Note to the Leader

Shotgun Shooting Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Unit leadership must always take responsibility to ensure that all instruction involving any handling of firearms or live ammunition is supervised by a currently certified BSA National Camping School shooting sports director or National Rifle Association Shotgun Instructor or NRA Coach. If instruction and shooting are to occur at the same time, both the Range Safety Officer (RSO) and Shotgun Instructor must be present. The RSO and Shotgun Instructor may not be the same person. Note that commercial shooting ranges may provide RSOs. See the BSA National Shooting Sports Manual for further details about the shooting sports program.

Prerequisite training, including the NRA First Steps Shotgun Orientation or NRA Basic Shotgun Course, may need to be conducted in advance, depending on the level of the planned activity.

The following standards are established for Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers regarding shotgun usage:

  1. Modern sporting shotguns of any gauge may be used. However, experience shows that beginning shooters will be more successful with a 20- or 12-gauge shotgun, putting more shot to the target. Youth and adult-size gas-operated semiautomatic shotguns are recommended.
  2. Current manufactured shotshells of the appropriate gauge containing No. 7½ to No. 9 shot may be used. A shot size larger than No. 7½ is not to be used. Reloads may not be used in BSA shooting sports programs.
  3. Shooting safety glasses and hearing protection must be worn on shotgun ranges.
  4. Care must be taken to comply with federal, state, and local laws.
Shotgun Shooting Information Troop Meetings Main Event

For Adult and Youth Boy Scout Leaders