Oftentimes, we focus our practice and training on when things go right. We usually shoot with both hands, and we usually manipulate and handle the gun with both hands. What if everything goes wrong, though? Do we really want the first time we have to clear a malfunction one-handed under a bit of pressure to be in the middle of a fight?
There are not many courses of fire that focus on what happens when things start to go sideways. Rangemaster (Tom Givens) has an answer for us, called the Handgun Disability Course. This is another course of fire that I found in John Daub’s Drills, Qualifications, Standards, and Tests book.
Details & Scoring
The course totals 50 rounds, with strings of fire ranging from 5 yards to 10 yards. The target that is supposed to be used is Rangemaster’s own RFTS-Q. The Rangemaster Instructor Manual does not indicate scoring, but John Daub recommends using 5/3/0 scoring scheme. In a pinch, an IDPA target could be used with similar scoring. Hits in the primary target zone would equal 5 points, the next target zone 3, and everything after that 0 points. That seems consistent with my experience on other Rangemaster courses of fire and the typical scoring that is used.
The maximum point score is 250, and 80% is indicated as a passing score. That would be equal to 200 points. The shooting itself is not that difficult, but the work that has to happen in front of it can be.
Rangemaster’s Handgun Disability Course Course of Fire
|String of Fire
|Draw and fire 4 rounds, Strong Hand Only (SHO). Repeat for a total of 2 repetitions.
|From ready with gun in non-dominant hand, fire 3 rounds Weak Hand Only (WHO). Repeat for a total of 2 repetitions.
|Draw and fire 3 rounds body, and 2 rounds to the head SHO. Repeat for a total of 2 repetitions.
|Start on both knees, gun grounded. On signal pick up gun and fire 4 rounds WHO.
|Start from ready, with gun in the non-dominant hand and 3 rounds loaded in the gun. On signal, fire 3 rounds, reload the handgun, and fire 3 additional rounds WHO.
|Start at ready, stove pipe malfunction in place. On signal, clear the malfunction and fire 3 rounds. Repeat for a total of 2 repetitions.
|Start at ready, double feed malfunction in place. On signal, go to kneeling, clear the malfunction and fire 2 rounds. Repeat for a total of 2 repetitions.
As might be suspected, some of the skills covered in the course of fire are not things that people have a huge amount of exposure to, like one-handed malfunction clearance with the non-dominant hand. If someone doesn’t have formal instruction on how to complete that task safely, I would recommend just skipping it and adjusting scoring as necessary. Most of the other strings of fire should be within the skill set of most people who have received a modicum of formal training.
There are plenty of drills, tests, or courses of fire out there that test our ability to shoot. There are not that many that test our ability to clear malfunctions. And especially not clearing malfunctions one-handed. I can only think of one other skill assessment that includes that actually. This course of fire is a good one to work towards if this is all new to a person. It gives a good baseline and still requires some level of shooting skill to pull off. Not just quick manipulations. It is well worth a try, in my opinion. If it identifies a weakness, then we know where to work.