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Courses for Students

Whether you’re looking for a specific NRA firearm course or just want to explore our course offerings, you’re in the right place. Here you can browse the complete catalog of NRA firearm training courses by topic or type of firearm.

Home Firearm Safety Courses

Take charge of your family’s safety and get the basic knowledge and skills to safely handle or store firearms and ammunition in the home. Learn more about the NRA certified home firearm safety training course.

Certified NRA Home Firearm Safety Training Course

Short Description: Non-shooting course that teaches students the basic knowledge and skills to explain the attitude necessary for the safe handling and storage of firearms/ammunition in the home.

More Details: This is a four-hour course for safe gun handling that is conducted in the classroom only. Students are taught NRA’s three rules for safe gun handling; primary causes of firearm accidents; firearm parts; how to unload certain action types; ammunition components; cleaning; care; safe storage of firearms in the home; and the benefits of becoming an active participant in the shooting sports. Students will receive the NRA Home Firearm Safety handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Basic Firearm Training Program brochure, and course completion certificate.

Pistol Courses

The NRA Education & Training Division offers a variety of pistol training courses, from the basics of pistol shooting to defensive training and reloading. Get more information about the curriculum and focus of each course.

NRA Defensive Pistol Course

Short Description: This course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude to carry and use a concealed pistol ethically, responsibly and with confidence.

More Details: The NRA Defensive Pistol Course will focus on the techniques needed to develop a defensive mindset. The goal of the course will be to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to carry and use a concealed pistol ethically, responsibly and with confidence. As a result of participating in this course, the student will be able to explain and demonstrate the following: how to apply the NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling when carrying a concealed firearm; basic principles of concealment; the difference between cover and concealment; drawing from the holster; levels of mental awareness; developing the proper mindset when using a pistol for personal protection; clearing common stoppages; use of pocket pistols; and more. Students will receive the NRA Guide to the Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure and the NRA Defensive Pistol certificate. This course is only conducted by NRA certified Advanced Pistol Instructors.

NRA Basics Of Pistol Shooting

Short Description: The NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting is a two-part course consisting of an e-learning portion (completed online in your own timeframe) and a hands-on practical portion conducted at a range under the guidance and supervision of an NRA certified instructor. The course is intended for all adults regardless of previous shooting experience or NRA affiliation.

More Details: Some of the topics in the course include: gun safety rules, proper operation of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, ammunition knowledge and selection, selecting and storing a pistol, the fundamentals of shooting, and pistol inspection and maintenance. When you enroll in the online course, you create a personal identification number (PIN). When you successfully complete the course, printing your certificate activates that PIN. The activated PIN allows you to register for the instructor-led training portion of the course. Go to nrainstructors.org, find a course near you, select NRA Basics Of Pistol Shooting and search.

During the instructor-led training portion of the course, an NRA certified instructor will validate comprehension and application of gun safety rules; range protocol; proper handling; loading and unloading procedures; application of pistol shooting fundamentals; stable shooting positions; live fire; and a final shooting qualification.

Note: This course replaces the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting course.

NRA Pistol Marksman Simulator Training

Short Description: To provide the basic knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to learn pistol marksmanship using a virtual training system.

More Details: This course teaches basic marksmanship fundamentals and firearm safety using a simulated pistol with a resetting trigger and laser to indicate where the shots hit. No range is needed with this simulator training course. It can be held anywhere: a meeting room in a hotel, business boardroom or in a church hall. With very little equipment, the NRA Pistol Marksmanship Simulator Training course teaches the fundamentals of sight alignment, trigger control, grip and breath control. At the completion of the course, an NRA participation certificate is awarded. Students may attend this course as a basis to decide whether or not they would like to follow-up by taking the full-length Basic Pistol course with live fire, or to simply learn to improve their marksmanship skills.

NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading Course

Short Description: This course teaches beginning reloaders the basic knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to safely reload metallic cartridges.

More Details: This course is eight hours in length and is conducted in a classroom. Each student is taught reloading safety; centerfire cartridge components; using the reloading manual and reloading data; equipment; and the metallic cartridge reloading process. Students will receive the NRA Guide to Reloading handbook, the Basic Reloading Student Exam, a course completion certificate, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, a Basic Firearm Training Program brochure and a Course Evaluation form.

NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting Course

Short Description: This course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to the safe and efficient use of muzzleloading guns.

More Details: Instructors may focus the course on one specific discipline or a combination of disciplines. The course is a minimum of 12 hours in length and includes classroom instruction and time on a range shooting either a muzzleloading rifle, muzzleloading shotgun, muzzleloading pistol or a selected combination of these disciplines.

Rifle Training Courses

Learn how to shoot a rifle like a pro—from a first-steps orientation to cartridge reloading and muzzle loading. Explore the available courses and get more information about the curriculum and focus of each NRA certified class.

NRA FIRST Steps Rifle Orientation

Short Description: Firearm Instruction, Responsibility, and Safety Training is the NRA’s response to the American public’s need for a firearm orientation program for new purchasers.

More Details: NRA FIRST Steps Rifle is designed to provide a hands-on introduction to the safe handling and proper orientation to one specific rifle action type for classes of four or fewer students. This course is at least three hours long and includes classroom and range time learning to shoot a specific rifle action type. Students will learn the NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; the particular rifle model parts and operation; ammunition; shooting fundamentals; cleaning the rifle; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the Basics of Rifle Shooting handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet and FIRST Steps Course completion certificate.

NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course

Short Description: This course teaches the basic knowledge, skills and attitude necessary for the safe use of a rifle in target shooting.

More Details: This course is at least eight hours long and includes classroom and range time learning to shoot rifles. Students learn NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; rifle parts and operation; ammunition; shooting fundamentals; range rules; shooting from the bench rest, prone, sitting, standing and kneeling positions; cleaning; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the Basics of Rifle Shooting handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet, take a Basics of Rifle Shooting Student Examination, and receive a course completion certificate.

NRA Basic Metallic Cartridge Reloading Course

Short Description: Teaches beginning reloaders the basic knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to safely reload metallic cartridges.

More Details: This course is eight hours in length and is conducted in a classroom. Each student is taught reloading safety; centerfire cartridge components; using the reloading manual and reloading data; equipment; and the metallic cartridge reloading process. Students will receive the NRA Guide to Reloading handbook, the Basic Reloading Student Exam, a course completion certificate, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, a Basic Firearm Training Program brochure and a Course Evaluation form.

NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting Course

Short Description: This course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to the safe and efficient use of a muzzleloading guns.

More Details: Instructors may focus the course on one specific discipline or a combination of disciplines. The course is a minimum of 12 hours in length and includes classroom instruction and time on a range shooting either muzzleloading rifle, muzzleloading shotgun, muzzleloading pistol, or a selected combination of these disciplines.

Shotgun Training Courses

From orientation courses to muzzleloading and reloading, the NRA Education & Training Division offers classes to improve and hone your shotgun shooting skills. Explore the available NRA certified shotgun training courses and learn more about the focus of each class.

NRA FIRST Steps Shotgun Orientation

Short Description: Firearm Instruction, Responsibility, and Safety Training is the NRA’s response to the American public’s need for a firearm orientation program for new purchasers.

More Details: NRA FIRST Steps Shotgun course is designed to provide a hands-on introduction to the safe handling and proper orientation to one specific shotgun model. This course is at least three hours long and includes classroom and range time learning to shoot a specific model shotgun at a moving target. Students will learn the NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; the particular shotgun model parts and operation; ammunition; shooting fundamentals; cleaning the shotgun; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the Basics of Shotgun Shooting handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet and FIRST Steps Course completion certificate.

NRA Basic Shotgun Shooting Course

Short Description: This course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude for the safe and proper use of a shotgun in shooting a moving target.

More Details: This course is at least 10 hours long and includes classroom and range time learning how to shoot shotguns at moving targets. Students learn NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; shotgun parts and operation; shotgun shell components; shotgun shell malfunctions; shooting fundamentals; range rules; shooting at straight away and angled targets; cleaning; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the Basics of Shotgun Shooting handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet, take a Basics of Shotgun Shooting Student Examination, and receive a course completion certificate.

NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting Course

Short Description: This course teaches beginning reloaders the basic knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to safely reload metallic cartridges.

More Details: This course is eight hours in length and is conducted in a classroom. Each student is taught reloading safety; centerfire cartridge components; using the reloading manual and reloading data; equipment; and the metallic cartridge reloading process. Students will receive the NRA Guide to Reloading handbook, the Basic Reloading Student Exam, a course completion certificate, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, a Basic Firearm Training Program brochure and a Course Evaluation form.

NRA Basic Shotgun Shell Reloading Course

Short Description: This course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to the safe and efficient use of a muzzleloading rifle.

More Details: The course is 12 hours in length and includes classroom instruction and time on a range shooting a muzzleloading rifle. Students learn the NRA’s three rules for safe gun handling; parts; loading; shooting; cleaning; shooting from a standing position and shooting from a crossed stick position; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the Muzzleloading Rifle Handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Muzzleloading Student Examination, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet and course completion certificate.

Personal Protection Courses

Learn how to protect yourself and your family both in and out of your home with NRA certified personal protection training courses. Get more information about the curriculum and focus of each course.

NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course

Short Description: This course teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to the safe and efficient use of a handgun for protection of self and family, and provides information on the law-abiding individual’s right to self-defense.

Prerequisite: This course is for law-abiding adult citizens, as defined by applicable federal, state or local law, and experienced shooters (shooters able to show mastery of the basic skills of safe gun handling, shooting a group, zeroing the firearm, and cleaning the firearm). Prospective participants can demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes by producing an NRA Basic Pistol Course Certificate, NRA FIRST Steps Course Certificate, NRA pistol competitive shooting qualification card, military DD 214 with pistol qualification, or passing the Pre-Course Assessment.

Description: This is an eight-hour course. Students should expect to shoot approximately 100 rounds of ammunition. Students will learn basic defensive shooting skills; strategies for home safety and responding to a violent confrontation; firearms and the law; how to choose a handgun for self-defense; and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection In The Home handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet, and course completion certificate.

Note: Lesson III of this course—Firearms and the Law, and Legal Aspects of Self-Defense—is conducted by an attorney licensed to practice law within the state in which this course is given and who is familiar with this area of the law; a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) who possesses an intermediate or higher Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificate granted within the state; or an individual currently certified to instruct in this area of the law by the state in which this course is presented. NRA certified instructors may conduct this lesson only if they meet the requirements stated above, and then only in their capacity as an attorney or other state certified individual, not in their capacity as an NRA certified instructor.

NRA Basics Of Person Protection Outside The Home Course

Short Description: This course teaches students the knowledge, skills and attitude essential for avoiding dangerous confrontations and for the safe, effective and responsible use of a concealed pistol for self-defense outside the home.

Prerequisite: This course is for adult individuals who are not disqualified from possessing a firearm as defined by applicable federal, state or local law and are of good repute and possess defensive pistol skills presented in the NRA Basics Of Personal Protection In The Home Course. Participants must also understand the basic legal concepts relating to the use of firearms in self-defense, and must know and observe not only general gun safety rules but also those safety principles that are specific to defensive situations. Prospective participants can demonstrate that they have the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes by producing an NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course Certificate, or by passing the pre-course evaluation.

Description: The course is divided into two levels. Level one is nine hours and offers the essential knowledge and skills that must be mastered in order to carry, store, and use a firearm safely and effectively for personal protection outside the home. Students spend several hours on the range and shoot approximately 100 rounds of ammunition during level one. Upon completion, students may choose to attend level two, which is an additional five hours on the range and approximately 115 rounds of ammunition learning advanced shooting skills. Time and ammunition requirements are minimum, and may be exceeded. Students will receive the NRA Guide to the Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure and appropriate (level one/level two) course completion certificates(s).

Note: Lesson III—Firearms and the Law, and Legal Aspects of Self-Defense—of the Personal Protection In And Outside The Home courses is conducted by an attorney licensed to practice law within the state in which this course is given and who is familiar with this area of the law; a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) who possesses an intermediate or higher Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificate granted within the state' or an individual currently certified to instruct in this area of the law by the state in which this course is presented. NRA certified instructors may conduct this lesson only if they meet the requirements stated above, and then only in their capacity as an attorney or other state certified individual, not in their capacity as an NRA certified instructor.

NRA Defensive Pistol Course

Short Description: This course teaches the knowledge, skills, and attitude to carry and use a concealed pistol ethically, responsibly and with confidence.

More Details: The NRA Defensive Pistol course will focus on the techniques needed to develop a defensive mindset. The goal of the course will be to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to carry and use a concealed pistol ethically, responsibly and with confidence. As a result of participating in this course, the student will be able to explain and demonstrate the following: how to apply the NRA Rules for Safe Gun Handling when carrying a concealed firearm; basic principles of concealment; the difference between cover and concealment; drawing from the holster; levels of mental awareness; developing the proper mindset when using a pistol for personal protection; clearing common stoppages; use of pocket pistols; and more. Students will receive the NRA Guide to the Basics Of Personal Protection Outside The Home handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure and the NRA Defensive Pistol certificate. This course is only conducted by NRA certified Advanced Pistol Instructors.

Want To Know More

For more information about the NRA's Firearm Training Courses, email nrainstructors@nrahq.org.

Firearm Training

The NRA Education & Training Department provides a variety of programs to develop safe, ethical and responsible shooters and instructors.