NRA Instructor Pre-Course Assessments

Here's an idea of what you'll need to demonstrate in order to become an NRA-certified instructor.

You will need the text books for the courses that you'll be getting certified to teach. You will want to read them beforehand and be familiar with the information in them. You can order them online.

Bring the following:

The best way to be prepared for these tests is to go take the course itself or assist a certified instructor in teaching the course.

NRA Gun Safety Rules

Conscientious attention to these rules will prevent most, if not all, gun accidents. Be aware that ignorance and carelessness lead to accidents in all walks of life, including the handling of firearms.

Any instructor candidate that violates these rules will be sent home.

Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

If the gun should discharge, it should not harm any person or destroy any property. Careful attention to muzzle direction is key to safely handling a firearm.

Be aware of what objects can stop a bullet, and what ones cannot.

In NRA courses, and on shooting ranges, the instructor or range officer will explain and point out the safe directions available.

Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Under normal conditions guns do not discharge unless the trigger is pulled.

When holding or manipulating a gun, hold the grip firmly and place the trigger finger along the frame or receiver, not inside the trigger guard.

Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

Guns cannot be discharged unless they are loaded with live ammunition. There are many uses of guns which permit them to be loaded, but they must always be under your control.

Guns not in use but not stored should have the action locked open so that anyone may inspect the chamber and magazine for live ammunition.

When handing a gun to another person, lock open the action (if possible) and check the chamber and magazine by sight and feel to ensure than no live ammunition is present. The person receiving the gun should also check.

Basic Trainer

Safety Skills Test

All NRA-certified instructors will receive instruction on the NRA training methodologies and will be required to explain the NRA Gun Safety Rules.

Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the trainer's guide and the class.

Home Firearm Safety

Safety Skills Test

You will be asked to explain and demonstrate (as if to a student) safe handling and unloading techniques for

The information on how to do this is in the NRA Home Firearms Safety handbook.

Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the handbook and the class.

Basic Pistol, FIRST Steps Pistol, Basic Personal Protection in the Home

Required Equipment

If you do not have either (or both) of these, please send email and we will make arrangements for a loaner firearm.

Safety Skills Test

Before class starts, you will be asked to explain and demonstrate (as if to a student) the correct techniques for loading, unloading and shooting both revolver and semi-automatic pistols, in both right and left hands.

Shooting Skills Test

The target will be a plain piece of paper at seven yards. The target will be replaced every set of fifteen shots. All shots must fall within a ten inch circle. Each five-shot string of fire must be completed within fifteen seconds.

  1. semi-automatic pistol in dominant hand, engage the target from a standing unsupported position:
    • two-handed isosceles stance, five shots
    • two-handed Weaver, or modified Weaver, stance, five shots
    • one hand only, five shots
  2. semi-automatic pistol in non-dominant hand, engage the target from a standing unsupported position:
    • two-handed isosceles stance, five shots
    • two-handed Weaver, or modified Weaver, stance, five shots
    • one hand only, five shots
  3. revolver in dominant hand, engage the target from a standing unsupported position:
    • two-handed isosceles stance, five shots
    • two-handed Weaver, or modified Weaver, stance, five shots
    • one hand only, five shots
  4. revolver in non-dominant hand, engage the target from a standing unsupported position:
    • two-handed isosceles stance, five shots
    • two-handed Weaver, or modified Weaver, stance, five shots
    • one hand only, five shots

Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the handbook and the class.

Basic Shotgun, FIRST Steps Shotgun

Required Equipment

If you do not have either (or both) of these, please send email and we will make arrangements for a loaner firearm.

Safety Skills Test

You will be asked to explain and demonstrate (as if to a student) safe handling and unloading techniques for semi-automatic, pump action and hinge action shotguns. The information on how to do this is in the NRA Basic Shotgun handbook.

Shooting Skills Test

The course of fire is conducted on a trap range.

  1. semi-automatic shotgun, load the shotgun with one shell, call for the target and shoot the target. You may shoulder the shotgun before calling for the target. Repeat ten times.
  2. pump action shotgun, load the shotgun with one shell, call for the target and shoot the target. You may shoulder the shotgun before calling for the target. Repeat ten times.

To pass, you must hit five or more birds on at least one set.

Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the handbook and the class.

Basic Rifle, FIRST Steps Rifle

Required Equipment

If you do not have either (or both) of these, please send email and we will make arrangements for a loaner firearm.

Safety Skills Test

You will be asked to explain and demonstrate (as if to a student) safe handling and unloading techniques for bolt action, semi-automatic, lever action, pump action, hinge action and falling block. The information on how to do this is in the NRA Basic Rifle handbook.

Shooting Skills Test

The target will be a 1.5in (38mm) circle on a piece of paper at fifty feet. The target will be replaced every ten shots. All shots must fall within the circle. Each ten shot string must be completed within ten minutes.

  1. semi-automatic rifle from prone position, ten shots
  2. semi-automatic rifle from any unsupported standing position, ten shots
  3. bolt action rifle from prone position, ten shots
  4. bolt action rifle from any unsupported standing position, ten shots

Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the handbook and the class.

Muzzleloading Pistol

Required Equipment

If you do not have any one of these, please send email and we will make arrangements for a loaner firearm.

Safety Skills Test

You will be asked to explain and demonstrate (as if to a student) safe handling and unloading techniques for flintlock, revolver and percussion pistols. The information on how to do this is in the NRA Basic Muzzleloading Pistol handbook.

Shooting Skills Test

The target will be a piece of paper with a seven inch circle at fifty yards.

  1. muzzleloading revolver, any unsupported two-handed standing stance, five shots
  2. choice of flintlock or percussion pistol, any unsupported two-handed standing stance, five shots
  3. choice of muzzleloading revolver, flintlock, or percussion pistol, any unsupported one-handed standing stance, five shots (one miss allowed)

Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the handbook and the class.

Muzzleloading Shotgun

Required Equipment

If you do not have one (or both) of these, please send email and we will make arrangements for a loaner firearm.

Safety Skills Test

You will be asked to explain and demonstrate (as if to a student) safe handling and unloading techniques for flintlock and percussion shotguns. The information on how to do this is in the NRA Basic Muzzleloading Shotgun handbook.

Shooting Skills Test

Using the either type of shotgun, you will load, call for the target and shoot the target. You may shoulder the shotgun before calling for the target. Repeat ten times. To pass, you must hit five or more birds on a ten target string.

Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the handbook and the class.

Muzzleloading Rifle

Required Equipment

If you do not have one (or both) of these, please send email and we will make arrangements for a loaner firearm.

Safety Skills Test

You will be asked to explain and demonstrate (as if to a student) safe handling and unloading techniques for flintlock and percussion rifles. The information on how to do this is in the NRA Basic Muzzleloading Rifle handbook.

Shooting Skills Test

The target will be a piece of paper with a seven inch circle at fifty yards.

  1. choice of flintlock or percussion rifle, sitting position, five shots
  2. choice of flintlock or percussion rifle, any unsupported standing position, five shots (one miss allowed)
Written Test

There will be a short written test on the material covered in the handbook and the class.

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