First Time Moving and Shooting

When I began shooting I didn’t take lessons, I simply took advice. A friend would show my a new grip or stance, and I would try them out and then adopt things that worked for me. (It’s interesting to go back and look at some of my early videos and notice techniques that previously “worked” for me.) Fortunately, I got really good advice and when I finally did get professional instruction, I was told, “Good fundamentals. Now let’s get faster.” (My instructor wasn’t much for praising students.) Unfortunately, almost all of my shooting for my first two years, was done indoors in a 3’ wide booth. When I was recently given the opportunity to make-my-own-range, my imagination ran wild with all the possibilities.

I made big plans for complicated moving and shooting set-ups, tactical magazine changes and even courses that required both pistol and rifle work, in the same drill! Well aren’t we the little overachiever.

What I didn’t realize, was that my “gift” of an archery range, would not be a nice smooth field with a berm at 50 yards, it was a sloped dirt crevasse that was surrounded by three natural and sharp inclines and lots of tall trees. I was prepared with target stands of my own and and lots of mosquito repellant, but there was no way to prepare for all the tree roots that were sticking way up out of the ground. So, not only was my “make-your-own-range” on an incline, it was attempting to trip me, with each step I took. To make matters worse I was on my own. No one to start the shot timer for me, or keep me on course so that I could keep my eyes on target as I moved. I guess it was more realistic this way, but it may have been too much of a challenge for my first time.

I imagine learning this particular skill is a lot like learning a dance routine, one must learn a small piece at a time and repeat each part until it is muscle memory. But what do you think? How did I do? What could I do better?


  1. Learn to move then shoot or shoot on the move using dry fire and video. It’s free, you can do it a lot, you will get a lot more comfortable quickly. Then when you have range time you are just validating your dry fire. If you are not actively addressing a target get that finger off the trigger. Make it a habit in dry fire. Get out of the habit of automatically dropping the gun down as you move. Keep the gun up, if you want you can pull it back towards your chest if you feel more comfortable that way.

    1. Thanks, I often forget how all things can be practiced in “dry fire mode”. And I have a feeling that’s pretty common. I was once at a women’s gun club meeting and a woman with a new carry pistol wouldn’t take her gun out if the case unless she was at the range, loaded or not. She needed the concept of “dry fire” explained multiple times… “You mean, I can pull the trigger at home…??!?” I was happy to help, though I hope she signed up for a class soon after.

  2. I’m also working on moving and shooting, so this is definitely an amateur comment. I try to go to ‘close ready’ (pistol pulled back, pointed slightly up or down, both hands on it, finger off trigger) when moving. I will often stay extended and aimed on the target when moving forwards, with finger off the trigger.

    Rationale: I want to emulate the movement pattern that I use when drawing (draw to chest, punch out). If I need to shoot while moving, I don’t want the pistol to be bouncing on my extended arm when I raise it quickly.

    Also, have you thought about getting some bark or fill dirt to make a more consistent surface?

    1. Thanks for all that! It’s great to get insight from pros and those learning, alike. The range is not mine and is not normally a range for guns, so making changes to the actual terrain really isn’t an option.

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