proper breathing etc.

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by biff's reloading, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. biff's reloading

    biff's reloading Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    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?
  2. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    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).


    (My ears ring ALL the time.)

  3. demarpaint

    demarpaint Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    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.
  4. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    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.
  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    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.
  6. D.P.

    D.P. Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2004
    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.
  7. biff's reloading

    biff's reloading Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    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....

    THOMAST Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Shooting a shotgun is to me quite different to shooting a rifle. I describe my trigger pull with shotgun shooting as a "controlled snatch", something you dont want to do with a rifle. If you are doing a lot of shotgunning, this might be causing the flinching problem, as you might have become habituated.
  9. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Take a friend with you to the range and let him load your rifle sometimes not load it and watch your results.A very high level of concentration is needed to overcome flintching
    also a great tool when it comes to shooting and hitting. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
  10. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    My breathing technique is the same as demarpaint’s.
    “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.”

    My marksmanship improved when I dropped my trigger pull weights down to a pound. I shoot very relaxed now thanks to something I just discovered a couple years ago.

    For recoil, what I discovered was something completely new and goes against the grain for most but it really works for me and everyone else I have asked to try it. Kind of like my 100% guaranteed cure for hiccups. I started out with a 7mm Mag when I was 10 and used to carry a rolled up towel to put between me and the butt of that rifle. Once I grew into it I now shoot that gun free recoil. Then I got a good deal on a real low mileage German 7 pound 300Wby Deluxe. Now I know why. That thing kicked the crap out of me. It was getting the better of me. It seemed like the more padding I had between me and that gun the more that scope would graze me. It was extremely lively and really took a huge jump at me. It was very intimidating. I am no stranger to recoil but this thing was flat out scary to shoot. Much more of that thing and I would have been a flincher. Things all changed for me and that 300Wby when one day it was really hot out and all I had on was a tee shirt and a friend wanted me to spell him for a bit on his 338 Win Mag in the dreaded Ruger canoe paddle stock. This is accepted as one of the worst kicking stocks ever devised. We were chrono-graphing 185grain Barnes at 3200 fps when it dawned on me that this thing wasn’t hardly kicking me at all and that ballistically the load was equal to my 180’s at 3200. The difference was I had nothing between me and that hard pad. I immediately called for my Deluxe to try in a tee shirt. Viola! No more kick. No more scope in the face. When I shoot now I always open my jacket and get that butt in on my shirt or as close to bare skin as possible. Bare skin is best but not always practical. I really get some looks when people see me do this on the 338-378 but it works for me and everyone that has tried it that I shoot with. That 300Wby ended up shooting in a few groups under .3”.

    From now on if I ever get a chance to shoot something really big you can bet it will be on my bare skin.