FBI Practical Pistol Course (1946)

A definitive article, from the FBI’s newsletter, explaining their Practical Pistol Course in detail. I’ve written about that course of fire in multiple previous posts

Thanks to Chris Baker of Lucky Gunner for finding this gem and sharing with me so I can share with you!

The FBI PPC course was widely used in law enforcement training from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. It’s one of the most difficult, mainly because of the 50 and 60 yard strings, but also because of the hip shooting and loose-rounds revolver reload required at the 7 yard line. The classic target used for the FBI PPC is now called the B-21, and it’s still available for purchase. The course of fire requires a barricade, and an outdoor range where drawing, shooting from prone and hipshooting is allowed. If you are shooting the course of fire with a semiauto pistol, to simulate the loose rounds revolver reload, put loose rounds in your pocket and refill your empty magazine with the loose rounds, on the clock. (This is what the FBI required Jeff Cooper to do in the 1960’s when he was trying to convince them to switch to the 1911.)

Is the FBI PPC course particularly relevant to defensive handgun skills? Modern law enforcement training typically stops at 25 yards, and includes a lot more aimed fire shooting at intermediate distances from 3 to 15 yards. Testing your skills at 25, 50 and 60 yards is valuable for those concerned with long range active shooter response in schools, churches and public areas.