Texas CHL Shooting Proficiency Test
The Texas License to Carry Proficiency Test is not a difficult shooting test to pass. It is a timed test designed with plenty of time to take your shots accurately.
You will be shooting at a B-27 target. B27 targets are 24"x45" and come in many colors. We prefer the style that is specific to the Texas carry permit, that uses the 5/4/3 scoring used in the carry permit class. There are 3 stages:
- 20 rounds from 3 yards (100 points possible)
- 20 rounds from 7 yards (100 points possible)
- 10 rounds from 15 yards (50 points possible)
To pass all you have to do is shoot 175 (70%) of the possible 250 points. We have been teaching the license to carry course since the program started in 1995 and we've never had a student fail the shooting test. We provide coaching and have students shoot practice drills before they shoot the test to make sure the student is ready to test before shooting for score. State regulations give you three tries to pass.
The test is easy enough that someone with virtually no handgun shooting experience can be coached to a passing score in our standard 2 hour private range session or during our Basic Pistol 2 (Online LTC Completion) course. Students new to handgun shooting would benefit from taking a beginner/intro to handgun shooting course prior to the carry permit class. We offer our Basic Pistol 1 as a group class and by appointment as a weekday private session that can also include opportunities to try a variety of guns to assist in finding the best carry gun before you purchase one.
CHL SHOOTING TEST
3 yards, 20 rounds
7 yards, 20 rounds
15 yards, 10 rounds
Here's a video of students shooting the 3 yard part of the carry permit test at our range:
Here is a video of students firing the 7 yard part of the shooting test.
Here is a video of one student firing the 15 yard part of the shooting test, drawing from concealment and using a KRT-2 (smaller) target on top of the B-27. (Drawing from concealment is NOT required for the shooting test and is only shown here to provide an example of higher level handgun skills students should learn if they plan to carry on body in public).
The shooting test requires 50 rounds of ammunition. Per the requirements from the Department of Public Safety, ammo used for the shooting test must be from a vendor certified by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute (list of member companies at the link). That means no gun show remanufactured or "my neighbor's reloads" ammo.
We recommend bringing 100-150 rounds of ammunition with you, for shooting pre-test practice drills and to have enough to shoot the test twice, if necessary, to pass.
You can use any handgun, .22 caliber or greater. The state has removed the restrictions from the handgun proficiency part of the course. That means you can qualify with any handgun (revolver or semiauto) and carry any handgun.
The gun you use for the shooting test does not have to be the gun you plan to carry.
All shooting can be done with one or two hands, and those with physical disabilities are allowed to sit when shooting the test. Unfortunately, state regulations do not allow the use of red dot sights or lasers for the shooting test. Until the Legislature and governor changes the statute to remove this language, all shooting for the test has to be done with traditional sights.
All strings start from a ready position (gun pointed to the side of, or below, the target) with finger OFF trigger, alongside the slide.
Shooting test tips
1) Don't aim at the center of the B-27 target. If you have to shoot at someone to save your life, shooting for the high center chest, not the "center of mass" is more effective. The high center chest is where vital organs are located.
Most missed shots with handguns go low, so aiming at the high center of the scoring area gives you a greater margin of error.
2) Understand how your sights work.
At close range (3 and 7 yards) , the bullets hit where the center of the dot in the front sight is, not above the sights. That's another reason not to aim at the exact middle of the B-27 target.
3) Get the gun up to the target quickly when the FIRE command is given. The more quickly you get the gun on target and aimed, the more time you have to press the trigger slowly and smoothly. Most shots missed on the test happen because people take too long getting the gun on target and then pull the trigger too hard and too fast in a frantic dash to get the shot fired before the time runs out. Most people's natural shooting speed is about twice as fast as the test limits, so you can slow down more than you think and still make the times and get better hits!
HOLSTERS AND CAR CARRY
There is no requirement to have a holster or draw the gun from a holster as part of the test.
However -- we STRONGLY recommend that anyone planning to carry get formal training in how to select and use a holster. Our Defensive Pistol Skills 1 class covers this material, and we have loaner holsters available so you can wait until after class to purchase a holster that will meet your needs.
Even if your plan is only to keep the gun in your vehicle, it needs a holster to cover the trigger guard to prevent accidental discharge, and the holster gives you the option to wear the gun.
Keeping a handgun in the glove box, console, under the seat or in the driver's side map pocket is a terrible idea, as is mounting a holster or magnet to your car's interior. The #1 source of guns used in crime is unsecured guns stolen from vehicles. If you must store a handgun in a vehicle, you need a locking box so the gun is protected by more than your car windows.
You are FAR more likely to need the handgun when away from your vehicle than when you are in it. National trainer Tom Givens (Rangemaster) has had 68 students involved in shooting incidents. Many occurred in and around vehicles, but none occurred when the students were in the cars. These students survived because they were wearing their guns. None had to retreat back to a vehicle to get their gun. Parking lots and transitional spaces (between vehicle and building) are the most dangerous locations.
Often people that choose to "car carry" believe that it's a good idea to keep the gun with a magazine inserted but nothing chambered. This is usually the sort of person that rarely (never?) practices with their handgun and has little understanding of the gun's design. Modern guns are safe to carry with a round chambered and are drop-safe. The solution to this problem is training beyond the carry permit level such as the courses in our Defensive Pistol Skills Program.
Under stress, the unskilled person are very likely to forget to rack the slide to chamber a round, and even if they were sufficiently skilled, there may not be time to do that before they are injured or killed. There are no training programs nor any credible national trainers that recommend unchambered carry.
If you have to store your gun in the vehicle, a locking box big enough to store the loaded, holstered gun is the best answer, and putting the gun on (and concealing it) is the best self-defense option. Then if you have to exit the vehicle, you have the gun with you.