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Pistol Shooting Standards: How Good is Good?

Pistol shooting is a skill that requires a combination of precision, focus, and technique. As enthusiasts and professionals alike engage in this discipline, the question often arises: “How good is good?” Rob Leatham, often considered the best shooter on the planet possesses an unparalleled balance of speed and accuracy with a 1911, Jerry Miculeck is the fastest revolver shooter in the world, staff member Lynda Turnbull is a top 5 Women’s shooter in the World, and C2 Instructor Bob Schneider is a founding member of Denver SWAT. Who is better?

The answer to that question depends on quite a few factors such as application, environment, and context. Understanding and establishing pistol shooting standards is crucial for measuring proficiency, ensuring safety, and setting benchmarks for improvement. What a competitive shooter must accomplish is different from that of a SWAT team member or Tier One assaulter.

Defining Pistol Shooting Standards

The level of proficiency in pistol shooting can vary widely depending on the purpose, context, and individual goals. However, certain standards and benchmarks have been established to provide a framework for evaluating skill levels. These standards typically encompass accuracy, speed, and consistency.


Precision is at the core of pistol shooting standards. Accuracy is commonly measured by assessing the shooter’s ability to consistently hit a specific target or designated area. Graduates of C2’s P200 pistol course test this by shooting a playing card on edge. Bullseye shooting, where shots are aimed at a central point on the target, is a traditional method to evaluate accuracy. Scoring is often based on proximity to the center, with tighter groups indicating better accuracy.


 Time is a critical factor in many shooting scenarios. Speed shooting standards focus on how quickly a shooter can draw, aim, and fire accurately. C2’s P300 class allows shooters to learn how fat is too fast, and how to maintain function accurately while shooting rapidly. Timed drills, such as the “El Presidente” or “Bill Drill,” challenge shooters to engage multiple targets in a set time frame. These exercises help determine a shooter’s ability to balance speed and accuracy.


 Consistency is the hallmark of a skilled shooter. It involves the ability to replicate accurate shots over multiple rounds, under varying conditions. C2 Instructors must shoot a 230 out of 250 on the AZPOST qualification to even be considered. They must also be able to replicate this performance at Amy time they are asked. Shooting standards often include drills that assess consistency in grip, stance, and trigger control. The goal is to minimize variations that can affect shot placement.

Striving for Improvement

Pistol shooting standards serve as a foundation for improvement. Shooters should continually challenge themselves to surpass established benchmarks, setting new goals as their skills develop. Regular practice, participation in competitions, and seeking guidance from experienced instructors contribute to ongoing improvement. C2’s YouTube channel features multiple drills for you to try.

Final Thoughts

The question, “How good is good?” in pistol shooting is subjective and depends on the context and individual goals. Establishing and adhering to recognized shooting standards provides a tangible way to measure proficiency, assess improvement, and ensure a commitment to safety and accuracy. Whether for sport, self-defense, or professional use, the pursuit of excellence in pistol shooting is a journey marked by continuous learning and skill refinement. Regardless of your goal of becoming “good,” C2 is there to help you achieve whatever level of competency that you desire.

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