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Moving Left or Right to get out of the kill zone?

3263 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  brownie
If we decide to move, and given a choice of moving left or right on a right handed shooter [ 87% of the population ], in which direction would you move to get out of their kill zone?

I prefer to move to my left if given a choice on the right handed shooter. I feel it is harder and takes longer for a right handed shooter to track you with the pistol to their outside, giving you a slight edge in their missing while firing during the tracking.

If you have toyed with the moving, which side do you shoot better from? While moving to your strongside or weakside? I've noticed most people prefer to move to their strongside if given a chance in training. It seems two right handed people want to both move to their strongside, and their hits probably connect more as people can continue with their two handed hold moving to their strong side.

I actually prefer to move to my off side [ the left ] if it is available as I'm comfortable shooting one handed on the move at SD distances from between 6-12, and out to 15 feet. I also feel it gives me a little edge in surviving an encounter against a right handed shooter.

As my training partner 7677 has stated numerous times:

Movement should be used to gain a position of advantage over your opponent.

Thoughts on movement?

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I have been going to random side's it all depends on whats around me at the moment .
Like walking threw my home ill draw and move to were i could without the most objects in my path.
In the back yard with the air soft I'll try to move any way not stay put wile firing , so far I've have hit the target multiple times. My goal is to be able to shoot wile running if need be. might not be backwards or to one side or the other ,so as the saying goes you fall back on what you learn if you always go to one side, what if there is something in the way?

that being said I am left handed so maybe that's why i don't like going the same way all the time ;)
when I shoot with my right hand I hit a lot but not enough to be happy with, so practice time one handed from the weak side
As usual Brownie, you are right on the money. :thumsup

I'm a left-handed shooter and I definitely have more trouble tracking right-to-left targets than vice versa, especially when shooting clays. But since I pretty much do everything else right-handed, I tend to instinctively turn and move to my right. And, oddly enough, I usually shoot better one-handed with my weak (right) hand than I do with my left. Go figure.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. It makes sence that it would be more difficult to swing your gun to the outside. Either you or your opponent. So for me being a lefty I would take a guess and step to my left. This would allow my swing to be to the inside and my opponent will have to swing to his outside.

I can't wait to put it to the test in September!

Thanks for posting this. I have played this scenario over a million times in my my mind and it seems to move opposite the direction the shooter is "holding. I.e. a right handed BG would prompt me to move left because it is counter to the way he is holding his/her gun causing him to sweep away from his body which would cause him/her to think what he/she is doing thus giving me the jump because I have already played this out in my mind.
As a leftie, I'm going to want to move left for the reasons Brownie said and to make my own shot cross-body rather than to the outside. It also leaves my weak arm close to the BG if the opportunity presents itself to deflect his shooting arm.

Not that I've practiced any of this, but I have thought about it.
Thanks for the comments guys. Just trying to bring some forethought to the arena of SD with a pistol should we have the option to use something that skins the cat a little in our favor.

Of course, if we're talking about shooting against a one handed shooter, that cat isn't skun as much but still enough to give us a slight edge.

Good tactics through prior planning, training and execution thereof. :thumsup

I really don't know if there is any "right" answer to this. There are pros and cons. And a lot of luck.

Let's work a minimum range of 10'. Closer than that and more unorthodox movement may be more effective. Unless both you and the BG are drawing at the same time, it probably means that you are going to be drawing on the move while your opponent is already in a more stable stance. If he is in a stationary Weaver, modified Weaver or CAR, you're probably pretty well shafted, no matter which way you choose to move. So you need to blade your body [90 degree turn sideways to present a narrow target], draw and open fire. Turning to your strong side allows you to bring your weapon to bear fast and allows you to continue into a much more stable shooting stance, even while moving. It is usually easier to do this while you're moving to your weak side. If you are right handed, pivot your right foot back and to the left and move to your left as you draw and fire. If left handed, pivot your left foot back and to the right and move right while drawing and firing.

A halfway decent shooter at relatively close range can pivot and fire more easily than you can move laterally. But, he will be aiming for your center mass, initially. By pivoting, you move the center of your body out of the line of fire, at least until he corrects his aim. If you are fast enough, you might just survive.

This is all theory, of course. Try various methods of lateral movement until you find one that works for you. Movement is often a life saver.
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When I move, I tend to fall back on my FMA footwork, so I'll tend to 'zone' more than move laterally. This means I would tend to move more at an angle rather than a perpendicular or parallel. Whether that angle is forward or backwards depends on what is necessitating the movement.

If there is an on-rushing threat, I'd move away at an angle, particularly if there's a danger of the attacker coming within 'bad breath' range. Simply put, the attacker will likely be able to rush forward faster than I can rush back. After a few steps, I would likely make a quick direction change, if at all possible.

Granted, if available and necessary cover was straight to either side, I would move that way, altering my footwork as appropriate instead of sticking to an angle.

I was taught it didn't matter which way you moved.


I was taught it didn't matter which way you moved.


I don't think moving straight away from a threat will gain you any advantage. You can't move far enough fast enough. Though distance equates to safety most of the time, the distance you move while the perp is shooting is unlikely to not be enough. Moving in obliques or laterals makes the perp "track" you, while moving straight away doesn't gain any advantage IMO.

Movement must be situational.

And if there's a dumpster directly behind you to provide cover you move directly back.
It is not only situational but instinctive.

And if there's a dumpster directly behind me, I'd have to be moving at some oblique angle to get to one side of the dumpster or the other in order to get behind it unless I was planning on jumping into the dumpster.

Knowing what's directly behind you might not be all that instinctive.

All that said with equal cover available I would probably go left since I am right handed the BG would probably expect me to go right so if I go left I might get an extra split second surprise on him
Assuming BG is right handed...I'm a right hand shooter although left handed

0-3' were going H2H, whatever it takes

3-5' one step to my left offline while using QK hip or DATD.

6-15' move to my 10 o'clock again EUED extending to 3/4 point shoulder while moving

15-20'+ I'm going straight in at 12 o'clock w/ 2 hand nose index under that wall of lead..

All those are like said prior...dependent on the situation. As you can see, there is no backing up..assuming no cover..all moves are advancing either at my 10 or straight in...Mama always said I was crazy
No, weird as it may sound, advancing upon your opponent is not crazy. In a situation with no cover, or no cover near enough to be reached quickly, your objective is to neutralize the threat. That means that you have to score hits and scoring hits is easier at closer range. The point is to move off of the BG's current point of aim, quickly. After that, it all depends upon the situation.

Personally, I would prefer to be inside 8' or at 15' or longer if I am going to move into my opponent. But, that is just personal preference and is, of course, dependent upon a lot of other variables. As for backing straight up, it usually does nothing to move you off the trajectory of a fired bullet. Some lateral movement is usually ncessary for that, except when you are going prone.

The point here is that you have to do more [move, draw, index the target and fire] in the same timeframe as your opponent. However you move, you have to do it quickly to stay ahead of his reaction curve.
I really feel moving to your "six" is a two fold problem.

1. You are going to backpedal

2. You are going to turn away from threat to run.

If you backpedal more than a step or two at the most, you may encounter something that allows you to trip, stumble or fall down.

If you turn to run to what was your "six" [ and is now your "12" ], you're very likely will lose sight of the BG at least temporarily.

I prefer to move, if I'm going to move [ get off line ], while drawing the firearm simultaneously. If you are going to use the tactic of hiding behind a wall of bullets after an initial one or two steps obliquely/laterally while drawing, there's no need to back up to your "six".

If I'm going to move, I'm moving so that the BG has to track me from left to right or right to left [ laterally ] with his weapon. If I'm going to move to my "six", I might as well stand and deliver or move forward as the BG isn't being given the problem of tracking me at all.

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If for some reason you feel the need to move directly backwards, whether by force of habit or training, don't keep going straight backwards. After about three steps, quickly change directions to your right of left.

As I think it's been mentioned in this thread already, by myself and others: your opponent is very likely going to be able to run at you forwards faster than you can run away backwards.

As I've said before..You can't outrun a 1000' per second..if you think you can, you are invited to take everything I own..
Guess I'm the oddball. As a right-handed shooter, but left eye-dominant, it's MUCH easier for me to track a target that is moving from my left to right, and it's easier for me to shoot moving in that direction...though I shoot better left-handed if I'm only using one hand...I'll let ya'll figure that one out!

Not for any particular reason, just a gajillion hours of muscle memory from lots of different activities...I tend to draw while taking steps on a 45 back and to my right. I feel this creates more distance in a shorter period of time, and I don't have to cross my feet or backpedal to do it.
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