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 Post subject: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:52 pm
Posts: 43
I'm sure the subject has been discussed but I have searched for remedies with very limited luck. My problem is I have for some reason developed a flintch that does not allow me to pull the trigger when I call for a bird. It has got to the point I'm considering quitting one of the things I truly enjoy. Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.




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 Post subject: Re: Flintch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:43 pm
Posts: 96
It's a tough problem.

First things I'd try address recoil, which can be a big contributor to developing a flinch. Shoot light loads -- 28ga target loads are plenty for skeet, and a lot of guys shoot 28ga for the 12, 20, and 28ga events. Then look at gun fit. Pitch, cast, LOP all affect how the gun handles under recoil. I'd spend some time and money with a reputable stockfitter (Country Gentleman is great, and there are many others) and make sure the gun's not slapping you due to poor fit.

Beyond that there's release triggers, but I view that as a last resort.


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 Post subject: Re: Flintch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 23371
The heaviest gun you can handle shooting the lightest and slowest load will reduce the actual recoil - that can help in that regard. Another part of the solution would be using a release trigger. A friend put one on his Kolar after fighting a flinch for a few years and overnight everything was right again - it might work for you. Last, gun fit, as mentioned, would be the third part of a potential solution.
Good luck

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 Post subject: Re: Flintch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 5878
Location: Northern Virginia
While the posts above all mention recoil, another reason for flinching is "target Panic", meaning, at the moment you want to shoot, you suddenly doubt your lead, etc. This is what I was experiencing, mostly on High 2. I switched to a release trigger, and never looked back.

Also, many people who have never shot a release trigger over-exaggerate the difficulty of moving to a release trigger. It's not that hard. I decided on a shoot on Sunday that I was switching to the double release trigger. I had previously bought it, Kolar, and installed it that night. I lost 8 or more birds due to flinching that weekend. Monday night, I went out and shot a flat of 28 ga, all doubles for the first 8 boxes. I thought I was getting the hang of it, so shot a regular round the 9th box and ran a 25. Shot all doubles again for the 10th box.....and never looked back.

One more thing, don't waste your time and money getting a release-pull set up. Most guys I know that did that, switched to Double release the next year, and paid all the gunsmith fees again!!

Good Luck, send me a PM if you want to chat on the phone. Happy to answer any questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Flintch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:33 pm
Posts: 6676
Location: Mascoutah IL
I believe it's a myth that most flinching is due to recoil. There is such a thing as recoil induced flinching, but I believe it is the rarest contributing factor.

I believe what clay shooters call flinching most often occurs when something has happened to momentarily interfere with the shooters focus or swing and when the focus comes back near the break point the brain is screaming SHOOT, while at the same time telling you that you are not on target and will miss.

I flinch more with an unfamiliar gun, or a lightweight whippy 410. I also tend to flinch on poor vision days or on days when my hip really reminds me it needs to be replaced.

I think anything that can interrupt focus or swing between calling for a target and shooting it can cause a flinch. Recent changes in gun, changes in health, intermittent focus on the target..

I've found being more conscious on a hard target focus helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:22 am
Posts: 48
Location: Nebraska
To OP:
I was in the exact same spot as you. Mine was not from recoil (I shoot mostly 28g). I thought is was a visual thing. I tried gunfitters, adjustable combs, adjustable butt pads, high ribs, low ribs, even a semi custom stock that I put more cast on. Non of that worked for me. If you watched me it actually looked silly cause I couldn't get my finger to pull the trigger. (look at you tube videos of Charles Barkley Golf swing)

I tried using my middle finger on the trigger, that helped for a few hundred shells.
Finally, as a last chance , shoot a friends double release.
The instant I wanted to break the target the gun went off !

I got bought a double release for my kolar.
I was very scared of it at first. mostly worried about what to do after setting the trigger and then get a broken bird , or any other reason to not shoot. Simply, keep hold of trigger and open gun with other hand. caught on to it after a few trys. after 1000 shells it's completely natural now.

When I describe it to people I use the analogy of typing on a computer.
If you learned how to type using all ten fingers, you simply "know" which finger to use to type the letter "R" (for example). Your mind thinks "R" and the correct finger pushes the key. You don't have to think about it, it just happens. As opposed to someone who types with 1 finger. you have to think and look for each key.

After shooting a release, and knowing what it feels like for the gun to go off the INSTANT you want it to, I don't think I ever did that with a pull trigger. I was always a split second late. I wish I knew why, or what's wrong with my ability to shoot like normal people, but I know a double release works for me.
Don't be scared to give it a try before you quit.

PM me if you want more info about it


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:51 pm
Posts: 88
John Henry nailed it!

I “shoulder” the gun on occasion and 99 percent of the time I have ridden a long incoming bird towards me to the point I “panic” that it is too close. The brain screams NOW and the body leans into the expected recoil.

For me the fix is to be more aggressive and shoot as soon as I have the correct gap. The pattern is larger at the stake and I’m working on getting the bird just as it gets to my side, as opposed to waiting until it is in the exact same spot it would be for doubles.

As a side note I did not notice the shouldering until I started shooting my 410 tubes as my primary practice last year. Recoil with 12 was actually covering up my flinch. And where it is visual not recoil related, I still did it with the 410. I got some funny ShotKam videos too! You can’t fool yourself with video lol.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 2830
Location: Central Maine
Flinching is no fun. Some shooters are able to train thru it and minimize the impact to their game. I don’t know that anyone completely gets rid of a flinch issue

Like others that posted, I made the change to release trigger for sporting clays about 7 years ago. I adapted to it quickly and easily. I attended a tournament on one weekend and flinched terribly leading to a score of about 60 out of 100. Bought a used release trigger for my Beretta 391, got it in mail on Thursday and made sure it worked and I could disarm it safely. Attended another tournament that weekend and the flinch was gone and gained a bunch of targets back just like that

I encourage anyone having flinch issues to try various things and release trigger as a last resort

It is a costly correction in particular if over time you change guns or shoot multiple guns. A single barrel gun like a semi auto is less expensive at roughly $200. O/U’s are $750 and up to convert and the only person the cost adds value to is you. You won’t get much if any of that spend back

If you go the release trigger route make sure you can safely operate it and disarm it. As noted, on a double opening the gun does the trick and on a gas gun pulling the bolt back does the trick. Practice this. And have the sticker with the R on the gun so people know it is a release trigger gun.

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Beretta A400 Excel "Black" Cole Special
Browning Citori Crossover Target
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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:00 pm
Posts: 43
I don't flinch with a shotgun - yet.. I have flinched when shooting a handgun repeatedly.

But this got me wondering about the mental vs physical aspects of repetitive motions. With the handgun, a flinch only seemed to occur when trying to shoot a bullseye target over and over. Switching to pictures of bowling pins, cue balls, etc, seemed to help me relax and not flinch.

Switching to a release trigger makes things "different" and wondered if that was the real trick to it - just doing something different...

So, do folks who switch up their clay games experience flinching the same? Meaning, if I'm flinching on the trap range, would I flinch the same while bird hunting, or at sporting clays and skeet?


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:17 am
Posts: 886
Misplaced Lead wrote:


So, do folks who switch up their clay games experience flinching the same? Meaning, if I'm flinching on the trap range, would I flinch the same while bird hunting, or at sporting clays and skeet?

John Henry and I progressed toward release triggers in about the same way, so I won't plow that ground again. Referring to the part I've quoted.....Our club held a member shoot that included trap. Thinking that because it was a different game, I might get away with using my pull-trigger Citori. Hah! In 50 targets I flinched a half dozen times.
On the other hand, I've been through two full bird seasons with a pull-trigger gun with nary a flinch.


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:47 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:29 pm
Posts: 2830
Location: Central Maine
I flinched for the first time bird hunting this fall. Prior to this I had no issues that way. It happened to me several times.

I can pick up a pull trigger gun while shooting clays and perhaps shoot 5-6 pairs before I begin to flinch

Gauge doesn’t matter. My flinch doesn’t discriminate at all. 12 or 20 or 28 and even .410. Without a release trigger I flinch

And changing clays games doesn’t help elieviate the issue.

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Beretta A400 Excel "Black" Cole Special
Browning Citori Crossover Target
Beretta A400 20 Gauge

NSCA 602398


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:16 pm 
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mqlou wrote:
I'm sure the subject has been discussed but I have searched for remedies with very limited luck. My problem is I have for some reason developed a flintch that does not allow me to pull the trigger when I call for a bird. It has got to the point I'm considering quitting one of the things I truly enjoy. Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


Inability to pull the trigger when you want to is the classic freeze/flinch situation. I've heard/read of numerous different "cures" for this, but the "cure" seems only to work for a very small percentage of shooters.

The only thing that works to control/prevent the flinch about 95+ percent of the time is a release trigger. It's been working for me for close to 20 years. Yes, it's a pain in the a$$ to have to have your guns converted to release trigger, but in the grand scheme of things, the cost is a drop in the bucket.

So, once you tire of trying all the alleged "cures" and tire of wasting time and money, try a release trigger. If you're like 98% of shooters, the "cure" will be instant. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:00 pm
Posts: 43
Thanks for the responses, I've definitely learned something today.


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:49 pm
Posts: 3809
Location: Mormon Mecca
mqlou wrote:
I'm sure the subject has been discussed but I have searched for remedies with very limited luck. My problem is I have for some reason developed a flintch that does not allow me to pull the trigger when I call for a bird. It has got to the point I'm considering quitting one of the things I truly enjoy. Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.
If you ask 100 flinchers to describe their flinch, you are likely to get 100 different descriptions on how, exactly, each persons flinch manifests itself for that individual. No two will be exactly the same. Mostly, that is because no two brains act exactly the same. Recoil CAN be a player, but I personally don't believe it is EVER the main and/or the only cause of a flinch. It has to do with how YOUR brain functions.

For me, I am going to flinch with any gun, any gauge I shoot if the gun has a pull trigger and I am pre-mounting the gun and calling for a clay target in ANY clay target game. I average about 20 to 25 percent of the time with a pre-mounted gun shooting clay targets. If I shoot a low gun with a pull trigger and use the swing, mount, shoot method of shooting clay targets, the flinching is usually less than 1%.

If I'm shooting live birds in the field, I can count on one hand the number of flinches I've had in well over 60 years of bird hunting.

I switched to double release in my Skeet gun about 15 years ago. I would never consider going back to a pull trigger even if my flinching completely disappeared tomorrow. And I will honestly tell you that I can still flinch on occasion with a release trigger on clay targets. But it's only once or twice during a 4-gun plus Dbls event where with a pull trigger it would be 20 or more times in all 5 of the 100 target events shot at a 500 target tournament. At my tender young age of 78, I have no difficulty in shifting back and forth between pull triggers for field use and release triggers for clay target range use.

Release triggers should be a no brainer if you really love to blow up clay targets.

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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:09 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
OP do you pre-mount or shoot low gun/cheat mount? See dubob’s comment above. I recently spent a morning with a coach working on changing from pre-mount to cheat mount. One of the things he had me do on the long slow incomer L1 was to wait and just watch and turn with the bird as it came in to me and only complete the cheat mount and shoot when the clay reached where I wanted to break it. That process completely removed any tendency for my brain to question my lead after tracking the clay. IF you are not using low/cheat mount, based on my experience it’s worth a try.


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:02 pm
Posts: 475
Flinch = The Yips (golf) plus recoil and BOOM.


Last edited by J.Fred_Muggs on Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:45 am
Posts: 548
Location: Missoula, MT
I was occaisonally flinching, but only on long incomers, so I suspected my flinch was a mental problem: I had too much doubt in my mind. I was measuring leads. I really can't afford double release triggers, so now I am working on soft focusing on my incomers, until I am almost ready to shoot. Then I hard focus. Also, I now use Paul G's technique on incomers: I hold and look farther out from the house. That way I don't have to track the target all the way across the field. Finally, just knowing what was causing my flinch helped. Haven't been shooting a lot lately, but the last few times I shot I didn't flinch once.
Randy

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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:02 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:52 pm
Posts: 43
Guys I want to thank all of you for your feedback and will be trying a few things to help myself. I have a good friend who shoots a release trigger and he is going to help.


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:32 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:09 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
mqlou wrote:
Guys I want to thank all of you for your feedback and will be trying a few things to help myself. I have a good friend who shoots a release trigger and he is going to help.


Please come back and let us know if any of these suggestions worked . . for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Flinch Cause and Cure
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:17 am
Posts: 886
Westender wrote:
mqlou wrote:
Guys I want to thank all of you for your feedback and will be trying a few things to help myself. I have a good friend who shoots a release trigger and he is going to help.


Please come back and let us know if any of these suggestions worked . . for you.

I think he'll perceive an improvement..............because he wants to believe it. And he may, in fact, reduce the flinch to a level that is acceptable to him.

I frequently squad with a guy who is going through the same gyrations as the OP. I've given him the same sort of advice as has been given here. In truth, he's actually reduced the frequency of flinching. However, it's still there and lurks its head at the most inopportune times.............Of course, one flinch in competition begets another. He'll end up with a release trigger.........guaranteed. Or he'll quit shooting competition.




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