The “training scar” fallacy is a popular myth that refuses to die. It typically stems from making unsubstantiated claims against some aspect of competitive shooting. El Presidente remains a popular target.

Review how a school like Gunsite uses a drill like this:

Set up three silhouette-type targets with an identified and reasonably-sized center zone (about 8 inches across) at around 10 meters away. At the command to start, turn, present, engage each target with two shots, reload, and re-engage each with two more shots.

Use a par time of 10 seconds for self-loading handguns and 12 for revolvers. Score 5 points for hits in the center zone, 2 for shots outside that zone but hitting the silhouette, and 0 for misses. If completed faster than the suggested par time, add a 5 point bonus for every full second faster; if slower than the par time, deduct 5 points for every full second.

Completing the course on par with 12 centered hits scores 60 points. Gunsite Operations Manager Ed Head says, “Jeff Cooper felt anyone capable of performing this drill on demand, with a suitable carry pistol, achieving a score of 45 or better, was probably an expert with their firearm and carry gear.” Gunsite uses 40+ points as “Good” and 50+ points as “Great” for their students.

By practical competition standards, this isn’t terribly great shooting. Shooting in Production division (which resembles carry gear) completing CM99-11 with a Hit Factor of 6 (60 points as described above, which is “Great/Expert” among Gunsite students) will be competitive with C Class shooters, a Level 2 Classification and the second lowest skill bracket.

The only considerable “training scar” impacting most military, law enforcement, and civilian gun owners is a general lack of skill. A simple review of the very low standards that declare one as “qualified” on typical public sector courses exposes this. Very few military, law enforcement, and CCW people lacking competition shooting can consistently hit that 40+ point level Gunsite recommends, and even that would put you with the Level 1 (D Class) shooters.

The potential problems highlighted against competitive shooting are interesting to consider but do not become relevant until a base of ability is built. Using the El Presidente course highlighted here, a handgun owner that can’t consistently pull it off with decent hits (all on the silhouettes, most of them centered) in under 12 seconds can not have a “training scar” because they do not yet have anything resembling training.