As some of you may know, I believe it’s a good thing for the Armed Citizen to periodically shoot some standard courses of fire as a way to track your progress and see just how good you really are. In the past, I’ve shot the IDPA Classifier as well as the new(ish) FBI Pistol Qualification Course. I promise I’ll get to some others in the future, but today we’re going to briefly revisit the FBI Qual. I think it’s important to occasionally re-shoot the same course of fire as a way of measuring progress. I also think the FBI Qual is a particularly good one to run for legal reasons; if you ever find yourself defending a justified shooting in court, wouldn’t it be nice to demonstrate your commitment to safely and responsibly carrying a gun to the jury by telling them that you passed the same course of fire that FBI Agents are required to pass? It could be worth your while to hit the range with a buddy (or a certified firearms instructor), shoot the course of fire, and have your witness sign and date your target.

On top of wanting to re-shoot to test my own skills, I’ve been experimenting with different pistol sight setups. I wanted to try shooting against my old scores with my new sighting setup to see if I can find a quantifiable difference. Now I know it’s bad science to manipulate two variables at once, but nobody ever said I was a good scientist, either. Before we move on to my new results, you may want to give the old FBI Pistol Qual video a watch:


The Course of Fire

The course of fire is listed below. I’ve also made a .pdf file you can download and print out by clicking this link. It’s a very simple course of fire that only requires a gun, (2) magazines, a holster, (60) rounds, (1) QIT-99 target, and a shot timer (or a friend and a stopwatch).

New FBI Pistol Qualification 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
• Passing score for Instructors is 54 out of 60
• Consider shooting the 25y stage first in order to see whether you missed the target entirely with any shots.

Stage 1: 3 yard line (12 Rounds Total)
• 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

Stage 2: 5 yard line (12 Rounds Total)
• 3 rounds in 3 seconds
• 3 rounds in 3 seconds
• 3 rounds in 3 seconds
• 3 rounds in 3 seconds

Stage 3: 7 yard line (16 Rounds Total)
• 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.

Stage 4: 15 yard line (10 Rounds Total)
• 3 rounds in 6 seconds
• 3 rounds in 6 seconds
• 4 rounds in 8 seconds

Stage 5: 25 yard line (10 Rounds Total)
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


The Results

As you saw in the video, when I fired this Qual a year ago, I passed with an abysmal 50 out of 60 points. Though that was a passing score, it was far too low for such an easy course of fire. When I shot this course of fire this time around (10 May 2017), I shot it twice back-to-back: first with my Glock 19 (plain black rear and painted tritium front), and then with my Glock 17 (plain black rear and fiber optic front). I started with the 25y shots so that I could see whether I missed the target entirely with any of them, and then went up to the 3y line and shot the rest of the course of fire in order after that. Using both guns, I scored a perfect 60/60 in one try on each run.

Perfect score on the FBI Pistol Qualifcation Course

A perfect score with both my Glock 19 and Glock 17. Course of fire was shot from concealment with the guns carried in the appendix position.

I don’t know whether the improvement in my score can be attributed more to my own improvement or the new sight setup. I can say this: those long range shots were certainly much easier than the last time I shot them, and the new sights definitely provided a better sight picture. In truth, the better score can probably be attributed to a combination of both hardware and software upgrades.

I highly recommend you get out and put your skills to the test using this or another course of fire. This FBI Pistol Qualification Course is a great place to start. Oh, and if this course seems too tough to you, or if you need to raise your score, then sign up for a tactical shooting class from ATA. We’re holding an ATA Pistol I class this month in London, KY.

Click here for ATA Pistol I + KY CCDW

Click here to sign up for our next class!

Benjamin Adams is a Level 10 Paladin with an 18 in Charisma and over 100 Hit Points. He gained most of his XP by serving in the Marine Corps as an Infantry Officer, where he deployed to Afghanistan as a Rifle Platoon Commander. He has been training in combative shooting and tactics for the past 11 years, and teaching these topics for the past 8 years. He currently resides in Southeastern Kentucky where he spends time doing cardio, powerlifting, fighting fire, reading, and just generally training for the fight.