View Full Version : Tips for handling recoil/flip?

August 2, 2006, 10:18 AM
This is for semi-auto handguns.

I like to apply rearward pressure on the front stap with my support hand, and with my main hand I put forward pressure the high part of back strap. This tends to keep the gun more steady when shooting.

Can you give some tips for handling recoil/flip?

Revolver Gustav
August 2, 2006, 10:20 AM
What you're doing is what I've heard of as the best way to control recoil. I can't reccomend anything else...

August 2, 2006, 10:39 AM
All my pistols have had the front and backstraps checkered so the gun doesn't move in the hand....Excercise hand and arm to build up the muscles.

August 2, 2006, 11:01 AM
The way it works for me is to point my thumbs at the target. I take my support hand and use the meatier part to follow the grip so that if I where to open my hand my finger point to the ground at a 45 degree angle. It does take some getting use to as you have to break your support hand wrist over but after awhile it feels very natural. The weapon will still recoil either up to the right or left depending on the way the lands and groove run but this seems to make the weapon settle back to the same place easier than some of the others I have used.. Be Safe Out There Kurt

Chris W
August 2, 2006, 11:25 AM
My tip is to buy and read Brian Enos's book, "Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals." It's a book about competitive, action-type competition pistol (like USPSA or IDPA) but contains essential information about grip, sight picture, recoil management, etc., for anyone wishing to be a better practical handgun shooter.

August 2, 2006, 11:35 AM
this is a good video

Capt. Charlie
August 2, 2006, 12:03 PM
Outstanding link Shaun! Thanks. :)

August 2, 2006, 03:12 PM
Learn to shoot relaxed. Read Brian's book. It doesn't matter if you are Arnold, you cannot control muzzle flip with strength. We use what we call a natural stance and teach how to let the pistol work for you. It is a rather lenghty explanation, but I will send you a link to a video next week or so.

August 2, 2006, 05:29 PM
For quick fast action combat shooting a firm grip on the handgun is best for me.

Accurate slow target shooting works best for me with a more moderate to relaxed grip.

4V50 Gary
August 2, 2006, 06:21 PM
Body posture helps too. Lean forward slightly to put some weight behind the gun. BTW, I have small hands and can cross my thumbs without fear of them being cut to ribbons when the slide recoils. That's one heckuva advantage to have a very firm grip with both hands.

Capt. Charlie
August 2, 2006, 11:02 PM
I have small hands and can cross my thumbs without fear of them being cut to ribbons when the slide recoils. That's one heckuva advantage to have a very firm grip with both hands.
Amen Gary! I have large hands and I really, really hate having to qualify with my Walther PPK/S for off duty. I always come home looking like I tried to hold onto the wrong end of a running chain saw :D .

August 3, 2006, 06:27 AM
Wasn't it Todd Jarrett who said that all handguns are going to recoil, so what you basically do is let the slide's momentum work for you when it goes forward into battery? Maybe he and some others have said it. Anyway, that's what I've heard, and it makes sense. Problem is, I haven't heard how you're supposed to take advantage of that forward momentum.

My current attempts at improving recoil control, based on the slide momentum idea, is to consciously hold the trigger back tightly until the front side comes back on to the target, then I reset and pull again to repeat the process. My wrist does not have as much flexibility to flex upwards when I do that, so I'm guessing I'm applying more of a downward tension on the gun when it recoils, which should take some advantage of the slide's forward momentum into battery. It has helped with getting the front sight onto the target faster. However, there may be a faster, better way.

August 3, 2006, 10:07 AM
Todd might have said that, but I believe we learned it from Rob Leatham or Brian Enos. Todd and I used to travel and shoot together a lot back in the late 80's. Being friends w/ Rob & Brian didn't hurt either.

It is a rather lengthy explanation, but here are some salient points. It involves stance and grip. Your stance should be natural and relaxed. It should be a stance that you could stand in all day w/out getting tired. For most right handed shooters, it is left foot foot slightly forward feet shoulder width apart. You also need to know your Natural Point of Aim (too lenghthy to explain in this post). Your arms should be extended at eye level but not hyperextended nor to the point that your elbows are locked. If you lock your elbows, you enable the pistol to effect your whole body. Your elbows should act sort of like shock absorbers. This helps to convert the upward motion to backward motion. Your wrists should be firm.

To explain a proper grip would also be too long - here it is in a nutshell.
Gripping does not come from squeezing the grip with your hand. It comes from a pinching action between the strong and weak hands. Your grip should be relaxed. Strong hand should be as high on the pistol as possible (unless you are shooting a single action revolver). The heel of your weak hand should be touching the grip in the gap between the heel and fingers of your strong hand. Rotate your weak hand so the thumb is pointing forward on a plane parallel with the barrel. This allows your weak arm to extend the same amount as your strong arm. You want your grip to be neutral - no unecessary tension. No pushing with one hand, pulling with the other. Just relax and let the pistol work for you. It is the same as watching a journeyman carpenter use a hammer. He let's the hammer do the work for him. A rookie trys to make the hammer work.