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Old August 8, 2016, 10:56 PM   #1
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I'm switching to double action

I posted earlier that I was battling an occasional flinch when shooting handguns in single action mode. I am anticipating the shot and the inevitable recoil. At the last range session, I was shooting my Redhawk .45 Colt in single action mode at 25 yards and during most of the six shot groups, 3-4 shots would group at about 4-5 inches (which is good for me) but there would always be 2-3 shots down and left a considerable amount. Just for grins, I decided to shoot double action at the head of a silhouette target. 5 shots hit the head with 1 shot just missing. I then tried single action again and 3 shots hit the head and the others were again low and or left. Could it be that my focus on the long pull of the double action trigger some how takes my mind off of the recoil? Or do I just need a good psychiatrist?
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Old August 9, 2016, 07:33 AM   #2
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That's funny, most folks are exactly the opposite in my experience but people are different in all sorts of ways. This is just a thought and nothing more but have you tried reduced loads or a lighter caliber revolver? Possibly a lighter grain bullet as well.
I have noticed many shooters shoot a 38 Special round well and when they load up with 357 they immediately shoot pretty poorly. Ahhhh, that anticipation does it every time.
Anyways try the light loads with light bullet and see if it helps you. Also you might have a shooting buddy random load your cylinder with a dummy or empty case. It will definitely show up those flinches if you are doing it. You could even have him randomly load the heavy rounds here and there . You will eventually get used to the heavy stuff.
Remember above all, if somebody who is a long time range instructor tells you to do something else by all means DO THAT. This is just how I handle things like this so I might just be fulla bulla advising for someone else.
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Old August 9, 2016, 07:50 AM   #3
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There's a lot involved with shooting handguns that's nearly impossible to address long distance.
Since you're still having difficulties, about the only way to figure out the problem is to have someone knowledgeable actually see what you are doing.
Otherwise it's most likely that you will continue to chase your tail about it.
It's rarely the equipment causing it, just how it being used - or not.
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Old August 9, 2016, 08:10 AM   #4
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g.willikers gave you some good advice. Here's my advice: if you're having a flinching problem (about 90% of casual/not-frequent shooters do), you're not going to hide the root cause by shooting double action. It will effect your shooting in any mode. Whether or not you can detect it is another story. I shot major competition for years and did very well at it. I can tell you for a fact that double action, precision shooting, is a rare commodity. If I were you I'd get back to basics and find out why you're flinching and learn how to correct it. My experience has shown me that it's usually caused by noise, not recoil, and the best cure is WAY better hearing protection and a LOT more practice. There are so many shooters who say recoil doesn't bother them not even realizing that it does. Recognition and admission are the first steps in getting it corrected. Good luck.
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Old August 9, 2016, 05:26 PM   #5
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I have always shot my DA revolvers in DA.
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Old August 9, 2016, 08:26 PM   #6
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When I focus on the front sight and squeezing the trigger, I do fine. When I get lazy, my brain takes over and tells my wrist to flinch downward to try to offset the upward recoil. It's a muscle memory that needs to be forgotten.
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Old August 18, 2016, 02:21 PM   #7
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Flinching? I found out my problem was I don't shoot enough.
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Old August 18, 2016, 02:43 PM   #8
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I'm the same way. I usually shoot DA anymore and at long ranges I typically do noticeably better. It's slightly more difficult to time exactly when the hammer is going to fall in DA mode and i'm much less likely to flinch. If I find myself flinching I just keep dryfiring until the flinching has stopped. I routinely load 5 rounds into my revolver with one empty spot(or an already shot case) and turn the cylinder a bit so the empty is in a random spot, close it up and start shooting. Having an dead round every cylinder full for a while lets you see your reaction.
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Old August 18, 2016, 03:00 PM   #9
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Reddog gave very good advice. That will show you where your problem is.
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Old August 19, 2016, 05:32 AM   #10
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What type of ammo and hearing protection are you using? I would stick with standard power loads (if you aren't) and proper fitting ear protection. Shooting a double action well as a double action is good though, flinching can be a real bear to overcome. Cowboy loads should be on the lighter side, then work your way up.
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Old August 19, 2016, 09:25 AM   #11
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When I was first getting into shooting revolvers I had a very similar experience. And doing a lot of DA shooting DID help get rid of my flinch. My one caution is to NOT stage the trigger for any reason. The flinch can come back if you do that, plus IMHO staging a trigger on a revolver has no practical purpose. If you aren't shooting under time pressure (6 shots in 3 seconds,etc.) and therefore have time to stage the trigger, you might as well just cock the hammer and shoot SA.
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Old August 19, 2016, 09:35 AM   #12
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45 Colt

How is your shooting when you shoot a .22 DA?
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Old August 19, 2016, 09:48 AM   #13
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Have you considered the cartridge (.45 Colt) to perhaps be to much for you to handle?

It's not a "turn in your man card" type thing, but you might be better off with a weaker caliber such as .38 Special or even .22 Long Rifle if you find yourself flinching in single action mode. I think this issue has more to do with your technique than DA vs SA.

Bottom line, you shouldn't be flinching in DA mode OR SA mode. By going pure DA, you're just covering the problem. Learn to shoot without flinching. A .45 Colt is no pop gun.
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Old August 19, 2016, 10:43 PM   #14
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I don't recall ever having a problem until I loaded some 300, 325 and 350 grain bullets that were traveling around 1100 fps. I don't flinch on every shot. It pops up every once in a while. But I don't want it at all. I've even caught myself on .22 LR revolvers. It's a mind thing that I've got to shake.
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Old August 20, 2016, 06:28 AM   #15
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I think you just identified the reason for your flinch, 300-350gr bullets at 1100fps. Back off and start lighter, power wise.
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Old August 20, 2016, 01:56 PM   #16
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Yesterday while out shooting my .357 Taurus tracker with porting I decided to shoot with double hearing protection (plugs and muffs) My flinching in SA was near nonexistent with .357 and shooting .38spl was like shooting a .22lr. I think the anticipated "boom" with using muffs only may have contributed to my flinch. Next time out shooting I'm going to do a comparison.

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Old Yesterday, 09:10 PM   #17
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Could it be that my focus on the long pull of the double action trigger some how takes my mind off of the recoil?
This is just my own opinion based on my own experience: the 'long pull of the double action' simply gives you a lot more time to anticipate the recoil. Don't plan on it helping in the least.

When I started shooting my first DAO auto pistol, it took me about 1,500 rds to shoot it like I meant it...and every time I take it to the range to 'freshen' the experience, it's like starting all over again.

Single action won't cure any bad behavior you might think is due to double action. Double action won't cure any bad behavior you might think is due to single action. MY opinion is that DAO requires much of the same skills and attention that shooting anything requires, but it accentuates the need for focus (and ignorance) of what's happening at the trigger. What I mean by 'ignorance' is 'ignore-ance'...your ability to ignore, isolate and be in another world different than the world the trigger finger is in. It's the ability to focus on the sight, and make s$%t happen regardless of what that trigger-pulling finger is up to.

Control the sights -> control the gun -> control the trigger kinda in that order.

I only have one revolver, it's DA, and I seldom if ever shoot it DA. Reason? It's not an sd gun...for me it's a target gun. To shoot it DA is pointless and probably a bit demonstrative...yeah I can do it...see me shoot DA. I have no reason to completely throw away the most amazing SA trigger I've ever owned (a SW 629-4).
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