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Semi-automatic assault rifles in self-defense, such as AK-47 and AR-15?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by GuyWithQuestions, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. GuyWithQuestions

    GuyWithQuestions Well-Known Member

    I had a roommate a few years back who owned an AK 47. I think that it would be fun to have either an AK 47 or AR 15 to shoot for fun. My question is, are semi-automatic assault rifles any good for home defense? I want to get something that's perfectly legal, not too expensive (which is all relative), and that would make the Brady Campaign pee their pants if they found that another law abiding citizen just bought whatever it is. What would be a good choice?

    To buy and own a semi-automatic AK-47 or AR-15 in the state of Utah, do you just go through the same process that you would to buy any other gun? Do you have to fill out any special paper work? I've only bought a handgun in my lifetime and of course there's the background check, so I was just wondering if there's anything extra since the Brady Campaign doesn't like AK-47's and AR-15's.

    What would be a good caliber to look for and good price range if you don't want something mediocre, but still reasonable?
  2. Andras

    Andras Well-Known Member

    www.ar15.com, in particular the Utah Hometown forum here (Rocky Mountain States).
  3. ColinthePilot

    ColinthePilot Well-Known Member

    I don't know specifics about laws in UT, but most states consider an AK or AR to be just another semi auto rifle. You run into problems in the northeast and ************, where they have ban lists on certain evil assault rifles. Otherwise, you still have to do the instant background check, assuming you buy from a dealer. I don't know anything about .223 prices since i don't have anything in chambered in it, but 7.62X39 has been almost prohibitively expensive for me lately. I haven't shot my SKS in 4-5 mos. Also, I've heard that overpenetration can be a concern when using an AK or AR for home defense.
  4. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    While I like AR15's, which rifle you choose is purely personal preference. For Ar15's stick with 5.56mmNATO/.223 Rem ammo while you should stick with 7.62x39 for the AKM family of rifles. This makes them cheapest to buy replacement/upgrade parts and magazines rather than dealing with an off-caliber version of either rifle. Also makes them easier to sell if you even need to.

    As to overpenetration, it really depends on whether you live in a high-density location although 5.56mm is not as penetrative as some people "hear".

    Here are two links comparing penetration tests of .40S&W pistol, 12ga lug and .223Rem

  5. Desert Scorpion

    Desert Scorpion Well-Known Member

    Your best bet is to get a smaller caliber. 5.56 and 7.62 rounds used in both the AK-47 and AR over penetrate often and will go right through most of your walls in your house, risky for self defence. I would get an AK-47 Folding stock model for outside use and a shotgun for inside use (if need be it comes to that):what: The Ak-47 is more reliable but less acurate than the AR-15; the AR-15 is less reliable but more accurate:banghead: So choose! Of course there is this new AR-15 pattern that just came out that fixes most reliability issues with the AR-15 Gas system. Take a look more money but better shootin, it is called the LWRC here is the link http://www.eastcoastfirearms.com/gallery/default.asp?parent_id=127&child_id=0&is_gallery=1 .
    Me, I would get a Bushmaster Carbon 15 9mm Carbine, this rifle uses the nice AR-15 Pattern and is chambered for a pistol round in 9mm better for home defence:rolleyes: get this and attach a light to the bottom an E-Otech red dot and BAM!!! here is the link

  6. Desert Scorpion

    Desert Scorpion Well-Known Member

    Here is a list of laws by state given to us by the NRA:) Just click on your state and read, do more reasurch too, look at the web site, then find to more law web sites defining your state law, then make sure to call your local police department and ask them, make sure you get the name of the person that tells you if it is legal or not just for records.

  7. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    So will 9mm, 45 ACP, and 00 Buck.
  8. Desert Scorpion

    Desert Scorpion Well-Known Member

    Come on:banghead: what do you think has more penetration 5.56 or 9mm.:mad:
  9. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    I don't think the bad guy is worried about over penetration... use what you have available and make sure you hit your target.
  10. DrewH

    DrewH Well-Known Member

    FBI tests have shown some common brands of 5.56mm have less penetration than 9mm.
  11. DrewH

    DrewH Well-Known Member

    There are just a rifle in Utah. No paperwork other than whatever Utah makes you fill out for a longgun purchase.

    "Semiautomatic assault rifle" is kind of an oxymoron, incidentally. The proper defnition of an assault rifle is a select fire rifle firing an mid-powered cartridge, i.e. between a pistol and full power rifle cartridge. Not that the Brady campaign cares.
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Well-Known Member

    It's just like buying any other gun. As for if they are any good for home defense, my AR15 is my primary home defense weapon. I recommend taking some classes with it and shooting it often.

    What part of Utah are you in?
  13. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Well-Known Member

    5.56mm has better penetration on a single barrier, but any time it hits an intervening barrier that starts it yawing, penetration drops off rapidly (though not necessarily predictably). Pistol bullets, which are less effected by yawing will retain their energy better.
  14. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    Using the correct ammunition for home defense..ie. hollow points or soft points. The 5.56/.223 has less penetration most of the time than a 9mm hollowpoint and is one of the big reasons why police agencies throughout the country have switched from the MP5 (and like weapons) to 5.56 weapons.

    One of my intstructors in the academy was forced to shoot a bad guy with his short barrelled M4 before he executed a hostage. The shot was from behind at a distance of around 15 feet using a heavy 70+ grain bullet. The round struck the BG in the upper back, deflected somewhat down and broke apart. Two pieces did exit the bad guy and hit the hostage but only caused superficial flesh wounds.
  15. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Luckily penetration is based on physics instead of what I think might happen and we have about two dozen threads discussing this issue in detail. As many others have pointed out, bullet construction plays a bigger role in penetration than caliber.

    All spitzer shaped bullets like to yaw when they strike a mass that is mostly water. The question is usually where the yaw happens. If it happens inside the target, then smaller high velocity rounds can break apart. Because the resulting smaller fragments lose momentum rapidly, they present less of a lethal threat than a larger, slower moving bullet that stays intact and retains momentum.

    Both 7.62x39 and 5.56x45 have bullets that will behave like this; though it is harder to find with 7.62x39 since it is larger and slower (larger means harder to rip apart and more momentum, slower means less force to break down the bullet).

    If you would like more reading on this, the "Terminal Ballistics of .223" thread in the Rifle Forum Reading Library has a large catalogue of gel shots of various rounds. You can compare those to common gel shots at websites like Brassfetcher.com and get an idea of the potential of various rounds for penetration.

    If you are looking for a magic bullet that will reliably stop an adversary but not penetrate several interior walls if you miss, then you are out of luck because it doesn't exist. The best way to avoid overpenetration is to maximize your chances of hitting the target - which for many people means a long gun.
  16. GuyWithQuestions

    GuyWithQuestions Well-Known Member

    RockyMtnTactical, I'm in the Cache Valley area.
  17. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i love the ar series and own one, i would have no reservations about using it in a hd situation, as a matter of fact a fighting rifle would be the best choice. some highly respected people in the gun community/ trainning arena agree. "a handgun is the means to a rifle."

    i say go for the evil black rifle ar and don't look back. some great companies to look t are stag, bushmaster, rra, and if money is no problem then i would look at the www.slr15.com my favoite being the "grail" man i would love to add one of those to the collection.

    as far as ammo for the ar, i would use 55gr fmj for practice and attending training courses which is something else that i highly suggest. for hd/sd i suggest some hornaday tap it will serve you well.

    btw get an ar that is 5.56 this will give you the option of shooting .223 or 5.56.
  18. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Have you not seen ANY of the research on this? Literally hundreds if not thousands of tests prove you wrong on this one.
  19. GuyWithQuestions

    GuyWithQuestions Well-Known Member

    How do the assault rifles compare to hunting long guns in self-defense

    I just had another question. I'm more of a handgun person and don't know as much about rifles. Typically, how to a lot of the assault rifles compare to popular hunting long guns in home defense? I think that the AK-47 would be easier to manuever around than a hunting rifle, for example? How do they compare in deadly force in stopping the imminent lethal threat? Sorry about my ignorance.
  20. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    Just one question...

    *** is a "semi-automatic assault rifle"? :scrutiny:

    (IOW, the anti-gunners have indeed brainwashed the masses.)

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