PRO TIPS with USAMU - Moving Targets

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 Shane Cooley USAMU Action Shooting Team Member

Moving Targets


Those were different types of swinging and moving targets you’ll find on a USPSA range.  Today I’m going to give you tips and techniques on how to shoot each one individually. 





This is a drop turning target.  It’s going to begin facing away from you and once activated it’s going to fall, face you, and then turn away again.  Now I would rate this as an average speed drop turner. So whenever it falls you can let it face you completely, engage it with a well-controlled pair and then continue to move on. On a faster drop turner, as it begins to drop and the A line perforation begins to face you, you can engage it there, and once the A zone fully faces you, you can engage the zone and then move on. The important thing here is during the walk through know the speed of the drop, so you know exactly where you need to place your sights.



This is another type of moving target, commonly found on USPSA courses, it’s the swinging target.  Notice that this target has a pausing point as it begins to go back in the other direction.  The best way to engage this target is to wait for it to get to this pausing point and give it a controlled pair.  The most important part of this target is the speed of it, so you’ll know how much of a pause you will have to engage it.



Notice I no longer can engage this target at its pausing point because of a no shoot or other cover.  The proper way now is to time it based on distance and difficulty of the shot. The way to do that is to align your sights so the bullet breaks the A zone as the target passes by.  Now the most important thing is, during the walk through, learn the speed at which it passes and swings, because this is the most difficult swinger in a USPSA course of fire. I’m prepping my trigger ahead of my target so that when I take my shots my bullets will pass through the A zone as the target moves by.






The last target we have here is the clamshell.  Notice how the shoot target comes up in the back first and the no shoot comes up in the front to cover it.  The key to engaging this target is knowing the height and speed at which it rises so that you can engage this target at it’s stopping point.  You do not want to take this target on its way up because it presents the opportunity to shoot over the target.  Nor do you want to wait until it’s to late and the clamshell is covering the target.  Clamshell is all about timing.




All moving targets have one thing in common, an activator, which is usually a steel popper.  Once that steel popper is engaged there’s going to be a short period of time before the moving target is actually activated.  Use this time to your benefit, if you have the ability engage other targets before you actually engage the mover.  Keep practicing these tips and techniques and until next time stay Army Strong.





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