Ar15 home defense

Hi guys, I run 2 platforms for home defense, a glock 19 and a 16 inch barrel ar15. I wonder what ammo I should use in my AR for home defense? I have like 200 rounds of boat tail hollow points but recently I heard that those actually don’t work the same way as something like a 9mm hollow point, I heard “they will expand in a body but not really.” I was also told that boat tail hollow points are actually for longer distance shooting because those have more stable flight trajectories compared to fmjs. I followed the recommendations of a guy at Academy and bought 2 boxes(40 rounds) of winchester deer season 223 with a gray tip made of lead, guy told me those expand better and the tip is softer so over penetration is less likely. However, those things are 35 a box before tax and are quite expensive for me. Do you guys have better recommendations for 223 or 556 ammo for home defense? Thanks guys!


Hello and welcome @Yusheng . I don’t run an AR for home defense but I know people that run Frangible loads.


The same ■■■■ I run in my Glock 17 and my AR!


Welcome to the Community :handshake:

If you really want to use AR for home defense, simple physic come into the place.
223 rd is so light that after passing though (if it does) it will have not enough energy to penetrate next target behind your threat.
Low mass + high speed = big energy transferred with fast deacceleration.

Usually standard 55gr bullet does the job safely, if you don’t miss.
Even I don’t use long firearms for home defense, if it would happen that I need to use it, I will go with SPEER Gold Dot Personal Protection 223 REM 55 Gr.
I trust SPEER defensive ammo and never heard bad reviews from people shooting it.


Welcome to the community @Yusheng

Many LEOs and self defense instructors seem to really like the Speer gold dots in 62gr or 75gr but the 55gr should work as well. They are all bonded soft point expanding bullets. I used to be able to find them for under $1/per round but with the current ammo shortages I suspect you would be lucky to find them at any price right now.

If you live in an area with neighbors very close by you might consider bullets designed to be less barrier blind like the Federal Tactical TRU .223. They were specifically designed for LEOs to use in urban areas where you want to minimize the chances of over penetration through bad guys or walls. They are a none bonded soft point that just barely meets the FBI minimum standard for penetration.




That’s what I run for HD! ‘Critical D’ is great occasionally I
can hit the side of the barn (on a good day!)…The Broad side that is… :laughing:

Welcome Yusheng! ‘Rock’ what ya got! Buy different brands, rotate your ammo, experiment.
Have fun. You will find the right combo’s and be ready (God forbid) if anything happens.
There are ONLY (10) MILLION friendly Migrants INFILTRATING this country, ‘Alphabits’ of every flavor gunning for us, Armed Iris’s w/ .556 Calculator’s etc etc. NO WORRIES!
Pudding Pants say’s we should invite a Migrant into our homes in our spare rooms so they MUST be safe?
(I’d like to see him do the same).
P.S: There must be a few rooms in the West Wing without the amenities of cocaine in them, But that may be a moot point anyway as they have their own supply of ‘Ampee’s’ and blow to get them ramped up for when they feel the need to shout Aloha Snackbar and lop off a few heads…justa sayin’


5.56/.223 BTHP should be quite good for home defense from a 16" AR15 type rifle.

There are a lot of viable choices for ‘AR15’ home defense ammo.

mk262 or any of the ‘clones’ with a 77gr SMK BTHP will be good.

Federal Fusion Bonded, the .223 MSR or the 5.56.

Federal LE 223 T1 or T3, the bonded stuff.

Speer Gold Dot.

Black Hills TSX.

And more.

Even standard 55gr FMJ as mentioned above, from a 16" barrel, should do nicely and be far more effective at quickly stopping an attacker than a 9mm pistol would be.

If you are facing an imminent deadly threat, IMO it only makes sense to use the tool best suited stop that threat as quickly as possible…and an AR15 is significantly more effective at this than a pistol.

I do not recommend frangible. Generally the AR defense ammo choice is a bonded ‘barrier blind’ type of load, or a non barrier blind BTHP or similar. Or, just bulk 55gr…out of a 14.5"+ barrel as typical “rifles” have in the AR15 space, at home defense distances…it’s not a bad choice at all (performs way better than a handgun with JHP at stopping attacker)

Watch these:


A soft tip on a rifle round (or the soft polymer tip on rounds like Hornady’s Critical Defense series) is designed to destabilize the round when it hits something soft and start the round tumbling. 223 rounds are high-velocity, and their terminal performance depends on them tumbling when they strike a soft target. The best long range bullets have a pointy, spitzer shape with a boat tail shape in the rear. Long range target ammo typically has a small hollow point created when the point is put on a spitzer round, or, as with Hornady’s ELD rounds, a heat-resistant hard polymer tip to keep the round stable in flight. Using target 223 rounds on game can just poke pencil sized holes on both sides of the target if it does not tumble.


For those that rely on tumbling/fragmentation, barrel length is important (for velocity), but any “rifle” will have adequate barrel length for HD distances that the ‘long range’ rounds will do well and very reliably tumble/fragment/etc due to velocity.

The so called barrier blind rounds, and most hunting rounds, do not rely on tumbling.

Selection and pricing right now on 5.56/.223 are not ideal.


I run the same gear except one additional ar with a scope and one with a at3 red dot :red_circle:




Thank you


Welcome to the community @LandonBolts!
Glad to have you.


Thank you glad to be welcomed by people that care.


I would simply stick to sleeping with a high capacity pistol. If you dont wake up in time, you’ll never be able to get to the AR. I also keep pistols on magnets under various tables around the house for non-sleeping times. I have a Rock River Arms AR-15, but she doesn’t maneuver very well under the sheets in an emergency…


Just my opinion, but, if you’re worried about not being able to wake up in time to get to an AR [that can be kept right next to where you sleep], that might be an indication that you should shore up your everything-other-than-the-last-line-of-defense. The locked/secured doors and windows, the alarm sensors on all entry points/glass break/motion as appropriate to alert you, optionally dog(s), and out from there exterior lighting and exterior sight lines/groomed landscaping, etc.

Pistols on magnets under tables would make me very nervous in the event of a home break in while you are not home especially, definitely make sure that alarm is armed whenever you leave so that you don’t return home to unexpectedly find someone inside your home using your own gun against you.


I keep my ar next to my bed


I have my AR next to my bed and I can grab the handguard easily with my left and and hand the pistol grip to my right hand. I also have a lock on the door as well as a door stop(a stick that prevents people from opening the door unless if they break the door or the stick)

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What’s an Arrr? Is it “Talk like a Pirate” week? :slightly_smiling_face: