Hackathorn Standards

designed by Ken Hackathorn

Range: varies (see below)
Target: three IPSC (or IDPA) targets spaced 1yd apart at heights (from left to right) of 5′, 6′, 4′.
Start position: varies
Rounds fired: 60

The Hackathorn Standards have become a mainstay of practical pistol performance evaluation. Designed by Ken Hackathorn in 1993, the “Hack Standards” formed the blueprint from which the IDPA Classifier was developed.

Scoring of the targets:

  • anywhere in the head, 5 points
  • A-zone (-0 on IDPA target), 5 points
  • C-zone (-1 on IDPA target), 3 points
  • D-zone (-3 on IDPA target), 2 points
  • miss, 0 points

Any time a head shot is required, a hit anywhere else on the target counts as a complete miss. Any time no target zone is specified, or body shots are specified, hits to the head box still score 5 points. Shots fired more than 0.30 seconds after the PAR time count as misses. (Ken grants a 0.30 second grace period on the PAR times. In other words, if a string calls for a 3.00 second PAR, any shot fired within 3.30 seconds counts for score.)

There is no concealment requirement. Strings of fire are shot from the holster unless specified otherwise.

No extra (“make up”) shots are allowed.

There are thirteen strings of fire:

String Distance Hand(s) Shots PAR
1 5 yd 2H draw and fire one to each head 3 sec
2 5 yd SHO draw and fire one to each head 4 sec
3 5 yd SHO draw and fire one to each body 3 sec
4 5 yd SHO draw and fire one to each body
(repeat of string #3)
3 sec
5 8 yd 2H draw and fire two rounds on LEFT target 2 sec
6 8 yd 2H draw and fire two rounds on CENTER target 2 sec
7 8 yd 2H draw and fire two rounds on RIGHT target 2 sec
8 10 yd 2H “El Presidente”
begin facing uprange w/exactly 6 rounds in pistol;
on buzzer, turn, draw, and fire 2 rounds
on each target
then reload from slidelock and
fire two rounds on each again
10 sec
9 10 yd WHO “Weak Hand Pickup”
begin standing, strong hand in small of back;
pistol is the ground, butt towards strong side;
on buzzer, retrieve handgun, fire 1 on each target
from standing or kneeling position
5 sec
10 12 – 8 yd 2H draw and fire two on each while advancing
from 12yd to 8yd
5 sec
11 15 yd 2H “Transition Drill”
begin with hands at shoulder level
as if holding a rifle;
on buzzer, draw and fire one on each target
4 sec
12 20 yd 2H Prone Drill
begin standing; on buzzer drop to prone,
draw and fire 2 rounds on each target
10 sec
13 25 yd 2H “Barricade Drill”
begin standing behind barricade;
on buzzer, draw and fire 2 on each
from cover while standing
then perform a tactical/retention reload
then 2 rounds on each
from cover while kneeling
24 sec

2H = two hands, freestyle
SHO = strong hand only
WHO = weak hand only

A score of 250 or more is considered Excellent. From 200-249 is Acceptable. Below 200 is Needs Improvement.

Training with firearms is an inherently dangerous activity. Be sure to follow all safety protocols when using firearms or practicing these drills. These drills are provided for information purposes only. Use at your own risk.