Bullseye Shooting and the Importance of Basic Marksmanship

My target after the 25-yard portion of the FBI Bullseye Course

With the proliferation of “tactical” training, I have noticed that one area that many shooters tend to neglect is basic marksmanship. Sure, it is a lot of fun to practice hosing a target at five yards, but it really doesn’t do anyone any good if the rounds are not on target.

It isn’t nearly as exciting to shoot slow fire groups at 20 or 25 yards, but I have learned this skill separates the “men from the boys” especially in the police firearms training world.

One of my favorite courses of fire to evaluate Basic Marksmanship skills is the FBI Bullseye Course. It is not fancy, but it is a great evaluation of the shooter’s understanding and application of sight alignment and trigger control.

The course is simple and is scored on an FBI Bullseye target (similar in dimensions to an NRA 25 yard rapid fire pistol target). All stages begin with pistol aimed in, safety off, finger on the trigger. This is not a tactical course but rather one that evaluates a specific skill set.

The course is as follows. All shots are standing, freestyle.

25-yards, 10 rounds, 4 minutes.

15-yards, 5 rounds, 15 seconds. Do this twice.

15-yards, 5 rounds, 10 seconds. Do this twice.

Total possible score, 300 pts. Passing for instructors is 260 when shot with both hands, 240 when shot with only one hand.

Download and print the 10-8 Bullseye Target which has the same scoring dimensions as the FBI Bullseye and try it out!  If I remember correctly, my best score ever on this course of fire was in the mid 290’s. Let us know how you like it and what your score is!

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About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to qualified civilian, law enforcement and military personnel.

One thought on “Bullseye Shooting and the Importance of Basic Marksmanship

  1. We have a very similar bullseye course; the differences are three minutes at the 25 and 20 seconds for the first 15-yard stage. With the current duty weapon, I’m usually in the mid-280s and on a good day I’ll get a 292 or 293. I got a 300 exactly once in my fifteen years on the job, and that was with a DAO Beretta of all things. That gun wasn’t great for fast shooting, but the long sight radius and smooth trigger pull made it good for bullseye work.

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