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How To Practice a Texas Star When I Don’t Have Access To One?

Roger in Cleveland sends in today’s Q&A podcast question asking about practicing the Texas Star.

Roger only has access to an indoor range, and he’s getting his clock cleaned by the Texas star at matches. Is there a way to practice this target when you don’t have one?

Unfortunately, I don’t really think so. The thing about the Texas star is that it moves, sometimes unpredictably. Depending on which plate you shoot first, it’ll go one way or another, and act differently depending how you shoot it. The guys that are really goo st Texas stars are the guys who have an idea how it’s going to react, and unfortunately, I can’t think of a way to get that sort of practice in dryfire.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.

One comment

  1. Lucas, I’m surprised that you have had so few encounters with the Texas Star in six years of matches. Maybe the clubs near me just are crueler in their match planning….
    For Roger, my recommendation is that he practice his: marksmanship, compressed trigger break, and timing, plus have a Texas Star plan.

    Marksmanship: You need to be able to keep your shots within a 4″ circle at 7 yards (with your pistol/ammo combo). A Texas Star is 8-inch plates, usually at 10 yards. You want your individual shooter/gun/ammo combo to be hitting within the target plate. And once the star starts moving, you’ll want that additional precision. 7 yards is a convenient distance at my usual range to practice at, and scales to a bit more than 4-inches. I use the 4-inch circle targets found at http://www.brianenos.com/drills.

    Compressed trigger break: You need to be able to get the shot off at the “NOW! moment” without the “NOW! trigger jerk” that usually accompanies it. You need to be able to deliver the trigger press (and the accompaning shot) on demand, and in a short period of time. No specific recommendations for practice, beyond doing it. “Call your shot” and watch your front sight to verify that the front sight does not move; validate with occasional live-fire.

    Timing: Practice delivering your perfect trigger press (and the accompanying shot) while you have a perfect sight picture, and the target is moving past. If you don’t have a moving target available for practice, move the pistol and practice your timing. Post your target (4″ circle at 7 yards, for example). Get your sight alignment (front sight & rear sight), then place your sight picture (front sight, rear sight, target) on the left edge of the target backer. Slowly rotate your upper body (shoulders, arms, pistol, head) to the right edge of the target backer. As your front sight passes the center of your 4-inch target, press the trigger (think of a tank turret pivoting left-to-right, and right-to-left). Change directions, repeat. See how many of your shots you keep inside the circle. I find it helpful to put a paster (1″ x 1″) in the center of the 4″ target for visual reference.

    Have a plan for engaging the Texas Star. There are many YouTube videos that show “how to engage the Texas Star.” Find a plan that works for you. My technique is to start high on one side, and work my way down that same side. If you do it very well, you can engage all five plates before they start to swing. If they start to move, by starting at the top, you reduce the total arc of motion.

    Some videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzKq783DTEY, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxx6GW8MLIQ, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLxvv4oIAX0

    Good luck!

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