Special Tip From The Pros

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by DannyR, Apr 24, 2003.

  1. DannyR

    DannyR Moderator Millennium Member

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    Dec 17, 1998
    Stuarts Draft, Virginia
    Reprinted with written permission from Matt Burkett. I have Matt's new DVD and feel it should be a part of everyone's collection. Thanks, Matt.

    The concept of a continuous sight picture. Nearly everything you hear in
    training or at a match is see your front sight. I don¹t think that is the
    correct way to approach a major problem with peoples shooting. The main
    issue they have is that they don¹t see the sights when they need to, which
    is during the entire firing sequence and return to the targets. Most of my
    students would be familiar with the timing drills. One of the biggest
    benefits of a timing drill is that it would develop the ability to see the
    sight all the way through the recoil. That is how you shoot fast and
    accurate splits on target.


    Understand that the GRIP of the pistol is different than getting a GRIP on a
    pistol. This is a difficulty in common language usage especially when
    describing both.
    Recoil control or timing:
    The Issue
    Most shooters have a significant issue with recoil control. Well okay
    they don¹t have any recoil control would be a better way to put it. We have
    worked on flinch. If you can see your sight lift and return, your most
    likely not flinching.
    Poor recoil control covers a spectrum of problems. From not having a
    consistent return of the gun to the same spot you just shot to the hand or
    hands breaking and losing grip on the pistol. Generally I see either a hand
    readjustment right after a shot or I see the weak hand actually lose its
    grip on the pistol.
    Now lets define the issue. The concept of recoil control or timing the gun
    (from the shooters perspective) is to subconsciously return the sights to
    the same spot. This is a neuromuscular firing of fast twitch muscles that
    occurs .04-.07 of a second after the shot is fired. Notice is said
    subconscious. You have to set everything up right for and then let it
    happen. The top shooters don¹t look like their working hard when their
    shooting do they? That¹s a big hint. Their not!

    Common problems to address:
    Does the gun fit your hand? Can you actually hold the pistol in a good
    firing grip and actuate all safeties along with get a proper finger position
    on the trigger? If the gun doesn¹t fit you, how do you think you will shoot
    it fast and accurate? You will be able to shoot it accurate regardless of
    grip, but, not fast. Accuracy is purely sight alignment and trigger control.
    Another issue that comes up when people are shooting a gun that doesn¹t fit
    is that they can¹t index the gun consistently. Fixes for improper gun fit
    include modifications to the grip, trigger length, or maybe a different gun
    entirely. <A sponsor prompt here> If your using a 1911 or Wide Body gun, SVI
    has an insert trigger system (ITS) that allows you to change the trigger
    length, style, and even color without taking your gun apart.
    Is it slippery? I once had a student that had a full custom .45 and his
    issue was that the gun was just plain slippery. There really was no way to
    get a good purchase on it, especially with hard ball loads. I know this
    sounds like common sense, but, you have to be able to ³stick² to the gun. It
    didn¹t help that he also liked to silicone his gun. THE WHOLE THING. Grip
    and all! That¹s like greasing a ball bearing then trying to hold on it when
    it gets 150 g¹s of force applied. Good luck! Skate board tape, checkering,
    different grips they will all contribute to a better grip. If your sweaty
    hands aren¹t helping the issue any, get some Pro-grip from Krunch Products.
    Do you have a crappy grip that doesn¹t lend itself to holding the gun
    properly? Is there a gap between your hands? Is your weak hand thumb not
    pointing at the target? Is your weak hand actually getting on the grip
    itself or just kind of riding your strong hand? If you have seen Practical
    Shooting V 4, we mark the hands on Kevin to see if he is getting a
    consistent grip on the pistol. Have a training partner do the same for you.
    Then do 25 draws and see what happens.
    The weak hand needs to be an integral part of the two handed grip. For me
    that is where most of the recoil control happens. Trigger control occurs
    with my strong hand. Most shooters try to do too much with their strong side
    of their body. This is a natural thing that we need to overcome for really
    fast shooting. Fast shooting doesn¹t happen when the strong side is tensed
    up. This is when you will see shooters have trigger freezes, and horrible
    follow up shots. Sometimes it doesn¹t even look like they were shooting at
    the same target! A drill to work on that will help you bring your weak side
    more into your shooting is when the hands hit the reception position (about
    where you clap), the weak hand ³brings² the gun to the sight plane. This can
    help take the focus off the dominance of the strong side and help balance us
    out a bit. (Wouldn¹t it be a better world all around if more people were
    well balanced? I am talking mentally here though. J
    Pushing and pulling on the gun like the old style weaver technique. Alright,
    so this one never made sense to me. The gun is recoiling rearwards, why in
    the hell do you want to help it? Dynamic tension is a bunch of BS. When you
    have an adrenaline rush, what happens? You get stronger right? Use more
    gross motor skills right? Well here is a hint, what side is stronger? Your
    strong side, umm duh. That¹s why you will see a lot of shooters that use the
    weaver push their second shot low left. Their first one may be fine, but,
    after that when the pressure is on, it can have a tendency to go to hell
    really quick. If your pushing forward, using a positive pressure with both
    arms and get an adrenaline rush, what happens? Your just putting more energy
    into the gun in the exact opposite direction of the recoil. Not a bad thing
    Make sure your stance is solid. Have someone push on your hands in your
    shooting stance. (solid constant pressure) If you can¹t hold the same
    position, guess what the gun is doing.
    Make sure your relaxed and in a positive position. Tension kills fast
    shooting. Tension is different than strength. (That¹s a fun on to explain
    that I am not even going to touch here. If you don¹t get it, call me.) Can
    you wiggle your toes in the shooting box before the timer goes off? Bet you
    can¹t the first time you try. The nerve going to the big toe is the longest
    nerve in the human body. Guess what, if your toes are tense, everything else
    is tense in between. Take a lower abdominal breath and relax your abs. Focus
    on your stress and get rid of it.
    Okay so now you have a solid stance, your relaxed, have a good grip on the
    gun, and your can reach the trigger. Do you have sights you can see
    effectively? Can you make out the front sight clearly? Time to see the eye
    doctor? BTW if your over 40 and suffering the standard far sighted issue (ie
    need reading glasses) ask your doctor about a new procedure called CK.

    Drills to develop recoil control:
    Dryfire won¹t cure a recoil control problem. That is the one thing you
    can¹t do in dryfire. What it will develop is proper stance, grip, etc..

    The first thing I want you to do is to aim at a berm that isn¹t to far away.
    Say 10 yards. Make sure that it is a good backstop and your not going to get
    any ricochets. Load and make ready and get everything behind the gun right
    _ grip, stance, relaxed etc. Aim the gun at a target and just burn off the
    whole magazine as fast as you can. What did you feel and learn? Where you
    able to shoot all the way through the magazine without stopping and was your
    trigger speed consistent? Were you able to keep a grip through the whole
    magazine? If so, great, skip to doing my timing drills. (tip is on my
    website or in PSV4) If not, figure out where the problem is. Is it your weak
    hand? Did your tension build as you shot? What¹s going on? Have a practice
    partner help you diagnose the issue if necessary by having them watch you
    shoot. What is your body language? Can they see you tighten up? Side note:
    what is your trigger finger doing? Is it leaving the face of the trigger or
    bouncing on and off it?
    Once you can get that down, which may take a lot of ammo see if you can get
    a continuous sight picture during the whole magazine.

    An interesting note: A lot of students have found that when they were able
    to get their gun under control, they generally cured most of their flinching

    Take care and good luck with your shooting! Please email this article to
    your friends that it could help out.

    ©mattburkett.com 2003 reproduction allowed must include link to

    Matt Burkett
    7040 East Wilshire Drive
    Scottsdale Arizona 85257
    602-790-8838 cell
    480-947-2773 fax