Part 3 – of Shooting Moving Targets

  • SumoMe

If you remember Part 1 and 2 of this article I covered general principles of all types of activator targets, and how to shoot swingers, sliders, and bobbers.  This article will cover clamshells and drop turners.  (taken from Your Competition Handgun Training Program)

Clam Shells –  

A clambshell has a primary target that is a shoot target, and usually a no-shoot target that pops up in front of it in a certain amount of time.   The key is timing!!

A clambshell has a primary target that is a shoot target, and usually a no-shoot target that pops up in front of it in a certain amount of time. The key is timing!!

  • Speed
    • The speed of these targets is everything since you MUST know if you can engage it with two reasonable hits before the no-shoot target blocks the primary target.
    • Is there target area to shoot at after the clamshell has fully activated?  If so, we always have a back up plan to get our hits.  If not, then we need to grip it and rip it if the points are worth it.
    • Caution:  In the case of completely disappearing targets, there are some clamshells that are not worth engaging for a C-D shooter. You need to know your skills and make that decision.  Sometimes just leaving it and flowing to other targets will be the best solution.  Remember, if you are behind the timing, you will engage a no-shoot, and lose even more points on the stage.
  • Timing
    • Usually clamshells aren’t timed, as they only activate once.
  • Techniques for shooting
    • Remember, they are not usually as quick as they appear.
    • Get the gun on target first, if the clamshell is activated by a door or whatever, activate it and aggressively drive the gun to the target, so you can get the shots off as soon as you have an aiming area.

 

Drop-Turners –  

A drop turner target drops and swivels at the same time, exposing the target for a split second.   The key is finding out how fast it exposes, and how long that exposure is.   Once again, timing is key!!

A drop turner target drops and swivels at the same time, exposing the target for a split second. The key is finding out how fast it exposes, and how long that exposure is. Once again, timing is key!!

  • Speed
    • Drop-turners can appear AND disappear quickly.  Their speed will usually dictate whether to fire two rounds or one per facing (if it’s a double facing target)
  • Timing
    • Typically “DT” targets attached to a popper take a bit of time to activate, so there may be other things the shooter can do after activation.   Exceptions to this rule can be “DT” targets that move after opening a door/window or pulling an activation rope.
  • Techniques for shooting
    • Most shooters feel mentally trapped into shooting “DT” targets when they are fully faced.  For very fast targets, this is usually too late.  Acceptable shots can be taken well before a full-faced target is available (start prepping and pulling the trigger at 50-75% faced, the A hit will still be there, just slightly oblong).  This usually allows more time for multiple shots.

This concludes this three part blog on moving targets, if you missed parts one and two, check them out on my blog!   And as aways, without a good training program to address your shooting skills, trying to hit these moving targets will be nearly impossible!   Get your training program and begin it now:  Your Competition Handgun Training Program

Until Then – Train Hard!

Mike S.

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