not relinquish control of “this is how I do it” without a fight. This makes teaching them difficult - until the realization dawns on them that they are not God’s gift to macho and there are people out there that can make them better at their chosen task. This realization can be quick (as it was for me) or painfully slow (and this is where the rule of 100 comes into play).

The method for teaching men and women is exactly the same for the very simple reason that the three pillars of firearms instruction:

• Marksmanship
• Mindset
• Manipulations

Know neither male or female - they just are.

No instructor worth their salt should/would change their syllabus based on the gender of the student. They just understand that (most) women students of shooting are typically more efficient learners and make greater initial strides.

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59 minutes ago, High Exposure said:

No instructor worth their salt should/would change their syllabus based on the gender of the student. They just understand that (most) women students of shooting are typically more efficient learners and make greater initial strides.

^^^^THIS^^^^

And when God doled-out cross-eyed dominance, almost every woman saw a red Target "SALE" rack & jumped at the chance to buy a $50 blouse for $10!  Meaning women have a higher likelihood of having to overcome this dreaded condition than their male counterparts.  Good Instructors always check for this, especially if a woman complains "they tried shooting and can't hit the broad side of a barn"!   Women aren't afraid to say they have troubles they need to overcome.  It's part of why they do so well when the light bulb "gets lit".  Macho guys ON THE OTHER HAND will blame the gun, THE SIGHTS, the ammo, the lighting, EVERYTHING except THEMSELVES.

And just for the record, my bride of almost 37 years can go to Kohl's with a 30% discount coupon & her Kohl's charge card, hit those SALE racks and come home with $300 bucks' worth of new wardrobe for under $50!  She can SHOOT too....

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13 hours ago, High Exposure said:

My post was absolutely a broad generalization and of course everyone has specific experiences and abilities that makes their learning “type” unique to them. There will always be exceptions to the rule.

My post also had nothing to do with physical abilities, reflexes, strength, or startle/flinch responses on either gender-side.

Basically, what I have learned/observed being a guy and instructing both male and female shooters over the last 18 years is this:

(Almost) every guy (I was the same in the beginning) thinks he innately knows how to do four things perfectly:

• Drive
• Fight
• Fuck (pardon my vulgarity)
• Shoot 

And anyone telling him otherwise is “attacking” his masculinity and they will not relinquish control of “this is how I do it” without a fight. This makes teaching them difficult - until the realization dawns on them that they are not God’s gift to macho and there are people out there that can make them better at their chosen task. This realization can be quick (as it was for me) or painfully slow (and this is where the rule of 100 comes into play).

The method for teaching men and women is exactly the same for the very simple reason that the three pillars of firearms instruction:

• Marksmanship
• Mindset
• Manipulations

Know neither male or female - they just are.

No instructor worth their salt should/would change their syllabus based on the gender of the student. They just understand that (most) women students of shooting are typically more efficient learners and make greater initial strides.

 

11 hours ago, Smokin .50 said:

^^^^THIS^^^^

And when God doled-out cross-eyed dominance, almost every woman saw a red Target "SALE" rack & jumped at the chance to buy a $50 blouse for $10!  Meaning women have a higher likelihood of having to overcome this dreaded condition than their male counterparts.  Good Instructors always check for this, especially if a woman complains "they tried shooting and can't hit the broad side of a barn"!   Women aren't afraid to say they have troubles they need to overcome.  It's part of why they do so well when the light bulb "gets lit".  Macho guys ON THE OTHER HAND will blame the gun, THE SIGHTS, the ammo, the lighting, EVERYTHING except THEMSELVES.

And just for the record, my bride of almost 37 years can go to Kohl's with a 30% discount coupon & her Kohl's charge card, hit those SALE racks and come home with $300 bucks' worth of new wardrobe for under $50!  She can SHOOT too....

Both so true!!!

I've been a "certified" firearms instructor for almost 45 years.  I'm not relating this to brag.  I'm relating this to reinforce what @High Exposure and @Smokin .50 have said.  All of it is true.  It hasn't changed.

I've mentioned before the 4'9, 85 lb agent in my office.  She is one tough woman.  In addition to her shooting ability she went through Jump School at Ft Benning.  Any kind of auto, shotgun, revolver, or M16 she maxed or was only a couple points from max on quals.   She preferred the M16 over the M4 

Another woman I worked with (acutally more than one) wanted to learn the MP5.  After 5 or 6 magazines they demonstrated they could shoot it, they just needed the repetitions to really learn the gun.  That's 300-500 to learn the skill and 3000-5000 to become muscle memory.

Oh yes, @Mrs. Peel, when she was searching for a centerfire handgun we had a range session and she did remarkably well with handguns she never shot before.  That includes a 4" Taurus K frame that is now 35 year's old with a bazillion 357s through it.  She asked to shoot it again.  She also did a respectable showing with my WWI 1911.

I love taking women to the range.

Just my experience.

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Zeke said:

Sooo what worked.

1 shooting a 22 in between.

2 shooting a full size striker gun in between 

3 some dry fire.

end of 1 hour range flinch drastically diminished.

Good, glad to hear it!  It's great when they "get it", and work WITH you & AGAINST their fear so as to make that light bulb shine bright ain't it?

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On 2/15/2020 at 4:32 PM, Mrs. Peel said:

But, likewise, I think everyone - male and female - will also have their own unique learning style based on myriad factors (inherited, physiological, physical, cultural, etc.)

Thank you for using "myriad" correctly! :)

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