Things To Keep In Mind
Stance - Just like every sport. Here are the adjustments I make (for me):
- Left foot slightly forward
- Right eye slightly center
- My wife is cross-eye dominant, so she does the opposite.
Grip - There is a lot to this, so you may want to watch this section a few times if these are all new concepts to you:
- You can’t have a good grip if you have a bad grab
- Start with your hands together in the natural clapping position
- Hand placement…
- The best placed grip in the world doesn’t matter if you body mechanics are off
- Create a nutcracker style tension.
- Engage pinky muscles.
- Make certain there is zero hand tension in your trigger finger
- Practice pressing the gun out.
- For extra control on plastic guns, I cock my support elbow up.
- Push-pull isn’t a thing. I don’t understand why I would want to assist the gun in recoiling
Posture - This is more important than people give attention, in fact it is the most overlooked part to high performance shooting that I notice across the spectrum of beginning to advanced shooters:
- Keep your head up (bring the gun up to you,) Don’t turtle your head, this affects vision
- Be slightly forward aggressive at the waste (don’t hunch your back) you want to be able to breathe.
- Tension should come from the forearms, not your man hands. They will get tired.
Recoil control with a pistol is something I get asked about a lot, and recently the questions seem to be coming at a higher volume on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube than I have time to answer individually. So, it must be a sign; time to make a YouTube video about it. So, now that I have a small break between matches, I thought I’d attempt to address as many of these questions in one video as I can.
The first thing I usually do when asked about how to shoot “fast and flat” is reply with a question; why? It may sound a little cocky, but that isn’t the intention. People have different reasons for this, and it really comes down to these three:
- * Comfort: It is just more pleasant to shoot if you have some solid fundamentals. Plain and simple. The better your technique (more often than not), the more enjoyable it is to discharge any firearm.
- * Safety: I know, this is kind of a “duh” reason, but it needs to be said. If you DON’T have control of a firearm, you are not being safe! Which then stands to reason that more proficient we become with a firearm, the safer we are with it for ourselves and those around us.
- * Performance: Yeah, the reason I made the video… people want to be Ricky Bobby with their pistol, and think the secret is to be able to shoot “fast and flat.”
With that out of the way….
Recoil “Control” is a bit of a misnomer. That’s why I prefer to call it “recoil management.” We are dealing with containing some forces of nature here, and it is a lot more effective and efficient to work with them than trying to work against them.
After taking lots of lessons and trying pretty much every approach I could learn about under the sun, I’ve decided that the three elements for Recoil Management are as follows:
- * Focus your time on trigger control. If you can’t press the trigger straight back, then it doesn’t matter how quickly you can get the sights back on target because you’re going to mess up the sight alignment with a bad trigger press.
- * Then focus on watching your sights to see how they perform with your choice of ammo. Regardless of your body mechanics, you can only shoot as fast as you can see.
- * For those that would say, “I’d rather be accurate than fast,” please realize that speed and accuracy are not mutually exclusive. Translation: Shooting fast and missing your target in repeated succession isn’t shooting fast, it is quickly wasting your ammo, and hitting your target slow. Shooting fast (speed) is only how quickly you can hit the target (or an array of targets) repeatedly.
Build Safe Range Habits
- Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
- Do not point the gun at anything you are not ok destroying.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
- Know your target and what is beyond.
- Store guns and ammunition so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
- Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
- Define a designated shooting area with a defined firing line.
- Set up a designated admin surface.
- Clear your gun each time you pick it up.
- Keep live ammunition organized and in a safe admin area for reloading magazines.
- Keep actions open and pointed down range when guns are not in use.