Swift | Silent | Deadly

Shoot Like an Operator Part II: CSAT Rifle Standards

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Last week we took at look at the CSAT Pistol Standards. This week we shift to carbine and shoot the CSAT Rifle standards. Like the pistol standards, this set of drills was designed by Paul Howe. Howe is a highly respected special operations veteran, former member of “the unit” and the Battle of The Black Sea. He is also the author of Leadership and Training for the Fight and The CSAT Way. Let’s get into the CSAT Rifle Standards!

CSAT Rifle Standards

The CSAT Rifle Standards is a 10-stage drill. It isn’t terribly difficult to setup and run. Like the pistol standards, a lot of skills are tested. These including multiple target engagement, short and medium-distance shooting, various shooting positions, and multiple shot engagements. A good familiarity with your carbine is necessary to pass this drill. The times, while no brutal, are fairly tight. Let’s see how I do on this drill!

Shooting the CSAT standards requires two targets. The preferred target is the Combat Shooting & Tactics (CSAT) target. I didn’t have that on hand. Instead I printed a USPSA A-zone (opens to pdf) and pasted it to a IDPA silhouette. Normally I’m content to modify drills to be shot on an IDPA silhouette. In this instance, I wanted to stick with the spirit of Howe’s drill because he has some specific reasoning behind it (explained in the video).

The scoring zone is the head box and the vertical rectangle. Scoring is straightforward: it’s in the box or it isn’t. Any stage with rounds outside the scoring zone or shots over time are a no-go. Most drills are shot at 7 yards with one each at 100, 50, 75, and 25. Thirty-seven rifle rounds and one pistol round are required. Shooters must pass 8 of 10 stages to pass the drill.

Course of Fire

The COF is available on CSAT’s website but I’ll put it here for convenience:

  • Stage 1: 7 yards, ready, 1 shot, 1 second
  • Stage 2: 7 yards, ready, 2 shots, 1.5 seconds
  • Stage 3: 7 yards, ready, 2 body, 1 head, 1.75 seconds
  • Stage 4: 7 yards, ready, 5 body, 1 head, 3 seconds
  • Stage 5: 7 yards, ready, 2 shots on each target, 2 seconds
  • Stage 6: 7 yards, ready, 1 shot rifle, transition, 1 shot pistol, 3.25 seconds
  • Stage 7: 100 yards, prone, 5 shots, 20 seconds
  • Stage 8: 75 yards, kneeling, 5 shots, 20 seconds
  • Stage 9: 50 yards, kneeling, 5 shots, 20 seconds
  • Stage 10: 25 yards, ready, 5 shots, 8 seconds

Shots must be in the appropriate scoring zone to count. On stages 7, 8, and 9, four of each five shots must be in the scoring zone to pass. This is a very good, all-around carbine drill, I highly recommend you get out and shoot this one!

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