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Top Home Defense Shooting Drills for Your AR-15 Rifle

June 17, 2024

An AR-15 rifle is a popular choice for home defense due to its versatility, accuracy, and ease of use. To ensure you’re prepared to effectively use your AR-15 in a defensive scenario, it's crucial to practice specific shooting drills that enhance your skills and readiness. Modern firearm trainers recommend a range of drills to cover various aspects of home defense. Here are a variety defense shooting drills for your AR-15 rifle:

  1. Ready-Up Drill

The Ready-Up Drill focuses on quickly acquiring your target from a low ready position. Start with your AR-15 at the low ready, then rapidly bring the rifle up, acquire the target through your sights, and fire one accurate shot. Repeat this drill to build muscle memory and improve your speed and accuracy.

  1. Failure Drill (Mozambique Drill)

The Failure Drill trains you to effectively neutralize a threat. Place a target at typical engagement distances for home defense (7-10 yards). Fire two shots to the center mass and then one shot to the head. This drill emphasizes shot placement and the importance of follow-up shots.

  1. Transition Drill

This drill enhances your ability to transition between your AR-15 and a sidearm. Start with your rifle at the ready and engage a target. Simulate a malfunction or empty magazine, transition to your sidearm, and continue engaging the target. This drill builds proficiency in weapon transitions, critical in a dynamic home defense scenario.

  1. Multiple Target Engagement

Set up multiple targets at varying distances and angles to simulate multiple threats. Practice engaging each target with controlled, accurate shots. Focus on target acquisition, shot placement, and smooth transitions between targets. This drill helps develop situational awareness and the ability to handle multiple threats.

  1. Malfunction Clearance Drill

Train to quickly clear common AR-15 malfunctions, such as failure to feed, failure to eject, and double feeds. Set up malfunctions (using dummy rounds) and practice clearing them while maintaining control of your rifle. This drill ensures you can efficiently resolve malfunctions and get back into the fight.

  1. Shoot, Move, Communicate Drill

This drill incorporates movement and communication, essential in a real home defense situation. Set up a course with various cover points. Move between cover while engaging targets, communicating with a partner or imagining verbal commands. This drill improves your ability to shoot accurately while moving and enhances teamwork if you have a partner.

  1. Low Light Drill

Many home defense scenarios occur in low light conditions. Practice shooting in low light using a weapon-mounted light or handheld flashlight. Engage targets with your light source, focusing on identifying and accurately hitting the target. This drill prepares you for defensive situations where lighting is less than ideal.

  1. Barricade Drill

Simulate engaging threats from behind cover. Set up barricades and practice shooting from various positions (standing, kneeling, prone). Focus on minimizing your exposure while maintaining accurate fire. This drill teaches you how to effectively use cover, a critical skill in home defense.

  1. Dynamic Entry Drill

Practice scenarios where you may need to move through your home. Start in one room and engage targets in multiple rooms or hallways. This drill helps you navigate your home while maintaining control of your rifle and accurately engaging threats. It also improves your ability to clear rooms methodically.

  1. Distance Drill

While most home defense scenarios occur at close range, it's important to be proficient at varying distances. Practice engaging targets at both close and intermediate ranges. This ensures you’re prepared for any situation, whether it's a close-quarters encounter or a longer-distance engagement.

Bonus Tip: Dry Fire Practice

Incorporate dry fire practice into your routine. Focus on trigger control, sight alignment, and transitions without live ammunition. Dry fire practice reinforces the fundamentals and allows you to practice safely at home.

By regularly practicing these drills, you can significantly improve your proficiency with your AR-15 rifle, ensuring you are well-prepared to defend your home. Consistent training builds the skills and confidence needed to effectively respond to any threat, making your home a safer place for you and your loved ones.

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