“My Name Is Julie Golob…And I Flinch”


H/t to Ms. Wolfe for her link to this excellent piece on an accuracy killer.

Some people don’t flinch.

Many others do.

It is also part of not being able to call shots (because part of the flinch is an involuntary blink of which the shooter is not aware).

Are you a flincher?

13 responses to ““My Name Is Julie Golob…And I Flinch”

  1. Tfat is a felcher.

  2. actually I’ve learned quite a bit from the recent spate of pistol posts here. Before, I had been slow sight-aiming. Now it’s just rapid point and shoot…basically quick-aim with the arm and weapon.

  3. Ball and dummy drills.

  4. I wrote this comment before I read her article, It’s always nice when the original position put forward validates your thinking….

    Flinching can, in fact, be overcome with diligent practice (both dry and live fire). The trick is to remove the fear of the shooter of sudden, loud noises and recoil. Basically, the shooter has to be ‘stress inoculated’ for the act. There are other factors, to be sure, such as self-induced stress (“I’m going to fuck this up, I just know it!”), but the primary two factors of flinching in my experience have always been recoil anticipation (causes trigger jerk as well) and noise. An encouraging coach or RSO is a big factor, too.

    I was given a tip by an old High Power shooter about the stress of not wanting to screw up when I started out in that discipline. I’m sure many thousands of shooters have heard it, or versions of it. He said, “Remember, each shot is a separate event, and it’s only important while you’re putting that round down range. That ‘X’ ring you just shot? It doesn’t mean shit. That ‘high and right’ you just shot? It doesn’t mean shit either. The only shot that counts is the one you’re making now.

  5. Back when I was shooting competitively a bunch of us (at range full of stage mockups) always began practice with simpy shooting some groups in a relaxed fashion. This is a good thing. And a good friend to slip you a doctored mag for a ball & dummy drill never hurts. As the Cubs’ field manager says, “Do simple better.” These things are perishable.

    One thing I’ve noticed over the years (borne out with daughter-in-law & grand-daughters), which may help those who are mentoring those starting out, is that the female of the species processes information differently and they actually multi-task better than men. There is a big difference between: “Align the sights; pull the trigger” (2 tasks) and “while keeping the sights aligned, continue to press the trigger” (1 integrated action). Women get this last one really well. Just my $.02 adjusted for Venezuelan inflation.

  6. It is natural to work on our strengths, when we should be working on our weaknesses. Spend a day at the range shooting with your weak hand. More importantly changing mags.

    the rules of 10.000, doesn’t seem to apply. Routinely shoot the tv and practice left hand mag changes. After perhaps 100s of thousands of practice events, it’s just an UN natural ” learned” and very perishable skill set.

    That’s why I practice it weekly.

    Good stuff.


  7. When I learned to shoot at age 7, my dad would set up the sandbagged 1903 on the bench where I couldn’t see the chamber when he loaded it and set the safety. I was to sit down, settle stock to shoulder and cheek, establish site picture, disengage the safety, confirm and maintain site picture, confirm palm engagement on stock and put finger onto trigger while emptying my lungs and squeeze. After the trigger broke was follow through and call the shot. I never knew if the chamber was loaded or not until the trigger broke. I have no flinch. Teach a child the way he should go, and all that…
    Ball and dummy drill with .30-’06 at age seven…good times, I can still taste the air that day.

  8. The revolver may be technically “obsolete” in our crazy times, but the high point in practical shooter proficiency has come and gone. “Ball and dummy” aka skip loading, with emphasis on follow through, beats the hell out of fighting with the “green twig” trigger of a Glock. Especially when the shooter is minimally motivated in the first place…

    B&D with a wheelgun is ridiculously easy–just load three and proceed normally. Twice the practice, instant feedback, and half the expense. With a semiauto it’s a hassle and you need an assistant (preferably beautiful).

    And yes, I still prefer manual transmissions, too.

  9. +1 on the ball and dummy drill, especially for new shooters. My favorite trainer is a plain vanilla S&W model 67. I load a mix of empties and live rounds.
    First, I let the shooter run through a full cylinder for familiarization. Then I have them stand on the firing line, assume the position of an archer, and close their eyes. I tell them to imagine firing an arrow. Anything they might do to “help” the arrow, like push on it to make it go faster, will only spoil the shot. The only thing to do is to just LET IT GO. And so it is when firing a gun. The arrows just go faster.
    Then we proceed to shoot. All shots are single action. The target is a white paper plate at about 25 feet and I tell them to shoot for the center of the plate. I explain that I do this to take away a precise aiming point as that would only be a distraction for this drill. I tell them to concentrate on three things and three things only—-sight alignment, breath control, and trigger squeeze. I tell them “you don’t care if the gun fires or not. The only thing you care about is that on an empty round, the front sight does not move.”.
    And then I add one more critical point which I don’t often see mentioned, and that is FOLLOW THROUGH. I tell them “the gun is going to recoil. Let it.” I further explain that their flinch is not because they are afraid of recoil, it is because they are human, and as such, they are trying too hard to make the shot perfect. Don’t do that. Just let it go.

    • “I further explain that their flinch is not because they are afraid of recoil, it is because they are human, and as such, they are trying too hard to make the shot perfect. Don’t do that. Just let it go.”

      That’s good and exactly what I think I do. Thank you, I’ll keep that in mind. I tend to flinch low and left as a right handed shooter. Squeezing too hard, too sudden?

      Getting tired of my Warthog. Nasty little varmint. Thinking Glock 17 for the extra barrel length, lighter recoil. Someone here mentioned XS Sight Systems (just dot the i) which looks especially appropriate for such a shooting philosophy.

  10. Maybe next, we can discuss farting, while driving and while shooting. And then, the mind expanding qualities of belching out loud, when no one else is home.

  11. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.