AR15 Shooting – Top 5 Fundamentals

AR15 Shooting - Top 5 FundamentalsAs you should know by now, the AR15 rifle is one of the most popular rifles in the United States. Some love it while others hate it and try to demonize it. No matter the debate behind this rifle, we all have to agree that it is practical, extremely ergonomic and it can be one of the best weapons you can buy at the moment. When it comes to AR15 shooting, there is a learning curve you need to master and the following shooting fundamentals will help you out.

Choosing the best AR15 rifle isn’t an easy task and there are so many factors which must be taken into consideration and each one is more important than you can imagine. Factors such as length, gas system, battle type, OR, muzzle and many others will determine how great the rifle you purchase really is. In a previous article about the best AR15 under $1000 on the market, we discussed about all these factors. Make sure you check it out as it provides great tips, especially if you are new to the gun world.

For many people out there, when it comes to AR15 shooting, they get a feeling of empowerment and it makes them feel more confident. However, hitting the target and landing more than one shot on it, is a totally different thing. It requires training and dedication, but most importantly, you need to respect the rifle and understand it’s power.

Regardless of how you began, the way you feel while firing a firearm is directly linked to the gun you’re shooting, your experience level, and the environment in which you’re shooting. Keep reading and remember the following tips the next time you visit the range.

5 AR15 Shooting Essentials:

  1. Stance

Some people don’t really think about their stance when it comes to AR15 shooting or any other shooting drill. They fail to understand that if their life is at stake in a gunfight, they may not be able to think about it and will try to assume a comfortable position to shoot from. Why not exercise various shooting stances and your muscle memory next time when you’re at the range? I guarantee it will make you discover a few new things about your physic form and body limits.

Next time when you’re at the range, keep your knees slightly bent and take a half step forward with your non-dominant foot. I’m a right-handed shooter and for me, it’s the left foot. Now put about 70% of your weight on your front foot, balancing on the balls of your feet. Try curling your toes down as this will help maintain an athletic position and absorb recoil.

Even more, it will also prepare you to move from one position to the next in case needed. Your kneed and hip alignment should be comfortable and not square on target. The same goes for your chest and shoulders. Take the top of the buttstock pad and put it in the pocket of your shoulder as you would do with a shotgun.

Related article: 5 Guns Every Prepper Should Own

  1. Grip

The grip plays an important role when it comes to AR15 shooting and it will affect your accuracy. Place your non-dominant hand on the handguard at a distance you find comfortable. Try not to lock your elbow out and do not put your hand on the magazine well.

Now extend your dominant hand out to a comfortable distance, keeping your index finger along the axis of the bore and pointed generally at the target. You need to keep your elbow high in line with the bore of the rifle.

This will greatly help you sweep onto target left to right or vice versa. I’ve learned that keeping the gun flat will make it as efficient as possible. You will use your dominant hand high on the back of the pistol grip with your fingers wrapped naturally around the grip and your index placed comfortably on the trigger.

  1. Sight Picture

When it comes to AR15 shooting, some prefer to use an iron sight while others prefer a red dot or a magnified optic. They are essential for getting the correct sight and assure an accurate shooting. For a rear ghost ring or peep sight with a front post setup commonly found on iron sights, the rear sight should be unfocused, the target should be slightly unfocused, and the front sight post should be crystal clear.

For a red dot or magnified optic, focus your eyes on the target and allow the reticle to be slightly unfocused.

  1. Trigger Control

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are jerking the trigger back and their AR15 shooting never improves. This is because they tend to move the rifle before making the actual shot and it puts them off target. A smooth pull using the center of the front segment on your trigger finger, under the fingernail is equally important.

New shooters tend to use the middles segment of the finger and they hold the trigger too far in either direction, causing them to pull the rifle in that direction. I recommend pulling the trigger directly to the rear in line with the bore axis. If you manage to do that your rounds will land where you intend them to hit.

  1. Breathing Control

Breathing control is an important tactic to master when it comes to shooting a rifle. During my AR15 shooting drills, I’ve learned to shoot on empty lungs so that my breathing doesn’t affect my shot.

Try to breathe normally, get your sight picture and when you exhale and ready to inhale, make sure your point of aim is on the target. When you inhale again, the sights will most likely move, but upon exhaling it should return to where you mean to shoot. When your lungs are empty, gently squeeze the trigger.


Shooting an AR15 is a real pleasure and a memorable experience, however, shooting with it properly requires a lot of training. The accuracy, dependability and ease of operation of this rifle make it an ideal choice for the preppers. If the law from your state allows it, you should get your hands on it now while you still can.

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