Combative Rifle Program

OBJECTIVES: Participants will learn stress-resistant skills that will allow them to safely and effectively use a magazine-fed semiautomatic rifle to dominate a lethal force confrontation.

INSTRUCTIONS: Complete the pre-course work described below, then attend DSI's on-range Tier 4 Combative Rifle Course or document completion of comparable training from another source.


  • None, however we recommend prior completion of DSI's Tier-4 Combative Handgun Course. The Combative Rifle Course covers weapon transitions (switching from your primary weapon - the rifle - to your secondary weapon - your handgun - and back again). Your handgun skills, and your ability to move safely and effectively in a 360-degree environment with a loaded firearm, are critical to your success in this course. You will be asked to demonstrate these skills to your CFI in pre-course testing drills.


  • Read the pre-course* materials


  • Attend a DSI Tier 4 Combative Rifle Course (or comparable training from another source, approved by DSI's Chief Instructor). DSI provides multiple training formats you can choose from to fit your training needs and obtain your Tier 4 certification:
    • Hourly format is best for new/novice gun owners who have little or no quality firearms training, don't know about B-CON [Bleeding Control], and need to learn how to safely maneuver in a 360-degree environment with loaded firearms.
    • 4-hour Modular format is best for intermediate or experienced gun owners who have had quality training, do have a basic understanding of our techniques or their equivalent and want more realistic training opportunities in a 360-degree training environment, and to brush up on their B-CON skills.


  • Make your training stick by utilizing the resources and training advice in the Post-Course Training section of the Student Portal.

Supplemental Training:

  • If you have been approved to substitute outside training for DSI's Tier 4 Combative Rifle Course, please ensure your outside training has included the following skills to ensure you are properly prepared for DSI's Team Tactics Program.
    • Proper use of cover/concealment
    • Safely moving with a loaded firearm on a 360° live fire range
    • Use of a tactical light in both low and no light environments
    • Basic B-CON* (tourniquet, chest seals, wound packing, airway management, etc.)
  • *A B-CON course certificate is required to complete your Tier 4 certification if not attending DSI Tier 4 training.


  • The online Defense Academy is intended to supplement your regular range training program, not to replace it. You should use the Defense Academy training materials as a pre-course primer and as a post-course refresher wherever needed.

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Combative Rifle Program

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