Skills Maintenance and Evaluation: Speed and Accuracy

Part 2:   FBI Q Course (Modified)

The FBI Firearms Qualification Course, or Q Course is the scored 60 round evaluation the Bureau uses to establish the minimum acceptable firearms proficiency for its special agents.

It’s an easy straight forward course that focuses on close quarters shooting, draw from concealment, and shots under time.

For our purposes here I’ve modified the course to remove the last drill reducing the required rounds from 60 to 50 and the required passing score from 48/60 to 40/50. The final drill requires use of a barrier and that additional range equipment is more difficult to accommodate on conventional ranges. 100 rounds is also a nice even number at two complete standard boxes of ammo.

The 80% minimum accuracy standard is still enforced for a passing score.

You will need a QIT-99 “bowling pin” style torso target (pictured above). If you can’t use a QIT-99 the more widely available USPSA style targets make an acceptable substitute.

For the QIT-99 any hits inside the large solid outline are scored, hits in the head box or center torso box are ideal but they score the same. For the USPSA target score all hits in the A, B, and C zones. 40 hits are required for a passing score.

There are four stages fired. Each stage has a number of timed drills so set out your shot timer and set it up for par time.

Stage 1: 3 yards (9 feet)

12 rounds total

Set timer for 3.00 seconds. Draw and fire strong hand only 3 rounds in 3 seconds. Repeat the drill once.

Set the timer for 8.00 seconds. Draw and fire 3 rounds strong hand only. Transition to your opposite hand. Fire 3 rounds opposite hand (weak/support hand) only. Time limit 8 seconds.

Stage 2: 5 yards (15 feet), Stages 2, 3, and 4 are fired two handed.

12 rounds total

Set timer for 3.00 seconds. Draw and fire 3 rounds in 3 seconds. Repeat the drill three more times.

Stage 3: 7 yards (21 feet)

16 rounds total. 1 spare magazine/loader required.

Set timer for 4.00 seconds. Draw and fire 4 rounds in 4 seconds. Repeat the drill once.

Set timer for 8.00 seconds. Draw and fire 4 rounds, reload, fire 4 rounds in 8 seconds.

Stage 4: 15 yards (45 feet)

Set timer for 6.00 seconds. Draw and fire 3 rounds. Repeat the drill once.

Set timer for 8.00 seconds. Draw and fire 4 rounds.


For the purposes of this evaluation and with the emphasis on accuracy score hits as 1 point each and misses as 0. Using the timer you should be able to see any shots that were fired after the drill time limits. If those shots hit count them as 1/2 points. Any adjusted score of 40 or more is a pass. A hit, even slow, is worth more than a miss.

To Conclude

Completing both Dot Torture and the Modified Q Course on a regular basis, once every 1-3 months, will give you a continuous objective grade on your current proficiency. Both exercises will allow the shooter to identify deficiencies (off/weak hand shooting for example) and correct them with focused practice. The exercises also allow the user to test and evaluate their choice of firearm, holster, and supporting gear to identify strengths and deficiencies in the current system and make improvements.

The objective nature of this 100 round evaluation takes our personal biases and our natural tendency to exaggerate our skills in our own minds and eliminates them. Numbers don’t lie.

As we improve our numbers we are improving our skills. Period.

Let’s hit the range.

Keith is a US Marine and served 6 years, he left active service as a Corporal from the infantry. He was certified as an NRA instructor on December 31 2009, and has been teaching classes in the Kalamazoo MI area. Keith became an instructor to give his marines an edge shooting, recognizing the Marine Corps couldn't push the same training institutionally as could be delivered at a small unit level. Serving as a company level instructor in tandem with his other roles, his love of the shooting community grew as he taught with Viper Security and the Marines, he now devotes his available time to learning and sharing the best available information for all aspects of the shooting community… occasionally interrupted by the need to chase after venison in November MCRGO and NRA Certified Instructor NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer