Will Recoil Make You a Better Shot?

In a recent episode of my weekly video blog, Into the Fray, I suggested that using the SureStrike laser cartridge from Laser Ammo would help improve your shooting accuracy. At least one person responded that such training would not improve shooting skills because it did not include training with recoil.

There may be plenty of shooters out there who believe the only way to overcome recoil-induced shooting problems is to “shoot through it,” but nothing could be further from the truth.

As a shooter, you can’t overcome a flinch by pounding your shooting hand with recoil. You can, however, ingrain the basic shooting mechanics so thoroughly into your muscle memory through dry-fire training that you will keep all your rounds on target.

The first thing you need to remember is that accuracy comes before the shot. Recoil comes after the shot. If you do everything correctly right up to the point where the firing pin hits the primer, your only concern with recoil should be reestablishing the sight picture for a follow-up shot.

When talking about dry-fire training, we must always start with the safety rules. Remove the magazine from your firearm and empty it. Lock the slide to the rear and visually and physically inspect the chamber of your pistol. If you are using a revolver, make sure you clear the cylinder. Remove all the ammunition from the room in which you will train.

Now, to build your shooting skills without dealing with recoil or report, you should begin by focusing on the basics. Whether you use Laser Ammo or not, run through the Wall Drill first. Establish a strong firing grip. Raise your firearm to eye level and, keeping the muzzle about 1 inch from the wall, operate the trigger without adding any additional movement to the muzzle. Press the trigger smoothly and deliberately to the rear so the release of the firing pin surprises you. Do this five times, then rest. Repeat often. If you can make the time, repeat this drill daily.

The reason this will improve your shooting is because, as I said above, accuracy comes before the shot. Through dry-fire training, you are establishing and reinforcing good shooting skills. The most important part of accuracy is operating the trigger without adding additional movement to the muzzle. Dry-fire training helps you to do that. The more you do this correctly, the more your shooting will improve. If you conduct dry fire training every day during the week, you should see real improvement on your weekly trips to the range.

If you are still jerking the trigger in anticipation of the recoil, drop down to a .22-caliber pistol and conduct your range training as if you were practicing the Wall Drill. Make a conscious effort to smoothly work the trigger through the “surprise” break while keeping in mind that accuracy comes before the shot. If the sights are aligned on the target, the bullet will hit the target. Recoil does not matter. Recoil occurs after the bullet leaves the muzzle.

If you combine the great trigger control you learn during dry-fire training and get it in your head that you need only worry about recoil as it relates to reacquiring the sight picture for the next shot, you will see great improvement in your accuracy.

Dry-fire training works. Laser training will improve your shooting. Don’t think you need to have recoil to help you get on target.