You might notice that there is a new “Standards” tab now on Reflex Handgun, so I will explain the reasoning for this:
Over the past several years it has become common for well-known firearms instructors to have some form of tiered standards, the performance of which at the highest level in class usually earns a patch, a coin, a button, or some such thing. The original, and still the most creative, of this trend was Todd Green’s fast coin, which would be earned by anyone in the class who could perform a clean, sub-five-second, FAST in the class. Since then, the instructors that fancy themselves performance driven have adopted a similar model.
I have nothing against such instructor specific “standards,” as these provide a gauge by which to measure your performance compared to top level shooters who earn the badges. However, there also tends to be a trend in which instructors just turn whatever they are particularly good at into a high-level standard. So, there is that.
Rather than offering a single, or only several, drills with measures of performance as a coin or patch, I am more interested in offering a comprehensive series of drills and tests that form a thorough assessment of all aspects of shooting fundamentals that pertain to defensive pistolcraft. After wrestling with this for quite some time, I have landed on sixteen different drills/tests that do exactly that. Sorry, you can’t cover the gamut in only three or four drills. Likewise, it does not take fifty drills. The sixteen I offer up are comprehensive in defensive shooting fundamental skills. There is no movement or decision making built into these standards, rather, only the mechanics of shooting.
My proposed Competency Standards for these drills are a validation of competent shooting and gun handling. The vast majority of concealed carriers, and even law enforcement officials, can’t make the Competency Standards on these drills. However, with some dedicated training and practice, they can be met, and a shooter who can make the Competency Standard on all of these drills is far more accomplished than most, and is certainly a capable pistol shooter.
My proposed Advanced Standards are, indeed, advanced. An individual needs to be a top-level shooter to consistently make these Advanced Standard scores on these drills. Therefore, they serve as a goal to reach for the shooting enthusiast.
These are the sixteen drills/tests that I primarily use to assess my own performance and skill development, and they are the drills/tests I utilize for teaching and assessment.
I hope you find this set of standards helpful, it provides a lot to work with. Give them a try.