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Best Home Defense Rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Smitty79, Jun 29, 2016.

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  1. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Member

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    I would like to agree as they have some distinct advantages, but owning two of them, I must say they just are not near as reliable as my ARs - which are functionally flawless. I have had a few problems with factory FN magazine reliability using FN ammo, and American Eagle ammo has proven completely unreliable.
     
  2. Trent

    Trent Member

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    What generation trigger pack do you have? I've got over 8,000 rounds of FN through mine and not a single malfunction. It has a first gen trigger pack with the .. ahem, "safety sear". :)

    Heck I trust that PS90 to go bang more than any other rifle I own, including my Kalashnikovs.

    As far as magazines go are you running FN 50 round or are you running FN w/ an aftermarket follower? I *did* have a problem with a 30 rounder that I put an aftermarket follower in to increase it to 50, but it was the follower causing my woes; I've never had jams with a 100% FN mag. Not once.

    That American Eagle crap is horrible though. I won't run it - only time mine will jam. The noses are too rounded and they impact the feed ramp (what little feed ramp there is), which causes the bullets to set back and / or jam. They are not just annoying, they are 100% completely unsafe, IMO.
     
  3. AlfonsDeWolf

    AlfonsDeWolf Member

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    For me lighting off a .223 at 8' contact distance is just insanity. It's a military designed cartridge for far greater distance. Why not a .410 Brennekke? Short distance needs no rifling hence no rifle. But still, if a .223 is good at 300 yds a .22 mag at 2000 ft/sec should be great at 8 feet. Just ramblin.....
     
  4. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The military type approved the XM177 in 1965 for doing exactly what we describe, fighting at distances of less than 8'. It remains the weapon of choice as the MK18 and CQBR for shipboarding and clearing urban infrastructure.

    Observe CAREFULLY what your local SWAT/SERT teams use - it's all about SBR's and pistols, with possibly one shotgun set up for the point man to breach hardware on doors. It's about SHORT weapons that can negotiation 30" hallways and 24" doorways. It's about RIFLE cartridge weapons which can be deliberately shot thru the typically flimsy sheetrock American construction to hit the intruders on the other side - you turn what they thought was cover into useless concealment. It's about HIGH CAPACITY magazines which hold at least 20 rounds if not more.

    There is also the duty grade/professional level requirement of the weapon having a last shot bolt or slide hold open which signals and speeds magazine changes without any need to rack the gun.

    That's what the "cavalry" will bring to the fight and you don't want to be in there when they start shooting.

    That brings up the tactics of the whole situation and the focus on the gun as a last ditch defensive tool because the outer HOME DEFENSES were a completer failure. But - gun forum. We don't discuss common sense or what should be done first, we discuss what gun to use because Fail.

    Buying a gun is the last ditch answer. But at least examine what the pro's use and why, rather than try to pretty up a sporting gun better suited for a days hunt in the field. I built an AR PISTOL, 10.5" barrel, 30 round mags with 70 gr OTM ammo. It avoids the SBR registration with the ATF knowing what address it's housed at and the restrictions on carry and travel, too. It has the necessary shortness, the absence of a stock makes almost no difference at 8' shooting distances, and if I were to improve it one more step, having a binary trigger to fire on pull and release to get 400 rpm would be the next step - not a suppressor. I can put on a set of active electronic muffs which amplify low level noise and improve my awareness.

    I won't have the time?

    Right, we all wake up to someone holding a knife to our throat. If I have the time to flee to the back of the house to a safe room and get to the rifle/shotgun/carbine, I have enough time. Otherwise I should be carrying a pistol 24/7 IN THE HOME, which means I can initiate an armed response immediately. Goes to the point, if the gun isn't on you, then you are already having the same issues with mindset that prompted you to open the door to let an intruder in - which happens most of the time . . .

    Home defense isn't really about the gun as the solution but that's what we narrowly focus on here.
     
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Tirod, remember the ST&T forum. :)
     
  6. azrocks

    azrocks Member

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    Think... harder...
    There are many reasons for the increased adoption of 5.56 caliber weapons, but shooting through drywall is most certainly not one of them. To start, SWAT teams don't usually make a habit of shooting through walls into unassessed spaces. Second, high velocity 5.56 rounds are much more likely to yaw & fragment through building materials. Slow heavy rounds - like those from a handgun or buckshot from a shotgun, are more likely to stay together through walls and have the mass to maintain their momentum. Third... anything can go through drywall. Indeed, one of the benefits this round offers LE is minimum concern for hitting people in adjacent structures. I know it seems counterintuitive, but it's a tested fact.

    There aren't too many modern magazine-fed weapons I'm aware of that don't have a bolt-hold-open mechanism. It's not exactly limited to the uber-tactical warrior crowd.

    How do you know the OP or anyone else in this thread hasn't thought of those issues as well. Yeah, it is a gun forum. And this is a specific thread on home defense guns. So it kind of makes sense that we're actually discussing guns. I'm sure a thread on home defenses would be a big hit though. I suggest you create one, and name it "Home Defense". That way we can let this thread continue on as it was intended.

    Suppressors not only reduce noise, they reduce flash as well. That's a benefit in the dark. And if you're not the only person in the house, they prevent your entire family from being deafened by your gunshots.

    At least some models will make it difficult to determine what direction sounds are coming from. Also, they won't necessarily amplify low-level noise. In general, they amplify certain frequency ranges (like the range covering human voice) while attenuating low-to-mid ranges.

    It's possible you'll have time. It's possible you won't. Personally I'd rather have my sound-suppression already on the end of my barrel (or incorporated into it) rather than require it to be something else I need to grab & deploy in the middle of the night when danger comes calling.
     
  7. Browning

    Browning Member

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    I'd have a BCM 11.5" inch 1/7 twist AR with select-fire, I'd use a Surefire can, Surefire or Streamlight weapons light, an Aimpoint T1 Micro red dot sight and an American Defense 100% co-witness mount, Lancer mags and I'd use 75 gr. Hornady T2 BTHP's or 69 gr. SMK's.

    So basically the AR pistol I have now, just with a stock instead of a brace or a bare buffer tube, with a giggle-switch for controlled bursts and a suppressor without all the NFA hassle.

    Within 60 yards and in those rds will open up with that length of barrel and I wouldn't have to use electronic ears in the house to protect my hearing.

    Those 75 grain Hornady T2 BTHP's and 69 grain SMK's really do a number on deer and hogs, so I figure they'd work on burglars and home invaders of the same approximate weight and size.
     
  8. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    I recently found a way to make it even tinier & lighter, too, while also making it a lot easier to sight through an Eotech;

    aad36616-b64f-4dfb-8e22-b479cb3d83e2_zps2420igp0.jpg

    Will still have the anteater barrel for the time being, but once the stamp clears, I'll have an extremely effective little deterrent, for sure. I just hope I can do a good enough job on the barrel that I can still plink at gongs 200 yards away :cool:

    TCB
     
  9. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Given the diverse environments where that "home" might be located, there can be no single answer to this question.

    At my home in the suburbs, my home defense gun is a Smith & Wesson revolver loaded with Glazer Safety Slugs so that if I ever have to use the gun and miss, I don't kill a family member on the other side of the wall and if I do hit the target, the wound will be large and shallow thus maximizing the likelihood the target will be taken out of the fight but still live to stand trial.

    When I go to my retirement property in the country, where there is no open area larger than 200 yards, I coincidentally (given the ad in post #23) carry a 5.7mm Johnson Carbine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  10. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    If cost really was no object? A Colt XM-177.

    I built a faux-m177 that is light, handy, with the original A1 sights and an M1 carbine sling. It's as simple as an AR gets without being an SBR. It wasn't built to shoot much past 100 yards, I built it as a 'house' gun, a dedicated short range carbine.
     
  11. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    In my experience, a pump shotgun is more likely to experience a stoppage than a good AR-15, and that's usually due to the user short-stroking the action. I've had more stoppages with my 870 and my 590A1 than I've ever had with any of my ARs.

    As for penetration, buckshot is going to go through WAY more walls than a defensive .223/5.56 load. And thanks to NFA restrictions, an AR can be made shorter than a shotgun; I sold my 18" home-defense 870 mostly because it was just too long to easily maneuver indoors.
     
  12. HankB

    HankB Member

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    My choice for a home defense "rifle" - meaning, a firearm meant to be shot from the shoulder - would be an H&K MP5SD. An integrally suppressed submachinegun that is reliable and easy on the eardrums would seem to be a superlative choice. And - living in TX - it's at least a theoretical possibility with the proper paperwork in place. (The cost - usually in five figures, when one comes up for sale - is a bit off-putting for most people.)

    Budgets being what they are, a semi-automatic SBR with a suppressor is a bit more viable an alternative. (Two tax stamps, I believe.) If it's reliable, something in .300 whisper would seem to be a good choice - a 240 grain bullet that's barely subsonic and destabilizes on impact will strike a fairly conclusive blow.

    Most pistol caliber carbines would also work just fine.
     
  13. tdbmd

    tdbmd Member

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    I have shot a Beretta CX4 Storm carbine a few times and it would make a dandy home defense gun, provided the ranges were less than 100 yards. But if you are talking self defense, then stuff out there at 100 or more yards probably is not really a self defense issue anymore.
     
  14. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Member

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    I have my Beretta Storm carbine set up for HD/zombie duty as well. It's a pretty handy little carbine; very short OAL, like almost bullpup-short. It's very easy to maneuver in tight spaces, very [combat] accurate and extremely easy to shoot well, and mine at least is utterly reliable. As much as I like the gun though I'll concede that it's not ideal...it certainly lacks terminal effect of weapons chambered in 5.56 or .300 Blackout. The only advantage it has over my AR is that it's a lot shorter.

    If NFA wasn't a consideration I suppose my ideal HD rifle would be a suppressed SBR. Maybe an HK416 if the sky is truly the limit. Otherwise I kind of go back and forth on 5.56 vs .300 AAC. Each has some advantages and disadvantages, but either would be very potent medicine. I don't have much interest in FA but since we already said NFA didn't matter why not have the giggle switch?

    In any event I'd set the carbine up like I set up my other long guns. Short VFG as far forward as I get it, white light as close to 12:00 O'clock as I can mount it and a RDS.
     
  15. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    NFA not a concern?

    BCM CQB11 (11.5" barrel, KMR10), X300U-B at 12:00 along with DD irons and an Aimpoint Micro, a Surefire SOCOM RC2 on the front and anything loaded with a TSX in the mags. Oh, and a VCAS stuck on it somewhere.

    Comes in just under $4k, which isn't too bad, all things considered.

    But since I don't do NFA, ditching the can and swapping the CQB11 upper to a 16" RECCE with a KMR13 works for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  16. MP-44

    MP-44 Member

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    If NFA was eliminated: MP-5 with an RDS

    In reality my pick is a 9mm carbine. I have a Sig MPX carbine on the way to my FFL.

    Runner up would be my RMR equipped Benelli M4
     
  17. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer Member

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    Honestly, any well built quality AR 15. A good light mounted to it ,Surefire or Streamlight are my personal picks. An Aimpoint PRO or ACO (or something of equivalent quality and track record). A good plain ol 55 or 62 gr SP and you are well defended. It doesn't have to cost you a couple grand or more to do this. The gun I'll picture has about $1500 in it. It has had Several thousand rounds through it between training and practice with one malfunction to one bad magazine. You could save about $400 off that by getting a S&W M&P Sport ll. Which is a very good rifle. I've seen many in classes run Very well and with superb reliability next to much " higher end" AR's . I'm not saying the higher end guns are not worth it...they are. BCM and DD make some of the very best. But for a great gun that will do the job the S&W Sport is great. The AR in the pic is my M&P MagPul middy. $1500
     

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  18. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    I guess I don't understand spending several hundred dollars, or more, for a rifle to use in a situation that is highly, highly unlikely to happen in the first place. And firing a rifle cartridge in the house???

    Why not just use something that has a more broad, practical application? The same .357 SA that I sometimes carry with me in the pasture and that my wife used for CAS is under my mattress and the other one is on her side of the bed. The .357 lever that keeps coyotes out of the yard and chicken pens is nearby in the closet. If I didn't use either of those I'd likely bring my 40 year old Remington 870TB in and put the 26" IC barrel on it. (And no, it doesn't jam even after 1000's of round of competitive trap as well as sporting clays, skeet, dove, quail and turkey hunting)

    FWIW there are two AR's in my safe, a 16" and a 20", but I don remotely consider them HD tools.

    35W
     
  19. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    Sheriff Jim Wilson would second 35 Whelen's post...

    Sheriff's Tip: Lever Guns for Personal Protection

    For HD, I keep a 16" Rossi 92 in .357 (and the carbine is shorter overall than an 870 shotgun wearing an 18" barrel) that has been slicked, springed, and fully function-tested for over 500 rounds. One defect that presented itself about the 300-rd mark were two cross-drilled pins in the bolt itself that wanted to walk sideways. I sent the bolt to a local 'smith who properly staked them. I also keep a 3" .45ACP 1911-pattern pistol... because "two (firearms) is one and one is none."
     
  20. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I use my rifles more than just when someone breaks in. That's the case for a lot of people with $2k+ rifles. It's not about just dumping money into "the best" for the sake of having it in an emergency. Having something that can deal with weekly use and 1-2k rounds a year is important. The cost of the gun just doesn't factor into my decision when I'm buying something that is going to do more than be a toy.

    So I could certainly get a cheap 357 lever gun for HD, set it up how I want, and devote a lot of money and time into learning the rifle and making sure it runs... But why, when I have the time and familiarity with options that give nothing up to that 357?

    And don't get too comfortable throwing 357 lead all over the place... a 125gr load moving 2000 fps out of a carbine isn't that dissimilar to a 7.62x39 load at 60-75 yards. Knowing where you're shooting is critical no matter what you use.

    Who says no one is using their HD rifles for more than just HD?
     
  21. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Not sure I understand your post? You say you don't understand spending the $ for a better HD weapon and yet own better weapons for HD already (the 16" AR) yet don't use it because the likelyhood is remote? Why did you spend hundreds of dollars on rifle(s) you don't even use for HD or hunting, just to have it? (Perfectly fine w/ me, you are the one saying the cost isn't worth it for a dedicated HD rifle, not me).

    Sure, the chance is remote, and yet if it does happen, wouldn't you want to fight for your life with the best option available? An AR with an RDS and light, is light years ahead of an iron-sighted lever action when it comes to a chaotic, up-close fight in the dark.

    If all you can afford is a do-it-all lever action .357 then great. But if you can get a better dedicated HD weapon, why not?

    Oh, why a rifle for in the home? Better terminal performance with lower recoil and less penetration through walls, at least in the case of 5.56/.223.
     
  22. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    In the spirit of OP, which asked us to opine on the best, without regard to artificial limits, including go to the store an buy one today, I am willing to share.

    Now, my idea of best is no longer available. My idea--like Bannock--centers around the M1 Carbine. Not a Universal, not one of the Johnson's, but one of the formerly ubiquitous, $40-50 each in a surplus barrel Carbines.

    Light, handy, very pointable; pretty mush anyone in the house over 11-12 y/o could be trained up in responsible use in less than a day.

    Ok, blast from the past, not very applicable to today.

    Really, I don't see an ideal answer--the present crop of PCC leaves me flat. HK MP5 or the UMP are good, but, a person really needs some stout training time to really be sharp. Which would be hard to fit in between soccer or t-ball practice.

    So, like as not, it probably needs to be what each of us are most comfortable with. And, that means probably some form of M4 clone--and there'd be much to recommend won ofthe pencil-barrel copies like the M&P -15 ora 6722.

    That's 2¢, you'll need another $3 for coffee at s'bux
     
  23. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    What if you already bought the rifle because you like to shoot it, and its eminent suitability for HD (precision, reserve capacity, limited penetration) is just a plus? I didn't buy my AR strictly for HD, but it certainly serves well for the defensive standby role.

    No worse than firing a short-ish 12-gauge in the house, or a 4" 9mm/.40/.45, and less loud/blasty than firing a .357 revolver. Assuming you don't use a muzzle brake on the .223, of course; a brake will make a .223 almost as loud as a .357 snubbie.

    An AR is just as versatile, though I can see making the lever gun the primary if you shoot it more and are a better shot with it. But all else being equal, the AR is a fine choice also, and no less versatile than the lever gun. Both the lever and the 16" AR would probably be much handier indoors than a 26" shotgun, I'd think.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  24. Zebraranger

    Zebraranger Member

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    Quite a few years ago I bought a CX4 .40 strictly as an enjoyable range gun kind of purchase. After a while, naturally, I became very quick and proficient with it. The wife really liked it and is great with it, enough for it to become one of our go to HD guns. I think as others have mentioned, comfort level, proficiency, and personal circumstances all dictate what the best weapon for HD will be.
     
  25. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker Member

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    Personally I'd want more ammo on tap than a lever gun or shotgun offers. Trained personnel (cops) have a hit rate of 10-15%. If you've only got 6-8 to rounds at the ready there's a good chance you never land one anywhere on the target, much less a vital zone.

    If you have never played paintball or airsoft you should, that'll give you an appreciation of how hard it is to hit someone that doesn't want to be shot, even at close distance. In fact, whatever gun you use for HD/CCW, it might not be a bad idea to buy the airsoft replica and try to recruit a volunteer to play bad guy around the house and you try to shoot them at close distance. You'll miss a lot more than you hit.
     
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