Shooting Qualifications & Ranges


Online Classes: Prior Lake Horse Club Prior Lake MN
Classes held in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Lakeville, Prior Lake, Shakopee, Eagan
all use the the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club or the Burnsville Pistol Range
Classes held in: Henriette, Pine City and Cambridge Classes use private land (public land when available) or the Brahm Sportsman’s Club
Classes held in Isle Minnesota classes use the indoor range at Boone’s Fine Guns

Shooting Qualifications

The MN BCA stated on 12/04/2006 that “actual firearms” must be used in performing an actual shooting qualification exercise (which we have always used in our training). Note that the BCA has NO administrative law making capability under this law, but instead tied their interpretation to the certification of companies that provide training (i.e. do it our way or lose certification).

Further, the BCA interpretation of the 2005 MCPPA law is one that requires “live fire” (though live fire is not explicitly stated in the law). The BCA Commissioner’s office issued a statement to all MCPPA instructors, (though they have no administrative law powers under MCPPA) that MN Law requires an “actual shooting qualification exercise” which is interpreted by the MN BCA (the entity who certifies training organizations) to mean an exercise using “actual firearms”. If an “actual firearm” is not used, then the certifying organization risks being decertified.

However, note that Minnesota does not have a set course of “qualification” per se. There is no fixed course of fire specified by the law, no live fire requirement fixed by statute (though the BCA as stated above has issued their interpretation of the law), no minimum caliber and the exercise is NOT a test. Each instructor is free to design their own shooting qualification exercise as they deem reasonable.

You qualify by performing the exercise and by learning something in the process. If you need work on shooting accuracy, we work with you as the exercise is being performed (within reason). You should be prepared to show us you know how to shoot as opposed to us showing you how to shoot.

In our exercise, we have you shoot 10 to 20 rounds (depending on the shooter’s skill) at 15 – 21 feet. You absolutely must perform the exercise safely and of course hit your target 7 out of 10 shots minimum. We do have a firearm for your use for those of you who do not yet own a carry gun.

To pass: Handle the firearm safely and hit the target 7 out of 10 consecutive rounds in center of mass.

If we see something in your stance, grip, trigger control or other shooting fundamental that requires correction, we may have you correct the defect and shoot some more.

Our 10-shot course of fire is designed for experienced shooters. If we can’t tell that you know how to handle a firearm by having you shoot 10 rounds, then we should not be instructing. In fact we tell all students that if they DO NOT know how to shoot, then shoot last so we can work with them or sign up with us and take a private lesson before you take our carry class.

If you do not do well after two attempts at our simple qualification exercise you will fail and can not be certified. However you can shoot again at another date after you’ve practiced on your own, or take a private lesson or our NRA Basic Pistol course. All of these options & courses carry an additional fee.

Another way to fail this exercise is to handle the firearm in an unsafe manner.

Q: Can I qualify with a .22 caliber pistol?

A: Yes. Minnesota law does not specify a caliber that you need to use in performing the actual shooting qualification exercise. Your focus will be on safety and safely completing the exercise. A .22 is however, too light of a cartridge to be used for reliable self-defense purposes. It is however fine for the qualification exercise.

For carry purposes, there are small handguns available in .32 and .380 calibers. Some are excellent semi-auto firearms such as the Beretta Tomcat in .32 or the Bersa Thunder or better still, the Walther PPK in .380. And of course there are excellent firearms by Glock and Walther in 9mm and .40 caliber as well. On the big-bore size there are .45, 10mm, and .357 Sig or .357 Mag. All make excellent calibers for carry and self-defense.

You choose a caliber and a firearm that is the largest caliber that you can accurately control and shoot.

The choice is yours. We won’t erect any false or self-imposed barriers to your constitutional right to carry.