Classic Pistol Qualification Test


This is our classic basic pistol skills test. It requires scoring hits with both rapid and slow fire against targets at known distances. This event may be fired at 7 yards against scaled targets or 25 yards against full-size targets.


This skills test is based on the traditional WW2 M1911 qualification course of fire. We have simplified the scoring. The original WW2 field manual has variants for firing when mounted on horseback as well as from foot; as much fun as the horseback version sounded like, our version is based on the dismounted option.

The WW2 marksmanship standards emphasized accuracy over speed, so you will notice fire at longer ranges than is common today. This is a little different from some more modern skills evaluations, however, for a basic class it fits perfectly with our focus on sound marksmanship fundamentals. With a firm foundation making “Hits Count,” it is easy to add speed or additional skills at shorter ranges against larger targets.


Firing is generally conducted on targets which are equivalent to a 10.5″ diameter circle.  When fired at a fixed 7 yard line, scaled targets are used.

Practice targets are available to Sustaining Members at the Member’s Resources page.


Stage Distance Position Time Rounds
1 25 yds Rapid Fire 0:15 5
2 15 yds Rapid Fire 0:11 5
3 10 yds Quick Fire 0:05 per pair 6 (2 x 3)
4 25 yds Slow Fire 2:00 4 (1 x 4)


All firing is from the “ready” position. Shooters may use a two-handed grip or one-handed grip as they prefer. Stage 3 is repeated three times for a total of six rounds fired as controlled pairs.  On stage four, shooters return to the ready between each shot to ensure a consistent, repeatable shooting stance and fundamentals are being used.

Special Procedures & Equipment Notes

  • Any drop-safe pistol may be used. A five-round capacity is required.
  • Generally there are no “classes.” At the Event Director’s discretion, classes may be established for any or all of the following:
    • .22 LR vs. Centerfire Pistol
    • One-handed vs. Two-handed grip
    • Optics vs. Irons


Hits count for one point.

Marksman Sharpshooter Expert Master
12/20 16/20 18/20 20/20


Shooters who are consistently scoring as “sharpshooters” on this event are well prepared to try their hand at a wide variety of pistol sports, to include CMP Service Pistol and NRA pistol activities. These score cutoffs are based on the WW2-era qualification standards.


  • 7 Yards: In order to avoid moving the firing line, and to allow use at ranges that only allow firing at fixed distances, we have a variant with scaled targets intended for use at 7 yards only.
  • Stage Four:  We have a variant that uses a smaller aiming area for stage four which is fired at 10 yards.  This allows the course of fire to be used on shorter 50 foot pistol bays.
  • Modern Variant: We have a modernized variant that emphasizes firing in shorter time periods against targets at closer ranges. This variant still uses many of the same fundamental skills. This variant may be used at some two-day or intermediate skill level events.