On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

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AJMD429
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On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#1 Post by AJMD429 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:32 am

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#2 Post by marlinman93 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:54 am

I totally disagree with the writer on his premise for the AR15 being OK for home defense. But not because of over penetration. Any long barreled gun is a detriment in close quarters that home defense is really all about.
It's far too easy for an attacker to get hold of the barrel of a long rifle or shotgun and direct it away from themselves, or even wrestle it away from the homeowner. The extra barrel length, and in the case of the AR15 the attachments on the end of most barrels, give easy grasp to an intruder who can then control the outcome of it's use.
A much better choice is any handgun, or short barreled shotgun. Either can be kept close to the body as a homeowner moves through his home and be less likely to be controlled or taken away.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#3 Post by AJMD429 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:12 pm

I agree on that. I think the 223 is probably underestimated as a good in-home round, but for me personally I'd grab a handgun first.......maybe a handgun version of an 'AR' though. The only things I don't like about the AR 'platform' are:

1. the charging handle sucks - awkward and fragile. Better to have it like a Garand/M14/M1A/Mini-14/AK-47 and all the others who got it right.

2. the lack of an exposed hammer - all 'military-style' weapons of today have that, so I'm clearly in the minority here. I just don't like leaving anything chambered without the hammer decocted. Fixing the 'charging handle' thing goes a long way towards fixing the problem with the AR, because if you can just rack a NORMAL charging handle on the right side of the bolt, that is fast, as opposed to the AR type.

3. In a house, even if the 223/5.56 is safe, it is LOUD, and the shorter the barrel the louder it gets. I would rather go deaf than be killed by an intruder, but I'd prefer do neither. The 300 Blackout can get around that, as can the 45 ACP and any number of other reliable semiauto cartridges/guns. I have almost elevated my MechTech 1911/45 ACP to that status, but I don't like to rely on anything for life and death situations until at a minimum 1,000 rounds have been fired without malfunction, and I simply haven't done that with my MechTech. But 20 rounds of 45 ACP is pretty intimidating.

Having said all that, I acknowledge the concept that I could slip that same 20 round 45 ACP magazine in my doublestack 1911, and have a HANDGUN for the home-defense weapon.

.
.

All of this is moot, because for us, a levergun in 45 Colt is OUR home-defense weapon if the handguns aren't grabbed first.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#4 Post by jeepnik » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:25 pm

I will never again trust my life to any AR design. The best, for me, long gun for HD is a shotgun. If I did
Want a rifle an M1A would be my choice. That design works!
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#5 Post by Naphtali » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:28 pm

Two facets of the premise appear applicable for identifying the better [best??] home defense firearm for the situation.

1. Defender recognizes or hears something that causes him to arm himself.

2. Defender has sufficient time after that "something" in #1 to arm himself with a firearm more potentially destructive or satisfactory for his purpose than some last ditch weapon.
***
In a home where one has it in inventory, has it loaded, and #s 1 and 2 are valid, I would need to suspend disbelief were the defender not armed with an 18-20 inch 12 or 20 gauge repeating shotgun using 00 buck or #4 buck for first two shots available. Nearly everyone would be severely stressed by such a situation. Severe stress and lousy aiming are almost always together. A shotgun, even at closer range where pattern remains very tight, will be more likely to be "pointed" in the right direction - that is, easier to hit what you want to hit at two A.M. with rooms lighted by moonlight coming through gauze-y curtains - than any rifle.

My load, system, since last year's near break-in and partly destroyed back porch by a black bear sow and two yearling cubs, is 12 gauge Winchester Model 97 pump with replacement/conversion firing pin-with-spring* that I load as follows: chamber and first round magazine will feed are Magnum 12-pellet 00 buck; remaining rounds are 1.125 ounce lead slugs.** Were large four-legged predators not a potential problem, I would adjust the ammunition payload to the all-buckshot mix that I believe would be satisfactory to solve nearly all two-legged predator problems.



* This conversion safely allows exposed hammer down on chambered shotshell. To fire, merely cock the shotgun's hammer and pull the trigger.

** Where I live has among the highest concentrations of grizzly bears, black bears, and wolves in the lower 48 CONUS. While mountain lions are present, I have no current information on numbers. Late last November, one night there were seven bears in the village, including one grizzly. A neighbor a few blocks away killed one of the black bears that tried to get through his back door. Bear almost made it. No charges or difficulties of any sort resulted.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#6 Post by Sixgun Sr » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:22 am

Every home and it's occupants are different. It's up to the one in charge to decide what is best for each specific or possible altercation which might arise. A city dweller in an apartment is going to have different needs/weapons/ammo than a good ole boy down in the hollow.

Common sense needs to coincide with knowledge of "knowing who is where".

I keep many different kinds of loaded high capacity weapons within easy reach for different needs. A handgun is ALWAYS within easy reach no matter where I am. .22 rifles, shotguns, and high capacity centerfire semi auto rifles are available...quickly.

AR's make excellent home defense guns but each size and caliber have to fit the ergonomics of your home. I've been a lifelong shooter of old Leverguns and previously despised AR's because of "old school thinking" because the original Colt Sporters were inaccurate and not all that reliable. My son got me turned on to the new generation of AR's and have since gained the knowledge to know these rifles are the best for most any application. Like any kind of gun, you need to know your weapon 100% and use the right ammo.

Below are two AR's...one on the left is a LWRC CSASS .308 and the other is a 300 Black Out with the stock extended. This little Black Out has an 8" barrel and when the stock is collapsed I can near put it in my jeans pocket.

A rifle is much easier to hit with than a handgun. There's a reason why my buddies call my place "the compound"---6

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#7 Post by AJMD429 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:30 am

Once my 300 Blackout pistol passes the 1,000 rounds without any malfunctions mark, it may become one of the crew. So far no problems, except that I'm on a tight budget these days, and just haven't been able to rationalize going out to buy a case of ammo and fire all of it just for a function test... I did that with my Para Ordnance P-14 though, and zero malfunctions with 1,000 rounds of Golden Sabre ammo... :D
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#8 Post by Sixgun Sr » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:39 am

AJMD429 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:30 am
Once my 300 Blackout pistol passes the 1,000 rounds without any malfunctions mark, it may become one of the crew. So far no problems, except that I'm on a tight budget these days, and just haven't been able to rationalize going out to buy a case of ammo and fire all of it just for a function test... I did that with my Para Ordnance P-14 though, and zero malfunctions with 1,000 rounds of Golden Sabre ammo... :D

Doc....I'm not sure if you know this so I'm gonna pass it along..........I did not know until my son told me......when using a 300 Blackout , use 300 blackout specific magazines. They look the same as standard .223 mags but the follower is different to prevent the occasional downfeed which I experienced a few times. Mag Pul makes them and costs the same. Since I started using these...no failures of any kind even with cast bullets.

You will learn more for function firing than blasting a thousand rounds by doing this.....blasting a lot of ammo continuously will not duplicate the scenario of real world use as powder build up and heat will change the dynamics............keep your gun loaded, sit it to the side...then grab it and blast a 30 round mag out of it .....like you would if you needed the gun in a hurry.....let it sit some more and do it again in a few days and test for reliability.....then again......

I learned many years ago by doing this with a hi cap Smith 9mm using Black Talons.....I must have fired 300 rounds in a day with no malfunctions.......cleaned it, let it sit for a few months and one day I grabbed it, took it out back, fired the first round double action...and the second round stove piped.-----6
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#9 Post by OldWin » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:44 am

Also,
The 300 specific magazines make the biggest difference with heavy bullet subs. When shooting 125gr and under supers, there is less magazine issues with standard 5.56 mags.
The 110gr Barnes Tac-TX actually fits in the 5.56 cartridge envelope.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#10 Post by Grizz » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:00 am

marlinman93 wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:54 am
I totally disagree with the writer on his premise for the AR15 being OK for home defense. But not because of over penetration. Any long barreled gun is a detriment in close quarters that home defense is really all about.
It's far too easy for an attacker to get hold of the barrel of a long rifle or shotgun and direct it away from themselves, or even wrestle it away from the homeowner. The extra barrel length, and in the case of the AR15 the attachments on the end of most barrels, give easy grasp to an intruder who can then control the outcome of it's use.
A much better choice is any handgun, or short barreled shotgun. Either can be kept close to the body as a homeowner moves through his home and be less likely to be controlled or taken away.
Hmmmmmm, my AR15 is a pistol, it is shorter than my smallest shotgun, it can go seamlessly through my house, and car, and anyone grabbing the barrel is dead right there. I agree with the POV that a pistol is more likely to over penetrate and cause collateral damage . . .

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#11 Post by marlinman93 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:23 am

As for decocking the AR15, it's pretty easy to do. I can push the rear pin out which lets the upper break open. Then simply lower the hammer with my thumb on it, and close the upper again. I prefer not leaving mine sitting for long periods with the hammer spring under pressure. So I always open it to lower the hammer rather than dry fire it.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#12 Post by piller » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:32 am

A short barrelled AR 15 with the stock in the shortest position is not all that bad on length. In .300 BO with hollow point or soft point rounds, it would probably do pretty good for bump in the night by someone/something intent on harming you situations. I would prefer a short barrel 12 gauge pump action with buckshot. I keep electronic ear muffs beside my bed along with my RIA .45 Auto. My pistol has night sights. I use a mix of alternating Hydra Shok and Critical Defense bullets. I have used both at the range and never had a single failure. I use Chip McCormick magazines exclusively. My experience has been that finding one good manufacturer of magazines and sticking with only that brand and style has eliminated one variable while eliminating all magazine related issues. The 2 different types of ammunition hit at the same point of aim out to beyond 25 yards. My RIA does not like Gold Dot bullets, so I don't use them. Golden Sabre bullets gave me 2 FTF jams in 100 rounds. Nope! Not good enough. We all know that some guns are picky eaters. Mine is, and I feed it what I know it will give 100% reliability with. I bought some aftermarket diamond pattern checkered grips and put them on it. Those smooth factory grips just don't offer enough grip when you are sweating and nervous.

Mattel Toy AR style guns have so many variations for parts that it is almost impossible to count. If you use one for bump in the night situations, make sure it is 100% reliable in the configuration you have. Almost reliable is not good enough no matter how TACTICOOL it looks.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#13 Post by Griff » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:54 pm

marlinman93 wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:54 am
I totally disagree with the writer on his premise for the AR15 being OK for home defense. But not because of over penetration. Any long barreled gun is a detriment in close quarters that home defense is really all about.
It's far too easy for an attacker to get hold of the barrel of a long rifle or shotgun and direct it away from themselves, or even wrestle it away from the homeowner. The extra barrel length, and in the case of the AR15 the attachments on the end of most barrels, give easy grasp to an intruder who can then control the outcome of it's use.
A much better choice is any handgun, or short barreled shotgun. Either can be kept close to the body as a homeowner moves through his home and be less likely to be controlled or taken away.
Exactly what my thoughts on the subject. If the treat is outdoors, has not yet penetrated to the interior, then a long gun is more appropriate, and distance and nature of the threat should determine whether a shotgun or rifle is needed. That same distance & nature of the threat would also indicate the ammo selection.
However, as an general rule of thumb, I'm partial to hollow points in most home defense situations. Penetration is usually acceptable with the dangers of over penetration minimized.
But... feel free to disagree.
A 1911 loaded with 8 "flying ashtrays" @~900fps should provide a good persuading argument in favor of the threat retreating.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#14 Post by Sixgun Sr » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:04 pm

I believe there's more of a threat coming home to an intruder than one coming in when your home, unless it's in the drug world when they come busting in to steal the dope or money and need the owner there. Think like a lowlife.....it's got to be "safer" for them when no one is home.

And what homeowner comes home and walks around with an AR on a single point sling? I can tell if someone's has been at my house when I pull in the driveway........and the house is a hundred yards from the road. I know if the house has been entered before I enter with just a glance. Structure your home so no one can sneak up on ya when your getting out of your vehicle......bushes, etc.

Like the experts say, your best weapon is your brain...be proactive, keep your wits, plan ahead, have a plan if it all goes south, and KNOW your weapon of choice.---6
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#15 Post by marlinman93 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:32 pm

Sixgun Sr wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:04 pm
I believe there's more of a threat coming home to an intruder than one coming in when your home, unless it's in the drug world when they come busting in to steal the dope or money and need the owner there. Think like a lowlife.....it's got to be "safer" for them when no one is home.

And what homeowner comes home and walks around with an AR on a single point sling? I can tell if someone's has been at my house when I pull in the driveway........and the house is a hundred yards from the road. I know if the house has been entered before I enter with just a glance. Structure your home so no one can sneak up on ya when your getting out of your vehicle......bushes, etc.

Like the experts say, your best weapon is your brain...be proactive, keep your wits, plan ahead, have a plan if it all goes south, and KNOW your weapon of choice.---6
Excellent! And spot on as far as home defense goes. I personally don't see a situation ever where I might be shooting it out with people outside my home. In fact I hear of far too many people getting in trouble for shooting at a bad guy who hasn't at least attempted to break their door down. So my AR15 sits in the safe, and will likely never see home defense duty.
But I have handguns located in several strategic locations around my home, so I'm either armed, or close to a handgun all the time. They vary from a Colt 1911 style .45ACP to a S&W 59 9mm, and even a little Walther .22LR that's easy to stash in a particular spot. I don't see myself using any of them either, but if I do, I feel all of them are better options than a long gun inside my home.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#16 Post by marlinman93 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:36 pm

piller wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:32 am
I keep electronic ear muffs beside my bed along with my RIA .45 Auto.
I doubt you'd ever be hurt or notice the report from your .45 Auto in a stressful situation. Most guns are obnoxiously loud at the range, but even under less stressful situations like hunting I never notice the report being bad or too loud. I think a person's mind shuts off the noise when the adrenaline levels are higher than normal.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#17 Post by AJMD429 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:22 pm

marlinman93 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:36 pm
piller wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:32 am
I keep electronic ear muffs beside my bed along with my RIA .45 Auto.
I doubt you'd ever be hurt or notice the report from your .45 Auto in a stressful situation. Most guns are obnoxiously loud at the range, but even under less stressful situations like hunting I never notice the report being bad or too loud. I think a person's mind shuts off the noise when the adrenaline levels are higher than normal.
Having a good friend and coworker who is an audiologist, rest assured the inner ear DOES get damaged, even when the brain is able to shut down the distraction. Damage will accrue. It may indeed be the better case to lose a bit of hearing and stop the bad-guy, versus failing to stop them. However IF there is time to don decent hearing protection (the kind that still allows you to hear), I would do so if possible.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#18 Post by marlinman93 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:06 am

AJMD429 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:22 pm
marlinman93 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:36 pm
piller wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:32 am
I keep electronic ear muffs beside my bed along with my RIA .45 Auto.
I doubt you'd ever be hurt or notice the report from your .45 Auto in a stressful situation. Most guns are obnoxiously loud at the range, but even under less stressful situations like hunting I never notice the report being bad or too loud. I think a person's mind shuts off the noise when the adrenaline levels are higher than normal.
Having a good friend and coworker who is an audiologist, rest assured the inner ear DOES get damaged, even when the brain is able to shut down the distraction. Damage will accrue. It may indeed be the better case to lose a bit of hearing and stop the bad-guy, versus failing to stop them. However IF there is time to don decent hearing protection (the kind that still allows you to hear), I would do so if possible.
Not saying you wont get ear damage, but we're not talking a regular everyday scenario. I doubt most people will ever be in the situation of defending their family and home. I just don't think if I ever am in this once in a lifetime situation that I'm going to be stopping to get my ear muffs on. Pretty sure my focus will be on the situation at hand.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#19 Post by marlinman93 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:06 am

Double post. Deleted.
Last edited by marlinman93 on Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#20 Post by piller » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:57 pm

I practice getting my ear muffs on fairly regularly. With the damage I have already taken to my hearing, I am at risk for total loss in the right ear. A few pistol shots without protection and I probably will be permanently deaf in that ear. 95 percent loss is not easily corrected.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#21 Post by 4t5 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:36 pm

In house, a shotgun would be first choice, if I chose a rifle, it would be a M1 carbine or a Ruger pc 9mm.

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#22 Post by Daniel44114 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:14 pm

In my opinion if it’s for defense shotgun is best. Get everybody in one room and keep it pointed at the door no one can get in and you don’t miss. If it’s for going through the house to look for somebody or check out a noise you heard. Then I would agree that a pistol with the lasersight possibly flashlight would be your best bet. Longer guns are really not that good in confined spaces. You could get an AR or something with a short barrel. But if You live in town what direction are you gonna be shooting you have no idea the bullet could go through a window and into someone else’s house and hurt someone else. Another reason short shotgun is good in the city. Only my opinion.
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#23 Post by wm » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:23 pm

Daniel44114 wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:14 pm
In my opinion if it’s for defense shotgun is best. Get everybody in one room and keep it pointed at the door no one can get in and you don’t miss. If it’s for going through the house to look for somebody or check out a noise you heard. Then I would agree that a pistol with the lasersight possibly flashlight would be your best bet. Longer guns are really not that good in confined spaces. You could get an AR or something with a short barrel. But if You live in town what direction are you gonna be shooting you have no idea the bullet could go through a window and into someone else’s house and hurt someone else. Another reason short shotgun is good in the city. Only my opinion.
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I think you summed it up well. As for me I have a 'fatal funnel' stairwell leading to where the bedrooms are. If someone (or someones) breaks in, I am content to set at the top of the stairs behind a heavy oak desk with my shotgun and wait for the law to come clear the first floor. There is nothing down there worth dying for nor is there anything down there worth killing for.

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#24 Post by Pisgah » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:46 pm

This post has certainly sparked the comments, but virtually none relevant as to the premise of the quoted article: that the .223 is safer when it comes to overpenetration of walls. Period. As overpenetration is probably the #1 reason usually given for not using a rifle for home defense, the article is worthy of consideration.

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#25 Post by AJMD429 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:58 pm

"...You could get an AR or something with a short barrel. But if You live in town what direction are you gonna be shooting you have no idea the bullet could go through a window and into someone else’s house and hurt someone else..."

A handgun could do the same; long, skinny, fast bullets from a rifle are likely more destabilized by penetrating a thin wall or window than the typical short fat low velocity pistol bullets. I think his article makes that point, actually. However your point about even a short rifle being more awkward in confined spaces makes sense as well....

....maybe the answer is.....an AR pistol... :mrgreen:
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#26 Post by HawkCreek » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:01 pm

I keep all three handy. The handgun is within reach of the bed in case I wake up and they are within the same room. The shotgun is to "repell borders" if they are inside the house. The rifle is more for critters bothering the livestock.

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#27 Post by Grizz » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:05 pm

....maybe the answer is.....an AR pistol...
SEE POST #10

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COSteve
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#28 Post by COSteve » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:00 pm

While I've got pistols in various calibers, ARs and a Mini-14 (as well as many larger caliber long guns), my choice for HD is an M1 Carbine loaded with 30rds of 110grn JSP bullets at 1,900fps. My reasons include the fact that the ARs and Mini are exceedingly loud with huge muzzle flashes at night. Further, the ARs are exceedingly bulky and clunky, especially in the receiver area. Far too awkward for my wife to like even holding one. So, of the 5.56s, the Mini is a much better choice as it is more compact with more natural controls, however, it still suffers from the blast and flash issues of the caliber.

For me, the M1 Carbine is a perfect choice for a HD rifle as it's compact, light weight, and the caliber has plenty of power at the > 30ft range I'd be employing it for. (Laws being what they are today, employing any firearm at a threat not inside one's home and directly threatening you or yours, is not foolish, it's suicide.) Further, the 110grn Sierra JSP bullets I've handloaded for HD use feed very well and won't over-penetrate as long as I'm careful.

My wife feels comfortable shooting the M1 Carbine and as one of our defensive scenarios is to use the high ground and set up a crossfire, her ability to employ the carbine is important. Others may like the AR platform better but even though I have both a carbine and A4, the AR platform is my least favorite long gun in any configuration. My wife hates to even hold one as it's too bulky and awkward for her a 5'0". In fact, I only have them because my son wanted one and so I got a carbine so we could shoot together. The A4 I got later on a whim and decked it out with a walnut stock set and custom walnut pistol grip, scoped it with a 12x, and I use it for apple shooting at 400yds when the mood strikes (however, it hasn't in over 3 years now).
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#29 Post by Pitchy » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:44 pm

Sorry but i just don`t worry about it, i keep enough variations of weapons around that i`ll grab what suits the situation at the time.
It`s one of those things that a person will have to use they`er brain at the time, grabbing a pistol from the bed with a person coming through the door could be dangerous to oneself in a panic mode one could shoot themselves in the foot.
As far as the AR rifle mine stays in the safe, shotgun by the bed if i need to defend outside probably still use the shotgun with slugs or buck. :)
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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#30 Post by 1894cfan » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:07 pm

I'm with COSteve, except mine is loaded with Speer 110JHP's with a go-to load of 13grH110/14gr296! HTH

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Re: On the AR-15 as a home-defense weapon...

#31 Post by AJMD429 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:00 pm

The biggest issues most homeowners face are having firearms that are 'easy to use' by those who may not be particularly interested in guns or shooting. It is simply not 'natural' (probably not in their 'muscle memory' as some would say) to pump a shitgun, or thumb cartridges into a magazine, or even change out a magazine, double that if under stress.

Family makeup changes as children age from can't-operate-guns to can-operate them, and as they get stronger. Women may - or may not - have 'weaker hands', and so on.

Even 'firearms guys' have our favorite and more 'intuitive' guns, plus good and bad experiences with action types that color our opinions.

This does come up as a common topic in a medical office, because so many people who are 'new to guns' are too intimidated to go into a gun shop and ask, and being safe at home is a medical issue that comes up often for people with physical handicaps, or unfortunately, for women after they have been sexually assaulted, which gives them an entirely different perspective on self-defense.

This is a chart I made up a couple years ago to give such patients (those contemplating a 'home defense firearm') based on my own experiences with the basic firearms shown. I emphasized the ease of use, both if the firearm functions as desired, and if it doesn't. Of course some 'jams' are terminal - the bullet stuck in the barrel, or even the revolver with a hard-backed-up primer. I also took into account how easy it is for a stressed person to put the gun back in 'safe' mode after a self-defense takes place - that is important too, and the easier the better.

Anyway, for what it is worth, here are the thoughts I came up with.
Home Defense - Hand Guns.png
Home Defense - Long Guns.png

For a whole-family use, it is hard to beat the Glock pistol, as 'soulless' as it often is accused of being. Some guns, like the Saiga-12, would be top-notch if the household were filled with over-150-pound firearms enthusiasts who love powerful guns, but the more powerful or complex the gun, the more a person really needs to be a 'gun-enthusiast' to likely take the time to not only practice with the gun, but really LEARN it - the difference between a novice bicyclist and one who can ride hands-free while rolling newspapers and tossing them on porches accurately.

The two non-traditional ones that still intrigue me are the Mech-Tech, due to it being exactly the same action as your Glock or 1911 in most ways, sharing magazines, and very ergonomic. 20 rounds of 45 ACP from a barely-recoiling carbine is ample power. The other is the AR-15 with a side-charging handle. The AR has a lot going for it, and hundreds of variants possible in terms of length, magazines, stocks, and sights/lights that it is hard to argue with - except two things make it difficult for me to accept as an "all-family" home defense firearm:

1. the inability to leave a round in the chamber for long-term safety. I know some say that's safe, but I just don't like ANY firearm with a fully-tensioned spring and striker or hammer/firing pin waiting to fall on a live round. The Glock striker is not fully cocked, which is good, and of course being a levergunner, I prefer 'exposed hammers' whenever possible - then you can control things, and can let the hammer down to a safety-notch of some sort on most guns. Semiauto rifles and modern (but I do love the Win Mod 12 although I've never owned one) shotguns don't allow that, so a chambered weapon is a cocked weapon. The other issue might be long-term spring compression, although I think the fundamentally different magazine springs are much more vulnerable than the ordinary coil springs.

2. (ignore if #1 isn't a problem for you) the AWKWARD charging handle of the AR-15, rendering that initial chambering to be VERY counterintuitive for those who seldom fire guns. The clearly protruding side-handle of the Mini-14, M1A, Garand, Saiga, AK-47s, and Mech-Tech all make chambering almost as intuitive as using a levergun... Honestly, I think if you handed someone who had never even shot a gun a bolt-action rifle and an AR-15, they would figure out the bolt-action way faster.

Enter the Side-Charging AR receivers. I've been using one for range-play for a couple years, and so far there haven't been any issues. I really don't see any mechanical drawbacks, other than most of the designs do reciprocate, so you don't want your body parts near them.

So if the Mech-Tech and Side-Charging AR's pan out and prove reliable, either one might prove a good 'long-gun' for a family looking for a home-defense weapon. With the AR, I think I'd ideally go all the way and have a side-charging receiver set up as a 'pistol' in 300 Blk, with a 10" barrel; that would be compact and hold 30-40 rounds depending on magazine (I'm hoping Mag-Pul configures their 40-round drum for the 300 Blk). I'd also add a suppressor if possible (the problem being that technically if the stamp-owner is not home, anyone else in the house is 'in possession' of the NFA item unless it is locked up in a safe that they don't have the key/combination to). Still, 300 Blk subsonic aren't that loud.

In short, I don't think the 223 cartridge is what weighs against the AR-15 as a home-defense firearm, which is what the original video I posted the link to is defending. I'm fine with the 223, especially if appropriate ammunition is used; it's that darned charging-handle setup that I dislike.

Finally, I think although some say "the sound of a pump shotgun being racked is enough to make an intruder think twice," I rather like the option of them NOT knowing where I am or even if I'm there. They'll find out soon enough, and by breaking in past dogs and alarms I think they've already had their 'warning'. That favors an already-chambered firearm like a levergun or a handgun, which can be very quietly rendered active.

So....currently we have our CCW handguns at the ready anyway, each with a 'duplicate' in another location. Two leverguns sit ready (hey, it's deer season anyway... :wink: ), and all the ones I don't want to store chambered sit in the gun safe waiting for outside 'livestock' issues where I'd chamber a round before going outside. Each of the long guns has different sights so is best for different light conditions, or possums versus coyotes versus whatever.

Kind of a levergun version of what HawkCreek said above - three layers:

Intruders inside - handgun,
Repel boarders - levergun,
Patrol perimeter - semiauto rifle.
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