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How to Shoot a Rifle

Here we’ll go over the most common semi-automatic rifle, the AR-15, as well as a bolt action rifle.  We’ll cover some grip, stance, and general functions.

Here it is again, our safety rules.

  • All guns are always loaded
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy
  • Keep your fingers off the trigger until your sights are on the target
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it

Semi-Automatic Rifle (AR-15)

The AR-15 is the most common sporting rifle in the US, and is the civilian version of the M-16/M-4.  Please note that the AR does not mean “Assault Rifle,” but rather “Armalite,” the company which first manufactured it.  You’ll also see the word “carbine” (car-bean) thrown around which just means it is shorter than a standard rifle (16″ barrel vs 20″ for a rifle).

The AR-15 is one of the most customizable guns out there, so what you see below are just some possibilities.

AR15 Parts Diagram
AR15 Parts Diagram

Below is a wonderful tutorial video of how to use the AR-15.

And how it works:

Jerry’s also back to teach us about rifle stances with the AR-15 and some other popular rifles.

Bolt Action Rifle

A bolt action rifle requires you to move the bolt manually.  Since there’s not as much going on in the gun, bolt action rifles are generally regarded as being more accurate than their semi-auto brethren.  Here’s one of the most popular and affordable bolt action rifles, the Remington 700.

Remington 700 Parts Diagram
Remington 700 Parts Diagram

The guy below is shooting his rifle from a vise, but most of the time you’ll probably have a bipod or something else to place the front of the rifle.

We’ll come back to longer range precision rifle shooting since that is a much more advanced topic.

Now What?

I would suggest you sign up for a well-reviewed local class to learn more about shooting your rifles.  Or in the very least, check out the Magpul DVD Art of the Tactical Carbine.

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