Drill of the Week – Plate Transitions

 

This is the last week of drills before revisiting El Presidente (CM 99-11) to see if there has been any improvement. So far we used the Bill Drill to focus on the draw, recoil management and accuracy. Last week we practiced our magazine changes with 4 Aces. Our focus for this weeks drill is transitions from target to target. For most people they will get the biggest improvement in the El Presidente if they can improve their transitions.  Since you only have to draw once and make one magazine change the 4 transitions in the drill can yield the biggest performance gains.

What you will needTexas Star

  • Target stands
  • 6″ Paper Plates
  • Target Pasters (maybe, the plates are probably cheaper than the pasters)
  • Shot Timer (phone applications are available if you don’t already have a timer)
  • tape measure (for setting up the drills)
  • Holster, Magazine Pouches etc.

Plate Transitions (overview)

Targets: 3 paper plates set 10 yards from the shooter box. The targets are 48″ apart.
Start Position: Facing down range, wrists above shoulders
On start signal draw and engage each target with 2 rounds.

Warm Up

Begin with a few practice draws (dry fire) with wrists above shoulders. Start at 7 yards, then work to 10 yards with a par timer. The first few draws should be at a casual pace. So if your average draw at 7 yards is around 1.2 seconds start at 1.4 seconds on the par time. Continue to increase the par timer after 5 to 10 draws by .1 seconds until you feel fluent at your normal speed.

Next try a few live fire draws. Starting with wrists above shoulders on signal draw and engage a plate at 10 yards with two rounds. Don’t run this more than 5 times.

Finally fire a few relaxed 5 shot groups at 10, 15 and 25 yards. Nothing rushed, just wait for the sight to settle before breaking the shot. Keep your focus on the front sight and practice calling your hits. Do not do more than 2 groups at each distance.

Plate Transitions Part 1 (Focus)

Target: 3 paper plates set 10 yards from the shooter box. The targets are 48″ apart.
Start Position: Standing, wrists above shoulders
On start signal draw and engage each target with one round (dry fire, DO NOT PULL THE TRIGGER).

This dry fire drill. For this drill you do not need to pull the trigger. Doing so would be counter productive. When you draw establish a clear sight picture on the target. Your front sight should be very sharp and focused. The target will be a blur, but the paper plate should still easily stand out. Shift your eyes to the next target before moving your gun. Once you find the next target then shift the gun while keeping your eyes on the target. The gun will naturally come in line with the target, once it does shift your focus back to your front sight. Do the same for the third target. Find it with your eyes first, then follow with the gun.

The reason we run this part of the drill like this is because your eyes move faster than your arms. It only takes a split second to find your next target. The gun will naturally follow your eyes and come back in alignment. You only need a sharp focus on the front sight, it is not necessary for the target. At first be very deliberate with this drill. Go slow, find your target, then find your sight. Once it starts to feel natural speed it up a little at a time. Once you get to full speed it should be very natural.

This technique will help you transition faster because you will find the target more quickly and it will help prevent you from stopping short or passing the target with the gun.

Plate Transitions Part 2 (Low Ready)

Targets: 3 paper plates set 10 yards from the shooter box. The targets are 48″ apart.
Start Position: Facing down range, wrists above shoulders
On start signal draw and engage each target with 2 rounds.

This time we will live fire starting at low ready. I purposefully removed the draw to keep the focus on transitions. On start signal engage each target with 1 round. Remember to lead with your eyes and then bring the gun to the target. Once you get going fast your eyes will be just in front of your gun. Do not look at your targets for hits as you are shooting, this will just slow you down. Keep your focus on the front sight and then to the next target. This is how you learn to call shots. If the sight isn’t where it should be when you break the shot then it probably means you missed and should make up the shot. The more you do this the easier it will get.

Plate Transitions Part 3 (Plate Transitions)

Targets: 3 paper plates set 10 yards from the shooter box. The targets are 48″ apart.
Start Position: Facing down range, wrists above shoulders
On start signal draw and engage each target with 2 rounds.

Now we are going to bring it all together. We are adding the draw and two rounds per plate. Start at a pace where you can consistently get your hits then increase the pace slowly until you are just over the edge on the transitions. If you still struggle with hitting the first shot even at an easy pace go back to starting at low ready. I want to keep the focus of this drill on transitions since this will net most people the biggest gains. If you are doing well on this drill try a variation where you add a mandatory reload and re-engage the array with two rounds.

Post your results, questions or comments.

 

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