COURSE OF FIRE: Modified Positional Pistol Shooting

By Warren Wilson, Enid, OK Police Department

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

Required Items and Materials:

  1. Read this issue’s article, “Positional Shooting.”
  2. Silhouette targets with 8 ½” x 14” center mass or similar.
  3. Officers need two magazines and duty belt/holster.
  4. Total of 25 rounds (shoot course twice for total of 50 rounds).

Instructional Goal:
The goal of this course is to perform real-world scenarios on the range for firing from various unconventional positions.

Instructional Objectives:
This drill will affirm an officer’s ability to return effective fire from unusual positions they may incur, depending on their environmental conditions and unusual situations.

Lesson Plan:

  1. Introduction
    1. Introduce self
    2. State your qualifications
    3. Explain course of fire as described in Body
  2. Explain why it’s important to train from non-standard positions.
    1. Officers instinctively move rearward when being fired upon and can fall.
    2. Officers may need to fire prone for long-range hits or when there is no available cover or concealment.
    3. Officers may need to fire one-handed because of an injury or when their other hand is busy.
    4. Number of rounds fired will be two to five depending on the distance and position. Command to fire is, “GUN!” to simulate a sudden confrontation with an armed assailant (as oppossed to commands of, “Up” or “Go” or “Fire” or a beep/whistle. Remind officers that “GUN!” does not always mean “SHOOT!” on the street; the behavior of the person with the gun must be included in the decision-making process.


  1. Course of Fire on the range
    1. At 3-yard line, officer starts in supine (flat on back) position with pistol in hand, assumes “Overturned Turtle” on back and slowly fires three rounds. Repeat twice for a total of 6 rounds.
    2. At 3-yard line, upon the command of, “GUN!” officer draws and fires one round, simulating an injury to the strong hand, transitions to the weak hand, and fires three more rounds. Repeat twice for a total of 8 rounds fired.
    3. At 15-yard line, officer starts seated or standing. Upon command of, “GUN!” officer moves to a prone position and uses the “Golf Grip” and fires three rounds. Repeat twice for a total of 6 rounds fired.
    4. At 25-yard line (or farther if available), officer starts in the prone position with pistol in “Golf Grip.” Upon command of, “GUN!” officer fires 5 rounds.
    5. Repeat for another 25 rounds to total 50 rounds.
  2. Scoring is Pass/Fail, percentage of hits in the center mass area (usually 70–75%)


  1. Questions
  2. Thanks PM

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