10-32 Solutions Carbine Standards- Accuracy Phase

MR31 Accuracy Phase Crop

The Accuracy Phase: It can be said that the skills of marksmanship by riflemen were an integral part of not only how this country was founded, but also how it is kept safe. The importance of fundamentals of marksmanship is still seen today in the competitions founded years ago to promote them. Unfortunately, it seems all things are cyclical, and the focus is not on developing the skills used for accuracy in shooting. Some of it is because of shifts in thinking. Military thinking changed and started to focus after WWII on how US soldiers have needed to fight at much closer distances in structures and jungle environments, and those changes have continued. Law Enforcement is increasingly urban, and in our litigious society lots of LE managers and the public lost sight of why marksmanship is still vitally important to public safety. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that police shouldn’t be shooting past 50-yards, or that there is no good reason to zero a weapon at 100 yards, because you won’t be shooting that far. Another reason is laziness and the bottom dollar. It costs money to train, in time, ammunition, and support. Sometimes it just can’t be afforded, and other times the money is spent on easier, or other training or pursuits. I could go on, but it’s not my focus here.

One of the best reasons that patrol rifles or defensive carbines should be used if at all possible is that they are just more accurate! Whether it is the longer sight radius’ combined with better sight or optic options, to the ballistics of velocity and more aerodynamic projectiles, to the biomechanics of a more stable shooting platform, no one can successfully argue that either the patrol rifle or defensive carbine would not be the better choice over a handgun if you had the choice.

Picture an empty street in some old cattle town in the Wild Old West. Two cowboys stand one hundred feet apart, squaring off. One is a young, upstart, blowhard that has been trying to make a name for himself. He has been regaling everyone in the taverns with how fast he can whip his revolver from the holster, and has been bragging how he can beat anyone in a gunfight because of that speed. He has called out an experienced cowhand from another company that the young braggart chose to make an example of to build that reputation. The young braggart in a flash whipped up his revolver and fired from the hip just as soon as the muzzle cleared the holster. But the experienced cowhand recognized the signs in the braggart’s body language, and he wasn’t far behind in his draw. The difference is that the experienced cowhand balanced the need for speed with accuracy, and he used the extra time to bring his arm out to full extension where he could line up his sights. His shot only came a half of a second after the braggarts, but his .45 lead slug found its mark, and the young braggart slumped to the ground. You see, the young braggart spend all of his time on perfecting the speed of his draw, but very little on actually hitting a target, while the experienced cowhand understood what he needed to survive at that distance, and it was accuracy from his sights.

That little visualization has some background to it. More and more handgun, defensive firearms, and LE training focus on the speed needed to get a gun into a fight and rounds onto a large silhouette, and this is a very important focus. But what good is that speed and ability to manipulate the firearm if you do not have the accuracy or marksmanship skills to go along with it? You can be the fastest gun in the world, but if you cannot hit the target it means nothing. This is why when you look at the Combat Triad, one of the three legs needed to hold it all together is Marksmanship. Training that I received from Larry Vickers in one of his pistol classes really stuck with me and reinforced all of this with his use of an NRA pistol bullseye target and devotion to fundamentals training. The fundamentals of Stance, Grip, and Trigger were also reinforced through Jeff Gonzales’ instruction using elements of the body to further improve shooting accuracy. Moreover, I saw what students could do in class after class and training after training.

Carbine courses frequently used silhouette targets with an eight-inch circle, and it was repeatedly demonstrated that many shooters can reliably place most of their hits inside it at fifty yards from standing or kneeling positions. Two to four inch groups or better can easily be obtained from the stability of prone. From my notes from a Gonzales course I attended, if we can guarantee hits inside of eight-inches at that distance now, under calm conditions, than we should be able to guarantee hits inside of twelve inches under the stress of a deadly force confrontation. It is with some consternation when I see LE carbine qualifications that do not maximize the increased accuracy standard in their qualifications, and count hits anywhere on the large silhouette as passing, but that’s material for another day.

I chose 50-yards as the distance to use for this part of the phase. I strongly believe in the ability to make hits out to 100, 200, and even 400 yards with patrol or defensive rifles, but that can be accomplished through training opportunities outside of an actual qualification. I also have to be practical, and 50 yard ranges are much more accessible than 100 yard ranges. With the appropriate sized target, the skills needed to shoot at 100 yards will be the same as those needed to accurately shoot at 50, and the achievement won’t be diminished.

There are a number of targets out there, with varying size black bullseyes and scoring areas. I looked at a bunch, including the B6, B8, B19, SR1, SR21C, B16. Some weren’t realistic for use with use at that distance, while others had scoring rings that were either too narrow to develop reliable results, or were too wide so they would not promote improvement. I finally settled on the NRA MR-31C. It is a bullseye that was scaled down so that it simulated a High Power National Match competition bullseye at 600 yards when set at 100. It fits on an 8.5×11 sheet of paper, which also makes it easy to use.

These are the dimensions of the rings:

X ring 0.75
10 ring 1.75
9 ring 2.75
8 ring 3.75
7 ring 5.75
6 ring 7.75
5 ring 9.75

Everything inside the 7-ring is a black bullseye. The dimension of the target is already sized to adequately show competency in hitting a deadly force threat. I’d be worried if one is missing this size of a paper target, because then 100% accountability of your shots is less likely under stress. And it is challenging. I went out during a break in the rain today to quick shoot this one cold. And I definitely have room for improvement, as the winter and general ammunition shortage has taken its toll. My heart rate was up in my rush to get the target set up, and I found myself chasing the dot a bit while trying to control my breathing instead of getting a good 1st Best Sight Picture. Plus I missed on a flinch, evidenced by only four holes on target. I used a Navy high kneel for the kneeling portion, and my dot stabilized a bit, but my group shifted to about 4 o’clock. It wasn’t until I got into prone where I got locked in enough to rock the 10-ring with the next five. I was able to identify what fundamentals I needed to work on for next time, with a score of 117 or 78%. There is a total of 150 points possible, with each hit assessed the point value of the ring it’s in. I count the higher value if the line is broke due to the already tight dimension tolerances for this.

The accuracy phase makes up nearly half of the points towards the total aggregate score of the standards, showing the importance I feel that accuracy has for the total picture. Click on the link below to my resources page for a printable PDF of the MR-31 target I’ve found, and go out to work on your own shooting fundamentals. Let me know how you’re doing in them.



MR31 Accuracy Phase 117

10-32 Solutions Carbine Proficiency Standards

I am usually busy in my home office lately working with the various curriculums I’ve got. One of them is a class that gets some of Wisconsin’s police firearms instructors certified for the new patrol rifle program that’s being instituted. One thing that evolved from the curriculum that I wrote for my course is a set of proficiency standards for carbines. I’ve reviewed and shot a lot of various drills, qualifications, and standards over the years. There are a number of good ones out there. Some really show lots of thought into their creation and what they are intending to address. Some are meant to quantify performance, others are meant to provide a shooting workout of skills, and others are meant to provide a physical workout to affect performance.

I experienced the same feelings that I felt while looking at targets for my classes. None of them completely covered what I felt was important, even though there are many good examples out there. Some were more focused on speed of certain skills, others had accuracy standards I didn’t feel were up to par with what I wanted to expect of students, and others were structured with elements I felt were obsolete or promoted bad habits. I decided to do the same thing that I did with my targets, and I decided to make my own set of proficiency standards.

I established three focuses that I wanted to take, and the combined elements of the Combat Triad heavily influenced what I wanted the 10-32 Solutions standards to quantify. I’ll go into them further in depth shortly in the next posts, but in summary I felt that three phases of Accuracy, Pressure, and Skills combined together to provide a comprehensive approach. The round count, while not a nice and neat 25/50/100 rounds that bean counters prefer, it is an appropriate balance that has a certain reason for each and every round fired, but also doesn’t cater to those that deliberately skimp on training costs. I used proven and reliable drills like the Modified Navy Qual where appropriate, I tweaked other popular quals where they were strong, and overall I feel the three phases of these standards establish strong benchmarks to gauge performance and improvement needs for skills most needed in carbine operation for deadly force.

The dimensions of any scoring areas I feel are realistic to the realities of those that would be faced in a lethal force conflict, are realistic to achieve qualifying scores, and yet are still challenging enough to force shooters to have to work for their scores. Time limits used are also realistic and not dependent on timers that require tenths of a second. There are plenty of drills that focus on using that type of scoring, and many are excellent tools in developing and improving fundamentals. There are also a lot that encourage gaming or help develop bad habits in order to improve time, or place more emphasis on the time versus the accuracy or actual manipulation skills.

With that said, take a look at the listed standards, and see how you do. Handgun standards are also being developed in the same manner, and will be published after a little more work is done establishing some benchmarks. . Next article will discuss the Accuracy Phase of these standards.


10-32 Solutions Carbine Proficiency Standards:

Phase 1—–Accuracy

50 Yards NRA MR-31 Target

5 rds Standing 20 Seconds

5 rds Kneeling 30 Seconds

5 rds Prone 60 Seconds

150 Pts Possible, 105/70% to Qualify (5.75″ 7-ring)


Phase 2—–Pressure

Modified Navy Qual-MNQ–50 Yards, Par 25 sec

8-inch Circle Target, 15 Rounds, 3 magazines w/5rd ea

Standing 5 Rds


Kneeling 5 Rds


Prone 5 Rds

Variations: Trident Concepts rules; A) Safety must be activated prior to movements and reloads. Failure=DQ.

B) Weapon charged after reload via Charging Handle. Failure =DQ. C) Kneeling-Forward leg @ 90° angle, rear foot flat, extended leg. Failure=DQ.

Scoring: Misses=5 Pts

Every Second Over/Under Par= 2Pts/1Pt

40 Pts or Less to Qual

Expert 0-9 Sharpshooter 10-25 Marksman 26-40

Aggregate 0=40, 40=.5. Multiply X2, 80 Points possible.


Phase 3—–Skills

50Y Pair COM Stand T1, Pair COM Kneel T1&T2, Pair COM Prone T2

1x 8 rds 8rds

25Y Run 50-25 Pair COM Stand T1 Pair COM Kneel T2

1x 4 rds 12 rds

25Y Single Brain Shot T1&T2

1x 2 rds 14 rds

25Y-15 Moving Pair COM T1&T2

1x 4 rds 18 rds

15Y Pair COM T1&T2

1x 4 rds 22 rds

15Y-10 Moving Failure Drill on T1

1x 3 rds 25 rds

10Y Pair COM T1&T2

1x 4 rds 29 rds

10Y-5 Moving Failure Drill on T2

1x 3 rds 32 rds

10Y-3 Moving Box Drill; Hammer each body, single shot each brain.

1x 6 rds 38 rds

5Y Single brain shot, T1&T2

1x 2 rds 40 rds


Scoring: 16 COM, 4 Brain (32/8 Total).

Hit Desired Area = 2pts

Hit Outside Area = 1pt

Miss Off Target = 0pt

Maximum Possible 80 Points. 64 (80%) to qualify.

Aggregate Scoring: 150+80+80=310 Points, 70 rounds

Class A/Expert 310-278=90%

Class B/Sharpshooter 277-248=80% Minimum Qual

Class C/Marksman 247-216=70%


15 Years and 10000 Reasons later


Spring is supposed to be a period of rebirth after the winter season, to not only the environment and creatures around us but spiritually as well. It’s always been very difficult for me, because fifteen years ago on April 22, 1999 the world as I knew it came crashing down around me. There were other events going on around me as well, with the news of the Columbine School incident and remembrances of the Oklahoma City bombing, and Waco incident. But that was far away to me, but I quickly found out that bad things happen anyplace.
I finished up one of my part time jobs teaching swimming lessons that evening and got the uniform on to jump in a squad with my Sergeant at the PD. Things were always interesting in a college town, and more often than not our partnership got into more trouble on patrol than the rest of the shift combined. We had just started a patrol of the local loop in town when a Deputy Sheriff radioed a driver’s license check of my brother’s name.
My brother tended to be a hell raiser, as many 21-year olds are as they are while they are learning the responsibilities of independence. So my words of “What did he do now,” to my Sergeant in reaction were more of a statement than a question. Only Sarge had been in the office monitoring the radio while he waited for me, and he knew of the call the Deputy was working as the realization struck him. “That’s who they’re airlifting…” The Deputy was looking for the information for notification purposes.
My brother had been in a rollover out in the county jurisdiction. For whatever reason, he had lost control and was sliding alongside the guardrail along the highway. The guardrail was doing exactly what it was designed to do, and was keeping him on the highway. That is, until the field road entrance, when his truck slid into a medium where physics and environment contribute to so many end results that I have also seen first hand over the years. He rolled a single time when the resistance of the field grass was too much for the tires and my brother was partially ejected, sustaining massive chest trauma.
Sarge has been my rock in so many ways, and he knew what was needed. He radioed our responsibility and we drove to my parents house outside of town. I don’t remember it, but I notified my parents of the crash, and I prepared to drive them to the trauma center. He made sure I was ok to drive as the emotions were shoved down deep so I could do things that needed to be done. His words to me of “Think!” stick with me to this very day when I am involved in stressful driving responses. And I went, with my mom and dad in the back seat of their car, holding hands and a box of tissues praying.
And I flew. I drove like my mission in life was to make absolutely sure my parents got to the hospital. God was already with us, as not only were the words of advice from Sarge so vividly clear to me, but it was also like a corridor had been cleared for me, as I didn’t have to get stopped and explain what we were doing as we got into the metro.
I knew that it was taking rescue crews a while to stabilize my brother before flight, and I also knew what it meant that the Life Flight was sitting on the ground for a bit. It couldn’t be a load and go like many others that are trying to maximize the time of the golden hour. They eventually got him loaded, and they were landing just as we arrived. Little did I know that was also when he died, and he lost his race. People ask how do I know God exists. I know because I felt him carry me through the next few days as we buried my brother. I know because through the numbness that encompassed me I could feel the comforting hands of God and the Holy Spirit doing things to guide me through it those days. We started to see that a pattern had developed with things in my brothers life, how he had suddenly reconnected with my family, and how several of our recent life’s events were tying together in preparation for this day.
I am not capable of knowing what God’s plan is for me, but it was soon becoming evident from events we were seeing, that somehow this tragedy in my family was part of God’s plan. We were seeing events come together, and others unfold that would not have been possible otherwise. We were hearing things said, sometimes by people that could not otherwise know the messages they were giving us if not for God. One such message was in the form of a card I was handed by a young boy. I returned at the end of the swimming lessons class to help with the evaluations and get back into the routine of life. These kindergartners and first-graders didn’t know or understand everything about why I had taken some time off, but one boy handed me a message that I carry to this day and one that hit me like a brick wall as I read it. He told me that my brother was a Guardian Angel now, and was watching over us. Out of the mouths of babes….

Message from above, delivered through a child’s words.

Message from above, delivered through a child’s words.

My cousin was born after my brother died and never got to meet him. Little did we know that at a young age before possibly knowing him she’d tell us she talked with him as he sat on her bed at night.
My first son born a few years later gave my parents something to live for again and help mend the hole ripped in their souls with the death of my brother, and they poured everything into mending that hole with him. But my family would be no strangers to death, and shortly after one new life was brought into the world, another would be taken with the passing of my grandmother. A couple years later as my wife was due with my second child, we were also experiencing the imminent loss of my last grandparent as my grandpa had been hanging on for three weeks for reasons unknown to us. We had many calls to come, that his time was near, but he stayed with us. Finally, my wife went into labor, and yet another new chapter of life was created the day before the anniversary of my brothers crash. We had a reason to celebrate instead of just mourn, and again we couldn’t help but wonder if this somehow also tied into all of the other various signs that we had experienced or felt some nine years before.
The announcement was passed on to my family at my grandpas bedside of the arrival of another son, and my aunt leaned over to my grandpas ear and whispered he had made it into this world safely. My grandpa let out a small sigh, and exactly twelve hours later, now on the anniversary of my brothers journey to heaven, my grandpa joined him. I didn’t know if I was supposed to mourn my loss, or celebrate that not only did Grandpa go to the paradise he believed in, but that he got to see my brother again as well. OBT_STARCKLAWRENCE_042405.EPS

The circle of life renewed…

The circle of life renewed…

So I write this fifteen and nine years later. It’s been a powerful week, as I’ve also come from the Line Of Duty Death funeral of a local legend of a Deputy Sheriff as well. While so many of us may mourn, there are so many reasons to also celebrate, and I am looking within to explore my own weaknesses and how to strengthen them. At Deputy Seversen’s funeral I listened to the song 10,000 Reasons from Matt Redman and performed by Craig T Olson. In this annual week of very hard emotions another message is delivered to me, and one that I’ll carry.
“The sun comes up, It’s a new day dawning.
It’s time to sing your song again.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.”
Once more, when I need the help, words have been provided to me. Amen.

Insert at POSO Deputy Mike Seversen's funeral

Another message from above, through a timely, yet random article in the newspaper. Reunion-Welcome Home by Hahlbohm

Another message from above, through a timely, yet random article in the newspaper.
Reunion-Welcome Home by Hahlbohm