Recoil Control

This is a discussion on Recoil Control within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; On Sunday my FIL and I shot off about 100 round each. My FIL is very new to hand guns but is an amazing shot ...

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Thread: Recoil Control

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    Member Array MJClark's Avatar
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    Recoil Control

    On Sunday my FIL and I shot off about 100 round each. My FIL is very new to hand guns but is an amazing shot with a long rifle. One question that he had for me was in terms of recoil control as a way to lessen the time that you are out of sight picture.

    For me, I position my arms to act as a spring and hold the gun as high as I can and drop my head a bit. That why the recoil pushes my arms, elbows bend a bit and gun stays reasonably horizontal at all times with minimal movement. He was trying to do the same thing, but his barrel would still come up a bit more than he was comfortable with. However each shot was still reasonably close and every shot was on the target.

    I have seen some videos where there is almost no evidence of recoil at all, and they are shooting 40 or 45's.

    What other suggestions do you have regarding recoil control?
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    With a proper grip (assuming right-handed here), your right hand should be just a little higher than your left. While shooting, put a little forward tension on the gun with your right hand, and a little backward tension with your left hand. This will serve to reduce muzzle flip.
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    Member Array locotest's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I'll have to try that, I also have a problem with recoil, another thing is since I am older I get fatigued and have a hard time holding my handgun at arms length for very long, are there any exercises that help with that besides dry firing?

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    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    I teach my students to extend their are out to a "mechanical lock' they're straight out. This way it's easier to be consistant. The lock stops the extension in the same place every time. If you bend your arms to act as a shock absorber, the angle at which they are bent is not always the same. And so it goes, different presentation, different results. I'm not saying my way is the only way, or if it's right or wrong, but consistancy needs to be programed into your muscle memory. Just try this and see if it works for you. Feet shoulder width apart. If your right handed, left foot slightly forward. Shift your weight forward over your knees, like your being attacked from the front. extend your arms straight out, not so hard as to induce muscle tremors, but don't bend them. Grip your gun as high up on the grip as you can so as not to interfere with the slide. The skin between your thumb and forefinger should be a little wrinkled from your grip on the gun. Thumbs forward. This should reduce percieved recoil, maybe not felt recoil, but the gun shouldn't jump off target as much. Let the gun settle back on its own, don't muscle it down, it will settle back by itself. Check how your allowing the trigger to reset after each shot, that will help with getting back on target faster. Try it, hope it helps.
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    What the support hand is going during the shot will make a difference as well. However, the physical configuration of guns differs - e.g., you grip a revolver differently than an autopistol. What gun are you and FIL shooting?
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    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    I use a method very similar to what trainer DR Middlebrooks advocates. See this thread he started here and consider his DVD's Proper Grip & Recoil Managment

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    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    ^ +1. Grip is very, very important. It's almost an absolute, when it comes to recoil-control. There's a drill common to many top-tier pistol classes where the student is asked to get a best-possible grip on their gun at 3 to 5 yards, sight-in, and the instructor will then manipulate the trigger violently (either with their finger or with a pencil/pen/chopstick/screwdriver/etc.) - if the student does their job correctly, none of the shots "jerking the trigger" even with such violence will depart the A-zone or -0 zone. That's how important the grip is.

    Upper body presentation is the next factor. Here, there's two schools of thought: one is to mechanically "lock" your joints as much as possible and use your skeletal structure (and mass) as a literal firm abutment against recoil. The other school espouses muscular "shock absorption," with the joints bent. Ultimately, it's up to the individual to figure out exactly which of these two techniques - or a hybrid thereof - works best for him/her as an individual.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Upper body presentation is the next factor. Here, there's two schools of thought: one is to mechanically "lock" your joints as much as possible and use your skeletal structure (and mass) as a literal firm abutment against recoil. The other school espouses muscular "shock absorption," with the joints bent. Ultimately, it's up to the individual to figure out exactly which of these two techniques - or a hybrid thereof - works best for him/her as an individual.
    Grip and core, grip and core....I prefer the "lock" because it is what your body is going to do under stress.

    Take a look at this video for some pointers..

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Another to check out.

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    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Grip and core, grip and core....I prefer the "lock" because it is what your body is going to do under stress.
    I prefer locking-out for more consistency as well. Also, it seems that my upper body doesn't (yet ) complain about locking-out. For me, I've also got the benefit of mass: locked out, that's a lot of meat to push, and I in-turn get much better control that way. I don't necessarily always come to full-presentation when I shoot, particularly dynamically, but I do take the time to lock-out if time/opportunity presents itself, or if the situation demands the utmost precision.

    I also believe that there's definitely something to be said about everything from grip strength to core fitness as well. While I believe that, to an extent, these are secondary considerations, these are nevertheless areas that the aspiring shooter (and aren't we all? ) should pay attention to and constantly improve upon.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    I prefer locking-out for more consistency as well. Also, it seems that my upper body doesn't (yet ) complain about locking-out. For me, I've also got the benefit of mass: locked out, that's a lot of meat to push, and I in-turn get much better control that way. I don't necessarily always come to full-presentation when I shoot, particularly dynamically, but I do take the time to lock-out if time/opportunity presents itself, or if the situation demands the utmost precision.

    I also believe that there's definitely something to be said about everything from grip strength to core fitness as well. While I believe that, to an extent, these are secondary considerations, these are nevertheless areas that the aspiring shooter (and aren't we all? ) should pay attention to and constantly improve upon.
    Like you I lock out for consistency as well, it is what are body is going to do under stress. As far as the core, I believe it is one of the more important Items to focus on, not fitness, but the core of the body. Everyone has one, they just need to learn to focus and use it. Good posts TSI...
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    Member Array commonground's Avatar
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    This is why I joined this forum. Hmm? Thanks guys.
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    Member Array slidewayz240's Avatar
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    Grip high on the tang of the firearm. Roll your support hand forward and fill in the gaps left by your dominant hand. Like so... btw I hate the M9...


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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    The push/pull method works well to stabilize the piece, but the other part is stance, or as already mentioned, core.

    Are you using a Weaver, or Isosceles stance, or modified of either?

    For me the Weaver allows more controllable recoil control because it allows me to use the bicep of my strong hand as I would a rifle stock, and gets more mass behind the pistol. It allows is the foundation of my defensive shooting techniques.

    My advice is to learn both and even modify them to suit your particular shooting style and see what works best.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Another thing I meant to mention is the Isosceles stance is the "in" thing now with the current training of private and LE. I do not now or have ever liked this as a base or standard defensive shooting stance, for various reasons, but it is arguably the fastest, but the control is controlled solely by the grip and arms and shoulders.

    For fast competition style shooting it excells, but IMO, not for practical SD applications.
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