Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Moving Target Fundamentals

Shootrite recently replaced our moving target system, a rope operated time consuming difficult contraption I welded together, with one of Northern Lights’ remote control armor plated four-wheel drive fast moving target.

So we’ve been using the mover in more classes, which is good for students since it mimics the reality of facing an erratic moving target. The target is moving; hits are more difficult. The shooter must adjust their point of aim as the three-dimensional target changes angles.

You have to move to create distance, get to cover, and then keep that cover between you and the threat. And you might have to reload your weapon, because you never know how many shots it will take to stop the threat.

The most important point the moving target makes is how truly important the fundamentals are. To hit a moving target you have to apply the fundamentals of accuracy. This means using the sights, to the degree necessary, and getting a smooth press of the trigger without any anticipating of the recoil. To become a proficient shot means you can hit a moving target while moving. When you’re moving and engaging a moving target the fundamentals of marksmanship become even more important.

Needless to say the ability to move smoothly is essential. To make accurate hits while moving the upper body must be stabilized. This is accomplished through proper footwork, with the legs acting as shock absorbers for the rest of the body.

Movement is a fundamental technique, and must be practiced constantly. The good thing about it is that you can practice movement dry, without even using a weapon, although I do highly recommend the use of blue non-firing model guns.

To maintain the protection cover can provide you must move as well, constantly reacting to the threat, or even better moving and forcing them into a reactive mode. The ability to flow smoothly from one direction to another is important. You’re moving in response to the threat when it suddenly changes directions, putting you into the defensive mode, forcing you to change directions. This must be done efficiently and without delay.

The moving target really points out how well you manipulate your weapon. Some people run efficient reloads on the range, until the threat begins charging them. Then the external circumstances begin dictating the speed of their actions instead of them performing the reload at a speed they can do it properly.

Or when they run empty they stop moving because they cannot move and reload at the same time. You need to be able to reload your weapon and clear malfunctions without having to think about the actual actions necessary.

Fighting is about applying fundamental skills, usually several at the same time, in the proper sequence. To do this effectively takes repetition, and plenty of it. As my mentor Clint Smith says, “Fundamentals win fights.” I think this is one thing we need to focus on as a tactical community, both as instructors and students.

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May 17, 2011 - Posted by | General Training

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