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Does .40 cause flinching more than other calibers?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by cfr, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    I taught a 6 person beginner class yesterday, 3 couples. I normally don't shoot .40 in beginning classes, but two of the couples just bought them a G22 and G23. By the end of the day they all were grouping fist size or smaller at 7 yards.

    Two main things I'll work on to stop shot anticipation is first the trigger pull then a mental lesson to yourself. On the trigger let's say you have a 5# trigger, you're on target focused on the front sight and start the pull when you get about to about 4 pounds of pressure just slowly keeping adding more 4.4, .5, .6 etc. Don't think about pulling through, just keep adding a little more and little more. This will help to bring the surprise back to the trigger break.

    The other may sound a little odd, but I can tell you from experience it works. It's not a mechanical shooting issue as much as it is a mental issue. It isn't a natural thing to have an "explosion" going off 2ft in front of your face. If you think about it it's probably more natural to flinch than not to flinch. Tell yourself; it is going to go bang, but that's ok, it isn't going to hurt me, I've done this many times and it hasn't hurt me, stay steady it won't hurt me. The recoil will happen, I'll recover from it and it won't hurt me.

    You can practice both of these at home before and during dryfire. Then when you get to the range start out with these principles in mind and begin with slow fire. It will help. :patriot:
  2. GlockinNJ


    Apr 24, 2011


    On every thread that mentions the snappiness of the .40, some macho man always comes along telling everyone to "man up" and stop being a wimp.

    We don't all measure our manhood by the caliber we shoot.

  3. token5gtd


    Mar 6, 2011
    Not so much "man up" as "learn how to shoot."
  4. ipscshooter

    ipscshooter Mostly IDPA now

    Jan 22, 2002
    Near Phoenix, Arizona
    This is what I was trying to say with this in my earlier post.... "Alternatively, you have to somehow convince yourself the recoil in the G22 is no big deal.".

    From the OP I think he realizes it's a mental thing, but his instincts are not cooperating too well.

    I agree with starting most sessions with a few slow fire groups to ingrain accuracy, and then proceed to drills. Good practice when you are not flinching. :supergrin:

    However, as an alternative approach he might try something a friend did for a time. He shot a G22 in IPSC, back when 175 was PF floor for major. When he first began shooting he would start practice sessions by shooting 50-100 rounds into a target pretty fast with no real attempt at great accuracy. This to de-sensitize himself to recoil. That and a lot of practice worked out for him, as he became an excellent shooter with that G22, and after a time did not require the de-sensitize drill.

    I realize the OP shoots a few hundred rounds a session, but it might be worthwhile to give the above a try with perhaps a mag or two full, and then proceed to shooting for groups.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  5. ipscshooter

    ipscshooter Mostly IDPA now

    Jan 22, 2002
    Near Phoenix, Arizona
    So true....there's always a few. caliber is bigger than yours. :supergrin:
  6. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    Too many people are unwilling to put in the range time
    and get training to learn how to shoot properly.

    Halo or Call of Duty is not weapons training.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  7. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000

    How would ANY caliber cause flinch?

    I have seen many shooters "flinch" when pulling the trigger on a empty chamber.

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  8. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground

    That's kind of interesting and little counter intuitive because shooter fatigue can certainly make a flinch worse too. Whether its a few hundred rounds of .40 or 30 rounds of hot .454, it's been my experience that the flinch gets worse.

    It's for this reason that I recommend not over practicing because the fatigue can lead to practicing bad habits. In a perfect world it would be better to shoot a box of 50 rounds for 10 days straight than 500 rounds in a day.

    But I also see what you're saying about that pre drill not being as fatigue inducing as slower more deliberate sighted fire would be.
  9. ipscshooter

    ipscshooter Mostly IDPA now

    Jan 22, 2002
    Near Phoenix, Arizona
    I agree fatigue can cause flinching, especially if you are shooting groups. I find shooting groups more tiring than 300-400 rounds running drills.

    So we somehat agree that a short drill might be a useful experiment. Too bad we aren't politicans, maybe we could clean up the mess. :supergrin:
  10. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    Yeah, I can smell what you're steppin' in. :cowboy:
  11. RGbiker


    Oct 12, 2009
    I don't know if .40S&W fired causes more flinching than other calibers as I don't own anything in .40 caliber.

    However, I do know first hand that standing next to a 105MM Artillery gun being fired does cause flinching.......:supergrin:
  12. Gregg702

    Gregg702 Gold Member

    May 1, 2010
    Las Vegas
    I HATE .40 in Glocks. I find it overly snappy. But out of my Sig P239 and my HK USP Tactical, it feels pretty much like 9mm.
  13. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    To that I have no doubt. :patriot:

    Another pistol I tried recently that really tamed the recoil of the .40 is the full size Beretta Storm. My info is a little sketchy but they did something with the barrel to reduce recoil, it works, I was surprised.
  14. :rofl:

    I agree. I tried a Glock 22 and found that I suck at shooting it. I was all over the place, yet, when I shoot .45, I am in a 3" tight group. Tested reloads of 158gr. .357mag, 3" group at 20'. .44mag, 3" group at 25yards. Flinch? sometimes... but I can't shoot .40 well. Wha da?!

    just for GlockinNJ... I got your forty and manhood RIGHT HERE. Yous know whatta mean. :supergrin:
  15. G23c


    Jan 23, 2009
    houston, texas
    the .40 is sporty.
  16. jonny772


    Aug 24, 2005
    South East Florida
    I shoot my g27 better than my 1911. So it's all what you shoot better

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
  17. The shooter anticipating recoil may reach to counter it, causing the flinch. You can have a flinch and not know it.

    As is not recommended, my first handgun was a small 357 Magnum revolver. I was new to that kind of recoil and I always used hot loads. I was very fortunate to have a misfire and noted a bad flinch. I knew I needed to work to correct my problem.

    The key thing to recognize is that the shooter causes the flinch and not the gun. You can only address it by fixing your technique.

    With my Army issued M16, we did a lot of dry fire. We would have one solder balance a quarter on the barrel just behind the flash suppressor. With the right trigger squeeze, the quarter would not fall.

    With an unloaded handgun, sometimes I will balance a used case over the front sight and do the same drill.

    Also, dry firing with a laser sight attached will show issues with trigger pull.

    It may help to test yourself by using snap caps in a magazine to simulate a malfunction and see if the flinch is there. We used dummy rounds in basic marksmanship training in the Army too.
  18. cfr


    Feb 24, 2010
    As an FYI to everyone:

    1. I appreciate all the responses so far.
    2. I verified my flinch yesterday using Snap Caps.
    3. I dont think the .40 is going to break my wrists, etc. In fact Ive never understood people complaining about the snappiness. My concern is that Im reacting subconciously to the snapiness, since this issue seems to resurface mainly after not shooting .40 for a while, then going back to it.
    Thanks again.
  19. I eliminated it fully from my lineup(used to own a Glock 23) I dont like the rounds recoil profile/characteristics..not meaning the ammount of recoil but the way it snaps your wrist back/up instead of like most everything else shoots has a more rolling recoil..I by far like the .45 ACP IMO it has the same "ammount" of recoil as the .40 it just rolls/vreaks differently in more of a rolling push type of recoil which I personally find MUCH easier to control and more importantly get back on target quicker..I feel I can get off more shots in a tighter group is a faster time more accurately with a .45 ACP than with the .40 S&W.

    I dont think its "flinch" I dont think much if anything ive shot really causes me any "flinch"(but then again I purposely dont shoot big heavy calibers(never shot anything in a rifle bigger than 30-06 in a M1 garand or the Russian Mosin(7.62X54 is it??) and a 12 GA with slugs(id not want to do that a lot though just hunting or a few for training) ...and in a handgun .45 ACP and .40S&W is the biggest..and I dont feel any of those had a "flinch" least for me..
  20. GlockinNJ


    Apr 24, 2011
    Hey, fuggetaboutit! :wavey: