Arizona Post Revolver Qualification: The Modern Sixgun

Whenever I shoot these police quals, they all revolve around automatic handguns. Occasionally I’ll see one for backup guns that could include revolvers, but even that’s fairly rare. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a revolver qualification. It’s from the state that gave birth to “Tombstone” and the O.K. Corral, so it most certainly makes some sense. The Arizona POST still has a revolver qual on file, or at least one you can find by searching the internet. 

I’m not sure if Arizona still permits its police officers to carry revolvers, but they most certainly seemed to have til at least 2013, which is the date I found attached to the Arizona revolver qual. I’m not a revolver expert. In fact, it’s part of the gun world I’m really trying to get into. I’m an enthusiastic amateur. With that in mind, I figured the Arizona POST Revolver qual would be a great way for me to build skills. 

Necessary Gear

We need a revolver, of course. The qual consistently tells you to load six rounds. I admittedly only have two double-action revolvers these days. The first is a snub nose Ruger LCR and the second is a Ruger GP100. The LCR holds five rounds, and the GP100 holds seven rounds. I’m going to stick with my seven shooters with their three-inch barrel and seven-round capacity. 

Gun and ammo
A little ammo and a little gun are almost all you need.

We’ll need a holster to draw from. They specifically mention that the holster should have its snap in place. I’m guessing they mean a button-type design that acts as an active retention device for the gun. I’m not saying that’s a requirement, but you’ll need a holster

We need 50 rounds of ammo. My gun is a .357 Magnum, but I’m going to shoot the much cheaper .38 Special through it. Fifty rounds aren’t bad in terms of ammo consumption. It doesn’t break the bank. We will need a TQ-15, TQ-19, or TQ-21 target. These are fairly common. In reality, any modern silhouette target will work. 

Finally, grab your shot timer because these drills are timed. Of course, we’ll need our eyes and ears to kick things off. I’m using ISO Tunes plugs and Gatorz today. 


Scoring is really simple. It’s two sentences on the qual. If using the TQ-15, the center of the scoring area is five points, the bigger scoring area is four, and the rest is two points. 

With the TQ-19 and TQ-21, you get five points for shots within the scoring area and everything else in a miss. I’m using the free, printable Sage Dynamics targets, and they represent the head and chest are small areas, so it’s all five points for me as long as I don’t miss them. 

Let’s Start Shooting the Arizona POST Revolver Qual

I grabbed my six gun… I mean seven guns and my .38 Special and hit the range. You’ll shoot as close as three yards and as far away as 25 yards. The course of fire is pretty simple and is only four stages, but each of those stages has some phases to it. 

Stage One: 25 yards 

Start with the gun loaded with six rounds and holstered at your hip. You’ll shoot with both hands, and you can pick between single or double action. 

At the beep, draw and fire two rounds. You have six seconds to draw and fire. 

Shooting with two hands
Shooting with two hands is comfy.

Now assume the ready position with your revolver. On the beep, you’ll fire two rounds in five seconds. 

Stage Two: Three Yards 

We went from far to close awfully fast, right? Well, get ready to exercise your trigger finger once more. We’ll be firing 18 rounds at the three-yard line with three phases. You’ll fire six rounds per phase. 

Phase One

We’ll be working on our strong hand skills. Load the gun with six rounds and holster the gun. At the beep, draw and fire two rounds with your strong hand only. You have three seconds. 

Assume the ready position with your strong hand. On the beep, fire two rounds in two seconds. 

Maintain the ready position with just your strong hand and fire two rounds in two seconds.

strong hand shooting
I do a bit better with my strong hand. 

Phase Two

This time we’ll be firing with both hands. Ensure your revolver is loaded with six rounds. Holster the weapon. On the beep, draw and fire two rounds. You have three seconds to do so. 

Maintain the two-handed ready position. Fire two rounds in two seconds. 

Once more, maintain the two-handed ready position. Fire two rounds in two seconds. 

Phase Three 

Finally, we are going with your support hand only. Welcome to my nightmare. Load your revolver with six rounds and assume a support hand-ready position. Fire two rounds in three seconds. 

Keep that ready position, and on the beep, fire two rounds in three seconds. 

One more time, keep the ready position and fire two rounds in three seconds. 

shooting with one hand
One hand with a DAO trigger was interesting to master.

Stage Three: Seven Yards 

Let’s return to tradition and shoot two-handed. This time we are going to shoot 14 rounds, which is a number finally divisible by my seven-shot revolver. Even so, we are going to load six rounds into our revolver and holster the gun. 

On the beep, draw the revolver and fire three rounds. We have four seconds to get it done. Returning to two hands feels great, right? 

reloading revolver
Reloading one at a time is slow, I need a speed strip

Assume the ready position. On the beep, fire three more rounds and do a tactical reload with a minimum of three rounds. Fire three rounds. You have 15 seconds to do so. 

Finally, load the gun with three rounds. On the beep, fire three rounds and conduct an empty gun reload with at least two rounds. Fire those two rounds. You have 12 seconds total. 

Stage Four: 15 Yards 

We’ll finish this course of fire off with 12 rounds, fired with two hands, all fired in double action. Let’s finish strong. 

Load the gun with six rounds and holster the weapon. On the beep, draw and fire three rounds in five seconds. Assume a ready position and, on the beep, fire three rounds in four seconds. 

reloading revolver
Half the battle to rleoad is getting the gun empty

Next, reload the gun with six rounds. Holster the weapon. On the beep, draw and fire two rounds in four seconds. Now, assume the ready position. On the command, fire one round in two seconds. 

To finish your last three rounds, you’ll repeat the above stage. It’s simple. 

Running the Six Gun 

Oh man, I seriously need some practice with the revolver. I’m coming to really enjoy shooting revolvers, so I think I can shape up. With that in mind, the Arizona POST revolver qual is a great way for beginners to test their skills. I have a feeling a revolver fan and experienced shooter would fly through this course of fire. 

For me, it was quite the challenge, and it’s likely a great place for revolver shooters to start their six-gun journey. I enjoyed my time, but I feel it’s likely a little easy for a police officer. If someone carries a gun for a living, this shouldn’t be a challenge. 

Give it a shot, or six, and let us know what you think about this revolver qual. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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