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For any kind of shooting, accuracy is key, but learning how to shoot a moving target can be particularly difficult. This skill will come in handy when duck hunting, or even coyote hunting.

Whether you’re hunting waterfowl in the fields or shooting clays at the range, mastering the art of aiming and firing accurately at a moving target requires tracking skills and practice.

Fortunately, these tips and techniques can help make it easier to become an expert shooter of moving targets.

How to shoot a moving target. Photo of a girl shooting a moving target with a shotgun.

How To Shoot A Moving Target

If you want to take your shooting skills to the next level, consider learning how to shoot a moving target. This challenging technique requires deep concentration, quick reaction time, and rock-steady aim.

While shooting at a stationary mark can be satisfying, hitting a rapidly-moving object is where the real excitement lies. With some practice and patience, you too can feel like a true marksman!

Practicing how to shoot a moving target can be a thrilling experience, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to enhance your shooting abilities.

Practicing this skill will develop essential techniques like hand-eye coordination, timing, and accuracy necessary for all types of firearms.

Additionally, learning how to shoot a moving target teaches you how to anticipate and respond to target movements in different shooting scenarios.

Whether you’re new to shooting or an experienced marksman, adding moving targets to your training regimen is both enjoyable and advantageous.

Always keep in mind the 4 Gun Safety Rules whenever you’re using a firearm.

 1. Prepare Any Necessary Equipment

Before attempting to shoot a moving target, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment.

Depending on your shooting needs, this could include a rifle, shotgun, pistol, or bow and arrow.

The type of gun you choose should be tailored to the specific activity you’re taking part in.

Additionally, use ammo specifically designed for the type of gun you are using and check that all optics and scopes are properly set up and calibrated.

This will ensure that when you pull the trigger your shot goes exactly where it’s pointed.

2. Aim Carefully and Stay Focused

As you track the target, be sure to find a steady aiming point where you can rest your eyes and/or gun sights.

When focusing on the target, it’s important to move the gun while keeping your focus on the target itself, not on the gun.

This will help ensure that you are able to make a more accurate shot even when dealing with a moving target.

Finally, remember to take multiple deep breaths before pulling the trigger and concentrate fully on the aiming point and accuracy of your shot.

3. Take Your Time When Firing

When aiming at a moving target, it’s important to take extra time when aiming and preparing to fire.

By taking your time, you can ensure that every shot is as accurate as possible.

Taking your time will also help you relax and focus more on the target than on the gun which in turn will help with overall accuracy of the shot.

4. Adjust for the Target’s Movement Direction, Speed, and Distance

The direction, speed, and distance of a moving target is essential in terms of accuracy when aiming at it. In order to adjust for these variables, you must master the use of your sights.

As the target moves, it will appear to move from one side of the sight to another, so as a shooter it’s important that you move (or adjust) your sights with the target’s movement instead of standing still.

By adjusting for the direction, speed and distance during each shot you can increase your chances of hitting the target!

5. Learn How to Fire Quickly Without Sacrificing Accuracy

The key to shooting accurately while aiming at a moving target is learning how to fire quickly without sacrificing accuracy.

Use proper firing stance and breath control techniques, and focus on anticipation, aiming ahead of the moving target. As a shooter it’s important to practice shooting in bursts that are not too long or fast.

This will allow you to make necessary corrections for speed and distance without the risk of missing your target due to too much movement.

Additionally, develop confidence with practice: the more you shoot a moving target, the better you will become!

Moving Targets for Shooting Practice

  • Clay pigeons: These are used for shotgun practice and simulate the flight of birds. Manual and electronic clay pigeon trap throwers are readily available.
  • Spinners: Spinners are a type of reactive target that spin or flip when hit by a bullet. They are commonly used for rifle or pistol practice.
  • Swinging targets: Swinging targets are typically made of steel or plastic and move when struck by a bullet. They are available in various shapes and sizes, including circular, square, and silhouette.
  • Moving target systems: These are electronic target systems that simulate the movement of game animals, such as deer, elk, or wild boar. They are often used for realistic training scenarios and can be adjusted to simulate different speeds and movements.
  • Balloons – tying helium filled balloons to a target stand or using them as standalone targets can provide a fun and inexpensive way to practice shooting moving objects.

It is important to always follow safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions when using moving gun targets for practice shooting. Shooting is always done at your own risk.

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How To Shoot A Moving Target: Final Thoughts

To conclude, taking time to shoot a moving target can provide a real rush and sense of accomplishment for those passionate about firearms and marksmanship. Shooting a moving target will also help your accuracy when you’re out long range hunting.

It requires dedication, time, and perseverance to master the art, but making contact with a moving target is a highly rewarding feeling.

Gaining the ability to lead targets and calculate speed and distance makes for a more comprehensive shooting education and overall enjoyment when partaking in recreational shooting activities.

Remember to always follow proper safety protocols and use caution when attempting to shoot a moving target. Start with a stationary target and gradually work your way up to moving targets.

With practice and dedication, shooting moving targets can become a favorite pastime for gun enthusiasts and hunters alike. So, don’t be afraid to try something new and challenging.

If you’re looking for hands on experienced education, the NRA offers sport shooting courses.

You might just surprise yourself with how much you enjoy attempting to shoot a moving target!

Up next: Firearm Safety: Top 7 Mistakes to Avoid

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