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Transitioning Drills


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I think the area where I can improve the most is transitioning from target to target. Can anyone offer drills that they’ve used that help to decrease their time transitioning between targets with a pistol? I’m mostly competing in carry optics (IDPA and SCSA). I currently practice the Blake and cross cross drills. Thanks in advance my brothers!

Edited by Haalck
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  • 2 months later...

The drills mentioned are spot-on, but I think that the biggest improvement in transition speed can be garnered by improving eye speed.


Simply staying focused on the sights/dot and traversing over quickly like a tank turret will result in the gun going past the target and having to be brought back.  "Moving the eyes to the new target" quickly will enable one to drive the gun to the new line-of-sight on the target and stop without over-shooting. 


Many people use the mantra of "Shoot. Look. Shoot" to describe this action.  Being able to perform this well will speed up your transitions a lot.

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I took a class with David Wampler and Kevin G and had some drills dedicated to working on transitions. They seemed very beneficial. 

Live fire: start position gun pointed at target. At the beep, fire one round and transition to the second target and fire one round. this kept round count low and showed that we need to transition during the recoil rather than looking for the third confirmation sight picture. 

dry fire was the same minus shooting to work the eyes. 

we then moved to two rounds each and started to make it more advanced incorporating “bar hop” and adding targets with movement (two targets, move, two targets). They also changed it up with a partial target and open or steel to open to work on attack/control targets. 

with all of this being said, I feel as if my transitions have gotten better. Trusting my shot calls more and moving quicker to the next target. Two close opens and my strings sound more like a string of four with good hits rather than pop, pop……….. pop, pop. They also mentioned trying the Hopkins drill. Hope I explained this well enough to make sense. 

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Dave W and Kevin G are the best of the best.

One thing I try to do with transitions is get my cadence for my eyes during my walkthroughs.  Once you have your stage plan figured out, try to get a couple walkthroughs where you'll mimic the shot splits and eye transition.  It may sound a little odd since you don't have anything to index off of to let your mind know you have what you need and keep your eyes moving even though the gun and trigger may have a little business still remaining.

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  • 5 months later...

I've got that plate rack in a bucket set-up, that I use for accuracy and transitions. Double tap each steel, then move to the next. Sometimes i plan a series of skipping around so its not just straight across. I try to focus on my eye movements for initial accuracy and tracking the next target

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