Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Shooting moving targets:

Gooch, Rick, Scott.....
What is the correct lead with the mil dot on a moving target at 100yds.(A mechanical mover) when your not real sure of the speed?? Gooch as and example, the one in Wyoming or one at a shooting range that you have never shot at before, how do I judge lead to hit the center on say an 18" wide target?? I guess what I want to know is there a ball park lead to get me close?? I hope this isn't to confusing.
Pat <>
USA - Friday, January 15, 1999 at 12:41:12 (EST) 
Mr Bullet
Movers are a pain. There are a couple of ways to handle them though.
Mechanical targets I don't know about. You would have to watch them a couple of times and time them to determine speed. People are a lot simpler as you can make a good estimation by the way they move.
Here is one technique. Either determine your rifles field of view at 1000m and divide that by range as a percentage, or use a mil ret. to measure the distance between two reference points at the range your target is going to be at. The further apart they are the better. Time the target a few times as it passes between them. Then break out the handy dandy $3.00 Walmart sniper calculator.

1. Distance between ref pts/time in seconds = distance per second
(I like to use meters. 1 mil=3.375 MOA, or use meters and mil)

2. [Distance per second X 3600] / (5280=mph) or (1000=kph)
(Now you have the tgt speed in mph or kph. Actually, this part is not required. But once you build lead charts for you and your rifle it aids in quick ref, and it is more dramatic to say "I shot a 7 mph runner" than "I shot a 12 fps mover."

3. Get a time of flight chart from a ballistics program for your particular load. Multiply time of flight to range by the speed of the target. This gives your required lead. Here is where working in metric pays off.
Lead in meters x 1000 / range to tgt = lead in mils
[Lead in feet / 12] / [range in meters / 100] = lead in MOA

Here are some ToF values for a 173gn, 7.62mm bullet at 2600fps, sea level and 60 deg F, 78% RH:
100m .13 sec
150m .20 sec
200m .27 sec
250m .35 sec

At 100m, a 3mph walker requires about a 7 inch lead from desired POI, a slow walker is half that, a jogger double, and a track star triple. This data is based on trapping, and is very general. Since people percieve movement differently, and have different reflexes, these numbers get you into the ball park, but you have to refine your personal leads. The technique works, we used it to shoot 9 inch wide movers out to 400m.

I hope this made sense. Any questions, just shout.
Ed Engler <>
CP Greaves, ROK - Saturday, January 16, 1999 at 11:52:25 (EST) 

I should add, that once you start to work either in metric or standard units, stick with them all the way through. If you switch up you will get garbage, and playing with conversion factors is a pain.
- Saturday, January 16, 1999 at 11:54:36 (EST) 
RE: Lead on Moving Targets

...and there is always the other method:

Range in FEET X Target velocity (in FPS) divided by Muzzle Velocity in FPS equals LEAD in FEET. Of course, an adjustment would have to be employed for targets moving at an oblique angle.

In example: A target is moving at a 90 degree angle to you at 8 fps. He is 200 yards (600 feet)away and you are using Fed Premier 223 55 gr.

600 X 8=4800

4800/3250=1.47 ft (or, to make scope inputs easier .75 MOA)

This works great for the trapping method.


Bruce Braxton <>
College Park P.D., GA, USA - 

On leading a target of unknown velocity: Figure out flight time for your bullet for the distance to target, then see how many mildots the target traverses during that time and lead by that amount. For 100 yards, the time might be too short to accurately judge (about .1 seconds for 168gn HPBT), so you might multiply it out. Eg: Measure travel for 1 second, then lead 1/10 that distance.
Richmond, CA, USA - Monday, January 18, 1999 at 08:01:50 (GMT) 
Lead Shooting:
This is something I am not very good at. Where is a guy supposed to practice this sort of thing? I know how to do the math, but actual shooting practice is something else.
Here is an idea that I wish some of you would-be inventors would build for me. I need a beeping timer that I can set to the exact time of flight variable from about .1 second to about 2 seconds with settings adjustable to one onehundredth of a second. Then all I have to do is set the beeper to the time of flight of the bullet to the target, stick the microphone in my ear, measure the movement of the target between beeps and VOALA, that is the lead correction I need. This should work on any speed target that you can keep in the field of view, and doesnt matter if the target is moving laterally or at an oblique angle. Someone tell me why this won't work.
Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Monday, January 18, 1999 at 23:05:01 (ZULU) 
To All,
Thanks for the info on the lead of moving targets!! I guess it all comes down to practice but as someone stated, how do you practice it when you dont have a mover available.
Pat <>
USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 14:46:00 (ZULU) 
For moving targets you might try old tires. I'm sure your local tire shop or service station would be happy to give you some. Tape a piece of paper to one side to cover the hole and then have one of your buddies roll them down a hill for you. If you don't have a suitable hill, you might try building a ramp.
Doc <>
The Ozark boonies, MO, USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 14:58:03 (ZULU) 
to all interested in shooting moving targets. Jack Rabbits are movers! When you get so you can kill one running flat out with a sniper rifle you will be ready for target "movers". Just to be able to shoot smooth sliding target movers is of little value anyway except in a contest. If you don't have jack rabbits or coyotes go to a sporting clays range. It will help you with all moving targets. I know it is easier to just hold 6" ahead of a smooth target than it is to apply skeet shooting techniques to rifle shooting but it's the same operation and the same computer (brain) skills are required. It is the brain that needs to be trained. Not a target that needs to be computed. Please don't think it is some old geezer bragging, you can do it if you believe you can. It requires among other things different techniques in aquiring the target in the scope. eg. You must look at the target and place your scope between the eye and target without loosing position. Start with low powers first and finish with the highest power you have until you can look at a running animal/target and put the rifle to your shoulder or rest position and the target is Right there! Do not forsake shooting runners or movers from a rest. You need a rest if possible just like you do when shooting groups but you must learn to lead with your brain looking at leads as opposed to measurments (inches/feet).
If it's close and fast you may have to abandon your rest but don't unless you have to. You will miss a lot at first but keep at it.
Your surprise will be with your own success and confidence.
B.Rogers <>
USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 15:15:16 (ZULU) 
Bill R,

Sporting clays with a sniper rifle?
I agree the two best ways to learn leads are the clay pigeons sports (with a shotgun dudes!) or a running target type event like them thar fancy BB gunners do in the Olympics. Yee-Haa!

Doc, I like the "moving tire" concept, the "frame" would last a heck of a long time. A range I used to frequent had sections of fire hose to hang steel plates after spending BIG BUCKS for a years supply of chain.

SUN-CITY, bY-gAwD, USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 16:02:01 (ZULU) 

NO! NO! not sniper rifles on the sporting clay field kiddies! You may scope your 870 and use it to practice shooting movers (clays) with a scope but no rifles at the local Sporting Clays patch! Don't try that at home either. That;s SHOTGUNS. THOSE SMOOTH BARREL THINGS. The rifles are for the rabbits! In the wide open spaces.

B.Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 01:31:17 (ZULU) 


I've been shooting moving target, olympic style and local events, for 20 years.

The best reticle for moving target in the field are lead dots or heavy horisontal bars. Lead should be calculated from what type of ammo you are shooting and the speed of a running man (full speed) at 90deg. (If you only plan to shoot at walking targets the leaddots should be adjusted accordingly. Remenber that most people shoot better with the target in front of the aimingpoint in the reticle.)

A .308 with 168gr bullet needs roughly 24moa distance between POI/centerline and leaddots/posts to hit a running man at 100, 200 or 300m. If he joggs or walks you just put the target somewhere between centerdot and leaddot/post.

The .308/168gr combination is arguably the worst round for running targets. The chanses of hitting increases out of proporson as the muzzlevelocity increases. The leaddotdistance for .308/150gr/2800fps is about 22moa. 125grNBT/3100fps and .223/55gr/3100fps are 20moa. The higher the MV gets the less guesswork you get. The real champions for longrange moving target are rounds like 22-250 or .300WM loaded with 150gr bullets at 3500fps.

The values are ofcourse not linjear(?) but a set of compromizes. Everything counts. MV's, MV-deviation, BC's, etc.

A variable scope, reticle in rear focal plane, with leaddots can be adjusted for diffenent moa-leads with the powersetting. 22moa at 8X is 24moa at 6X and 20moa at 10X, etc. The numbers are not correct but you get the picture. A scope with the reticle in the first(objective) focal plane will have constant lead whatever powersetting.

A top class international moving target shooter gets 1-1.5moa 15 shot groups in competition. And he starts with rifle at hip. Target crosses the range in 2.5 or 5 seconds. He can not raise his rifle before he can see the target. A new shooter needs 10-15000 rounds to get the basics right.

Shooting at moving targets should ALWAYS be done unsupported with LONG arm, shotgun-style.
Oslo, Norway - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 12:30:08 (ZULU) 

Torf; Reading you post and mine on moving targets it would appear that we have conflicting views. I suspect that it not the case due to the fact that you are shooting at moving targets that one would expect to hit if stationary off hand most of the time. I respect your experience and what you say is agreeable except for the comment "ALWAYS". Let me say that if your shooting at a coyote from 400 yards away running flat out at 70 degrees if might be well to consider using the car hood. Or at least it would for me. However I do plead guilty to shooting shotgun style at ranges under 150 yards when given the opportunity due to the extreme angle spread and time required to cover it. Let me also say that I am possibly in a different warp zone when talking about jack rabbits and coyotes and that should be understood by all.
As a boy in the cotton field of Oklahoma I used a .22 rim fire and learned to shoot cotton bolls. (small marble sized pods about 1" or less in diameter)as I crossed the cotton field on the way to retrieve my milk cows for milking. I used .22 shorts when I could because the Long Rifles were harder to hit with. Maybe it's what you get used too but I think that there is a factor other than that. In using a .220 swift a few years ago I did observe that it seemed easier on longer running shots than the .223 I usually use. This is not argument is is just personal observations based on more than a box of shells fired.
B.Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 16:29:48 (ZULU) 

Back to Hot Tips & Cold Shots