4 Points of Contact: How to Hold an AR-15

Whether you call it a Modern Sporting Rifle, a "black gun" or an AR-15, there's one best way to wield it.

posted on August 9, 2022

Full-sized modern sporting rifles—also known as MSRs, black guns and AR-15s—may appear to be more complex to handle than pistols are, but that's not exactly true. What is true is that in order to properly hold your MSR, you must establish four "points of contact" with the gun instead of two. The good news is that doing so is much easier than you may think. The even-better news is that those extra two points of contact give you more control, better accuracy and (probably) better comfort, too. 

In this episode of Smith & Wesson's GUNSMARTS series, you'll learn what we mean by "points of contact," which is simply the places where your body touches the gun. When you're shooting a handgun, you should only have two points of contact—each of your hands on the pistol's grip. When you're shooting any kind of rifle (not just an MSR), you'll need to have four. That's where your dominant or trigger hand touches, where your support hand touches, where the gun's buttstock rests on your shoulder and where your cheek touches the stock. 

As instructor Ken Scott emphasizes, there are three key things to remember when practicing your grip: safety, safety and safety. (OK, what we mean by that is that you must keep your finger outside the trigger guard at all times, remove all ammunition from the room and keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction.) Once you have it mastered, you're well on your way to discovering just how accurate and easy to shoot AR-15s are!

Latest

Rao Ballistics
Rao Ballistics

Understanding Ballistics Basics

We live in a world of new acronyms, but the truth is, the firearm world has always used acronyms! Learn some of the basic ballistic terminolgy here.

The Armed Citizen® January 27, 2023

A man armed with a shovel and a lug wrench forced his way into the home of a woman who was home with her two young children.

New Guns from SHOT Show 2023

Here are just a few of the new models that will be heading to your dealers’ shelves soon!

A Few Words from Two of Freedom’s Greatest Benefactors

Watch this exclusive America's 1st Freedom interview with Larry and Brenda Potterfield, two of NRA's most dedicated ambassadors.

New for 2023: Shadow Systems CR920P Subcompact Pistol with Integrated Compensator

Shadow Systems has already elevated the out-of-the-box ubiquitous little black pistol into a class of its own.

Hunting Dilemma: What If I Shoot an Animal I Didn't Mean to Shoot?

You thought you were shooting one animal, but after you pulled the trigger, you discovered that what you shot was in violation of a game law. Now what?

Women's Interests



Get the best of NRA Women delivered to your inbox.