NMLRA Education Programs

“Dedicated to furthering a positive image
of responsible gun ownership and the safe use of muzzleloading guns”

The NMLRA Muzzleloading Education Program provides expertise, technology, and training in muzzleloading guns.  The standardized program is flexible and adaptable to meet the requirements of various organizations and programs – Hunter Education, the 4-H Shooting Program, Boy Scouts and Royal Rangers.

The Muzzleloading Education Program has been designed to provide a uniform fundamental muzzleloading program to meet the needs of organizations and individuals to learn the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary for an enjoyable and rewarding muzzleloading experience. All muzzleloading courses are taught by a team of:


whose primary responsibility is to teach the Basic Course.


whose primary responsibility is to train Instructors in (1) the function and use of Muzzleloading rifles,  handguns and shotguns, (2) the education program’s philosophies, policies and procedures, and (3) the instructional process.

The Basic Course

is a hands-on live-fire course covering muzzleloading rifle, pistol (including revolver) and shotgun.  The course covers the history of muzzleloading, familiarization with and maintenance of equipment, proper procedures for loading and firing and the sportsman’s role in society.  Graduates must achieve a score of 80% on the written test and have a satisfactory performance evaluation to successfully complete the course.

The Instructor Course

is a hands-on live-fire muzzleloading rifle, pistol (including revolver) and shotgun course to prepare those interested in teaching the Basic Course. NMLRA membership is not required to be an Instructor.  Those who successfully complete the course qualify as an:


if 21 years old and a score of at least 90%.


if 18 years old and a score of at least 85%.  Assistants aid instructors while learning additional teaching skills and gaining experience.


if a mature 13-17-year-old, a score of at least 85% and has received parental consent. Apprentices serve in an understudy role with an instructor.

The Trainer Course

is an in-depth teaching techniques course.  Dedicated instructors who have successfully completed the NMLRA Muzzleloading Instructor Course and have been active in teaching the Basic Course may submit a letter of interest and a resume to the NMLRA Education and Training Co-ordinator.  Trainer candidates who have enhanced and advanced muzzleloading education will be invited to participate in the course.  Trainer appointments are based on successful course completion, the culmination of a probationary period and an interview with the NMLRA Education and Training Committee.  All NMLRA Trainers must be members of the NMLRA.


An NMLRA Instructor’s primary responsibility is to teach the hands-on live fire Basic Course in muzzleloading rifle, pistol (including revolver) and shotgun; muzzleloading history; care and use of equipment; proper procedures; and the sportsman’s role in our society.


An NMLRA Trainer’s primary responsibility is to teach instructor courses. He or she must have the skills to teach and be adaptable to the varying needs of students. Trainers may also teach basic courses. Prospective Trainers must have completed the Instructor Course no more than two years prior to enrollment in a Trainer Course, or have comparative higher level alternative experiences such as 4-H or NRA Instructor ratings. All NMLRA Trainers must have an active NMLRA membership.

Skills Needed:

An Instructor needs to have the fundamental muzzleloading knowledge, plus the skill and attitude to conduct basic courses. A Trainer needs to know how to teach and how to recognize the differing needs of students of all ages.

Participation required:

Each Instructor and Trainer must participate in an annual Education Program activity. Qualifying participation includes team teaching, assisting in the teaching of a class, assisting with the live-fire practical, assisting with public specialty seminars, attending Instructor or Trainer workshops, assisting education office staff, and other approved activities.

In-Service Training:

Updates of materials and skills will be available to Instructors and Trainers through the NMLRA office. Muzzleloading Education manuals are available to everyone. Instructors and Trainers are responsible to the NMLRA Training Committee, the NMLRA Education Council, and the NMLRA Board of Directors.

For eligibility to become an NMLRA Instructor you must

* Complete the NMLRA Basic Course;
* Submit an instructor application with required fee;
* Successfully complete the instructor course class work and live-fire practicum.

To become an NMLRA Trainer you must

*Have an active NMLRA Membership
* Complete the NMLRA Instructor Course;
* Submit trainer application with required fee;
* Successfully complete trainer course class work.

To retain Instructor and/or Trainer Status you must

* Participate in at least one class or other instructional activity per year;
* Submit all required paperwork within two weeks after each activity;
* Continue to exhibit proper sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and correct practices.

If you would be interested in hosting/sponsoring an NMLRA Instructor Certification Course in your area, please ensure that these three criteria are met.

  1. Sufficient and adequate classroom availability with designated audio/visual aids as specified by the NMLRA trainer.
  2. Designated Range area that is cleared by the local government to shoot black powder guns for the event.
  3. Enough personnel attending to support the event and that all trainees meet NMLRA guidelines for course attendance.

 For more information, please call 812-667-5131, email Lora at [email protected]