Handgun recoil control tips

Poor recoil control generates a wide range of problems. From poor shots consistency to weakening the grip and changing the gun's position in the hand. This results mainly in a poor performance at the shooting range, but in extreme cases it may cause danger to the shooter and everybody around.

At the start, lets define the problem. The concept of recoil control is based on automatic returning of pistol's sights to the target after a shot. It happens by a fast muscle twitch occurring 0,04-0,07 seconds after firing. The key word here is "automatic." This means that it is a reflex and not a deliberate action. You should not think about it, just let it happen.

To be able to even think about the recoil control one should think about two issues: whether the gun fits the shooter's hand and whether a he has a firm grip on it. These two factors largely influence the behavior of a gun and consistency of shots. If one is not able to securely hold the weapon he surely won't control the recoil. That's why you should not be afraid of changes and, if necessary, replace the pads, modify the grip or the trigger length so that the gun used is comfortable for you. In the end, you should choose another gun if you find the current one too large or too heavy.

To keep the control over the gun's recoil it must be held properly. Weaker hand has to take an active role in the two handed grip. It should be responsible for compensating the recoil. Many shooters are trying to do too much with their stronger hand completely forgetting about the other one. It usually happens in the Weaver's shooting stance. Because the main hand is responsible not only for the trigger control but also for controling the recoil they try to put more energy in it . If we add the additional strength generated by adrenaline it often leads to overdoing the compensation and the second shot goes to the low left of the target.

Make sure your shooting stance is stable. The easiest way to verify this is by asking someone ,when you're in your shooting stance, to pull your hands down. If you're not able to maintain the same stance the same will happen while shooting. I also advice to learn the shooting stance called MODERN ISOCELES.

One last thing: you should be relaxed in your shooting stance. Tensing up your muscles interferes with fast shooting and kills the precision. Tension will just make you tired faster.

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50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Some interesting points here. My mileage varies to an extent. I offer just one thing the shooting stance is fine for the range, yet in a gun fight there is little to no time for any stance and I hope you are moving as you shoot in this type of instance to keep your would be opponent having to reset his mind, until he and not you, is on the ground.

Great points and a good write, 50


nailinthehead profile image

nailinthehead 5 years ago from Poland Author

If you train a lot the proper shooting stance should become a natural stance for you. Of course one should be prepared for shooting in variety of strange stances, depending on the situation. Those tips are IPSC oriented and I assure you can move fast while keeping the modern isoceles stance and shooting accurately in the same time. Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncg9iFgT7GA


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

I'm not disagreeing with you at all, there are many things possible, I was reflecting on my combat training as well as civilian "force on force" training using "Simunition" rounds that let you feel like you've been shot, producing nice welts and no wounds. I've seen a lot of elbows get shot (mine included) and fingers on the opponents weapons, I train at least 2 times a year with 2 different organizations that train "high risk civilian contractors", I shoot IPDA as well as some, but little IPSC. In my humble opinion "force on force" albeit painful is quite educational. Thanks 50


nailinthehead profile image

nailinthehead 5 years ago from Poland Author

I fully agree with you. Simunition is a great way of practice. But I don't know if it is used anywhere outside the military, maybe PMC use it as well. In my country even military doesn't use it. So for some people only range training is possible. Or ASG/paintball.

As to the topic - it's all about training, the more one practice the more natural some things will become. "Repetition is the key" - one of the most important things I learned in the military.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Once again, common ground training and practice key to success. Simunition is used by several schools that are civilian owned and operated here, while due to expense others default to air soft and I have trained with frozen paint balls (ouch!) and the cost for 2 day classes are much lower in these cases. While I enjoy it, I hold lessons learned in high regard, 50

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