NRA / NMLRA Muzzleloading Classes


NRA Basic Muzzleloading Class

 The NRA's Basic Muzzleloading Class is designed to develop the basic knowledgeskills, & attitude essential to the safe & efficient use of a muzzleloading pistol, rifle, & shotgun. 

NRA Muzzleoading Instructor Course

 The goal of the NRA-NMLRA Instructor Muzzleloading Course is to develop NRA Certified Instructors who possess the knowledge, skills, & attitude necessary to conduct the NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Course. 

NMLRA/NRA Basic Muzzleloading Course


NOTE TO MUZZLELOADING INSTRUCTOR CANDIDATES:   Successful completion of the NRA Basic Muzzleloading Class is a prerequisite to the NRA Muzzleloading Instructor Course.  Package Pricing is Available!  

Detailed information on the NRA Muzzleloading Instructor course can be found below.


Course Overview

The NRA's Basic Muzzleloading Class is designed to develop the basic knowledgeskills, & attitude essential to the safe & efficient use of a muzzleloading pistol, rifle, & shotgun. 

This course is one 12-hour day.  

Lessons in the NRA Basic Muzzleloading Course include:            

  • Muzzleloading Knowledge & Safe Handling    
    • Discuss the History of Muzzleloading guns
    • Identify the Principle Parts of Flintlock, Percussion, & In-Line Muzzleloading Guns 
    • Discuss & Demonstrate Safe Handling Rules for Muzzleloading Guns

  • Black Powder & Loading Muzzleloading Guns
    • Identify Black Powder & Approved Substitutes & know the Uses of the Various Granulations    
    • Discuss Proper Safety Procedures Involving Black Powder & Approved Substitutes, Including Measuring & Storage   
    • Discuss the Components of a Proper Load
    • Discuss & Demonstrate Proper Procedures & Accessories for Loading a Muzzleloading Gun 

  • Firing & Cleaning a Muzzleloader      
    • Demonstrate the Knowledge, Skills, & Attitude Necessary to Shoot a Muzzleloading Gun
    • Shoot a Target from a Benchrest &/or Another Position (Rifle & Pistol) or Standing (Shotgun) 
    • Identify the Items & Materials Needed to Clean a Muzzleloading Gun Properly
    • Properly Clean a Muzzleloading Gun

  • Shooting from the Cross-Sticks Position        
    • Demonstrate the Knowledge, Skills, & Attitude to Safely Shoot a Muzzleloader from the Cross-Sticks Position

  • Shooting a Muzzleloader from the Offhand (Standing) Position
    • Discuss the Causes of a Failure to Fire & Demonstrate the Proper Correction Procedures
    • Demonstrate Firing a Muzzleloader from a Standing Position 

  • Shooting Activities with Muzzleloaders  
    • Discuss Several Ways to Pursue a Shooting Interest
    • Discuss Criteria for Selecting a Muzzleloading Rifle, Pistol, or Shotgun
    • Discuss Opportunities to Keep Shooting & Learning


You will need to provide:

There is a long list of items you will need as a muzzleloader.  But I promise you that it's worth it!

Please click on the link or see below for this list.


 Defensive Specialties, LLC requires any student under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  For shooting classes, students must be at least 8 years old due to the rules at our range. 

Ladies:  If you are pregnant or nursing, we will require a written doctor's authorization allowing you to shoot & handle ammunition. 

Shooting exercises are conducted at an outdoor range.  Please dress appropriately.  Eye & ear protection is required.  We recommend a high-necked shirt.  Hot brass can blister.  Flip-flops, sandals, & bare feet will not be allowed.  You must wear full-coverage shoes such as tennis shoes. 

Only "dummy" ammunition is allowed in the classroom.  Live ammunition, propellant, & percussion caps are not allowed. 

Class Materials, a Completion Certificate, Lunch, & Range Fees are included in the course fee.  

There is a (minimum) non-refundable $50.00 deposit required for registration.  If you are unable to attend the class after registering, this deposit will be applied to your next registration.

While you will see classes set up in the calendar, our schedule is flexible.  Please contact us if you have a specific date in mind & a different class is listed.  We will try to work with your schedule.

Family, Group, & Multi-Class Discounts are available.  Gift certificates are available.

The Basic & Instructor Muzzleloading classes are offered once per month & run consecutively.

NRA - NMLRA Muzzleloading Instructor Course

The goal of the NRA-NMLRA Instructor Muzzleloading Course is to develop NRA Certified Instructors who possess the knowledge, skills, & attitude necessary to conduct the NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Course.

This class is for EXPERIENCED shooters only.  It is to teach you the NRA methods for teaching a basic muzzleloading student, not to teach you how to shoot or work muzzleloaders.  You MUST be familiar with flintlock, percussion cap, cap & ball, & in-line muzzleloaders. 

This class consists of 3 parts over 2-3 days:

An NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzloading class (See above)  This class is run consecutively with the Instructor course.  We try to complete all prerequisites during this day. (See below.)  You must attain a minimum score of 90% on the written exam.

Basic Instructor Training (BIT) - If you have taken BIT within the last 2 years, please let us know.  This will reduce your class by one day.   If it has been longer than 2 years, you will need to take it again.

NRA-NMLRA Instructor Muzzleloading Training    


Successfully complete the NRA - NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading class.

Attain a minimum score of 80% in the NRA Pre-Course Qualification.  This qualification covers the following:

  • Safe Gun Handling - You will explain & safely demonstrate the proper procedure to check whether a single shot percussion pistol, a flintlock pistol, & a muzzleloading revolver is unloaded.  This means there is no ignition source, ball, or powder.
  • Muzzleloading Knowledge - You must properly explain the following operations of a muzzleloading firearm:  
    • Loading
    • Identifying Failure to Fire
    • Corrective Procedures
  • Muzzleloading Shooting:
    • You will shoot one type of muzzleloading pistol at a blank 9" diameter paper target at a distance of 15 yards.  
    • You will fire 5 shots from either a one- or two-handed, unsupported, standing position. 
    •  Five points will be given for each scoring hit.  In order for a hit to score, it must fall inside a 1/2" border from the edge of the plate.  Shots that break the edge of the 1/2" border will count as hits.  
    • All scoring hits on a target must be within a 6" or less extreme spread.  
    • Two requalification shoots are allowed within any 24-hour period.
  • As an alternate to the Pre-Course SHOOTING Qualification, you may provide documented proof of NRA or NMLRA Muzzleloading classification as a Sharpshooter or better.  
  • Failure to successfully complete the prerequisites will result in the forfeiture of your deposit due to the time & expenses involved for the NRA Training Counselor to conduct these tests.

Lessons in the NRA Muzzleloading Instructor Course include:

  • Introduction to NRA-NMLRA Basic Muzzleloading Shooting Course Outline & Lesson Plans

  • Teaching Muzzleloading Lesson II:  Muzzleloader Knowlege & Safe Handling

  • Teaching Muzzleloading Lesson II:  Black Powder & Loading Muzzleloading Guns

  • Teaching Muzzleloading Lesson III:  Firing & Cleaning a Muzzleloader

  • Teaching Muzzleloading Lesson IV:  Shooting a Muzzleloading Rifle from the Cross-sticks Position 

  • Teaching Muzzleloading Lesson V:  Shooting a Muzzleloader from the Offhand (Standing) Position

  • Teaching Muzzleloading Pistol Lesson VI:  Shooting Activities with Muzzleloaders

You will need to provide:

  • A pen & different colored highlighter than you used in the Basic class
  • A 1-1/2" 3-ring Binder
  • A long list of supplies (See below)



Package pricing includes the Basic Muzzleloading Class, BIT (if necessary), the Muzzleloading Instructor Course, Lunches & Range Fees.  

If you have already taken the Basic Muzzleloading class, let us know.  This will reduce your course fee & save you a day.  We will need a copy of your completion certificate.  

lf you have had BIT within the last 2 years, this will reduce your time by a day.  (We don't charge for BIT, so, no, it won't save you any on the class fee.  Sorry...)  If it has been at least 2 years since you last took BIT, it is an NRA requirement that you take it again. 

Only "dummy" ammunition is allowed in the classroom.   No live percussion caps, propellants, or powder are allowed in the classroom at any time.

A minimum of 4 people must register in order for an Instructor class to hold.  Registration ends 72 hours before the class starts.  

Shooting exercises are conducted at an outdoor range.  Please dress appropriately.  Eye & ear protection is required.  We recommend a high-necked shirt.  Hot brass can blister.  Flip-flops, sandals, & bare feet will not be allowed.  You must wear full-coverage shoes such as tennis shoes.  

NRA Processing/Certification Fees are not included.  You will pay this directly to the NRA after your class is completed.   

  • Fees for your first NRA Instructor certification are $30 for NRA Members & $50 for Non-NRA Members.   
  • Additional NRA Instructor certifications are $10 for NRA Members & $20 for Non-NRA Members.
  • Certifications are valid for 2 years.  All certifications will expire on the same date.  
  • Re-certification fees are a flat $30 for NRA Members & $50 for Non-NRA Members.  (You do NOT have to take the class again.)       

There is a $50 (minimum) non-refundable deposit required for registration.  If you are unable to attend the class after registering, this deposit will be applied to your next registration.    



NRA-NMLRA Muzzleloading Course Checklist for Defensive Specialties, LLC

My class is on: _____________________________

You will need to provide (or think about getting):

  A notebook
  A pen & highlighter
  Eye & ear protection

  Your muzzleloader* and case
  Ammunition (50 minimum) * **
  Propellant for your muzzleloading pistol
  Rubber washers or other nipple protectors
  Flints & wooden "flints"
  Ramrod & work rod, both marked for loaded & unloaded
  Caps &/or primers appropriate for your pistol (minimum 100)
  Patch jag
  Bullet Puller
  Cleaning patches & solvent
  Patch worm
  Powder flask or horn with measure spout
  Powder measures (adjustable or fixed)
  Shooting box or hunting pouch
  Patch lube
  Pre-cut patches or patch material
  Patch knife
  Loading block
  Ball starter
  Primer capper
  Pan primer for flintlock pistols
  Leather thong
  Nipple pick & wrench
  Breechblock tool
  Carbon dioxide discharger

  *Firearms & ammunition can be provided for an additional fee, or you may bring your own.

  **Ammunition requirements depend on type of firearm used. Please contact us to determine       ammunition quantity needed for this class.

Live ammunition, propellant, & percussion caps are not allowed in the classroom.



If you would like to join the NRA, you may click on the link to the rightto go to the NRA website or you may sign up during your class.  Either way, you'll save $10 off the regular sign-up fee.  This $10 discount is in addition to the many benefits of belonging to the NRA.

What are the benefits of joining the NRA? 

  • Discounts at over 6,000 hotels & motels nationwide
  • Discounts at several different car rental companies
  • Discounts at many other companies such as LifeLock, mortgage/real estate/moving services
  • Discounts at TLC Laser Eye Centres
  • Invitation to apply for No Annual Fee Visa® card with 0% intro APR
  • Legislative updates
  • Subscription to your choice of four award-winning NRA membership magazines
  • 24/7 defense of your firearm freedoms

For NRA Instructor Candidates:  Your NRA Certification Fees will be less!