Equipment Needed | Law Enforcement Firearm Competitions

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Equipment Needed

There is no need to go out and purchase equipment to compete in a Tactical Police Competition. You already have the gear you need: a duty handgun, a patrol rifle and shotgun are all you need to be successful. Below are the rules pertaining to your equipment. Be sure to review the full tactical police competition standards.


Firearm Divisions

Firearms used in NRA Tactical Police Competitions must be duty type firearms. Firearms designed for competitive shooting, even those based on duty gun models, and firearms that have competitive accessories or modifications are not allowed. Based on the features of the competitor's firearms, they will compete in either the Patrol or Tactical Division. While there are other restrictions, the basic difference between the Divisions is:

Patrol Division: All firearms used must have mechanical sights (iron). Shotgun must be pump action.

Tactical Division: Handgun with mechanical fixed or adjustable duty iron, duty luminescent duty or duty fiber optic sights or approved Duty Handgun Optic. Shotgun may be pump or semi-automatic action with fixed or adjustable mechanical sights. Rifle may have one optical sight, such as a telescopic, red dot or holographic sight.

Invitational Division: At the discretion of the Tournament Director persons who do not meet TPC eligibility requirements may be allowed to participate. These may include volunteer match officials, match sponsors, and firearm industry representatives. Invitational competitors are not eligible for prizes but are eligible for any Invitational Division Trophies that may be assigned to the event. Recorded scores are maintained and published separately from regular competitors.

Patrol & Tactical Division Handguns

Handgun Type

Commercially manufactured semi-automatic pistols and revolvers primarily marketed to law enforcement agencies for use as a Duty Handgun for law enforcement uniformed patrol.  No external modifications to the handgun may be made except as specifically allowed in these Standards. Commercially produced uniform duty holsters must be available for the handgun. Double Action semi-automatic pistols must fire the first shot of every course Double Action. No thumb cocking is allowed.  Competition handguns or “tactical – practical” crossover models based on law enforcement handguns are not allowed, examples include the Glock 34 & 35, SIG P320 X-Five, and Smith & Wesson M&P CORE.  Competitors need to contact NRA Law Enforcement Competitions if they have any doubts about handgun eligibility.

Handgun Size

Unloaded handguns, with unloaded magazine inserted, must fit within the TPC Check Box which has internal dimensions of 8 3/4" x 6" x 1 5/8".  The handgun must pass the handgun Check Box with all magazines used by the competitor.  Handguns will be checked before a match and may be rechecked as directed by the Match Director at any time.  Handgun Fit Check Boxes are available from Law Enforcement Competitions.

Handgun Caliber

Minimum of 9mm (9x19) for semi-automatics and .38 Special for revolvers.  Exception:  Law Enforcement / Military model handguns, rifles and carbines chambered in the FN 5.7 caliber are approved.

Barrel Length

Maximum barrel length of 5 inches. Threaded barrel ends are allowed but are included when measuring barrel length.  No porting or compensators permitted. Exception: Factory produced Springfield Ported XD & Glock “C” Models are approved.


Patrol Division: Mechanical fixed or adjustable sights are permitted.  Factory or aftermarket mechanical duty sights, including luminescent and fiber optic sights, are permissible.
Tactical Division: As above, or may be equipped with an approved Duty Handgun Optic. See §5.5.   
See Sections 5.7 & 5.8 for lasers and mounted lights.

Magazine Capacity

No magazine used during the match may exceed the handgun manufacturer’s length and capacity specifications for standard duty magazines for that model.  Round capacity may not be increased by use of extended base pads or floor plates. They can be used for grip enhancement but the handgun must pass the TPC Check Box inspection with the extended magazine installed. All magazines must be loaded to capacity unless specified otherwise in the course of fire instructions. In no case can a magazine be loaded with more than 18 rounds.


Factory original or aftermarket grips/stocks of the same size and design.  Finger groove slip on grips, grip decals, and grip tape is allowed. Grips/stocks may be modified, stippled, checkered, or changed because of the size of a competitor’s hand. Thumb rest grips/stocks, or weighted grips are not allowed.

Add On Magazine Wells

Unaltered commercially manufactured catalog item devices to facilitate reloading are allowed if designed for duty use and the handgun passes the TPC Check Box inspection with the device installed.  Such device cannot increase the original left-to-right width at the bottom of the grip more than 5/8 of an inch.  Magazine wells designed for competition, such as ICE, EGW, and other such magwells, are not permitted, even if milled down to meet the maximum grip limit.

Patrol & Tactical Division Shotguns

Shotgun Type

Commercially manufactured tube fed shotguns primarily manufactured and marketed to law enforcement agencies for use as patrol Duty Shotguns.  Examples include:  Remington 870 and  11-87 law enforcement models, FNH law enforcement models, Mossberg 500 and 590 law enforcement models, and Benelli Super 90, M2 and M4 law enforcement models.  No external modifications may be made except as specifically allowed in these Standards.

Competitors may use a “civilian” or “sporting” version of a law enforcement model shotgun produced by the same manufacturer of the law enforcement model.  Examples: A Remington sporting model 870 shotgun could be used instead of the Remington 870 Police Shotgun or a Remington 1100 civilian model could be used since it was the predecessor of the Model 11-87 Police model.  All other requirements, such as maximum barrel length, must still be complied with.

Magazine fed shotguns, including the new Remington 870 DM and Mossburg MAG-FED 590, are not allowed but will be re-evaluated annually as they come into law enforcement service.

Patrol Division
Only law enforcement model pump action shotguns are permitted in the Patrol Division.  Models that have dual action systems (pump and semi-auto) may be used but must be used in pump action mode.

Tactical Division
Law Enforcement model semi-automatic or pump action shotguns are permitted.

Shotgun Gauge

Only 12 gauge is permitted.

Barrel Length

Barrel length may not exceed 22.5 inches.  No barrel porting or compensators permitted. Any part of a choke tube which extends past the muzzle of the barrel will be considered part of the barrel and included when measuring barrel length.


Fixed or interchangeable with no porting or gas/recoil compensation design. Choke size must allow for the firing of slugs.  If the shotgun is equipped with an interchangeable or adjustable choke it cannot be changed or adjusted after the first round, with any firearm, of the match has been fired. Law Enforcement chokes incorporating added length and ports to serve as a stand-off device for breaching rounds are allowed. An external ported choke tube may be replaced with a non-ported choke to be compliant.


Mechanical fixed or adjustable sights are permitted. Factory or aftermarket mechanical duty sights, including luminescent and fiber optic sights, are permissible.

Magazine Tube Capacity

Magazine tube may be factory original or aftermarket. Tubes may not extend more than ¾ of an inch past the end of the barrel’s muzzle.  Magazine tubes may hold no more than 8 rounds with the maximum number of rounds in a shotgun at any time being 9 rounds. Rounds may NOT be “ghost loaded,” staged on the shell carrier, or otherwise placed between the magazine tube and the bolt/chamber. They must be loaded into the magazine tube or into the chamber.  After loading as instructed by the Range Officer, no additional rounds may be loaded until at least one designated Threat Target has been engaged. Loading may be further restricted by course of fire instructions.

Bolt Handles, Bolt Releases, Safeties

Factory Bolt Handles, Bolt Releases and Safeties may be replaced with factory or aftermarket Combat/Tactical versions marketed for law enforcement or military use.

Patrol & Tactical Division Rifles


Commercially manufactured rifles primarily marketed to law enforcement agencies for use as a Duty Rifle for law enforcement uniformed patrol.  Any action type - Bolt, Semi-Automatic, Lever Action, Pump, etc.  Competitors legally possessing select-fire rifles, short barreled rifles, or pistol caliber carbines may use them in TPC matches but they may not be used in full auto mode.  AR Pistols cannot be used as rifles or carbines. No external modifications may be made except as specifically allowed in these Standards.


Minimum rifle caliber of .223 / 5.56mm. For competitors using a law enforcement pistol caliber carbine in rifle courses the minimum is 9mm and FN 5.7. The Match Director may limit maximum caliber due to range restrictions, steel target limitations, etc.

Barrel Length

Barrel length may not exceed 20 inches.  Factory installed or aftermarket military and law enforcement marketed Flash Hiders and Muzzle Brakes are permitted and considered part of the barrel when measuring barrel length.  In no case will the device diameter exceed 0.95 inches or 2.75 inches in length.  When measured, attachment levers or clamps, such as for a suppressor, are not included in the overall measurement.  Size Exception: Muzzle devices that have no side ports, cuts, or other openings that are designed to eliminate side blast and direct gas forward to protect nearby personnel during entry work, such as the Noveske KX3, Troy Claymore, Griffin Armament QD Blast Shield and Hera Arms Linear Compensator may have a larger diameter. Competitors should contact NRA LE Staff to check on all such devices.  Sound Suppressors: May not be used due to inconsistent recording by Shot Timers. 


Patrol Division
Mechanical fixed or adjustable sights are permitted. Factory or aftermarket iron sights, night sights, or fiber optic sights are permissible.

Tactical Division
Rifle may be equipped with one optical sight.  Sight may be a telescopic, red dot, or holographic type sight.  Flip up magnifier devices in line with the optic that have NO aiming reticle are allowed and count as part of the optic it is being used with. The magnifier must be attached to the rifle during the entire match and cannot be removed and reattached from course to course, whether it is used or not.
Rifle may also be equipped with co-witnessed rail mounted two piece back up front and rear iron sight.  These sights can be mounted in-line with the optic or angle mounted, such as the Diamondhead D-45 off-set swing out sight, Knight’s Armament 45° Offset Rail Micro Folding Sight, or Magpul MBUS Pro Offset Sight.  These sights must be in the lowered position on the Start Signal.

Magazine Capacity

No more than 30 rounds.  Magazines must be loaded to capacity, or downloaded by up to 2 rounds to improve functioning and reloading.  Loading may may be restricted by course instructions. Magazines may be cinched/coupled together.

Magazine Well Alterations

Oversize competition magazine well extensions, such as the Arredondo magwell, may not be used. Thin walled tactical duty extensions, such as the Lancer L15 Standard or Tactical models and the C Products STRAC extension, are allowed.

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For more information about the Law Enforcement Division, call us at (703) 267-1632 or email [email protected].


Law Enforcement Firearm Competitions

The NRA Law Enforcement Division offers a complete police shooting program to police departments and law enforcement agencies to encourage patrol officers to gain more experience, training and time on the range using their duty firearms.