If not a RIFLE, why not?

The AR for me was not really a go too in the beginning either, likewise I thought it would take too long to master. I under appreciated the advantages of a red dot sight that I had never tried, it’s a rifle after all, right? But with it, I can still shoot out to 500 if needs be, but more importantly, the field of view it offered, coupled with both eyes open being a very natural feel, and the surprisingly quick target acquisition, it really did change everything. It was rather impractical with a scope and the eye relief problems, not so with the red dot.

Your pistol should be more than sufficient for home defense, but if you get a chance to try an AR with a red dot, you might see a whole new world through it.

Edit: the 500 yard shots are aided by a good quality red dot with an appropriate reticle, and a magnifier that flips out of the way, none the less, for home defense and even a couple hundred yards out, a simple basic red dot can be surprisingly affective.


The answers are simple for me.

A) I dont own an AR, dont plan to either. I am not a fan of them. Nothing against those who do, just not my cup of tea.

B) With houses around me in almost all directions, I dont trust a center fire rifle round to not go through to my neighbor’s room in the event of pass through or a miss. Pistol rounds are risky enough. Most walls are not designed to stop a high speed bullet.



Head to the range. Bring a pistol, and bring or borrow an AR pattern carbine with a red dot sight or holographic weapon sight. Spend a modest amount of time bringing the AR up, target focused, both eyes open, dot over the target area, fire.

Put an A zone or -0 size (or just say a 6-8" circle) target up at an across the room or down the hallway distance…say 20-25 feet.

Random 1-4 second delay on the shot timer.

Start from a low position, like you would move through your house, muzzle at the ground.

At the beep, bring the firearm up and fire for let’s call it 1 hit with the rifle or 2 hits with the pistol (even this favors the pistol, I’d reckon one hit with a self defense oriented .223/5.56 is easily worth 3+ hits with a pistol)…

…even with .1% as much time behind the rifle as handguns over your life…I’ll wager you can get more hits on target, faster, with the carbine. And each of those hits of course is far more likely to immediately stop that threat.

I’m not that good, and I can go sub 1 second low ready, react, up, fire, hit, with my AR in this circumstance…and get a Mozambique at 7 yards in sub 2 seconds, from muzzle to the ground, on an IDPA.

I cannot do the same with my pistol.

Until you’ve tried an RDS equipped carbine on the shot timer, you don’t know what you don’t know. Try it. Bet you’re pretty quick. :slight_smile:


Maybe it’s just me, I’m afraid if I use my AR I will have big over penetration, not to mention where rounds that may miss the target end up. I’ve seen the writings about shotguns, FMJ’s etc. But I can’t get it out of “MY” head that a .223/5.56 will not stay in my house.


There isn’t a significant difference from a pistol round when it comes to danger after going through an interior wall.

If the 5.56 won’t stay in your house, almost surely your pistol round won’t either.

There is also the consideration that you are likely to need more shots fired with a pistol as they are harder to hit with/easier to miss with, and generally require more shots to stop an attacker as well.

The small very high velocity high kinetic energy low mass/momentum 5.56/.223 projectiles tumble, yaw, break up, and dump energy quite quickly.


I’ll stick with with my 9mm for now.


9mm is also my go to for home defense. But there have been a lot of tests showing that .223 with non barrier blind rounds is actually slightly less capable of going through house walls with a lot of left over energy than most 9mm options.


This is a very astute observation. Back, some number of years, after I had crushed 7 vertebrae in my lumbar spine from L1 to S2. I couldn’t walk for quite some time, and once I regained my ability to function. I kept one lesson I learned the hard way in my mind.

That lesson was a very easy one. Look like prey, walk like prey, or act like prey, you will find someone who will treat you like prey. So even when it killed me, pain wise, (I am a good sized man) I always tried to present myself as a predator and that there easier targets.

So between that and my desire to be a Sheepdog rather than a Wolf. I have found that between how I think of myself, and my situational awareness, most people leave me alone, as they think it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

So adding to what others have pointed out. Making yourself less attractive as a target is probably 90% mental.


That’s a great point. But keep in mind that 5.56 was never designed as a man killer round. A strategic decision in the military was made for a round that would:

  1. wound an enemy combatant and force the OP Force to need a number of people to take care of that wounded, this putting a strain on their logistics.

  2. That it would be a lighter in weight round, so more ammo could be carried by the Infantry and logistical tail.

  3. It needed to be accurate out to 400 yards or so.

That’s why my best competition AR-15 is chambered in 5.56.

But for SD my AR-15 is chambered in .300 Blackout.


I have a .45 AR Banshee with a silencer, flashlight, red dot, laser. I have considered using it because of the easy target acquisition and it is compact. I have my .45 1911 that is what I have trained with and is my EDC so, that has been my go-to HD weapon. I am open to using my Banshee though.


I have posted this in the past-LVPO vs red dot


I don’t know, care, or judge current decisions by what the cartridge was supposedly designed to do, but, rather, what it actually does with the ammunition currently available. :wink: (implied also that it’s not about killing, but stopping)

BUT an AR in 300 blackout with good super ammo will fill that role quite well,and even wuth subs it is at least as powerful as a pistol and more accurate


Personally, I would not choose the Banshee.

  1. That’s a lot of money tied up in mods. If it gets confiscated.

  2. If you get a DA that wants to make a rep off you those are a lot of mods you have to explain. (Yes, I understand they all help make the gun more accurate).

I would use the EDC you train with and are most comfortable with.

But that Banshee :scream::ghost: sounds like a beautiful gun.:slightly_smiling_face:


I have thought of that too! I sure would be at a loss if I ever had it confiscated. Every time I go to the range and people see it they get all googly eyed over it.


The Banshee sure is pretty, and some real good tech with the radial delayed blowback.

I have a SIG MPX that I’ve considered using in rotation for home defense, but a 9MM round out of a longer barrel is not what I’m looking for at this time for HD, so the handgun will suffice for the 9MM rounds. The AR pistol is 5.56 and loaded with 69 Grain Hollow Point ammo (.223 ammo). With the shorter barrel on the AR pistol muzzle velocity is slightly decreased so it does help with reducing over-penetration.

I found an interesting article about 5.56 ammo for home defense. It might be helpful for reference:


I have a few rifles and I keep loaded magazines (and clips) ready, but they aren’t the first thing I’d grab in a home defense situation. There’s nothing wrong with using a rifle for home defense, but I prefer them outdoors.

First, my pistol is on me. In the event of a home invasion, I need to react fast. That means I’m responding with what I have on me, instead of running to the safe. But should I need to retreat back to where my rifles are stored, I have some extra firepower waiting for me.

Second, in the shoot/no-shoot training sessions I’ve been in, I have not noticed a consistent advantage with long firearms like rifles or shotguns in confined spaces. Let me be clear, there are plenty of ways to screw up home defense with a pistol, too. But a long barrel can make it harder to clear corners and maneuver in tight spaces.

I’m saying all this, even though I’m the guy who repeatedly says that the purpose of a pistol is to get you to a rifle. In home defense, use whatever you have. But with closed spaces to move in and loved ones to protect, make sure you’re practicing with what you’ll use.


All very good points. The barrel length of the rifle for indoor maneuverability is definitely an issue that must be considered for home defense. That is the main reason that I’ve assembled a rifle caliber pistol (5.56mm, 12.5 inch barrel, AR controls, pistol brace) for Home Defense.

If I’m at home and it is day time, I’m carrying my 9mm pistol. However at night, the AR and the 9mm pistol are setup/ready for home defense. If I have to investigate a bump in the night, the AR is the main firearm.

If there was a home invasion during the day, my pistol would be the default as it is always with me. And like you said, the purpose at that time is to stop the threat and/or get to the AR whichever is necessary.


I love that they tested with a gel and objectively measured results…would have loved it more if they used one of the controlled expansion self defense/hunting/LE type loads in that mix too, though. But…they did include the very common bulk 55gr and 62gr 855 types which is useful to know as many people have a lot of that on hand


Yes, I think they did a pretty good job with their testing and conclusions.

Not related to this test, but one of my pet peeves with videos that test against gel is that a lot of tests are done firing from the shoulder, for rifles, or from the hands, for pistols. I’d like tests to not introduce operator error (shooting low/high, limp-wristing, distance, etc.) at all. For ballistic tests I’d like the platform to be completely stable, always at the same distance, same trigger pull, etc. Control as much as possible the things that are not being tested. We are not testing your “shooting prowess”. I want to see what the round actually does.


Aren’t all of those things pretty well accounted for by the full on tests that measure velocity through a chrony and only measure accurate shots that stay within the gel block though?