“Dynamic shooting” kind of sounds like something the latest tactical ninja training DVD would be teaching. In reality, it’s really not.
There are different types of shooting, and the two main ones are dynamic and static.
Static shooting is simple target practice, an appropriate application of the fundamentals of marksmanship. Static shooting is what most of us do the majority of the time.
The second type, dynamic shooting, is where skills are sharpened in a variety of different ways. In dynamic shooting you learn to shoot in positions, situations, and utilizing techniques you may face in day-to-day situations. Dynamic shooting isn’t the action movie jumping through the air while simultaneously firing two guns and making cars explode in slow motion.
Think of dynamic shooting as real-world shooting. Unfortunately, most ranges will not allow any kind of dynamic shooting, so a stretch of private land with an appropriate back stop or even access to a special range may be required.
Of course, always take the appropriate safety measures and follow the four golden rules of firearm safety.
Basics of Dynamic Shooting
First off, everyone needs to practice shooting from different and sometimes unusual positions. In the real world you will never know what situation and position you’ll find yourself in. Before you practice any of these techniques live, I suggest a healthy amount of dry fire and dry runs.
Let’s start from the top and work our way down. Obviously, you practiced the standing position in static shooting. So now we’ll focus on the low standing. In my Marine Corps career I found myself in bad places more often than I would like to remember, and got shot at many more time than I cared for. You will have an overwhelming urge to be as small as humanly possible. This means you are going to bend your knees and bend at your waist.
This isn’t a very comfortable position, but once the bullets are in the air you’ll be in it. You may be required to shoot in this position, so it’s important to get a good feel for it. Start practicing your draw from this position, transition from draw to target acquisition and then pulling the trigger. Remember, start with dry fire and work your way to live fire.
If you feel masterful of this technique, try to dry fire while moving. I don’t suggest live fire and movement until you’ve really mastered it.
Now when you get to cover what do you do? You get behind it. This is where training from a low firing position comes into play. A low position being from the knee, ultimately you should practice firing from both your left and your right knee. Now a simple board can be set up as “cover” for training situations.
Cover needs to vary between short and tall, to let shooters practice different levels of taking a knee. Practice should be done firing, over cover, and to the left and right of it. Always keep in mind that keeping your body behind cover as much as possible. Have a friend observe how much of your body is behind the cover, and refine and retune as necessary.
Firing from cover, especially from lower positions of cover, is an important skill to master. Cover is what saves lives.
Shooting From The Ground
Different situations may occur where you find yourself on the ground. You may be knocked down before you can get your gun out. Practicing drawing from the ground and firing from your back can be an important skill. Trust me: The world looks a lot different from down there.
You can also practice shooting from a traditional prone shooting position, on your right and left side as well. This will build familiarization with a multitude of different angles.
Of course, practicing your draw is important, not only just getting the gun to clear leather, but the sights on target followed shortly by bullets on target. This is probably the most dangerous portion of shooting. That reason alone is why nearly every range bans the practice. So it’s critical to practice drawing dry and dry firing.
Practice in the clothes you wear every day. If you wear a suit to work, practice shooting in a suit. If you don’t want to risk ruining your nice suit, get an old one from a thrift store.
We All Have Unique Dynamics
Now, all of us have unique situations in which we live. Different jobs and different environments are going to place us in different situations. I can’t possibly predict what your situation is. I’m going to use my situation as an example of how I built my training program for my life.
My day-to-day job has me in two different situations daily. I’m either in my office behind a computer or in a vehicle visiting customers, collecting money, and recovering merchandise. I’m armed constantly because I’m usually transporting expensive electronics, jewelry and small amount of cash, usually below a thousand dollars, but enough to be robbed.
I typically carry in an under-the-shoulder holster because it’s very easy to draw when seated, especially in a vehicle. So I train for this. I practice my draw from a seated position. I do practice shooting from a sitting position, and set up an old table and some cardboard boxes to simulate my computer.
I use some engineer tape or the orange tape sold at hardware stores to mark off water and gas lines to simulate the confines of my office, and to keep it as close as possible.
I’m still trying to figure out a way to practice shooting from the confines of a vehicle. Until then I can practice a seated position firing through a narrow opening. Also, I can practice shooting through a larger opening in front of me and a smaller opening on the opposite side or me.
I practice shooting one handed in case one of my hands is occupied with a piece of merchandise, or the lockbox I store the cash in. I also practice dropping large boxes and making the transition to a handgun. No TV is worth my life, so I’m more than happy to drop it.
Building your dynamic shooting plan takes a careful examination of your life. It’s actually quite fun — when it’s done safely, of course. Always follow the four rules of gun safety and always practice dry before going live. Dry firing and dry training can be just as important as doing it with live rounds. Remember to be safe, and have fun.