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Thread: I need your help...i've developed a flinch.

  1. #1

    I need your help...i've developed a flinch. An Update

    It is with a bit of embracement that i right this but i do need some help.

    Well, as some of you may well be aware i picked up my 6.5x55 a couple of days ago anyway i have hit a huge snag...I have developed a flinch. The problem is i was holding it to tight into my shoulder so it was kicking to hard and i have developed a flinch. I have fitted a mod and it was still there. I have even tried wearing ear defenders as well as the mod with some foam padding in the shoulder so it was no different to using my rimfire and i did this for 3 shots and it was still there. and shots seem to be going all over the place within a square target that is about 5 inches by 5 inches. So is there any advice you can give me? does it involve persevering with padding and ear defenders until i beat it? I imagine i am like (but worse) Keiron at 15:30 in this youtube video.

    Last edited by groach1234; 04-08-2010 at 16:51.

  2. #2

    The key is to be relaxed, and squeeze the trigger. It's hard to be completely relaxed when you're already conscious of a flinch. I can call round after work one afternoon if you want a hand? You may just not be in the best position when you set up your rests. Let me know if you fancy a visit.


  3. #3
    The first and most important method of dealing with a flinch is lots of dry fire. Be aware that dry fire can be very dangerous. If you have never dry fired a rifle before, please read the article titled "Dry Fire Safety" before you go any further.
    What is dry fire? Dry fire is going through the motions of firing the gun when there is no ammunition in it. You can do this at home as long as you have a safe backstop and as long as you follow every single one of the rules for safely dry firing a gun.
    If you are uncertain whether you can safely dry fire in your home, DON'T. You can always safely dry fire on the range. There is no rule that says you must always use ammunition at the range. It is perfectly safe and acceptable to dry fire there instead. No one will be surprised, because good shooters often dry fire at the range as one part of a regular practice routine.
    Just as if you were firing live ammunition, you will grip the rifle properly, align your sights carefully, and slowly increase pressure on the trigger until the trigger's break point is reached. You will keep your eye glued to the front sight and will continue to hold the trigger to the rear without lessening your finger's pressure on the trigger for a full two seconds after the trigger has been completely pulled.
    As you focus sharply on the front sight during dry fire, you may notice that your front sight wobbles a bit. This is normal and expected, not something to worry about or fight against. If you watch the front sight for awhile, you will see something interesting: no matter how badly your hand is shaking, the area on the target that is actually covered by your "wobble zone" is really quite small.
    As long as your trigger pull is smooth, every single shot will fall within that very small wobble zone close to the center of your target. But if you try to snatch the trigger back to get an absolutely perfect shot during the brief moments when your front sight wobbles across the exact, perfect center of the bullseye, your shots will land very low and much further away from the center.
    Do not try to muscle the wobble away. The more you clench up, the worse the wobble becomes. And don't try to race against it by snatching the trigger back. Simply increase the pressure on your trigger while accepting the wobble for the normal phenomenon that it is.
    Even though you have accepted this normal wobble of the front sight, remember that you are still trying to hold the front sight as steady as you humanly can. Don't allow it to dip or sway as a result of your trigger pull. If you find your trigger pull also pulls the sights out of alignment to the right or to the left, adjust the amount of trigger finger you have resting on the trigger. Grip the firearm firmly rather than loosely so that your non-trigger fingers cannot sympathetically tighten and "milk" the pistol while you are pulling the trigger.
    As you pull the trigger, you may be able to feel the tension within the trigger mechanism increasing so that the pull feels heavier as the trigger gets further back. Do not allow this to slow down the rate at which the trigger is travelling to the rear. Instead, pull the trigger at the same speed during the entire process, increasing the pressure upon it steadily until the trigger breaks to the rear with a sharp click.
    Never think about the trigger's break point, or about the shot firing. Let the hammer fall surprise you, every time.
    In order to keep themselves from thinking about the trigger break and to allow the trigger break to come as a surprise, many folks find that chanting "front sight front sigh front sight" helps keep their minds from trying to anticipate the shot.
    This is an important step: after the trigger has broken to the rear, do not take your finger off the trigger for at least two full seconds. Keep the sights steadily on the target and continue holding the trigger completely to the rear while you count one-one-thousand-two-one-thousand.
    Try to dry fire for at least five or ten minutes every day or so.
    Prescription: On The Range

    On the range, try to do exactly as you have practiced in dry fire. Get the sights lined up on the target, focus sharply on the front sight, and gradually increase pressure on the trigger. Do not think about the shot firing. Do not try to "grab" the magic moment when your sights are completely and perfectly centered on the bullseye. Instead, accept that the front sight will wobble a little bit, and concentrate on keeping it as steady as you can while you steadily put increasing pressure on the trigger. Do not try to figure out when the shot will fire. Let that be a surprise to you.
    If you need to chant "front sight front sight front sight," do so. Anything to keep your mind from anticipating when the shot will fire. You want the shot to be a surprise to you.
    Practice good follow-through. After the shot goes off, continue holding the trigger completely to the rear while you line the sights back up and focus sharply on the front sight. Count one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand while you hold the trigger to the rear. Then and only then, release the trigger and allow it to come forward.
    If you feel your muscles getting ready to flinch, take a deep breath. Then safely unload your firearm, and practice dry-firing right there on the range until you have settled down a little. Any time you feel ready to flinch, consciously relax every muscle in your body except the ones you need in order to shoot safely, and go back to dry firing until you feel ready to try it again.


    After you have fired live ammunition for awhile, it's time for a checkup. Mix snap caps in with your regular ammunition again, as you did for the initial diagnosis. This time, you are simply going to shoot the gun and keep shooting it. Since you have been doing so much dry fire, you know exactly what the sights should look like when you pull the trigger on an unexpected snap cap -- it should look and feel exactly as it does when you were expecting to dry fire.
    By the way, it's kind of embarrassing to find that muzzle dipping downwards so dramatically when you come across a snap cap while firing. The only cure I've ever found for that embarrassment is to conquer the flinch.

    Prescription: More Dry Fire

    Back at home, set up your safe dry fire area again. You need to practice dry firing some more. This time you are going to do something different: you're going to try balancing a coin on the front sight while you dry fire.2
    Lay a penny across the top of the front sight so that it is resting there. Then dry fire as usual. Align the sights, focus on the front sight, and steadily increase pressure on the trigger while keeping the coin balanced on top of the front sight. Can you do it?
    Practice until you can keep the penny balanced on top of your handgun during each and every trigger pull, without fail. Make a game of it: instead of using a penny, get a roll or two of dimes and use them. Every time a dime falls off, pick it up and put it into your penalty jar -- and then get out another dime. When the jar is full enough, you can use the contents to buy ammunition or professional firearms instruction only. (No cheating ...)
    Continue to regularly practice dry fire, especially when you cannot get to the range for awhile.

    Follow-Up Care: Regular Check Ups

    Now that your flinch is under control, you should take your snap caps to the range with you from time to time, to check on your progress and to prevent the flinch from returning full force. Remember that you will need regular dry fire practice, too.
    Most shooters have recurring bouts of flinch trouble. This isn't unexpected or unusual. It only means that it is time to focus on the basics once again. And now you know what to do about it when it happens to you.

    Last edited by camathias; 01-08-2010 at 21:45.

  4. #4
    Am i right in saying that unconsiously closing the eyes on the shot can bring on a "flinch"?
    "He who kills sow with piglets empties the forest of boar" My neighbours dad on new years eve 2011.

  5. #5
    I may well take you up on that dave and live you say once i was aware it was there it got worse. I will do a lot of practice dry firing and go down to my hmr to get used to it again and if that doesn't help i would greatly appreciate a visit.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by groach1234 View Post
    ....Well, as some of you may well be aware i picked up my 6.5x55 a couple of days ago ........
    George One thought, have you checked the trigger pull weight of your new rifle? One of my early Rugers when checked had a 9lb trigger. Second thought, take up DC's offer of a hand. Good luck JCS

  7. #7
    I developed a flinch when I first started using my 6.5. It's something which I found I got rid of with experience.

    I'm no expert, but mine seemed to sort itself out when I shot even bigger rifles? Then when I went back to the 6.5 it seemed mild and I was fine!

    A heavy trigger really doesn't help.

  8. #8
    A relatively simple fix is to go on the range with a mate close your eyes and get him to load the rifle some times he will load it some times the chambre will be empty. you are to consentrate on a nice smooth trigger release. Also ensure you have a safe light trigger as well. Concentrate on squeezing the trigger and getting your breathing right and forget about the kick.

    Good luck


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jcampbellsmith View Post
    George One thought, have you checked the trigger pull weight of your new rifle? One of my early Rugers when checked had a 9lb trigger. Second thought, take up DC's offer of a hand. Good luck JCS
    flinching is something we develop with a shock i.e a loud bang or a kick
    two ways to stop this

    1, as JCS states adjust the trigger so that you dont have to drag it so hard therefore it should stop the impending pull and flinch you get from the pressure

    2, let someone else shoot the rifle while you watch so it allows you to hear and see what it does, it will help trust me.

    flinching is a reaction to an event and all you have to do is counter act what caused it to start. familiarisation and use will eventually make it stop.

    good luck,


  10. #10
    can i make a suggestion
    stop playing about trying to punch holes in paper to try and cure it
    that will not help get rid of the flinch
    infact you now never will be rid of it for that paticular rifle
    you would be better now practicing another way so your flinch is less noticible
    is your rifle set up
    trigger lightened is the main thing that will really help no-end
    is it anywhere near zeroed,
    if not get a mate to do it so it will be close enough for starters
    set yourself up a target at 50 yards and one at 100 yards
    from there use a set of sticks or even a bi-pod, sticks are best as it makes you concentrate more on the shot and not the bang
    start with the 50 yarder and just point and pull with out trying to aim to much
    just put x hair on the bull and squeeze the trigger (don't snatch at it), switch to the 100 yarder and do the same
    if you try and aim you will think about the shot and that makes you wait for the gun to go bang, that is when you start to flinch
    dry firing practice did not help me that much at all, infact i still flinch when i do a dry fire now with my 30-06
    but out in the field it is a case of choosing the shot/aim point, raise the rifle and place the X-hairs on the POA then just squeeze the trigger all in one swift movement this way you are reducing the time thinking about where to aim and less time wobbling or waiting for the rifle to go bang,
    the less time you spend thinking about the shot the more accurate your shot will become
    good luck for the future

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