Monday, September 14, 2015

Moving And Shooting: From Choirboy

Move and Shoot. Everytime I go o the range I shoot while moving. I do it because I feel that is closer to the reality of what I may have to do some day. I know for sure I will not stand still, have a perfect grip and stance and shoot! I hope I am never in a gunfight but if I am I would hope to be shooting from true cover. I’m not very good at shooting while I move so I asked my friend Choirboy for some tips on moving and shooting.
From Choirboys E-mail
I’ve been asked to give a write-up on moving and shooting. Moving and shooting is a task that all of us should master. Unless you’re on an ambush “It’s harder to hit a moving target!”, this is 100% true. Movement on a two-way range or in a defensive scenario is all too common. Think about boxers or MMA fighters. Can you imagine a fight where the two opponents stand still and slug away? Not only would this look awkward, but it would also increase the fighters chance of getting hit, the same rule applies to gun fighting. Take a look at police shootout videos. Take note how not only the police officer moves while shooting, but the threat as well. I can guarantee, that when being shot at, or shooting at a deadly threat, you will move, one way or another. Sometimes you won’t even notice it, it’s just your body’s natural way of avoiding pain, in this case the pain being a projectile moving 900-2600 fps.
We often neglect to shoot while moving because we are less accurate or because we suck at it. We find ourselves only training on what we are good at, typically this is shooting standing still at a stationary target. We have to think about what we are training for when we go to the range. Are we training to fight, or, are we just shooting? If your answer is training to fight, then we must get out of our comfort zone, and practice and train as if our lives depend on it.
Not taking away from the law enforcement side of the field, because I’ve done it as well, but how often do we hear of an officer firing an entire magazine at a threat only to hit the threat twice? This can be attributed to a host of factors, but the main one being movement. Whether the officer was shooting while approaching the threat, backing away, moving to cover, etc., there is movement. The task of walking and shooting can be a challenge when first starting, luckily for us, we have a few drills we can perform in the comfort of our homes to increase accuracy and stability.
Mechanics of moving and shooting
As we all know, it’s hard to point your arm straight out, point at something and walk, all the while keeping your finger on exactly what you’re pointing at. When walking, your legs/knees absorb the impact as your foot strikes the ground. We have to get around this!
Try this. Walk naturally and observe the way your feet strike the ground. Is it the ball, side, heel, flat, etc? Now, lower your center of gravity by slightly bending your knees. Where do you feel most of the weight as your foot strikes the ground? It should be predominantly felt in the knees at this point, now we have to distribute the weight on the knees throughout the feet and into the ground.
We want our upper body to stay as still and undisturbed as possible and let our lower body do all the work. This all is accomplished with the knees and feet.
• Slightly bend the knees, they should not be bent to the point that you cannot stand like this for an extended period of time. Think of it as if you are surfing, or on a shaking platform.
• Now walk naturally. As you walk, you’re going to have to change the way your foot strikes the ground. There are two ways you can do this to best absorb the shock. The first way is to imagine your foot as the rocking portion of a rocking chair. The foot should mimic this. As you walk, the heel should softly impact and continue to “roll” towards the tip of your toes. This is a continuous fluid motion. Another way to perform this is by having the heel softly strike the ground and rolling onto the side/outside of the foot and then the toes in a fluid motion. Find out which works for you and apply.
This may sound like a silly drill, but I’ve done it with a few of my new guys while serving, especially if the trainee had problems in mastering walking and shooting. We came up with this drill after a hostage rescue exercise and one of our guys engaged the hostage instead of a precise head shot on a threat target. He didn’t miss because he wasn’t a great shot, he missed because he was moving. After a few weeks of working on this drill, he was able to engage multiple targets with precision, not only at distance, but moving at a quick rate of speed as well. I still practice this drill to this day.
The Drill
• Start off by extending your dominant arm and point with your pointer finger at something, such as a light switch within your home and walk to it while slightly bending your knees and rolling your foot as you step. Keep your non functioning arm either tucked into your chest or “cupping” your dominant hand. Vary your speed and see what works for you. You want to be able to keep your finger pointed directly at it without bouncing off. If your finger “bounces” off, restart and change speeds accordingly.
• Once you feel that you have it down, take a cup and fill it to the top with water. Don’t cheat yourself, fill it to the top.
• Now using the walking technique, hold the cup in front of you and point it at the light switch or a small target. As you are pointing it, you want to be able to look directly over the lip of the cup, it should remain flat and level. As you walk, NO water should spill out and your cup should remain on your target. If anything spills out, adjust your speed and redo the exercise. As your walking, your walk should be natural, not jumpy or stuttered, walk natural. You shouldn’t resemble a cave man.
• Now once you’ve mastered that, take your pistol and ensure that it is 100% clear. Your weapon should be “Dead”.
• Use a small cap, such as the ones found to cap a bottle of NyQuil and fill it with water.
• Place that cap on the tip of your pistol where your front sights are.
• Aim your weapon at the target/light-switch as if you would naturally when shooting stationary and walk toward it. Your sights should not come off target and absolutely NO water should spill out. If it does, adjust your speed.
This drill will increase your stability and accuracy while shooting on the move, I can guarantee it. I like to perform this drill on a very small target such as a 1 inch or 1/2 inch sticker placed on my wall at varying distances 20-50 feet).

Thanks to Choirboy for that insight and drill. I know I move and shoot but I suck at it. I continue to do it because I know that’s the real possibility in real world situations. I think this drill will help me become better at this type of movement.
Semper Paratus
Check 6