Leading the Target

aka Deflection shooting or aiming ahead of a moving target and hopefully it arrives at the same spot as your bullet does.

A skill which I was taught in the military BUT, if can’t correct fire rapidly with a semi automatic, your one shot one kill is best left for the sniper brigade.

Calculation of leads
I often get asked why I never shoot at moving targets.
Duh! I use an air rifle or a 22 LR not a shotgun so why calculate on the fly when you can simply wait for it to stop!
Besides I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, TRAPPING is a much better way of getting food.

If I did have to shoot at something on the move though, the maths sounds easy.

As always you need the range.
With that you can work out the time of flight of your “projectile”.
Multiply that by the target speed and you get the lead.
Sounds simple until you write it out in long hand.

Metric System
Range in meters / velocity in meters = Time of flight in secs X Target speed in meters per second = lead in meters
Meters X 1000 / Range in meters = mil lead.

Imperial System
Range in yards X 3 / Velocity in FPS = Time of flight in secs x Target speed in fps = lead in feet.
Lead in feet X .3048 X 1000 / Range in meters = mil lead

Target speed of a man.
slow patrol = 1 fps (.3 mps)
fast  patrol  = 2 fps (.6 mps)
slow walk = 4 fps (1.2 mps)
fast walk   = 6 fps (1.8 mps)
At the run = 11 fps (3.3 mps)

So, me taking on a person is quite straight forward (NOT).

As for the rabbit?
Feeding , why shoot when it is moving?
Running flat out, length 18 inches (45 cm), 30 mph or 44 fps (13 mps) with rapidly changing angles.

Except, it ain’t even quite that easy.
Shooting up or down, you need to calculate the angle range.
Then there is the wind deflection.
That also changes depending on how the wind is blowing in relation to you
i.e. (clock method)
With either full value, half value, or no effect.


Then the angle the target is moving in relation to you. (Using a clock face)
Moving from 3 to 9 / 9 to 3 (the flip) is easy. Range stays the same, deflection the same
Moving from 1 to 7 and the flip results in a varying range and less lateral movement i.e. deflection
Moving from 2 to 8 and the flip results in a varying range and slightly more lateral movement i.e. deflection

Dare I add 12 to 6, coming closer. No deflection but you range decreases as does the wind deflection
Add the flip 6 to 12, further away. No deflection but you range increases as does the wind deflection

Add you shooting at a rabbit jinking all over the place, flat-out?
Get real!

And finally.
Patience is a virtue and when shooting rabbit the difference between a clean kill or a mad scramble after one that’s limping away.

This entry was posted in prepping and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.