View Full Version : Handgun qualification Question for Law Enforcement Officers.

January 12, 2011, 12:39 PM
I have a question for LEO handgun qualification. Is it possible to get a perfect score of 300 during this test?

The reason I ask is I have a fellow co work that is trying to get a job with a local PD. He swears to have gotten a perfect score of 300 on this test. But also he is a BS'er at times to.

Steve in PA
January 12, 2011, 12:51 PM
Qualification is nothing more than proving proficiency.

If he is a good shooter, then yes he can certainly score a 300/300.

January 12, 2011, 01:07 PM
Of course it depends on the course of fire, but in my LE firearm instructor days, I've seen several perfect scores.

What does it mean...............not much.

An example, I was doing our monthy qualification one night when one offcer came in, shot clean...............20 minutes later, back on the street, he made a traffic stop. As he aproached the car the bandit jumps out with a pistol and fires off around, our officer drew and fired just like he was suppose to and hit the tail light of the bandits car. He was about 15 ft from the bandit, and the tail light was about 4 feet to the right.

(it did scare the bandit who through his gun down and gave up, no one was hurt. And before you ask the officer didnt miss on purpose, he was trying to hit the bandit).

You just never know, cleans on the range don't mean a lot.

January 12, 2011, 01:12 PM
lol! Well he thinks that he is Hot Sheet! lol! And practically knows nothing about guns. Other than he gets great deals on guns. Once bought a Kimber 9mm for a $100. Im like does Kimber make a 9mm and was the gun Hot!?

Capt Charlie
January 12, 2011, 01:22 PM
It depends on the course of fire. On some of the old 25 yard courses like the Rhode Island PPC, sure!

One note of possible interest: Most departments today are moving away from "keeping score", and are going to simply pass/fail, as very high or very low scores can be used against you in court.

It's not damning in itself, but it can be used to throw a little doubt to a jury.

January 12, 2011, 01:29 PM
Because everyone knows that if you practice enough to be good with your firearm you must just be aching to kill someone!

Deputy Dog
January 12, 2011, 02:57 PM
Cpt. Charlie is correct. If you score a perfect weapons qual, and you are out on the street, a gun fight errupts, one of your bullets doesnt hit the intended target, huge law suit because of that perfect score on paper. Lawyers love that kind of case. Mo money in their pocket's....


January 12, 2011, 04:32 PM
If your "friend" is looking for a career in law enforcement, perhaps with a local police department, he should be less concerned with this pistolcraft and more concerned with his mental game, physical preparation, and getting his personal affairs in order. If he isn't offered a position, it won't be because he can't shoot.

Deputy Dog
January 12, 2011, 04:45 PM
You can expect a law suite anyway, but it might be more in favor of the plantiff because if he can hit the paper target 50/50 why did he miss being such a good shot? When you and I know why he did, but we are not the sheeple sitting on the jury....


Deputy Dog
January 12, 2011, 04:51 PM
Amen Booker- thats why we say "the Job isn't for everyone".


Glenn Dee
January 12, 2011, 07:52 PM
My department had mandatory qualification twice a year. Outdoors during the spring and summer, indoor during the fall and winter. Qualifcation was simple. 50 rounds each counting for two points. To easy huh? lol. During the indoor cycle you also spent a couple of hours in a classroom reviewing tactics, and past department shootings. On the line you had to fire 100 rounds before you could attempt at qualifying. You got two chances to qualify.If you couldnt you'd have to come back for remdial help. If you continued to fail your firearms was taken from you, and you get on the so called rubber gun squad. after a time you could be terminated for not being able to shoot.

During the outdoor cycle you spent about four hours in a classroom, and training excercises. (I always liked to play the bad guy) Some force on force using primer firing guns. The range time was spent between several ranges including one set up as street scenes, one with moving targets, and a traditional set up shooting at contact distance, three yards, seven yards, and twenty five yards. The minimum score for qualifiction was 70 out of 100.
In addition to the practice and lectures we shot up all our street ammo, and was issued fresh ammo. Everyones gun was inspected by an intructor, and sent to an armorer if need be. At the ehd of the day everyone had to clean and lubricate their gun as a class. The entire day lasted eight hours.

In addition to service pistol/revolver qualification Officers, detectives,and supervisors would have to spend a day training with, and qualifying with any other weapon they were authorized. Shotgun's (stevens 311, Ithica 37, and now mossburg pump) Long guns... (Ar16, remington 700, ) Fully automatic weapons (M-4, AC556, H&K MP5, Who knows what else they have in inventory) Undercover officers also had a third day to qualify with their U/C guns (Dept issued walther PP, or what ever they chose to get with personal funds)

And yet another day at the range for tactical training for those asigned to special units, and details to train as a team. (I was assigned to a dynamic entry team) Tactics constantly evolved, and were adjusted for a better operation.

One thing folks should understand is that firearms represent the smallest portion of the average police officers duties. Cops for the most part are NOT firearms experts, or crack shots. But I believe that Officers have a responsibility to the public they serve, their families, their partners, and themselves to be as proficient with their firearm as possible.

Two things an officer can NOT make a mistake with is his testimony, and his firearm. Misuse of either will leave shattered lives, and damning consiquences.

Glenn D

January 14, 2011, 02:07 AM
Sure, depending upon the course of fire, it's certainly possible to shoot a "perfect" score on a qualification course. (I've done it a bunch of times and I've seen it done a bunch of times, by different officers, on different courses of fire, in different agencies, and several times by police recruits I was training)

What does that prove? Maybe that their basic marksmanship skills are pretty good. It does not indicate how they'll do tactically, or how they will perform under stress, and it does not necessarily indicate how they might do on another course of fire where different skills are tested.

But, the first place to start is always to practice so that you can perform at a high level on any "qualification" course that you may be tested on: police/military/security/CCW permit, etc.

And the idea that shooting a perfect score will somehow get you in trouble if you are later involved in a shooting is an old wives tale repeated by people who should know better, or used by the baffled and the under-motivated and undisciplined as an excuse to perform badly.

In a shooing incident, the primary thing that will be evaluated, in both a criminal and civil trial, is this: Did you act correctly based on the information known to you at the time? That's it.

For example: If some goof draws a realistic looking BB gun and points it at you in the dark, and you shoot, your use of force may well be ruled to be correct, because you actions will only be evaluated based on the information known to you at the time.

If you are justified to shoot, and you do so, and you hit a bystander through your error, you have a problem, regardless of your qualification scores or any training that you may have received. Unusual circumstances and a legal concept called "greater danger theory" may somewhat protect you, but you have to use an affirmative defense and explain all that.

I defy anyone to come up with a specific incident, with specific documentation or a case citation, where the score on a qualification course had anything to do with the outcome of a criminal or civil case.

January 14, 2011, 02:18 AM
There are examples of some qualification courses in this thread:


(And Kimber does indeed make a couple of models in 9mm -- I know a few guys who have them to shoot in the "Single Stack" division of USPSA (that division is all single action auto pistols with a magazine capacity of less than 10 rounds. Such a gun would also work in ESP division in IDPA. Unlikely that he bought one for only $100, however)

January 15, 2011, 02:23 PM
As an LEO INstructor I've seen many perfect scores on the range , all it proves is that you can shoot paper targets

Single Six
January 16, 2011, 09:19 AM
Not much I can add to this, I guess...I'll just say that I've shot a perfect score many times on qualification day over the years. Recently, I shot a perfect score on both pistol and shotgun, day and night shoots, on qualification day, but none of this really matters much. As has been said, all it proves is that if I'm ever attacked by a B27 silhouette target, I'll really kick butt. However, in response to the original question: At my agency, not shooting a perfect score will not prevent you from being hired. HOWEVER, if you can't get a passing score on your shooting, you most certainly will not be hired.

January 17, 2011, 04:25 AM
Pretty easy to qual clean if you know you weapon and spend any kind of time on the range between quals. Our agency requires quals every 6 months.

I consistently shoot 99's and 100's on our 25 yard quals. Does that mean that in a gunfight I will hit the target 99 percent of the time or better? No.... During those kind of stressors you would be lucky to get a 20-30 percent hit ratio.

He should be more concerned with knowing criminal offenses and how to write a detailed report. 99.99 percent of the time an LEO's greatest weapon is his pen/computer and knowledge of the law.