If money is an object, find yourself a really nice M1.30 Carbine. Sweet to shoot effective out to about 200 yards. Almost no recoil and you can put a reflex sight, scope or laser on it if you want to with the right adapters. Load up half a dozen or so 15 round or 30 round mags. and protect that driveway.
Really...if you're not married to .223 I would look at a Springfield M1A Socom 16 or Socom II. If I didn't have the AR that would be my go to rifle.
How about an HK-USC ? then you only need to carry one ammo type (provided you have a .45 pistol)
For household self defense I like the M1 Carbine best.
I have a mini-14 and like it alot... for BG's at 70 yards coming up my driveway, I would feel comfortable with it, but I would feel just as comfortable with my Marlin 30-30 or my 94AE .44 mag leverguns.
I just ordered a DPMS 308 with a 16" barrel for the same reasons. I wanted a Socom 16 but this was about $8-900 less.
AR's are fine and usually are very accurate rifles. You could do a lot worse. They are also on the expensive side and if cost is a consideration, you may find that most will be priced out of reach since an entry level AR will usually run $1,000 and many are twice that price.
OTOH, I'd consider an AK or one of the variants in 7.62x39. At the distances you are talking about (100 yds or less) most are more than accurate enough to put a dozen rounds into a half-dollar size circle, they are virtually indestructible, ammo and hi-cap 20-30 rd mags are cheap and easy to find in most locations plus even a tricked out AK can be had for less than half the cost of an average AR. Finally, the 7.62 has a lot more power than the 5.56 round. It's essentially the Russian equivalent to a 30-30. You're basically comparing a varmint rifle (223) to a deer rifle (30-30) and on a man size target, which do you think will do a better job of stopping an intruder in his tracks or going thru a car door if necessary?
My only concern with the AR design is the direct gas system, which puts hot dirty gases right into the action - and bakes the carbon on to the point where it is hard to clean well. (I have extensive experience with the AR/M16 from my Army days)
Otherwise, I like the ergonomics of the AR platform. If the piston driven ones weren't so expensive, I would get one. Ruger has a new one that looks like it might be a winner - time will tell.
As it is, I have a Mini 14, and it serves my purposes. My Remington 870 pump shotgun is my main defensive long gun, and I really see no realistic need for a longer-range option in my area. Even at 70 yards, buckshot will get someone's attention.
Once you start getting out to longer ranges, you will have a hard time legally justifying "self defense," but I don't really want to get into that debate.
A nice compromise might be a Ruger Mini 30, or even an SKS. Nothing wrong with a good lever gun in .30-30 either - unless you plan on fighting a whole horde of zombies by yourself.
Whatever you decide, good luck to you!
Thanks for all the help guys , now I'm looking at an AK or the Ruger mini 30 .
And as far as " fighting a whole horde of zombies " they are only after brains
so I'm in no danger .
I have an AR that I built myself, a Marlin 336 30-30,a 10-22, and a Maverick 88. I have all bases covered.
If I could only take one it would be the AR. I have 6 30 round mags and a 5 rounder, plus I reload and have ALOT of 223 that I have reloaded and still more to do.
As far as the direct gas system on the AR's to me it isn't an issue. As long as you keep them lubed up you shouldn't have to much of an issue. I did a 3 gun course at Blackwater's Facility and our instructor, Erin Roberts, conducted a test with his personal AR. He didn't keep a round count, but shot quite frequently. I know he did put close to 10,000 rounds of 9mm through his Glock every month, and is (was at the time unsure if still) sponsered by Glock. Long story short, he went 15 months without cleaning his ar, just took out the bolt and lubed it after every range session. When he brought in his AR he pulled the bolt and it was disgusting looking. I personally clean mine after every range session, but it did give me the warm and fuzzy that these rifles can keep working without having to tear themdown every time you shoot.
Yea! I'm safe as well.
Originally Posted by mjmoore
I have a Ruger Ranch Rifle (mini-14) w/ SS and synthetic stock, they had it missed marked at a Wal-Mart so I bought it. It rides in my truck all the time and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I feel comfortable to 100 yds with iron sights but if you have to hit a small target I had alot of problems with the front sight covering up the target. I finally put a scope on mine and the accuracy even with the scope is not up to my standards, but I have taken alot of hogs and yotes with it. Good gun but I am sure the accuracy of the AR puts the mini-14 to shame.
If it where me I'd take an FN Fal .308 any day of the week over an AR or AK or anything else.
That's just me.
I would avoid a Mini-30! John Farnam recommends against them, even though he recommends the Mini-14, within its limitations. John Farnam was in early on the teaching of rifles for civilian self-defense, and one thing about him is that he is not bashful about criticizing inferior products. See his books and website for more.
I like the ergonomics of the Mini-14 over the AR15, by FAR. Of course, this is a personal thing. I have an AR15, formerly owned two others, and have two Mini-14s. Each has its place in this world. I see the AR15 as a superior long-range tool, and the Mini as the better close-range and general utility rifle, for MY purposes. Because of this view, my AR15 is an HBAR. I sold my shorter AR15 carbines. If I buy another AR15, it will likely be what is generally known as an SPR or DMR.
Here are a couple of routes other than AR if your looking for something different to do it. With or without Optics...
I also think the M1 Carbine is an excellent choice