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Transition Influences


cjdaniel78

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I have a couple of questions that relate to Transitions and things that influence transitions. One is physiological related and one is hardware related. Quick background, I am not yet USPSA Classified (not yet a member). I did get Sharpshooter in IDPA at my first match ever, over a year ago. I took a class with Ben Stoeger in May and he rated me as B Class, which seems to hold true for where I normally wind up on the score board. I know I have plenty to work on with entries and exits, but these two issues came up in the last week or so and I am looking for input against my hypothesis.

Physiological

Last night in dry fire I was running some transition drills. I normally draw and have my arms at full extension or elbow lock. As I was running these drills slow, I discovered any body movement was translating to the sights. I know, I know, duh moment right? The locked joint is effectively solid. I pulled my gun in slightly by bending my elbows and noticed that any small gyrations of my body did not affect the sight picture as much. The front sight seemed to float undisturbed. I am not too worried about recoil as I shoot Production and frankly I have never bought into the whole upper body press against recoil. It seems not locking out the elbows leads to more fluid and smoother movement.

For those that are more experienced, does this seem off base? Granted, I havent tried in live fire, yet.

Hardware Related

I have been experimenting with this for a week. My Production gun is a CZ P-09, which is polymer and weighs 27 ounces empty with no mag. My 1911 Range Officer weighs 40 ounces by comparison. I have been running standing transitions (3 targets in standard 6 reload 6 layout) with both, from low ready, to take any holster position influence out of the equation. What I have discovered is I more accurately stop on the A zone with the 1911 as compared to the P-09. It seems like the P-09 requires me to use muscles to stop it where I want, where as the 1911 seems to stop smoothly on command. The P-09 definitely moves quicker, but that advantage is lost when I have to adjust the aim point onto the A zone, where as the heavier gun requires less tweaking at each stop.

This has me thinking, based on the way I move (technique?), I would be better with the heavier gun. Anyone else noticed this before?

Thanks. Any input is appreciated

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  • 2 weeks later...

on your transitions it sounds to me like you are riding the sights between targets instead of getting a good focal shift. As you are breaking your final shot on a target you should be shifting your eyes to the a zone on the next target THEN bringing the gun along to where your eyes are. If you are staying glued to the sights and trying to move the gun while watching the sights you will have a tendancy to go slightly passed where you want and then have to correct. A heavier gun can make this more noticable. Try this, pick two spots on the wall, point at one with your finger, try to follow your finger with your eyes as you snap to the next spot, you will probably notice you blow by the spot and have to correct. Now point at the first spot again, this time move your eyes FIRST to the next spot then snap your finger over, it should stop on or at least much closer to the spot. It is a very easy habbit to get into just staying glued to the sights, but if you can do a proper focal shift you will notice it picks up a lot of speed and accuracy

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think the weight of the gun itself is often not as relevant as other factors. It's whatever you find that fits for you. In Production you have Stoeger and JJ running a Stock 2, Mink running a CZ Accu Shadow, Vogel and Nils both running a Glock, Leatham running an XDM, Max running a Sig P320. Some like heavier all steel, some like lighter polymer. I don't think skill level determines what weight gun works best.

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I worked on transitions a lot the last months with some drills. What I found out that a key is to have a solid stance, shoulders down (not pulled towards your ears), not fully streched arms, tension but no locking of elbows and shoulders. What I tried a lot was to draw the gun, get into the position with closed eyes and have a proper sight alignment. Took weeks including to find "the grip". Doing transitions was a lot easier then, when using your knees and lower body to move and the gun following your eyes.

For the weight: it's all about the centre of mass you move, so stretching your arms with a "heavy" gun won't let you move so fast as with a polymer which seems to be more sensitive to overshoot our target but allows faster movements. Have three targets with about 2m distance and shoot transitions (2 rounds per target), left to right and back. Check your hits on the target and time, change the gun, try again.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I am by no means an expert on this but I have noticed that the amount of tension in my arms and body has a lot to do with how accurately I am able to stop on a target when I am transitioning. If I am stiff and tense I will tend to overshoot the target and bounce around while lining up my shot. The more relaxed I am the quicker and more accurately I am able to transition from one target to the next and have my sights aligned with the a zone as soon as the gun catches up with my eye focus. It feels as though I am moving slower but the timer shows that the transitions are taking less time.

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It seems not locking out the elbows leads to more fluid and smoother movement.

As you read some USPSA training books (those by Ben Stoeger and Brian Enos come to mind) and watch some matches you will see that not many reccomend locking out the elbows these days.

Eric

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on your transitions it sounds to me like you are riding the sights between targets instead of getting a good focal shift. As you are breaking your final shot on a target you should be shifting your eyes to the a zone on the next target THEN bringing the gun along to where your eyes are. If you are staying glued to the sights and trying to move the gun while watching the sights you will have a tendancy to go slightly passed where you want and then have to correct. A heavier gun can make this more noticable. Try this, pick two spots on the wall, point at one with your finger, try to follow your finger with your eyes as you snap to the next spot, you will probably notice you blow by the spot and have to correct. Now point at the first spot again, this time move your eyes FIRST to the next spot then snap your finger over, it should stop on or at least much closer to the spot. It is a very easy habbit to get into just staying glued to the sights, but if you can do a proper focal shift you will notice it picks up a lot of speed and accuracy

This ^. Good transitions all start with the eyes. At 7 yards, your splits and transitions should be about the same on the Blake drill. Working with a timer in live fire helped me a ton.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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The objective of the Blake Drill is to have your splits and transitions be the same ... The drill was designed as a training exercise and was meant to be shot at 7 yds. The distance is not the focus of this drill which is why it is usually recommended to jsut shoot this at 7 yds ... You're not trying to learn how to shoot all targets in an array with transitions & splits being the same for a match ... This is a teaching drill to learn how to increase transition speed and get away from what most shooters do which is:

Bang, bang ............bang, bang .............. Bang, bang

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  • 2 weeks later...

The objective of the Blake Drill is to have your splits and transitions be the same ... The drill was designed as a training exercise and was meant to be shot at 7 yds. The distance is not the focus of this drill which is why it is usually recommended to jsut shoot this at 7 yds ... You're not trying to learn how to shoot all targets in an array with transitions & splits being the same for a match ... This is a teaching drill to learn how to increase transition speed and get away from what most shooters do which is:

Bang, bang ............bang, bang .............. Bang, bang

Full ack! My coach listened (!) to my shooting on stage as it was behind a barricade and said "well done". He knew there were 8 targets but heard I was clearly not shooting double taps but clean transitions....

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