US Marine Handgun Training Changes Underway

    Marine M9

    The US Marine Corps appears to be moving to the new Combat Pistol Program (CPP) ahead of schedule.  The pistol qualification course is a replacement for the Entry Level Pistol Program (ELPP), and is supposed to be in place at all commands by November 2014.  However, the Marine Corps Times is reporting that many units are implementing the program well ahead of that date.

    According to the Marine Corps Times, the ELPP allowed a Marine 10 minutes to shoot 15 rounds at 25 yards.  The new program has stages from 7 to 25 yards and times of 5 to 12 seconds.

    As some of you know, my professional background is in law enforcement.  One of the things that always struck me about military vets that came into police work was the high degree of incompetence most soldiers and Marines demonstrated toward handguns.  With rifles, they were all proficient and most could teach me a few things.  But with handguns, the lack of skill was downright depressing.  That’s not a commentary on the individuals, rather a condemnation of the poor training they were given.

    I’m glad to see that the Marine Corps is taking pistol training more seriously, and that the various commands are embracing the new training.  While the use of a pistol in combat is probably a relatively rare occurrence compared to the rifle, the guys carrying a pistol need to know how to use it efficiently.

    Richard Johnson

    An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is