Beginner’s Moving & Shooting Course

20130826-111112.jpgWhat are your Labor Day plans? This week I have an opportunity to shoot on some private land in the North Georgia mountains. I am too excited about it! Rather than using this gift of space as just another trip to an outdoor range, I feel I must use this opportunity to the fullest. Therefore, I’d like to create a number of drills that I will be able to run solo, but will use the space to the fullest. I’d like to practice a number of skills with which I currently have limited experience, and then I’d like to try moving and shooting for the first time.

The techniques I am going to spend some time on are, quick magazines swaps for both pistol and rifle and shaving time off my follow up shots. I will start by loading multiple magazines with just a few rounds each, five in one, two in another and so on. I will then mix them up and with a shot timer, begin shooting. As I empty magazines I will practice swapping out for another, with a focus on speed and paying attention to accuracy. Once I’ve run a bunch of groups of magazines a number of times, I will go back and take a look at both video and the clock. I hope to see improvement but also be able to notice places in my sequence of movements where I can shave off time.

I’ve never had the opportunity to run a moving and shooting drill but by doing some research I am attempting to compile a simple course as well as a slightly more complicated concept that I will run at my “build-a-range.” I’ve found the simple setup and with a few modifications I think it will be an effective place to begin. I will move in a square around four cones starting at a distance and then moving closer to a row of targets. As I move forward, right, back and then left I will have a sequence of targets I plan to hit with two rounds. This seems nice and simple, but I’m sure it will be a challenge for a beginner like myself. In case I have time for a more complicated setup, I’d love to hear some of your suggestions.


  1. I added snap caps to my movement drills this summer. I got comfortable moving and shooting, then added malfunctions by adding snap caps. I also practice dropping the reload – requires you to take eyes off target, find and pickup magazine, decide to kneel or stand, and acquire target.
    Would love to be able to do this at night, in the dark, don’t have a range with after dark shooting.
    Works great when you have a friend to yell “drop” so you don’t get to anticipate.

  2. Biggest thing I’d work on would be the actual moving (forward, backwards, lateral) while firing. Most everything else you can do dry at home. Settle on a course of fire, time it, then experiment. Try varying how much you lower your body (use your knees), how close you hold your handgun (closer is more stable, to a point) and how you actually move your feet (heel-to-toe, shuffle, drag-and-hold). I’d also vary what’s actually underfoot (big rocks, limbs, logs, etc.) so you can evaluate what works and when.

  3. I wouldn’t bother practicing dropping the reload.

    Run enough reload drills fast enough, and you’ll get the practice. If you REALLY want to help things along, though, oil up your weak hand. {grin}

    But dropped reloads are one reason I like stainless mags, after reading an Ayoob article where he talked about (among other things) dropping blued magazines in the dark.

  4. My error, jargon. AAR is Army speak for “After Action Review”. Or in other words, how did it go? 🙂

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