I am a member in a club up here in Quebec and most of the senior members flinch like crazy. We shoot mostly sporting clay together and I do feel sorry for them because these guys are very good shooters (I am not mostly because I am pretty slow) and shooting is more than a hobby for them, it looks more like the love of a lifetime. A few weeks ago, all the seniors in my squad were all flinching at the same time. Usually, it is only one or two and occasionally but this time it was all of them at all the stations. It was so bad that one them gave up.
Back in the clubhouse, I told them that if shooting was only half as important for me that it is for them, I would spend the money of a few cases of shell to get cured by an hypnotist. After all, if the guy can convince you that pulling out a molar won’t hurt (I saw such an extraction with my own eyes, the patient was my mother), he should be able to convince your mind that your gun has never done any harm to you. I must admit they stared at me with their thoughts flowing from their eyes, “he’s not only a lousy shooter, on top of that the poor man is missing a few parts up there.” What do you think, have you heard of anybody who have tried it?
Hypnotism is a new one on me, but why not? As you noted, it works in other areas so it should be worth a try.
Flinching is one of the real problems that many experienced shooters have to deal with. Trap shooters are particularly subject as they consistently shoot full loads with very little lateral body movement. They shoot a lot too!
If you ever go out the Grand American trap shoot in Vandalia, OH you will see about 1 1/2 miles of vender stalls. They sell everything from guns to vitamins. One thing that they almost all seem to have in common is that they each sell something or other to reduce recoil.
Face it, our bodies are not stupid. After you get whacked in the face and shoulder 100,000 times or more the mind says enough and the body starts to do what it can to avoid continued abuse. Perfectly natural. A flinch is merely what the mind is instructing the body to do when it anticipates yet another smack. The shooter may be dumb as an iron ingot, but his body isn’t and the body and mind just do not want to get constantly pounded.
I assume that your older shooters have tried all of the standard flinch remedies- gas guns, lighter loads, release triggers and the like. Usually once a flinch is developed, lightening the load or changing the gun does not help. Release triggers often do work well. Hypnotism makes sense to me. If I had a flinch, I would rather try a session with the hypnotist than quit the sport.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid