Shooting accurately while on the move

This is a discussion on Shooting accurately while on the move within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I get Gabe Suarez's emails, and hope to some day attend one of his courses. He is a big advocate of "exploding" off the X, ...

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Thread: Shooting accurately while on the move

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Shooting accurately while on the move

    I get Gabe Suarez's emails, and hope to some day attend one of his courses. He is a big advocate of "exploding" off the X, shooting on the move, and the primacy of not getting shot (as opposed to placing primacy on accurately shooting the bad guy, which may result in both of you getting shot if you do not move to avoid incoming fire).

    While this all sounds good to me, I just have one concern - I cannot shoot with any kind of accuracy at anything faster than a "groucho" or "duck walk," since that kind of walking minimizes the up-and-down bouncing that you get with a normal walking or running gait.

    The force-on-force training is done with Airsoft pistols, which have no recoil. So, I wonder if it is possible to shoot accurately while "exploding" off the X with a real pistol, dealing with the recoil, especially if you are shooting one-handed?

    Unfortunately, my local range will not allow this type of training for safety reasons, so I cannot easily try it for myself!

    I do agree that movement off the X is key, BUT since you are legally responsible for every shot you take, I'm not sure shooting while running full tilt is a wise idea.

    Furthermore, every time I see military or LEOs training to shoot on the move, it is always with a slow, deliberate "groucho" walk - and they usually have the luxury of using long arms, which are easier to aim accurately than handguns. The flip side, of course, is that they are usually wearing body armor and working as a team, so they can perhaps take a hit better than we civilians can - no backup and no body armor.

    So - thoughts from those who have tried shooting while "exploding" off the X at high speed?

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    Senior Member Array dgg9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    While this all sounds good to me, I just have one concern - I cannot shoot with any kind of accuracy at anything faster than a "groucho" or "duck walk," since that kind of walking minimizes the up-and-down bouncing that you get with a normal walking or running gait.
    At this point, it's important to be specific about "any kind of accuracy." No, if you are moving flat out, you will not shoot quarter-sized groups. But you don't need to.

    Further, you will not be using any kind of traditional sight picture. You will be point shooting, where you will aim the gun at the BG, such that the outline of the gun will be superimposed over the BG's chest (where your visual focus will no doubt be). At the distances we're talking -- no more than 7 yards, probably less -- you should get pieplate-sized groups, where some shots might be peripheral, and one or two might miss.

    Having to draw and fire this close to an armed adversary does not leave perfect answers. The trade-off involved here is that moving makes you harder to hit, but you yourself will get less than perfect COM shots. The idea is that it's better to get any hit on the BG than to get hit yourself.

    Note the implications of this technique: you don't want a lot of recoil and you do want a lot of rounds.

    since you are legally responsible for every shot you take, I'm not sure shooting while running full tilt is a wise idea.
    Again, there are no perfect answers. If you stand still to perfectly aim each shot such that you don't miss, odds increase that you yourself will be shot. If you move rapidly, there is some increased chance of bystanders being shot. That's the nature of the beast. Make your choices and live with them.

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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    When I was heavily into IPSC years ago, I could hit 8" steel plates at 25 yards on a dead run; it is all about learning how to run when shooting. There are some who can "duck walk" or just mimic running, but the real trick is to learn to break your shots in between strides, so you are not experiencing the shock of your feet hitting the ground, which will knock your sights off target. If you can break your shots in between steps, and you can focus your sights on target while doing so, some pretty accurate shooting is possible.

    That is one of the tricks that separate the Masters from everybody else.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    So, I wonder if it is possible to shoot accurately while "exploding" off the X with a real pistol, dealing with the recoil, especially if you are shooting one-handed?
    Yes. But there are certain things you have to keep in mind. First, this is a close range technique. When I took Gabe's Close Range Gunfighting class, I don't think we fired a single shot from beyond five yards. Second, as dgg9 said, you have to have the right definition of accuracy. This is a "minute of bad guy" technique. By the end of the class, most people were putting their shots within an 8-10" circle while exploding off the X. That's certainly workable accuracy when you're shooting at a torso, but I wouldn't want to try any headshots while using dynamic movement.

    If you're interested in this sort of thing, obviously the best thing to do is to take one of Gabe's classes. If that's not in the cards in your immediate future, consider buying Roger Phillips' Point Shooting Progressions DVD. It's very well done and goes into a lot of detail on shooting during dynamic movement.

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    Senior Member Array dgg9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Furthermore, every time I see military or LEOs training to shoot on the move, it is always with a slow, deliberate "groucho" walk - and they usually have the luxury of using long arms, which are easier to aim accurately than handguns. The flip side, of course, is that they are usually wearing body armor and working as a team, so they can perhaps take a hit better than we civilians can - no backup and no body armor.
    The all-important distinction is that SWAT/mil groups are learning team tactics largely for being on OFFENSE. They plan an assault on a structure, and then move in.

    The technique being discussed here is for the purest form of being on DEFENSE: for the totally reactive, behind the curve, "Oh $#^& !" moment when you're suddenly face to face with an armed opponent.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    OK...if we are talking about threats that are "that" close, I can see how good hits could still be made using point shooting while moving quickly.

    However...I am normally in an urban environment. For those who have taken Gabe's classes, are there any "innocent bystanders" in the scenarios? If so, how often do they get hit? What is the typical hit/miss ratio while using these techniques?

    I actually carry a Level III ballistic insert in my briefcase, so I could (hopefully) have some cover available, which may allow me to move more deliberately and aim more carefully, given the urban areas I am in.

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    Senior Member Array dgg9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    However...I am normally in an urban environment. For those who have taken Gabe's classes, are there any "innocent bystanders" in the scenarios?
    Sure, in the form of students arranged in a semi-circle around the main FoF players. Once in a while, you'd get hit by an Airsoft pellet.

    What is the typical hit/miss ratio while using these techniques?
    I'd ballpark it at 7/1 hit/miss and sometimes better. This was with Airsoft, not actual rounds.

    I actually carry a Level III ballistic insert in my briefcase, so I could (hopefully) have some cover available, which may allow me to move more deliberately and aim more carefully, given the urban areas I am in.
    For the scenario in question, you will have very little chance to reach cover. The BG is focused on you and within 15 ft. If you could reliably get to cover as a default game plan, you wouldn't need a firearm to begin with.

    The reality of many face to face assaults or robberies is that, assuming your initial awareness had failed, cover will often not be an option. We're probably not talking about the majority of self defense scenarios here, but rather the scenarios which, by definition, you are way behind in right out of the chute. Keep in mind that this technique is not something you'd ever plan to do if you had a choice. It's a way of possibly redeeming a terrible disadvantage. Hence cover is unlikely and you will have to make hard choices about bystanders.

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    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    If you can't practice enough to feel comfortable running while point shooting you might want to try a laser? With a laser you can concentrate on the target and not try to line up your sights while running. OMO
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Agree on the laser...I've tried CT, ArmaLaser, and Lasermax, and have settled on the Crimson Trace on all my carry handguns. Of course, you should still know how to shoot well without the lasers, since they can fail. I also like the new Tru-Glo tritium/fiber optic (TFO)sights as a back-up to the laser dot.

    Regarding cover...nice thing about the ballistic insert in my briefcase is that it is always with me while I am out and about. All I have to do is lift it and use it as a shield - though it does require a one-handed draw and one-handed shooting, which I can do.

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    Senior Member Array dgg9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Regarding cover...nice thing about the ballistic insert in my briefcase is that it is always with me while I am out and about. All I have to do is lift it and use it as a shield
    At this point, all I can visualize is the end of the "Definitely Miami" episode of Miami Vice.

    ETA: on a more serious note...if you're RH, then the GotX move going to your 1:30 direction has you firing cross body to the BG who ends up on your left. Normally one would use a 2 handed grip, but in your case, there may be a technique where you hold the briefcase with your left hand in front of your own COM while shooting sort of around it.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgg9 View Post
    At this point, all I can visualize is the end of the "Definitely Miami" episode of Miami Vice.

    ETA: on a more serious note...if you're RH, then the GotX move going to your 1:30 direction has you firing cross body to the BG who ends up on your left. Normally one would use a 2 handed grip, but in your case, there may be a technique where you hold the briefcase with your left hand in front of your own COM while shooting sort of around it.
    Miami Vice? Wow...that takes me back! I wear a business suit though, not a cool linen jacket.

    The technique you describe is exactly what I practice - not always pretty, but it is nice to have something that will stop a bullet between you and the threat - even if it makes me move a bit more slowly.

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    Member Array ToddG's Avatar
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    I've never been to a Suarez class and cannot comment on what they teach, how, or why.

    Accuracy is dependent on one's ability to press the trigger without affecting the alignment of the sights (whether one is looking at them or not). The more movement of the sights during the trigger press, the less accurate you will be. There's no getting around that. When you move, you impart more movement (another additive margin of error) to the sights. For most people, the faster you move the greater this error becomes.

    The "trick" to getting hits at speed -- whether you're standing still or moving -- is understanding what degree of visual feedback you need in order to get what you consider an adequate hit under the circumstances. Maybe you're ok with hitting a man-sized target most of the time, maybe you want to keep all your shots within a 2" circle. Whatever. The concepts are the same, it's just the application which changes as your goals and conditions change.

    Most people make shooting on the move far too complicated, trying to use secret ninja footwork or timing their shots or whatever. You know how to walk. You know how to shoot. Walk & shoot. It's really not any harder than that.

    Example
    6" circle at ~7yd
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    Senior Member Array dgg9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Miami Vice? Wow...that takes me back! I wear a business suit though, not a cool linen jacket.
    Needless to say I was referring to around 1:20 of:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eBLv...eature=related

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    Senior Member Array dgg9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddG View Post
    Example
    6" circle at ~7yd
    Sure...and an observation is that you can speed this up considerably by moving more towards 10:30 or 1:30 than exactly perpendicular. Going to 10:30 for a RH shooter involves shooting one handed.

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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    For those in or around MO there is a Point Shooting Progressions Training in Hallsville MO just north of Columbia June 27 & 28.

    June 27-28, 2009 - Point Shooting Progressions - Hallsville, MO - 090627

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