Prior to beginning the NRA Pistol Instructor Course, the Instructor Candidate must complete the Phase I Online course and pass qualification testing at the range. Information on both of these steps is included below.

Phase I Online Course

Instructor Candidates can register for the Phase I Online Course at The cost is $60 payable by credit card directly to the NRA. The course takes approximately 7 hours total to complete, but is completely self-paced. You can start and stop at any time. A minimum passing score of 90% is required.

The NRA will send each student a Basics of Pistol Shooting Handbook and this can take up to 10-14 days to arrive. This Handbook will be needed to continue your Pistol Instructor Training.

Pre-Course Questionnaire

 After successfully completing the Phase I Online Course, you can then register for Phase II Pistol Instructor Training. You will also be required to complete the NRA Instructor Training Program Pre-Course Questionnaire (attached to this email). This questionnaire must be completed and sent to the Training Counselor as soon as possible. 


Once registered for the Pistol Instructor Course, you will need to successfully pass qualification testing. Complete information on the qualification testing can be found in the NRA Pistol Pre-CourseQualification (attached to this email). As part of this qualification, you must place 16 of 20 shots within a 6" circle using the Qualification Target at a distance of 15 yards (45 feet) using a two-handed, unsupported, standing position.

The NRA Pistol Pre-Course Qualification will be completed prior to the beginning of the Pistol Instructor Training.

After You Have Qualified

After successfully completing the Phase I Online course and successfully qualifying, you will be cleared to move on to Basic Instructor Training and Phase II Pistol Instructor Training.

Basic Instructor Training (Appx. 7 Hours)

If this is your first Instructor credential, or if it has been more than 24 months (as of the Phase II course start date) since you have taken NRA Basic Instructor Training, you are required to take this course the day before the Pistol Instructor training begins. Even if you are not required to attend this course, it is recommended that you consider taking the course again to freshen up your teaching skills. 

Phase II Pistol Instructor Training (Appx. 10 Hours)

Phase II Pistol Instructor Training consists of approximately 8 hours of classroom training and an additional 2 hours of training on the range. 

A written test is administered at the end of the classroom day. A score of 90% or better on this exam is a requirement for Instructor certification.