Multi-Gun Training Day: Rifle Transition Practice


Saturday’s Multi-Gun Training Day emphasized the importance of target transitions.  We were working on the rifle and the specific mechanics required to make quick and accurate transitions from one target to another.

DOPE at 7, 25 and 50 yards

DOPE at 7, 25 and 50 yards

After a quick DOPE refresher at 7, 25 and 50 yards to demonstrate the importance of knowing your mechanical offset and holds, we swapped our bolt carrier groups for

CMMG .22LR conversion kits, got out the steel “lolly pops” and went about training to transition from low ready to first shot on target and to properly transition between targets.

This was my first session of actual training with the CMMG .22 LR conversion kit and I am absolutely sold on it.  The benefits of a .22 conversion kit are numerous, chief among them is using the same platform you normally do in competition which allows you to get more repetitions on the same trigger, optic, etc.  You can safely perform drills with .22LR far closer to a steel target than you would be able to with center fire.  And finally the cost effectiveness of the ammo just can’t be beat, you’re talking $0.03 per round compared to $0.30 per round (or higher lately).  For short-range rifle drills I highly recommend a .22 conversion kit for the AR-15.


Transitions are very important in 3-Gun and Practical Shooting in general.  In competition you must always be scoring points and one way to do that is to minimize the time spent not shooting.  This means that the time spent between engaging targets is costing you the lead and you must eliminate it.

The proper way to transition from one target to another is to lead with your eyes.  You start with your eyes and weapon on the same target, break the shot(s) and follow through.  Next, transition your eyes to the second target and follow them with your weapon while keeping your eyes focused on the second target.  Repeat.

That’s it and it sounds simple enough but under the stress of the clock and people watching, a lot of shooters tend to rush it and move their weapon and their eyes at the same time.  Our practice focused on going slow and performing a firm, deliberate transition each time.  Practicing slow and smooth will allow you to recall the motion and perform it quickly in competition.

We performed each of the following drills mulitiple times from 7 yards and 25 yards:

  • Start at Low Ready, on buzzer engage one target with one round. (1 round per string)
  • Start at Low Ready, on buzzer engage end target with one round, transition to farthest target and engage with one round.  (2 rounds per string) Perform both right to left and left to right.
  • Start at Low Ready, on buzzer engage farthest left target with one round, transition to next target and engage with one round.  Repeat for all five targets. (8 rounds per string)  Perform both right to left and left to right.


After many drills and repetitions with .22 LR on the steel we swapped back to center fire, set up a quick drill with Metric IPSC targets that incorporated our 7, 25 and 50 yard dope, initial target engagement from low ready, target transitions and a magazine change.

  • Start at Low Ready, on buzzer engage targets from left to right with two rounds each, change magazines and engage from right to left with two rounds each.  (20 rounds per string)


We were on the range a solid three hours and it was time well spent.  Teaching yourself to slowly and smoothly perform the mechanics of an action during practice enables you to recall that action quickly when under the stress of a timer in competition.  And that is what Multi-Gun Training Day is all about.

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