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2 Simple Tricks to Manage Recoil

2 Simple Tricks to Manage Recoil

Posted by Warrior Poet Society on Aug 10th 2023

So often it’s the little things that can be a game changer when it comes to precision and speed with your handgun. Here are two simple adjustments you can make in your thinking and form that’ll give you immediate results out on the range. 

First of all, if you’re interested in knowing the exact opposite of good recoil management, watch some of the military or action films of the 80s and 90s. Notice how everyone is hinge at the elbows and how those elbows swing, allowing their six shooters to spring back toward their faces. Think Dukes of Hazzard sheriff. 

Their elbows are pointed downward and their weight is back, rather than forward. This allows for a lot of muzzle flip as the recoil pushes them backward. When I demonstrate this, it doesn’t matter how good my grip is. If my body and arm position aren’t correct, that recoil energy is going to flip my muzzle and throw me backward.

2 Tricks to Manage Recoil

Recoil Management Trick #1: Body and Elbow Position

As you might imagine, I don’t want my gun pushing me backward. The first step in managing that backward force is to get my weight forward—head thrust forward, one foot forward and one foot back with my weight over my toes, and my torso angled downrange. 

If I'm just doing one or two shots, it's not as big of a deal. But especially a five-shot string where I'm cranking them all out in one second or less, that’s a lot of force pushing me. 

So create a stable and balanced stance. Your elbow position is also key, with them hinging outward instead of downward. This elbow positioning also helps to put your shoulders and hands in proper position. 

One simple way that I enforce this positioning is saying “get your weight forward on your toes. Really push forward. Be aggressive about it." That's accomplishing a few things. It's not just about managing recoil. 

This position is a way of encouraging good recoil management, but it’s also a way of encouraging them to get in the fight. They need a fighter mindset, even on the range.

Recoil Management Trick #2: Fighter Posture and Mindset

Good body position encourages a fighter posture, and fighter posture encourages good body position. And as I said before, I want to foster a good fighter mindset, so that when my students deploy their weapons they are flipping a switch. 

They’re remembering, “This is not a game. This is a fight,” because when they’re away from the range, if they're drawing their weapon, it could be life or death. They need to be ready to fight and defend.

Other Ways to Perfect Your Shot

There is a number of reasons shooters miss, but the most common is shot anticipation. This means you're reacting to recoil and noise before it happens. This messes up your trigger control, causing you to miss the shot. 

But by getting your weight forward and turning your elbows outward, you’re torquing and camming your hand pressure into the gun. This stabilizes and strengthens your grip and encourages good trigger control. 

In the end, because you’re getting that fighter mindset and getting aggressive, you’re not allowing the fight and the recoil to happen to you. You’re not allowing the situation to toss you around. You’re controlling the gun and the situation, and this all begins with posture and aggression. 

These practices and techniques take practice to perfect, so Train Hard. Train Smart. Live Free.


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