COURSE OF FIRE: Off‐Duty Pistol Practice

COURSE OF FIRE: OFF-DUTY PISTOL PRACTICE

By The Police Marksman Staff

Each issue of The Police Marksman will feature a “Course of Fire” that police officers can use for their own department’s training. Training courses can be shared and used “as is” or you may wish to modify them as needed. If you have a firearms course that has worked well with your own department’s range training, send it to us and we’ll pay you $50 if it’s chosen to be shared here. Try to keep the round count at a single box of 50 rounds for pistol courses as we know today’s ammo budgets are challenging. Courses with movement, cover, shields, low light, etc. are beneficial to all police officers, so follow the standard instructional format like this issue’s course and e-mail it to us at steventracy@hendonpub.com

REQUIRED ITEMS AND MATERIALS:

  1. Off-Duty pistol or revolver and extra magazines or speed loaders/off-duty holster
  2. Ammunition (50 rounds)
  3. Eye/ear protection
  4. Standard silhouette target (with rectangular center mass)
  5. Bullet-Resistant Vest (Optional)

Instructional Goal:

This 50-round course of fire simulates police off-duty pistol or revolver shooting. It is designed to be fired beginning at a low ready position. If guns are to be drawn from a holster, care should be taken that officers take their time to draw safely. Officers should draw on command and then come to a low ready position. Times are for shooting only and should not include the draw. Care should also be taken to make sure officers are capable of re-holstering safely and not sweeping their muzzle over their support hand when re-holstering. Course may be modified to suit various off-duty pistols/revolvers.  Course can be utilized with ankle, pocket, or shoulder holster-style draw. Care should be taken if clothing or jacket covers holster to be sure pistol does not snag during the draw.

Instructional Objectives:

At the conclusion of this block of instruction, the student will be able to:

Draw their off-duty handgun from a concealed carry holster

  • Load and reload their off-duty handgun quickly
  • Manipulate the controls of their off-duty handgun
  • Fire from a standing position, both one-handed (strong and weak) and two-handed
  • Fire while moving away (walking backward) from the target
  • Draw and fire quickly and on target

Lesson Plan:

1. Introduction

A. Introduce self.
B. State your qualifications.
C. Explain course of fire as described in Body.
D. Times may be extended one or two seconds at discretion of range officer if thumb strap or retention devices are used on off-duty holsters.
E. Course of fire is best when targets automatically edge and face in allotted time for each string of fire. Time limit puts pressure on officers to induce stress for realism. Static targets that only remain faced may be used.

2.  Explain why practice is necessary for drawing, focusing on front sight, and shooting quickly. All are important during an off-duty, deadly force confrontation.

A. Draw
Safe, finger off trigger until on target
Straight up from holster, punch out toward target

B. Focus on front sight
Target and rear sight out of focus, front sight in focus
Front sight puts pistol on target
Not a slow draw, slow sight picture, slow trigger pull; all done fast

C. Shoot quickly
Fast target presentation requires fast draw
Fast sight picture, shoot center mass shots quickly, take time to aim well for head shots
Fast trigger squeeze without jerking trigger and upsetting sights

Body:

A. Course of fire on the range

  1. Each officer will clear their off-duty handgun on the range and empty their magazines or cylinder.
  2. Each officer will then be issued a 50-round box of practice ammunition.
  3. Each officer will initially load 5 rounds in their handgun.
    A 5-round reload will be required for later stages.
  4. Each officer will safely load his/her handgun when on the range, at the command of the range officer, when about to begin the course of fire.
  5. At 3 yards, officers will be instructed on command to draw their off-duty handgun and then prepare to fire from the low ready position: 2 rounds in 4 seconds strong hand only (one-handed). On command, each officer will then fire a second string of 3 rounds in 5 seconds for a total of 5 rounds. Reload and come to a low ready with the handgun held in the weak hand (one-handed): 2 rounds in 4 seconds weak hand only (one-handed). On command, each officer will then fire a second string of 3 rounds in 5 seconds for a total of 5 rounds. (10 rounds total so far.)
  6. Reload and then starting at 3 yards from a low ready, each officer will be instructed on command to fire 5 rounds from a strong two-handed hold while walking backward, to the 5-yard line (no time limit). (15 rounds total so far)
  7. At 5 yards, each officer will be instructed to fire on command 5 rounds from the low ready from a two-handed grip. After a reload, each officer will again fire 5 rounds from the low ready on command while walking backward to the 7-yard line (no time limit). (25 rounds total so far)
  8. At 7 yards, officers will be instructed on command to draw their off-duty handgun and then prepare to fire from a low ready position: 2 rounds in 4 seconds strong hand only (one-handed). On command, each officer will then fire a second string of 3 rounds in 5 seconds for a total of 5 rounds. Reload and come to a low ready with the handgun held in the weak hand (one-handed): 2 rounds in 4 seconds weak hand only (one-handed). On command, each officer will then fire a second string of 3 rounds in 5 seconds for a total of 5 rounds.
  9. Reload and then starting at 7 yards from a low ready, each officer will be instructed on command to fire 5 rounds from a strong two-handed hold while walking backward, to the 10-yard line (no time limit). (40 rounds total so far)
  10. At the 10-yard line, each officer will fire on command from a low ready, 5 rounds, reload, and fire 5 more rounds with a two-handed hold in 15 seconds. (50 rounds total)
  11. Score target on 35 out of 50 rounds in center mass area system for passing score.

Conclusion

A. Questions

B. Thanks  PM

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