How to Shoot a Texas Star

texas star

I have been to a few USPSA matches and it surprises me that many people struggle with a Texas Star. I started shooting in NY and was forged in fire at the local shooting club USPSA matches. The match director usually had a Texas Star on one of his stages. Shooting a Texas Star is only frustrating when you don’t know how to do it properly. Watch any competent shooter and study how they shoot the star. Here Annette Evans walks you through how to shoot a Texas Star. It is fairly easy.

One aspect Annette did not mention is how to aim when shooting the Texas Star. There are two methods: Trapping or Chasing. Many beginner shooters gets frustrated and don’t have a good game plan to tackle the star when it is swinging. Often I see people try to chase the plate and often miss. Trapping works a bit better. You aim for the spot where the plate stops swinging before it swings back in the other direction. This would be the peak of its arc. The hangtime that the plate slows down to swing back gives you a stationary plate to shoot at with a little bit of time. Now you have eliminated the moving variable and can focus on sight alignment, grip and trigger control to take out that plate. Then just move on to the next plate.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Budogunner

    Thank you for this post and the useful content. This is such a better approach to the “Shooting a Texas Star: How do YOU do it? Discuss” style posts that have been popping up lately.

    Kudos to Nicholas C for quality contributions.

  • Annette Evans

    Hey, thanks for the link! I think the clockwise/counterclockwise method really lends itself best to ‘trapping’ plates with perhaps a slight movement to meet the plate as it comes up to you, which is one of the reasons I suggest it as a safer option. Going top to bottom seems to be where most people get *ahem* trapped into chasing plates around back and forth as most stars will swing back and forth more when you have misses with this method.

    • Nicholas C

      I tell shooters “Don’t make the Texas Star angry. If you anger it, it will not cooperate”. I remember seeing one shooter upset the star so badly that it managed to continually spin. We all just laughed as said “boy that sucks!”

      • Gorilla Biscuits

        I’ve seen some shenanigans also with the star. But a spinner can be a true nightmare.

    • Nicks87

      Great video Annette, you sound very intelligent and approachable. The shooting community needs more people like you. Thanks.

    • N E W T

      Who made that Texas Star in the vid? That looks really nice compared to the many I have shot over the years. Good vid thanks!

      • Annette Evans

        This star is by Red Stitch Targets. It’s the only star I’ve ever used that comes close to the GT Targets star that I generally prefer.

        *GT is a sponsor, but I’ve been using their targets for far more years than they’ve sponsored. And I came across Red Stitch due to their sponsorship of several matches I’ve been involved in.

  • Jerrydgeek

    Oh, it’s so much SIMPLER! .. than is obvious from this video.

    Here’s the ONE rule you need to remember:

    HIT THE TOP DESCENDING PLATE TO STOP THE STAR!

    Think about it. Visualize it. Watch it. It’s so simple, so obvious; it sounds more complicated that it looks. If you can hit an 8″ plate which is stationary, or almost so .. you can lick the Texas Star in ten seconds or less.

    • Nicholas C

      Actually it is simpler. Shoot the star so that it doesn’t move. Or at least shoot it so that it minimizes the movement. People screw up by shooting just any random plate. Like the bottom ones. Big mistake because then it will spin.

    • raz-0

      If presented statically, shoot it top to bottom, left to right or right to left. Don’t miss. WAY less than 10 seconds.

      If presented moving, pick a spot, hit a plate, move to the plates that will check motion.

      You can repeat the above, presented with barrier steel plates in front of it. That’ gets all sorts of fun and you get to move on to debate the least wrong answer while on the timer.

  • Sianmink

    Or you just shoot it so fast it doesn’t have time to start swinging. Though your initials may need to be JM in order to pull this off.

    • Geoffry K

      Beat me to it!

  • mike

    Top plate first then alternate left and right to keep the momentum of the wheel at a minimum

  • Ryfyle

    It’s like a puzzle with pistols. How fun!

  • Anomanom

    Remember that the star is a gravity/balance puzzle. To minimize movement, keep the center of gravity at a low balance as much as possible i.e. most of the weight at the bottom at all times. The method i would suggest takes advantage of gravity and balance to minimize movement, although it seems a little counter-intuitive at first. For example, with the single plate at the top we will number the plates clockwise from the very top 1-5.

    The method starts out the same way, shooting off plate 1 at the top. Then shoot of plate 3, the bottom right. This seems counter-intuitive, but movement is minimized because plate 2 then moves to the top, and 4-5 move to the bottom, each plate moving only 1 space before they reach an equilibrium again. Once the plates have mostly settled, then shoot off plate 2, now at the top, which maintains all the weight at the bottom. Then shoot off 4 and 5 easily since their movement will be little to none.

    Just my 2 yen. If you want to correct my logic (i don’t have a Texas star in my garage to test these things) go right ahead.

  • Drunk Possum

    I like the Texas star. Good challenge, fun to shoot. Usually takes me 6-8 rounds to take it down. As for that damn Polish plate rack…

    • Nicholas C

      I have yet to play with a polish plate rack. But it looks mild in comparison to the Death Star. A texas star that is on a pendulum.

      • Drunk Possum

        Oh dear gods no. Looks fun though hahaha

  • MrPotatoHead

    Best way to shoot a Texas Star is to have five people shoot at it at the same time…

  • Pistolero

    What am I doing wrong? A lot of these articles that I receive are supposed to have a video, but all I see is a still pic with no link or other way to open a vid. I even tried turning my tinfoil hat backwards but can’t get it to work.
    Other times I get the vid just fine.
    Duh.