NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program

posted on June 12, 2023
test firing at the range
Photo: NRA

One of our flagship programs, the National Rifle Association’s Marksmanship Qualification Program, has helped develop the skills of hundreds of thousands of new shooters since its inception in 1903.

The NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program is a training environment for new shooters to develop fundamental skills with tracked development. NRA sets the standards for the drills, and individual shooters can progress in the program at their own pace. To make participation more convenient, Marksmanship Qualification Program shooting can be a self-administered activity performed on the honor system—or it can be supervised by parents, club leaders, coaches or instructors. All performances are measured against established par scores—any NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program shooter who meets or exceeds those scores is entitled to the corresponding recognition awards for that rating. The goal is to advance one step at a time, from Pro-Marksman to the top rating of Distinguished Expert. Each rating level has a skill rocker, medal, pin and certificate that recognizes and highlights the achievement.

Most importantly, NRA Marksmanship Qualification courses of fire are open to everyone—men and women, old and young. Additionally, NRA Marksmanship Qualification shooting can be conducted just about anywhere. You can use public ranges or your favorite club range. Your own home range is even an option for BB and pellet gun shooters, as there are air gun qualification courses that are perfect for informal home air gun ranges and family learning environments. Since it covers all classes of guns, nearly everyone has something to gain from participation in the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program.

There are currently 23 different courses of fire in the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program, including popular disciplines such as Bullseye Pistol, Rimfire and Smallbore Rifle, High Power Rifle, F-Class, Shotgun, Muzzle Loading and Multi-Gun. You can learn firearm safety and basic marksmanship with air guns, improve defensive-handgun skills or even go through tactical drills. The courses of fire are designed to take shooters from beginning skill levels (Pro-Marksman and Marksman), through intermediate levels (Marksman 1st Class, Sharpshooter and Expert), all the way up to the nationally recognized skill level and pinnacle of the program, Distinguished Expert.

Regarding awards, the NRA has Marksmanship Qualification Program award packets, certificates, medals, bars, pins, patches and rockers for the Pro-Marksman through Distinguished Expert ratings that can be ordered from the NRA Program Materials Center. Go to

For more information about the NRA Marksman-ship Qualification Program, go to, call (703) 267-1505 or email [email protected].


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