Program 3: Combative Rifle


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). 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.

Member Login


Advanced Level


Advanced Level - Home

Plan - Instructions

Program 1 - Combative Handgun

Program 2 - Individual Tactics

Program 3 - Combative Rifle

Program 4 - Team Tactics

Program 5 - Unit Tactics