Students often ask Rob Pincus about shooting and moving. Rob clarifies that he teaches shooting, and he teaches moving, but he rarely teaches shooting while moving.
He does teach — and has made a PDN video about — shooting while in motion at extreme close-quarters, but in this video, he talks about shooting beyond two arms’ reach and the lateral movement that occurs during a gunfight. When should you be moving during defensive gun use? (Note that this video is not about competition shooting, which does require shooting and moving. Here Rob is talking strictly about defensive shooting.)
Shooting on the Move: Is It Worth It?
The important question is, are you gaining anything when it comes to the net positive for your survival by moving while shooting? Rob believes the answer in almost all cases is no — unless you’re moving to cover.
Rob performs some tactical shooting drills to illustrate this. In a defensive shooting situation in the open, you have a few options: move laterally to get out of the bad guy’s line of sight, draw the gun, and shoot; move to cover while drawing the gun but don’t shoot until you’re behind cover; draw the gun and literally move while shooting.
Rob does not advocate the last option (move while shooting) because it causes too much degradation of accuracy, and the faster you move, the worse accuracy becomes.
When To Move to Cover
It was easy to establish that literally moving while shooting is a bad idea. The real question then becomes, is it better to shift laterally and shoot or move to cover first and then shoot? As with so many issues in defensive shooting, the answer is — it depends on the circumstances. For example how far away is cover and do you even know, in the heat of the moment, where cover is?
Rob’s suggestion is that, during handgun training, you should train to draw your gun while moving to cover. Also train to stand and shoot because there may be no cover — and making accurate shots is better than running and making inaccurate shots.