The DOE Shoot On the Move Rifle Qualification By: Travis Pike


Shooting and moving can be fairly tricky to do accurately. You need lots of practice and training. Today we have a qual from the DOE (Department of Energy) that aims to test and hopefully build on your shoot-and-move skills. The DOE Shooting On the Move qualifications vary between rifles, handguns, and shotguns, and today were are looking at the submachine gun and rifle qual.

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The Department of Energy publishes a massive manual on their various shoots and quals. The DOE has an elite protective force tasked with protecting the country’s nuclear power centers. They have tons of quals and practical shoots, they are most certainly worth a look, and the PDF is easy to find online. I’ve done a few of their quals already, but this is my first taste of their shooting on-the-move quals.

What do you need for the Shooting On the Move qual?

First, we need a modern semi-auto rifle. You can choose between a standard 5.56 AR, an AK, or even a brace pistol in a sub-gun format. That’s entirely up to you. The qual does mention a difference between using full auto and semi-auto-only weapons. The quals are a little different depending on your configuration, and we’ll be doing to semi-auto-only variant. 

rifle and handgun with eye and ear protection
You’ll need a rifle and a handgun for this qualification.

You will also need a handgun and a holster. For the semi-auto run of the configuration, we’ll need 28 rounds total: 22 for the rifle and six rounds for the handgun. A few of the strings mention wearing a protective mask. If you want to go ahead, but I’d say that’s optional. Eye and ear protection is not optional, so don’t leave those behind. You will also need a shot timer.


The DOE has its own target that ties into scoring, and it’s fairly easy to find. You can also make your own, but if using the DOE target, you should know proper scoring. 

Center of mass scoring ring:

  • A projectile print within or cutting the inner ring is 5 points;
  • A projectile print between the inner and outer ring is 4 points
  • A projectile print outside the outer ring but within or cutting the
  • Silhouette is 3 points.

Head scoring ring, when specified by the course:

  • A projectile print within or cutting the scoring ring is 5 points;
  • A projectile print outside the scoring ring but within or cutting the
  • Silhouette, provided it is at the neckline, is 3 points;
  • A projectile failing to print within or cut the head silhouette at the
  • Neckline is 0 points.

Hitting the Range

You’ve got your guns and ammo, your targets, and your PPE, and now it’s time to try out the Shooting On the Move Rifle qual.

Stage 1: 25 Yards

For something called the Shooting On the Move qual, I had thought the first stage would have some moving, but it’s a bit of a simple warm-up. Start at the 25-yard line. At the beep, raise your rifle and fire two shots center mass in five seconds. Repeat this drill for a total of two strings and four rounds fired.

shooting on the move qual stage 1
You warm up with a few snap shots, with no movement in the first stage.

Stage 2: 10 to 5 Yards

Now we are talking. Shooting On the Move is finally a reality. Start with your weapons off-safe and semi-automatic. At the beep, begin moving from the 10-yard line to the five-yard line. Fire 2 rounds while moving in 3 seconds. Repeat this drill one more time for a total of two runs and four shots fired.

shooting on the move
Moving and shooting can humble you!

Stage 3: 10 to 5 Yards

With the weapon ready, off safety, and on semi-automatic, prepare to engage. At the beep, begin moving from the 10-yard line to the 5-yard line. While moving, fire 2 rounds to the torso and 1 round to the head. You have 4 seconds to make it a reality. Repeat this string one more time for a total of two runs and for a total of six rounds fired.

shoot and move qual
You are continually closing range as you run this qual.

Stage 4: 7 to 3 Yards

This stage is a little closer. With the weapon off safe, start moving from the 7-yard line to the 3-yard line. While moving, fire 2 rounds to the chest and 1 round to the head of your target. You have f4 seconds total. Repeat this drill 1 more time for a total of 6 shots fired.

Stage 5: 10 to 2 Yards

Things get a little trickier at Stage 5 because you will transition from the rifle to the pistol. Have one round loaded into your rifle and an empty mag inserted. Start at the 10-yard line with the weapon on semi-auto. Begin to move, and while you are moving, fire 1 round at the torso of the target and then attempt to fire a second round. When that fails, draw your handgun and fire 2 rounds to the torso and 1 to the head. You’re moving the entire time and have 8 seconds to pass the drill. Repeat the drill for a total of 2 rifle rounds fired and 6 handgun rounds fired.

transition to handgun in shot and move rifle qual
You fire a failure drill and swap to your handgun.

What would I change?

It’s not too bad, to be honest. It’s more of a training evolution for moving and shooting. The time constraints aren’t super generous or tightly constrained. You can always insert a move-and-shoot to cover portion, multiple target engagements, and maybe something besides failure drills to the targets.

Because there are so many failure drills, you can predict what’s next and somewhat game the qual. To be fair, the complaints are minor. It’s a fair bit of fun, to be honest. Moving and shooting aren’t exactly easy so it’s a good change from the same old same old. The DOE is packed full of awesome quals, and the Shoot On the Move rifle qual is just one of many.

The most challenging part is probably going to be finding a range that allows you to shoot and move at the same time. If you can, and you are looking for a qual that provides a fair bit of challenge, then check this one out and let us know what you think below!