How to Control Flinching While Shooting

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The Drill:

It’s only natural to flinch when you hear a loud bang. But when you’re shooting, that slight movement can have significant consequences. USCCA Training Operations Manager Steve Fischer shares an easy way to correct this tendency and focus on your muzzle management and trigger press.

The Setup:

At the range, you will need your defensive firearm, a target placed at 10 feet, a mixture of live and dummy rounds, and ear and eye protection. A partner is also handy so that dummy rounds are more of a surprise.

The Skills:

If we flinch while shooting, it can cause us to go off target. Being aware of the movement is an excellent first step. By replacing some live rounds with dummy rounds, in no particular order, you’ll notice that when the gun clicks instead of bangs, you still move in anticipation of the recoil. This is what causes groupings to spread out.

The Details:

Take a shooting partner to the range and have him or her load your magazine with a mixture of live rounds and dummy rounds. To start, place your target at a distance of 10 feet. You can increase this distance further along in your practice.

Aim for center mass. Execute a slow and steady trigger press until you hear a click, when you should notice your flinch. Clear the malfunction — rack and slap — and continue firing until all rounds are downrange.

Safety Considerations:

Remember always to follow the universal rules for gun safety. Also, do not commence shooting until your partner has given the OK. It is essential that both parties wear ear and eye protection.

Closing Thoughts:

This is a great drill to help you focus on your mindset and alert you to habits you may have overlooked. And it has the added bonus of preparing you for a malfunction.

Vary your training. Keep it fun. Keep it safe. And keep practicing.