I pretty much only have access to a 25 yard pistol shooting range, can shoot .223 frangible as well.
What would be your training suggestions or methodology for someone who wants to get good at shooting their AR15?
As always, the first question will be what skills you wish to develop.
In general, though, other than developing the skills necessary to read the wind for long range shooting, short distance shooting can be very valuable and productive. My first serious shooting training and practice for a couple of years was at 50 feet with a single shot 22 LR target rifle. When I later enlisted in the Army I had the fundamental skills required to transition to the M14 and shoot it well without much trouble.
The thing that’s necessary to get meaningful practice at 25 yards or shorter is to have targets that allow you to aim at one point and hit at another. The typical sight/bore offset at that distance is about 1.2 inches. That is, your aiming point will be about that far above where your bullets will hit. For fast acquisition drills at 7 yards, I developed a tall, thin modification of a typical silhouette target and use the “head” area as my point of aim; the goal is for all hits to fall into the body area.
For precision shooting, the targets could consist of something to aim at, such as a small drawing of a silhouette, with a circle below.
Something else is what sight(s) you have on the gun. Magnified optics may not permit shooting at close distances.
IMO, the most important thing about developing shooting skills is consistent practice with measurable results dedicated to clearly-defined goals. Going to the range and putting 50 rounds through a big ragged hole on a single target is some people’s idea of fun, but is not going to develop meaningful skills.
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With only 25 yards, I would have the AR with a Red Dot sight and after sighting it in 1.5" low @25yds (for a approx 100 yard zero), I would train for standing work, multiple shots, transitions to 2 & 3rd targets (if possible at the range), magazine changes, and malfunction drills, at targets from 7-25 yards.
Get some really small targets, I’m not being a smart ass. It’s how we zero weapons in the army, it’s also how we qualified on the 249. The actual target on the paper was maybe the size of 2 fingers wide/tall. There has to be an outdoor public range somewhere near you, go to gun stores and ask around
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I would get a shot timer, and run drills at different distances on cardboard silhouettes. 1-5 drill. V drill. Bill drill, etc. The timer and the A zone target hits will teach you. Try to react to the timer beep in less than a half second, and try a Bill drill from low ready for time. Fun way to develop some CQB skills.
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With the weather where I live we shoot indoors lots in the winter. You can do pretty much all you need to train for cqb. The main thing to work on is speed at that distance. Get a timer. Time to first shot, time to reload, time to multiple shots, etc. etc. I'm guessing (its a guess since I don't do it) that you can work on accuracy as well with small targets.
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We used to use a 1000 inch target for basic marksmanship with the M16, when I was in the service. (Google it) the 55gr FMJ NATO round works fine. We also had a smaller target called the Transtar II for combat training...they make a 14x20 inch target in blue or green...
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Reduced size targets. Malfunctions drills, reloads, multiple positions, weak hand, one hand, barricade drills...
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NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
Where do you live? And what kind of shooting?
Precision? Action type shooting like 3-gun/Multigun?
If restricted to short range you can use reduced size targets.
There are some aspects of long range that are impossible to duplicate at short range. Wind being a big one.
If you expect to do lots of short range training honestly I would buy an S&W 15/22 to maximize volume you can shoot for a much lower cost. Practicing for 300 meter uspsa size steel? Use the military size 25 meter zero targets. Precision long range? Very small targets like aspirin glued to a target backer
Need to figure out what it is you intend of use. A good red dot can be useful close to some
Distance , LPVO can extend reach out even further with the better more positive ID option.
Learning irons is also a very good thing to start & have a back up to any sorta glass atop.
The issue is space for you now , I totally understand this. There are some good targets out there you can print that will let you have a longer zero using short indoor distance , inside 25meters. Then your holds will be used.
Off hand , Way Of The Gun has has printable stuff.
Good luck , Pep
I take it this is an indoor range? If so, be prepared for heavy ear concussion. I've had folks shooting their ARs in the next lane, at the local indoor range, and the concussion is almost unbearable. And, I always wear double hearing protection.
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