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Old May 17, 2018, 05:30 AM   #1
seeker_two
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Why the 5.56 rifle for home defense?

Why do you choose a rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO / .223 for a home-defense long gun? What advantages does it have over a shotgun or a pistol-caliber carbine?

Thanks in advance.....

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Old May 17, 2018, 07:25 AM   #2
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My primary home-defense long gun is a suppressed AR-15. Here are its advantages over a pistol-caliber carbine:

- 5.56 is a more effective round when it comes to stopping a threat.

- A defensive 5.56 load will usually penetrate far less through walls than a defensive pistol caliber.


Here are the advantages of an AR-15 in 5.56 over a shotgun.

- It has far less recoil.

- It's more reliable on average. (The average AR is more reliable than a semi-auto shotgun. And unless the user is very experienced using a pump shotgun under stress, they're more likely to short-stroke it than they are to have a stoppage with an AR.)

-An AR is much easier to suppress.

-An AR is usually shorter (due to NFA laws regulating barrel length and due to the stock length on many shotguns).

-It's much easier to engage multiple targets with an AR.

-An AR has a much larger capacity.

-An AR is much faster and easier to reload than most shotguns.

-Defensive 5.56 loads will usually penetrate far less through walls than any proper defensive shotgun load.


Don't get me wrong, I love my shotguns and I think they're great for home defense, but I think an AR is better in almost every way. My wife finds my 590 to be cumbersome and complicated to use and she hates the recoil. But she has no problem with any of my ARs.
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Old May 17, 2018, 09:03 AM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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For me? Well, I have tens of thousands of logged rounds downrange with an AR15. So, I have far more training and experience with that rifle than I do with alternative rifles, pistol caliber carbines, or shotguns. Since I regard training as the number one most important factor, I’m going to use what I am most familiar with unless it is just clearly a mismatch (i.e no dove hunting with my AR).

I also like the AR for all the reasons Theohazard mentioned; but at the end of the day you’ve got to use what works for you and your unique situation.
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Old May 17, 2018, 09:07 AM   #4
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Well it can pretty much handle any situation that's likely to arise at home. I still lean towards a shotgun though.
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Old May 17, 2018, 09:41 AM   #5
Oni_Kadaki
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Under normal circumstances (when I'm not expecting trouble), I keep my Beretta CX4 Storm next to my bed. My reasoning being that, just by grabbing it, I have 42 rounds of .40 S&W ready to go with greater stability and accuracy than a pistol. If I were ever in the situation where I was expecting trouble, I'd take my AUG instead.
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Old May 17, 2018, 10:34 AM   #6
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Too many look for the perfect on paper gun for every situation. An AR has better characteristics than my Glock for home defense. A 12ga as well. I handle and shoot my glock many times as often as either, so it is my best hd gun.

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Old May 17, 2018, 10:35 AM   #7
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I agree TOTALLY with Theo above. Spot on assesment of the AR’s advantages.

I have both an 9” suppressed AR (not 5.56) and a short 12ga staged in my house.

The shotty is a Mossburg shockwave with a pistol grip and a 14” barrel. Its staged in a fairly tight portion of the house and gives me much improved stopping power over a handgun, without hindering the ability to negotiate close spaces.

The AR is my go-to (if i have a choice). With the 9” barrel AND the Gemtech suppressor, its still shorter then a standard 16” barreled AR.
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Old May 17, 2018, 10:59 AM   #8
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My dog handles most of my security needs at a low wage.
But in the event that he fails, and I don’t have a pistol at hand (rare), and I can some how get the gun locker opened in time, I could see using a rifle of such caliber.
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Old May 17, 2018, 11:08 AM   #9
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Suggesting some back-ups !!!

Whenever I read a post like this, most if not all replies are for a "single" choice. I will wager that in practice, we have more than one ready and waiting and that might include an AR and shotgun. I live in a large home with more than a single option at various locations. Regardless of the size of your home, I feel there should be at least one or more back-up firearms. If we can talk about carrying a back-up firearm, why not include where you live.

Be Safe !!!
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Old May 17, 2018, 11:34 AM   #10
johnwilliamson062
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I don't keep multiple firearms unlocked. Something close at hand is all that is not secured.
There are knives, sticks, pieces of furniture, and lamps that fill the role of back-up.

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Old May 17, 2018, 11:43 AM   #11
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How many of those 5.56mm "advantages" go away if you don't use just the right ammo???

More than a few people won't be using "defensive" ammo, if its even a bit more expensive. (and just what is "defensive 5.56mm, anyway??)

What advantages does the 5.56mm have if you're using 55gr FMJ?? (because people will, and do...)

Suppressors aren't an option every one can use, Same goes for SBRs.
(and, even if you can, you are still in the same boat as everyone else during the MONTHS that pass wile waiting for federal approval...a friend of mine got an SBR-pistol caliber carbine. Took 10 months almost to the day before he could pick it up. Now, a few years later, he's looking to sell it. Has a buyer.. currently on month 5 of waiting for federal approval to sell it...)

The people short stroking a pump shotgun are very likely to screw up loading an AR, or clearing a jam as well.

Capacity and ease of reload, I'll give you that, but realistically, how important is that in a home defense situation?

For me, not that much. For you? I have no idea.
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Old May 17, 2018, 12:00 PM   #12
T. O'Heir
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"...short stroking a pump shotgun..." Indicates a severe lack of practice. Ditto for a rifle.
The only advantage any rifle has is range. And range is not a defensive consideration. Neither is a suppressor. You cannot suppress supersonic.
All these ultra short barrels are really big kids' toys. Velocity loss is excessive.
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Old May 17, 2018, 12:09 PM   #13
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https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=594823

There is a lot of info on the boards regarding 5.56mm and home defense or combat experiences with it.

Long thread with some good info.
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Old May 17, 2018, 12:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker_two View Post
Why do you choose a rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO / .223 for a home-defense long gun? What advantages does it have over a shotgun or a pistol-caliber carbine?

Thanks in advance.....
I think the AR-15 in 5.56mm is a hands down better all around weapon than any shotgun. How much of that translates to typical home defense scenarios and how much of that really matters is another issue. I have a 12 Gauge and AR-15 and would feel comfortable using either.
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Old May 17, 2018, 01:06 PM   #15
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O’Heir
The only advantage any rifle has is range.
There are a lot more advantages than that. Read post #2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O’Heir
You cannot suppress supersonic.
Good grief. Why do you continue to repeatedly post nonsense like this? Do you not revisit threads and read where we’ve corrected you, or do you just not believe us?
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Old May 17, 2018, 01:18 PM   #16
jmr40
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Quote:
"...short stroking a pump shotgun..." Indicates a severe lack of practice. Ditto for a rifle.
The only advantage any rifle has is range. And range is not a defensive consideration. Neither is a suppressor. You cannot suppress supersonic.
All these ultra short barrels are really big kids' toys. Velocity loss is excessive.
You are clueless. You need to be asking for advice rather than giving it.

Inside a home I still prefer a handgun because there is the real possibility of needing a free hand for other things. But an AR carbine with carefully chosen ammo is a very good option for many uses. I much prefer it to a shotgun. At indoor ranges a shotgun pattern is so tight that any advantage is lost. An expanding 223 is just as effective and gives me 6X the ammo at 1/6 the recoil. From a lighter, more compact package.
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Old May 17, 2018, 01:37 PM   #17
Sharkbite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O’Heir
You cannot suppress supersonic.
WRONG.... WRONG....WRONG

My suppressed AR is a 9” 300 blackout loaded with 110gn Vmax. Definitely SUPERSONIC. Suppresses just fine. Indoors without earpro its still loud but not even pistol loud and i get rifle power.
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Old May 17, 2018, 01:58 PM   #18
seeker_two
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Thanks for the responses. I'm learning a lot. Please keep it coming.

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Old May 17, 2018, 02:36 PM   #19
Model12Win
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Advantages over a shotgun are:

More reliable (no short shucking)
Less recoil (faster follow ups)
30 round capacity is incredible
Superb stopping power with tac loads
Limited wall penetration. Penetrates less than buckshot or even pistol rounds.

So the reason the ar has replaced the shotty in police use and for home defense is that it kicks less, holds way way way way way more ammo, is far safer for neighbors and bystanders, is much easier to shoot for many, has far faster rapid follow up shots, and is just as good if not better at ending the threat. It can also be pressed out to 600 meters if need be.

The shotgun is a relic. Workable, but almost totally obsolete.
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Old May 17, 2018, 02:43 PM   #20
hdwhit
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Quote:
seeker_two asked:
Why do you choose a rifle chambered in 5.56 NATO / .223 for a home-defense long gun?
I don't necessarily choose a long gun for home defense.

With all due respect, I think you are putting the cart before the horse. The choice of a gun - any gun - for home defense should be based on an assessment of the threat you anticipate facing, how you plan to respond to that threat and what collateral damage might be caused by your plan. Such an assessment will tell you whether you need a pistol, a rifle or a shotgun. And because your assessment may be different from mine, my reasons for choosing a gun probably have no relevance to your decision.

Every center-fire rifle I currently own is 223/5.56, so I have a lot of respect for the utility of the cartridge, but the gun I go to for home defense is a S&W 38 Special revolver because I know I can use it effectively in the midst of the diminished perception that occurs when responding to a home invasion.
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Old May 17, 2018, 03:03 PM   #21
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
and just what is "defensive 5.56mm, anyway??
A hollow or soft point load. It doesn’t need to be an expensive purpose-made defensive load, though those tend to work best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Suppressors aren't an option every one can use, Same goes for SBRs.
True, but even a typical Title I 16” AR-15 will be between 2 and 6 inches shorter than a typical 18” shotgun depending on where the AR-15’s stock is adjusted. And you can easily shoot an AR-15 with the stock fully collapsed and your nose against the charging handle because the recoil is so light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
The people short stroking a pump shotgun are very likely to screw up loading an AR, or clearing a jam as well.
Maybe, but I’m fairly decent with a shotgun and I’ve short stroked my shotguns a few times. Sure, that’s a training and practice issue, but my point is that a pump shotgun isn’t automatically more reliable than an AR; the reliability of a pump shotgun is dependent on the user, whereas the reliability of an AR isn’t.


I’m always surprised by the number of people who come into our shop and want a home defense pump shotgun for their wife, and the wife has very little firearm experience and isn’t going to practice much with it.
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Old May 17, 2018, 03:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
How many of those 5.56mm "advantages" go away if you don't use just the right ammo???
Better, shooting an AR indoors unsuppressed is going to hurt.
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Old May 17, 2018, 04:01 PM   #23
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I just wanted to say, interesting thread. I havent settled on any one platform. I think a handgun best suits what I perceive as my most likely defensive scenarios, but I like having shotgun and semi auto rifle options. Reading these type of threads are food for thought.

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Old May 17, 2018, 05:03 PM   #24
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Personally, I'd never go to a rifle for home defense. As far as I'm concerned, a rifle is an offensive weapon, a handgun is a defensive weapon. What's the average distance for home defense use, 15 feet? 25 at the most? Using a 300 yard gun in a 15 foot situation just doesn't make sense to me. Same for a shotgun. What would be the pattern at 15 feet? Not much bigger than the bore diameter. Give me a handgun every time.
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Old May 17, 2018, 05:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
What's the average distance for home defense use, 15 feet? 25 at the most? Using a 300 yard gun in a 15 foot situation just doesn't make sense to me.
Having been there and done that mtpl times, it makes PERFECT sense to me.

Its not about distance, its about effectiveness. Those of us that have shot, or seen people shot, with handguns understand how ineffective a handgun is at stopping an attacker in his tracks. Yes, they are lethal, but that has NOTHING to do with stopping an attacker RIGHT NOW.

Handguns are better then nothing, but dont compare with a rifles ability to stop the fight immediately.
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