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Drill: Recoil Management

This drill has been around for so long that it is hard to find its originator. What is known is that it can help you understand how to control recoil when shooting your defensive handgun quickly.

This drill will have no target. The focus is what happens when we focus strictly on the sights and what they are doing as we adjust our grip. The shooter is attempting to create the most stable platform they can to shoot from, and adjusting a few things may give you better grip and stance. This will show in the mitigation of recoil, which can be seen in the sights if you watch for it.


Standing close enough to the berm that you cannot shoot over it, get into the best version of your grip and stance. Tight grip, no pressure from the strong hand thumb, thumbs high or forward for the semi-automatics, and crossed or down for revolvers. Stance should be set with the strong side foot slightly to the rear of the support side foot. Get aggressive.

Now, after shooting a string of 5-7 rounds, how did it feel? How far did the sights travel and how much control did you have. Adjust small things starting with your hand position. Repeat. Adjust your foot position. Repeat. Adjust your point of balance or your head position. Repeat.

This drill will allow you to find what is actually your optimal shooting position. For an added bonus, put the drill on the timer and see if the way if feels actually wrings out on the timer.

Knowing how to diagnose our own shooting starts with knowing what we are doing. Then we need to articulate why that way is better by testing it against others. Nobody knows it all. We must be ready for an ongoing journey.

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