Strategies/Drills to fix recoil push?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Wallythe7mmWeatherby, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Wallythe7mmWeatherby

    Wallythe7mmWeatherby Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    Pretty sure its a problem I developed from shooting 12 Ga 3" slugs for deer hunting growing up. I know for certain 13 year old me would jump and "punch" the trigger when it crossed over the bullseye and throw the shot kinda wild but still in the kill zone at 75 yards so "good enough" for myself at that age and my Dad was a very far thing from a perfectionist so long as I could kill the deer more often than not.

    Anyways, last year I spent too much money on 7mm ammo trying to get good enough to shoot at 300 yards consistently, but I could never get that near 1" group at 100 yards. I know for a fact I'm involuntarily pushing my shoulder in on the stock when I think the gun is about to go off. I'll do the steps right, breath, slow squeeze.... let the gun surprise you... and if the gun doesn't go off by the time I expect it to I'm flinching and pushing my sight picture down in my scope 6". There's no way I'm not also doing this on some of my actual shots as well and throwing them some direction

    Was out shooting for the first time this year on a beautiful march day with my AR-15 and a new red dot sight (so about as opposite as long range hunting can get lol) and the 223 with the significantly less recoil I was able to very calmly and consistently fire off shots with it feeling smooth through the whole process despite my AR trigger being no where near as clean and smooth as my 7mm rifle's. It's a very long pull and there isn't a clean break, but after a few shots it was like my body didn't care that I was having a long second hand squeeze before the gun went and I was able to shoot very, very well for cheap ammo, 16" barrel, and no magnification after I got it sighted in

    Would shooting a lower recoil gun for the first few months encourage good shooting habits in regards to the flinch/push? I do dry fire drills and those aren't a problem at all for me because I know the gun isn't going to kick. I'm not a tiny guy, so not sure why my shoulder likes to recoil against the recoil as it does
  2. LaHunter

    LaHunter Well-Known Member

    Sep 30, 2012
    1) shoot a rifle with less recoil. The 7 mm mag has a significant recoil, especially if the rifle is somewhat lighter wt. A 22 rim fire is a good practice rifle. The .260, 6.5, 308, 25-06 are all mild recoil calibers that are effective on deer size game.
    2) Dry fire drills. Obviously, while following all of the basic gun safety rules, dry firing while simulating real shooting situations is great practice. You can actually see if you are moving during the trigger break. You should be able to keep you reticle on target through the trigger break, while using the same pressure on the stock as you would with live ammo.

    As far as shooting the AR, I will give you my opinion based on my personal experience. I tend use a fair amount of pressure into the stock with my 7 mag to control recoil. I do not allow the rifle to 'free recoil'. This helps with my accuracy and it also helps me get back on target quicker. When I do this with my AR, my groups are not impressive. With my AR, I pretty much have to allow the rifle to 'free recoil', or almost free recoil. With this technique, my AR will group in about .5 MOA at 200 yards. I have a Timney trigger in my AR, and while it is much better than the trigger that came in the rifle, it is not as crisp as my M700 Timney in my bolt rifle. Moral of my story, the AR requires a different technique / form vs a magnum bolt action, or at least this is what I do.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  3. John Blaner

    John Blaner Active Member

    Feb 9, 2018
    Two things that i think would give you immediate results would be, 1 put a brake on your 7mm a couple companies offer a bolt on brake pretty reasonably priced. 2 have a gunsmith adjust your trigger for you. I think you'll be impressed by what them two things do for your confidence and group sizes.
  4. jcampbellsmith

    jcampbellsmith Member

    Mar 4, 2018
    Some thoughts -

    • Put a moderator onto your rifle.
    • Load up some reduced load ammo.
    • Get your trigger fettled.
    • Make sure your stock fits you.


  5. GunsnFitness

    GunsnFitness Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2018
    I agree with all of the above listed solutions. Unfortunately most are at further investment on your end... if it was me I wouldn’t like a solution like that. (I’m cheap). So I agree with the idea of shooting a lower powered/recoil rifle to first become comfortable with shooting it and fully receiving the recoil and knowing it won’t hurt. Flinching comes from the anticipation of taking the recoil and so you won’t stop flinching until that is no longer an issue. Of course this only works if you have other lower powered stuff to shoot. (Sounds like you do).

    I would recommend starting with dry firing.
    Then the AR in a rested shooting position to emulate the longer range stuff. (Still something you know won’t hurt)
    Then a mid range powered rifle if you have one (.257 roberts, 6.5 creed, .260 etc). Alternatively you could also load the 7mag way down. It won’t do the caliber any justice but it’s not about the performance at this time, it’s about becoming comfortable with it. (Don’t know if you reload but it’s an option that’s cheaper than buying a whole new rifle.)
    And finally full loads hunting/match from the 7mag.

    I did a similar process with my girlfriend working her from zero shooting experience up to being comfortable shooting her .260. Started even as low as air soft, and worked our way up and now she’s consistent out to 300 with the .260!

    As I said my ideas are more along the lines of not investing additional money into the process. If money isn’t an issue, then the other stuff mentioned above are great solutions! Hope this was of some help.
  6. Shane Lindsey

    Shane Lindsey Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Dry fire as stated above. But what will really show you what you are doing is a dummy drill.

    Need a shooting partner.
    Load a few in the mag. Shoot one or two.
    Close your eyes/step away from the rifle. Have your friend either load one or close the bolt on an empty chamber. The key is the shooter doesn't get to know.
    Mount the rifle and go through your firing sequence. When it doesn't go bang and just goes click you will have what you are doing wrong (sounds like you already know). This will help you to just relax through the entire shot. I think once you find that relaxing recoil vice trying to fight it, you will see it "hurts" less. Have your friend video it with your iphone and you can evaluate (and laugh) at yourself later.

    I had the same with a 300wm. Then I discovered this wonderful device others have known about for years, a brake.

    Works great with a pistol too...