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Old June 13, 2008, 09:20 PM   #1
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engaging moving targets and targets at varying elevations

I'm getting ready for the state marksmenship competition. I placed high enough last year to make it to the nationals and fired a couple of events that were completely new to me. One of the events required that we had to shoot from a window down into a depression at targets of unknown ranges . I missed all but one out of 20. Another event required us to shoot at moving targets I wasn't sure how much to lead the targets and the way the range was set up we didn't have any feedback on how we did.

Most of my weapons training has consisted of shooting at paper targets, popups at known ranges, and OPFOR wearing MILES. Anyone have any tips on how to increase my accuracy with targets at varying elevations and moving targets?
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Old June 14, 2008, 01:35 AM   #2
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Laterally moving targets are difficult, but at most engagement distances, most centerfire rifles won't require a lot of lead. Out to about 200 yards, I'd think a 5.56 or a 7.62 would both be fine with a leading edge hold. I remember that working when I qual'd with an A2 and M855 ball, but that was a while ago.

This is assuming you're talking about typical walking speed of 2 to 4 mph.

Shooting uphill and downhill can also be tricky if the angle gets extreme enough. Both will cause the bullet to impact higher than Point Of Aim because the distance will be less than what the eye perceives it to be. It has to do with trig. Picture a right triangle. The elevation is the height. You see the target along the hypotenuse. But the actual target distance is the base, which is always shorter than the hypotenuse. So you may see the target being 400 yards away, but depending on the angle, it could be much closer, and thus, regardless of whether you're shooting uphill or downhill, the bullet will impact higher.

Within reason, however, this should make relatively little difference at most engagement distances and angles. The 5.56 and 7.62 are both flat shooting rounds, and humans tend to be vertical targets. A properly zeroed rifle with a BZO of 200 to 300 yards should still be inside the torso with a COM hold unless you're talking about extreme angles and/or ranges.
"...nothing says 'I WILL shoot every last one of you before you have time to reconsider your poor choices in life' like an AK."
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Old June 16, 2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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re: elevation, I don't know how much of my problem was due to difficulty estimating range and how much of it was from the angle of the shot. In the elevation/undetermined range event, we were shooting from a second story window from a mocked up house on top of a hill down into a depression that was about 500 M long.

The moving targets consisted of targets on a track that were moving from one covered position to another. It looked like 10-15 MPH, but I really don't know for sure. I know that they are incorporating shooting from a moving vehicle into the predeployment training, and my base is talking about trying to get something like that set up locally. It's been all talk for the last 2 years, maybe with the 53rd deploying soon they'll make it happen.
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