If not a RIFLE, why not?

You would think. If you get to see enough ballistic gel test videos you’ll see that is not necessarily the case.

I guess it is amusing, in a train wreck kind of way, when the test fails catastrophically because you hit the table instead of the gel. Most of the time, I’d just like to see the tests, not the B-reel.


For me, I use both a pistol and AR.

Pistol is for getting everyone to our safe area since it is easier to maneuver in the tight areas of the house. There are too many areas of the house where I can’tmove quickly with the AR due to space constraints.

AR is for perimeter defense and primary once we are all in the safe area.


Really good conversation going on.

Now a separate question still related, in order to familiarize with your actions during an HD situation, do you “train/practice” in the house? How do you do it, and what tools do you use?

Me, I’ve been getting really familiar with the MantisX system. I’m really tempted to get a Blackbeard to practice movement around the house with the AR, and setup targets to practice marksmanship under stress/time. My next training system is going to be the Mantis Laser Academy to use for in-home practice. BTW, USCCA members get a discount with Mantis for their products. Look in the USCCA Dashboard - Perks and Discounts → scroll for Mantis


I love my MantiX.


Do I? No.
Should I? Yes.

But, the house is full of people. I don’t walk around pretending that I’m defending the house, because it would freak them out. On rare occasions when I’m home alone, sure. Otherwise, I’m just keeping my training in mind as I walk through the house, similar to how I always find the exits when I’m in a new building.


When the cat’s away the mouse will play.


Yes. Unloaded and flagged gun when no body else is home, primarily.

If it’s planning stuff with others, totally dry/empty handed


Alarm system is on if we are at home or not.
I carry either my Hellcat Pro or Sig P320 M18.
Have Winchester Model 94 loaded to max always ready.


@Joe164 Welcome to our community, we are glad to have you. :slightly_smiling_face:
Like the Winchester. Love my Marlin 336 in .30.30. What caliber?


Made in 1950, my dad gave it to me in about ‘70, and is my primary deer hunting rifle.
Just something about the lever action!


Welcome to the community @Joe164

How do you like your M18? I have the P320 X-Compact and I love it.

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I love the pistol, it is what I used to qualify for my CCL with 246/250.
Minimal recoil, great sights, and easy to break down and reassemble.
Still considered compact, I personally like the manual safety on both sides
Recommend it to all.
What about the X you have?

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It is so nice, It very quickly became my EDC. It has the Romeo 1 Pro red dot on it and it is very comfortable in my hand. Very nice trigger, smooth action, and easy to breakdown for cleanup. I only have 2 complaints and none of them are with the pistol.

  1. The price of magazines. SIG accessories are expensive.
  2. CoolFire Trainer still does not have a barrel assembly for the X-Compact - Would love to get one of these systems for practice,

Sounds nice though.
I will always be a Sig guy.
Wish I could afford the new model that is out. That’s the reason I bought the Hellcat, because it was comparable.
And here in Texas can’t have enough firearms!!!

Also the M18 allows for switching from a 9m to a 40 barrel assembly.

Have you given any thought to the collateral damage? A 556 is a very powerful round that can easily travel through multiple walls. For that reason alone it is dangerous. I would suggest a shotgun as an alternative.

Handguns also easily travel through multiple walls, and are pretty much just as dangerous through walls as .223/5.56. The high velocity, light weight, high kinetic energy, relatively low momentum of the .223/5.56 is basically why, it tumbles, fragments, breaks part, etc relatively easily, losing momentum and not going through a whole bunch of the walls the way a shotgun slug or .308 FMJ or something would.

A shotgun with buckshot is fairly similar to a pistol or a 5.56 in though-walls-danger.

The reality is that anything which penetrates enough to reliably stop an attacker is going to be dangerous through interior walls.

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I posted above an actual test using ballistic gel that shows the “truth” about wall penetration. Yes, .556 ammunition can penetrate walls, just as 9MM, and shotgun slugs will also penetrate walls. You must choose the correct type of ammo for home defense, whether pistol, rifle or shotgun.

The best way to prevent wall penetration is to HIT your target.

Hitting your target, under stress, is probably better accomplished with a rifle (4 points of contact) instead of a pistol (2 points of contact). The rifle is a much more stable platform to fire from than a pistol, and it therefore makes it easier to put rounds accurately on target.


I have a bullpup shotgun for HD with 5 rounds of #4 bird shot and a light. I chose this platform and ammo very carefully. I live in a relatively low crime city, and am in a subdivision with the houses fairly close together. We have 2 kids in the house as well. The bird shot won’t over penetrate my walls and if they do they won’t have much energy behind them, but they will certainly stop a threat at close range. The bullpup is shorter for moving around doors and walls while still offering 4 points of contact and control while firing. It’ll be loud as hell if I have to fire it, but it’ll be loud for the threat too. Went semi auto to take away the extra steps of pump action between shots, because things happen under stress. I also liked the quicker reload of a detachable magazine, and the 10 round spare is loaded with slugs. I’ve run a variety of forced failure test and have found this firearm to function reliably.

There’s a few reasons I didn’t choose other firearms for HD. My EDC is a full sized pistol with an RDO and light. I train with it often, it’s a fantastic firearm. It’s holstered at night and is my backup HD. However, middle of the night, dark, groggy, under duress, I’d prefer to shoulder a firearm instead of trying to aim my pistol. Plus there is the aforementioned kids in the house, and close neighbors, so any miss with 9mm could be costly. This is the very reason my AR is not my go to HD. The higher power, smaller caliber of the .223/5.56 would not only go through my walls, but likely my neighbor’s walls as well, quite possibly after striking their intended target.

Now I’m not saying that my way is the right or only way, I’m just giving my 2 cents as to what works for me and the logic behind it. I have a friend that runs a subsonic suppressed 300bo AR pistol as his HD. Veteran and former LEO. He reckons that it won’t overpenetrate his walls due to the bigger, slower round, and he won’t go deaf if he has to fire it. So the AR is definitely viable.

Hope this helps anybody that reads it. Cheers and stay safe!


Do you mind telling us which specific semi-auto shotgun you are using? I had a Centurion BP-12 but had a heck of a time getting it to chamber, so I got rid of it. I’m looking for a good option.