The Florida Police Handgun Qual – Sunshine Shooting


A good friend of mine has recently transitioned from corrections into on-the-street law enforcement. In the great state of Florida, he serves as a deputy with our Sheriff’s department and is going through all the basic training required by our state. This includes the various firearm qualifications. He’d shot the handgun qual yearly but was still apprehensive. It’s a new job, and he didn’t just want to pass, but to excel. We went to the range and shot our way through the Florida police handgun qual.

Since I hate wasting lead because lead is money, I figured let’s shoot the qual and discuss it. How does Florida rank within the world of police quals? Are our standards high? Tough to meet and realistic? There was only one way to find out. Let’s grab some lead and targets, hit the range, and find out.

The Florida Police Handgun Qual – Supplies Needed

The qual isn’t too demanding on your ammo supply. You’ll need at least 40 rounds of ammunition. The Florida Police Handgun qual demands a handgun, and our county issues 9mm SIG P320s. I used a SIG P320 and grabbed a tactical belt with a duty-style holster. You’ll need at least two magazines. Also, it’s a timed shoot, so bring your shot timer.

The Florida Police Handgun qual calls for either a B-21E target or a Pride Enterprise Target. This is a pretty big target. The qual scores by hits to the silhouette, so you can use nearly any man-sized target, like an FBI Q Target, the Sage Dynamic Targets, or whatever else you could ever want. You only need one.

Let’s Hit the Range

With 40 rounds, two mags, and a gun, I hit the range with my friend and some hope in our hearts. The course calls for a range of at least 15 yards. Once our targets were set up, we took turns working our way through each qual.

Stage 1 – One to Three Yards

At this range, we are in the target’s face. We’ll be using a close retention technique. At the sound of your timer, you’ll draw and fire two rounds in four seconds from a close retention position. You can shoot anywhere from one to three yards.

You’ll do this drill twice.

Stage 2 – Three Yard Line

We’ll start this stage of the Florida Police Handgun qual with our weapons at the ready, with both hands on the gun. At the sound of the timer, you fire two rounds in one second.

Repeat this drill one more time before moving on.

Stage 3 – Seven Yard Line

We’ll start with the gun holstered. At the beep, draw and fire two rounds in four seconds. Keep the gun out and ready.

The next string is firing two rounds in four seconds.

The final string repeats the last, and you fire two rounds in four seconds.

Stage 4 – Seven Yard Line

Start with your weapon holstered at the seven-yard line. We will draw and fire three rounds in five seconds. We’ll repeat this drill one more time before moving on.

Stage 5 – Seven Yard Line

For this stage of the Florida Police Handgun qual, we’ll start with the gun holstered. At the beep, you’ll draw and fire 12 rounds into the threat and then conduct a reload in 45 seconds.

Stage 6 – Fifteen Yard Line

For our last stage, we’ll move back to the 15-yard line. At the beep, you’ll draw and fire six rounds. You have thirty seconds. After that, we are done!

My Thoughts on the Florida Police Handgun Qual

My friend passed without a problem. The minimum passing score is 32 out of 40, and he passed before ever getting to the final stage. He should have because the course of fire is very, very easy. The times are too generous, way too generous, and the accuracy standard is a massive target.

It’s not much of a challenge, especially with a duty holster and duty-sized gun. I think it could use tighter times and stricter accuracy standards. Plus, it’s short and could be a bit longer, both in round count and range. Why not go out to 50 yards? I’m not a police officer, but I think it should be a bit more challenging for our boys in blue. However, it’s fun to shoot, especially for beginners.

Give it a try and see if you can qualify to protect the orange groves and swamps of Florida.

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