NRA Programs


Welcome to the CWSA NRA programs page. This is where you’ll find out about all the NRA training, competition and other programs provided by our association. We currently offer several training courses and plan to expand our NRA programs in the future to offer full training services and competition.

Basic Firearms Training

We currently offer basic pistol and basic rifle courses. These courses run from the Spring through the Fall. You can see the schedule here and on the CWSA calendar. You also find the courses and register for them at the NRA website link Check the box for basic pistol or rifle shooting class and put 98239 in the box at bottom left corner click submit. On the next page pick the CWSA class you want and click on it and then fill out the application. Don’t forget to hit submit on this page. The fee for basic classes is $55.00. Basic pistol is conducted as the Instructor Led Only type of class. All firearms, ammunition, hearing protection and safety glasses are provided, however you may use your own hearing protection and safety glasses. We run our basic courses in a relaxed environment with no time pressure to complete any task. We have an outstanding instructor/student ratio to ensure our training is informative, safe and fun. When the course is finished students will be confident they can pick up the type of firearm on which they’ve been trained and handle and shoot it safely and competently.

2024 Schedule Each Day Starts at 9:00 am

NRA Firearms Instructor Training

Beginning in 2016, CWSA will be offering NRA Firearms Instructor Training. You can see the schedule on the CWSA calendar. You also find the courses and register for them at the NRA website link Check the box for pistol or rifle instructor class and put 98239 in the box at bottom left corner click submit. On the next page pick the CWSA class you want and click on it and then fill out the application. Don’t forget to hit submit on this page. The fee for instructor classes is $175.00 plus a $30.00 certification fee paid directly to the NRA if you are an NRA member. The certification fee is $50 if you are not a member.

Scheduled Class: Pistol and Home Firearms Safety Instructor Class.
Thank you for your interest in the NRA Instructor Training Program. The goal of this program is to develop instructors to teach the NRA Basic
Firearm Training Courses according to the lesson plans and training
standards of the National Rifle Association. It is not designed to prepare
you to teach other firearm training courses, such as law enforcement,
security, or hunter safety courses, nor to prepare you to develop
firearms training courses on your own. 
The NRA Instructor Training Course is designed to teach you how to teach others to shoot using NRA lesson plans and training methods. The course is not designed to improve your shooting skills. Proficiency in basic firearm safety and shooting skills is a prerequisite for certification as an NRA Instructor. You will need to demonstrate your firearms proficiency during the Pre-Course Assessment.
The NRA Training Counselor(s) who conduct your course will make a recommendation to the NRA concerning your certification, based on an evaluation of your knowledge, skill, and attitude. You will be asked to demonstrate your organizational and teaching skills through participation in several practical exercises during the course of your training. You will also be asked to complete an Instructor Examination, with a score of 90% or higher. Attendance at the course, or a passing grade on the examination, does not guarantee that you will receive the recommendation of the NRA Training Counselor(s).

Instructor certification involves a commitment to teach an NRA Basic
Firearm Training Course at least once per year in each discipline group (rifle, pistol, shotgun, reloading, personal protection) in which you hold instructor ratings.
NRA Basic Firearms Instructor Training (Home Firearm Safety and either Pistol or Rifle certification is a “stand-alone” due to time requirements, but Home Firearm Safety may be taken at a later date without additional fees.

The courses will be held at Central Whidbey Sportsmans Assoc.
397 Safari Lane, Coupeville, WA.
The course fee is $175 paid in advance. In addition, the NRA charges a first time certification fee of $30 (for NRA members, $50 for non-
members), which you pay directly to the NRA. You must attend the Basic Pistol class to attend this class and show proof that you did so. You must attend a Home Firearms Safety class if you intend on obtaining that cert- fication also.

The fee for Instructors picking up an additional certification is $135 
IF they have taken Basic Instructor Training (BIT) within the last 24 months. If they have not, they will need to attend the BIT (new requirement per NRA Training Counselor Guide, Revised 01-10) prior to picking up an additional certification. The fee for the 3-day class will be $175.
Make check payable to CWSA and mail along with your application to:
P.O. Box 711
Coupeville, WA 98239

All applications and fees must be postmarked or received by April 21,
2020 to hold a seat. All applications received after that will be accommo-
dated on a “space and materials” available basis, and charged a $50 late fee. If in doubt, call or e-mail Mike McNeff – 480-620-3727

Applicants must complete the course for which they wish to be an instructor and bring proof of completion. If possible, read and bring the Student handbook for your discipline. Handbooks can be ordered online from the NRA at:
Be familiar with the action types you will encounter. Know how to load, unload, and safe them. Download the Pre-Course Qualifications (links below) for the actions required in your specific discipline.

– At least 1 firearm for your discipline (See Pre-Course Qualifications links below for specifics.).
– A 2″ three ring notebook
– Red, green, and/or blue pens (Its frequently desirable to use color to highlight parts of the lesson plan)
– Highlighters, 1 or 2 colors
– Beverages
– Lunch/snacks
– Range Gear (eye and hearing protection)
– Clothing for cold, wet, and wind (our ranges are outdoors).
– 50-100 rounds of ammo

Additional Information:
Plan on 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM all 3 days. It is possible that a given discipline may finish sooner, but do not plan on it. 
If this is your initial NRA Instructor Certification, you will need to
attend all 3 days of the class. The first day is Basic Instructor Training
(BIT), essentially “how to teach the NRA way.” Days 2 and 3 are the discipline-specific materials (rifle, pistol, or shotgun).

Day 1 will include the Pre-Course Qualification, which consists of 3 tests:

1. A gun handling drill – demonstrate safe loading and unloading of the firearms for your discipline 
Rifle includes 6 action types – bolt, pump, break, semi-auto, lever, and falling block.
Pistol includes single action revolver, double-action revolver, and semi-
auto pistol
Home Firearm Safety includes 3 pistol types, and 5 long gun types

2. The written Student Exam for your discipline. You will need to score 90% or better on this closed-book exam.

3. A shooting test for your discipline. The discipline specific shooting requirements are on the NRA website and will be emailed to you upon registration along with the full Pre-Course Qualification requirements.

Day 1 will then cover Basic Instructor Training, which is about 8 hours, including the NRA Trainer’s Exam. You will need to score 90% or better on the Trainer’s Exam.

Days 2 and 3 (the discipline-specific days) are described below.

If you are already an NRA Certified Instructor in another discipline, you can skip Day 1. 
HOWEVER, you will need to show proof of having successfully attended/completed an NRA Basic Instructor Training (BIT) class and Trainer’s Exam in the last 24 months.
 If you have not done this, you will need to re-take Basic Instructor Training on Day 1 (new requirement: NRA Training Counselor Guide, Re-
vised 01-10).

Days 2 and 3 are the discipline-specific days, and will begin with the Pre-Course Qualification described above and downloaded in complete form from above links. The course length will vary according to discipline (Rifle is 14 hours, Pistol is 11 hours, Shotgun is 11 hours, and Home
Firearms Safety is 5 hours – listed hours are minimums and may be exceeded, if necessary). 

NRA Instructor Training Courses do NOT teach shooting skills. You must bring shooting skills with you to the class. Instructor Training Courses teach you how to teach shooting skills, the NRA way. If you need to learn shooting skills, attend a Basic Class.

Instructor certification is dependent on the Candidate’s knowledge, skill, and attitude.

Attendance at, and even completion of, an NRA Instructor Training Course does not guarantee Certification.

Directions and Lodging Information:
The Range is located at 397 Safari Lane, Coupeville, WA 98239.
Directions can be found at the CWSA website at
There are 3 reasonable hotels in the immediate area. We’ve not stayed at of them (we live here), but they do seem nice and people who have stayed there were happy with them. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough volume with either one to warrant a special rate.

The Coupeville Inn is in downtown Coupeville.
The Tyee Motel is on South Main Street in Coupeville.
The Captain Whidbey Inn is on Madrona Road about 10 minutes from Coupeville.
There are also B&B’s in the area.
If you’re driving an RV, there are various camp sites in the area.

There are more hotels in Oak Harbor which is 10 miles from Coupeville.
In the Coupeville area there are several restaurants, such as Toby’s, Front Street Grill, Tyee Restaurant, Ciao, Christopher’s, Captain Whidbey Inn and others.