Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

The AR for Home Defense

When people ask, “What do you keep beside your bed at night,” I tell them it’s an AR. Usually their first response is, “Yeah, but you live in the middle of Alafrickinbama.” Which is true, but that doesn’t mean the .223/5.56 carbine isn’t an excellent weapon for home defense, even in urban environments.

When it comes to terminal ballistics high velocity rifle rounds perform much better than pistol rounds. Another advantage of the .223/5.56 round is its limited penetration, unless you’re firing steel core rounds specifically designed for penetration. Numerous tests show the .223/5.56 round penetrating through less interior walls than 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP rounds. This is even true for hollow-point pistol rounds, which fill up with sheetrock and such and never expand the way they are supposed to, and buckshot. If you’re shooting, the possibility of missing shots exists. Limited penetration of errant rounds is a good thing.

The carbine allows you to place one bullet exactly where you want it to go, as opposed to a shotgun. Even though great advances have occurred in shotgun rounds, you still have to be concerned with distance and pattern, and wads and spacers, which at close distances can injure or kill. In a hostage situation, an AR and the proper skills allow you to place one round with surgical precision. The AR is accurate from three yards to three hundred. Not that you could justify to a grand jury shooting someone at an extended distance, but this means it’s no problem to hit at thirty yards, which could be necessary.

The AR is lightweight, has limited recoil, and simple to operate. Anyone in the family of age can learn how to use it, effectively, in a short amount of time. A lot of people, even hard-core operators, will flinch when pressing off a magnum round of twelve-gauge buck. After firing the shotgun you have to pump it, which a lot of people forget or fumble under stress. When firing a semi-auto without getting a good aggressive position there’s a chance the shooter will be clearing a malfunction. With an AR you slip off the safety, get a good sight picture, press the trigger, follow through, and repeat as necessary.

While most self-defense problems only require a few rounds to solve, the AR’s high capacity magazine does allow you to stay in an extended fight for longer periods of time without having to reload. Just keep in mind Clint Smith’s saying that a higher capacity magazine isn’t a license to shoot more, it just means you have to manipulate the weapon less.

We also can’t ignore the psychological advantages of the carbine. I’ve seen people with pistols pointed at them who really didn’t seem to care. A carbine normally commands much respect.

The AR may not be the weapon for your home defense, but don’t discount it without serious consideration. When attacked, your task is to stop the threat as efficiently as possible. With the proper training and practice the .223/5.56 carbine is an excellent tool for this task.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15

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