Home Invasion Live-Fire Practice on the Range

Last month, I wrote “Home Invasion Dry-Fire Practice,” with tips from firearms instructor Andrew Blubaugh of Apex Shooting and Tactics. When we first discussed the topic, he recommended creating a part two to give options for turning the dry-fire training into live-fire. So here it is, home invasion live-fire practice on the range. 

Sponsored by Springfield Armory

Not everyone may have access to a range that offers an opportunity to train in such a manner as I will share below. Check with the staff at your shooting range to find out what they will allow. Then, after reading these ideas, decide if you can make some adjustments for your personal practice.

What You’ll Need:

  • Firearm and ammunition
  • Human or humanoid target
  • Notebook and pen
  • Tape measure
  • Chair

Gathering Information

Cerino home intruder

As you’ll recall from the previous article, I set targets of humans folded in half around my home where I may encounter an intruder. I taped them at the height of an average man, five-feet nine-inches, mimicking someone in my house using concealment. 

measuring distance to target
It’s nice to have help when you are measuring.

To set yourself up for the range, measure the distance between the target and where you think you may shoot from cover or concealment. This is the same place where you practiced your dry-fire. Write those measurements in your notebook, labeling the location. 

Home invasion notebook

Another important measurement is the distance of the longest shot you may need to make in your house. Would this happen in a hallway, or maybe from your backdoor to the front? Add that to your notebook. 

farthest distance in house

Setting Up Live-Fire Practice

As I mentioned above, not everyone has an ideal range situation with no stipulations on how you may engage targets. The following suggestions for target placement and shooting position may not be allowed at your range. However, following your range rules, consider how you may recreate them. Also, be aware of whether or not you’ll be allowed to draw before you acquire a target.

SPringfield Prodigy live-fire practice

Begin by setting up your target at the correct height. The top of the head should be about five-feet-nine inches from the ground. 

Look in your notebook and measure the distance from your target back to where you will shoot from. Set your chair there. 

Live fire practice cerino live-fire practice
(Ken Laugel photo)

Now, look at your target while seated in the chair and kneeling behind it. Does the backstop go high enough? Is it safe to shoot with an upward angle? 

cerino shooting prodigy live-fire practice
(Ken Laugel photo)

You have now recreated the home invasion scenario you practiced with dry-fire in your home. Consider shooting from a seated position, from whatever way your chair faces. 

cerino live-fire practice
(Ken Laugel photo)

Turn the chair and use it to mimic concealment. Kneel behind it and engage the target.

Home intruder practice live-fire practice
(Ken Laugel photo)

Take notes as you work through each scenario. Write down anything you want to work on and where you want to improve. You may even want to take photos of your target, too. 

Springfield prodigy and ammo
Michelle shot her Springfield Armory Prodigy with Remington and Hornady ammunition on the range.

There is no set amount of shots you should take during your live-fire practice. Create drills that allow you to practice what you want to emphasize. If you begin to see a decline in your shot placement, it’s time to stop or move on to another scenario. 

Take the time to review your notes once you return home. Make a plan for dry-fire drills to allow you to begin improving before you head back out to the shooting range. 

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  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, first entered the firearms industry in 2011 as co-owner, president and trainer at a national training company. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and FASTER Saves Lives. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.