Using an AR15 For Home Defense
No one really wants to think about the need for home defense, but the fact of the matter is that it’s definitely something that you need to be prepared for and there is little better than you trusty AR rifle to show that you mean business. But how can you improve this great workhorse to give you the upper hand in what could be a firefight?
If you are already sold on the AR ethos, then you are likely to have at least one in your armory, and if not, then get yourself down to your local dealer and start your collection. The AR is a fun and reliable addition to any gun collection, and benefits from being one of the most customizable weapons out there; your AR can be anything that you want it to be. So, what are the qualities that make the AR ideal for home defense, and how would you best alter it to make it a fearsome weapon for protecting your property?
It’s lightweight and maneuverable.
Regardless of the size of your home and property, it still tends to be a collection of places that is tight and full of sharp corners. You’ll want to get into a room fast and zero intruders quickly, and a suitably modified AR is perfect for that. One of the many ‘standard’ conversions is that of the AR pistol – short on frame but big on firepower!
An AR 15 Pistol is a weapon based on the AR rifle platform with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, significantly reducing its overall length. It uses a pistol brace in place of a rifle stock and doesn’t usually have a vertical foregrip., but usually has a pistol brace instead. This combination makes it easy to swing around in tight spaces, but still gives you a big magazine that can be emptied at an impressive rate. Present an intruder with pistol version of an AR and watch them back down real quick!
It has low recoil but loads of punch.
The AR platform is built on a huge range of calibers, letting you choose between lightweight ammo that can be sprayed around, or heavier rounds that’ll easily punch through doors and walls….and then some that do both! When considering your rounds, there are plenty of factors that you need to consider, such as:
Bullet type. Choose between full metal jacket or hollow point. Full metal jackets are good for practice while the bigger punch of hollow point rounds makes them a lot more lethal when you need them.
Twist rate. The twist rate of your barrel is critical to stabilizing the bullet and increasing accuracy. The barrel’s twist is the rate at which the barrel’s rifling rotates and spins the bullet, and imparts a stable flight. You’ll want to choose a bullet suited to your barrel’s twist rate, which is largely determined by the bullet’s weight in grains.
Bullet weight. For the standard .223 round, there are a number of suitable bullet weights, including:
A 40-grain bullet pairs with a twist rate of 1:12
A 55-grain bullet pairs with a twist rate of 1:9
A 62-grain bullet pairs with a twist rate of 1:8 or 1:7
A 77-grain bullet pairs with a twist rate of 1:7 or 1:8
An 80-grain bullet pairs with a twist rate of 1:7
Then, change the caliber and you are presented with another load of weights to match to your twist rate. Quite a minefield, but as a quick guide, you can fire a round suited for a slower twist and still expect reasonable accuracy, but going in the opposite direction can result in insufficient stabilization and poor performance.
The AR has a range of aftermarket goodies. The AR design has created a whole business niche in aftermarket parts that enhance the basic weapon, and make it even better for home defense.
Get a rail. A rail or picatinny is essential for quickly fitting all manner of accessories. Aluminum are better than polymer as they tend to be more ridged.
Lights and lasers. It doesn’t take much effort to find some great flashlights and laser markers designed especially for the AR and designed to slip straight on. Most home defense encounters happen at night or in low light circumstances; light ‘em up and show ‘em that you mean business!
Suppressors. Sometimes you want to make a lot of noise, but then sometimes you don’t. If you have multiple targets, you may want to keep the noise down until you’ve evened up the odds a bit.
A good sling. Your weapon is useless if you can’t bring it to bear quickly, and a good sling will allow you have the AR balanced in your chest area but to be able to grab it up and zero your target quickly.
Home defense is becoming increasingly important, but your trust AR will let you give the best possible response to incoming attacks.