Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Managing Recoil During Self-Defense

I’m not big on stance when it comes to shooting. I used to be. In shooting competition, you are usually concerned about how you present to the target and how you are standing. I no longer stress over that. I will probably be doing most of what is recommended, but if you shoot from your knees, or laying down, or from around cover there is not much room for worrying about much but maybe your grip, trigger press, and hopefully aim.
But if you are to handle recoil like a pro, there are certain things you can do. Here they are.
A proper grip aids in controlling recoil. It also allows the shooter to obtain a second sight picture more rapidly. Hands must have a 360-degree grip around the weapon. This allows the shooter to engage more rapidly.
Ideally, the weapon should be placed in the hand so a straight line is formed with the barrel of the weapon and the forearm. The webbing of the hand should be fully under the tang of the back-strap. The weapon must initially be gripped with sufficient force to cause shaking and then gradually released until the shaking stops. The support hand applies pressure in exactly the same fashion. The idea behind the two hand grip is to completely encircle the grip of the gun in order to be in control of recoil. The support hand thumb will be on the same side of the gun as the weapon hand thumb.
The grip must be consistent for each shot because a good grip enhances accuracy.
Grip high on the back strap.
Finger must reach the trigger.
High grip will reduce muzzle rise and lends to faster recoil recovery.
Grip should be just as firm as a handshake, no firmer.
Weak side fingers should be wrapped around the strong hand.
Wrists should be close together.
Supporting hand heel should be in contact with the weapon grip.
Thumbs should rest one on top of the other.
Fingers over fingers—thumb over thumb.
Grip is acquired in the holster, prior to draw and presentation. The web of the shooting hand must be in the top of tang on the back-strap and no higher. If you are too high the slide will bite your hand. If you are too low with your grip you allow the gun to move more with recoil making sight recovery and follow-on shots more difficult and time-consuming.
A key point is to have both thumbs pointing at the target. The heel of your non-shooting hand should cover the area on the grip that is exposed.
This is a “perfect world” grip. In a self-defense situation you may not be able to do all these things. But if you practice them, your hands will listen to muscle memory and go where they need to be. I would recommend shooting some one-handed. That may be your only option if your other hand is incapacitated or busy. As you practice the above, eventually you will not need to think about these steps, you’ll just do them.
Trigger Control
In either double action or single action mode, trigger control is defined as steady pressure exerted on the trigger straight to the rear to release the hammer and fire the weapon and immediately allowing the trigger to return, so the weapon can be fired again. Descriptive term here is a press and not a squeeze. The trigger finger continually maintains contact with the trigger.
When pressing the trigger, the shooter should use the tip of the index finger. I like in front of the first knuckle, but not exactly centered on the tip. This should be accomplished by utilizing a smooth movement isolating the trigger finger only. All other fingers must remain still during the trigger press. Another important part of trigger control is trigger reset. Once the trigger has been fired, slowly release pressure on the trigger until an audible click is heard and felt. At this point, the shooter need not release any more pressure on the trigger to fire again. This maintains a proper sight alignment and sight picture more easily.
Trigger Manipulation
Speed at which the trigger is pulled —a single gear, one smooth continuous motion at a single speed… not increasing as you apply pressure.
Motion in which the trigger is pulled—a smooth continuous motion, not a jerk, not a little at the time.
Always remember that you press or pull a trigger; you never squeeze or jerk the trigger.
The finger is placed so that the trigger is halfway between the tip of the finger and the first joint. “The trigger is pressed straight to the rear in a smooth continuous manner without disturbing sight alignment.” You should not be able to predict the instant the gun will fire. Each shot should come as a surprise. Note the trigger finger continually maintains contact with the trigger.
To begin proper trigger control, the shooter must first properly place the index finger on the trigger. The index finger is placed in the middle of the trigger at the most rearward curved portion, to apply pressure to the trigger. The trigger should cross the finger approximately halfway between the tip of the finger and the first joint, over the swirl of the fingerprint.
Trigger Press
After attaining proper placement of the finger on the trigger, proper trigger pressure can be applied to the trigger. There are three parts of trigger pressure each time the weapon is fired. They are slack, press, and follow through.
All three parts are important to proper trigger control.
1. Slack—The shooter must first take up the slack at the beginning of the trigger movement by applying slight pressure to the trigger. The trigger will move slightly to the rear until the internal parts of the trigger mechanism come into full contact with each other, and the “softness” in the tip of the finger is eliminated.
2. Press—The trigger is then in the press portion of its movement, which is when the internal parts of the weapon are being disengaged from each other to allow the hammer to fall. The pressure should be a smooth, constant, and even pressure, applied straight to the rear so that the sights are not misaligned at the instant the hammer falls. Once the hammer begins to fall, the follow through portion of trigger control begins.
3. Follow Through—Follow through is the continued steady pressure applied to the trigger until the trigger reaches its most rearward point of travel. If the shooter does not continue to apply the constant, even pressure during follow through, it is possible that the impact of the round could move on the target, thus spoiling an otherwise good shot.
This is a textbook description of these actions. In combat, or self-defense, you rarely get an opportunity for textbook form, but like grip and aim, practicing over and over will make doing it right become part of you. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Do it right and continue doing it right and you will manage recoil and hit what you’re aiming at.

Semper Paratus
Check 6