How to shoot an AR 15 – Tips The Pros Use

how to shoot an ar-15 like a pro

The AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in the gun world today, and for good reason.

And all people, from beginners to pro shooters, are buying or building their own AR-15's every day.

But do you actually know how to shoot an AR-15?

Related:​ How To Build An AR-15 - Best AR-15 Scopes

When it comes to shooting different types of guns, there is some sense of consistency.

If you know how to shoot one gun, you could argue you can shoot a different gun more easily.

That being said, just because you can shoot one gun does not make you an expert at other guns instantly.

For instance, an AR 15 is going to shoot A LOT differently than a revolver.

A lot of the principals and safety rules are the same, this is true. However, many of the tips and techniques for shooting well will be VASTLY different.

How to handle the gun, and just the feel when a shot goes off is going to be different.

How To Shoot An AR-15

Learning how to shoot an AR 15 is going to be different than a basic handgun and different than shooting other rifles.

An AR 15 is a very fun rifle to shoot, and when you get good at shooting one, it is even more fun.

The bulk of this article is going to discuss different tips on how to shoot an AR 15.

Before we get to that though, let us discuss some of the facts and basic information about an AR 15.

Quick Info about the AR-15

Knowing the basics about any gun can help you better prepare and anticipate how it will shoot. It will also help you determine changes in your own shooting style you may need to make before shooting.

Overall, any knowledge you have before shooting a gun is going to help you on the range.

AR 15 rifles are a semi-automatic gun used often by police and military world wide.

They are lightweight, loud rifles that use magazines for holding bullets.

AR 15’s can be configured in many different ways, with many different attachments.

AR 15 stands for ArmaLite Rifle and are also considered “modern sporting rifles”.

AR 15’s are often used for various types of hunting and target shooting .

How to Shoot An AR 15 - Tips From The Pros

Knowing how to shoot an AR 15 like the pros will definitely help make you a more skilled and accurate AR shooter.

Here are 7 great tips to help you learn how to shoot an AR 15 rifle.

Tip #1: Use the Same Rifle

If you want to become really good at shooting a rifle you will want to shoot the same rifle every time you go out to the range or hunting.

If you can’t shoot the same gun every time, try to at least shoot the same one MOST of the time.

Getting to know your rifle, backwards and forwards will help you shoot better. Many great shooters have their FAVORITE gun that they shoot the best with, because it is super familiar to them.

The more familiar the rifle is, the easier it is going to be to shoot.

Note: The same can be said with the type of ammo you use in your rifle: use the same type of ammo every time you shoot.

Different ammo, shoots differently. While it is good to be well versed in various types of ammo, if you really want to become a good shot, using the same ammo will help you.

Tip #2: Have a Consistent, Proper Stance

Champion shooter Jerry Miculek says a consistent, proper stance is key for success.

He breaks holding an AR rifle down to four basic, important parts:

  1. Lead with the opposite foot of your main hand. (If you are right handed, lead with your left foot. If you are left handed, lead with your right.) Make sure the toe is pointed AT the target.
  2. When the AR 15 is raised in your hands, in shooting position, you should be holding it about a hand widths away from the opposite shoulder of your trigger hand. If you were to point the gun straight down at this it should be pointing at your lead foot.
  3. Make sure your weight is forward. Having your weight forward on that front foot, makes it so the force of the AR does not push you around when you are shooting. You also want to make sure that you knees are slightly bent. Jerry points out that bending your knees helps with managing the recoil of the gun and helps with a smoother shot.
  4. When you shoot, you want to bring the gin to you, not you to the gun. When you do down to the gun to shoot, you are compromising your shooting stance. This is especially true when you are moving and shooting.

Jerry explains that they key to shooting well is a consistent, strong shooting position. He believes you should practice your position over and over.

If you are having a bad shooting day, go back to your shooting stance and see what you are doing wrong. Often times making small adjustments can fix your bad day.

The position, mentioned above, is one he believes you use 95% of the time.

Tip #3: Have A Strong Rifle Hold

When learning the proper way to shoot an AR 15, having a strong V grip is important.

You want to make sure you are gripping the pistol grip high up. You also want to make sure your grip is centered at the point where your thumb and index finger meet.

Make sure your supporting hand is gripping the handguards of the AR 15 about half way down the rifle.

Note: You want to make sure to have a strong hold on the rifle, but not too strong. If you are white knuckling your gun it could cause you to shake, which could impede your accuracy when shooting.

A good, healthy grip though can aid in accuracy if you do not go overboard.

Tip #4: Choose a Proper Trigger

One of the great things about an AR 15 is that you can upgrade many of the stock parts that come on it.

One of these parts is the trigger.

Many amateurs, or inexperienced shooters will just stick with the trigger that comes on their gun when they buy it.

Some shooters do not even know you can replace their trigger with a new one.

Having a good, reliable trigger can be critical when shooting.

Make sure to do your research and choose a trigger that is highly recommended, and that you feel is best for you.

Having the proper trigger will make your trigger pull much smoother, which is very important when shooting an AR rifle.

Tip #5: Follow through with your shot

Learning how to shoot an AR 15 will be a lot easier if you follow through with your shot.

This means that when you shoot the rifle, you do not move, you do not flinch. You pull the trigger, let the bullet hit the target, and THEN you can move from your stance or go on to shoot another bullet.

Moving before the bullet hits the target or makes it down range, is NOT following through.

The more focused you are on your shot, the less movement you make, and the pause you take between shots makes a big difference in how well you will shoot.

For many following through seems like a basic and simple principle, but many do not actually practice it.

Even experienced shooters need to take the time to follow through.

It WILL make a difference.

Final Thoughts - How To Shoot An Ar-15

Shooting an AR 15 can be a lot of fun. It can be exhilarating. There is a reason it is an extremely popular gun among shooters.

Remember, the more you work at something, the better you will become.

By following and practicing these tips at the range you will learn how to shoot an AR 15 like the pros.

Stay safe and happy shooting!

Gary Fretwell is a 33-year-old die hard hunter and blogger from Wyoming. After serving in Iraq, he finished school to become an Asset Protection Officer and currently is learning to be a tracker to help hunters like himself find big game!