My name is Ralph and I flinch. I know I’m not supposed to, and I try really hard not to, but Satan will have his due. The devil makes me do it.
I can dry fire all day long with no flinch. I can shoot .22s all day long with no flinch. But with a real gun in my hand, I am a sinner.
Tom Campbell, one of the great shooters of the last generation (and still no slouch!) once told me “I flinch, X (a very famous shooter) flinches, we all flinch. The best shooters simply don’t flinch much at all and do so consistently.” That made me feel better for a while. It meant that I wasn’t a bad person, just a bad shooter. But I feel bad. And the flinch came back with a vengeance after my shooting layoff and still rears its ugly head much too often. I have tried everything I can think of and last week, one thing seemed to help. At least for me, and at least for a while. Everything’s subject to change, though.
The hint came from our friend Edju (that’s “Ed” in American). The trick is to put considerable, conscious pressure at the base of your strong hand’s palm heel, where it contacts the bottom of the back strap as you pull the trigger (indeed, as you hold the gun). This point is shown below with some pics of Mike Seeklander illustrating. (I didn’t ask Mike’s permission to use his pictures, and I have no idea if he endorses this technique. But he’s a hell of a nice guy so I’m hoping he doesn’t sue me.)
I also find it useful, when I can manage to split my concentration, to imagine I’m pulling my trigger finger straight back into my eye.
We’ll see what next week brings. Pray for me.
UPDATE: Just got an email from Marcus Wynne in which he reports diagnosing his problem at a recent practice session. He figured out that he wasn’t applying enough pressure to the grip with his pinky, which I submit is pretty much the same thing as applying pressure to the grip from the other side as I describe above. Hey, great minds, 1000 miles apart; maybe we’re onto something.
Finally: I’ll hit this point often and hard: if you carry a gun for self-defense, you have to know the law. Invest the money you’d spend on shaving a tenth of a second off your splits with Andrew Branca’s book or seminars — it’ll pay far greater dividends. Visit this link to learn more, and use the discount code “streetstandards” for a 10% discount.