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Major Problems

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Unread 05-09-2013, 11:06 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Saratoga Springs, Ut
Posts: 512
Re: Major Problems

I say dry fire practice, have your friend put a stack of dimes on the tip of your barrel once you are in position and on target, dry fire with out knocking them off. Do that a bunch of times, and then have him hand you the rifle loaded or not loaded.

Dry fire is excellent practice

Shooting alot of .22lr will help also, but that will make you relaxed when it comes to recoil management.

I notice when I shoot my .308 if I load the bipod, recoil is much more manageable.

anyways, hope you can take something from this.

Good luck!
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Unread 05-09-2013, 01:04 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 447
Re: Major Problems

I had the same issue. I didn't use a 22 bc I didn't have one at the time, but used a 223. I also bought some Remington managed recoil rounds, and got a muzzle brake on my gun. Slowly work up to things.

Shoot some smaller calibers. Shoot some managed recoil rounds. Them shoot a few full 7mag. Then go back to smaller rounds, etc.

For me, it was about proving to myself that the recoil was completely harmless. It can be loud (good suggestion above on good hearing pro) and abrupt but it will not hurt you.

I still today shoot some 223 and some 270...I don't think about the recoil, I think about trying to make a good shot.

It will come in time, just be patient and be strong.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 08:46 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 268
Re: Major Problems

Lots of good advise about dry firing and .22 shooting.

At its core your problem is concentration. Concentration on the wrong thing.
If you are shooting properly you dont have time to think about recoil.
You have to concentrate on weather conditions, cheek weld, a bunch of other crap, then finally the trigger press. Never get into a rhythm of getting on target then touching the round off! Let the x hair float and start to ever so slowly squeeeeze the trigger. If it comes as anything but a surprise you are jerking the trigger.
Remember this is precision rifle, not trap, skeet, or running deer.....Squeeeeeeze while concentrating on the sight picture, mirage, and wind observations.

Shooting more will only hurt your progress.
Go to the range for a day and shoot 1 quality shot. No matter how it goes put your big rifle away, then pull out the .22. Shoot only precision work with your .22 one deliberate round at a time.
Your subconscious will take a huge sigh of relief as you put the rifle away.

Aspirins at 25-50 yards is a good one... don't care if you hit them you want to stay in a concentrated rhythm of slow and deliberate fire control.

In an hour or when you feel sure you are relaxed and ready for another shot take 1 more shot (one only!), then put the rifle away for another 5-60 minutes.
Enjoy the day and relax!
You are training your subconscious to ignore the recoil.
You programed it to anticipate the recoil and now you must undo this.
As you gain more confidence have a buddy load either a dummy or a live round...You only find out when the rifle fires.
Humiliation is a strong motivational force!

Doing this I have been able to train myself to relax while shooting a 416 Rigby (max power loads) from the prone position and to shoot huge African cartridges very well.
I have also taugh newer shooters to manage the recoil of 338s and a 375 Rum.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 09:09 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 1,647
Re: Major Problems

That sounds like a really good idea
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Unread 05-09-2013, 09:16 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 1,647
Re: Major Problems

I notice when I shoot my .308 if I load the bipod, recoil is much more manageable.
Clayne b
I use this when im having trouble being smooth. It takes alot more to move a rifle when its being "held down," for a better phrase. I also will hold the forgrip and pull the rifle into my shoulder and keep both elbows on the ground. Im not as steady but a little flinch wont pull the gun off and much easier to spot POI.
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Unread 05-09-2013, 11:17 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 9
Re: Major Problems

I’m overwhelmed by the generosity in assistance; thank you. I’m writing all this down in my field book to read, reread, and practice. Thanks again!
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Unread 05-10-2013, 01:08 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 56
Re: Major Problems

I commend you for admitting you have a flinching problem. A lot of people try and blame other factors as they find it embarrassing. Don’t be embarrassed at all.

When born we are all born with 2 fears all others are learned. Loud noises and falling. These are a survival mechanism. Eventually we learn with falling come sudden and often time hard impacts.

We all know when we press a trigger on a gun it results in a loud noise and a sudden impact to the shoulder (which we learned to link with falling). Our subconscious is afraid of these two things. So the “flinch” which you are experiencing is normal and everyone has it. Yes…..EVERYONE.

What is happening is as you start that trigger press your mind is bouncing through a whirlwind of thoughts. Position, Grip, Breathing, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture….what’s the wind doing…..how long have I been holding my breath….crap my sights are getting blurry….hurry…smooth trigger press…..hurry…. Then your subconscious is jumping in there with “OH SH*T” this thing is going to go BOOM and hit me… I’ve got to protect myself. Then comes the flinch.

You have to learn how to FOCUS. I’ll say it again. You have to learn how to FOCUS. If you train yourself to focus the conscious mind it will override the subconscious. Some people are a little more natural at this than others. But anyone can learn how to focus.

Although all fundamentals are important, the single most important is trigger press. So naturally I would say learn to focus on it. Before you start the trigger press, get all the other fundamentals out of the way, except follow through (obviously). And take your time working through the fundamentals and setting up that perfect shot. Take a deep breath or 2 and then drop into a natural breathing rhythm. Reach the natural pause (top or bottom of the breathing cycle)…. You have roughly 3 to 5 seconds before you're vision starts to blur. If it starts to blur....stop, breath and begin again.

Fundamentals are out of the way….now it’s time to FOCUS on the most important.

You need to focus on an action that your mind and body is familiar with (VERY IMPORTANT). For me I focus on “pressing” the trigger. The way I focus on it is by saying a repetitive/never ending sentence. And I make sure to say it in a rhythmic fashion. “Keep pressing, keep pressing, keep pressing……..” There is a fancy term for this, but I can’t remember what it is. By doing this I am focusing the conscious mind on a single task, which overrides the subconscious need to protect me. I continue this focus until the surprise breaking of the shot, at which point it shifts to follow through.

If you choose to use the above sentence you can say it in your head. I would recommend whispering it to yourself first. And say it loud enough you can actually hear it….don’t just mouth it. Then switch to saying it in your head.

It sounds crazy, but research these things for yourself and you will see.

A couple things I would recommend doing. Rather than having your partner throw in the occasional dummy round, have him load that sucker to capacity with dummy rounds. Then, occasionally sneak in a single live round between loadings. So you may go through 10 dummy rounds before getting that one live round. Then you might go through 6 dummies before getting that one live round. That way you never know if you are getting a live round in that firearm.

Dry fire….dry fire….dry fire.

Set your rifles up to minimize recoil. Add a recoil pad, muzzle brake, weight, lighter recoiling loads, etc… Wear thick clothing (thick jacket). Minimize the punishment.

Do the bulk of your practice with lighter recoiling rifles.

Sorry for the long winded response, but I’ve had problems with being recoil shy (some times I still am) and these things helped me tremendously.
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