A great many AR 15 owners out there purchased that specific firearm to keep their homes and families safe. Whether you choose an AR or some other firearm option for home defense, it’s vitally important that you and anyone else who may use the gun should not only know how to fire it safely, but also have a good deal of comfort and familiarity doing so. The more familiar you all are, the less likely accidents are to happen, and thus, the safer everyone will be. But if you’re just spending time at the range to gain that necessary familiarity, you are doing yourself a disservice as a home protector. Here’s why range time isn’t enough:
Familiarity Creates Safety
First, a clarification. We are not suggesting that you should skip range time all together. Keeping a good level of familiarity with all of your firearms is important, and range time is a good way to keep your skills well-honed. If it comes down to range time or nothing, we’ll choose range time every time. Spending time on the range familiarizing yourself with a solid stance and the feel of each firearm’s kickback helps means you are less likely to flinch hard or have a shot go wild. This is especially important in home defense scenarios because you’ll be relying a lot more heavily on muscle memory when the adrenaline is pumping. So yes, please take any of your home defense firearms with you to the range and make sure you’re comfortable with each one.
Consider Situational Use
That being said, however, we would like to posit that range time on its own isn’t enough to fully prepare you to use an AR 15 or any firearm for home defense purposes. On the range, you have time to move thoughtfully and cautiously. You can futz with your grip, shift around an accessory, and take your time getting into a firm shooting stance. In a real-life home defense situation, you aren’t likely to have that kind of time. Even the best AR accessories have the potential to throw your grip off-kilter enough to make a difference. It’s important to get all that fiddling and futzing done when you’re at the range and have the time. Once you’re comfortable with your AR’s setup, shift your focus away from the comfort and ease of shooting at a range and consider training for potential real-world scenarios. Range time isn’t enough on its own because it doesn’t help you train for hurdles you could face in the event of a home invasion.
At the range, most of us typically shoot from a single, static position. Or, if you do choose to shift around, you can take your time in doing so. In most home defense situations, you won’t have time to get into your stance at a leisurely pace, and you may not be able to stay in a single position. Instead, it’s important to balance your range time with non-stationary shooting. To truly prepare yourself to defend your home in a realistic way, you’ll need to learn to shoot on the move — and then to get familiar doing so. Shooting on the move is a different skill set from firing at the range, however, so if you’ve never done so before, we suggest starting with a class taught by a trained instructor to learn to do so safely.
The other major difference is that of reaction time. During a break-in or home invasion scenario, you won’t have time to fiddle with your firearm. You’ll need to go from unarmed to a firm stance in a matter of seconds. Ample range time is a good start, as it will help you develop the muscle memory needed. Once you have that smooth, slow, steady muscle memory in place, however, it’s time to work on speed. Dry firing drills can help you practice your draw speed, and is something you can easily do at home with a chunk of spare time. In addition, another great way to push yourself to work on reaction times is to enter shooting competitions using your chosen home defense firearm.
A great way to make sure your AR 15 will be of the most benefit in a home invasion is to make sure it’s as comfortable and customized for your needs as possible. Explore the best AR accessories and custom AR parts from Bootleg, Inc. to get your AR kitted out the way you want. Shop online today.