Training With Team SIG Part 3: Movement

running and gunning

We’ve discussed giving targets the speed and respect they deserve, and we’ve discussed moving your gun between targets when you’re more or less standing still, but one of the hallmarks of action shooting sports like USPSA is the “run” part of “run and gun”. That’s why movement was the last of the major technical skill areas that Team SIG worked on during our June training camp.

Sometimes, there’s more running than gunning in action shooting.
Transitions between shooting positions have a lot in common with transitions between targets. To start with, the eyes lead for both. You prepare for each movement into a shooting position by looking exactly where you are going. It’s not a matter of just pointing your head in the general direction you’re headed, but pinning your eyes on the spot you want your feet to land until you are certain you will get there.
You don't want to keep your head down and looking where you want to go during your entire run, though. As you get closer, your eyes should go to the first target you will shoot from your new position. You also need to start bringing your gun up to reacquire your grip and get it pointing at that first target. While you do this, your feet will start slowing down and once your sights are stable enough to fire the shot, you can start shooting.

team SIG training

Look for something like a split between fault lines to find your shooting position

Running Safely:
While you are actually moving, there are two safety rules you need to make automatic to avoid disqualification: you must keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, and you must remove your finger from the trigger guard. The first can be made more challenging because it is more efficient and faster to move while gripping the gun only in the strong/shooting hand so that each arm can be pumped while running, and while facing the direction of movement. Moving up-range, towards your non-dominant side, or around obstacles such as walls cause the most common problems, so you should be especially careful at those times.
You can learn and practice how to keep your muzzle downrange in your home using just your pointed finger and paying attention to what your body needs to do in order to keep that finger pointed in the safe direction you use for dry fire. Using a pointed finger also helps ingrain keeping your finger high up along the frame or slide of your firearm. While the rules generally only require that your finger be out of the trigger guard, making it obviously visible means that it's not only safer (because it’s harder to accidentally clench your hands and have a finger slide onto the trigger), but also makes it less likely to result in a premature safety stop by a range officer.
running and gunning

Safely running across a range with muzzle downrange and finger well off the trigger (image credit: Ron Jones)

Speed Tips:
Those are the basics, but there are also slight tweaks that can decrease the time between the last shot in one position and the first shot in the next. One of the most common ways to do that is to begin leaving a position while still firing at targets, and to start shooting targets as you are still decelerating into a position, rather than keeping your feet grounded or waiting until you are fully stationary. Of course, you will need to balance your ability to make good hits with how much you move, but even beginning to shift your weight out or shooting as your feet settle instead of after can shave a tenth of a second or more off your raw time. Just be careful not to get moving until you have fully completed your last shot, and don’t start shooting until you can make a good hit on your first shot.

Me! #retreat #reload, #partials #steel, #movement, #entries. We're doing it all at once here.
A video posted by Annette Evans (@blastingbeauty) on

Shoot out of and into positions to minimize your movement time
We practiced these skills by setting up arrays of targets about 5-7 yards apart and defining some rough shooting areas for each one. It was important to include both easy and hard targets, so that we could play with how much attention is needed on a particular target to improve entering in, and exiting out of it. We then did variations by drawing and moving towards an array to shoot it, leaving a position as we were still shooting targets. We added to the challenge by putting a wall or barrels between each shooting position.

Watch how the weight and legs shift sideways or back to launch movement
Combine all that with just flat out running faster, and you can start getting to where you want to be pretty quick, while not wasting time getting into and out of each position. Let’s see some video of you trying it!

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