Pro Tip: K&M’s Shannon Kay - Shooting Movers -Tracking or Trapping
Engaging moving targets is often the most intimidating and challenging event that many shooters face in precision rifle competition.
So we are going to cover two tips that will assist the precision rifle shooter in raising their confidence, their consistency, and their accuracy in engaging these moving targets.
The first tip we are going to go over is how we engage, or in what method we engage these moving targets.
One method of engaging moving targets is tracking, commonly used by shot-gunners, it involves the shooter and his firearm.
Tracking the target on its path of movement, the shooter will engage that target once the precise lead is established and will continue to follow through.
This is not a best practice for precision rifle shooters because our distance and target size dictate that we must be more precise to reach the accuracy that we need.
The second and preferred method of shooting moving targets is trapping.
Trapping moving targets is when the shooter moves his sight in front along the path of the moving target and engages that moving target as soon as it hits the correct lead.
This allows the shooter to have a steady position, correct sight alignment, and follow through correctly; while maintaining the best marksmanship fundamentals for the most accurate shot possible.
There are two common errors that we see when shooters engage moving targets. The first is self induced stress, when that target moves and goes from one limit to the next, shooters feel rushed. They will often combine tracking and trapping targets which leads to very poor results.
The second error we see is too much, or improper magnification. Often times shooters will mistake more accuracy with higher magnification. In fact, that is not the case. More accuracy is simply more precise reticule placement. When shooters engage moving targets, they need to balance field of view as they get out and trap their target.
The next tip is how we properly determine our lead. We’ll take the information that our match director gives us and input it into our ballistic calculators, however our ballistic calculators do not know the size of the target.
As shooters, our human eye works best at contrast, so a best practice is to engage from the lead edge, where there is contrast on the edge of the target. Your ballistic calculator will always give you your lead from the center of the target.
It's up to the shooter to determine the targets size, cut that in half and subtract that from the ballistic calculator’s lead. This is where math comes in.
The first thing we need to do is input our down range data into our ballistic calculator. The target distance is 300 yards.
The target speed today is three miles an hour. The output is one point six, that lead is from the center of the target.
The target width is point eight mils. We’ll cut our target size in half, that results in point four.
The 1.6 from the ballistic calculator, minus the 0.4 results in a 1.2 lead from the leading edge of the target.
With the proper engagement techniques, the proper lead, and proper magnification, you will have greater success at engaging moving targets.