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Thread: Vertical Transitions

  1. #1

    Vertical Transitions

    One of the canonical ways to execute a transition between horizontally offset targets is to: acquire and focus on the first target -> shift focus to front sight -> shoot, watch sight lift -> acquire and focus on the second target with only eyes moving -> lock upper body index and move the gun/sights in between your eyes and the second target using primarily your legs, moving the whole upper body as a unit -> shift focus to front sight -> shoot.

    For people who do their transitions like this or similar, how do you execute transitions between vertically offset targets? From low to high, let's say like a failure drill. Do you do the same procedure as above, or do you keep your eyes with the front sight the whole time? Do you just move your arms at the shoulders, or do you use your lower body in some way (e.g. hips)?

    The only high-to-low transitions I can think of right now are mostly artificial USPSA setups, but I'd be curious to hear about those too. That's a bit of a different can of worms it seems, because your options are limited by the fact that your sights may be blocking you from seeing the lower target. Although, maybe shooting with one eye vs both eyes open is a significant difference here.
    Last edited by dove; 01-09-2017 at 03:06 PM.

  2. #2
    My eyes lead on all transitions.
    “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”- Bruce Lee

  3. #3
    I recently purchased a dueling tree for fun, not sure if the vertical transitions on it are really wide enough to be relevant, but I start at the bottom and use the recoil to lift the front sight to the next target, as soon as I get an acceptable sight picture I fire the next shot and repeat until the plates are gone. I try to stay focused on the front sight to the extent possible. I'm sure the angle between my arms and body increases a little on the higher targets but I don't think I move my lower body or adjust stance at all.

  4. #4
    Leopard Printer Mr_White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dove View Post
    same procedure as above
    Yep, I use the standard transitioning method.

    Quote Originally Posted by dove View Post
    Do you just move your arms at the shoulders, or do you use your lower body in some way (e.g. hips)?
    I just move the arms at the shoulders, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by dove View Post
    The only high-to-low transitions I can think of right now are mostly artificial USPSA setups, but I'd be curious to hear about those too. That's a bit of a different can of worms it seems, because your options are limited by the fact that your sights may be blocking you from seeing the lower target. Although, maybe shooting with one eye vs both eyes open is a significant difference here.
    Yeah, down transitions are definitely more problematic. I agree one vs. two eyes open plays into it. I think I find the lower target more easily due to my nondominant eye contributing image seen past the gun and sight picture. Still problematic though. In USPSA, I try to plan things to avoid them as much as I can. It still plays into tactical considerations too though - ready positions need unobstructed vision specifically to account for an adversary appearing at the lowest physically available point. Blocking those lower spots with a too-high, too-obstructive ready positions can leave a big hole.
    Technical excellence supports tactical preparedness

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  5. #5
    Site Supporter Clobbersaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dove View Post
    One of the canonical ways to execute a transition between horizontally offset targets is to: acquire and focus on the first target -> shift focus to front sight -> shoot, watch sight lift -> acquire and focus on the second target with only eyes moving -> lock upper body index and move the gun/sights in between your eyes and the second target using primarily your legs, moving the whole upper body as a unit -> shift focus to front sight -> shoot.
    The above it what I do for all transitions. I think if I had to think of it in your terms though it would really slow me down, even though that's what I do. I think you can practice this fairly effectively in dry fire, and make the transitions instinctive instead of breaking it down into it's component pieces.

    I use a combination of mini targets and dots and work the PAR times down. Dots are very challenging to do especially moving from high to low. I think that work in dry fire has helped me a bunch in competition as you tend to see a lot of target stacks.

    I only move my arms and shoulders for vertical transitions though, no hip flexing or Sumo squats.
    Last edited by Clobbersaurus; 01-09-2017 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Grammar
    "Next time somebody says USPSA or IPSC is all hosing, junk punch them." - Les Pepperoni
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