Back in September 2022 I was able to get a copy of the carry permit shooting qualification course for Kauai, Hawaii. Penny and I had just visited there and made friends with a couple that owned an outdoor range and taught classes. Here’s the course of fire, with some videos of me shooting it, with analysis and commentary.
Course of Fire
The instructions are unclear. Some strings require drawing and firing, others are just marked “strong hand” or “weak hand”, with no explanation as to whether drawing is part of the time limit. Some strings have no time limit. The specific target to be used is not identified in the instructions either. I used an IDPA target when I shot the test, but I expect the giant B-27 (like we use in Texas) would likely meet their requirements also. Compared to the dozens and dozens of police and private sector firearms qualification tests I’ve analyzed, studying the past 100 years of firearms training, this one might be the most poorly designed. It would be challenging to shoot the test with a 5 shot .38 snub, but the glacially slow (non existent) par times for the 6 shot strings make it still possible. A 75% score is required to pass it, which should be achievable for anyone capable of slow fire target shooting.
- Standing, draw and fire 2 rounds in 3 seconds (3 times)
- Standing, strong hand only, fire 6 rounds in 25 seconds
- Standing, strong hand only, fire 6 rounds with no time limit
The course of fire starts out with a skill we test in our Three Seconds Or Less and Minimum Competency Assessment: basic draw and fire. 2 shots in 3 seconds is a reasonable minimum standard.
6 shots in 25 sec, and 6 shots with no time limit, at 3 yards, though, makes no sense at all. Some strong hand only shooting at 3 yards is a good idea, but where the time limit came from is a mystery to me, since it’s unlike any qualification course from the past 100 years that I’ve studied.
- Standing, draw and fire 1 shot in 2 seconds, 6 times
- Standing, draw and fire 2 shots in 2 seconds, 3 times
- Standing, fire 6 rounds in 30 seconds
The 7 yard part starts out with something harder than anything in the 3 yard part: one shot in 2 seconds. Then it gets harder: 2 shots in 2 seconds, starting from the holster. The test just went from requiring 2 shots in 3 seconds at 3 yards to 2 shots in 2 seconds at 7 yards. Historically, shooters are given more time when target distance increases. Seems like this should have been 2 shots in 4 seconds. And another string of 6 rounds in 30 seconds makes no sense unless the target is a B8 bullseye center.
- Kneeling, strong hand only, 6 rounds, no time limit
- Standing behind barricade, weak hand, 6 rounds, no time limit
- Standing behind barricade, strong hand, 6 rounds, 70 seconds
Historically, kneeling strings aren’t shot strong hand only, and one handed shooting at longer distances disappeared from most qualification courses by 1970. I may have misinterpreted the vague directions, and what was intended was two handed shooting similar to what is done in PPC courses of fire. I shot the drill one handed, not braced against the barricade. And I forgot to shoot strong hand only from the kneeling position.
Feedback from our instructor friends on Kauai is that people are able to pass with 75% or greater, with some failing to make the 2 shots in 2 seconds par time at 7 yards. But with 75% as the passing score, dropping 3 shots out of 54 is not a big problem.
I can’t recommend this qualification course of fire as anything but a novelty – something to run on a practice day where you want to do something out of the ordinary, with lots of emphasis on slow fire target shooting.