Home defense tip: Low Ready vs High Ready for you AR

Using your AR-15, a shotgun or any long gun for home defense requires some different techniques than those used with a pistol. If you have an AR platform rifle (or any other long gun) as your designated home defense weapon you need to be absolutely certain to use proper defensive ammo and pay close attention to Coopers 4th law. That is, always be certain of your target and what lies beyond it. Many of us have neighbors close enough to our homes–always remember that when a projectile leaves your gun you own it until it stops moving.

There are two weapon-ready carry techniques the US Army teaches for close-quarters combat: low ready and high ready. High ready looks like this:

 

 

 

  • Butt stock under the armpit
  • Front sights under direct line of sight but within peripheral vision
  • Barrel pointed slightly upward
  • Eyes forward- keep your visual focus downrange

 

 
To engage a threat from this position: drive the weapon forward and slide the stock onto your shoulder. Be sure to aim properly by looking over the rear sight.
 
 
 
 
Low ready rifle carry is nearly the opposite (hopefully that’s not a surprise) and looks like this:
 
 
 
 
  • Butt stock resting firmly on shoulder
  • Barrel pointing downward at about a 45-degree angle 
  • Eyes forward- keep your visual focus downrange
 
To engage a threat from this position: raise the front of the weapon to acquire a close quarters sight picture. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Low ready is the most commonly used carry method and is the safest way to carry a rifle while remaining ready to take a reflexive shot if a threat is encountered. There are a couple other notable advantages to low ready for home defense:
  • You can fire as you bring the rifle up to your sight picture and get rounds on target
  • The rifle is in a more stable position offering a greater level of control and stability
  • Fewer steps required to get your rifle into the fight 
  • The muzzle is pointed in a safer direction for most situations (unless you have loved ones or neighbors below you)
Unload your rifle and remove any mags or ammo from the immediate area at home and double check the chamber to ensure it is clear. Practice both methods a few times and you will quickly realize which is more comfortable- at the -15 residence it’s low ready all the way. 

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