The MPOETC Backup Gun Qual – Lock and Load

I’ve become quite enthralled by the idea of using police backup firearm quals for concealed carry training. Most police quals are great training but aren’t focused on concealed carry. Backup or off-duty qualifications are focused on small guns that are typically carried in a concealed manner. The MPOETC Backup Gun Qual is the latest I’ve discovered.

I’ve actually tried their standard handgun, patrol rifle, and shotgun qualification and found the MPOETC quals to be quite challenging and difficult all around. When I stumbled across their backup weapon’s qual I knew I had to give it a try and present it to you fine folks. The MPOETC released the qual in 2022, so it seems to be quite new.

Diving Into the MPOETC Backup Gun Qual

First, all we need to complete the qual is fifty rounds. In terms of firearms, you’ll never shoot more than five rounds at a time. This makes it easy to use most J frame-type revolvers and small automatics. This qual is aimed at your typical pocket .380, and snub nose revolver, not necessarily a Glock 19. You will need to reload once, so you’ll need two magazines or a speed loader or speed strip for revolvers.

We will obviously need a target. The Backup gun qual calls for a TQ 21 target to properly score the shoot. However, you can pretty much use whatever target since you aren’t actually qualifying as a police officer. Regardless of which target you use, draw two six-inch circles on the bottom of the target or staple some 3×5-inch cards to the target. You’ll need some form of barrier to act as a piece of cover. I used a blue barrel.

The qual has an admin notes section where it talks about holsters and carry positions. It states that the weapon will be drawn from a waist holster or fired from the low ready. They mention safety requirements, and I imagine with multiple shooters, it would be challenging. However, since it’s just you and maybe a friend, you can carry it any way you want. I carried in a Crossbreed Pocket Rocket. Don’t forget a shot timer!

Taking Your Backup Gun To the Range

The MPOETC Backup gun qual is made up of seven total stages. We’ll start at 1 yard from the target and move all the way back to 15 yards. Every stage is timed, and I set a random timer on my shot timer to signal when to draw. Reload as necessary between different phases of stages or different stages.

Let’s start shooting.

Stage 1 – 1 Yard – 4 Rounds Fired

At the command to fire (or beep of a shot timer), draw and fire two rounds center mass in two seconds from a close retention position.

Repeat this drill one more time to end the stage.

Stage 2 – 3 Yards – 6 Shots Fired

At the beep, shooters will take one step to the left or right and fire three rounds center mass in two seconds.

Repeat this stage, but take a step in the opposite direction to complete the stage.

Stage 3 – 5 yards – 5 Rounds Fired

At the beep, the shooter will draw and fire two rounds center mass, then a final round to the head. The shooter will then fire two rounds at the marked hip area of the TQ 21 target. You have 8 seconds total.

(If not using a TQ 21 target, use your improvised smaller targets.)

Stage 4 – 7 Yards – 10 Rounds Fired

Shooters will start at the low ready with their firearm in their dominant hand. At the beep, the shooter will aim and fire five rounds center mass in ten seconds.

This stage of the backup gun qual has a second phase, and you’ll swap hands and now shoot five rounds in ten seconds center mass.

Stage 5 – 10 Yards – 5 Rounds Fired

Alright, that target might be looking awfully far away at ten yards. At the beep, the shooter will draw their handgun and fire two rounds center mass, then 1 round to the head, then fire two rounds to either of your 6-inch circles. You have 12 seconds to make it happen.

Stage 6 – 15 Yards – 10 Rounds Fired

Alright, we’ll need our cover for this stage. Set it up roughly one step to the right or left of you. At the beep, you’ll fire two rounds at the target, then step left or right to get behind cover and take cover. Then fire 3 rounds from behind cover. You have ten seconds to make it happen.

For the second phase, you’ll need to repeat the same drill, but this time, you’ll take a step in the opposite direction.

Stage 7 – 15 Yards – 10 Rounds

Alright, we are almost done with the backup gun qual. This is the longest part of the qual. At the beep, draw your weapon and conceal yourself behind cover. Lean to the right side of the cover and fire five rounds. Reload if necessary, and then lean to the left side of the cover and fire five rounds. You have 20 seconds to fire all ten rounds.

Carry One

We are done, unload, show clear, and paste ‘em up. The qual is over. It is quiet challenging and turns out to be fairly difficult to shoot well. It will certainly test your capabilities in drawing, shooting, and using cover with speed and accuracy. That’s why it’s an excellent piece of guided training for a concealed carrier. Give it a spin and let us know what you think about this qual below.

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Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.

He serves as an NRA-certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.


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2 thoughts on “The MPOETC Backup Gun Qual – Lock and Load”

  1. Why do I continue to buy CB holsters? As a lefty, getting a good IWB holster with an FBI cant and an optic is next to impossible. I was reminded of this after getting a Springfield XDM Elite. None of your major competitors offer such a holster. With CB, not only do I get the holster I want, but I get to customize it. I don’t mind waiting a few weeks to get it because when it comes, it is perfect. Nobody matches that.

  2. Apologies if I missed it, but it might be useful for non-Pennsylvanians (and maybe even for some in the Keystone State) to explain the MPOETC acronym. I am a firearm instructor in PA, so I know about the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, but I am sure a lot of folks across the country don’t. Only a minor suggestion, otherwise it’s a good article.

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