NRA Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman Awards and Double Distinguished Award

NRA Distinguished Prone MedallionOne of the highest honors, and more difficult awards, that a smallbore rifle shooter can earn is the Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman Award. Not to be confused with the NRA Qualification Program's "Distinguished Expert," a program for starting shooters, or the Civilian Marksmanship's Service Rifle and Pistol "Distinguished," the NRA Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman Award is only available to smallbore rifle shooters who shoot "qualifying events" and place in the top 10% of the competition.

The NRA Executive Committee inaugurated the Distinguished Rifleman Award program in 1965.

There are two NRA Distinguished Rifleman Awards available: Prone and Position. To earn either of the NRA Distinguished Rifleman Awards, a shooter must participate in the NRA Indoor Championship, the NRA Regional Championship, plus either the National Metric Championship, Bristol, IN, or the National Smallbore Rifle Championships, Camp Perry, OH. The competitor must place in the top 10% of the competition in these events to earn a "Step" or, as it is sometimes called, a "leg." Unlike Service Rifle and Pistol Distinguished, smallbore rifle shooters must compete against the already designated Distinguished Smallbore Riflemen who are in the competition. A shooter may win as many as two steps per year in any of the qualifying events.

In 2009, at the National Championships, the Competitive Shooting Division announced the Double Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman Award recognizing those shooters who have earned both the Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman Prone award and the Distinguished Smallbore Rifleman Position award.

The special lapel pin may be acquired from Lois Wenzell at the NRA Headquarters ( Lois maintains the Program records and after validation will send you your pin.

Since 1965, 284 competitors have earned the "Prone" and 430 have earned the "Position" NRA Distinguished Rifleman Awards. Only 119 have become "Double Distinguished" or have earned both awards. Look in the back of your NRA Smallbore Rifle Rules Book for more information.

In 2012, the following shooters earned the NRA Distinguished Award and Double Distinguished Award:


  • Brad T. Driscoll
  • Alyssa Gestl
  • Samuel L. Muegge
  • Kyle B. Smith
  • Justin Tracy


  • Reya Kempley
  • Brian Jylkka
  • Tarl Kempley
  • Mark D. Gould
  • Stephen R. Angeli
  • Garrett Spurgeon
  • William Burkert

Double Distinguished

  • Reya Kempley
  • Tarl Kempley
  • Brian Jylkka
  • Justin Tracy
  • William Berkert