Developing a flinch

rookhawk

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@Eventually_Africa_Again I'm sorry to hear this is happening. The good news is, I think this is curable without spending another $15k for a new rifle.

We're short on info so we'll need some back and forth to have better guesstimates of what is going on with your rifle.

The things that strike me as odd (and likely curable) is the less-than-consistent situation. Every-other shot is indicative of shooting form. "every time" is a much worst situation.

So lets work together to decompile the facts.

-Are you shooting off sticks, or are you shooting from a bench? Unless you're bringing your bench with you to Africa, burn it and shoot only off sticks.

-What ammo are you shooting? Big ugly nasty 450gr loads? Are you handloading? If so, what powder, how much, and what bullet weight? If so, what overpowder card or dacron are you using?

-Are you using iron sights or are you using an optic of some sort?

-You say its jumping up to hit your cheek every-other-round. Is it just one barrel, or one side (assuming side by side rifle) that has the muzzle jump? If you're face is on the stock, you shouldn't be getting punched by the comb, is it possible you're not keeping your face on the stock?

This forum can probably figure this out with you. If you're shooting free hand or off sticks right now, I have a technique we can walk through that will likely cure this quickly. Awaiting your reply before I push you down the wrong rabbit hole.
 

rookhawk

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Update: Okay, I see that you're shooting off sticks. Good start.

Lets see if its the gun or the form! I'd like you to shoot without sticks, free hand, with your feet spread apart about 20"-24" (wider than your shoulders) with your left foot on the ground, about 80% of your leg weight on the ball of that foot. I'd like your right foot further back than the left and I'd like you have your other leg's weight 100% on the ball of that foot with your right heel off the ground. When doing shooting clinics we'd shove a 12 gauge spent hull under the right foot to remind you its supposed to be off the ground.

When you hold that rifle for a free-hand shot, pretend you're giving someone a bear hug. You're weight is on the balls of your feet and you're leaning forward like a you're reaching for a bear hug. This ensures your face is really on the comb, your weight is forward, and you're pullng that forend into your shoulder. The super-majority of weight on that gun is your left hand pulling that forend to your shoulder.

When you fire, tell me if you sway like a tree and feel like the recoil went down by 50%. If it did, lets solve for repeating this with sticks.

Do not be discouraged, a 12-year-old child can shoot that rifle of yours with less pain than a 300lb man. A big guy with heels planted is taking ALL THAT RECOIL and a light person leaning into the shot with good form above is being swayed by the breeze.

I also need to know about sights, confirm its iron sights as there can be something else going on if its an optic involved. Also confirm these are factory loads and what type.

You're dealing with 41lbs of recoil with your gun and 400gr bullets, approximately, This should be indistinguishable from a 375hh if we get your shooting form and fit figured out.

Lets hold off on recoil pads, pitch, and lengthening or shortening anything just yet. That may help, but something else is going on here we should fix first.
 
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Update: Okay, I see that you're shooting off sticks. Good start.

Lets see if its the gun or the form! I'd like you to shoot without sticks, free hand, with your feet spread apart about 20"-24" (wider than your shoulders) with your left foot on the ground, about 80% of your leg weight on the ball of that foot. I'd like your right foot further back than the left and I'd like you have your other leg's weight 100% on the ball of that foot with your right heel off the ground. When doing shooting clinics we'd shove a 12 gauge spent hull under the right foot to remind you its supposed to be off the ground.

When you hold that rifle for a free-hand shot, pretend you're giving someone a bear hug. You're weight is on the balls of your feet and you're leaning forward like a you're reaching for a bear hug. This ensures your face is really on the comb, your weight is forward, and you're pullng that forend into your shoulder. The super-majority of weight on that gun is your left hand pulling that forend to your shoulder.

When you fire, tell me if you sway like a tree and feel like the recoil went down by 50%. If it did, lets solve for repeating this with sticks.

Do not be discouraged, a 12-year-old child can shoot that rifle of yours with less pain than a 300lb man. A big guy with heels planted is taking ALL THAT RECOIL and a light person leaning into the shot with good form above is being swayed by the breeze.

I also need to know about sights, confirm its iron sights as there can be something else going on if its an optic involved. Also confirm these are factory loads and what type.

You're dealing with 41lbs of recoil with your gun and 400gr bullets, approximately, This should be indistinguishable from a 375hh if we get your shooting form and fit figured out.

Lets hold off on recoil pads, pitch, and lengthening or shortening anything just yet. That may help, but something else is going on here we should fix first.

@rookhawk you are amazing, thank you for responding! So, yes confirmed it is off sticks, it is an iron sight with a bit of liquid paper (whiteout) on the end because I was loosing the brass button sight to the black target and couldn't see it very well. It eats a standard off-the-shelf Hornady 400gr bullet (both the soft and the solid since I'm trying for buffalo). I will do as you asked, I will also go one better and get my wife to take some picutes of me holding it like I normally would, both on and off the sticks, as well as a video (is possible, you would think I'd be more tech savy but here we are!) so that you can see exactly for yourself what is going on. Thank you so much for your help with this!!
 

rookhawk

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@rookhawk you are amazing, thank you for responding! So, yes confirmed it is off sticks, it is an iron sight with a bit of liquid paper (whiteout) on the end because I was loosing the brass button sight to the black target and couldn't see it very well. It eats a standard off-the-shelf Hornady 400gr bullet (both the soft and the solid since I'm trying for buffalo). I will do as you asked, I will also go one better and get my wife to take some picutes of me holding it like I normally would, both on and off the sticks, as well as a video (is possible, you would think I'd be more tech savy but here we are!) so that you can see exactly for yourself what is going on. Thank you so much for your help with this!!

Since you’re going to shoot free hand and off sticks again and your spouse will be taking pics, try shooting off the sticks too, but do a round with the sticks too low. This will force you to hunch forward (maybe too much) but it will assure you’re not on your heels, that your face is low on the stock, and that your shoulder pocket is properly formed by that “bear hug” position with your arms.

I’m trying to figure out with you if your shooting erect, heels anchored, taking more recoil in general, and by your weight and heels on the ground, you are effectively a brick wall that is causing that muzzle rise. And with that completely erect stance, it might be causing the comb to punch your face.

One last thing to mention. I discovered slo-mo video on an iPhone is an incredible tool. My son and I use it every week to check our archery form and work out quirks. You’ll see a lot of things you missed.
 

PaulT

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I don't see it mentioned in the thread anywhere, but by chance is the rifle a Chapuis ?
 

bruce moulds

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without seeing the rifle, and knowing about its cast, you would have to bet money on too much drop at heel.
bruce.
 

Philip Glass

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Good afternoon all! I am coming to you for advice. I recently picked up a 450/400 double for my first buffalo hunt this October and while I love the gun I am rapidly begining to hate shooting it. I have, and shoot, a 9.3x62, a 375 H&H and a 404 Jeffery, none of which react the way this one does. It's not the recoil that is throwing me off, in fact the recoil is very managable! It's the fact that the gun seems to want to "hop" up and slam into my cheekbones every other time I pull the trigger. I don't know if I am holding it wrong since I am used to scoped rifles which may need to be held higher, I don't know if the cheek-rest is off (I hope not, the wood is beautiful) but for some reason about every other shot it wants to leap up like an impala and slap my cheek as hard as it can. As a result, I'm developing a flinch, not just with this rifle but with all my rifles. I even flinched today when I was shooting my 270, and that gun usually kicks as hard as a sleepy kitten. I need help, suggestions, advice, something! So please, give me your thoughts, your ideas, anything at this point because this is becoming a serious issue! Thank you.
Make sure it is fitted to you. It likely is too short. You also need to get busy and have an Edwards Recoil reducer installed. The cheek slap is actually something it will really help with. If you will tell Kevin at Edwards that when you talk to him, he will take that into account on how the reducers are installed.you can send the stock to him and have it done.
Best of luck on the buff hunt.
Philip
 

WAB

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Well I'd love to have a fitter take a look, unfortunetly I'm stuck in Albuquerque NM and that's a bit of a walk away from London lol. Not many people in this neck of the woods have experiance with one, I took mine to a gunsmith here for an issue, he's been around the block a time or three and it was the first double he had ever worked on.

Brian Bilinski at Fieldsport in Michigan is a good shotgun fitter if u can get up that way. He may know someone down your way that could help.
 

machinistbutler

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I think the trick is to flinch exactly the same every time . :D Barman:

A friend of mine flinched so bad trying to take a shot at a little whitetail for he actually tripped and fell over. He had the safety on. He was scared to death of his lightweight 300 Weatherby in a Remington rifle. He now is using a 30/06 that he shoots much better.

Sorry for wandering off topic, just woke up and waiting for the coffee to kick in. The info in this thread is priceless. My first double should be at my home tomorrow, hope it fits .
 

rookhawk

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Guys, a gun too short isn‘t necessarily going to cause excessive recoil. Remember, all the advice to lengthen LOP means the gun will need more cast. Cast is the #1 creator of excess recoil. Cast is a necessary evil of gun fit. The longer the gun stock, the more necessary evil required.
 

RockSlinger404

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Rookhawk, would you mind explaining please? I would have thought that is is the other way around - if your cast was correct with a too short LOP, then you would have to lessen the cast in a longer stock to have the sights lined up. Are you saying that his gun has too little cast and he therefore needs to push his face hard into the stock to achieve the correct sight picture?
 

rookhawk

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Rookhawk, would you mind explaining please? I would have thought that is is the other way around - if your cast was correct with a too short LOP, then you would have to lessen the cast in a longer stock to have the sights lined up. Are you saying that his gun has too little cast and he therefore needs to push his face hard into the stock to achieve the correct sight picture?

The best way to describe this, although an imperfect description, is that the longer the gun becomes, the more cast that is required to bring a gun from the right shoulder to the centerline (roughly, but less) of the body.

The more cast someone has, the more unpleasant the recoil at the shoulder. (Not at the face exclusively or specifically).

There is an excellent book on gun fitting called creatively enough, “gun fitting” by Michael Yardley. It’s worthy of a read If you’re interested in this topic.

I wasn’t suggesting he has too much or too little cast at present. Nor was I suggesting his LOP or pitch was wrong. I wanted to see him work through his shooting form to ensure he’s not got an issue going on their first. The fact he is having adverse recoil every-other shot approximately tells me that it isn’t likely to be a dimension of the gun that is the primary problem here. Fine adjustment of gun fit can make a difference, but we must rule out an issue of hold and form first or we’ll be chopping away at a gun to make it fit someone with bad form, perhaps ruining the gun’s dimensions.
 

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