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Old August 6, 2008, 10:16 PM   #1
Lt. Dangle
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AR home defense for bumps in the night

Just trying to get an idea of what methods are being used for safe storage of a defensive AR (primary home defense) at home with young inquisitive children? Thanks...
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Old August 6, 2008, 11:10 PM   #2
Maximus856
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How young are we talking?

Best bet is weapons safety and familiarization. If they already know what it is, and know what to do and not to do, and WHY, they won't be so inquisitive. But, if your dealing with toddlers then maybe not so much. As for a hiding spot, I dont know. Depends on your bedroom setup and such. A safe next to your bed with a combo perhaps? If worried about not having quick enough access maybe leave it under/next to the bed with a cable lock or trigger lock.

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Old August 6, 2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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I the safe. At night you make certain you have a flashlight on it and it stay's right at the headboard. Gets put away in the daytime. You should carry a handgun on you in the day time.
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Old August 7, 2008, 12:28 AM   #4
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Personally, I would not consider an AR to be the ideal home defense weapon, especially with children in the home. My reasoning:

Overpenetration:
Within the house, a good chance the round will go through interior walls into adjacent rooms. It would be horrible to accidentally hit your child in the adjacent room.

Overpenetration to outside the house either through a hollow or possibly solid wood door or standard construction walls.

Not very good stopping power at close range - it's a .22 caliber bullet at 3,200 FPS - going to go right through the target at ranges encountered within the home.

For those reasons, if you want an AR like weapon for in the home defense, you might want to look at the Beretta Cx4 storm in .45ACP.

Anyway, so much for the unsolicitated advice. For safe storage you might consider keeping ammo/loaded magazines stored in a ready access safe designed for handgun storage and just keeping the unloaded gun out in the open with no accessible ammo.
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Old August 7, 2008, 12:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyLT
Personally, I would not consider an AR to be the ideal home defense weapon, especially with children in the home. My reasoning:

Overpenetration:
Within the house, a good chance the round will go through interior walls into adjacent rooms. It would be horrible to accidentally hit your child in the adjacent room.

Overpenetration to outside the house either through a hollow or possibly solid wood door or standard construction walls.

Not very good stopping power at close range - it's a .22 caliber bullet at 3,200 FPS - going to go right through the target at ranges encountered within the home.

For those reasons, if you want an AR like weapon for in the home defense, you might want to look at the Beretta Cx4 storm in .45ACP.

Anyway, so much for the unsolicitated advice. For safe storage you might consider keeping ammo/loaded magazines stored in a ready access safe designed for handgun storage and just keeping the unloaded gun out in the open with no accessible ammo.
Where are you getting your information from?

.223 will lose energy and fragment (with something like TAP ammo) if it hits an interior wall while a pistol bullet will turn into a slug so there is actually LESS penetration.

Not very good stopping power compared to a pistol round?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocGKR
Given the widespread availability of this information for over a decade, I am shockingly surprised to read about the "overpenetration" with "high powered assault rifles". In this day and age anyone who is spouting this BS needs to be horsewhipped... Several respected organizations have done structural wall testing, including the FBI, CHP, and IWBA. In our IWBA and CHP testing, replicas of standard construction interior walls were fabricated using two pieces of 1/2” thick dry wall cut in 12” x 24” segments and mounted four inches apart using 2 x 4” fir studs and 1.5” dry wall screws. Five rounds of each load were first fired into bare gelatin to serve as controls. Then 5 shots of each load were shot through interior wall segments into gelatin blocks placed a set distance behind the intermediate barriers--various distances have been tested, typically ranging from 1 to 10 feet.

Generally, common service caliber JHP bullets failed to expand and had very deep, excessive penetration after passing through the interior wall, due to plugging of the hollow point. With the hollow point plugged, the bullets performed nearly identically to FMJ pistol bullets. The terminal performance of the 12 ga. 00 buckshot and slugs was not altered by passing through interior wall replicas, with penetration and deformation nearly identical with their performance in bare gelatin. Likewise, .308 rounds were not usually effected by the presence of an interior wall intermediate barrier.

With one exception, the majority of the 5.56 mm/.223 loads, including M855 62 gr "green-tip" FMJ, which were fired through interior walls demonstrated either minimal changes in terminal performance compared with bare gelatin or reduced penetration. The major exception were 55 gr M193 style FMJ projectiles which exhibited minimal fragmentation and deformation after first passing through interior wall replicas and hence penetrated deeper than in bare gel. Since all of the 5.56 mm/.223 bullets fired through the interior wall had significantly less penetration than 9 mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 12 ga. shotgun projectiles which were fired through an interior wall, stray 5.56 mm/.223 bullets seem to offer a reduced risk of injuring innocent bystanders and an inherent reduced risk of civil litigation in situations where bullets miss their intended target and enter or exit structures. As such, 5.56mm/.223 caliber weapons may be safer to use in CQB situations and crowded urban environments than service caliber handguns or 12 ga. weapons.

Obviously, it is important to keep in mind that purpose built barrier blind 5.56 mm/.223 projectiles, such as the 55 & 62 gr Federal Tactical JSP’s and the Nosler 60 gr Partition, will offer deeper penetration than fragmenting designs and may exit.

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Old August 7, 2008, 01:28 AM   #6
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I stand (ok sit) corrected regarding penetration issues through walls. However, I will still trust my life more to .45ACP than .223 when shot directly at a perp standing 6 ft away from me.
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Old August 7, 2008, 03:54 AM   #7
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I stand (ok sit) corrected regarding penetration issues through walls. However, I will still trust my life more to .45ACP than .223 when shot directly at a perp standing 6 ft away from me.
Which is still foolish.

I love the .45 ACP as a handgun round and as a general rule, vehemently despise the 5.56 as a rifle round. I'll be the first to demean it as a "poodle shooter," and being woefully unimpressed by the one critter I shot with it over 55 pounds, pretty much refuse to do so again. But if I have a choice between a .45 in a handgun or carbine, or a 5.56mm rifle, in most cases, I am picking the 5.56. The only exceptions would be when the 5.56 is loaded with a lightweight varmint bullet. If it has a 69 or 77 gr OTM, or even the standard M855 ball round, sign me up--there isn't a .45 ACP load on the market that is even close to being as effective as the 5.56.

Repeat this 100x slowly, or until it sinks in:

Rifles are rifles, handguns are handguns.

I will never take a knife to a handgun fight, a handgun to a shotgun fight, or a shotgun to a rifle fight.


Got it?

It just so happens that I put myself in a position to never have to choose between the 5.56 and the .45. I got 7.62x39 and 7.62x51 around to handle sticky situations.
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Old August 7, 2008, 07:01 AM   #8
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NavyLT,
Quote:
Not very good stopping power at close range - it's a .22 caliber bullet at 3,200 FPS - going to go right through the target at ranges encountered within the home.
You have it back wards. The 223 @ the velocity you listed is devastating at close range. As the velocity drops under 2800 fps it loses much of it potency but is still plenty lethal.

Quote:
I stand (ok sit) corrected regarding penetration issues through walls. However, I will still trust my life more to .45ACP than .223 when shot directly at a perp standing 6 ft away from me.
Wow! I would recommend some serious study of the effects of the 223 before you ever say that again.

To the OP, There is a company that sells a rifle safe/locker that mounts in a wall between studs and sits flush in the wall. It is opened by pushing a keypad combination or by thumb print. With this you can keep the rifle full loaded and don't have any small trigger locking devises to content with.

Personally I kept mine high at first (while kids were small) then I started to separate the gun from the mag. Once they got big enough to manipulate the action I put it in the safe and opted for a handgun in a stack-on safe next to the bed. My kids are now 9&12 and can shoot the AR better than some adults. They can handle it with total safety in fact my 12 year old has a Bushmaster super lite rifle of his own. They are so up to their necks in firearms that they simply find it boring most of the time. They have first hand experience with what it can do if misused as well as the understanding that all firearms are considered loaded. Like maximus said teach them when they are young to safely handle them. This education serves to keep them safe and to kill any inquisitiveness they may feel at the firearm they are never to touch. Basically if they can play with your guns (under supervision and guidance) anytime they wish to they will not have the desire to fool with them while you are gone. I have tested this theory with an Ar minus the bolt carrier just to see if they would mess with it. They never did (for over a year). They want to play with our guns.........."daddy can we play with the guns"..........."yep when I finish the dishes".......okay daddy.

BTW the education will serve them at home and more importantly at a friends house who's father is less concerned with gun safety.
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Old August 7, 2008, 08:31 AM   #9
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You have it back wards. The 223 @ the velocity you listed is devastating at close range. As the velocity drops under 2800 fps it loses much of it potency but is still plenty lethal.
It is ok, it's not quite nearly as 'devastating' at close range as a .44 Magnum or 12 gauge shotgun, but an .223 AR is a good choice for home defense.

I've got mine loaded with 70 grain Speers, I've never seen any jello tests for it, but I've shot a few deer with it only in a .22-250. If someone takes a hit from it their hurt, bad.

I've seen the various penetration tests and any of the quality SP ammo available in .223 should definitely make a nice wound channel at HD ranges.
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Old August 7, 2008, 08:39 AM   #10
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Caliber argument aside, I generally don't like long guns for close in home defense. Your fighting will probably be done at less than 15 feet. The penetration factor must be considered, as must safe storage with easy access. When prowling a dark house, the first thing to round a corner or enter a room is the rifle muzzle. The intruder can easily grab it and disarm you.

I'd favor a large caliber semi-auto pistol, like the 1911 types talked about in this forum. Since it won't be carried, there's no need to go "compact" or "light", you can use a full size frame. Something in 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP will work well. Use a good, heavy hollow point.

As for keeping it safely - that will depend on how old your children are, how curious they are, and how well minded they are. A trigger lock or locked case may be needed. Later models have a lock on the gun itself, which usually works well.
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Old August 7, 2008, 08:49 AM   #11
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When prowling a dark house, the first thing to round a corner or enter a room is the rifle muzzle. The intruder can easily grab it and disarm you.
There's where we have a disagreement in tactics, I'm not going to go looking for an intruder, I'm staying right where I am calling and 911, and if the intruder/intruders come to me, I'm repelling them with my AR or 12 gauge.

If you want to try to clear your house of an unknown threat by yourself, thats your business, but I don't think it's the smartest or safest thing to do.
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Old August 7, 2008, 08:57 AM   #12
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There's where we have a disagreement in tactics,
We do not disagree. I won't try to clear a house or confront an intruder (unless forced), I'm not trained for it. Everything I have is replaceable. My wife's safety, and secondly, mine, is of ultimate importance. I'll bunker my wife and we'll (she shoots, too) "hold the fort" (my upstairs is ideal for it) with close-in weapons while hitting the panic button on the alarm and calling the cops.

However, a lot of people WILL try to "clear and confront" and my advice was directed at those.
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Old August 7, 2008, 09:06 AM   #13
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However, a lot of people WILL try to "clear and confront" and my advice was directed at those.
10-4 I've got you. You have almost the exact same plan and opinion on what to do as I do.
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Old August 7, 2008, 10:02 AM   #14
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Just trying to get an idea of what methods are being used for safe storage of a defensive AR (primary home defense) at home with young inquisitive children? Thanks...
When you're not home you should keep the rifle locked in the gun safe or, if you don't have a gun safe, put a cable lock through the magazine well and ejection port.
And keep the key on your person all day long....do not leave it somewhere around the house.

Now, when you're home....

If the children are very young, say less than 5 years old, I would just keep a loaded magazine in the rifle but keep the chamber empty.
I don't think that a 4 year old (or younger) is going to have the strength and dexterity to pull the charging handle and chamber a round....especially if they have never seen anyone do this before and have not been taught to do so.

Now for older kids, maybe 5 to 8, keep a loaded magazine up on a high shelf, and the unloaded and empty rifle on a wall rack or cabinet.

For ages 8 and up, hopefully you have taught them well.

Good luck,
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Old August 7, 2008, 10:13 AM   #15
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If you want to try to clear your house of an unknown threat by yourself, thats your business, but I don't think it's the smartest or safest thing to do.
Quote:
However, a lot of people WILL try to "clear and confront" and my advice was directed at those.
I don't think it's as much the desire to "clear and confront" as it is the desire to investigate a strange noise.

For example:
If one hears their door being kicked in, and then hears voices in their kitchen, they will probably bunker down and call the cops.
Most folks will not want to go and confront the intruders.

But if one hears a strange noise in the night, they are most likely going to go and investigate the source of the noise before dialing 911 just to tell the dispatcher that they heard a funny noise in their home....especially if they have pets or children or other adults living in the house, or animals outside the home.
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Old August 7, 2008, 12:28 PM   #16
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Many police supply stores will sell racks intended to mount AR-15s in cruisers. With a little ingenuity these can be made to work in the home. There's also a product called the Life Jacket which completely encloses the AR-15's reciever and can be bolted down. It uses two key locks which is a little slow to access, however.

Whatever option you go with, it should be combined with a healthy does of education. It's important to both take the mystery out of firearms and set clear rules surrounding them.
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Old August 7, 2008, 12:37 PM   #17
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There's where we have a disagreement in tactics, I'm not going to go looking for an intruder, I'm staying right where I am calling and 911, and if the intruder/intruders come to me, I'm repelling them with my AR or 12 gauge.
Where are your young children while you're doing this?

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Old August 7, 2008, 01:01 PM   #18
Glenn E. Meyer
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Kids can find mags and even young ones figure out how to load and rack guns. There are videos of them doing it.

Nor can you trust them at any age to really obey your instructions. That's been shown too. You may feel that your matriarchial/patriarchial demeanor will instill safety in them but you can't be sure. It works for some kids and not others. Also with teenagers, even the good kids face pressures that can very quickly cause them to err. Training them is all well and good but be aware of the risks.

IMHO - you have the gun on you or locked up.

Now the problem with a locked up gun in a far location is that you may not be able to get to it in the rare occassion of a speed blitz.

As far clearing and getting the kids - most of us parents are going for the kids. One might teach them how to hunker down, etc. or other emergency procedures. Rehearsal is the key. If one does have to get them - that's when some training beyond paper punching and handling techniques may come in handy. Some don't get that and think training is all drills to punch holes fast.

Also, all these plans sometimes go to hell. I know of a case where the prime macho defender heard blood curdling screams in the middle of the night. In his birthday suit - the defender headed for action - with the prime stopping power of a remote control. Do you hold the remote - Weaver or Isoceles?

Turns out the attacker was a lizard in the kitchen.
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Old August 7, 2008, 01:17 PM   #19
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I don't have an AR but I use my mossy with an 18" barrel. it sits loaded with a cable lock on, under the bed. I don't have kids (and hopefully won't for a while) though.

T
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Old August 7, 2008, 03:08 PM   #20
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I have a ar pistol with flash light and green laser. I think it would be ideal for room to room. I have no children in house, all are grown and moved away. Although I am not crazy about clearing the house, it's what I would use if I was forced to. I would prefer to bunker down with my Mossburg 500 Persuader.
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Old August 7, 2008, 03:11 PM   #21
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I don't have an AR but I use my mossy with an 18" barrel. it sits loaded with a cable lock on, under the bed. I don't have kids (and hopefully won't for a while) though.
Just curious but, with no kids, why the cable lock?

Don't trust your girlfriend?
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Old August 7, 2008, 04:37 PM   #22
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But if one hears a strange noise in the night,
The operative word in that phrase is "strange". I have two dogs, three cats, two rabbits, 5 snakes, and two fish. I know what kind of sounds the dogs, cats, and rabbits make. The snakes and fish are pretty quiet.

There should be NO noise outside in my parking area. Next door might be a car door, I know that sound, too.

The key is to know what's normal sounds and what's abnornal sounds, and act accordingly.
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Old August 7, 2008, 04:58 PM   #23
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I was in law enforcement for 25 years and had loaded firearms in the open around the house. So did all the men I worked with. I never heard of an accident involving a Police Officer's child and their gun belts with loaded pistols were hanging over the bed post every night.

I tried to take all the mystery out of the pistol or rifle. They were introduced to firearms at an early age and it was demonstrated how it was used and how dangerous they could be. Any time my son was curious about my pistol, I took it out, unloaded it and allowed him to handle it. I schooled him on how to shoot as soon as he was able.

I think a pistol would be a better idea for home defense. A rifle with a round in the chamber and on safety isn't a good idea with kids around. A DAO pistol is better and safer.
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Old August 7, 2008, 06:16 PM   #24
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The operative word in that phrase is "strange". I have two dogs, three cats, two rabbits, 5 snakes, and two fish. I know what kind of sounds the dogs, cats, and rabbits make. The snakes and fish are pretty quiet.

There should be NO noise outside in my parking area. Next door might be a car door, I know that sound, too.

The key is to know what's normal sounds and what's abnornal sounds, and act accordingly.
So, if you DO hear an abnormal sound, do you investigate or do you bunker yourself and your loved ones in a room and call 911?
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Old August 7, 2008, 08:19 PM   #25
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A rifle with a round in the chamber and on safety isn't a good idea with kids around.
I don't think it's good idea even if kids aren't around. Most longarms don't have the safety features that are mostly standard on semi-auto pistols these days and I wouldn't trust them to be drop safe. If anything causes the hammer to slip in an AR, the rifle will discharge if there's a round in the chamber.

For this reason I keep home defense longarms stored safety off with the hammer down on an empty chamber and a loaded magazine. That way they can be readied by simply cycling the action. If children are present I'd recommend a method of storage that prevents cycling the action until the gun is unlocked.
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