200 Rounds, About All The Average Policeman Shoots In A Year

By David Cole

That's 200 rounds...about all the average cop shoots in a year. It's not that hard to do more.
That’s 200 rounds…about all the average cop shoots in a year. It’s not that hard to do more.
Gun Rights Magazine
Gun Rights Magazine

USA – -(Ammoland.com)-  I shot the USPSA Ohio Sectionals recently, and as part of post-match clean-up, I did an ammo inventory.

In one day of competition, I shot 265 rounds of .45 ACP. I shot them at multiple targets, some partially obscured by cover, or by friendly “no-shoots.

I shot them at moving targets, and targets of various sizes. I shot some of those rounds of ammo from unconventional positions, and I shot some while I was moving.

A typical police qualification course might be about 100 rounds, and a cop might shoot that once or twice a year. I know of one state where officers are required to shoot a 30-round qualification twice a year…60 rounds total per year.

I’ll also guarantee you that the qualification courses that most agencies require their officers to pass are nowhere near as challenging as your average weekend USPSA or IDPA match. This is not a knock on cops…it’s just a fact. Police departments don’t like to spend money on training, or take working cops off the street so that they can go to the range and practice.

The thing is, the gun prohibitionists would like to convince you that you couldn’t possibly become as adept with a firearm as a police officer.

They would like you to surrender your firearms and leave your protection to the “professionals.” But the truth is, if you go to the range and shoot one 50-round box every third month, you are likely on par with the average cop as far as firearms skill goes. That isn’t a whole lot of shooting. With only a bit more focus in your training, it is neither difficult nor expensive to become much better with a firearm than the average cop.

This summer, I’ll be accompanying my sister (a teacher, by the way) to her first real gun class since she took her concealed carry course. It’s a one-day class with a top-notch instructor. The course description says students should bring 300-400 rounds of ammunition, and tuition is $150. In that one day, my sister and I will each expend at least twice the amount of ammo an average cop shoots in a year, doing productive skills training under the supervision of a pro instructor.

I’ve been a police officer, and I understand the conditions of the job. I give them full marks for the dangerous, difficult job they do. They work hard and the vast majority will do their very best to help you in your time of need, risking their own lives in the process.

But you are deluded if you think that they are capable of responding to your emergency with any more speed or skill than you. Do not allow gun prohibitionists to convince you that you are better off waiting for a “professional” to bring you a gun, than to have one with you right now. That is an outright lie told by politicians who wish to see you disarmed.

You are your own first responder, so be your own first responder.

About Gun Rights Magazine:
Gun Rights Magazines goal is to present a positive image of responsible gun ownership. Contrast the benefits and costs of civilian disarmament in human terms. Tell the story of free states through the eyes of the victor and areas with gun control laws through the eyes of the victim. Visit: www.gunrightsmagazine.com

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The old saying…”practice makes perfect” ! Well maybe not ever perfect but it sure makes ya good !

Jay Dee

Years ago I used to shoot at a private downtown range also used by the city police department for qualifications. Qualification involved shooting 50 rounds at a full sized silhouette at 50 feet; various combinations of draw and fire. I saw officers bring in targets with two holes on the paper, net even in the black, three holes on target… You get the idea. To their credit, there were no NDs. By comparison, the range owners teen-aged son brought his target in and, asked “how’s this look Dad?” Son’s target had the X-Ring section chewed out by a palm-sized group.… Read more »


Agree that additional training is key, for law enforcement and lawfully armed citizens.

Once you are proficient with paper targets, time to take the next level of training.


My son just got post certified, and it was a good thing had had prior competition training and experience . 4 students failed the class due to the classifier they shot, even after trying it 4 times.i have a friend with 22 yrs service in a small town PD. I get so upset with him because he only shoots about 60 rounds a year.. Years of experience and a certificate does not make you a good shooter when your life does depend on it 24/7/365..,cops do have an EGO issue..


In Michigan the state standard is to qualify once a year with a 25 round COF. Most department’s do a little more than that, but when you only have to shoot 25 rounds a year you are telling all the officers that proficiency with a firearm is not important.


Thing I taught hard to get past trigger jerk esp.in handguns.Don’t anticipate the rpund going off focus on target and I prefer shooting with both eyes open ! Something that works really well is blue tipped dummie caps…over and over ! Dry fire over and over too ! Focusing on just the front sight in line of view with target bull !

James S. Ford

Back in the 1960’s McAllen, TX the Border Patrol Chief, Tom Ball, required each of his officers to fire 100 rounds each month. This was evidenced by each officer returning 100 empty pieces of brass that the Chief replaced with live ammo. I became proficient with pistols thanks to a Border Patrolman who was rated 26 in competition in his station. He could kill a running coyote at 100 yards with his .357 magnum. Unfortunately, the Border Patrol does not train today to the same level of firearms competence.

greg tag

Mikey I did not see anyone bashing cops in this thrad; the whole thrust is that many officers are not very skilled with their sidearm. I am a CHL and Defensive Handgun instructor as wel as a full-time range instructor- I see cops who come to the range to practice before qualifications. About a month ago, I watched one full-time patrol officer ( from a Dallas County, Texas agency ( not Dallas PD)) hit a hostage 3 times out of ten, timed fire, at 7 yards. After a paste up, he hit the hostage 4 times out of ten ,… Read more »


I hope all of you guys will be just as quick to denegrate and ridicule the next cop who dies trying to save somebody else. It happens about every three days on average, so you won’t have to wait long. If you knew half of what you think you know you’d be smart.
I am 100% supportive of citizens arming and defending themselves, in fact, I teach Concealed Carry. But I don’t get this bogus tendency to trash the cops, when 99%+ of them are great people doing a great job.
Cops aren’t the enemy. Criminals are. Wise up.

George Steele

Well, that’s a dumb comment; being supportive of cops is reflected in the above exhortation to encourage more practice. The more they practice, the faster they drop a perp, and the less chance there is of their being injured or killed. Do you really think that reflecting on a lack of practice is simply denigration of cops, as opposed to knowing what the problems are that they are facing, and working to figure out how to fix them? I showed a new cop how to shoot on the range; had he gone into the field with his skills, he would… Read more »


As a retired LEO all I can say is…..Amen brother. I kept up with my training by taking (long after I retired) Pat Goodale’s classes. Two days, 1000 rounds, intensive training. Add in a Fri. night if you wanted a night shooting course. It’s the best way in the world to stay on top of your game. I know of no PD that offers that kind of training on a reoccurring basis, anywhere. As civilians we are far better trained, over all, than police.


If your average policeman can’t keep his or her gun in good working order, which means clean; if your average policeman/police woman can’t hit the broad side of a barn unless standing inside the barn and that gun is carried for their own protection, it kinda makes you wonder what value they place on their own lives and the lives of their families, never mind the public’s lives. I’m sure the public understands (wink, wink) that police carry guns primarily for their own protection, not the protection of the public.


You forget to mention the fact that a sizeable portion of those officer’s fail to pass the qualifications in the first round. You also forgot to mention that most times a department does surprise equipment checks a noticeable number up guns are found dirty or in questionable maintenance. Not slamming law enforcement, I come for a long family history of officer’s at local, state and federal levels and all have seen this. While its not as widespread as it was in the past, it is still a all to commonly found at all levels still. Now lets compare this to… Read more »