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Stuck in C

How Can I Stop...

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I have this problem that I have had for years, and I can't seem to permanently get rid of it. I squeeze move/with my my whole hand when I press the trigger intead of isolating my trigger finger. Its apparently a form of anticipating recoil. This causes me to miss low and sometimes to the left. After reading Brian's book and being on this forum for a long time, I now see the sights clearly move as the shot breaks-but I can't stop it. I went to a training class a few weeks ago and the instructor said it was very obvious. He suggested I grip harder all the time so I won't grip harder as the gun fires, and also mentioned the old revolver shooters' dry fire technique of trying to balance a coin on the front sight.

Are there any other practice techniques, exercises, drills, or something that I can do to help this?

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Gripping harder is the problem.

Are you trying to control the recoil? (you really can't...so, just accept it and let it happen)

Most of your grip pressure should come from your weak hand.

What style of grip are you using?

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I'm not sure what you mean by grip style. I'm shooting a Glock 34 in Production and a G35 in Limited (major). But, the same thing happens when I shoot my 1911 single stack .45 for fun. And its much worse when shooting one handed (SHO or WHO). It is as you say: I'm unconsiously trying to control the recoil by gripping harder just as the gun fires. It seems to be almost a reflex that I can't stop doing. And it doesn't make sense, since the G34 hardly recoils at all.

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.

I went to a training class a few weeks ago and the instructor said it was very obvious. He suggested I grip harder all the time so I won't grip harder as the gun fires, and also mentioned the old revolver shooters' dry fire technique of trying to balance a coin on the front sight.

I wouldn't say you need to grip "harder" just be consistant with your grip. Tyring to eliminate or mitigate recoil through grip tension is not as effective as a consitant grip that allows the sights/dot to return in a consistant manner.

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I have this problem that I have had for years, and I can't seem to permanently get rid of it. I squeeze move/with my my whole hand when I press the trigger intead of isolating my trigger finger. Its apparently a form of anticipating recoil. This causes me to miss low and sometimes to the left. After reading Brian's book and being on this forum for a long time, I now see the sights clearly move as the shot breaks-but I can't stop it. I went to a training class a few weeks ago and the instructor said it was very obvious. He suggested I grip harder all the time so I won't grip harder as the gun fires, and also mentioned the old revolver shooters' dry fire technique of trying to balance a coin on the front sight.

Are there any other practice techniques, exercises, drills, or something that I can do to help this?

Dry firing while concentrating on your grip, trigger, and front sight. I would guess that your trainer uses the Weaver stance and approach to grip control, which IMO often leads to over-gripping the weapon. I have often heard them advise gripping harder to control the weapon, which I have found to be counter-productive.

Andy C.

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Sort of drifting..

Does anyone have any opinions on how your occupation might affect your trigger control? For example writing, typing or swinging a hammer, anything where your fingers are all working together. Could it be that you could spend a half hour dry firing, focusing on isolating your trigger finger. Then spend 8 hours at work and erase all that you did the night before?

I certainly know the frustration that Stuck in C is describing.

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I may be the least qualified to give advice, but this is what worked for me. Something about a grain of salt...

I'm a pretty big guy with a lot of hand strength left over from my rock climbing days. I pretty much overgrip everything. Steering wheel, grips on a motorcycle, and especially my handguns. A crushing grip does seem to reduce muzzle flip for me, but it just destroys my trigger control. After reading Brian's book and much of his writing here I realized I really needed to relax. I had the opposite of the relaxed neutral grip Brian talks about and had a hard time toning it down. So I approached my problem from the other end of the spectrum. I went to the range with the intention of finding just how loosely I could grip my Glock and still get it run properly. With minor loads and a well broken in stock spring, my G-35 will run just fine with a grip about as firm as the handshake of the elderly ladies at church. I shot most of a hundred rounds with a very loose grip that day. I was amazed to be hitting plates so easily and being so relaxed and just watching the gun jumping all over the place and end up pointing back in the right direction.

I worked from a very loose grip to what I now call a barely firm, but still relaxed grip. I have to remind myself regularly to relax myself from the abdomen to relaxe my shoulders, arms and grip. The point of all this is simply that I stoped milking the grip and pulling shots when I stoped trying to crush the gun with my grip. At least for me, the body and mind seem to relax and calm down together.

Best of luck to you.

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I may be the least qualified to give advice, but this is what worked for me. Something about a grain of salt...

I'm a pretty big guy with a lot of hand strength left over from my rock climbing days. I pretty much overgrip everything. Steering wheel, grips on a motorcycle, and especially my handguns. A crushing grip does seem to reduce muzzle flip for me, but it just destroys my trigger control. After reading Brian's book and much of his writing here I realized I really needed to relax. I had the opposite of the relaxed neutral grip Brian talks about and had a hard time toning it down. So I approached my problem from the other end of the spectrum. I went to the range with the intention of finding just how loosely I could grip my Glock and still get it run properly. With minor loads and a well broken in stock spring, my G-35 will run just fine with a grip about as firm as the handshake of the elderly ladies at church. I shot most of a hundred rounds with a very loose grip that day. I was amazed to be hitting plates so easily and being so relaxed and just watching the gun jumping all over the place and end up pointing back in the right direction.

I worked from a very loose grip to what I now call a barely firm, but still relaxed grip. I have to remind myself regularly to relax myself from the abdomen to relaxe my shoulders, arms and grip. The point of all this is simply that I stoped milking the grip and pulling shots when I stoped trying to crush the gun with my grip. At least for me, the body and mind seem to relax and calm down together.

Best of luck to you.

Not qualified, Hell! That's a problem I struggle with constantly. I'm 6' 2", 295 and tend to strangle everything I grab (no jokes, OK?). A lot of folks say just shaking hands with me before a match affects their scores. As a result of overgripping my trigger control goes downhill fast. I hate seeing a good sight picture and then finding I yanked the gun off-target. :angry:

I tried Matt's Timing Drills (look under "Shooting Tips) and it helped a lot, but remembering to take a relaxed grip after the timer beep gets me all jazzed up has been very difficult.

When you find the "secret", let me know....

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When you find the "secret", let me know....

Only "secret" I know of is practicing with a timer and learning not to fear the "BEEP." At "STAND-BY" I exhale and try to release all tension.

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This is such a great thread. And only recently did I begin to learn how important this stuff is.

For once, I now know that I am beginning to feel and understand what better shooters have been saying all along.

And from what I am feeling and seeing, I know it would be extremely difficult to explain it all in words. You must experience it with your own hands and eyes.

While gripping too hard is my problem, I can see how that my not be the case for everyone.

What I believe is happening is you learn what your eyes and hands need to be *doing* while firing the shot. Once the concept is understood, I think a person could travel in a full circle back towards increasing grip strength. I don't believe that the grip, in and of itself, is the exact cause or remedy for any problems. However, decreasing your grip, and moving focus and all concious thought away from it and controling the gun, seems to open up a new world for your learning process(at least for me).

The drill that Benos and others have mentioned in the past is what helped me see things more clearly.

Put an IPSC target at 25yds. and start shooting at it. You don't have to strive for A hits. Don't shoot slow. Don't grip hard. Forget the grip. Don't think about fast splits either. Just shoot five or more shots without stopping. All you are looking for is what the sights are doing. They will tell your subconcious what to do.

Edited by JD45

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Stuck,

Many people misunderstand grip. The grip doesn't come from squeezing your hand (s) like you would squeeze and udder. Two handed grip comes from a pinching action between strong and weak hand. Start by gripping the gun in the same fashion you would if you were going to shake someone's hand. You should keep your strong-hand thumb as high as possible. This helps get your arms in line w/the axis of the bore. The more in line w/the axis of the bore the more contol you will have. Place the heel of the palm on the grip in the open area left by your strong hand. Rotate your weak hand slightly forward so that your strong hand thumbnail is sort of on top and next to the first knuckle on your weak hand thumb (the reason for rotating your wrist is to get your weak arm at the same angle as your strong one - the gun will be centered in front of your dominant eye, not your body). Your weak hand thumb should end up about parallel with the slide, just underneath it - mine hits my scope mount on my open gun, just under the slide on iron sighted guns. Whether or not you touch the gun with your weak thumb is immaterial. If you choose to place your weak hand thumb on the gun, you need to be sure that you exert no pressure with it. Your entire grip should be neutral. That is where the problem you are having now is coming from. Don't squeeze the gun with either hand, just hold it. Hold it the way you would a greased egg or a steering wheel. Any more squeeze will result in muzzle tremors and many other issues. I prefer more finger on the trigger than many people. From my experiments I can achieve faster splits (about .11) if I get almost to the first knuckle of my trigger finger on the trigger. I used to have my triggers custom made. The danger with that is if you get too much finger on the trigger, you will lose neutrality and push the gun left as you pull the trigger. Get a stop watch and hold it the way you hold your gun. Hit the start/stop button twice. Check your split times and watch to make sure you aren't pushing the stopwatch sideways when you press the button. Experiment with how much finger to put on the trigger to get your fastest split times. This will also help you to eliminate the stress in your grip (milking). I have a video of this, I just don't know how to upload it.

The key to remember is that your grip should be neutral.

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It will take some work to correct what has become a habitual "milking" problem. And to even think of "correcting" it may not be the best way to understand it. Because the nature of just firing the gun, plus the fast paced, always rushing nature of IPSC shooting tends to keep us in state of panic most of the time we're shooting a stage. Which makes it difficult to just grip the gun and pull the trigger. I can remember shooting many stages, when, after it was over, I felt more like I was cracking a whip than precisely manipulating a pistol.

It might help to begin by not only learning but remembering what it feels like to fire a nice, calm shot, not aimed at anything in particular. Just point towards the backstop, and looking right at the front sight, smoothly release a shot. Keep repeating that at regular intervals. Bam.... Bam.... Bam.... Bam.... You're not in any hurry nor do you care about where the shot goes. The only thing to pay attention to is what it feels like to look right at the sights until the gun fires. Just keep doing that while consciously remembering what it feels like. Practice session after practice session - do that. When you go home, each day, sit quietly and close your eyes and remember what it feels like to calmly fire the gun, over and over. Take a few breaks during the day and repeat the "recalling the calmness" exercise.

After a few weeks of working with this at the range and then remembering the feeling at home, you will be able to (re)create the feeling of calmly firing the gun at will. Now all you have to do is summon that feeling right before you shoot: Shooter ready, stand by ... (there is nothing to hurry about)

;)

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Many times milking is caused by trying to use a grip that your hand structure will not allow resulting in stress and the milk. Make sure your grip is your grip, just because guru A says your thumb should be here and your pinkie here does not mean that is the correct grip for you. Establish a comfortable stable grip that suits you. Make sure you can get that grip from the holster without any extra movement. Then work on feeling the grip is neutral, not everyone benefits from the "squeeze harder with the off hand style" that is so popular. I believe most people are better off with equal grip pressure from both hands. Then it is noticing whether you anticipate the shot and tense up or relaxe after the shot, either is not good and leads to milking and poor shooting. The basics are this, you cannot milk unless you let go of your grip, I repeat you cannot milk unless you let go of your grip. Try it, grip your pistol in one hand nice and tightly and try to milk it without releasing your grip. You cannot do the kind of milking that afflicts so many shooters without releasing the grip first. So there is the answer, never release your grip and you will not milk. A good firm consistant grip is the answer. This is the result of my years of study and instruction to others. USe it it works. All I ask is credit. B)

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I had/have this same problem. I have reduced my grip strength & watch carefully how I grip the firearm(finger/thumb placement & alignment). I live in town so I cant step outside & shoot like in the old days. I bought a mid priced .177 cal pellet pistol & practice indoors a lot. It helps!

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...... the fast paced, always rushing nature of IPSC shooting tends to keep us in state of panic most of the time we're shooting a stage.
-BE

Man, that is so incredibly true, Brian! :lol:

Ah, the tyranny of the timer.......

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One thing that I may have scanned over is to go back to either a 22 conversion, or get yourself a 22. Take 500 rounds to the range for a month straight and reteach yourself the pull.

I see that I typed pull and we all know what I meant. No political correctness...

I am going to do this myself as my shooting has suffered in the past year from inactivity.

My shooting ability had skyrocketed initially due to using a 22 conversion and being able to practice practice practice. With less flash, less boom, it is easier for me to see things in the darkened indoor ranges that with other ammo. To keep yourself honest vary the ammo. CCI makes a pretty hot 22lr that will flash and provide a noticed recoil- but is still a 1/3 the cost of a box of cheap 45- and less than reloading.

I know that 22 conversions have limited support on this board, but for weak hand practice, draws, and trigger training, they can not be beat.

Sucking in New Orleans,

'Dan

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I complained to my gunsmith that the mags on my STI Open gun have not been falling free. He watched me shoot at the last match and told me it's because I am gripping the gun too tightly during reloads. While dry firing I found that it is possible to keep the mag from dropping free at all, by increasing grip tension. It takes a LOT of pressure to hold it there.

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