By Kerrin Brinkman | January 11 2011 10:51

East Kingston, New Hampshire - Over the weekend we told you about 16 year-old Olivia Zocco earning her Distinguished Expert rating through the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program. Now we have news about a club in New Hampshire that runs the program at their facility and recently had a member earn his Distinguished Expert rating as well.

Bill Zelck recently earned his NRA Distinguished Expert NRAblog recently spoke with Dean Osborne, Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program Administrator at the State Line Field and Stream Club in East Kingston. Osborne coordinates club member’s participation in the program and understands its appeal to shooters of all levels.

“First of all, it’s self-paced and you can do it on your own time. Another thing is that you don’t need a specific type of firearm – you can use any type of firearm that you may have,” said Osborne. “It’s a structured course of competitive shooting, easy to follow, and uses qualified targets. It’s also easy to introduce everyone into the program.”

Osborne started the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program in February of 2010 after becoming a member of State Line Field and Stream Club. Since the club adopted the program, numerous members have participated.

There are currently 18 different people pursuing ratings in different disciplines, working on 32 different courses of fire. Ages of the participants range from 17 to 80 years old and according to Osborne, Handgun and Light Rifle are the most popular disciplines at the club.

Club member Bill Zelck (pictured after earning his Sharpshooter rating) recently earned his Distinguished Expert rating in just a few months for the Handgun qualification using a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

“He had never shot with his weak hand. When he had to use his weak hand during a particular course of fire, he found he was more accurate than with his dominant hand. He said that the program takes you out of your comfort zone,” said Osborne.

Learn more about the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and view courses of fire online or send an email to With 2011 underway, there’s no better time to start your journey towards a Distinguished Expert rating or get a program started at your club!


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