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Yep, sounds like anticipatory recoil flinch to me, too.

Exactly the same thing used to happen to me with handguns

I can shoot light .38 target wadcutters all day long from a two-inch barrel and never flinch or get that split-second eye-closing resistance to anticipated recoil.

But let me toss in a few rounds of full-house .44 Magnums and after that I'd flinch and squint with a .22.
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