Two U.S. soldiers at outdoor shooting range

When it comes to training and qualification, there's more to shooting than aiming your firearm at a static target. For seasoned military personnel and recruits alike, hitting a moving target at the shooting range offers a fun challenge and real-life scenario to improve marksmanship, agility, and reaction time. 

But to do it successfully, shooters need to know how to adjust their aim for the unpredictable movements of these reactive targets.

Best Practices for Shooting Moving Targets

The challenge of shooting a moving target is exciting and intimidating, but it's also integral to sharpening your aim for real-life combat. With a few simple tips, shooters can hone their skills for shooting targets in motion and become expert marksmen and women.

Choose The Right Moving Targets

Before you get started, however, you need to choose the right moving targets for your indoor or outdoor range. Typically, shooters can practice hitting moving targets by either manually suspending a paper silhouette target from a stand or track or using an automated system such as an oscillating plate suspended by chain links that move it back and forth. 

At Qualification Targets Inc., we offer a selection of moving targets that react on impact, presenting unique challenges for shooters and endless hours of practice.

For example, the C-33 Texas Star - Steel Challenge Target includes five 8" diameter, ⅜' thick AR500 steel targets that mount carefully on the wheel's rotating arms. The objective is to shoot one of the targets off its arm, causing the wheels to turn. 

C-33 Texas Star Moving Target

Each time a target is hit, the wheel changes speed and even direction, forcing shooters to try to keep up. As a result, every shot is a new challenge and opportunity to improve accuracy and speed.

Explore the C-33 Texas Star moving target and our collection of reactive targets, including the M-VELETA3, for sniper, handgun, and assault rifle training.

Below, we've included a few advanced tips and techniques for hitting a moving target at the shooting range.

Study Your Moving Targets

Before shooting, shooters should take a few moments to observe their targets carefully. Have them pay attention to its movements, the speed and direction it travels, any patterns appearing in its motion, and any possible obstacles that may interfere with their aim. 

Establish Proper Positions for Effective Shooting and Safety

One of the most important things to remember when shooting at a moving target is to practice safety at all times. Shooters should establish an optimal stance and position when shooting, and ensure that their feet are planted stably and securely. 

It's also essential for shooters to keep their firearms level at all times, as sudden movements could result in an inaccurate shot. Additionally, be sure all shooters are equipped with protective gear, including quality shooting glasses and ear protection.

Calculate the Angle of Movement

Shooters must estimate the direction of the target and determine how much time it will take them to aim and fire confidently. 

Aiming in unclear circumstances can be difficult when under stress, so using calculations allows them to quickly and accurately determine where the target is going and plan accordingly. This can go a long way towards improving accuracy over time.

Develop Focus with Slow and Fast Practice Sessions

While at the range, have shooters practice slow and fast sessions to ensure a good command of shooting with a moving target. 

Shooters should get comfortable with basic speed-shooting techniques at low speeds through intentional practice. As they progress, slowly increase their speed in each session until they can comfortably shoot accurately at higher rates. 

Gradually Increase Distance to Improve Accuracy

To improve accuracy over distance, gradually increase the space between shooters and their targets. This allows them to get a feel for the time it takes for bullets to reach their mark and plan out enough time for aiming ahead of firing. 

Over time, this practice gives them a better understanding of how to fire shots accurately from varying distances.

Shop Reactive and Moving Targets

For all your training and qualification needs, shop Qualification Targets, Inc. today. We proudly offer the best U.S.-made paper, cardboard, or steel targets to support law enforcement and military branches.

Contact us at 866-498-8228 for questions or to place your order!