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Preview – Move and Shoot – Dynamic Rifle Skills

Photography by Corey Lack

It seems that almost everyone and his mother owns an AR-15 these days, and I am often asked what I do when training with my rifle in terms of skill development and drills. My answer is often split into two distinct areas, and I like to teach the skills in a specific order.

First, my primary goal is to be able to shoot it accurately, yet very quickly, at distances of 25 yards and less, with the ability to place an accurate shot on targets out to 100 yards. If you are wondering why I set these particular distances as benchmarks, it is for purely personal reasons. I will likely have a hard time articulating my need to “defend” myself at ranges of more than 100 yards, as I am very much a civilian now, living in a typical American subdivision. My second training goal is to be able to utilize that manipulation and marksmanship skill in a dynamic manner to allow me to be successful in any situation in which I will be using a rifle.

Now, those of you reading this might need to do a reality check to determine the most likely situation in which you would employ a rifle. If you are an active-duty Marine in Afghanistan, then my range limitation of 100 yards will not suffice for you. But most of you reading this will either be a regular Joe civilian who will probably arm yourself with a rifle for home defense, or a well-prepared citizen in exigent circumstances…like fighting through hordes of rabid, flesh-rotting zombies. (Yes, I admit, I hope for such a scenario.)

In this article, I will briefly talk about development of a high-performance stance/mount system, but most of my focus will be to define and flesh out some thoughts and methods of training for what I have termed “dynamic rifle skill.” In the simplest terms I want to get you out of the static range mentality and push you to think of how you will utilize the rifle during or after some sort of dynamic movement, such as a full sprint to a position of cover.

ZigZag SprintAround an Obstacle

As I have written before, I feel that once the decision has been made to use deadly force, the faster you can neutralize the threat, the greater your chances of survival. This means that you will need to get the first hit as fast as possible, and follow up hits even faster. If you are sprinting to cover when the threat appears, the ability to mount and shoot while moving is of critical importance.

Mount and Control
Let’s break down how I mount and control a rifle’s recoil in a static manner, then we’ll add movement to the equation later. A rifle’s recoil will travel in a more linear path straight back because the bore (on an M4-style platform) is actually in line with the stock, which we have mounted on the shoulder. This is one of the reasons that a rifle can be shot so much faster than a handgun at distance — we don’t have to wait so long for the sights to settle back onto the target.

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