The Pre-Ignition Push Strikes Again

I have written some well-known articles on pre-ignition push, most notably, on USA Carry where I address what it is and how to deal with it as a shooter.  You can see that article here:

I talk about this issue because I repeatedly deal with it as a shooter.  I find that shooters seem to be either quite prone to this problem, or they are almost immune to it.  The truth is, all handgun shooters have a push reaction to the gun going off, but it is an issue of timing that determines if the response throws the shot off or not.    If you begin to clamp down on the gun in anticipation of the blast and recoil before the gun goes off, then you will see the results of this on the target.  Some shooters never have the timing issue, some do.  I deal with this timing problem on and off. 

The problem becomes more pronounced for me when I have not been shooting live ammunition regularly and this makes logical sense as the blast of the gun firing is more foreign to your brain the less you have been shooting.  In the last few range sessions I have done, I have noticed an added nuance to the pre-ignition push issue: it effects certain shooting elements more than others. 

At my last range trip, I was actually very happy with my close-in speed shooting.  Shooting fast at 7 yards, 10 yards, and even 15 yards, I was consistent in holding the down-zero zone of an IDPA target (my most often used target in practice) even in very rapid fire.  However, when I sent some B8 targets to 25 yards, wow, things got ugly.  This brings me to the point that the pre-ignition push seems to effect certain shooting mechanics more than others, depending on the individual.   

While shooting fast at closer targets, the grip mechanics of a well-experienced shooter can overcome a lot of issues and making the shots is a matter of knowing how to shoot in a sequence, breaking the shot right as the gun settles out of recoil.  However, when shooting for fine accuracy, the brain of a shooter who has issues with pre-ignition push kicks in and anticipates the shot.  I am convinced this is my ongoing challenge with fine accuracy shooting.

I admit that I don’t do a lot of 25 yard B8 shooting.  However, when I am regularly shooting I can consistently shoot B8s at 25 yards in the 90+ point range, meaning that my 10 round group is consistently within the 9 ring of the target.  I honestly don’t get wrapped around the axil on B8 shooting and I only care that I keep, preferably, all the shots in the black.  However, when I go through these phases (usually when not regularly shooting) this form of shooting suffers most.  At my last range trip I was throwing lots of shots out of the black at 25 yards. 

The fact that I can sometimes so consistently shoot well for distance accuracy, then other times the wheels fall off, keeps me coming back to pre-ignition push as the culprit.  If there was an issue with my fundamentals, I would expect consistent poor performance.  However, the inconsistency just for this distance accuracy is giving me an indication that I am, once again, a victim of the flinchies, and I need to focus on mitigating it.  It proves an endless battle. 

Damn it, brain, in a lifetime of tens of thousands of rounds fired, you have not yet died doing it, so stop being scared of that explosion going off in your hand!

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