AR15 for home defense

This is a discussion on AR15 for home defense within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Recently I took a range safety course to become an NRA certified Range Safety Officer for my gun club. Part of the instruction was to ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array KoriBustard's Avatar
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    AR15 for home defense

    Recently I took a range safety course to become an NRA certified Range Safety Officer for my gun club. Part of the instruction was to shoot and become familiar with a range of firearms including revolvers, semi-auto pistols, shotguns, and rifles. For the rifle shoot, we used AR15's and one of the owners said that his AR15 is his primary home defense firearm. I didn't say anything at the time, but it struck me as very odd that someone would choose this particular firearm for home defense (it wasn't even a carbine). I was curious as to whether other people here use an AR for home defense, if so, why, given all the other choices (e.g., pump 12 gauge)? Would love to hear commentary from others on how appropriate you think an AR is for this purpose.
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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    An AR/M4 platform rile can be a good weapon in close quarters in trained hands. I should know a thing or two about that.
    As comfortable as I am with an M4 it is not my go to HD weapon. It is close by if needed in round two.
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    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    I can't imagine using a rifle for in-home defense. I would use rifles for longer range stuff like a mob coming down the street. In close quarters, I can bring a pistol on target far quicker than a rifle. Just my opinion.
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    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    AR's are close to the perfect HD gun, with the right ammo they have potentially less risk of over penetration than shotguns and handguns. Their downside is how loud they are, and possibly their length, over a handgun anyway.

    I've set mine up as an HD gun, and would grab it before my shotgun if given the time to hunker down after making sure my family is safe and together. If we're in our 'safe room' my AR will be what's in my hands, but my handgun is at my bedside and the first thing I plan on grabbing if I ever need to act quickly.

    Having kids in the house changes how you have to handle things, if it were just the wife and I, I'd have my AR ready to go next to the bed in a safe fashion.

    This is the article that changed my opinion on the AR as a home defense weapon:
    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/02/1...fense-caliber/
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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Less wall penetration with high velocity light weight rounds from a .223. They fragment when they hit studs/sheet rock. Longer sight radius makes easier to hit your target. FMJ and even Hollowpoint ammo from handguns can penetrate more walls. Same thing with shotgun shot/slugs. I think they make a good choice for HD.
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    Suppressed 7" AR Pistol w/ 20rd PMAG full of 75gr Hornady TAP
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoppo View Post
    Suppressed 7" AR Pistol w/ 20rd PMAG full of 75gr Hornady TAP
    What exactly are you bringing to the conversation with this?
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    Senior Member Array KoriBustard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder71 View Post
    AR's are close to the perfect HD gun, with the right ammo they have potentially less risk of over penetration than shotguns and handguns. Their downside is how loud they are, and possibly their length, over a handgun anyway.

    I've set mine up as an HD gun, and would grab it before my shotgun if given the time to hunker down after making sure my family is safe and together. If we're in our 'safe room' my AR will be what's in my hands, but my handgun is at my bedside and the first thing I plan on grabbing if I ever need to act quickly.

    Having kids in the house changes how you have to handle things, if it were just the wife and I, I'd have my AR ready to go next to the bed in a safe fashion.

    This is the article that changed my opinion on the AR as a home defense weapon:
    Is .223 the Best Home Defense Caliber? - Guns & Ammo
    Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing that.
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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    My HD weapon will be determined by the circumstances I find myself in and by what I readily have access to at the moment. ARs are accurate and are endowed with sufficient/superior round capacity. I see no reason not to use it. Professionals use them for CQB as well as clearing out houses - they don't have mobility issues any more than a shotgun does, etc.

    The argument that's usually used to denounce ARs for HD is over penetration but the same people that make this argument usually go on to say that they will use a pistol as if this is the solution. Pistols over penetrate as well, even a .380 will penetrate a refrigerator. If over penetration is the ultimate concern in HD then you should use birdshot, a refrigerator will stop it dead in its tracks.

    I will say that a serious downside to using an AR for HD has to do with the time after all of the dust is settled and you find yourself in court. An over zealous prosecutor may try to make the case that reasonable people do not use an "assault weapon" (A.K.A, AR) for HD. If they paint you out to be an extremist then you might find yourself in the hot seat per emotional perceptions, etc. You may not have this strike against you for using a pistol or shotgun.
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    Why not? With the right round over-penetration can be partially mitigated.

    I am more familiar with the M-16/AR-15 family of firearms than any other, and don't see that changing anytime soon. I can grab one in the pitch black and run the controls no problem from a dead sleep. I have a red dot on top of mine so that even in pitch dark I know where I am aiming, and a surefire for target identification.

    With a collapsing stock it can be shorter than most shotguns, and it has a higher capacity and faster reloads. And I can shot a failure to stop drill extremely fast with one, knowing where my rounds are going, and not needing to worry about errant pellets.

    Either one is not going to be good for your ears, especially when fired indoors, and so is a pistol.
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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    As I have said many times Shot gun or one of my SD handguns however if I saw this coming at me And I were a BG I would be screaming give me 3 steps mister as I was running.
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    Not a bad video clip on AR15 and walls
    5.56mm NATO XM193: Drywall & Ballistic Gel test - YouTube

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    Senior Member Array GoBigOrange's Avatar
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    I have zero interest in using my AR for home defense. I can't even imagine how loud it would be inside my apartment. I'll stick with my Glock 23 and shotgun as a backup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    What exactly are you bringing to the conversation with this?
    Simply describing our primary HD choice as per the topic.. perhaps I should have elaborated on the reasons for the choice. Apologies for my failure to do so at that time.
    1) over-penetration is not a major problem with this round, yet is provides significant stopping power.
    2) a 7" AR Pistol is more compact that a full sized AR and can be fired with one hand.
    3) a full 20 round mag is lighter than a full 30 round mag and is less likely to get in the way.
    4) a suppressor keeps the sound to a manageable level and takes care of the muzzle flash.
    5) with more trigger time on the AR platform than other potential options, there's no wasting brain cycles on weapons operation, allowing more gray cells to work on situational assessment.... granted, this one applies to me and probably not most others, but I included it as part of MY reasoning for this as a HD choice.

    better?
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoppo View Post
    Simply describing our primary HD choice as per the topic.. perhaps I should have elaborated on the reasons for the choice. Apologies for my failure to do so at that time.
    1) over-penetration is not a major problem with this round, yet is provides significant stopping power.
    2) a 7" AR Pistol is more compact that a full sized AR and can be fired with one hand.
    3) a full 20 round mag is lighter than a full 30 round mag and is less likely to get in the way.
    4) a suppressor keeps the sound to a manageable level and takes care of the muzzle flash.
    5) with more trigger time on the AR platform than other potential options, there's no wasting brain cycles on weapons operation, allowing more gray cells to work on situational assessment.... granted, this one applies to me and probably not most others, but I included it as part of MY reasoning for this as a HD choice.

    better?
    Yes, quite.
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