HD Rifle characteristics


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Cal-gun Fan
March 4, 2012, 07:59 PM
I'm kind of curious as to the mindset of a lot of people on this website when applied to home defense firearms, especially rifles. I see many people recommend high end AR's or comparable quality rifles. When you consider that, if they are actually used (god forbid) in a HD type shooting, the firearm will be taken for evidence and you have no assurances as to when it will be returned or how it will be treated in that time, is that type of firearm still the best choice? To me, it seems as if a Hi-Point carbine would be an ideal choice. Good HD round that would make target aquisition and follow up shots easy, wouldn't overpenetrate, and wouldn't deafen you. Most of all-its inexpensive, so its not a huge problem if you lost it. What do you all think?

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NeuseRvrRat
March 4, 2012, 08:05 PM
if i have to use a firearm for self defense, getting that firearm back from law enforcement is gonna be last thing on my mind. this shouldn't even be a factor in the decision process.

cost of the firearm will be nothing compared to the lawyer fees.

Cal-gun Fan
March 4, 2012, 08:07 PM
While the lawyer fees would certainly be more, why purposefully have an expensive gun as an HD choice?

Hocka Louis
March 4, 2012, 08:18 PM
Cal, that's a strawman question: nobody SAID to buy an expensive gun. Buy what you want. Chances are it'll be more reliable and useful than the reputation or capability inexpensive guns have. Hence an AR. Great guns for the stated purpose, obviously, and great value.

As suggested, price might not really be a consideration. Not a consious one. If it is I think people will also buy the best they can for the money which also implies they won't be buying the cheapest thing they can and, rationaly, certainly not because they should think it is disposeable.

But you're free to. America -- what a country!

NeuseRvrRat
March 4, 2012, 08:36 PM
why purposefully cheap out on a gun you may have to count on to defend yourself?

i have a $200 shotgun for home defense. just as reliable as any firearm i've ever fired.

i'm not saying you need to spend a lot of money on an HD firearm. what i am saying is you shouldn't just try to find the cheapest thing to get the job done. get what you feel will work best for you in your home situation.

sixgunner455
March 4, 2012, 08:45 PM
Odds are, I won't ever have to use a gun to defend myself any more than I ever have in the past. That is to say, in all previous "events" of my life, the presence of the firearm defused the situation.

However, if I ever DO have to use one, I want it to be one with which I am familiar, whose operation, function, accuracy, reliability, and effectiveness I am completely confident in. In order to be able to be worried about the disposition of the firearm after the incident, I must first survive.

Hence, the weapon with which I have the most training and experience: the AR15. If I'm worried about being deafened, I'll get a suppressor. The weapons with which I have the second-most training and experience: 9mm pistols and .38 revolvers.

ACP
March 4, 2012, 08:51 PM
I would never, ever choose a home defense firearm based on its "lost value" if taken in a civilian shooting case.

It should be reliable and powerful, period.

12-gauge pump, choose your flavor.

Lee D
March 4, 2012, 08:52 PM
people will spend $2500 on a TV but they wanna skimp out on a firearm that may save their life. makes no sense to me.

HankB
March 4, 2012, 08:54 PM
To me, "Home Defense" means protecting my life, and the lives of my family - something I take very seriously.

Deliberately choosing a "cheap" firearm to defend life makes about as much sense as deliberately finding a cut-rate surgeon to do a bypass or some other serious procedure.

Cal-gun Fan
March 4, 2012, 08:57 PM
You're missing my point. There are plenty of inexpensive firearms that are very reliable. 12 Gauge pumps, hi-point carbines, etc. Its just that, in plenty of threads, I've seen people recommend high-end ARs and other such tactical carbines. What I'm asking is if you think a high end tactical carbine is really best for a defense type situation, considering the reality of the scenario and the possible aftermath.

NeuseRvrRat
March 4, 2012, 09:03 PM
What I'm asking is if you think a high end tactical carbine is really best for a defense type situation, considering the reality of the scenario and the possible aftermath.

what's best for me isn't what's best for the next guy and so on.

i will never understand why folks come on here, ask a question, and then wanna argue when they don't get the answer they wanted.

Cal-gun Fan
March 4, 2012, 09:10 PM
what's best for me isn't what's best for the next guy and so on.

i will never understand why folks come on here, ask a question, and then wanna argue when they don't get the answer they wanted.

Of course not. That being said, plenty of people come on here for advice on which rifle for whichever purpose, often times it is for HD, and often times expensive rifles are recommended.
No need to be snide, I'm just wondering what the idea behind some of the other views are because I didn't really get it.

tahoe2
March 4, 2012, 09:42 PM
16" barrel levergun in a pistol caliber(.38spl/.357mag, 44spl/44mag, 45 lc, etc...) makes a great hd gun(10 shots)
or a camp carbine(9mm, 45acp) from Marlin also works, and I believe they use S&W magazines but I'm not sure on that.
just my .02 cents

Chindo18Z
March 4, 2012, 10:24 PM
What I'm asking is if you think a high end tactical carbine is really best for a defense type situation, considering the reality of the scenario and the possible aftermath.

And the answer to your question is yes...in the sense that you can't really predict with any exactitude how a defensive situation will go down. You can imagine likelihoods, but you have no control over worst case scenarios...other than using your abilities, attitude, and equipment choices to best effect.

The reality of a defensive situation is that someone may die. The aftermath is absolutely irrelevant if it happens to be you. All other outcomes are of secondary importance.

Any reasonable edge that you can give yourself is advantageous. A high end tactical carbine does in fact give you an edge. You may not need it. You may not use it. But it's there. Even if 75% of the high-end carbines in civilian possession are overly accessorized hobby guns...they are still superlative defensive arms.

Reduced to a simple question of equipment choice...will any firearm suffice for self defense (including a Hi-Point carbine)? Sure.

However, the AR is the professional's tool of choice for war, law enforcement, and self defense. In the Intelligence Analysis world...that's called an Indicator.

The fact that you can use a lesser performing weapon for defense is not a convincing argument for doing so. It's merely a choice.

gatorjames85
March 4, 2012, 10:29 PM
In the event that I have to use deadly force to defend my family, I am not going to be worried about whether I lose my entire gun collection, let alone one rifle (no matter how expensive).

buckhorn_cortez
March 4, 2012, 10:31 PM
Good HD round that would make target aquisition and follow up shots easy, wouldn't overpenetrate, and wouldn't deafen you. Most of all-its inexpensive, so its not a huge problem if you lost it. What do you all think?

Sounds like you've never shot a gun indoors without hearing protection. I have, and I can tell you that any gun will temporarily cause impaired hearing. Other than a paint ball gun, BB gun, or pellet gun there is NO gun that "wouldn't deafen you."

If losing the gun is your personal biggest worry, then you pick the gun that you wouldn't mind losing permanently. If you want a rifle in a repeater - get a lever action in .44 magnum. If you want a shotgun - get an inexpensive pump. If you want a pistol, get something like a Glock, XDm, or S&W M&P. If you want a revolver, get a Ruger Redhawk in .357 or .44 magnum.

Me personally? I'll grab whatever's handy including my Wilson Supergrade. If I need to protect myself, cost isn't even a factor.

What do I keep in my bedroom? An FN SLP and a S&W .44 Special. What do I take in my car? A SIG P290. Thinking of adding a S&W M&P 9mm compact or an XDm compact .45 single stack.

The main criterion are to use firearms that you are familiar with, practice with regularly, and are confident they will work when needed. I'm not sure where cost fits into the choice.

firesky101
March 4, 2012, 10:32 PM
AR's can be had for under $600. I choose one for HD for the predictability of high velocity rifle round behavior. Nothing wrong with other options, but with my life on the line, the difference between $200 and $1000 does not seem like a lot.

allaroundhunter
March 4, 2012, 10:32 PM
To me, it seems as if a Hi-Point carbine would be an ideal choice. Good HD round that would make target aquisition and follow up shots easy, wouldn't overpenetrate

The 5.56 round will overpenetrate less than JHP handgun rounds....And I keep an AR on hand because I have it for other purposes as well, it just also happens to be a great HD gun

I also don't see why you are worrying about your gun after you have just had to shoot another human being to protect yourself and/or your family....I will be thankful that my family and I are still alive. If I have to buy another gun so be it.

NG VI
March 4, 2012, 10:44 PM
There are lots of very good basic ARs in the $600-1000 range. At the bottom end, that's about double the cost of the high-point for a rifle in a more capable anti-personnel caliber that also is less likely to pass through an exterior wall intact.

A rifle that also holds more than three times the ammunition is cheap, ubiquitous magazines, has easy and solid mounting for any type of sight, optical or mechanical, electronic or inert, can be steadily improved with higher quality parts as time goes by, and is known to be fairly accurate even in baseline models. And is a lot of fun. And has the control layout all other service and fighting type rifles have striven to emulate.

Doesn't seem like all that much worse on the wallet than a High-Point, given what you get.

If your budget absolutely cannot tolerate a $500+ dollar gun and keeping defense ammunition of a separate caliber than your carry gun, then the High-Point is very much a serviceable weapon, by all accounts they are reliable and more accurate than you'd expect. But objectively, a decent budget AR is a better defense weapon.

Girodin
March 4, 2012, 10:55 PM
is that type of firearm still the best choice?

The general proposition of choosing something less expensive over something more effective to defend myself with based on possible confiscation and possible damage or delay in its return, is so wrongheaded to me it borders on the ridiculous. My AR with do dads on it is worth over $2K. $2k is worth much much less than my life. I want the weapon I am the most proficient with and that is otherwise best for the task. If it is a good shoot in most JX the gun will come back to you, assuming it was taken. My defensive firearms are working guns. They get scratched up training and shooting. Avoiding extra scratches is not worth more than my life. I probably wouldn't use some heirloom or collectors piece (but I wouldn't use them anyways because I wouldn't want to put them through the wear and tear of training) but I can buy another Noveske.

Furthermore, as others have pointed out one can get a good AR, say a PSA for around $600. The threat of losing $400 more than I might motivating me to pick an inferior weapon is inane, plain and simple.

The OPs line of logic would tend to push one towards keeping no gun at all. After all, simply having a lawyer consult with you and accompany you to a police interview will cost you $400 an hour. If you are sued civilly you are looking an many thousands of dollars. If you are charged criminally you are looking at $60K and up in attorneys fees.

All that makes a $600 AR, or even a $2000 one, look like peanuts.

Sounds like you've never shot a gun indoors without hearing protection. I have, and I can tell you that any gun will temporarily cause impaired hearing. Other than a paint ball gun, BB gun, or pellet gun there is NO gun that "wouldn't deafen you."

Sounds like you have shot a limited selection of firearms indoors and not really though through your statement. Any number of suppressed firearms firing subsonic ammo will not deafen you one bit. Your contention about 'NO gun" is completely incorrect.

That said a hi point carbine may not deafen you to the same extent as an AR but if you touch one off indoors it will still deafen you to some degree.


Having owned both an AR and hi point carbine I wouldn't say a hi point couldn't be used for home defense but I would much rather have my AR. Heck given that the highpoint only has reliable 10 round mags I think I would rather have a $250 shotgun with 8 rounds of 00 buck if I was simply trying to keep a cheap gun on hand. That said I do think a PCC would be better than a shotgun for many users.

MistWolf
March 5, 2012, 10:39 AM
I'm kind of curious as to the mindset of a lot of people on this website when applied to home defense firearms, especially rifles. I see many people recommend high end AR's or comparable quality rifles. When you consider that, if they are actually used (god forbid) in a HD type shooting, the firearm will be taken for evidence and you have no assurances as to when it will be returned or how it will be treated in that time, is that type of firearm still the best choice? To me, it seems as if a Hi-Point carbine would be an ideal choice. Good HD round that would make target aquisition and follow up shots easy, wouldn't overpenetrate, and wouldn't deafen you. Most of all-its inexpensive, so its not a huge problem if you lost it. What do you all think?

What is a "high dollar" AR? $2000? $1500? $1000?

I wouldn't use a HiPoint to defend the life of my family or myself unless it was the last resort. Most would go "bang" when needed but not one I bought. HiPoints are made to be "carried a lot and shot a little". I don't believe any firearm I trust my life to should be shot a little and it wouldn't take long for me to wear out a HiPoint. My favorite handgun, one I do trust my life to had 500 rounds put through it before I got it home and has been shot quite a bit more in the years since.

Not all self defense shootings result in the confiscation of the weapon used. Even so, when a person finds themselves in a fight for their life or the life of a loved one, sacrifices will be made and the world forever changed. That's the price we pay for surviving

JustinJ
March 5, 2012, 10:41 AM
If one should limit their HD gun's price based on possible confiscation wouldn't the same then be true for a carry gun? Cop guns are confiscated after shootings also so shouldn't they then follow the same principle? Of course not because the advantages a weapon offers in defesnive situation are all that matters, assuming it's a legally owned weapon. Until i see a cop or soldier carrying a hipoint i'll never choose it as the gun my life could depend on. I do think the rifle caliber indoors is a valid concern though. True, any gun will deafen you but a rifle caliber will certainly disorient more than a pistol from a long gun. IMO, the best HD rifle is a 5.56 semi auto with a can although there are potential legal concerns of using a NFA in a HD shooting. One thing i think is a good idea for a HD AR is to have a bolt with low round count that is installed when one gets home from the range. A bolt failure at the range is an inconvenience. A bolt failure in a HD situation could be much worse.

Sam1911
March 5, 2012, 10:53 AM
You're missing my point. There are plenty of inexpensive firearms that are very reliable. 12 Gauge pumps, hi-point carbines, etc. Its just that, in plenty of threads, I've seen people recommend high-end ARs and other such tactical carbines. What I'm asking is if you think a high end tactical carbine is really best for a defense type situation, considering the reality of the scenario and the possible aftermath.
It's your life you're defending. If it isn't, you'd better not have a gun in your hands.

Use whatever weapon you can make the MOST, MOST accurate hits with, FASTEST. Nothing else really matters.

To get to the goal of being able to make the most, most accurate, and fastest hits you possibly can, you should be shooting as much as possible. That tends to indicate a decent quality firearm that is comfortable and ergonomic to shoot. Something that you will shoot a lot in training and practice (and competition won't hurt you, either). Becoming proficient with your training, practice, and competition gun -- but then buying a $200 plastic "disposable" weapon for self-defense -- just seems completely backward.

Analogy: "I drive a $50,000 sedan with seven airbags, 5-star rated crumple zones, and best-in-class driver survivability ratings. But if I'm going to get hit by a tractor-trailer, I'd rather be on a moped. It'd be cheaper to replace the moped." :scrutiny:

Orkan
March 5, 2012, 11:09 AM
There is a 18" barreled shotgun in virtually every room of my house loaded with 2-3/4" #4 buckshot. I pity the fool comes through our door with ill intention. Remington 870's and Mossberg pump's with a couple benelli's for good measure. Everyone in my house is very familiar with them and their locations.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is as lethal as a shotgun inside of 10yds. It doesn't matter what the attacker is wearing, or what position they are in, a shotgun can be leveled accurately in half a second with point-and-shoot ease. It doesn't matter where you hit them, they will be incapacitated at the least.

I've had this argument with people at matches before. They all scream bloody murder BS. Yet when I have them put up some IPSC cardboard in various unknown locations and run through it with my 18" benelli M2 without ever shouldering the shotgun, the critics are silenced.

In a home defense scenario, you need something that you can use effectively when you are awaken from a dead sleep.

If a shotgun with 2-3/4 4buck is lethal on a coyote at 150yds... It should work on a person at less than 10yds.

Lee D
March 5, 2012, 11:13 AM
im curios how many BGs have ever got up and ran off/continued to fight after a couple rounds of buckshot when hit center of mass? im betting very very few.

Orkan
March 5, 2012, 11:22 AM
http://www.brassfetcher.com/12%20gauge%20number%20four%20buckshot.pdf

Take a look at that. Would be unlikely, if not impossible, for anyone to live if hit in the chest.

thezoltar
March 5, 2012, 11:25 AM
"Sounds like you have shot a limited selection of firearms indoors and not really though through your statement. Any number of suppressed firearms firing subsonic ammo will not deafen you one bit. Your contention about 'NO gun" is completely incorrect."

While you are technically correct, in the context of 99.9999999% of gun owners I think Buckhorn was more correct in his statement. We're talking about Hi Points here...do you really think expensive suppression is really going to be a player in this conversation?

Orkan
March 5, 2012, 11:32 AM
Food for thought:

55gr 223 @ 3000fps = 1099.41 ft/lbs of impact energy.

Now a typical 2-3/4" load of #4 buckshot will have 27 pellets of #4 buckshot weighing 20gr ea for a total of 550gr

550gr @ 1250fps = 1908.7 ft/lbs of impact energy. That is nearly twice that of the 223, and then there is the 27 different pellets which will average to about 18 different wound channels.

Yet the slow velocity and dispersion of the pattern at distance will ensure you don't accidentally kill the neighbors.

For home defense, the shotgun with #4 buckshot has no equal.

Sam1911
March 5, 2012, 11:34 AM
We seem to be drifting into a conversation about shotguns. The OP specifically chose to compare Hi-Point carbines with AR-15 and similar rifle-caliber carbines.

Shotguns may be a reasonable alternative, but I don't think there's much need to debate the possibility of scoring a compelling hit with one. Let's take that as a given and move on.

Orkan
March 5, 2012, 01:34 PM
Sorry bout that Sam. :)

I guess if I were forced to use something other than a shotgun, I'd go with a reputable handgun that has a reputation for never (ever) failing. Then I'd vet it myself by putting 500rnds through it or so. If it didn't jam, I'd go with it and set aside the remainder of that case of ammo for it. Doesn't mean it won't jam on shot 501... but at least I'll feel better having run it through the paces and broke it in a bit.

I just couldn't see trusting my life to something like a hipoint. If it goes bang when you need it, I'm sure it would be fine... but I'm kind of spoiled on higher end stuff, both rifle and handgun. The minute details could mean the difference between me dying or the attacker dying. Just too much on the line to leave to chance.

Sheepdog1968
March 5, 2012, 03:06 PM
Cost of firearm and how you preceive that is a function of what you earn. I know some folks who buy new and drive expensive autos from Germany and others who buy very used and well worn domestic autos. For some folks a $2K firearm isnt something they consider that expensive.

Teachu2
March 5, 2012, 06:47 PM
I happen to own several of the firearms mentioned in this thread - HiPoint .45acp carbine, S&W M&P 15 Sport, Mossberg 500 12 ga, and several others. I live in an upper-middle class neighborhood that is bordered by rural/ag land and a state highway. Our half-acre is narrow but deep, and my workshop sits at the back of the lot, with a drainage sump behind it. I'm located in a conservative island in the liberal swamp of California.

Given that, for my particular HD needs, I'll reach for my 1911 every time. It has lasergrips, which intimidate pretty effectively, especially at night. It's also the weapon I have the most experience with, shoot the most often, and shoot the best with. It will either be in my hand or my waistband every time.

We get our share of feral dogs, being at the edge of town. If my dogs are going nuts and I don't know why, the 12 ga is in hand. #4 buck is very effective.

If my wife has to deal with a home invasion, she'll have the HiPoint - major stopping power with minor recoil. The 12 ga is too brutal for her.

Given the laws in this state, I'd have a very hard time explaining why I needed to use deadly force on someone who was 50-100 yards away. For up-close and personal, I prefer a handgun - but in a crisis, I'll grab whatever is closest and use it effectively. The point is to eliminate the threat without collateral casualties.

Home Defense doesn't mean Home Warfare, at least here. It's not even HOME defense - it's HUMAN OCCUPANT defense. Pretty hard to defend myself against criminal charges and civil suits if I take a 75 yard shot from the back door at the crackhead breaking into my shop.

allaroundhunter
March 5, 2012, 07:09 PM
Given the laws in this state, I'd have a very hard time explaining why I needed to use deadly force on someone who was 50-100 yards away. For up-close and personal, I prefer a handgun - but in a crisis, I'll grab whatever is closest and use it effectively. The point is to eliminate the threat without collateral casualties.

Home Defense doesn't mean Home Warfare, at least here. It's not even HOME defense - it's HUMAN OCCUPANT defense. Pretty hard to defend myself against criminal charges and civil suits if I take a 75 yard shot from the back door at the crackhead breaking into my shop.

No one said anything about shooting from 50-100 yards.....

x_wrench
March 5, 2012, 07:30 PM
well CalGunFan, i tend to agree with you. if i have to use a firearm in my home for defensive reasons (and those chances are slim) i would not use the most expensive gun in the house for it. i shoot my guns quite a bit, so i know that all of them will work. if there was one that did not, it would be in the gunsmith shop, or be apart waiting for parts. but certainly if i was going to buy a gun for such a reason, i would not spend thousands of dollars on the gun and accessories so it could (or if ) it came back beat to snot, full of rust, dented scratched or any number of things that could happen to it. remember, it is in the police impound. ANYTHING could happen to it while it is there, including, disappear. but whatever i chose to use, i would be absolutely certain it would operate correctly when you need it. a minimum of 200 rounds of trouble free shooting should be good. that means that if you shot 160 rounds, and it malfunctioned, you start right back to zero. repeating untill you can shoot 200 trouble free rounds consecutively. from what i have read about hi points, there seem to be quite reliable. butt ugly, but reliable. so if you do purchase one, just make sure it works before you need it. of course, i would say that if you just bought the top of the line Wilson Combat or Kimber 1911 also. there is no mechanical device on the face of this planet that works perfectly 100% of the time.

greenlion
March 5, 2012, 07:54 PM
You choose your defensive firearm based on whether you would be upset about the money loss if it was taken away from you as evidence after it saved your life....... maybe you should just carry a stick... There's dozens of those suckers laying out in the woods... for free.

Teachu2
March 5, 2012, 08:02 PM
Quote:
Given the laws in this state, I'd have a very hard time explaining why I needed to use deadly force on someone who was 50-100 yards away. For up-close and personal, I prefer a handgun - but in a crisis, I'll grab whatever is closest and use it effectively. The point is to eliminate the threat without collateral casualties.

Home Defense doesn't mean Home Warfare, at least here. It's not even HOME defense - it's HUMAN OCCUPANT defense. Pretty hard to defend myself against criminal charges and civil suits if I take a 75 yard shot from the back door at the crackhead breaking into my shop.

No one said anything about shooting from 50-100 yards.....
__________________


Sure I did - sorry I didn't effectively communicate my point, which is that center-fire rifle cartridges in general are not the best choice for home defense, even though they can be very effective. Since this is the rifle forum, it seems reasonable to address the scenario by including ranges at which a rifle WOULD be the best choice, especially as the OP expressly mentioned proponents of high-end ARs for home defense.

I have no prejudice against high-end ARs, or any other firearm, based on price - but I believe that there are far better weapons available for home defense. OTOH, if all you have is an AR, that IS the best available.

allaroundhunter
March 5, 2012, 08:04 PM
Sure I did - sorry I didn't effectively communicate my point, which is that center-fire rifle cartridges in general are not the best choice for home defense, even though they can be very effective. Since this is the rifle forum, it seems reasonable to address the scenario by including ranges at which a rifle WOULD be the best choice, especially as the OP expressly mentioned proponents of high-end ARs for home defense.

For what reasons is an AR a bad choice? It has a greater stopping power than a handgun, and offers less overpenetration, follow up shots are just as fast or faster than a pistol, and they are very accurate.

proven
March 5, 2012, 08:06 PM
teacahu2, the 5.56 is a very effective HD round with less overpenetration issues than most pistol rounds. what do you consider better?

Teachu2
March 5, 2012, 09:21 PM
Guns I consider superior to the AR for home defense:
1) A double-action revolver in .38 or larger caliber, points going to larger. Limit velocity, maximize bullet weight. Under stress, all the homeowner needs to remember is to pull the trigger. No safety, no racking one in, no accidentally dropping the magazine....
2) 12 ga pump shotgun, #4 buck. Simple to use, easy to shoot. Lots of pellets, and the muzzle is HUGE when you're in front of it.
3) 12 ga shotgun, double barrel, #4 buck.
4) A DA auto pistol, as big as they can handle. Easier to navigate through a house with, easier to escape a house with, only requires one hand in a pinch, easier to enter a car and escape or drag along a spouse/child/grandchild.
5) A SA auto pistol, as big as they can handle. Same, but you have to cock it, and increased risk of AD.

2,3,4 and 5 are soimewhat interchangable - depends on experience.

The AR is a fine platform, as is the AK and variants of both. It would be the top of my list of center-fire rifles. It does, however, require a skillset (and associated practice) that is greater than the others. Sure, SWAT teams use them in close quarters (which is where home defense happens), but a simple survey of most LE agencies whould show that officers all carry a handgun, mostly have quick access to a shotgun, and rarely have anything else.

ARs are like great cars (your choice of a new Corvette, Porsche, Maserati, etc) in that they do several things very well - but to claim one of them is the best for hauling gravel or towing travel trailers is .... well, you know!

proven
March 5, 2012, 10:11 PM
i'm not sure the skillset required for an ar is greater than the others.

double action revolvers probably require more practice than any other platform to shoot accurately.

shotguns have there limitations, due to size/weight and capacity.

d/a pistols are fine, but why do you have to cock a s/a pistol? 1911...condition 1. really pretty simple.

i'll admit my nightstand is occupied by either a 3"gp100 with 38spl+p, or a g19 with +p, but if there were time, even within the home, i wouldn't hesitate to grab my ar.

the value of which firearm i choose has no bearing whatsoever. surviving is my primary focus. everything else pales in comparison.

Teachu2
March 6, 2012, 12:10 AM
Glad you mentioned that - I kept leaving out the ability to carry it on your person at all times, or in a gun vault by the bed. Shotgun loses on those, too...

If I could only have one gun for defense, it would be a 1911 in 45. Why? Because that's the handgun that I shoot best. I ran close to 30K rounds through them before I got married, then went years without firing one - and still was able to shoot very, very well with one the first time back. I love a good S&W revolver, but I still shoot a 1911 better. It's also the gun most likely to be at hand at any given moment. I've never tucked a shotgun, carbine, or rifle in my waistband to go anywhere on or off my property....

OTOH, if some meth-head is trying to break my front door down and my AR is out and loaded, while all my 1911s are (fill this in - I can't think of a plausible scenario) THEN the AR just moved to #1.

Teachu2
March 6, 2012, 12:44 AM
Getting back to the original post, cost for a home defense gun is not a factor to most posters here. The 1911s I'd trust to defend our lives all retail for more than a basic AR.

We can argue the virtues of our favorite platforms forever, and it doesn't change the basics. To be an effective home defender, you need three things.
1. Availability of a functional weapon with sufficient capability to take a life at the needed distance
2. The skillset to apply that deadly force faster than your opponent(s) and
3. The capability to make the proper decision to take a life without hesitation.

As the tragic event last week proved, a .22 pistol CAN meet the first requirement. The .223 and .45 both certainly can. Availability (as in I need to have it in my hand(s) NOW becomes an issue. The skillset can be learned, for all the weapons mentioned - it just takes practice, practice, and practice.

The third requirement is the hard one - especially once you have children. The knowledge that you will be ending the life of someone's son/daughter/brother/sister/husband/wife/father/mother is a heavy load - as well it should be.

The gun you shoot well and most is usually your best bet.

Dr.Rob
March 6, 2012, 04:51 AM
If I had to grab a rifle for defense No doubt I would use the one I practice with the most. And that happens to be a Colt 6920.

I hope the LAST thing on my mind would be 'will I get this back' as opposed to 'is there a real threat, am I clear to fire if I have to.. should I fire'.. which could take a as little as a second or two. And those are NOT concerns I want to get wrong.

My rifle was expensive and might be tough to replace. That's nothing compared to the gravity of the situation at hand and the other aspects of the aftermath of an SD shooting.

sixgunner455
March 6, 2012, 10:30 AM
Things the AR has going for it that trump other weapons:

1- It is easier for most people to shoot a rifle accurately than a pistol.
2- Shot-to-shot recovery is much faster for most people than a shotgun.
3- It holds more rounds than pistols and shotguns.
4- It recoils much less than a shotgun.
5- It is more powerful than any reasonable handgun.
6- Overpenetration is less than the average handgun, or a shotgun loaded with slugs (different sizes of buck are another story). That seems counterintuitive, due to the fact that it is a high velocity centerfire rifle, but testing proves it. The bullet upset, due to the high impact velocity, means that it stays inside human bodies more often than not, and does not carry up through as many layers of common housing material as the solid, heavier pistol bullets can.

I have a shotgun. It is for hunting birds, and maybe rabbits.

I have pistols. They are for carrying about, and are certainly much more convenient than any rifle or shotgun. I carry one every day. So what? We are talking about the efficacy of a rifle for HD vs. its cost, not its convenience for carrying around. In HD, I will have a pistol in my pocket or waistband, but I can easily have a rifle behind the door without causing me any discomfort or concealment problems.

I don't care how much the rifle or other weapon costs. If I need to use it, I will. Replacement cost is the last consideration that will cross my mind - right about the time some officer puts it in his trunk in an evidence bag.

JShirley
March 6, 2012, 10:35 AM
Hi-Point carbine would be an ideal choice...wouldn't overpenetrate

As allaround hunter and other have pointed out, well-chosen 5.56mm penetrates less in structures than handgun JHP, while also destroying considerably more tissue in live targets.

I grew up using shotguns almost exclusively for hunting, and after having seen the effects of both shotguns and rifles on game, I reach for a rifle for anything large. I absolutely do not agree that at close range, a shotgun will more decisively down something large than a rapidly expanding rifle round. Anyone with good training will automatically fire twice at a dangerous threat, if they have the time and leisure (multiple threats may be present), even when using a longarm; I know with certainty I can fire two accurate rounds from an AR15 faster than anything else, except a .22LR.

I believe a carefully selected rifle round is in fact the ideal home defense load, and it need not be from an AR. A frequently fired deer rifle without an over-long barrel, with a light-for-caliber expanding round, is a fine choice.

The AR15-style carbine is the 2nd easiest firearm to learn to shoot well, being surpassed only by single-shot external safety-less rifles. It is considerably easier to learn to shoot well than 12 gauge shotguns loaded with buckshot, and several times easier to learn to shoot well than double-action handguns. Handguns are carried because they're convenient, not because they're as effective as longarms. Anyone in a real combat zone carrying a sidearm has it for one of 3 reasons:

1) they're not a combat troop;
2) it's backup to a longarm;
3) they're vehicle crew

No-one seeks to engage real enemy with a handgun. No one.

John

Rifleman 173
March 6, 2012, 10:45 AM
Calguns, how about trying an AK in .223 caliber? It should have either a folding stock or a collapsing stock on it. Also mount a 4 X scope with illuminated reticles on it and you should be good to go. It is a good reliable weapons system that costs about half of an AR or M-4 clone. Is that what you are seeking?

JShirley
March 6, 2012, 10:56 AM
A 4x illuminated reticle scope + .223 folding-stock AK does NOT equal $400*, and lots of ARs can be had for less than $800.

Further, a 4X scope is a bad choice for HD. Any scope over 2X is a bad choice for HD, unless it's a variable that drops to 2X or lower.

*probably more like just under or at what decent AR15s start for

John

Driftertank
March 6, 2012, 10:59 AM
I'm of the old fashioned mindset that nothing beats a good old fashioned 12ga pump for home defense/CQB.

S&B 12 pellet 00 buck...it's like a mag-dump from a .32 caliber pistol with every pull of the trigger.

SpeedAKL
March 6, 2012, 12:11 PM
Questions I asked myself, in order of priority:
1. Do I know how to use it well?
2. Is it reliable?
3. Does it have an appropriate level stopping power? (i.e. will it reliably drop a BG without massive over-penetration given my living situation?)
4. Is it easy to shoot accurately, quickly?
5. Is the size, weight, etc appropriate for my living situation?

FIVETWOSEVEN
March 6, 2012, 12:33 PM
To me a HD rifle should be reletively short and fire a small caliber round like 5.56 and 5.45. Frangilble ammo seems to be highly recommended but I have no experience with it. I put an AK 74 on order today to replace the shotgun I recently sold.

On a side topic, does anyone have any experience with Hornady VMax 60 Gr 5.45 x 39?

dom1104
March 6, 2012, 12:57 PM
When my life is on the line, my childrens lives, and the wife I promised to protect is counting on me...



I am going to cheap out and depend on anything less than the best?

Negative Ghost - Rider.

Daniel Defense lightweight FSPM w/ DD rear sight, aimpoint h1, and phantom stainless 5.56 suppressor, lightweight GI web sling, qd sockets for and aft.

Total Cost $2200.

Peace of mind knowing that I have trained, competed with, and the gun is 100% flawless?

Priceless.

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