Course of fire: Static handgun shooting challenge

Depending upon restrictive range rules, here’s a fun and challenging static course of fire that I made up for you to try next time you’re at the range (and if you don’t like it, then I didn’t make it up).

Seriously though, whether you’re an advanced shooter or a newbie, this course can challenge you.  The key here is speed and accuracy, two vital principles needed to win a gunfight.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1.  Shot timer

You can always download a shot timer for cheap or free on your phone or have a buddy holler “time” if you haven’t invested in a shot timer yet.  If you really want to enhance your experience, though, buy an actual shot timer.  They’re worth it.

2.  B27 target (a bullseye target the size of B27 ring target is optional)

The B27 silhouette will challenge most folks since there are rings and a bullseye.  If you think you’re a real hot shot, you can always buy a B34, which is basically a half sized B27 silhouette target.  Good luck with that!

3.  Handgun

You can use either a semi-auto pistol or a revolver for this course of fire.  Remember, the longer the sight radius (the distance between front and rear sight), the better it is for longer shots.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you shoot a snub nose revolver or a pistol with a really small barrel for this course of fire.

4.  18 rounds

Make sure you have enough rounds loaded for each stage of fire.  There are no reloads or malfunctions incorporated into this drill.

5.  Holster (optional)

For shooters who are safe and comfortable drawing and shooting from the holster, and if the range rules allow you to draw and shoot, doing this drill from the holster can be great fun and training.  I opt for strong side draws, either OWB or IWB.  Just beware of NDs.  Be safe.  Safety is paramount.

Warning! Remember to keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.

Note: If you cannot draw and shoot from the holster for whatever reason, start from the low ready position.  For more of a challenge, if you’re starting from low ready, take one second off each time listed below.

Also, remember these five tips for quick and accurate shots on target.

Static handgun course of fire

Starting at 4 yards, shoot 2 shots in 2 seconds. (Note: If the range rules mandate a 7 yard minimum shooting distance, shoot 2 shots in 3 seconds.)

At 5 yards, shoot 4 shots in 2 seconds. (Note: If the range rules prohibit that distance, at 7 yards shoot 4 rounds in 3 seconds.)

At 7 yards, shoot 3 shots in 2 seconds.

At 10 yards, shoot 2 shots in 2.5 seconds.

At 15 yards, shoot 1 round in 2.5 seconds.

At 15 yards, shoot 3 rounds in 3.5 seconds.

And, finally, at 25 yards, shoot 3 rounds in 7 seconds.


9-inch ring or “X” is 5 points.

8-inch ring is 4 points.

Other hits on the silhouette are worth 2 points.

(Option: Minus 5 points for shooting off the silhouette and/or 5 points for shooting after the timer.)

90 points total.

Challenge yourself or your buddies.  And, when you get done, try it again.  Remember, repetition is the law of learning.

Have fun and be safe.

Safety warning: Jeffrey Denning is a long time professional in the art of self-defense and any training methods or information he describes in his articles are intended to be put into practice only by serious shooters with proper training.  Please read, but do not attempt anything posted here without first seeking out proper training.

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