i dont know, and i bet quite a few others dont either, the proper way to use breathing and other stuff at the bench, and id like to hear what some of u guys do.
especially to help get past "trigger panic".
i get the ringin in my ears (muscles tensing) when i start squeezin the trigger, and at times i will flinch, especially when i haven shot for a while. would it maybe be better to practice from prone on a blanket?
Maybe first just try to understand what causes you to flinch.
There is obviously nothing harmful about shooting, you survive the experience and do it again over and over. Take some time to determine why you flinch.
Do you flinch when dry-firing?
Do you flinch on little rifles, 22 etc.
I'm not trying to be a smart-ass just trying to help you understand and overcome the flinching.
I don't believe there is anything worse than flinching when it comes to marksmanship fundamental... you must not flinch. Perhaps concentrating on propper trigger follow through will stop the problem.
Breathing... just do it the same every time and be relaxed. Don't force a shot (shoot when you know you've exceeded your breathing limits or the position doesn't feel correct, etc) you may as well shoot into the ground right at your feet as force a shot.
Play the shot scenario in your head (like a virtual video recording) a few times before you shoot... follow the virtual video... (you won't flinch in the video).
I shoot prone or kneeling (kneeling is hunting practice or when there are LOTS of ants and other biters).
I've spoken to more than one good shooter about breathing, and here is what works for me. I am sure there are other schools of thought and this will be an interesting post.
I like to take a relaxed deep breath (not forcing in air, just deep). Then exhale until I feel comfortable, hold my breath at that point and take the shot. You don't want to hyperventilate or feel out of breath just comfortable, if you can't take the shot repeat.
As far as flinching have a buddy load rounds for you so you can't see him doing it. Let him surprise you with an occasional snap cap, or no ammo in the chamber. It will be easy enough to see if you are anticipating or flinching.
"A tie is as good as a loss, and no one remembers second place."
Proper breathing is a huge part of good accuracy , I practice constantly and use snap caps to work on my trigger controle.
Generaly unless you shoot thousands of animals a year your going to get a little excited when fur covers your target. I personaly use a deep breathing method to help get my heart rate back down where its supposed to be (or close) then get into my zone , bubble , phases or what ever else you want to call it. I have pretty much gotten to the point that all the game I shoot (or targets for money) I get the same recation and it takes the same effort to calm down. But other things can get your heart rate up
I was once had to bring out the rilfe on a SWAT call out just as had been done several other times it was nothing differant , 99% of the snipers role is survailance , but this time the chief said if I get the chance to take the shot. The worst case of target panic set in for several minutes and it was nearly impossible to get my breathing down or my heart rate which was so strong that it was making the reticle jump about an inch at the targets range. I had no choice but to either hand off the rifle to sombodys else that wasen't as well suited for the job or settle down. Five minutes pass and the suspect comes back to the window but has two subjects close behind pleading to get back so I passed on the shot , 30 seconds later the I see the suspect put down his gun to wash his face , I call for the entry team to breach and the whole thing is over 10 seconds later.
I almost wet my pants from the stress , it bothered me that I coulden't get my focus back to where it should have been , I was able to hook up with a former FBI sniper with several human shot to his record and he said the same things happpened everytime he had a person in the scope.
I guess their are some things that are gonna get your heart rate up.
One other thing. The tendency to hold ones breath while squeezing the trigger can lead to oxygen deprivation and the eyes go first. You will see the target go out of focus. At that point in time you should back out of the trigger and start your breathing over. This is usually found with a factory trigger pull and coupled with a death grip on the pistol grip as you try to pull the trigger by squeezing the stock.
The next time you go to the range try your breathing routine and then time the amount of time you can hold your breath and still have a clear crisp sight picture.
I think dave hit it, 1st try and figure out what causes the flinch.
Do you shoot a heavy recoiling rifle?
How long have you been shooting, and what did you learn on?
I have seen Mag rifles pushed on kids and cause a nasty flinch that is hard to correct.
Start over with a rimfire and work on technique and burn a couple hundred rounds. Great practice and gets you sharp. Then with a center fire go through the steps in your head.The dummy round works also. Slow steady trigger pressure till it breaks. When I decide to shoot the recoil lets me know the gun went off during that 2-3 second window of trigger pressure.
my flinch is from starting out at age 12 (im 26 now) with a flintlock i think. it is a t/c hawken, and it has the curved brass buttplate with the pointed ends that would really punish u if it wasnt exactly placed. the lock flash was a signal to my body that pain was imminent.....
ive since fixed the gun from kicking by the use of a wadded up piece of cloth, some tape, and a limbsaver pad slipped on top. it just doesnt kick anymore.... but i still have the little wee bit of trigger panic that haunts me no matter what gun i shoot. i dont mind recoil, i love to shoot my 10 gauge guns (thats actually what biff's reloading does... ) and i dont ever have a problem when shooting them, or any other shotgun at flying targets. but i went to the range yesterday with it (the flintlock), and shot a few light loads, then a lot of full throttle loads, and shooting prone with a sand bag seemed to help. i also was taking the deep breath, exhaling down and squeezing when i hit the bottom of the exhale. i had a coupla no-fires and pan flash once, and i found that my only flinch was a blink. but thats awful hard to keep from doing with a fire 2" from ur eye
"the recoil lets me know the gun went off"... thats pretty good. i will try that frame of mind next time i shoot....