Qualifying Course of Fire

The simple definition of this is an agency, school or instructor has determined that for you to be qualified with a particular weapon platform you need to shoot a certain course of fire in a required amount of time and with a “passing” score. Most LE agencies have this as well as most Concealed Carrying issuing entities and on the rare occasion some training schools as well but more on the rare exception. It seems to really be more about liability than ability and I find that unfortunate since qualifying simply means to me I have been able to perform with this gun equal to a specific standard.
In our area of CA most Sheriffs Departments have passed on this responsibility to the Instructors they allow to present training certificates for the applicants. Like setting standards for liability I personally find this as a way to avoid responsibility for the Sheriffs Department and this lack of standardization allows people on the street with guns who simply are not qualified to defend themselves or others.

We teach a fair amount of people who have already obtained their permit and have come to us when they realized that their training was sub-par. One student told us she had to fire five rounds from a .22 revolver to qualify for her permit. At LFT we like to use a standard that is recognized and approved through out the State, that is, the California Highway Patrol standard, and the simple reason for this is if you ever have to shoot your training will be called immediately into question. Do you have training records? All of the classes you have taken because surely only one class at one time is sufficient, not. Does the school/instructor you worked with maintain records adequate enough to prove to a jury of your peers that you were adequately trained and qualified?
Since starting LFT we have looked at literally hundreds of standards before settling on the CHP standard for our CCW qualifications. During that time I looked hard at the FBI standard because being the top LE agency in the world would lead you to believe they would have the highest standard. What I saw at the time was a variation of a 1960’s theme, shooting a lot of rounds from 25 yards which I believe everyone realizes today is just not what happens in the real world so when I saw that in January the FBI had changed their Q Course I was kind of excited to see if it had become more applicable to real life shootings.

This is the new FBI Q Course:
Target used is the QIT-99
Course consists of a total of 60 rounds
Each round counts as one point
Any hits inside the target area count
You must draw from concealment for every string of shots
Passing score for Agents is 48 out of 60, or 80%

Stage 1: 3 yard line
3 rounds in 3 seconds using your strong hand only
3 rounds in 3 seconds using your strong hand only
3 rounds using strong hand only, switch hands, 3 rounds using support hand only all in 8 seconds
Total of 12 rounds for Stage 1

Stage 2: 5 yard line
This stage and the remaining stages all shot with two hands
3 rounds in 3 seconds
3 rounds in 3 seconds
3 rounds in 3 seconds
3 rounds in 3 seconds
Total of 12 rounds for Stage 2

Stage 3: 7 yard line
4 rounds in 4 seconds
4 rounds in 4 seconds
Have two magazines loaded with four rounds each. Fire four rounds, reload, fire another four rounds in 8 seconds.
Total of 16 rounds for Stage 3

Stage 4: 15 yard line
3 rounds in 6 seconds
3 rounds in 6 seconds
4 rounds in 8 seconds
Total of 10 rounds for Stage 4

Stage 5: 25 yard line
This stage involves the use of a barricade/cover)
Move to cover and fire 2 rounds standing, then 3 rounds kneeling all in 15 seconds
Move to cover and fire 2 rounds standing, then 3 rounds kneeling all in 15 seconds
Total of 10 rounds for Stage 5

I was expecting it to be a bit more difficult but it is what it is . . . give it a try and see how well you do. Please note, it is done with the weapon concealed and that will add greatly to the difficulty . . . so carry your gun as you normally do and give it a try.

One final note on standards . . . your personal shooting/training standards, what are they? Do you practice them regularly? Do you keep records of your training and practice sessions? Can you draw from concealment at 15′ and place two rounds to CoM in 1.5 seconds?

Training can save your life in more ways than you imagine.


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