Exercise: Earlier Efficiency for Fast Transitions

Exercise: Early Efficiency In Transitions

Summary:  Build efficient transitions with direct gun travel and earlier vision. 
Level: Intermediate – requires good fire control and an understanding of natural point of aim
Rounds:  185,  140 dry
Target: 4×6 rectangle  (print a few), 3 target backers/stands, set at yardage, about 1 to 3 yards apart (vary as you like). One target on each stand, put at same height or vary for challenge.
Distance: 3 to 7 yards with skill

Can we agree that a straight line is shortest path between two points?   So the first concept is move the gun in a straight line between the targets.  Common errors… dropping the gun down (looks tactical in the movies), letting the gun settle and then bringing it over.  Just imagine the muzzle traveling the LEAST possible distance and do that.   It will be better than what you do now, and if you keep thinking that way it will continue to improve.  Minimizing the distance the muzzle travels is step 1 for efficiency in transitions. 

Now… look at the target and imagine what sight picture you need to see (or feel).  Not the PERFECT sight picture…think of the broadest definition that will always yield a hit.     At 5 yards, let’s say it is the front sight surround by gray.   You can vary that – you decide. 

Just look at the target and visualize the straight paths and seeing that sight picture.   Got it??  Let’s begin.

Terms; LMT = Left Most Target, CT = Center Target, RMT = Right Most Target

Dry:  20 reps of transition from each target to every other target.   LMT to CT  (20 times), LMT to RMT (20 times), CT -> LMT, CT-RMT, RMT-CT, RMT-LMT.    Total 120 reps.   

Start on each target, move your eye to the next target, move the gun to the next target, see what you need to see, touch the trigger.  No need to cock gun. Just see it, touch.  DO IT AT THE PACE YOU CAN DO IT RIGHT.   And don’t forget to move the eye first. 

You are looking for 20 in a row of good reps.  If you mess up, go back to 1.   If you keep messing up, go for 5 in a row, then 10 in a row, so forth.

With dry fire YOU are the accountable one, do not cheat yourself. 

Live:  10 reps as with Dry. Start on target, move to other, see what you need to see, deliver the shot, find sights again while prepping trigger = good rep.
Do it a the PACE you can DO the STEPS RIGHT.   (60 rounds)

For the first live fire we start on target so as not to waste ammo, we are directly building the move skill. Now we will work on the move from recoil skill.

Live:  10 reps, start on target, deliver shot, move directly to the next target, see what you need to see, shoot, rep ends with your trigger reset and your sight picture re-acquired.   (60 rounds)

Live:  10 reps, left to right all three targets, and right to left all three targets (60 rounds)

Live:  Use 5 shots and get rid of the TPC logo on the center target.  (5 rounds)

Dry:  20 reps of perfect dry fire to the TPC log on the right most target

Journal time:  What worked?  What are you going to try?  What do you need to ask a better shooter or an instructor?  What tools do you need?


This uses a LOT of ammo.  We recommend doing this dry a few times before going live. 

Always do the steps right.  Squeeze time between steps to be quicker. Never shortcut a needed step.

Stick to the pace of doing it right. It will get faster naturally.  When you have the steps right, feel free to mix up the target distances, locations, and to find out how early you can see what you need to see (that’s where the speed lies).

Make SURE that when you practice dry that your SPINE aligns to the target each time. You are rotating it, not pulling or pushing your arms.  This will involve muscles OUTSIDE your arms. Move the gun this way is quicker and more accurate when it stops and you shoot.

Keep the transitions WITHIN your peripheral vision.  Transitioning farther than that uses another technique.

Have fun. You are on the range. Not at work (unless it is your work in which case congratulations). 

Exercise: The Gun Also Rises – 100 Rounds

Exercise: The Gun Also Rises

Summary:  Burn in the concept of Lifting the Gun Up with Sights Aligned and Pausing 
Rounds: 100 live, 225 dry
Distance: 3 to 7 yards with skill
Target:  5 inch circles with 1″ center dot
Start Position: Compressed Imminent Threat

Whether drawing from holster, from the gun held in an administrative position, gun held in a tactical position (low ready, imminent threat), from a glove box of a car, or a battlefield pickup – presenting to the target is the same.  We recommend, for the earliest hit, that the gun lift up with SIGHTS ALIGNED, and when you arrive on target you PAUSE and you Try To See What You Need to See, then shoot. 

Pause?  Yes. We pause. It happens fast. 4 or 6  shots per second fast, but we mentally transition to seeing what we need to see (or feel in some shots). 
This exercise gives you 200 excellent reps of that process.  We use a circle with a dot so that you can lift to the dot, pull the trigger, and have hits outside of the dot.  You could use any target you want for this – we often use one of the vertical rectangle since that is a typical threat stop zone region.



– you will be presenting to the small black circle in the bigger gray circle. 

– 10 dry reps per target, to burn it in.  On each target, if you miss one, start over at one on that target.

– Do it At the Speed of Right Phase – Live fire, per target:
   – 5 dry reps, if perfect, proceed to live fire. If not, get 5 perfect dry reps.
   – 5 live reps
   – 5 dry reps, perfect please
   – 5 live reps

– Earlier and Earlier Phase – Live Fire Per Target
    – 5 dry reps
    – 5 live reps
    – on each target shorten the pause, see where you see and go earlier

– Burn It In Phase – Live Fire Per Target
   – 5 dry reps
   – 5 live reps
   – all targets at the EARLIEST you KNOW you can get it right 90% of the time

– Warm Down
    – 5 dry per target at the DO IT RIGHT PACE

– Journal time – write down what worked, what  you think might help, any tools/training you may want to ask to the mix, including questions to ask TPC or a better shooter on your range.


– Perfect dry reps end with your trigger reset and your eyes finding the sights back on target, then bring it down, and start again.

– Rebuild grip and stance at least each target.

– Lift gun at the pace of pointing your finger at something. Learn to do it at that speed.  Adrenaline may pick that pace up naturally, but you will be doing it “right”, which means hits.  

– Sight Alignment means arriving with the rear sight at equal height – equal light each time.  The “perfect sight picture”. 

– Lifting with sights aligned means holding that perfect alignment from compressed imminent threat up til lift is done. This is called “feel” and knowing it lets you shoot earlier, including before you have visual knowledge of the sights – simply by feel – if the target permits it.

– Have fun. Take your Time. Do it right!  Then do it earlier. Learn what works, burn it in.   Enjoy your time on the range improving.

Exercise: Trigger Time 100

Exercise: Trigger Time 100

Summary:  100 Rounds of Your Best Trigger Pulls Ever, Or your money back!
Rounds:  224 dry, 100 live
Start Position: Compressed Imminent Threat
Target: 2″ Round Circles
Distance: 3 to 7 yards with skill
Dry Variant: Do the dry portion only

Most people can aim. Far fewer people can keep the gun from moving when pulling the trigger.   Let’s fix that!

Trigger success has two basic concepts:  

  1. isolating the trigger finger movement from the rest of the grip
  2. a surprise break or acceptance of recoil

Should it be any surprise that those two concepts are directly what we are going to work on? 


Per Row:

Dry: 8 dry shots per target. Focus ENTIRELY on moving just the trigger finger. This is partly mental, and it might be physical (how you grip the gun). 

Live: 4 live shots per target, FOCUS ENTIRELY on moving just the trigger finger.

Dry: 8 dry shots per target, Focus ENTIRELY on HOLDING still with the trigger press

Live: 4 live shots per target, FOCUS ENTIRELY on HOLDING still with the shot. 

You have done 192 dry and 96 live reps. 

Live: You have 4 live shots left. Pick a spot on the paper and use them to make the same hole with 4 rounds.

Warm Down: Dry fire one row, with 4 REPS of focus on just moving trigger, and 4 REPS of holding still. 

Journal Time: Write down what worked. Write down ideas to try to improve. Write down any tools you feel might help. Write down questions to ask better shooters.  Write down any training you may need.


A good rep starts rise with sights alined. Don’t take the shot if you didn’t arrive with perfect sight alignment. Do it again, RIGHT> 

A good live rep ends with you finding your sights again and the trigger prepped ready to deliver another perfect shot.  

Moving only the trigger is mental AND physical. You may need to adjust your grip and your trigger finger placement to permit mechnical isolation of the movement of the trigger finger. 

DA first pull on the gun? Well.. you bought it,  alternate DA and SA, probably leaning towards DA since the first pull is the most important! 

Extra credit variant:  Mess up a rep dry? Start that circle over.

As usual… take your time, keep your notebook close, and enjoy yourself. You are on the range. You are getting better!

Having trouble paying attention?  You can do 8 dry, 4 live, 8 dry, 4 live per target as a variant for the attention challenged student.


Tactical Performance Center – We train you to hit at the speed of a gunfight.

5 star review  Practice Makes Permanent, so do yourself a favor and learn how to practice the right way ASAP. I’m a 3 gunner and I was fortunate be able to make the trip to the Tactical Performance Center recently and I had the best time ever. If you compete in 3 Gun, USPSA or something similar and you want to improve your performance, you need to take a class from TPC. One of their students/instructors became the youngest ever female grandmaster in USPSA. That alone should tell you something about the level of quality of their training. If you can’t make the trip to Utah, they do travel to your range. Get some buddies together at your local range to help shoulder the costs. Ken sells the way he wishes he could buy. If you need cancel, you can cancel the day before the class and still get a refund. If you sign up for a class and you’re somehow the only person signed up, they’ll still hold the class. Everyone who works at TPC are great people. My trip out to TPC was to take Handgun Mastery. It is a 3 day class designed to give you the tools to take your handgun game to another level. I was in a group of 12, and we never had less than 3 instructors at any point during the day. I believe we typically had 4 instructors with us. It sounds like this is the norm for TPC, they want to make sure that you are getting your moneys worth of instruction. Having a good instructor to student ratio is part of this. Many of the instructors are high level competitors in their own rights, some examples include Tim Yackley, Brian Nelson, Max Leograndis, and Jalise & Justine Williams. The instructors are there to help make sure you get the most out of the experience. They were willing to spend extra time with me to answer questions and make sure I fully understood everything. The class goes over everything that you would expect of something called handgun mastery. Stance, grip, recoil management, drawing from the holster, sight picture, accuracy, speed, etc. All the shooting I did was stationary and the drills were designed to help me bring everything together by the end of the class. They will break down each element, explain a little bit about the theory and how it all works, and then help you put it all together so that you can work on it when you get home. To get the full benefits of the class, you’re going to have to take what you’ve learned and practice at home. As I said, practice makes permanent. If you don’t take the tools they give you and drill it into your subconscious, you will revert to your old mistakes under pressure. Of my group of 12, I’d say 10 of them were already pretty decent to high level pistol shooters. I was not one of those 10, which is why I was so excited to take a 3 day pistol class. However, all 12 of us improved greatly over the course of the 3 day class. One of my group members remarked to the instructors something to the effect of “I’m working on reprogramming myself to use what I’m learning but I keep reverting to my old programming”. Everyone in our group had a good time and everyone found a way to elevate their pistol game. You’re going to get a lot of stuff thrown at you over the course of 3 days, so pay attention and take notes so that you can work on things when you get home. Your hands will probably get sore, so you may want bring some athletic tape for your hands. A cooler to store sandwiches for lunch will also be helpful. The course description says 1700 rounds, but I think i shot closer to 2200 rounds. This class is 100% worth it and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. The sooner you can take a class from TPC, the sooner you can reap the benefits and start building off what you learn. Practice makes permanent, and the sooner you can break the bad habits or the less than ideal habits, the better off you will be in the long term for your competitive shooting career. I wish I had been able to take this class sooner. I’m sure many of you have been frustrated after a stage, and I firmly believe that many of those frustrations would not have happened if I had taken this class at the start of my 3 gun career. Like I mentioned, if you can’t go to TPC you can always try to bring TPC to you. 3 takeaways: 1: I’m glad I didn’t have my 2011 yet. I feel like using my glock 19 made it harder to hide any potential issues I had. In my opinion, the 2011 weight and trigger would have masked flaws in my skills. All the skills I learned will transfer over to my future 2011 2: regardless of skill level, you will learn something. The sooner you take a class of this level, the better to speed up your learning curve 3: Be ready to practice once you get back, you need to be able to get rid of your old bad habits so you don’t revert to them under stress

Exercise – Visual Patience (to the edges)

Exercise: Visual Patience (to the edges)

Summary: Build your ability to see the sight picture you need to see
Rounds:   150 rounds, 150 dry
Time:  30 minutes
Needed:  Visual Patience 3 Bars Target  (3 of them)
Distance: 3 to 7 yards depending on skill. 

Once you get past basic fire control issues (stance, grip, trigger),  advancing your shooting becomes a mental and visual task.  This exercise builds visual recognition of what you need to see and the mental processing to wait to see it.

Look at the three targets on the single page.  To hit the White Bar in the left most target, what sight picture do you need?  Centered left right perfectly, any height.  How about the targets on the right?    The inverse… perfect up and down, and any left and right visible through the rear sight. 

The challenge is to present, recover from recoil, or transition to each target, ensure you (As broadly as you can) the sight picture you need to see to make a hit, and calmly deliver the shot, and so on and so on.

First do it from just presenting. Then do it on the same target from recoil. Then transition from target to target. ALWAYS AT THE SPEED YOU CAN DO IT RIGHT.  

Visual_Patience_key-sight pictures


Dry – Present 20 times to each target. Ensure you see a valid sight picture for each target. Release the shot. Be honest…  A good rep is presenting with sights aligned, seeing what you need to see, pressing the trigger and keeping the sights in the target.  Now do 20 good reps on each target  before moving on to live fire.

Step 1 – Live Fire:  Present 10 times to each target. Ensure you see what you need to see. Release the shot. Follow thru and end the rep with the sights you need to see BACK on the same target, and the trigger prepped and ready to deliver another shot.   Do this for each target.   30 rounds.

Dry Fire: 5 on each target to warm down from shooting, as last procedure.  5 perfect in a row. Start at 1 if you miss a rep. Do things right.

Step 2 – Live Fire:  Start on a new target. Do Step 1 Live Fire… add in a 2nd shot once you see what you need to see.  The rep ends with you BACK on your sight picture and the trigger prepped for a 3rd shot you do not take.  10 times per target.  60 rounds total.   Do this at the pace you can do it right 90% of the time.

Dry:  Put up fresh target.  We now work on transitioning from target to target. Do 20 from vertical to horizontal. Horizontal to Horizontal. And Horizontal to Vertical.  Do them properly. Be honest. Take your time. DO IT RIGHT.

Step 3 – Live Fire:    Start on target, without firing, move to another target, see what you need to see, release shot, find sights, end with sight picture reacquired, and trigger reset.   Do this 10 times on each type of transition (Horizontal to Vertical, Vertical to Horizontal, Horizontal to Horizontal). 
30 rounds.

Step 4 – Live Fire:  Do Step 3 Live Fire (5 times per target), but take the first shot, then move to the other target.  Only do this if you are succeeding at the past steps. If not, fix them and conserve your ammo.   30 rounds. 

Dry – Do a mix of what  you’ve done dry so far in perfect 5 shot sequences.  Mix it up. Do it right. 

Journal Time – write down what worked. Write down things to try. Write down tools you may need to bring next time. Write down questions you might ask on our forum, to better shooters.  And write down any training you might seek out.


– bring a calm mental focus and a very relaxed body (especially the core). Tension messes up vision and mental processing. 

– if you are missing due to trigger pull,  feel free to step closer (no closer the 3 yards), or to call an audible and fix that fire control fundamental with these rounds and time instead. 

– take your time. Think Don’t Plink.  Get the most out of each dry or live rep.  

– have fun, smile, enjoy the moment out here on the range, getting better, seeing friends, and leaving life’s other issues behind


Exercise – TPC WB 5 40 (Walkback 5 40)

Exercise - The WalkBack 5 40 (WB 5 40) - an exercise and a test

Summary: Shoot from 5 yards to 50 (reduced tgt at 25) in this test of draw, vision, and trigger.
Rounds: 40
Targets : USPSA/IPSC Metric Target,  PractiMini

We recommend watching the video.


– each string starts from holster, with gun loaded, hands relaxed at side, safety on if your firearm has one.
– 5 strings of 5 shots on the IPSC / USPSA target at 5,10,15,20,25 yards
– Score and replace with PractiMini target 
– 3 strings of 5 shots each on the practimini at 15,20,25 yards (simulating 30,40,50)
– add up points on each target (5 for alpha, 3 for C, 1 for D, -5 for misses)
– add up string times
– divide to come up with points per second
– a calculator is available from classes.tacticalperformancecenter.com/tpc-rating


– Lift your firearm at a pointing pace, even on the hard shots
– Do it cold as a test of where you are without warmup
– Use it when warmed up to test/train as you like



Practice: Anticipation Therapy, 300 Rounds

Practice: Anticipation Therapy, 300 Rounds

Summary:  A practice devoted to eradicating anticipation from the known universe
Rounds: 300
Time: About 2 hours. 
Required:  Berm,  3 Inch Circle Targets, Blank Sheet of Paper, 

1.  We will work our way up to seeing the sights. 

2.  Wrist/Cam Pressure – at chest height, 40 rounds. 
       Key – use safe part of berm, look at berm, not gun. Just let it happen. Do it with deliberation. Take breaks.

3. Wrist/Cam Pressure Exercise – as prescribed. 
      Key – regrip/build stance. Build 8 tight groups on that blank piece of paper.

4. Wrist / Cam Pressure Exercise – Count to 10 between shots variant.  40 rounds. 
     Hold still for a minute? You can do it!

5. Anticipation Be Gone, 100 Rounds (150 dry)

6. You are at 220 rounds right now. 80 left. 

7.  TPC 24 – twice. 48 rounds. 
      Let’s get up to gunfight speed. See how things work. Make sure to note what you did when you got HITS.

8. 50 / 50 Drills  – See Anticipation Be Gone for description.   24 rounds. Target of your choice. 

9.  With your remaining 8 rounds, get rid of a TPC logo on any target on the backer. 

10.  25 Dry to TPC Logo. Be perfect. Take your time. End strong.

11. Journal Time – write down what worked. Write down ideas of what to do to improve. Write down questions to ask a better shooter. Write down any tools or training to help you come up with ideas to improve. 


This one will tire you out – mentally – if you do it right.  And you should do it right!  Take your time. Think Don’t Plink…. It should take you about 2 hours, feel free to take breaks, snack, drink, and SMILE! 


Exercise: Anticipation Be Gone, 100 rounds.

Summary: Anticipation can be tough to kick. Let’s face it straight on with 100 rounds.
Rounds: 150 dry, 100 live
Distance: 3 to 7 yards varying with skill
Target: 3 Inch Round Circles (don’t have one, 3 inch square duct tape works)
Start Position: Compressed Imminent Threat
Dry Variant: Do just the dry part.




  1.  Earn your live shots with perfect dry fire and perfect 50/50 drills
  2. 20 shots per circle, like this:
    1. Dry:
      1. Present to the circle, if the sights do not arrive at the target aligned, stop, and do again.
      2. Release the shot, hold still.
      3. A good rep has sights unmoved
      4. Question – is your grip still consistent pressure as the beginning?
      5. That’s one good rep, do 20 in a row to earn your live fire
    2. Live Fire:
      1. Each shot, present to the circle. If sights do not arrive at the target aligned, stop and do again.
      2. 10 rounds of 50/50 (load handgun, take out magazine). Shoot, press trigger AGAIN dry within 1/2 second of shot.
      3. 10 rounds live, HOLD STILL after each shot
    3. Repeat for each circle. Alternate Dry, to 50/50, to live on each circle.


Take your time. Think don’t Plink. The pain will be your gain.

Break your stance and grip frequently to help you get reps in building each again.

What does it mean to stay still after the shot?  Don’t even bring the gun down out of recoil lift. Just do nothing. Eventually, bring it back down to Compressed Imminent Threat, or rebuild stance/grip for practice, and drive on.  Note that on 50/50 portion you will be bringing the handgun back down after the live shot.

You will, and should, feel tired after this exercise. Mentally tired. A good tired. The kind of tired that comes from vanquishing long time enemies. Remember how it feels to hold still while shooting!

Practice: 300 Rounds, Focus on Fundamentals

Practice: 300 Rounds, Focus on Fundamentals

This is a practice designed for improving fundamentals as well as seeing what fundamentals need more work. You will advance to rapid shooting, done deliberately, and then document in your journal what worked and what you will do to improve. 

It’s always important to catch  yourself doing things right and remember what that felt like.  Do it in practice. Do it in LIFE!

1.  TPC 24 Cold Rating – see https://classes.tacticalperformancecenter.com/tpc-rating/.     
Log your results in your journal. Also write down what you aced on the test and how you did it,  and then note how you think you can improve your performance.  Write down good things you did, or good ideas to improve. Or any tools / training that might help. 

2.  Warmup – Best 75, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEw-_9rfsdk 
Do it dry. Then do it hot. Work hard! Stay focused!
If you’ve done this before, maybe consider doing all 75 on one thing you really need work on.
Log it!

3. Pick up the pace with a Faster Rhythms (https://classes.tacticalperformancecenter.com/2019/01/25/exercise-faster-rhythms/)
Earn your live shots by dedicated and deliberate visualization of each rhythm and dry practice prior to shooting live. Bullets cost. Visualization and dry-fire are free!
Log it!

Just 100 rounds left!

4. What fundamental was weak in Faster Rhythms?   Devote 75 purposeful rounds to doing it exactly right.  Experiment – this is your 75 rounds. Pick a target, think of something to try, do it!  As usual, visualize it, dry fire it, do it live. Earn that live fire by thinking your way through it.

5. Warm Down – 25 rounds. Group Fire. Get rid of the TPC logo on every target still pasted up on the backer.

6. Warm Down.  Do that again. Dry.

Log it in your journal, including:

– what’s working
– ideas to try next time dry, next time live
– things to ask better shooters
– training to seek
– tools that might help

Be Positive.  

For extra credit… help a friend or new shooter. Teachers learn the most!

Head for lunch or home satisfied that your time and ammo were well spent to improve subconscious fundamentals that could save your life,  win your next match, or just make that next qualification so much easier. 

Exercise: Faster Rhythms


Summary: Rhythm means performing a sequence of steps correctly and in the right order at a particular speed. This exercise builds your ability shoot correctly at faster and faster speeds.

PractiMini @ 5 to 10 yards depending on your skill (this needs legal sized paper)

Rounds: 88 minimum, 100 or more with retries


Not sure about rhythm speeds?  Here is 4 shots a second3 shots a second2 shots a second, and 1 shot a second

First rhythm: 1 shot per second, 4 shots, 4 times – 16 rounds
End on target with trigger prepped
Exaggerate your follow-thru, then finger off, lower.

Do not advance to faster rhythms if you are not getting 100%  A zone hits.  Instead, think about what step you are doing wrong (for instance Letting Recoil Happen), or are doing out of order (example: recovering gun before trigger pull is complete).

Second rhythm: 2 shots per second, 4 shots, 4 times – 16 rounds
End on target with trigger prepped
Exaggerate your follow-thru, then finger off, lower.

Not more than 2 Charlies? Let’s keep going. if not, what is not being done right or out of order?

Third rhythm: 3 shots per second, 6 shots, 4 times – 24 rounds
End on target with trigger prepped
Exaggerate your follow-thru, then finger off, lower.

You should have mostly alphas here as well, 1 charlie per string, or figure it out.

Final rhythm: 4 to 5 shots per second, 8 shots, 4 times – 32 rounds

End on target with trigger prepped 
Exaggerate your follow-thru, then finger off, lower.

Welcome to roughly the speed of a gunfight. At this pace you should still have 1 or 0 Charlies per string and zero Deltas or off paper hits.    If you do, you know what to do… go back a rhythm figure out what you are doing wrong or out of order, and work your way back up. If you notice your grip slipping as you get to 8 rounds… figure that out before coming back to this exercise.


If you can’t (or don’t want to) print on legal sized paper then any of the rectangle targets at our Printable Targets page will suffice. Since they do not have scoring zones… do it form 7 yard and treat out of the rectangle as a C hit.  

This exercise can burn ammo if you aren’t careful.   Pay attention to your hits. Shoot with awareness. Visualize and dry fire the rhythms prior to live fire.  If you had C or worse hits remember what you did to get As and try doing that more!

We recommend this be in the middle of a practice. Do not end with it. We prefer to end with a 100% attention on doing this right, that usually means grouping fire or dots of some kind.