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See menu at left for the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship
Qualification courses of fire!
From a young shooter's first BB gun to sophisticated air rifles,
shotguns, muzzleloaders, pistols, and rifles, the Winchester/NRA
Marksmanship Qualification Program offers family fun and enjoyment
that can last a lifetime.
Qualification shooting is an informal, year-round recreational
shooting activity that provides incentive awards for developing and
improving marksmanship skills. It's a drill. We set the standards;
you meet the challenge! Progression is self-paced and scores are
challenging but attainable. Performance is measured against
established par scores and any shooter who meets or exceeds those
scores is entitled to the corresponding recognition awards for that
rating. It's an honor system!
Shooters acquire the large discipline patch at the onset of the
program and as each rating is earned, they are entitled to all of
the corresponding awards for the rating. Each rating level has a
skill rocker, medal, and certificate award that recognizes and
highlights the achievement.
The courses of fire in the qualification program are designed to
take shooters from beginning skill levels (Pro-Marksman, Marksman)
through intermediate levels (Marksman 1st Class, Sharpshooter,
Expert) up to a nationally recognized skill level -- Distinguished
Expert -- the pinnacle of the program. By the time a shooter
completes the Distinguished Expert rating, he or she has attained a
proficiency level paralleling that of a competitively classified
Qualification shooting can be conducted anywhere -- on public
ranges, at your favorite club range, even on your own home range.
BB and pellet gun shooters will find air gun qualification courses
especially suited for informal home air gun ranges and family
learning environments. Parents can shoot side by side with their
children or start a neighborhood air gun shooting sports program
for their children and their friends.
The following information applies to the overall qualification
program -- all disciplines, all courses of fire.
NRA Qualification courses of fire are open to everyone -- men and
women, adults and youth.
Qualification shooting can be a self-administered activity on the
honor system, or it can be administered by parents, club leaders,
coaches, or instructors as part of a family, club, or group
All awards, Pro-Marksman through Distinguished Expert, can be
ordered directly from the NRA Program Materials Center by the shooter or
the program administrator. Awards should be ordered in advance so
they are available as soon as the rating is earned -- instant
recognition. Ordering in advance also saves additional shipping
When firing for qualification ratings, always follow the NRA gun
Discipline-specific standards are listed with each course of fire.
If specific exceptions are not made, official NRA Rules apply.
Shooters who are not familiar with shooting terms, targets,
equipment, positions, scoring procedures, etc., should obtain a
copy of the appropriate rule book for a greater understanding of
the discipline before firing for qualification. Rule books are
available in the NRA Program Materials Center.
Target designations are listed under each discipline. Targets with
"TQ" designations are training and qualification targets. TQ
targets usually have larger bullseyes and scoring areas than
competition targets. Alpha series targets such as "A" (smallbore
rifle), "B" (pistol), and "AR" (air rifle) are official competition
targets. Alpha series targets are used for most all other formal
shooting activities -- postal matches, leagues, and competition.
Any number appearing after a "../../../" in any target designation
(AR-5/10, TQ-1/1), indicates the number of bullseyes that are
contained on the target paper.
- Target Manufacturers
Targets are available at most sporting goods stores. If you cannot
find them locally, contact one of NRA's licensed
manufacturers. The following manufacturers sell a fairly full
line of targets and offer quantity and/or NRA instructor discounts:
- Alco Target Company, California
- National Target Company, Maryland
- U.S. Target Company, Michigan
Ratings in the qualification program must be earned in sequence
from the beginning. While beginning ratings may be relatively easy
for some shooters to obtain, these ratings and the recognition the
shooters receive, keep interest high and help sustain shooters when
ratings become much more difficult to obtain. NRA does not track
In all cases, scores fired for qualification must be applied to the
rating the shooter is currently working on. Scores may not be held
and used for higher ratings. The required number of times a score
must be obtained do not have to be fired consecutively or in the
same session. Scores fired in practice sessions, leagues, or
matches may all be applied toward qualification ratings.
A record of the date when each rating was achieved and the awards
that were acquired should be kept by the shooter or the program
- Basic Practical Rating
The Basic Practical rating is recommended for all participants, but
is not a required rating in the qualification program. This rating
is obtained by completing the practical exercise conducted during
an NRA basic course of instruction. The Basic Practical skill
rocker is included in all basic course student packets and is
awarded by the NRA instructor upon successful completion of the
- Basic Courses
New shooters are encouraged to contact a local NRA instructor to
enroll in the next available course. Basic firearms training
courses are fun, interesting, and provide a good foundation of
knowledge that can be applied to all shooting activities. To obtain
a list of instructors that offer basic firearms training courses in
your area, call the automated telephone help line (703) 267-1430,
option #2. If you can't attend a course, read the course handbooks
(see price list on page 28). They contain a wealth of information
that will help improve your shooting.
- Distinguished Expert Rating
In order to encourage completion of the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship
Qualification Program through the highest rating, shooters have the
option of qualifying for the Distinguished Expert rating by
participating in formal competition using a lower score
requirement, or outside of formal competition using a higher score
All firing for the Distinguished Expert rating must be witnessed by
an NRA member (with current ID number), or an NRA instructor or
coach (with current ID number). Exception: shooters who fire scores
in formal competition use the tournament results bulletins from the
required number of matches as validation. Shotgun shooters save
their shoot receipt and score record from each shoot required.
- NRA Member Benefit
NRA members who have completed all the lower ratings and the
requirements for Distinguished Expert should contact the National
Rifle Association. The NRA provides national recognition for all
members who reach this prestigious level of accomplishment provided
Paid membership applications may be submitted with the
Distinguished Expert report form. As soon as requirements for the
Distinguished Expert rating have been completed, fill out and mail
in the Distinguished Expert Report Form.
- have fired the required scores
- have acquired the awards for all the lower ratings
- provide a current ID number
- request recognition within 60 days of the accomplishment
- NRA Staff
NRA staff is available to answer any questions you may have. Call
the NRA Qualification Coordinator at (703) 267-1505 or email email@example.com.
of NRA Funding
Need funding to help start your NRA Marksmanship Qualification
NRA Foundation dinner/auction fundraisers are
being conducted across the United States by Friends
of NRA. 100% of the monies raised in each state (over expenses)
go to the NRA Foundation. In turn, 50% of those monies are
earmarked by The NRA Foundation for disbursement back into the
state where it was raised for education, training, safety, and
Each state establishes a fund community usually made up of one
appointee from each dinner/auction. This committee, lead by the
state NRA Field Representative, reviews grant applications and
Grant applications should be submitted directly to the state NRA Field
Representative. Since each state has its own committee date(s)
and its own grant submission deadline date(s), it is a good idea to
get in touch with your NRA Field Representative as soon as
To request a grant application, call the NRA Grants Manager at