Originally Posted by kirbinster
I found this discussion very interesting as I too am a very new shooter. I am having some of the same problems as your wife. I know it is an anticipation thing that is causing me to tighten my grip and flinch. Not exactly sure how to overcome this. When I dry fire my G22 my sights don't budge at all. I can do it just about all day with a .22 case sitting on top of the front sight - it never falls. I even went out and bought a laser training pistol to use around the house for practice. I can shot down the length of a long hallway all the way across the living room and the laser makes a nice clean dot on the wall with little if any movement. But when I go out to the range the flinch is there.
I have been working on trying to pull the trigger very very slowly and that helps some as I am less sure when it will go bang. I have a 9mm conversion barrel (just got) that I am going to try this week as maybe I will be less apprehensive with it than the .40cal. I have very little problems with a .22cal, its just the bigger stuff that is haunting me right now. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
You have started to find the solution, for you, and for the OP's wife. It is called a "surprise break."
You don't want to know when the gun will fire. Point down range, align the sights, focus on the front sight, reducing movement of the whole sight picture, but mentally accepting that it will wobble around some. One half of your brain concentrates on keeping the sights aligned and on target.
The other half of your brain separately begins a slow, very slow, 30 seconds slow, steady trigger pull, like a train moving down the railroad tracks steady, but as slow as you can move it. With the Glock trigger, the spongy pressure builds but you keep pulling that trigger slowly. Eventually, but you don't know when, the gun goes BOOM!
Relax after that shot, perhaps hold the gun down pointing at a 45 degree angle, at the ground well in front of your feet, breathe, count in and out to 10, raise the gun up and align the sights and shoot again, just as slowly. I don't want you to know when the gun is going to fire. If you start to know, then slow the process down even more.
If you don't know when the gun is going to fire, then you won't be flinching. Trust me that eventually, weeks, months later, this process can be sped up to amazing speeds. When I shoot IDPA, a rapid timed competition, I'm still using a surprise break even though it may seem that I'm shooting rapid fire. This is especially true for those headshot scenarios.
Once you have learned the surprise break, then you test yourself every so often at the range with the dummy chamber drill. Easiest to do with a revolver where you leave one cylinder empty, but load the others, and turn it without looking then close and take those nice slow target shots. BOOM, BOOM, click. When it went "click" did the sights suddenly move off target? If they did you will feel like a fool and realize you flinched for no reason. Go back to a very slow trigger pull and repeat the drill, slowly, again. When the gun went "click" this time, did the sights go off target?
You can use a snapcap (dummy round) in a magazine to do the above dummy chamber drill with a semi-auto. Same procedure, but might help to have someone else load the mag for you. Also helps to have someone safely behind you video your shooting, so you can see later howuch the gun moves when you "click"
In my opinion, while dryfire practise, and grip and stance technique are all important, they are no substitute for the above combination of surprise break followed by occassional dummy chamber testing. Oh, by all means, go ahead and double up on ear plugs and ear muffs, to keep the noise out of the equation
Part of the surprise break may entail also learning to mentally accept the recoil. Hard to teach over the internet, but let the recoil happen. The gun is going to go BOOM and there will be muzzle blast and the barrel will rise up into the air. We know these things will happen. Let them happen. Accept them, in a Zen kind of moment just let it happen, don't try to stop it. Eventually, as you advance in your training, you try to control the recoil more so you can get quickly back on target. But for now, just let the recoil go up in the air, as long as you are keeping hold safely and not wacking yourself in the head, let that recoil happen
I joined the NRA, have you yet?