Developed a flinch, need help

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Wkerat, May 16, 2012.

  1. Wkerat

    Wkerat Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    How's it going? I've been reading on here for months and am in the middle of ordering my first full custom rifle. Prior to now the longest range I was able to practice on was up to 500 yards and last fall I took my first elk at 513. Before that I never used a custom gun, just practiced and learned the ballistics for my rifle. Oddly enough the reason I used the custom was my 300 weatherby would not pattern after the flight.

    Once back I went to shoot it and as luck would have it scoped myself pretty badly. Since then I flinch about 1 out of 5 shots. My plan was to take my 22 and start with it and work my way through my rifles. Does anyone have any tips on how to work through this? Also, as I've never fully been trained on long range are their any methods I should practice or try to change?

    Any advice would be appreciated! Mt rifle builder is going to take me out for a full day of long range training once the rifle is complete, but in the interim I want to try to get over this issue and become a better shot in general.
  2. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    Dry fire - dry fire and more dry fire between shots. The 22LR is a great trainer and has a lot of uses - go for it. I use mine out to 300 yds. and the best side effect is you'll sure pay more attention to what wind can do to a bullet.

    The biggest thing with a flinch is that it is in the persons head and the only way to get it rectified is a lot of repetition. Some people need more than others and if you got scoped pretty good you just have to work through it. Dry fire and stay down on the stock after the trigger breaks.

    You can dry fire in your reloading room or in your yard depending on your location.

    I had a little different problem to correct a number of years back when I started stretching the distance in that I would not stay down on the cheek weld and follow through. I solved that by dry firing but every so often I still find myself not staying down long enough on the stock.

  3. Wkerat

    Wkerat Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    Thank you! I'll try that. I was also told to record myself at the range to see if I am doing anything else. Now that you say it I may be lifting my head a little to gain space.

    Most of my longer practice was with a 25-06 but I'll start with my 22 and work back up through my calibers because I think I focus more on it knowing I'm using a larger caliber. I never thought of dry firing because I was told it was bad. I will work on it and mix some empty brass into my clips as well
  4. straightshooter

    straightshooter Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    I agree with cowboy. Dry fire practise. A trick to try is to put a quarter on the end of the barrel and dry fire without it moving. This helps two ways, 1. You learn pulling the trigger doesn't hurt, and 2. You have to concentrate on the quarter, which takes your mind off recoil. Dry firing is awesome practise, you can do it any time and it doesn't cost. Another trick is to buy a snap cap. Get a friend to load your mag for you placing the snap cap in random sequence. When you fire your rifle try to think that you are on the snap cap every time. If you flinch it is very apparent. This also will start training the brain that pulling the trigger doesn't always hurt.

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    This works for most people I know. Find a local blackpowder club and try shooting a flint lock for a while! We call'em "flinchlocks" for a reason. Seriously, it helps.
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    There is another issue that some people overlook and it is eye relief.

    This can be avoided by buying a scope with a generous eye relief and positioning it
    as far forward as possible while getting a full site picture.

    Also if you set the scope up on a bench and then shoot it prone you will find that the
    position places you closer to the scope and on hard kicking rifles close can hurt.

    Position shooters that shoot all positions normally use an adjustable but pads to change
    the length of pull.

    On hunting rifles it is important to have the scope set as far forward as practical because
    you don't often have time to adjust the but pad to compensate for the position.

    When shooting of a bench often times people set there scopes in the most comfortable
    position where the head is upright and when the rifle recoils the head moves forward
    and the eye contacts the scope.

    I would recomend that you move the scope forward just enough to take the slack out
    of your neck preventing most forward movement at ignition.

    Scopes on there maximum power should have at least 3.5: of eye relief to avoid this.

    On low recoiling rifles this is not as important.

    Practice will definitely help but if the scope is set up wrong or does not have enough eye
    relief the eye will/may suffer.

    People develoupe a flinch for many reasons. recoil,target panic(A form of buck fever)noise,
    and being hit by the scope.

    It sounds like this may be the reason you are flinching,(You are afraid of getting hit by the
    scope again) and this must be cured before you start shooting/practicing again.

  7. Wkerat

    Wkerat Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    Thank you all for the great advice. I will look into snap caps and start dry firing now. Once my schedule frees up (about 2 weeks) I will hit the range and look into a flintlock club. I also was told that using my 12 gauge and shooting skeet may help as it has no scope, is loud, but also will not allow me to focus on recoil due to the speed. Is this worth a try?
  8. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2011
    I developed a flinch, not from recoil but trigger anticipation. Was easy to cure. Just modified the trigger pull (less) a bit. I have no issue with any accutrigger, I set them to pull light.

    Most factory triggers flat suck in stock form. Especially on a pistol and especially factory Rugers. Every late build Ruger I've tried begs to be a 2 finger (to pull) trigger way too much side slop and creep, all fixable with a little time, some careful stone work and appropriate shims.