Experiences with an AR for SD


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eye5600
March 6, 2011, 11:27 PM
There are lots of posts by guys considering an AR or AK for home defense. It's got me wondering what are the stories of incidents where an AR was used, and how did it work out. Anyone have some examples?

One of the worries is that your local DA may be less tolerant as compared to SD with (say) a 9mm. Is there any experience to back that up?

I did recently read an article by Massad Ayoob in which he said that he had never heard of an incident of SD with a full auto weapon that didn't go to court. An AR isn't full auto, but it's indicative.

Let me reiterate, I'm looking for experiences, not opinions.

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Mags
March 6, 2011, 11:58 PM
Here's a video link of a kid using an AR15 in HD

http://wn.com/Texas_Father_Protects_Family,_Kills_Intruders

There was also a young girl here in albuquerque who fended off robbers with her mom's pink AR15.

Just for your information the sighting system and operation of the AR15 along with ammo capacity is great for unexperienced pistol shooters for home defense. I always tell my wife just put the red dot on the bad guy and keep squeezing the trigger till he stops coming at you. Repeat as neccessary with multiple assailants.

chris in va
March 7, 2011, 03:13 AM
Here's a video link of a kid using an AR15 in HD

Link shows a man using a Beretta 9mm...

Mags
March 7, 2011, 03:56 AM
Sorry at work and just went with the search result title in Gogle.

redbullitt
March 7, 2011, 04:20 AM
Havent had to shoot anyone, so no real experience. BUT I have an AR15 ready to go for my house gun.

I use it because: I am very comfortable with it. High velocity 22 rounds are excellent for stopping power and have been shown to work well. I like the short handy length of the weapon. I like the capacity and semi auto firing.


Of course there are other reasons as well.

I simply prefer it over my handgun. If the DA has a problem with it (mind you many people hunt with marlin 336s AND AR15s these days...), well I will deal with that when it comes up. Until then, I will take every advantage I can get on the very slim chance that I would ever have to use the weapon in defense.

Yeah, it also has a surefire mini on it. Again, I see no reason to forego stacking the deck in my favor.

Full auto? I am not sure. Not lucky enough to have any of those to play with. BUT really, I feel like my semi has all my bases covered well.

Diggers
March 7, 2011, 05:15 AM
HAH! Full auto? What the heck is he talking about?

How many incidents of SD with a legal full auto have there been??? :confused: And what year did the last one (if there is actually more than one) occur?

I doubt you will find many actual HD shootings with an AR. However, most PD's carry .223 rifles of some sort so there may be more info there.

eye5600
March 7, 2011, 11:01 AM
How many incidents of SD with a legal full auto have there been??? And what year did the last one (if there is actually more than one) occur?

I don't have time to find the link right now, but as I recall it was an attempted car-jacking followed by a chase, and the would-be victim worked for a weapons manufacturer. And not that recent.

I really shouldn't have mentioned it because it distracts from the real point.

Edit: Link found. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_168_28/ai_112685749/

(Thanks to Kyoki who found it for someone else back in 2008)

General Geoff
March 7, 2011, 11:02 AM
I suspect the OP is looking more for legal repercussions, than combat effectiveness.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 7, 2011, 11:37 AM
Here is some interesting research done by Glenn E. Meyer at TFL on the effects of weapon selection on juries. It suggests that if your case does in fact go to a jury, the type of weapon used can have an effect on both the likelihood of conviction and the amount of time you receive.

http://www.astcweb.org/public/publication/article.cfm/1/21/5/Weapons-Issues-and-the-Fears-of-the-Legally-Armed-Citizen

Having said that, I still use an AR15 myself because that is what I am most proficient with and I feel the advantages outweight the disadvantages.

General Geoff
March 7, 2011, 01:08 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but..

What are the chances of that study being either admissible in court itself, or at least being viable as reason for a judge to instruct the jury NOT to consider the type of firearm used, since it bears no relevance to intent?

Uteridge
March 7, 2011, 01:59 PM
I can tell you that an AR is effective, I'm sure even more so without FMJ ammo, but I haven't seen anything on the legal ramifications of it.

I would focus on survival first and foremost. What happens in the aftermath is largely, but not entirely, beyond your control anyway. Make sure you do and say the right things both before and afterwards and you will probably be ok. If possible, get the training information for your local PD's qualification schedule as it pertains to LEO's being allowed to carry an AR in their squad car and make sure that you can document similar training both in timeframe (how many times a year) and what their qualification course is. If you can show that you are just as qualified as the local LEO's are who carry an AR in their squad car I would think you would be alright.

This is similar to the advice I got from a lawyer IRT carrying spare ammunition. He advised me that I could easily justify carrying at least as much ammunition on my person and in my vehicle as the local LEO's do. In order for a lawyer to make a case that my preparations are excessive they would have to admit that they believe that the perpetrations of the local PD or SO are excessive. If I am carrying 40 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition between my weapon and spare magazines and someone says that I must have been out looking to kill someone then they would quickly be referred to the same or greater load out that the LEO carries (not to mention that they have their shotgun and its ammunition, probably a partner and their ammunition, and a radio to call for more guys with more guns and even more ammunition); surely our LEOs aren't out to kill anyone they are only looking out for their own defense and the defense of the people they are responsible for protecting. If your local LEO's carry Carbines and you would be authorized, at your current level of training, under their policy then you should be fine if it were to come to court. I don’t know this from actual experience but it does make sense. I have the added benefit of training often with my local LEO's so I shoot their courses with all weapons and I have a myriad of LEO material witnesses who can testify that I can shoot a qualifying score with a number of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Almost every weapon I would possibly use for personal defense has been shot on a LEO qualification range in from of local LEOs.

AlexanderA
March 7, 2011, 02:30 PM
The choice of weapon for home defense would depend on the tactical situation (assuming that you have a selection of weapons from which to choose -- if you only have one gun available, the choice is made for you).

I would think that in most tactical situations in the home, a 12 ga. pump shotgun (like a Rem. 870 Police with an extended magazine) would be superior to an AR-15. Consider, for example, the intimidation factor of that big, gaping barrel. A buckshot load in a 12 ga. is like firing a 9-shot burst with a submachine gun. The likelihood of missing with a shotgun is much less, in close quarters, than with an AR.

Also consider who and what the assailants are, and how much advance warning you have. I figure that someone breaking into an occupied home is crazy, on drugs, or desperate in some other way. You're not dealing with a rational individual. (That is, assuming that the individual is not known to you and does not have personal issues with you -- but let's not go there.)

If you were defending a farm or a boat, where the ranges were greater, then something like an AR-15 would make more sense.

eye5600
March 7, 2011, 02:45 PM
Just for your information the sighting system and operation of the AR15 along with ammo capacity is great for unexperienced pistol shooters for home defense.

Kel-Tec makes that point in the advertising for the SUB-2000:

The amount of training to master the SUB-2000 is only a fraction of that required for a handgun.

That pertains to the fact that it's a rifle and not to the round, of course.

Uteridge
March 7, 2011, 02:45 PM
An AR gives you faster follow-up shots and is easier to hit with that a shotgun. Shotgun spread at very close range is not that great. If a shot is disabling with a shotgun then it will also have been a solid hit with an AR. If you miss with the AR, even a close miss then the results might have been slightly better with a shotgun but probably not.

The good things about an AR are ease of use, low recoil, ammunition capacity, great sights, and shorter overall length than a shotgun; all of which are very important in a fight in close quarters. A shotgun isn't a bad weapon but it also isn't any better choice than an AR or vice versa they are different weapons that serve different purposes. A shotgun works best when there is only one avenue of approach and it is assumed that one or two shots will get the job done, the AR is a much more flexible platform with lower penetration with good ammo. Most SD situations happen in low light so your opponent isn't going to know the difference between a shotgun and an AR unless you pull the trigger (or do something really stupid like rack a shell into the chamber and give away your position.) The best way to defend property is with a camera and a cell phone; not a rifle or shotgun.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 7, 2011, 02:57 PM
What are the chances of that study being either admissible in court itself, or at least being viable as reason for a judge to instruct the jury NOT to consider the type of firearm used, since it bears no relevance to intent?

That is a good question; but one that I don't have an answer to. Maybe someone more experienced with that area of law can chime in? I suspect that even if you could get such an instruction, a skilled prosecutor is probably still going to be able to appeal to the underlying bias the study seems to suggest without making the point directly.

xfyrfiter
March 7, 2011, 03:32 PM
Just be sure that all the wounds are in the front of your attacker, and legally you will have less problems. If there are entry wounds in the back it really becomes problematic.

cheygriz
March 7, 2011, 06:20 PM
During my career in LE, I've had similar conversations with several Assistant DAs and one DA.

Their unanimous assessment is that "if it's a good shooting" there's nothing to wory about criminally. OTOH, no matter how good it is criminally, there will be the inevitable civil lawsuit that could very well bankrupt you from lawyer fees even if you win.

JMusic
March 7, 2011, 06:34 PM
yep. Thats the reality of shooting at someone.

Diggers
March 7, 2011, 07:01 PM
+1 to what cheygriz said.

I think the "if you use gun X for SD then you will be charged" thing is a huge myth that has been kept alive in these forums.

If the action you took is legal then there is no crime to charge anyone with.

I believe these myths have come from situations where the legality of a shooting was in question. THEN the question of if the shooter was looking to kill someone would be brought up and such things as what type of gun was used would be brought before the jury.

But the shooting has to be questionable for any of that to happen.

mmitch
March 7, 2011, 07:25 PM
I believe a distinction must be made between self defense and home defense.
Self defense is hard to legally defend at rifle ranges - remember, proximity is an important consideration when the bad guy needs to be stopped.
However, given a "castle doctrine" situation, the rifle use may be more defensible in court.
You must be able to present a reasonable argument to defend your shoot.

Mike

NG VI
March 7, 2011, 07:46 PM
A buckshot load in a 12 ga. is like firing a 9-shot burst with a submachine gun. The likelihood of missing with a shotgun is much less, in close quarters, than with an AR.


They don't spread all that much you know, maybe you'll have an inch or inch and a half at most cone of shot at indoor distances, unless you live in a mansion. I don't. An AR is going to be easier to make hits with than a shotgun, the spread just isn't enough to make up for the superior handling and sights of an AR, and repeat shots are much easier with the AR than just about any other platform.

Also the reliable semi action of the AR takes some of the indian out of the equation over a pump shotgun, which is good if you are shooting at another human being inside your own home. I've fired three shots from centerfire handguns indoors with no hearing protection before, and it sucked. I would not be surprised at all if myself or most anyone else ran into unexpected difficulties with formerly simple tasks like properly racking their shotgun after shots go off inside like that.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

yyz
March 7, 2011, 08:07 PM
a lot of other things goes into whether or not you get to trial then if it is a good shoot or not. the da's office were you live should be the first place you look as to how or what will get you a trial. politics plays a huge part in this. what is not a problem in small town rural is not the same in big metro gun hating area. a big factor is if you know the person or not. even if the shoot looks perfect with eye witness if you know the person, even in passing you are going under the micro scope. how well you are known, good or bad, will play a part in the da's decision to charge you are not. best to know your backyard, so to speak, to help make this decision. ether way once that gun comes out you have more then likely spent most of what you have to prove you were right.

Larry Ashcraft
March 7, 2011, 08:50 PM
A buckshot load in a 12 ga. is like firing a 9-shot burst with a submachine gun. The likelihood of missing with a shotgun is much less, in close quarters, than with an AR
This myth has been around for a long time and refuses to die. At across the room distances, your pattern will be smaller than a softball. So you can miss just as easily with a shotgun as you can with a rifle. Add in the fact that you have fewer shots and a slower follow-up time.

If you shoot your shotgun a lot and are good with it, it is an excellent HD weapon, but don't expect it to cover a wall at in-house distances. It won't.

MattTheHat
March 8, 2011, 02:14 PM
When my place in the country was getting broken into weekly a few years ago, I waited around for the BGs to come back with only my trusty Government model. Things turned out okay with only 2 shots being fired (the .45ACP is hell on radiators and headlights), but I decided then and there that I wouldn't find myself in that situation again without an AR. Wen't out and picked one up a few days later.

Not sure about home defense so much, but for a situation with a bit more distance and more area, an AR sure inspires a bit more confidence.


-Matt

chris in va
March 8, 2011, 07:27 PM
OTOH, no matter how good it is criminally, there will be the inevitable civil lawsuit that could very well bankrupt you from lawyer fees even if you win.

Not true in 'castle doctrine' states.

eye5600
March 8, 2011, 08:00 PM
Still a lot of opinion, not much experience.

About using an AR to defend a farm or other lonely place.... I am not a lawyer, but I do know that for some purposes, the area immediately around the home is considered differently from the fields, etc. For example, a farmer would have (in law) no expectation of privacy out on his fields, but would have near his house. The actual example I read about had to so with LEOs putting a location bug on a guy's car. It was OK or not, depending where on the property the car was.

I suspect some of the same thinking would apply in an SD situation. The DA is not going to allow you a free field of fire just on the basis that it's your property and the other guy is trespassing. The bad guy is needs to be pretty close before it's really counts as an attack on your castle. Unless he's shooting at you, of course.

Al Thompson
March 8, 2011, 08:19 PM
The bad guy is needs to be pretty close before it's really counts as an attack on your castle.

What you have to have morally and legally, is AOJ. Good discussion of AOJ here:

http://www.corneredcat.com/Legal/AOJ.aspx

Castle Doctrine varies from state to state, so broad brush statements can be very untrue, depending on where one lives. Ours is pretty protective, so here, if you are in a place where you can legally be, no duty to retreat. A smart person would avoid a fight, but (here) you don't have a legal obligation to do so.

OP, there have been a few long gun self-defense shootings here, but nothing has surfaced indicating that weapon choice was an issue.

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