The National Rifle Association and Civilian Marksmanship Program uses a Classification system to keep competitors in similar-skilled groups. I’ve detailed this in the past:
What follows is a more succinct breakdown.
NRA Classifications Explained
by John M. Buol Jr.
A Marksman Classification is “earned” by merely showing up to a match and failing to be disqualified due to flagrant safety violations. You can’t shoot worse than this. Scratch that. Given only 2% of the NRA membership will bother to ever show up, 98% of the herd are less involved and probably worse than your terrible level of non-skill.
The worst you can shoot while meeting a minimally-low cut off. One step up from the bottom. Good job!
You’re actually invested and have practiced to become this bad. A complete lay person (which describes nearly every gun owner that has never attended a match) might be fooled into believing an “Expert” Classification denotes actual skill. You’re shooting just well enough to eventually stumble into enough “leg points” to earn a Distinguished Rifleman/Pistol Shot badge if you keep at it, the marksmanship equivalent of the infinite monkey theorem.
Possibly good enough to be a contender for a win at local, or small state/regional match. You consider a trip to a drained swamp on the southwest-side of Lake Erie to stay in a hutment that deployed Marines would complain about to be a vacation while spending enough money in travel, lodging, match fees, and ammunition to have instead gone to Europe.
You’ve reached the Classification pinnacle of a century-old sport sponsored by a political organization that not even the directors and card-carrying members know or care anything about. And it only took an investment in time and money that could have paid for an early retirement. After giving your paycheck to Chump’s Choice, avoid considering this fact by enjoying beer and pizza at Bell Mell or an ice cream at Andy’s because ya can’t go to Nick’s anymore…