Rifle 4: Transition to Pistol

Depending on the situation, a transition from rifle to pistol may be your best response.

If your target is outside 25 meters, an emergency reload of the rifle may be the response needed.

The way this drill is structured, both skills are practiced.
Equipment Needed:
One full rifle magazine
One empty rifle magazine
Pistol, with holster
Extra pistol magazines

Instructions to Shooters:

1. Once out on the firing line you will be instructed to load the pistol first. Insure that the pistol is retained in the holster.

2. You will then be told to load the rifle. When you are ready assume a low ready position, facing your target.

3. The number of rounds for each engagement will be called by the Range Master, i.e. "controlled pair," "single round" or "Rhythm Drill."

4. All engagements will be fired on the command of “UP.”

5. At some point in the drill you will be required to perform a tactical reload to an empty magazine. (rifle)

6. This means that the weapon will be empty after the first round in the next engagement.

7. When this happens, immediately perform a transition from the carbine to the pistol and engage the target with a controlled pair.

8. The drill is not over until the rifle is back in operation. Call for "cover," if that is in your SOP, holster and retain the pistol, and then perform an emergency reload of the rifle.

9. After completing the reload, scan and wait for further instructions.

10. After everyone has completed their reload, you will be instructed to squat and recover the empty magazine. DO NOT bend at the waist. Bending over tends to cause the muzzle of the rifle to point back up range.

11. If your pistol goes empty during the drill, perform an emergency reload of the pistol, re-engage the target, then finish with the rifle reload procedure as explained above.

12. Every attempt will be made to keep from running you dry. (Out of ammo)

13. You will be told when to buddy clear both weapons after all shooters have finished the exercise.

Range Master's Call:

Once the shooters are on the line and the line is “hot,” start calling the drill. Be sure to keep the pace slow. Give the shooters time to follow the drill. As a Range Master or Coach there is no abbreviated call for this drill. If you are shooting alone, you can also record the call of the drill and play it back on headphones while you are on the range.

ENGAGEMENT TYPE (controlled pair, single round or rhythm drill)

UP (shooters fire, perform scan, safe, perform a condition check and return to the low ready on their own)

(allow plenty of time or shooters unfamiliar with this procedure)

UP (shooters should perform a transition to pistol, re-engage the target, call for "cover," de-cock or safe the pistol, holster and retain, then perform an emergency reload of the rifle)

RECOVER THE EMPTY MAGAZINE (shake out any dirt or sand and re-stow)
Repeat until the table is complete. You may decide to change the number of times you fire before the tactical reload to an empty magazine, just to keep the shooters on their toes. You may also vary the number of rounds fired during the regular engagement.

Common Mistakes:

As Usual you will want to be aware of the mistakes from the earlier firing tables. New things to watch for:

1. Head down reloads. The weapon should be held high in order to keep the head up maintain situational awareness.

2. Pistol retention. In all the activity of the drill, this step is often forgotten.

3. Gear issues. Shooters may identify trouble with magazine pouches or the positioning of other gear.

4. Proper manipulation of the safety during the tactical and emergency reloads.

Drills & Skills


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