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Oldjarhead
December 10, 2009, 11:01 AM
Ok. I Have read a lot on these forums about the AR-15. I shot many a M-16 in my years in the military. I feel the AR-15s today are very good. Here is my reservation about buying one myself. I have big questions about the effectiveness of the .223 caliber round. I have heard good things and bad. Larger pattern AR rounds, like the .308 I have not heard any bad things. If I buy a AR-15, what would be the best all round Home defense or on the battlefield? .223, .308, 6.8, 6.5 grendel, .450, or .50 beowolf?

And just for more interesting opinions, what brand of AR-15? Thanks.:confused:

noyes
December 10, 2009, 11:23 AM
And just for more interesting opinions, what brand of AR-15?

Pre-Ban lower is the best. The type that will take all trigger groups.

kwells6
December 10, 2009, 11:28 AM
why not look into other options than the AR?

gotigers
December 10, 2009, 11:30 AM
+1 for other option. AR great for SHTF, but 12ga buckshot best for home D.

kwells6
December 10, 2009, 11:35 AM
and with a shotgun, you can get a slug barrel. multi-purpose

RT
December 10, 2009, 11:36 AM
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n443/thorm001/Funny%20pics/attachment-1-1.jpg
http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n443/thorm001/Funny%20pics/attachment-3.jpg

Bartholomew Roberts
December 10, 2009, 11:37 AM
Here is my reservation about buying one myself. I have big questions about the effectiveness of the .223 caliber round.

OK, what are those questions? Obviously .223 has killed a lot of people under a wide range of circumstances, so I am assuming the question isn't whether or not .223 can do it.

If I buy a AR-15, what would be the best all round Home defense or on the battlefield? .223, .308, 6.8, 6.5 grendel, .450, or .50 beowolf?

Just some advice; but you have asked an impossibly open-ended, vaguely-defined question. We do not know what your parameters for home defense are, so we don't know what criteria is important. Every person who answers will end up using THEIR situation and experience to fill in the blanks and you will get widely varying answers, most of which will be useless to you because nobody will discuss the unstated assumptions that led them to that answer - so you don't know if they are living in a 10x10' efficiency in downtown Manhattan or a concrete reinforced bunker in Montana on 1,000 acres.

Since you don't know that, you will have no idea how useful their suggestion is for your circumstances - and that is just on the home defense question. By opening it up to "battlefield", you've introduced another several dozen variables that can cause the answer to change.

Just to give an idea of the type of criteria that might affect what answer you get:

1. Is terminal ballistics the most important criteria or is inflight ballistics important as well? How important is each?

2. Are we concentrating solely on ballistics or do we need "best value" where we have to make tradeoffs concerning cost and weight as well?

3. Is the likely scenario defending a rural home? Suburban home? Urban home? Where is that home? U. S.? Africa? Middle East? Thailand? Alaska?

4. What are you physically capable of handling in terms of rifle weight, ammo weight, recoil? How far do you have to move it?

Of course, all of this assumes you want a useful answer. You may just want to engage in the timeless Internet practice of jawing about firearms with no greater goal than entertainment and no intention to take any of the information seriously at all :D

And just for more interesting opinions, what brand of AR-15?

Forget about brand. Decide what features you want on an AR15 and then buy the AR15 that has those features at the price that is most convenient for you. If you don't know what features you want or why those make a difference, then you've got a lot of research ahead of you ;)

kwells6
December 10, 2009, 11:42 AM
another popular route is a lever 357, 44 mag, or such. great rifles, POWERFUL, half the price of the cheapest AR, ammo is EVERYWHERE!!!, and good for home defense, hunting, ect...

there are carbine models avaliable too...

a buddy of mine has a Rossi M92 with a 16" barrel in 357. its a BLAST and deadly accurate.

other friend has a sinlge shot 44mag (thinking in terms of cartridge, not gun). withing 4" 100 yds and will drop a 270lb pig one shot on the spot

$299... cant beat that for a 44mag, and you can put a peep sight on it to feel tacticool
http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=149587026

CraigC
December 10, 2009, 11:49 AM
Bear in mind that most the grumbling you hear about failures is with military ball ammunition. With expanding bullets, it's a whole different ballgame.

sholling
December 10, 2009, 11:54 AM
If you want an AR15 get one. 55gr 5.56 has the advantage of loosing energy as it passes through bad guys or walls lowering the risk of collateral damage to neighbors. Unless you live in the country it's probably your best choice. I just wouldn't get exotic with round choices. Stick with 55-62gr SP or JHP, or XM193 ball to keep penetration reasonable.

ClarkEMyers
December 10, 2009, 11:59 AM
SBR with a can in 6.8 - consider gas piston instead of direct gas.

.300 Weatherby Mag
December 10, 2009, 12:18 PM
A shotgun is the best type of home defense weapon.... An AR is not...

(BH)
December 10, 2009, 01:54 PM
^^^^ Not if you trust your abilities with your AR more. A shotgun is a great HD weapon, but it's not the only one worthy of the task. So many people think that it's the only reasonable choice for an HD gun.

Get what you want, but as of right now the question is a bit vague. I think the .223 is probably best for indoor/HD use than the others mentioned.

10-96
December 10, 2009, 02:17 PM
If you want an AR- then that is exactly what you ought to get. I prefer a flat top to put toys (scopes & such) on and a 1:9 twist bbl. That's about the slowest you'll readily find on a pre-built rifle, and it should handle 45gr up to 64gr. It may not be absolutely 'on' with the 45's varmint loads- but they'll find their way to their intended targets.

I'm like you- I want the things that are as close as possible to the things Uncle Sam asked me to carry around for him. Go ahead- get the AR, you can always pick up a SG for $200 +/- $50 at a pawn or gun shop later on down the road. Life is too short not to have what you want and while everybody strives to get old- there ain't much sense in gettin old with regrets.

dreamweaver
December 10, 2009, 03:09 PM
why not just get a Colt AR sporter in 9mm? cheap to feed and will put a hurt on the BD. Get the 32 round mags!:)
later on you can always buy uppers in different calibers (because you can NEVER have just 1 AR!;))

gotigers
December 10, 2009, 03:28 PM
If you want an AR just to have one that can also act as HD, than get it. But an AR is not the best tool for 15-20 foot fights. It will work, but not the best. I have an AR-15, 12ga and a 9mm high cap pistol. For the typical home break in, I would grab the 9mm. then shotgun. If i have a horde of rioters, home invaders or zombies i would grab my AR.

Magi
December 10, 2009, 03:39 PM
A shotgun is the best type of home defense weapon.... An AR is not...

Bunk.

TheManHimself
December 10, 2009, 03:44 PM
A shotgun is the best type of home defense weapon.... An AR is not...

Perhaps you should tell that to the SWAT teams and military personnel who find compact 5.56mm carbines the ideal weapon for CQB. Killing bad guys inside a building is killing bad guys inside a building, whether you're defending or attacking. Higher ammunition capacity, less recoil, and less risk of overpenetration sounds like a winning combination in my book.

Tucker 1371
December 10, 2009, 03:56 PM
Although I think a 16" bbl AR loaded with .223 soft point rounds would make an EXCELLENT home defense gun, I personally would pick a 12ga with 00 buck. But then again I don't really have to worry so much about overpenetration where I live, you might.

The other calibers are great but have one fatal drawback; they're expensive to shoot and therefore you can't afford to practice as much. With FMJs the 5.56/.223 may have limited stopping power but with civilian hunting and self defense loads it should prove to be more than adequately lethal for SD.

kwells6
December 10, 2009, 04:04 PM
and with a 12ga, aquilla makes the short 12ga shells... they're like 1 1/2" with 00 buck... its like a pop gun

10-96
December 10, 2009, 04:32 PM
aquilla makes the short 12ga shells
Which is a major crapshoot/gamble to find a firearm that will reliably function with these. I believe even the Aguila website said something about them not being much bueno in anything but Winchester Pumps- and those may not be 100%.

kwells6
December 10, 2009, 04:39 PM
they work great in my H&R single shot

Quentin2
December 10, 2009, 04:47 PM
... If I buy a AR-15, what would be the best all round Home defense or on the battlefield? .223, .308, 6.8, 6.5 grendel, .450, or .50 beowolf?

And just for more interesting opinions, what brand of AR-15? Thanks.

Well for home defense I like the good ol' 1911 45ACP. Or for those who want more capacity maybe a Hi-Power or more modern wondernine or 40S&W. A "tactical" shotgun could be substituted but is cumbersome indoors.

For outdoors (battlefield?) it's hard to beat an AR-15 carbine in 5.56. As for which brand, there are many great options. Personally I built a stripped lower and added a complete midlength upper. Really enjoyed the project and it turned out better than anything I saw for sale locally. And I can truly say "This is MY rifle..."

This is my home defense:
http://i829.photobucket.com/albums/zz211/Quentin68/M-15Coltright-200.jpg

TPAW
December 10, 2009, 09:34 PM
If I buy a AR-15, what would be the best all round Home defense or on the battlefield? .223, .308, 6.8, 6.5 grendel, .450, or .50 beowolf?


For home defense, NONE! You'll shoot through walls and kill family or neighbors. Get a shot gun and use shot.
As for battle field, what type of battle field? House to house or open area?

tINY
December 11, 2009, 02:47 AM
Whatever caliber you get, make sure it has a bayonet lug. Knives are very effective - they've been stopping fights for centuries.



-tINY

NSO_w/_SIG
December 11, 2009, 03:48 AM
I love these threads, people who are armed with not enough info. or the wrong info about 5.56/.223/the AR platform never fail to chime in.

Next you'll see someone tell us how the racking of a shotgun has been chasing bag guys off for decades.

gotigers
December 11, 2009, 08:23 AM
The OP asked about Home Defense.

Perhaps you should tell that to the SWAT teams and military personnel who find compact 5.56mm carbines the ideal weapon for CQB. Killing bad guys inside a building is killing bad guys inside a building, whether you're defending or attacking. Higher ammunition capacity, less recoil, and less risk of overpenetration sounds like a winning combination in my book.

That is an offensive situation.

IMHO, the shotgun with shot is best. I am not one that thinks the AR is bad for HD. It is just fine. The shot gun is quick, light, large cone of impact, point and shoot. Little need for 30 rounds for the typical break in. Most criminal of that erk are cowards. After a few shots they run. Usually it is only 1 or 2.

Personally, as i have mentioned, i home defend with a high cap 9mm pistol with JHP. 15 rounds can do some damage.

AR, Shotgun, AK, 9mm pistol, .38/.357 revolver or .45ACP will do fine. An AK would work to, espcially a folder or pistol.

as far as AR cailbers go, stick with 5.56. Cheap, easy to find, etc. If you really want to change calibers in an AR, think about 7.62x39 or 9mm. The custom AR rounds (Beowulf and such) are hard to sell. Recently someone was trying to sell a Beowulf upper at a local gun show. He said the ammo was to expensive and hard to find. Not one dealer would make an offer on his upper.

Can the OP clarify, home denfense? Does he mean the typical break in or defending the home during a disaster/SHTF? To me, those are not the same.

noyes
December 11, 2009, 08:42 AM
http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/acatalog-att14compactbig.jpg

jhenry
December 11, 2009, 08:56 AM
We invented guns because they are good at stopping people with knives. They have been excelling at this for centuries.

Don't go around the dark house with a bog ole pig sticker hanging off the end of your AR.

5.56 is just fine.

cubesmoothie
December 11, 2009, 11:52 AM
The .223 round is perfect for killing someone quick out of a carbine. They are fast enough to disrupt major organs not in the immidiate hole. The carbine itself, is a superb choice because you can fire a volume of accurate shots if you practice, and make lots of quick hits. I would go .223 or 7.62x39 to keep the recoil low. Both would be incredibly effective, they cause horrible wounds its not just a little 22, or 30 caliber hole.

sholling
December 11, 2009, 01:39 PM
I think at this point it's become important to define home defense and the intended roll. The term home defense overs a lot of territory. Anything from clearing a house of suspicious noises in a nice safe suburban neighborhood, to dealing with break-ins in druggie infested "hoods", to dealing with Rodney King riots in the inner city, to feeling safe in the country with rowdy 1% bikers running a meth lab down the road a piece. Each situation calls for a different tool. You don't hammer nails with a wrench and you don't drive screws with a hammer.

Nothing beats a handgun for checking noises in a low risk area. It's just much more maneuverable in tight spaces. On the other hand drugged out burglars in the "hood" might call for the 12ga. Inner city riots or gangs ticked at you might be a toss up for either a 12ga or a 5.56 rifle, but in the country a rifle rules. It all depends on the situation. Pick what makes you feel comfortable. Personally I keep at least one of each loaded and ready.;)

Tucker 1371
December 11, 2009, 02:03 PM
5.56, 5.56, 5.56, 5.56, 5.56, .223, 5.56

Can I say it again? It kills effectively, especially with rounds that are designed for maximum expansion and/or fragmentation. FMJs will work too but, and I'm no expert so I can't be sure, I would think they would have a significantly greater risk of overpenetrating and doing damage where you don't intend to.

If the AR is your preference then 5.56 is the way to go, especially so because you were trained on it in that caliber and because further practice with it will be significantly cheaper than any of the others you mentioned, meaning you can practice more.

My personal preference is a 12ga pump with #3 through 00 buck (a full load of one, not a mix), but me and you are not the same person, we are different. I wish you good luck and confidence in whatever you decide.

As for specific brands of ARs I have little knowledge and try to avoid the brand bashing that goes on with that topic. All I can say is if home defense is the intended purpose then you need to do research and spend in the upper limits of your gun budget, from what I understand it's hard to go wrong with either a Colt or M&P-15, other brands may be marginally better but are significantly more expensive.

Denny Hansen
December 11, 2009, 02:08 PM
In a nutshell, what Bartholomew Roberts said. You have to define the question before your search for "the answer."

Denny

jammin1237
December 11, 2009, 04:16 PM
i went with the .450 bushmaster, for one reason, if you load it with a standard factory round it will act like an azz kicking beast in the AR format... if you reload, you can "reload down" to something that is equal to a .45 acp round while using the same firearm and cartridge... it uses the widely available .452 caliber bullet so you can reload more cost effectively...

just a thought...


cheers

Magi
December 11, 2009, 05:05 PM
Perhaps you should tell that to the SWAT teams and military personnel who find compact 5.56mm carbines the ideal weapon for CQB. Killing bad guys inside a building is killing bad guys inside a building, whether you're defending or attacking. Higher ammunition capacity, less recoil, and less risk of overpenetration sounds like a winning combination in my book.
That is an offensive situation.

Not always. And the reasoning behind the original quote is still solid. I will always reach for my AR before my pump shotgun.

TPAW
December 11, 2009, 08:22 PM
Whatever caliber you get, make sure it has a bayonet lug. Knives are very effective - they've been stopping fights for centuries.


If your advisory is that close to you..........:o

Magi
December 12, 2009, 09:23 AM
If your advisory is that close to you.........

Did you mean adversary?

stephen426
December 12, 2009, 09:55 AM
The .223 is a highly effective round and offers much better stopping power than most handguns. It is light weight and has tremendous mag capacities. The problem with using it for home defense is the added noise you get from firing a rifle round indoors. I'm sure you can develop permanent hearing damage from just a few rounds. I don't know how many people go around clearing their houses with electronic noise canceling ear protection. That would be my main concern.

I have Hornady's TAP ammo loaded in my AR, but it is not my primary home defense gun. That job goes to my Sig P229 in .40 S&W and my Remington 870.

Lashlarue
December 12, 2009, 02:41 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/C5Sam/arsenal.jpgAll of these are within 5' of my bed, the 9mm carbine is the quietest of the bunch and would be my first choice. I ve lost too much of my hearing to risk losing it all. Besides a 124 gr. jhp at 1600 fps is plenty deadly!

Para Bellum
December 12, 2009, 02:57 PM
The .223 is way the best choice for HD. However, some loads need 16" or 20" barrels to be totally effective. That's why the Bullpub Steyr AUG with the 20" barrel and still only 31" total length is the best choice for HD IMHO.

Here you can see, what various .223 loads do to different targets and settings (cloth, auto glass, steel) even out of only a 14" barrel:

Strong recommendation: http://le.atk.com/pdf/223RifleDataBook.pdf

and here you can read all you need to know about the .223 and why some people (who don't know it and don't understand it) critizese it:


Strong recommendation: http://www.razoreye.net/mirror/ammo-oracle/AR15_com_Ammo_Oracle_Mirror.htm

TPAW
December 12, 2009, 05:33 PM
Magi asks:

Did you mean adversary?

Yes, I did. Thank you for the correction, my mind was elsewhere at the time.

.351winchester
December 12, 2009, 10:34 PM
great rifles, POWERFUL, half the price of the cheapest AR, ammo is EVERYWHERE!!!, and good for home defense, hunting, ect...
Can't forget, fast manual operation (reliable, legal anywhere guns are period) also low recoil and less report than from a revolver (control is good for all, may be a must for family members to use; also makes a good step up from a .22 that could be used to defend one's life)

tINY
December 13, 2009, 02:46 AM
A full-auto 22lr would be nice...




-tINY

Art Eatman
December 13, 2009, 11:23 AM
I've always defined "home defense" as somewhat up close and personal. Maybe 50 yards or thereabouts; likely, much closer. You get on out much past 50 yards and it's not defense, it's attack. IMO.

I don't see any drawback to using an AR. For ammo, I'd use the same 55-grain soft-point bullet I use on Ol' Wily Coyote. But, really, at household distances I'm not particularly concerned about effectiveness. Most any bullet at five or ten yards is gonna come all apart inside a Bad Guy. I'm not much on bang-once-and-look, either.

That said, the notion of whether a pistol or shotgun would be more of a likely choice is a whole different story. Off-topic for this thread.

Nore
January 10, 2010, 07:18 AM
Get any good lower and a 50 beowulf upper, that will put anybody down!