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Posted by on in Guns

Flinching with a gunWhy is it we can't always shoot as evenly as this picture?  Sooner or later, someone will watch you shooting and say those  fatal words, "You're flinching!"  Or you feel yourself tense up when shooting and see the shots go low.  "I'm flinching" you think.  "Don't flinch," you tell yourslf, as you see your shots going lower and lower on the target.  "Dont' flinch!" echoes in your mind with each shot, and you curse afterward, "I flinched!"

 What is a flinch, anyway?  It is your body's reaction to an anticipated shock.  The shock can be the loud noise of a gun firing.  The shock can be the gun's recoil.  The shock can be pain you experience when you shoot.  Whatever has caused the shock in the past (that past can be in your current shooting ssession, or long, long ago) your body knows it is coming again, and tries to protect you by clenching many muscles involuntarily.  This usually results in your hands moving the barrel of your gun downwards and the shots go low.  It happens to handgun shooters and long gun shooters.

 As a teacher, I've seen it happen to many students.  The number one cause, in my experience, is sound, so the first thing I will suggest is maximizing hearing protection with both foam in-the-ear plugs and high quality, well-fitted muffs. 

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Posted by on in Other

When I saw a few weeks ago that Tom Knapp had died, I thought, “Do I know him? That name sounds awfully familiar.  He was a shooter...”  Upon checking his obituary, I instantly recognized his picture, and the past came into focus.  “Yes, he’s the famous shotgunner who was showing off for Nancy Bittle.”

KNAPP-obit-articleLargeIn the 90’s, there was an IPSC match called the AWARE Invitational that several groups in turn ran as a fund raiser for AWARE.  Early on, one of those matches was held in New Jersey at a range in a place called the Pine Barrens.  The match had tents for companies and sellers of stuff to set up their services and wares for all the kinds of things an IPSC shooter might want to buy.  

 Benelli, the shotgun company, was one of those vendors, and Tom Knapp was their rep there.  Nancy Bittle (the founder of AWARE) and I were there.  I didn’t know know of Tom Knapp was, but she did.  Knapp was an exhibition shooter whose name could easily be put together with the likes of Annie Oakley. Nancy was almost as excited at meeting Knapp as she would have been if she had had a chance to meet Oakley.   Knapp was a consummate performer who shot professionally for most of his life.  He held a number of world records, and liked nothing more than shooting incredibly difficult targets, such as tiny aspirin.

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