Pathway to Becoming a Certified NRA Rifle and Shotgun Instructor

Pathway to Becoming a Certified NRA Rifle and Shotgun Instructor

Scout Leaders and other adult volunteers wanting to become NRA Rifle and Shotgun Instructors may sign up for the in-council classes offered twice each year by members of the council Shooting Sports Committee. We also offer NRA Range Safety Officer (RSO) classes because all shooting events require both an NRA Instructor and an RSO. They cannot be the same person. Troops with a certified NRA Instructor and RSO may conduct their own troop level shooting activities.


The classes are exactly the same as commercial NRA Classes, but at a significantly reduced cost for BSA affiliated adults. In exchange for the low costs, students must be willing to assist in conducting council shooting sports events like summer camps, camporees, and open shooting activities.

The pathway to instructor is as follows: 

  • Instructor candidates must take (or have already taken) the NRA Basics of Rifle Shooting and the Basics of Shotgun Shooting first. Both are shooting classes. The emphasis of the basic classes is skill building and familiarization with the firearms, how they operate, and how to shoot effectively. There is a written exam for both classes requiring a minimum score of 85%. Passing these courses is dependent upon the student’s knowledge, skills, and attitude.


Then instructor candidates must meet shooting prequalification standards and then take the following 3 classes: 

  • NRA Basic Instructor Class, Rifle Instructor Candidate and Shotgun Instructor Candidate. There are exams for each class and candidates must score a minimum of 90% on each. The emphasis of the Instructor classes is learning HOW to instruct students and the methodology and techniques used for the most effective teaching. These are not skill building courses for effective shooting as those techniques were learned in the basic classes. Passing these courses is dependent on the Instructor Candidate’s knowledge, skills, and attitude.