Trigger Flinch, What It Is And How To Get Rid Of It
It will, quite possibly, save you a lot of ammunition if you get yourself out of a conventional Isosceles Stance, and switch to a, 'Reverse Chapman' stance, instead. 'Why'? Because a lot of your problem is being caused by excess tension along the tendons of your upper (gun hand) forearm.
This excess tension is working against you, and actually exaggerating your tendency to, 'jerk' the trigger as the sear breaks. When you do this put a little more downward bend in your strong wrist, too - Try this for awhile and I'm sure that you'll see what I mean.
There are two different types of - for lack of better words - what I will call, ‘HYSTERICAL TRIGGER FLINCH’: Pre:ignition, and Post:ignition. Neither is the same thing as what I’m going to describe as, ‘AUTONOMIC AIMING REFLEX’.
Hysterical, pre:ignition flinch occurs at the same time as the trigger is pulled and BEFORE the primer ignites. It usually happens when the fingers of the gun-hand are progressively tightened, thereby, causing the trigger to, ‘jerk’. When this happens the muzzle tends to drop while it is pulled toward the weakest part of the enclosing hand. (Toward your body’s vertical centerline.)
Hysterical, post:ignition flinch occurs as the sear breaks and AFTER the primer has ignited. The most noticeable difference between, ‘pre’, and, ‘post’ ignition flinching is one of degree (or, extent). Pre:ignition flinching cause more deviation from the original point-of-aim than post:ignition flinching does. Hence the term, ‘trigger jerk’ is often used. Low left POI’s are a very common.
It’s taken me most of my lifetime in the shooting sports to realize that: ‘Not all flinching is flinching.’ Something else is, also, taking place. ALL flinching is NOT actually an undesirable learned response to, what is so often called, ‘negative stimulii’. Instead, ‘hysterical flinching’ is actually a necessary - BUT, IMPROPERLY TIMED - autonomic reflex action to a handgun going off. (You don’t know, ‘What’ I mean - Huh!) Have you ever watched someone fire a pistol really fast? You don’t see any flinching; do you! I will assure you, however, that some form of flinching is definitely taking place. (If it weren’t the handgun would end up pointing straight up in the air!)
How did I discover this? One afternoon I was firing a pistol very very fast and dumping one clip after another into the targets. Suddenly a round failed to go off; and guess what I saw my hands do? When the striker release my body instinctively initiated a perfect, front sight, ‘pull down’. For all the world it looked just like I had (hysterically) flinched - EXCEPT all of my shots had riddled the center of the target in the same way that they usually do.
I hadn’t flinched hysterically! Instead I had subconsciously and autonomically, ‘pulled the front sight down’ in order to reflexively recapture my front sight picture. While the pistol was actually going off nobody watching me would have seen anything out of the ordinary except for the pistol going off. That, ‘flinch’ was only observable during the middle of a shot string IF a cartridge primer didn’t ignite.
CONSEQUENTLY, IF YOUR AUTONOMIC TIMING AND BODY REFLEXES ARE PROPERLY SYNCHRONIZED THEN THERE IS NO, ‘HYSTERICAL FLINCH’. IF, HOWEVER, YOUR BODY’S AUTONOMIC TIMING AND REFLEXES ARE NOT PROPERLY COORDINATED THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THAT, ‘HYSTERICAL FLINCH’ WILL APPEAR.
All of which tells you, ‘What’ the physical problems you’re dealing with are; but, not how to correct them. For correction of, ‘flinching’ problems I’m going to refer interested pistol shooters to the, ‘Flinching Inoculation Drills’ popularized by, George Harris. Mr. Harris is a Firearms Instructor whose thoughts and opinions on the subject of, 'flinching', while not identical, are compatible with my own.