Introduction to Moving Targets
This is the first in a multi-part series on engaging Moving Targets. For this lesson we are using an In Motion (www.inmotiontargets.com) moving target system. The target is about 475 yards away, running at a speed of 2 MPH. The plate on the carriage is 12" wide.
Moving targets are very misunderstood mainly because of the limited exposure people have with them. For many the first time seeing a moving target is either in the wild with an animal that is going an undetermined speed, or at a Competition. This adds an air of mystery to engage the mover, and some people are looking for that magic solution to hit the mover. Hitting a mover targets requires a solid command of the fundamentals of marksmanship as well as understanding of the shooter's system which includes the shooter in the Time of Flight equation.
Movers will exploit any weakness in the Fundamentals of Marksmanship
If you have a weakness in your fundamentals a mover will exploit them to a degree that is scary big. As I have mentioned before, we can get away with a lot when shooting at 100 yards with a high dollar precision rifle. Because of the inherent accuracy built into a lot of custom rifles, the end user can fall down when it comes to employing the fundamentals, and will hardly notice. It comes back to, "But I can shoot 1/4" @ Home". Take them out of their comfort zone and things start to fall apart fast. This is why we harp on the fundamentals and impress upon you to get straight back behind the rifle and properly manage the recoil. I have seen people mention the "ankle kickers' and will go on to tell people you don't have to get straight, you can be off and still hit your target. While this is certainly true, the problem is once you move them into an area of tactical shooting, you start to see the problems. If you're shooting F Class, you can bend your knees back and cross your ankles, the issues it will cause will hardly be noticed. But introduce them to a Mover with very little information and watch them chase the target without knowing why they are hitting or missing. So, if you have the chance to shoot a mover, really focus on your fundamentals.
Personal Lock Time
As many of you know, your average ballistic computer, even the less expensive App will have a dialog to help you shoot a mover. The problem is, that formula begins from the instant the bullet leaves the muzzle and cannot take into account the entire system. That system includes the shooter. From the moment you decide to fire the shot, to the time it takes the bullet to leave the bore matters. In the past I have seen people have a giant swing in their leads because of their personal reaction time and how it contributes to the overall lock time of the system. You have to know whether you are faster or slower on the trigger in order to adjust the computer's lead to fit you the shooter. Believe me, regardless of all the data put out, the shooter is still the biggest variable in the system. This is why none of these things work equally for every shooter. For every one out there using a lead of 1.5 Mils there is a shooter using 2, or another using 1 Mils to hit the same target.
Lastly for this lesson, consider quality, not quantity, many feel the need to shoot faster when it comes to a mover, especially if they are missing. Instead, consider taking your time and looking for your impacts to make the adjustments. Consider the target size, if you are missing and still don't see your impacts, hold 1/2 the width of the test less, and then 1/2 the width more if need be. Use the target to your advantage and let it dictate the size of the adjustment you make when you are not able to see the target.
There is a ton more to shooting a moving target, this will encompass at least an hour of video worth of instruction, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.