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  1. you can help eliminate flinching by having a friend preload a mixture of live rounds and dummy training rounds in a magazine and having you fire it. Anticipation is usually the reason folks flinch and not knowing when the weapon will fire or not helps tone it down.

  2. I would highly recommend the mantis x device. As an avid shooter it’s helped me improve my scores on the pistol range. I use it for new shooters to help them master the berettas difficult trigger pulls both double and single action or any pistol for that matter. You can use it for dry fire and live fire. Simple easy and effective. https://mantisx.com/

  3. If you are working on recoil, using the .22 is not going to help you. Stick with the 9, try that drill I linked you yesterday, and start around 7 yards.

    I am not sure what you mean by a more relaxed stance. You should be gripping the pistol so hard, that, in the beginning, your front sight is shaking. Practice that dry. You want to muscle the recoil and control it, rather than ride it. When you practice the strength of your grip, you are using muscles that you normally dont use.

    In time, your front sight will no longer shake. Watch some videos of Travis Haley and notice how little of recoil he is showing. Jerry Miculek has some great videos on pistol grip, too. There is also a video of a US Army pistol champion showing how and why to practice your grip strength dry.

    You like the .22 because it has little recoil. Try something large then the 9mm, and then go to the 9. It will feel more like the .22. Good luck.

    1. Might there be a difference between “relaxed stance” and “relaxed grip”?

      The biggest test of stance I’ve experienced is not recoil, but having a buddy rack the slide during dry-fire practice.

      I agree, to master the 9mm, learn to shoot a .357 magnum, or .45 acp accurately. Then, the 9mm will seem like a pussycat.

      Ball-and-dummy drills–YES!

      In overcoming flinch, I’d avoid long shot strings. One quick shot, focusing on accuracy at longer range, would be my suggestion. Once that is mastered, move on to multiple shots–preferably at multiple targets.

  4. get you some snap caps (dummy rounds). mix one or two in with your ammo as you load your magazines. do not watch where they go. do not always load them in the same spot.
    as you shoot through your drills you will come upon those dummy rounds and the change in the gun will be easy to see. I have had students who could not see what they were doing and I had to load only one live round to a mag of snap caps; thus telling them there were no live rounds. shooting is mostly mental. do not MAKE the shot happen, concentrate on proper trigger technique and watch your sights lift off the target when it goes boom. carry on.

  5. I started shooting IPSC a few years back just as my “age-induced far-sightedness” became really noticeable. The constant push to shoot faster and an inability to focus the front sight quickly was leading me into a bad habit of shooting when I didn’t have a clear front sight focus. This was not doing wonders for my accuracy, to say the least.
    My solution was safety glasses with the entire lens having a + power like reading glasses. They are available for cheap from many sources, including Amazon. I simply bought a selection and use the ones that seem to work best. I found that somewhere around half of the + power I normally need for reading glasses is about right. I can get my eyes to focus sharp on the target if need be but switching focus to the front sight is easy and fast. Just that little bit of help made a big difference.

  6. Practice is, as you have discovered, a vital component. It builds confidence as well as skill, and confidence is everything in a crisis. If you need to practice with a .22 for any reason (recoil or cheap ammo), the .22 should be as close to your ‘big’ gun as possible. I am old school: Colt-Browning. With a 1911 and a .22 conversion you are shooting the same gun all the time. The controls are the same. The trigger is the same. All your practice reinforces the ‘right’ habits. A 9mm 1911 is heavy enough to help with recoil if that is a problem. If you need more magazine capacity, you can get .22 units to fit a Browning Hi-power.

  7. The key to eliminating flinching is lots and lots of dry firing. Focus on the front sight and concentrate on keeping it in position as you squeeze the trigger. Do this every time you dry fire, and that habit will translate when you fire real ammo. I have a revolver equipped with a laser system that I dry fire at a laser target. If you shoot 100 “rounds” of dry fire (and do it properly) for every live round you fire, your pistol shooting will improve drastically!

  8. What Cbass said-

    you can help eliminate flinching by having a friend preload a mixture of live rounds and dummy training rounds in a magazine and having you fire it. Anticipation is usually the reason folks flinch and not knowing when the weapon will fire or not helps tone it down.

    Also, FWIW, I’ve trained guys that claimed to “dry fire 2 hours every day” that seemed to flinch/react a little nutty every time the weapon actually went boom…

    Dry firing has it’s place, more so for actual weapon MANIPULATION IMO, but nothing is the same as the act of converting money into sound – actual shooting LOL.

    To develop true skill at arms we need to devoting a lot of time, training and yes ammo to this. It’s NOT going to develop shooting only 500 rounds a year.

  9. I still occasionally dry fire while balancing a quarter on the front sight. This calms me down and slows me down and helps me concentrate on the front sight, (the quarter).
    Don’t forget to use snap caps. It’s easier on the working parts.

  10. Mentioning the “within 2 inches of center” at 15 yards is pretty good shooting, flinching or not. Considering that under stress the 50% rule applies. (Meaning that whatever/however big your shot placement size typically is during practice it will be at least 50% bigger under stress) I understand that aiming small means missing small but it reads like to me that your are unnecessarily beating yourself up a little to much. Just relax a bit, understand that flinching is a thing to work on and remember that most of the vital spots are within a 4 to 5 inch area (heart/lungs/spine) and a follow up shot to the ocular cavity area (bottom of nose to the eyebrows and to the left and right of the eyes) for a full stop to the threat.

  11. Novice, as an NRA handgun instructor and an IDPA Master, I would recommend that you find a qualified instructor and book a few private lessons. I think you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make that way. Trying to solve your problems on your own, even with good advice, can be difficult and even discouraging. Get some instruction from a pro and watch your shooting improve.

  12. One thing stands out to me, and I believe this is why you’re not getting the accuracy comparison between the Center Fire pistols v. the SW22. The SW22 is a fixed barrel blowback design. The barrel doesn’t move as the slide cycles back ejecting the spent casing and stripping and loading the next cartridge. Accuracy wise, no locked breech action is going to compare to a straight blowback action (unless you want to spend a mint and buy a Sig 210, probably the most accurate 9mm ever engineered). 9 mm Blowback doesn’t really work very well. .22, .25, .32, and .380 can be made in a blowback design, but in 9mm the pressures are too much for that type of action, unless it gets built up to take the pressure ( Hi-Points and Jiminez Arms have a 9mm blowback design, but they’re both bottom rung guns, both heavy, difficult to rack the slide due to the extra heavy duty recoil springs, and not noted for their aesthetic appeal).
    So not to rain on the parade, it’s equivalent to comparing apples and oranges due to the difference in the actions.

  13. They way to get my wife past the final flinch, after all other steps like safety, stance, grip, trigger wall etc. were learned was. At the range, load up every available magazine for the firearm.

    She chose the Walther Q5 and we both carry the PPQ sub compacts. So we have at least 14 magazines combined.

    I let her fire every magazine from our PPQsc’s in succession, over and over. Then I kept loading the magazines she had already fired and gave them back to her to fire. We kept doing this for about 2 cycles. Until we were hearing consecutive steel targets hit from the entire magazine.

    She put down about 400 rounds in that session. After that she was, as horsemen like to call it, bombproof. No more flinch and a heavy appetite to throw lead from that point on. The blast and recoil didn’t matter anymore. She was so used to it that she started hitting steel from 15 yards just as good as I could.

  14. My observation is that most people squeeze the pistol in the dominant hand and wrap the other around. A much better way is treating your hands like a vise. Push forward with the dominant hand (do not squeeze the gun in that hand) and pull back with the wrap around hand (think machinists vise instead of squeezing with your dominant hand). In this way you create isometric tension which is a huge help for recoil control. Also notice what happens to your sight picture if you actually do squeeze with your dominant hand… yup, the pistol rotates and moves off target… not good. The isometric tension also allows you to get back on target much more quickly than when not using it because you have a much more secure shooting platform.

    Most semi-auto shooters (pistol and rifle) are also unfamiliar with the concept of trigger reset. You can see the lack of trigger reset glaringly on display in most YouTube shooting videos. The concept of trigger reset is best learned in dry fire mode. Get a spouse or buddy to help. Put the pad of your finger right in the center of the trigger. If you are using a rifle be sure you have a nice C-shaped trigger finger that is not “dragging wood” meaning not touching the stock anywhere. Take the slack out of the trigger and gradually apply pressure for a surprise break. When that happens, keep the trigger all the way back. This is when your buddy helps out by racking the slide or working the semi-auto rifle bolt. This gets you ready for the trigger reset. Gradually and ever so slowly release the tension on the trigger and allow it to move forward until you hear and feel the click as the trigger resets. You are now ready for your next shot. The slack is already out of the trigger. Your finger is in exactly the same place as it was when you took the first shot. Gradually build pressure again to achieve the “surprise break”. Do this drill over and over again. In time it will become second nature and very quick. Your semi-auto handgun and semi-auto rifle shooting will improve in both accuracy and in shot to shot timing.

  15. Any decent pistol shooter will be able to pick up nearly any make/model of pistol and be reasonably accurate with it. The reason is that the fundamentals of shooting apply across all makes and models. Sure there are differences on safety location, trigger pull, etc., between different guns but that does not take away from the necessity to stress the fundamentals. You seem to obsess over one make of gun versus another makes you shoot better, or one brand of bullets makes you shoot better…..these are very minor factors compared to focusing on the fundamentals of shooting. Save the money your spending on buying different guns, bullets and gadgets that you think may help you shoot better and instead take a class or two from a quality instructor. This will be your best ROI and then makes and models will be simply personal preferences rather than the illusion of one brand making you a better or worse shooter.

  16. I would like to thank all of the commentators for taking the time to share their collective wisdom. I really appreciate it. You have given a lot of great suggestions.

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