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Old May 29, 2013, 12:22 PM   #1
Method
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New to AR and Self Defense Questions

I just purchased an AR last evening. It's been something that I've wanted for years (well before the current buying spree), but only recently did that magic combination come together: saved up enough money, found an available model that I really like, spouse is okay with my purchase so long as I emphasize safety and teach her how to operate it (even if she never wants to shoot it, she wants to be able to ensure safe operation in an emergency). Additionally, my spouse and I are interested in learning home defense.

1. In order to train at my local indoor range, I need <3000fps rounds which are not FMJ (I assume both hollow point and soft tip work). Does anybody recommend ammo brands and places to go for good prices. I don't plan to reload anytime soon (though I do load shotgun shells for skeet).

2. Other than SWAT magazine (hoo-rah TFL), are there any good books, websites, or resources for the aspiring defender of the castle. I am former military, so I have a good background in overall weapons function, handling, and MX. I'm particlarly interested in balancing access to firearms with safety (i.e. I can always access what I need when I want, but firearms are secured against curious children...no kids yet, but young ones are not too far off). I'm also looking for general principles of home defense, scenarios, and ways to educate my entire family.

Thanks ya'll.
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Old May 29, 2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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Method, if you search this forum for "home defense" or "HD," you'll find a lot of information about all those things. You'll also find lots of disagreements, of course, but this is the internet. A word of caution, though: we pretty much frown on reviving really old threads, and it's usually better to start a new one if you have a specific question.

As "one-stop" starting point, I highly recommend this. It's the Property Crime Prevention section of a website called No Nonsense Self Defense, which is one of the best resources out there. The section on Home Defense will answer many of your questions about the role of a gun in this, and the other sections have information on a host of other, equally important aspects of "defending the castle". You'll then be hooked on the site, and you'll want to read everything.
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Old May 29, 2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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The best advice for future younglings is teach 'em young.

Start with "no touch this" and before they hit the age of "gonna do it anyway" have them brainwashed with the 4 rules and safe handling skills. Demystification goes a hell of a lot further then "not till your older!"
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Old May 29, 2013, 06:07 PM   #4
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AR resources....

The AR(Armalight Rifle) platform has risen in popularity in the USA in the last 5-10 years.

There are many many books tools parts add-ons etc.
Id keep the new AR clean & check it often. Use only factory made LE grade rounds for defense. No reloads or hand-loaded rounds.
See these websites; www.NRA.org www.deltapress.com www.magpul.com www.gunlawguide.com www.knifelawsonline.com www.gunvideo.com www.paladin-press.com www.uscav.com www.policehq.com www.natchezss.com .
Brownells has a special AR product catalog. Crimsontrace.com offers a free DVD & 2013 catalog.

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Old May 30, 2013, 10:12 AM   #5
Glenn E. Meyer
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I suggest that you look for a carbine course in the area. Even with videos, just shooting at the square range isn't enough.

Also, look for IDPA style carbine matches in the area.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
I don't plan to reload anytime soon
Just so you know that to gain skills and to maintain them with the rifle, or a handgun will require a great deal of ammo expenditure. For most of us, especially in this market, that is a real barrier. Maybe not you, just saying.

What I see some guys doing is buying a comparable airsoft gun and setting up courses in their back yards. That would be the same idea as getting a .22 in that pattern, except with a .22 you still need a range. One guy I know has some targets he glued some soft foam from a shipping container on, he uses it inside his house. The foam captures the pellet.

I know it sounds silly, but these guys are building and maintaining full body muscle memory and the ability to shoot on the move. It doesn't matter that they are not using an actual firearm. When they go to the range and live fire, even in competition, they are amazing. Very well developed weapons handling and very good fluid movement.

You can't replace actual live fire, but you sure can supplement it a great deal. Same as pencil practice with an auto pistol.

Last edited by garryc; May 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM.
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Old May 30, 2013, 04:02 PM   #7
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You can put together some good practice ammo..

using Lee loaders, simple to use and tey go bang on the range.

Sincve you shoot skeet, ask around if any one knows of a rifle group that fires the National Match course (NMC) either full range or reduced range and see if they will take a newbie under their wing.

Or if there is a firearms trainer that uses a recognized training course of fire.

For home defense, I presume that you have a large acreage around you, with out-buildings? Consider having motion sensing lights that will silhouette the background and not illuminate you.

With skeet loads, is your wife able to fire the shotgun?
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Old May 30, 2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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I'm not sure if you're asking what I'm replying to...

An AR is not a great choice of self defense weapons for your home. A 22 cal bullet at 2 or 3 times the speed of sound will go through a lot of things AFTER it goes through the burglar.

It's a great platform/round for putting a LOT of rounds downrange in a jungle. It penetrates foliage, clothing, ballistic vests, helmets, and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th soldier behind the first one you're shooting at. In that arena, you're rarely concerned with what's behind the target.


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Old May 30, 2013, 07:31 PM   #9
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Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
5.56 is a finer HD round...perhaps, one of the best.
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Old May 30, 2013, 10:43 PM   #10
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Putting the .223 for SD issue to rest let me say if you are using FMJ or FMJ with a penetrator you are an idiot. But others are a good choice:

http://how-i-did-it.org/drywall/ammunition.html
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Old May 31, 2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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I tested winchester 64 grain 223 soft point with plastic jugs of water. penetration was about the same as 9mm 125 gr +p (Federal HST) and 45 ACP 230 gr gold dot HP. In all cases, 2 jugs were competely penetrated and the bullet stopped in the third jug.

I also re-ran the test by shooting through a 3/4 inch plywood first, followed by jugs of water. The 9mm penetrated the farthest, going through 3 jugs and stopped by the backstop. the 45 and 223 were both stopped by the 3rd jug.

This took about 20 jugs of water and was a lot more work than I expected. I was very skeptical that 223 soft points would not be an over-penetration hazard, but I satisfied my skepticism.
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Old May 31, 2013, 03:18 PM   #12
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Some armory in the country of Turkey, sells an AR looking shotgun with a 10 round magazine. It has a bolt similar to a Remington 11-87. Some fellow shooter at our range, showed-off one to me, that he recently bought last week.
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Old May 31, 2013, 03:26 PM   #13
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Almost all AR ammo penetrates less than 12 gauge 00 buck. 5.56/.223 is fine for HD.
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Old May 31, 2013, 04:05 PM   #14
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OK. Some disagree. Some have some anecdotes to support their opinions. That's fine with me. My opinion? A long gun firing a 3000 fps 22 cal bullet at home defense distances is entirely inappropriate.

But that's the beauty of having freedom to make our own choices.

I just hope I don't live across the street from one of you guys that uses an AR to shoot burglars.

...


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Old May 31, 2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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I wouldn't use 5.56mm for home defense. Too fast, too light, and drywall's just too thin.

I use .45ACP 230-gr JHP for my defensive load. As others have pointed out, there are some specialized .223 rounds that will minimize this issue, but nothing beats knowing what's beyond your target and being judicious with your fires.
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Old May 31, 2013, 09:18 PM   #16
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You guys need to go to the range and shoot some wall sections before you proclaim the 5.56 to over penetrate while advocating the 230gr .45 ACP or 9mm.
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Old May 31, 2013, 09:45 PM   #17
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I don't need to go to the range. Your opinion may vary. Mine is that a 3000 fps 22 in a long gun is a very poor choice for home defense.

I'm willing to accept that others may feel differently. There's lots of opinions here, and elsewhere, that I don't agree with. That's what makes life on this here planet such a groovy thing.


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Old May 31, 2013, 10:31 PM   #18
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Even though I convinced myself that 223 softpoint ammo does not penetrate walls any worse than 9mm / 40 / 357 / 45, I still would not use my AR-15 as my first choice for home defense inside my own home.

The noise with the muzzle brake is SIGNIFICANTLY louder than a handgun, even a 357.
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Old June 1, 2013, 05:09 AM   #19
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One thing shooting wall sections does not consider is the effect of the round going through soft tissue beforehand. It's a great mental exercise for "What if you miss?"
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Old June 1, 2013, 08:31 AM   #20
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No, those tests are done without pre-penitration of anything. If you use a heavy V-MAx or a TAP load I would expect almost no energy after leaving the target, if it ever left the target. I don't know how many woodchucks I've shot at all ranges and that tipped bullet, V-Max or Ballistic tip, never left the target completely disintegrating inside.

With the 45acp we are talking ball park 500 ftps of energy, no real hydrostatic effect there and no where near the energy to disintegrate the bullet. . But with the 223 we are talking ball park 1500 ftps and hydrostatic shock will be a major factor since the proper bullet completely disintegrates inside the target delivering all that energy in the form of hydrostatic shock.

I would expect if an autopsy was done on someone shot with a 45acp there would be a wound track and some evidence of hydrostatic shock, a little bit. But if we did the same with a 223 with a V-Max or a TAP round, completely disintegrating inside the target, I'd expect to find mush along the bullet track and far from it.

Last edited by garryc; June 1, 2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Old June 1, 2013, 10:22 AM   #21
Glenn E. Meyer
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Here's a good take on shotgun vs. AR:

http://www.krtraining.com/KRTraining...eflonggun.html

BTW, I've taken AR and shotgun classes from Karl and Tom Givens as a visiting instructor as well as one from Steve Moses on shotgun.

I do go to range and matches (I believe in the scientific method) and go for the AR as first reached house long arm. Both are available to me and good to go.

I've written up Tom's class in the shotgun forum. If interested one can search for it. It was great. The speed exercise was a blast. Great exposition on the controlled pattern buckshot also.
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Old June 1, 2013, 10:57 AM   #22
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This may sound like an irritating broken record, but when it comes to the serious business of self defense, the gun (and ammo) is the least of it,
The behavior of bullets is not trust worthy.
None of them.
Maybe the round will act as expected, but maybe not.
So, the shooter has to have the brains.
Especially since that is who will answer for the results.
Please, get training, get training, ...........
Repeat ad nauseam.
Military training is different than civilian self defense training, isn't it?
There's a lot of info on this subject at http://modernselfprotection.com/
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Last edited by g.willikers; June 1, 2013 at 11:09 AM.
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Old June 1, 2013, 11:41 AM   #23
Glenn E. Meyer
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Good points. Buying a gun and going to the square range is only part of the show.
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Old June 1, 2013, 02:51 PM   #24
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Sgt Lumpy, velocity and diameter are not the only factors in bullet penetration. From testing I've seen, the M193 is prone to yawing after experiencing a barrier or human/animal target. It winds up being a very poor penetrator after yawing, as it usually strikes the next thing at an odd angle and presents a much larger cross section.

Soft point and ballistic tip rounds have a good chance of expanding or disintegrating (mostly varmint rounds for the latter). Therefore, they will not overpenetrate as much as something like FMJ .308 or many FMJ handgun rounds.

None of this is to say that overpenetration is not an issue. Any round with enough oomph to stop an attacker WILL go through drywall! So, hitting your intended target and having relatively safe backgrounds are still vitally important to home defense. Training and planning are important.
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Old June 1, 2013, 10:37 PM   #25
garryc
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Quote:
Buying a gun and going to the square range is only part of the show.
Well, it's like passing the written test to get a learning permit for driving.
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