Related Advancement and Awards
- Rifle Shooting merit badge
- Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program awards
The Scout Marksmen’s Code – In marksmanship, nothing is more important than safety. It is critically important to learn, practice, and respect all of the rifle safety rules. A Scout:
- Always follows the rules for firearms safety.
- Accepts the responsibility that goes with the use and possession of firearms.
- Follows the laws that govern the use and possession of firearms in their community.
- Practices wildlife conservation.
- Follows the spirit and the letter of the game laws.
- Is especially careful to be a true sportsman when using firearms.
BSA Rifle Shooting Policies
- Unlike most other program features, rifle shooting requires certified instructors. The unit leader must take responsibility to assure that all instruction involving any handling of firearms or live ammunition must be supervised by a certified BSA National Camping School (NCS) shooting sports director or a certified National Rifle Association (NRA) rifle instructor or coach.
- Instruction involving muzzleloaders must be supervised by an NCS shooting sports director or an NRA/National Muzzleloader Rifle Association (NMLRA)–certified muzzleloader firearms instructor. Shooting must be supervised by an NRA-certified range safety officer (RSO).
- If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, both the RSO and qualified instructor must be present. The supervisor and instructor may not be the same person. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs. See the Guide to Safe Scouting and the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual, No. 30931, for further details on shooting sports.
- Boy Scouts are permitted to fire .22 caliber bolt-action, single-shot rifles; air rifles; shotguns; and muzzleloading long guns. Venturers and Sea Scouts may also shoot rifles, pistols, and revolvers of any caliber or action. An exception is they may not shoot fully automatic firearms.
The following are standards established for rifles used in Boy Scouting.
- Breech-loading rifles will be .22 caliber bolt-action, single-shot with removable magazines only. Tubular magazines are not permitted. They may be chambered for the .22 short, .22 long, or .22 long rifle, but not for the .22 WRF, which is a more powerful cartridge. Air rifles using pellets or BBs are also permitted.
- Semiautomatic rifles are not permitted.
- Rifles must meet the requirements for the conventional and international rifle shooting competitive programs. The trigger pull will be determined by the course of competition.
- Repeating rifles with a removable clip-type magazine are permitted but must be used as single-loaders.
- All rifles used in BSA shooting sports must have a minimum trigger pull of 3 pounds and must be tested with a 3-pound weight or scale at least once a week while in use. If the trigger mechanism is activated by the 3-pound pull, the rifle must be removed from service.
- Shooting safety glasses and hearing protection must be worn on rifle ranges.
- Care must be taken to comply with federal, state, and local laws.