Traveling Transitions

by Braxton Taylor

Transitioning from one target to another rapidly, with accurate shot placement, is one of the most demanding skills rounding out your depth of shooting. Stepping outside your comfort zone will help push you to make greater gains—especially when it comes down to effective transitions.

Our drill this month trains you to deliver precise round placement on each target, in a timely manner, transitioning between targets moving from either right to left or left to right. This drill helps to develop your ability to visually process and manage the gun by isolating essential sub-component skills.

Here’s the Drill

Set up three steel or paper targets with a designated center A-zone (can be either body or head), one at the 15-yard line (T1), one at the 20-yard line (T2) and one at the 10-yard line (T3). Shooters seeking more of a challenge may increase target difficulty by reducing target size, increasing distance or both.

Left to Right – One Round
Start with the pistol in both hands, muzzle aligned with the visual center of T1 with your finger on the trigger, slack taken up to the wall position. On the buzzer or “go” signal, move the muzzle at a moderate speed from T1 to the visual center of T2, pressing off a single round on T2 and resetting the trigger. Run it again with increased speed, but keeping the same precision and then a third run at even greater speed, yet again holding yourself accountable for accuracy. (Three rounds.)

Repeat the drill again, but this time pick up the pace and look for your efficiencies. In other words, can you speed up your visual process (pick up T2 quicker visually) or prep the trigger sooner? Or utilize your larger body-pivot muscle groups? You will find speed in the non-firing “dead space,” but not during the trigger press. (Three rounds.)

Right to Left – One Round
Start with the pistol in both hands, muzzle aligned with the visual center of T3 with your finger on the trigger, slack taken up to the wall position.  On the buzzer or “go” signal, move the muzzle at a moderate speed from T3 to the visual center of T2, pressing off a single round and resetting the trigger. Try it again with increased speed, but keep the same precise round placement and then go for a third run at even greater speed, again maintaining your accuracy. Just like you ran the “left to right” drill evolution, your efficiency of movement can be found in the non-firing space, so look for it. (Three rounds.)

From the Holster – Two Rounds
Start with a holstered pistol, hands below your belt. On the buzzer, draw from the holster to either T1 or T3 and guarantee the hit with one round in the visual center of the target. Immediately following initial impact, transition left or right (the direction of your choice, I would recommend working your weakest direction) at moderate speed and deliver a second round to the visual center of T2. (Two rounds.)
Total rounds fired: 11

As you increase your speed, at some point the wheels will fall off. Observe what and where things went wrong. Focus on that and re-rerun it again, gradually increasing speed and identifying efficiencies.

The purpose of this drill is to discover how fast you can control the gun in transitions while maintaining the most efficient movement between targets without overshooting (over travel) or undershooting (under travel).

Knowing at what speed and with what efficiency you need to make the transitioning shot running in alternate directions helps you to develop the technical skill required for repeatable and on-demand performance.

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