SHOOTING ON THE MOVE
Shooting on the move is one of the most advanced skills in all of the sport. To master this skill it takes relentless hours in training, but the even more daunting task is knowing when and when not to put it to use. This brings me to the first thing I would like to discuss...
A. Risk vs. Reward
There are three things I take into consideration when deciding whether or not to shoot on the move. The first is the difficulty of the shot, second is the distance of the target, and third is the condition of the terrain. All too often I see shooters engaging targets while moving because they feel it is necessary to shave time. But if the difficulty or the distance of the target forces you to shoot poorly or to take a penalty, what did you really gain? Nothing. However, if you do feel you can be successful on a consistent basis, then go ahead and take advantage of shooting on the move by applying the following techniques.
There are four key steps to remember while engaging targets on the move that will allow you to be successful.
The first step is keeping your knees bent to act as shock absorbers, which will reduce the movement of your weapon’s muzzle.
Second is taking small steps, rolling your feet in a heel-to-toe manner, and remaining in contact with the ground at all times. This will also reduce the arc of movement in your sights. If shooting in retreat, roll your feet in a toe-to-heel manner as this will ensure there will be no sudden movement of the sights. Third, your feet will be heading in the direction of travel, so simply pivot your upper body to be square to the target array. As you become more advanced, you may want to try the target leg method to help open your hips/stance a bit to the target. The target leg method is only different in that your directional leg will continue heading in the direction of travel but your target leg will always be pointing out toward the target. The advantage to this is that you will reduce tension in your upper body as you are trying to pivot out to the target.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to use a strict sight focus anytime you’re engaging targets on the move. I typically have three different types of sight pictures I utilize in Action Shooting, but anytime I am moving, I use a 100% sight focus, regardless of distance or difficulty.
Here’s a simple drill to try at home.
Laser pen/red dot optic
Simply take a laser pen and hold it in your hand as if you were shooting. Pick a small object on the wall such as a light switch and hold the laser on the object. Move forward, backward, laterally, and so on… Your goal is to keep the laser on the object during the entirety of movement. Of course, this doesn’t involve any actual shooting, but it does give you a very good idea of your technique and if it is capable of holding your sights on the target while moving. If you can’t maintain stability while moving, it will make it very difficult to land shots on target. Lasers and red dot optics teach the shooter so many valuable lessons as you can see in this simple drill, which aids in your shooting on the move. In short, use the laser or red dot as a self-correcting tool.