Tips for Hitting a Moving Target

Most firearms users practice with static targets, which in itself has its challenges. Add movement, and it becomes even more difficult to maintain accuracy and reduce the risk of unintentionally hitting something you’re not aiming at when firing. Whether you’ll need to hit a moving target when hunting or you want to be prepared for instances when you may be facing an immediate threat on the move, here’s what you’ll need to know, outlined by the experts from Gun Safety Training Pros, your premier choice when you want to learn how to shoot safely by taking an online gun safety class.

Using a Handgun

When using a handgun to hit a moving target, you may be in a situation where you urgently need to mitigate a threat. However, there are specialized handguns with longer barrels you can use to hunt in areas where it’s legal to do so. With a handgun and a moving target, keep your feet firmly planted as your upper body and torso move. It’s important to do this to increase your ability to aim properly as you prepare to fire. If the target is moving from side to side or attempting to shield him or herself, take the following steps:

• Keep the front sight of your handgun on the leading edge of the target or the outline
• Move your hands, arms, and head with the target
• Smoothly and firmly press the trigger to the rear as your sights remain on the target
• Keep your feet firmly on the ground as you fire

If you do have to move your feet to get better aim, quickly realign yourself before you fire. Also, keep the handgun on the moving target even after firing. If what you’re aiming at is a threat, you want to remain prepared in the event you need to react again.

Using a Rifle

When using a rifle, you’ll likely be trying to hit a moving target while you’re hunting. With this type of shooting, there are two common methods:

• Tracking
• Swing-through


Tracking involves moving with your target at the same pace. This is sometimes referred to as “sustained lead.” Lead is a determination of how far ahead you’ll need to aim to accurately hit your moving target. It’s based on the moving target’s distance and speed.


With this method, you’ll point your gun at the moving target and “swing” with it from one side to another. Increase the speed of your swing so the muzzle moves past the target and then fire. You’ll be “swinging through” the target and firing at the blank space in front of it.


Regardless of why you may need to hit a moving target or what type of firearm you may be using, it’s important to practice. One way to do this is to set up a makeshift moving target practice area. If it’s not possible or practical for you to do this, there are online simulations you can use to do a version of moving target practice. At the very least, this can help with your hand-eye coordination. 

Whether you’re new to handgun ownership or you’ve owned handguns for years, safety should always be your top priority when you’re working on boosting your shooting accuracy. If you’d like to learn more about shooting techniques and gun safety from experienced professionals who provide a top-tier firearms safety course, reach out to the experts at Gun Safety Training Pros. Contact us today at [email protected].

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