MGAC Pistol Challenge Course SOP


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#1 DESIGN – The Pistol Challenge Course (PCC) is designed to provide an alternative to shooting at a single paper target, as they would on the mainline.  The shooter will be able to shoot at a variety of both paper and steel targets, from varying distances and angles.  Additionally, PCC is designed to accommodate shooters of varying skills to shoot the course; CCW, IDPA, 3-Gun (pistol portion only) and target shooters looking for a change from shooting at single paper targets.  (Note – the PCC is not designed to duplicate or include rules found in IDPA, 3-Gun and/or other programs.)  The course is designed to allow the RSO to adjust the “Course of Fire” to better match the shooters skills.

  • 1.1 There are currently 6 shooting positions in the “Course of Fire” the shooter does not have to shoot from all 6 positions. An example could be the shooter is having difficulty shooting from Position 1 (25+ yds) and Position 2 (20+ yds), the RSO can have them shoot just Positions 3 – 6.  More may be added at a later date.
  • 1.2 A CCW shooter wishes to practice drawing from the holster and re-holstering their loaded firearm.  During the “New Shooter Process” paragraph 9.11, the shooter must notify the processing RSO that they wish to “Draw, Fire and Re-holster” at each shooters box.  Once the RSO has qualified the shooter, and issued them a PCC Shooters Card (see Paragraph 6), they may do so at each position.
  • 1.3 A shooter may move through the “Course of Fire” with a loaded (round in the chamber) firearm.  This means, during the “New Shooter Process” paragraph 9.11, the shooter and/or the RSO will determine in what condition the pistol must be, for the shooter to shoot the PCC safely. 
  • 1.4 Shooter may shoot with or without having a holster and/or magazine holders.

#2 COURSE of FIRE (COF) – Pistol Challenge Course layout is designed to allow shooters to engage targets from a variety of distances and angles.  This is accomplished by creating 6 shooter positions, with each position engaging specific targets.  The following configuration is based on position to target.  The Relationship of Shooter Boxes will always be on their respective yard lines. However, their locations on that yard line, may vary to change perspective.  Also, in the future, we may vary the yard line location of the shooters boxes to provide greater flexibility.  (Safety Note – If any of the steel targets cause an erratic fragment “flyers”, the steel target will be disabled and not engaged.)Shooter Boxes 1 & 2 will always engage the 5 large steel targets. 

  • 2.1 Shooter Boxes 1 & 2 will always engage the 5 large steel targets.
    • 2.1.1 Shooter Boxes 1L (left-handed shooter) or 1R (right-handed shooter) is set on the 25 yard line and will engage 5 large steel targets. Distance to each target will be greater than 25 yds.
    • 2.1.2 Shooter Box 2 is set on the 20 yard line and will engage the same 5 steel targets as positions 1L and 1R. Distance to each target will be greater than 20 yds.
  • 2.2 Shooter Boxes 3 – 6 will always be on their respective yard line, but their targets may change
    • 2.2.1 Shooter Box 3 is set on the 15 yard line and will engage 2 IDPA cardboard targets
    • 2.2.2 Shooter Box 4 is set on the 12 yard line and will engage 1 – 6” steel knock down target.
    • 2.2.3 Shooter Box 5 is set on the 11 yard line and will engage 6 – 6” knock down steel targets
    • 2.2.4 Shooter Box 6 is set on the 7 yard line and will engage 2 IDPA cardboard targets.
  • 2.3 Number of rounds to shoot course the course may vary from shooter to shooter, depending on:
    • The current COF is a minimum of 25 rounds (1 shot each) or 35 rounds (2 shoots each at position 1 & 2, the rest target appropriate).
    • The specific COF (May vary based on shooters skill sets.) Some shooters might prefer not shooting at distance, or the RSO has decided the shooter would better benefit from shooting closer. So the shooter may only shoot positions 3 thru 6.
    • The shooters engagement discipline (Do they shoot until the hit the target?)
    • Shooters may be limited by the number of magazines they have. The standard COF is 6 shooting positions, 2 flights equal 12 positions. If a shooter only has enough magazines to shoot 4 positions, the RSO may allow the shooter to do 3 flights at 4 positions per flight.
    • RSO should encourage “Good Shooter Shot Discipline” only shoot the specific number of shots the target requires. Multiple shots on target just enforces bad habits. The RSO may suggest to the shooter to engage the next target.

#3 PCC RSO STAFFING – The PCC requires a minimum of 2 RSOs to run the daily program.  They will alternate with the shooters.  One RSO will be with the shooter AT ALL TIMES.  The other RSO will be in the staging area processing new arrivals and prepping the next shooter.  The RSO returning back to the staging area with the previous shooter, will become the staging RSO.  The previous staging RSO will now take the prepped shooter through the Course of Fire.

  • 3.1 PCC staffing RSOs must hold at least a MGAC RSO Level 3, and have the following qualifications:
    • 3.1.1 Possess a Florida CCW
    • 3.1.2 Be fluid in their ability draw from the holster and return to the holster.
    • 3.1.3 Have trained in shooting from different distances and different targets.  Such as:
      • 3.1.3.1 Military – CQD trained
      • 3.1.3.2 Tactical Training
      • 3.1.3.3 Defensive Pistol
      • 3.1.3.4 IDPA
      • 3.1.3.5 USPSA
      • 3.1.3.6 Steel Challenge
      • 3.1.3.7 3 – Gun
    • 3.1.4 Must have been trained to analyze target hits and make recommendations to the shooters.
  • 3.2 The RSOs will require PCC specific training, initially by George and Sydney Fisch

#4 PCC PRICING – Pistol Challenge shooters will check in at the club house and purchase tokens. Similar to the 5 Stand program, the Pistol Challenge Course would utilize tokens that cost $7 per round (2 flights) for members and $9 for non-members.  This pricing would be consistent with the 5 Stand pricing, thereby allowing us to use the same tokens.  At the start of each round, RSOs will collect a token from the shooter. RSOs will not accept or handle any money.  Pistol Challenge course shooters would not be charged the daily range fee. If they wish to utilize the mainline or 600 range, they would need to pay the daily range fee and obtain a band.  Recommend that the first month of operation of the PCC be free for members.

#5 RANGE HOURS of OPERATION – The PCC initially will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  As more RSOs become qualified to run the PCC program, we may include Thursdays.  The daily breakdown of hours (once PCC is in full operation) are as follows:

  • 8:30 am to 10:00 AM – New shooter processing.  This will minimize already qualified shooters waiting time, due to the additional time required to process a shooter for the first time.  However, qualified shooters may shoot, time permitting.
  • 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM – Active time for qualified shooters.  The main focus for this time period it to minimize the shooters waiting time.  However, new shooters may qualify, time permitting,

#6 PCC SHOOTERS – PCC is designed to accommodate shooters of varying skills to shoot the course.  All shooters will go through the following qualification procedures:Each shooter will receive a PCC specific range safety briefing.  See Paragraph 7

  • 6.1 Each shooter will receive a PCC specific range safety briefing. See Paragraph 7
  • 6.2 Each shooter will do a RSO lead walk through on “The Course of Fire”.
  • 6.3 Each shooter will “Dry Fire” the course at each Shooters Box. The RSO will assess the shooters skill sets and shooters input, and adjust the “Course of Fire” accordingly.
  • 6.4 The shooter will then live fire the course, under the direct supervision of the RSO. Again RSO will reassess the shooters skill sets and shooters input, and adjust the “Course of Fire” accordingly
  • 6.5 At the completion of the shooters 2 flights, the RSO will issue the shooter’s Qualification card. The card will be good for 2 years, and allow the shooter to fire the course without doing the walk-through and dry fire portion. The card will reflect the following:
    • 6.5.1 Shooters name.
    • 6.5.2 Date issued
    • 6.5.3 Pistol Model –
    • 6.5.4 Caliber of ammo
    • 6.5.5 Type of holster used (if none used specify “None”).
    • 6.5.6 The specific method the shooter used to fire the course.
    • 6.5.7 Any change to 6.5.3 to 6.5.6, for safety reasons, the shooter must re-qualified. No different then the logic used to shoot the 600 yard range. This is due to:
      • Pistol – can shooter manage a change from the one they shot to the one they want to shoot method of operation (striker, thumb safety or de-cocker) or the physical size (standard, compact or subcompact)
      • Caliber – the ability of the shooter to manage the recoil of the different pistol
      • Holster – OWB (outside waste belt) to or from IWB (inside Waist Belt), as well as the Safety Level Function of the holster.
      • If method the shooter used changes, for example; originally shoot the course without a holster, now wants to use a holster. Or shoot the course drawing and re-holstering, and wants to shoot the course unholstered.

#7 PCC RANGE PROCESSING – At this point, it is hard to determine the volume of shooters that will want to participate on any given day, let alone hour of the day.  This is preliminary for the PCC shooter processing. 

  • 7.1 Shooter express interest in shooting the PCC. They should be handed the abbreviated PCC SOP that we have posted at the PCC Range.
  • 7.2 Shooter will pay in the front office. (Internal accounting should be in place to track those paying to shoot the PCC.)
  • 7.3 Office staff will inform the shooter to drive to Area 51A and report to the RSO BEFORE bring getting their gear from their vehicle. This will insure that no pistol is uncased at their vehicle.
  • 7.4 Shooter, leaving gear in car, will report to the “Processing” RSO and get signed in. (See attached sign-in sheet) For qualified shooters, the RSO will verify the shooters qualification card.
  • 7.5 The RSO will inform the shooter of the process needed to safely get geared up and uncase their firearms.
  • 7.6 The sign-in sheet will serve at the shooting queue, to cycle the shooter through their COF flights.
  • 7.7 “First Time Shooters” at PCC, the RSO will show the shooter the processing areas “Safe and Loading Tables”. RSO will instruct the shooter on the process for bringing their gear to the tables, and getting themselves set up.
  • 7.8 Once the shooter has set themselves up, and ready to remove the pistol from its case, they must notify the RSO. The RSO will then have them “Unload and Show Clear” as appropriate.
  • 7.9 When the shooter is ready to shoot the COF, they will notify the RSO. The RSO will then enter them into the shooting queue.

#8 PCC RSO RANGE COMMANDS – The PCC range commands incorporate the standard MGAC range commands, as well as some “Course of Fire” specific commands.  They are as follows:

  • “Eyes and Ears” – Applies to all in the processing area and COF.
  • “Shooter You May Step into The Box” – Instructs the shooter they may enter the starting shooter’s box.
  • “Does The Shooter Understand The COF” – Provides the student with a chance to clarify the COF.
  • “Range is Hot” – Prep command for the shooter to get ready.
  • “Load and Make Ready”
    • For shooter with holster – Instructs shooter to draw, lock back receiver, check and load magazine into gun, release slide, and re-holster.
    • For shooter without holster – They may pick up their firearm from the barrel, lock back receiver, check and load magazine into gun, release slide and come to the ready position.
  • “Standby” – Lets the shooter know, the command or beep to start firing is imminent.
  • “Fire Commands” – These may vary depending on the shooters training.
    • At Your Pace
    • Beep (electronically generated)
    • Commence Firing
    • Gun
    • Threat
  • “Unload and Show Clear” – Uncase, draw or if already in had (as at the end of the COF), the shooter must remove mag, lock receiver back and check to ensure it is empty. The RSO will then verify that the pistol is empty.
  • “I See Clear” – RSO’s response after verifying the pistol is clear. At which point the shooter may re-holster, or if no holster, the shooter will hand the pistol to the RSO.
  • “Cease Fire” – Immediate stop of shooting.
  • “Stop! Finger Straight” – Command to shooter when RSO needs to correct shooter.
  • “Down Range” – Command given anytime someone is down range; tending targets, picking up mags, or policing brass.

#9 PISTOL CHALLENGE COURSE  SOP – In order to insure all of their safety, the following MGAC Pistol Challenge Course SOP must be adhered to.

  • 9.1 One shooter at a time, shadowed by an RSO, throughout the course of fire.
  • 9.2 Holsters must be able to retain pistol while moving (jump test). Holsters may be OWB (outside waste belt), and IWB (inside Waist Belt). All holster use must be assessed by the RSOs, during dry practice.
  • 9.3 Magazine holders must be able to retain magazine while moving (jump test).
  • 9.4 The 180 rule of muzzle control will be strictly enforced.
  • 9.5 No steel target may be engaged at a distance less than 10 yards.
  • 9.6 The course will be shot while walking. There will be NO running from shooting position to shooting position.
  • 9.7 Utilizing the “Safe Table” firearms must be uncased and presented to the RSO, magazine out and receiver locked back “Show Clear”.
  • 9.8 Utilizing the “Work Table” shooters may place their ammo and magazines on this table. It is the only place to keep ammo, and load mags.
  • 9.9 Once cleared by RSO and under the RSO’s direct supervision, the shooter with the gun pointed in a safe direction, will; release the slide, depress trigger and holster. If they do not have a holster, the shooter will leave the slide open and insert a chamber flag into the empty chamber, and place pistol on table (in a safe direction).
  • 9.10 CCW shooters wishing to fire and re-holster at each shooting position, will be assessed by the RSO during “Dry Practice”. The RSO may require the shooter to unload and show clear prior to re-holstering the firearm, at each position.
  • 9.11 All firearms must remain unloaded until the start of the shooters have stepped into the shooters box and have been given the command to “Load and Make Ready”.
    • 9.12.1 Shooters with holsters, will retain the unloaded pistol in the holster, until instructed by the RSO. If they have to leave the processing/shooting area, they must “unload and show clear” to an RSO. They may place on Safe Table with receiver locked back and chamber flag or re-case it, before leaving the processing/shooting area.
    • 9.12.2 Shooters without holsters, will place they pistol on Safe Table with receiver locked back and chamber flag. When it is their time to shoot, the RSO will hand carry the pistol to the starting position and place it on the appropriate barrel.
  • 9.12 New PCC Shooter Process
    • 9.12.1 RSO will review the PCC SOP with the shooter.
    • 9.12.2 RSO will take the shooter on a walk through the courser of fire.
    • 9.12.3 “Dry Practice rounds” – At the start, the RSO will call “Present and show clear”. The shooter will also show that any magazines in their possession are also unloaded. If shooter does not have a holster, the RSO will hand carry the unloaded pistol to the first fire position, and place it on the barrel.
    • 9.12.4 The shooter must keep at least 1 foot in the Shooter Box to fire on a target. NO targets can be engaged if both feet are out of the box.
    • 9.12.5 RSO will verify shooters ability to properly load their gun. Additionally, shooter must demonstrate their ability to perform emergency and tactical reloads. Shooter will need 2 empty magazines. All magazine (Reloads) changes (Emergency, Tactical or Administrative) must be done in the shooters box only, not while moving.
    • 9.12.6 Shooter will return to the process area, load magazines (if not already loaded) and prepare for Live Fire. RSO will remind shooter with holsters, once the unloaded pistol is holstered it may not be removed without RSO present. For shooters without holsters, the RSO will return the unloaded pistol (with receiver locked back) to the Safe Table.
  • 9.13 Live Fire, the RSO gives the following commands
    • 9.13.1 “Shooter you may step into the box”
    • 9.13.2 “Shooter! Do you understand the course on fire?”
    • 9.13.3 “Shooter the range is hot! You may Load and Make Ready”! The shooter may then load their firearm and re-holster. If no holster, after loading and making ready, the shooter will stay at the “low ready position”.
    • 9.13.4 Shooter standby
    • 9.13.5 At an audible beep or verbal command by the RSO, the shooter commence firing.
  • 9.14 Finger off of the trigger until ready to shoot, will be strictly enforced. Proper position is to maintain a straight finger on the gun frame. A finger on or inside of the trigger guard constitutes finger on trigger. The RSO will council the shooter, reminding them to keep finger off and out of the trigger guard area. The 3rd infraction will result in The RSC calling “stop” or “cease fire” and termination of the remainder of their flight/round. Gross infractions will result in an immediate termination of the remainder of their flight/round. (The shooter pays for 1 round, that consists of 2 flights or times through the COF)
  • 9.15 Improper use of sight alignment and sight picture, by the shooter, will result in the RSO counseling the shooter, reminding them to use proper sight alignment and site picture. The 3rd infraction will result in RSC calling “stop” or “cease fire” resulting in termination of the remainder their flight/round. Gross infractions will result in an immediate termination of the remainder of their flight/round. (The shooter pays for 1 round, that consists of 2 flights or times through the COF)
  • 9.16 After completing the each flight, the shooter must “Unload and Show Clear” to the RSO.
  • 9.17 RSO will then review each target with the shooter.
  • 9.18 Shooter must be proficient in clearing all 3 types of malfunctions, emergency reloads and administrative/tactical reloads.