The New Florida Police Handgun Qualifications

As a proud and noble Florida man, I’ve shot the Florida Department of Law Enforcement handgun qualification shoot and did not walk away impressed. It was super easy to finish, and ultimately, I didn’t see it as an adequate skill test for those who carry a firearm as part of their profession. I first heard rumors they were putting together a new qual late last year, and I’ve finally found the course of fire for Florida’s new police handgun qualification. With that in mind, let’s go shoot it! 

What We’ll Need For the Police Handgun Qualification 

The course obviously requires a handgun, and with the FDLE Police Handgun Qualification, it’s generally expected to be a duty-sized handgun. You’ll also need a holster. Police typically carry a mid-ride retention holster, but I don’t think that’s necessary for the average Joe. If you shoot this qual as a part of your training, then you can use your standard concealment holster. You’ll need two magazines and a mag pouch to carry your spare. The course of fire requires 38 rounds of ammunition and the B21e target. 

You’ll need a shot timer or at least a par time app on your phone. I used the FBI Q Target with an IPSC-sized A-zone attached to the center. The IPSC A zone is smaller than the standard 4 and 5 zones of the B21E, so it’s a higher standard and acceptable as far as I’m concerned. With that out of the way, let’s dig into Florida’s new Police Handgun Qualification. 

Stage 1 – 1 Yard Line – Six Rounds Fired 

Stage 1 takes place at the 1-yard line, so get nice and comfy with your paper target. Make your weapon ready and holster. At the beep of your timer, you will draw, assume a close retention position with one hand, and fire three rounds. You’ll then take a big step back, assume a standard two-handed shooting position, and fire three more rounds. You have a total of six seconds for this stage of the Florida Police Handgun Qualification. 

Stage 2 – 3 Yard Line – Four Rounds Required 

At the three-yard line, you’ll start with your weapon in a compressed-ready position. At the beep, you’ll take a step to the left and fire two rounds into the target in three seconds. Reassume a compressed ready position or an inside ready position, and then come back to the centerline. At the start signal, take a step to the right and then fire two rounds in three seconds. 

Stage 3 – 3 Yard Line – Six Rounds Fired 

Begin with your pistol holstered and loaded. At the start signal, you’ll draw your handgun, step to the left, and fire three rounds with your dominant hand only. Shooters have five seconds to accomplish this. 

Recover back to the centerline of the target, and swap the gun to your support hand. At the start signal, step to the right and fire three rounds. You still have five seconds, but you don’t have to draw. Take a little extra time to make your shots count. The Florida Police Handgun Qualification gives you plenty of time to get this done. 

Stage 4 – 7 Yard Line – Four Rounds Fired 

At the seven-yard line, ensure your pistol is holstered and loaded. At the start signal, you’ll draw and step to the right while engaging the threat with two rounds. You have five seconds. 

Come back to the centerline of the target and reholster your weapon. At the beep, you’ll now step to the left while drawing and firing two rounds to the target in five seconds. 

Stage 5 – 7 Yard Line – Twelve Rounds Fired 

Ensure you have six rounds loaded into your two magazines. At the start signal, you’ll draw while stepping to the right and engaging the target with six rounds. With an empty gun, you’ll reload with your spare magazine and fire six more rounds. You have a total of 20 seconds to finish this entire stage. 

Stage 6 – 15 Yard Line – Six Rounds Fired 

From 15 yards, we’ll finish strong. Holster your gun, and on the signal, draw and step to the right while firing six rounds. You have 15 seconds to do so. Boom, you are done. 

The New Florida Police Handgun Qualification 

Passing requires you to land 33 out of 38 shots on the 4 and 5 zones of the B21E target. This means you need to score an 87%. The qual is improved compared to the original, but still quite easy. The movement is a nice touch, but the elimination of the 25-yard line feels silly. A police officer should be able to make accurate hits on the B21E at 25 yards. 

Overall, it’s an improvement, but it’s very easy to pass. It’s a good bit of fun to shoot and will help you remember to get off the X, so give it a try and let us know what you think. 

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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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