The GSARQ — AKA the Georgia Semi Auto Rifle Qual By: Travis Pike


Another day, another Patrol rifle qualification. Not a lot of people can call Georgians their northern neighbor, but I can—and do—much to their chagrin. In my defense, I’d be less inclined to pick on them if they’d learn how to drive their trucks with their boats. Today we are looking at the Georgia Semi-Auto Rifle Qualification. I’ll be calling it the GSARQ cause acronyms make life much easier. 

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The GSARQ is Georgia’s standard for using a semi-auto platform for police work. The GSARQ covers both a rifle and a submachine gun, so you can use a standard rifle or a PCC and have no problem here. The course of fire requires a 50-yard range. Optics are allowed and encouraged, but this can be fired with iron sights. 

Guns and Gear of the GSARQ 

Let’s dive into the guns and gear of the GSARQ. You’ll need some form of semi auto rifle -ish platform. A braced pistol could certainly be used if you so desire. Make sure you bring a sling. On the flip side, you’ll also need a handgun and holster for one of the stages. 

Georgia Semi-Auto Qual gear
It’s not gear-heavy, but it’s not gear-light either.

You will need a total of 28 rifle or SMG rounds and at least two rounds of ammunition for your handgun. The GSARQ advised bringing a full magazine of handgun ammunition. The handgun requires a single magazine, but the rifle will need three magazines. You’ll also need something to carry those spare magazines. 

You’ll need something you can use for cover. I use my favorite PTSB-Lite, but you can use a blue barrel, trash can, or whatever works. 

Dank Robber chest rig
The Dank Robber served as my chest rig for this Qual.

You’ll need two SQT A-1 targets per shooter. These will make your qual a little more official, but you could replace them with an IPSC-style target or something similar. Eyes, ears, and a shot timer will round out your needs. 

Scoring The GSARQ 

With the SQT A-1 targets, scoring is very easy. If using a different target, you may have to modify it to make it work. 

Inside the Center Mass Line: 10 Points 

Outside the Center Mass Line: 8 Points

You will fire 28 rounds of rifle ammo and two rounds of pistol ammo. The maximum score achievable is 300 points. A minimum passing score is 240 points. 

The Finer Details 

Your rifle magazines should be loaded in a specific way for the GSARQ. Your first magazine will hold six rounds, your second will hold twelve rounds, and your third will hold ten rounds. Reloads will be on the shooter, and you will not be told to reload. 

If you have a malfunction within 30 yards, you can switch to your handgun and finish the string of fire. This is an option and will likely help you stay within the timelines. 

The low ready will be the ready position. This means the stock is in the shoulder, with the muzzle pointing towards the ground. 

Stage One: 50 Yard Line — Use of Cover Required 

String 1: Start outside of cover. On the command or, in our case, the beeeeep, you will move behind cover and begin pieing around the corner until you see the threat. When you find the targets, engage them with one round each. You have six seconds total. 

Georgia Semi-Auto-qual shooting from behind cover in Stage 1
A good LPVO goes a long way, even at 50 yards.

String 2: Start in the prone position and utilize cover. At the beep, fire one round on each target in four seconds. This range will have you appreciating your LPVO or magnifier. 

Stage Two: 30 Yard Line — Use of Cover Required 

String 1: At 30 yards, you’ll still have two rounds in that magazine. Keep that in mind. You’ll stand outside of the cover, and at the beep, you’ll move behind the cover and fire one round on each target. Now transition to a kneeling position remaining behind cover. 

Georgia semi-auto qual reloading at stage 2
I really need to work on reloads.

What happened? Oh, you ran out of ammo, so get speedy on that reload. I’d drop the empty mag on my way to take a knee. We ain’t got time to be slow. The GSARQ needs you to be fast for this. With the 12-round magazine in place, you need to fire one more round in each target. You have twelve seconds to accomplish everything. 

Stage Three: 15 Yard Line 

String 1: Shooter assumes the low ready. On the command to fire, the shooter will engage both targets with two rounds in five seconds. 

String 2: Stand in front of the right side target in the low ready. On the command to fire, shoot the right side target with two rounds, then take a step left and fire two more rounds on the right side target. 

Travis Pike shooting the Georgia semi-auto qual
The course of fire involves only 28 rounds.

String 3: Stand in from of the left side target in a low ready position. On the beep, shooters will fire two rounds on the left target. Boom, your gun is empty once more. Now instead of reloading, transition to your handgun and fire two rounds on the left target. You have eight seconds total. 

At the end of this GSARQ drill, reload your rifle with your ten-round magazine. 

String Four: Start in the low ready. At the beep, engage each target with a well-aimed headshot. You have three seconds to do so. 

Stage Four: 10 Yard Line 

String 1: You’re close enough to smell them now. You’ll be in the low ready. At the beep, you take one step left or right, and issue verbal commands, then fire one round at each target in three seconds. 

This string seemingly requires two beeps of two commands. One to stop and issue commands, and the other to shoot. Personally, I think you can drop the commands and take a step left or right and shoot each target with a single beep in three seconds and would modify the string to run that way. 

Travis Pike shooting
The course of fire takes you both near and far from the target.

String 2: On the beep step left or right, issue verbal commands, then engage each target with two rounds in five seconds. 

Like the above drill, I think you can ditch the commands and focus on moving and shooting the targets. 

String 3: Let’s finish the GSARQ with a simple snap drill. Start in the low ready. On the command to fire, engage each target with one round in two seconds. 

Empty and Show Clear 

That’s it. You shot the Georgia Semi Auto Rifle Qual. I like this course of fire. It takes into account realistic rifle ranges for urban environments and challenges you to shoot at distances beyond inside the home. Is the time a little generous here and there? Maybe, but nowhere near as egregious as other quals I’ve shot. 

It’s also a fairly fun qual, and I guess my neighbors to the north have it together in one way or another. Now, if they’d just learn how to use a boat ramp, we’d be all good.