Historical Handgun Course (June 2022)

Back in June 2022 I co-taught a session of my Historical Handgun course with Tom Givens. Tom did a 4 hour lecture, similar to what he presented at the Master Instructor course. Due to summer heat we started the day on the range, shooting courses of fire from the 1910’s to the 2000’s.

Bo Wallace, one student in the course, brought vintage gear to use.

Bo dressed to shoot the 1940’s US Army pistol qual
rear view of 1940’s gear
For the 1920’s Fitzgerald qual, Bo had vintage cartridge pouches and classic wheelgun
Holster closeup

I had Bo pose for some action pics after we got done shooting the 1920’s qual.

Hipshooting the B21-X (Fitzgerald) target
One handed aimed shooting at distance

I’ve written about the development of the B21 to the B21X to the B27 in this previous blog post.

Video of me shooting the 1920’s qual we fired in class is here

During the class we shot part of the 1996 Border Patrol/INS pistol qual. The full qual is 72 rounds, with strings from 3 to 50 yards. Shot on the TQ-15 target, it’s a good and thorough test of pistol skills. Back in that day they were carrying Beretta DA/SA .40 caliber pistols.

INS 1996 course of fire
TQ-15 target
Part 1 of 1996 INS qual
Part 2 of 1996 INS qual
Part 3 of INS pistol qual

We also shot the 2013 Marine Military Pistol qualification test

During his presentation, Tom discussed the class “National Match” course of fire:

  • 10 rounds slow fire, 1 minute per shot, at 50 yards
  • 10 rounds, 2 strings of 5 shots, 20 secs per string at 25 yards
  • 10 rounds, 2 strings of 5 shots, 10 secs per string
  • 300 points possible. Course is shot on the B8 target
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NRA_Precision_Pistol

He showed an example of J. Henry Fitzgerald, in his 1930 book “Shooting”, firing using a two handed position that looked like the classic Weaver stance.

Read more about the history and technique of the Weaver stance here

Tom also discussed target development, including the Langrish limbless target, which had six 6″ circles (same size as a modern plate rack target, similar to 5.5″ B8 target center). This target was developed in the 1930’s.

My Historical Handgun course is available in 1/2 day (range only), 1 and 2-day versions, with the 2 day version including 8 hours of lecture and 8 hours on the range. Participants do not have to have vintage gear and can shoot all the drills with one handgun type, although those that have a variety of pistols and revolvers are encouraged bring a 1911, a DA/SA, a revolver and a striker fired pistol to get maximum fun out of the class.

I haven’t yet scheduled the 2023 Historical Handgun course at my home range, and I’m always interested in taking that class on the road.