View Full Version : Using AR or AK as a defensive weapon

July 16, 2002, 12:47 AM
what do you think of using an AR or AK or any other military type (read cool rifle) weapon as an defensive measure ? will the police hate you more for using those type of rifles as defensive weapons. before i used my para p14.45 as my defensive home gun, now i am using my colt ar with ballistic tips. thanks for your input.

July 16, 2002, 04:17 AM
I think it's fine to use an AR or AK for defense if you practice and can handle it. I wouldn't really want an AK for defense myself, but that's just me. I keep my AR and AK locked in the safe and use a folding stock Ruger Mini-14 (same caliber as AR) and a Remington 870 shotgun for home defense.

The police and media are very likely to play upon the fact you used an "assault rifle" and you can be sure the family of whoever you shoot is going to sue you over it. But if you are skillful and lawful in it's use, there isn't a whole lot they can do about it.

Don Gwinn
July 16, 2002, 07:40 AM
You do realize that, technically, "R. Daley is stupid" is not a location? True, but not a location. :D

Assuming you live in or near Chicago, yes, you will hear about it. You might look into which departments near you carry AR-15's in squad cars. Then when questioned point out how many police use the same weapon.

July 16, 2002, 07:49 AM
My Primary home defense is the KP90 Ruger 45ACP. If I need more than that, I fade back to the closet and pick up the M-1 Garand. If I need more than 32 rounds of 45ACP and 80 rounds of .30-06, well then I should be in the Army, behind the controls of an M-60 or so..........

One advantage of the M-1....it could never be called an Evil Black Rifle, with the Walnut stock and "brownish" Parkerized finish :D

July 16, 2002, 09:19 AM
I dont think that an AR/AK/FAL and so on are deffencive type weapons...in my book they are offencive weapons. And they will do that job very well.

Hkmp5sd took the words out of my mouth when he talked about the media and getting sued.

My first weapon is my Sig .40 cal, then my Moss 590 and from there if I have not been able to stop the threat I will then be moving on to my rifle. But I dont ever see that happening in my house.
My .1/2 cents

July 16, 2002, 12:09 PM
Both rifles have been used to defend entire countries, so why not your home.

The only problem is that most people will not be toting around a longarm during the day & night. It is usually sitting somewhere else waiting to be picked-up.

A pistol is more convienient, and is the compromise most people choose.

July 16, 2002, 01:10 PM
I hope you don't have any neighbors. Did you test the penetration of the Noslers through your building materials (including glass)?

Double Naught Spy
July 16, 2002, 01:41 PM
I am not sure whether you consider a weapon as defensive or offensive really matters. That is simply the application of the weapon.

If you are questioning the potential stigma that might result from using an assault type rifle, sure you may have some problems, but those problems are really going to be a non-issue compared to the legal aspects of why you killed someone. The debate will come down to whether or not you were justified in using lethal force. This assumes, of course, that you didn't have any errant shots that ended up striking a non-combatant somewhere.

If you are concerned with home defense, why are you not considering a nice shotgun? A shotgun will deliver much more effective rounds than either rifle and you have your choice of ammo ranging from tiny bird shot, to buck shot, to slugs. You can employ a shotgun from contact distance out to 50 yards quite easily, 100 yards with slugs - actual distances varying with the barrel length, choke (if any), and load used.

By the way, an elderly gentleman in Garland, Texas used his AR-15 to stop a truck thief. The old guy had been burgled several times, heard the commotion under his car port, and found a man hot wiring his truck. He issued orders to stop and the burglar attempted to drive over the man who simply side stepped as his truck went by. In the process, he pumped 7 rounds of .223 into the cab of the truck. The thief and truck were found a couple of blocks away, the thief was dead.

Nobody had any problem with the events that unfolded. As per Texas law, the truck owner was within his rights to use lethal force to stop a crime at night against him or his property given that he did not appear to have any other reasonable options for stopping the thief. Of course, once the thief attempted to drive over the guy, he had a right to defend himself. I think I was about the only one surprised by the use of an AR-15. I expected the old guy would have used some older style military gun, maybe a hunting rifle or shotgun. Nope. He liked his AR-15 and used it well as well as effectively. No charges were filed against the truck/gun owner.

July 16, 2002, 01:56 PM
for Home Defense, nothing in toe world beats a good shorty pump shotgun...

that is the reason I have the Remington 870 Marine Magnum, loaded to the hilt with 00 Buck.

the pistol on my belt is only there to allow me to fight my way to my 870... then ALL HELL is gonna break loose... and when all 7 that are in the gun are gone, the 5 in the sidesaddle will feed 1 at a time, throught the ejection port...

and if 12 rounds of 00 Buck don't end the problem, then I needed a brace of grenades, not a gun!

July 16, 2002, 01:57 PM
Safe Room Barricade - Shotgun
Clearing House - Pistol
Outside - Rifle

Any questions?

July 16, 2002, 02:01 PM
The AK/AR solution has a few advantages:
1. Higher capacity magazines
2. Instant visual recognition with increased 'I just made a big mistake' reaction from the bad guy(s)
3. Over penetration can be less of an issue based on your caliber choices (5.56 has been reported to overpenetrate less than 9mm from some reports).

The "you'll be sued / the police will persecute you" talk is just that: Talk. Even though it's a common claim when the issue comes up, I've never seen ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE of this actually happening. It's the same thing with using your own reloads in a carry gun: A lot of hypothetical claims but no real backing information ever provided.

Dave R
July 16, 2002, 02:18 PM
Of course an AR or AK would be effective. Particularly for outdoor use.

But I can only envision one scenario where an AR or AK would be a _preferred_ home defense tool...

Riots/mass attack. You may need high capacity firepower and a strong visual deterrent in that situation. And longer range than a pistol or shotgun would provide.

For more typical home defense scenarios--intruders and the like--I think a shorty shotgun or handgun would be preferred. Easier to aim/maneuver inside tight hallways and rooms, and less likely to over-penetrate.

July 16, 2002, 02:43 PM
Double Naught Spy:

Unfortunately, many (most?) of us do not live in jurisdictions that are quite so enlightened. Had that occured in MA, the elderly gentleman would likely have wound up in jail for a long time.


July 16, 2002, 03:27 PM
IMHO an ar/ak are fine for home protection, but make sure you choose the right ammo. I shoot mostly cheap military-type fmj, which will end up going through a bad guy and into a neighbor's house. Spend some money on glaser slugs or similar and make sure they feed well in your weapon. This will obviously be expensive.

I used to work with a guy who is now on death row for a home-invasion with his group of so-called 'bounty hunters'. The homeowner hit 2 of the invaders with a pistol, but their body armor saved them and they killed the homeowner and his girlfriend. Any decent rifle round would have made a difference here.

That said, I only keep pistols and a shotgun loaded all the time. Maybe I need a speedloader for my long guns, just in case.

July 16, 2002, 10:55 PM
Thanks for the input guys. The answers seems to be different from each other. But they all seem true. I guess it makes a difference on where you live at. If you live in a kinda isolated place in a gun friendly state, it's ok. But using it in a state where we all live next door to each other, and considering R. Daley (who i think is responsible for 26 deaths for his anti-gun laws) firearms ban in chicago, well it doesn't seem ok. I think the best comprimise is an Remington 870, but if a mass of BG's should ever come to my block, i'll pick up my AR.

July 17, 2002, 12:39 AM
Lots of good points about over-penetration. Rifles, assault or otherwise are too powerful for urban home defense. A good 12ga. short barrel with preferably #4 buck or a good large caliber handgun (9mm, .45, ect.) would be your best bet. I say #4 buck because 00 has a bit of collateral risk.
Now, if you're in the boonies, 20mm and Claymores rule the day;)

July 17, 2002, 12:59 AM
Rifles, assault or otherwise are too powerful for urban home defense. A good 12ga. short barrel with preferably #4 buck or a good large caliber handgun (9mm, .45, ect.)

You may have missed it, but a .223 / 5.56 bullet is at less risk of overpenetration than 9mm or 45 acp rounds:

July 17, 2002, 01:05 AM
OK bastiat;)
I include a good .223:D

Don Gwinn
July 17, 2002, 10:19 AM
Bastiat and Erick, we would all hope for the same, but he seems to live near Chicago. In that area, it's not just a rumor. Erick's consistency is nice to see ("I deploy an AR-15, so you should be able to do the same") but it would be the exception and not the rule up there. It ain't Texas, that's for sure.

I'm not saying not to use it if it's the best weapon for your purpose, only that you should be ready for the accusations afterward. It doesn't mean anything bad will necessarily happen to you, but there will be those who try to make it happen and that could be unpleasant in itself.

July 17, 2002, 10:34 AM
The AK/AR is best for home defense because naturally your going to hit the target more frequently, it's not as long as a legal shotgun, has 30 rounds, rarely jams, plus its imtimidating. Personally, if someone broke into my house I would attempt to identify with voice, naturally if they don't answer I warn them I'm about to unleash, warn them they have to the count of 5 seconds to leave.

July 17, 2002, 10:22 PM
The AK/AR is best for home defense because naturally your going to hit the target more frequently, it's not as long as a legal shotgun, has 30 rounds, rarely jams, plus its imtimidating.

There really isn't a rule that states that a semi auto rifle will hit a target more frequently than a single shot 12 gauge. The 30 rounds doesn't hurt though. But when you unleash rounds you have a responsibilty to your family members and your neighbors.

Personally, if someone broke into my house I would attempt to identify with voice, naturally if they don't answer I warn them I'm about to unleash, warn them they have to the count of 5 seconds to leave.

Imagine I'm an evil criminal doing a house raid. I hear a voice that tells me to stop. I take my Tec-9 and unleash an entire mag in your general direction. Why? Because I don't care about neighbors or backstops.

You can't just fire/yell at a noise that you heard. It makes no tactical sense and it might get you: #1- Sent to prison or #2 - Killed. Target ID is essential.

July 18, 2002, 12:26 PM
My personal philosophy is that pistols are only for those times when you can't get to a rifle or a shotgun.
The pistol's purpose is to escort you from your bed to your gun cabinent or closet.
For close encounters, I would prefer the shotgun, pump or automatic, 12 gage, but I could certainly understand someone choosing a handy rifle instead.

July 19, 2002, 10:13 PM
I use a bushmaster M-17S for home defense with wolf hollowpoints (what can i say, theyre cheap), that and i have a few .22 rifles layin about the house as well

July 20, 2002, 10:27 AM
Shotguns are not always the best option either. If you have family members, or roommates, you take a chnace of hitting one of them with the spread of buckshot.

Right now I am leaning toward my 9mm carbine with +p hollowpoints, and my trusty 1911 for defensive situations. IF I need more than that the FAL is close at hand.

July 20, 2002, 06:17 PM
HKmp5sd says: The police and media are very likely to play upon the fact you used an "assault rifle" and you can be sure the family of whoever you shoot is going to sue you over it. But if you are skillful and lawful in it's use, there isn't a whole lot they can do about it.

I think the LAST thing I would be worried about when confronted with a life or death defensive situation, would be what some one else thought of my choice of weapons. I have what is to me, the best choice of weapons to defend myself and my family, and will not hesitate to use them if necessary.

If the family sues, they sue. So be it.

July 21, 2002, 02:13 AM
aye to that. I'd rather be sued by Johnnie Cochran than dead...

But I still say a shotgun's the best for home defense. If 30 people are attacking my house, they're probably gonna get me no matter how much ordinance I'm packing...

And the nice cha-chunk of a 12 gauge is awfully intimidating....


Yeah I believe in Gun Control.... I use both hands!

July 21, 2002, 04:17 PM
If you're going to worry about getting sued and investigated after an SD need, you'd better limit yourself to a lamp or something that's in every home, maybe a chair so you can clearly worry about whether or not your estate is in order.

Otherwise, use an effective tool that you've practiced with and are competent in using.

My choice would be an AR of the two you listed, but an AK would be only a hair behind....

July 21, 2002, 09:52 PM

Being sued is the last thing I would think of also. But anyone that prepares to use a firearm for self defense needs to be aware of what is going to happen following the incident. You should know what physical effects it will have on your mental state, what the cops are going to do when they arrive, dealing with the DA and news media, etc. You can have a successful use of deadly force and hang yourself afterward by your actions.

There is a very high probability you will be sued, no matter how obvious the need for self defense appears. The BG is going to have a family member with a lawyer that smells $$$. The current estimate is that it will cost you at least $20,000 to defend yourself in a legal shooting where you did everything correctly, unless of course, the BG has a swastika on his forehead and his birth certificate says Charles Manson.

The type of gun should not matter, but it does. My 9mm suppressed MP5 is the perfect weapon for home defense. Very accurate, lots of bullets, no noise, no recoil and no overpenetration. To actually use a machinegun in a self defense incident would be legal suicide however. Everyone would focus on the gun.

Don Gwinn
July 22, 2002, 10:22 AM
If you really think it can't possibly happen, think back to the last time you saw a gun owner crucified in the press merely for *owning* an "arsenal" with one or two guns that didn't meet the letter of the law. You think the same departments would hold back after you've just shot some poor misguided young man who had just met the girl of his dreams, begun going to church, entered a 12-step program and was beginning to turn his life around?

July 23, 2002, 01:24 PM
First off, I have limited $ and made some choices that I have to live with for the time being. My primary go-to defensive weapon is my always ready cocked and locked HK USP .45 full size.

We live near a state prison. If word gets out that escapees are on the loose, the AK-47 comes out. If my family, friends or cave are threatened by bad guys and I have time, out comes the AK. SHTF in any way? AK gets the nod. If one USP magazine is emptied and a threat is still present, the other will be emptied on the way to the AK.

For the people that are already cringing... yes, the 8 - 30 round magazines are stoked with FMJs. Sure there are better choices I could have made, but this is the tool I live with when "something bigger" is needed than a pistol.