The “Best” Home Defense Gun

If you’re a gun guy, odds are pretty good that non-gun people often ask your opinion on things. At least, People often make the mistake of asking my opinion, anyway. I guess they figure that just because I write about and make videos about guns, that my opinion is worth listening to. Of course you, dear reader, know that my opinion is worth every cent you paid for it. Still, I should probably indulge these poor, misguided souls. To that end, I’m going to answer some of these more common questions in a series of articles. Today, we’re going to cover the ever popular “best” home defense gun.

For the purpose of this question, a “home defense gun” will be defined as the gun that you would most want to have in your hands to defend your home if you have the choice, and the one that you choose to keep at the ready for the task. This is distinct from you carry gun. Pistols are not powerful, they’re portable. Your carry gun is well suited to the task of being conveniently on your person, but it isn’t as easy to shoot accurately and quickly and it is far less terminally effective than a rifle or shotgun. A pistol is also a lot harder to retain in a hands on fight than a slung rifle or shotgun.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t continue to carry your pistol around the house, either. By all means, we’re just discussing the gun that you would go to if someone were kicking at your door and you had a few seconds to get a better gun ready.

What does a good home defense gun look like? To begin, it should be loaded with ammunition that is very terminally effective. It should be relatively short. It will need a sling. It will need a light. Having a lot of ammunition available is not a bad idea, considering you might need it while you’re wearing tighty whities without any ammo pouches.

It’s quite common for people to recommend a pump action shotgun for home defense. 12 ga buckshot really does have a lot going for it. It’s seriously impressive on tissue, but shotguns have some disadvantages, too. But first, we have to lay aside stupid nonsense like the notion that you don’t have to aim or that crooks will run scared if you just pump the action. Yes, you do need to aim a shotgun. Unless your home was featured on MTV Cribs, the pattern probably isn’t going to be any larger than an inch or two anywhere inside your house. And sure, racking the action might scare a bad guy into leaving. Or it might scare him into firing his Hi-Point wildly through your children’s bedroom walls. If you do keep a shotgun ready for home defense, please keep it loaded.

Now, a shotgun isn’t a terrible choice, but when compared to a carbine, shotguns recoil more, carry less ammunition, and are more likely to malfunction. If you don’t believe me, watch a 3 gun match some day. It is very common for semi auto shotguns to choke and for people to short stroke pumps under stress. Most folks can shoot a carbine far faster and engage more targets more quickly and more precisely.

But carbines have their own myths surrounding them. Probably the most common is the belief that rifle cartridges penetrate more. It is true that military FMJ will tend to get through one obstacle (a single block wall or a single steel plate) better than pistols or shotguns, but modern defense ammo in 5.56mm penetrates about as many (sometimes fewer) layers of drywall as modern defense ammo in a pistol or shotgun.

So the answer to the question is a short, light carbine is probably the best choice for home defense. And the best short, light carbine to choose is a 10.5″-11.5″ suppressed AR-15 chambered in 5.56mm and loaded with Sierra 77gr TMK.

Of course, all of these points disregard your own familiarity with a gun. The best gun for YOU is the one that YOU shoot best. If that gun isn’t a carbine in an intermediate cartridge, then you should take some classes and shoot some gun games until it is. Hey, it’s my opinion.



Andrew

Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block (https://www.youtube.com/user/chopinbloc). He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at choppingblocktests@gmail.com


Advertisement

  • Martin Grønsdal

    ‘If you do keep a shotgun ready for home defense, please keep it loaded.’

    With one sentence you have created a risk that will occur, in order to battle a risk that probably never would…

    • Just Say’n

      Said the peace-loving Norwegian.

      (I agree though, if you have children in the house that needs to be considered)

      • Toxie

        That my fine Sirs, is what safes are for.

        • Michael Powers

          and getting to the safe and opening it while the adrenaline is pumping and time is of the essence makes for problems…

          • Chop Block

            Depends on your situation. Either way, if you have kids in the house, keeping the chamber empty is insufficient. You still need to lock it up. If your children aren’t little turds and you want to save money, you can just lock it in a glass gun cabinet. In case of emergency, break glass. Obviously not secure against burglary. If you can spend a little more, you can get a decent steel locker with key, numeric pad, or biometric reader.

          • I keep my HD longarms (whether the current carbine or previous shotguns) chamber empty, just because I don’t think the extra half second to fully charge it up is going to get me killed – but it does give me that extra half second to finish spinning up after being awoken.

            I certainly don’t leave it “cruiser safe” for the “intimidation factor” or anything.

          • Chop Block

            I want to be armed without making noise if I so choose.

          • Just Say’n

            Best to just take your kids shooting, even at a very young age (start with BB guns) so the mystery/curiousity isn’t there and you can start teaching them about firearms safety.
            Also, nearly all of your auto handguns have stiff enough springs that the slides are impossible to manipulate by children (and even some adults). Easy to test, just have them try it. This makes it plausible to keep your nightstand gun in condition 3 have some peace of mind when it comes to safety.

          • Chop Block

            That’s certainly part of it, but children have no ability to control impulse. You can’t take any chance with their life. You MUST secure your guns because you won’t have another chance.

    • ActionPhysicalMan

      It is a significant risk only if you were foolish enough to have children. Some of us are smarter than that.

      • Martin Grønsdal

        your parents are fools?

        • ActionPhysicalMan

          They were certainly foolish. I was an expensive pain in the posterior for sure. I resolved not to make the same mistake they did and did not add to the mass of misery that is the world’s population.

  • Just Say’n

    Depending on what state you’re in, keep in mind the kind of jury that might be assembled to judge your actions. If you shoot the bad guy with your duck gun, you’re more likely to get a pass, than say with an Evil Black Rifle. So many considerations…

    • Arie Heath

      That’s why my home defense shotgun has a wood stock, and a flashlight taped to the front. Better to look like a hunter than a “killer” in the eyes of the jury.

    • Chop Block

      Name one person ever who was convicted in an otherwise justified shooting because they used a black rifle. Or any scary gun.

      • retfed

        Conviction isn’t the only “bad” outcome. If the other side’s lawyer repeatedly calls your weapon, for example, a “sawed-off shotgun” (as happened to me describing my issued 14-inch 870), you’ll have to counter that argument. That will take time for your attorneys to research, add at least a day in court, and easily cost you an extra ten grand in legal fees.*

        *It didn’t bother me since I wasn’t paying for it. Thanks, taxpayers! (And I didn’t even shoot anyone.)

        • Chop Block

          What state do you live in? It’s worth considering that you have to SURVIVE the encounter to worry about court outcomes. My first responsibility is to protect my family and I’ll use the most effective tools for that that I can get my hands on.

          • retfed

            You’re right. And people “SURVIVE the encounter” every day by using Glocks, 1911s, 870s, and the occasional J-frame (which I don’t recommend), but I’ve never heard of anyone using an SBR in self-defense in the United States, in a home invasion or anywhere else. Stock ARs and AKs, sure.
            I’ve cleared enough buildings (on warrants and raids) to know better than to do it alone. And I’ve sat in enough courtrooms to know the things lawyers pull.
            Most criminals are after property and they won’t hang around after they see big flashes and hear loud noises. I’m not really too worried about being victimized by a crew of home invaders who are motivated enough to continue their assault after one of them gets blasted. In my experience, those types of home invaders usually hit dope houses or people with big cash in their house, like some ethnic groups that don’t trust banks. That leaves me out.
            But it’s America. You go to your church and I’ll go to mine.

  • randomswede

    A sub 12″ barrel suppressed AR; why not make it .300 BLK while you’re at it?

    • Cal.Bar

      Yeah, you want to use your NFA SBR AND NFA silencer on a HD gun. You do know that they WILL be taken by the police after a shoot. And the odds are not terribly good that you’ll get them back (at least in the same condition) as they took them.

      • randomswede

        I would have used a “simple” 16″ or 14.5″ pinned and welded AR-15 with the heaviest expanding or cavitating rounds of 5.56 NATO for home defense, Hang a pair of active Peltors next to it.
        But I don’t need one and can’t have one so I’m just curious as to why Andrew would stick to 5.56 where .300 BLK excels.

        • Kurt

          No need to go down that road, and 7.62×39 is still superior for a close up fight.

          • CommonSense23

            How is 7.62×39 superior?

          • DW

            In 6″ barrel version of VZ58 yes it is superior than 556.

          • redsr

            Jim Fuller of Rifle Dynamics disagrees — he found 7.62×39 in anything less than 10″ barrel lacks sufficient velocity to reliably penetrate car door sheet metal… And accordingly doesn’t sell or recommend 7.62×39 in a super short sbr role; instead, he recommends 5.45×39 for anything under 10″.

          • randomswede

            If I’m shooting up my house I’m thinking I’d want last-round-bolt-hold-open as to spend as little time as possible without a round chambered.
            VZ-58 would do 7.62×39 and LRBHO; still leaning towards AR-15 ergonomics.

    • Chop Block

      Because .300 BLK is highly overrated. The best .300 BLK isn’t really any better than the best .223 or 5.56mm until you get down to an 8″ barrel. And even then, it penetrates deeper than necessary. And because .300 BLK is relatively expensive, you won’t shoot as much so you won’t be as good with it.

      But if you like it, that’s fine. Just don’t be stupid. Load it with supersonic ammo.

      • ActionPhysicalMan

        Where do these ratings come from? What is the rating of the .300Blk? 7? Most of what I hear about the .300Blk is people saying that it is overrated. That sounds like a low rating to me.

        • Chop Block

          Lol. I hear a lot of folks who have massive erections for 7.62x35mm.

      • SBR

        Its overratedyes, but for an SBR – from a technical perspective, you can make a 77grain .300 blackout that has 108% the energy and just 90% the recoil of the .223 77grain.
        But, not sure, doesnt seem worth the effort and money.

  • pieslapper

    Phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.

    • SerArthurDayne

      BFG9000 son, step your plasma-rifle game up homey!

      • Major Tom

        Wing Zero twin buster rifle baby! It’s a gun that kills space colonies.

      • Andrey Martim

        “Honey I shot at the thief and the entire living room just disappeared…”

      • Mazryonh

        You’re not using the silly version of the BFG9000 that blows you up after charging to Level 4, right?

    • Mazryonh

      Just what you see here, pal.

  • GhostTrain81

    Well trained and loyal 4 legged friend is a plus.

    • Arie Heath

      My pitbull is a sweetheart, but she doesn’t like people breaking into her house. A dog is a great thing for your kids, and for home defense.

    • Bill

      I’m almost inclined to give 50 bucks or so to whomever has the stones to make it past the growling, slobbering charging Fur Missile.

  • Tym O’Byrne

    The best one is the one you have in your hands at the time, next question…

  • A.WChuck

    Sea Service Flintlock, backed by 3 feet of steel in the form of a double-disc cutlass. Good enough for Nelson, good enough for me.

    • Mazryonh

      Nowadays the closest equivalent is a handgun and a tactical tomahawk. At least you can also use the tomahawk as an entry tool if you need it. But at least a properly-used sword is more easily used to keep disarm attempts from succeeding, given how many users here are talking about the difficulties of weapon retention with a long gun.

  • Some Guy

    The best home defense gun is of course the M134 Minigun. At home you don`t have the problems that prevent you from carrieng it outside. You just put it on a custom made cart, plug it in to a plug socket via a extension cable and shoot a months salary worth of ammo at any intruder(you need a minigun for each level of your house though).
    If you do not have access to a M134 minigun you use any kind of hand operated gatling gun as an alternative from an original to the modern interpretations like the redneck obliterator(a bunch of AKs arranged to make a hand cranked gatling gun)

    • Russ Kell

      Step up to MetalStorm(tm). Just shoot all the bullets at once.

      And hope your drunk roommate / bootycall doesn’t set it off. BRRRAPP.

    • HemingwaysBeard
      • DT

        loved that movie

    • Cymond

      I think you’ll find it better to buy a high end thermal imaging for your M134 than buying several separate systems. That way, you can cover the entire home, since it won’t have any issues chewing through whatever wall/floor/celling is in the way.

    • Iggy

      Pffft, Amateur.
      A man’s home is his castle, treat it like one. Have you front door at end of a hallway, line that hallway with cut stone.
      Then at the opposite end of the hallway you mount a 1879 Hotchkiss 40 Flank defence gun. It fires canister shot shells and each of it’s 5 barrels has a different pitch, creating a never ending spread of shot along your hallway as it thumps away 1200-1500 hardened projectiles at a stately 60-80 shots a minute as you crank away. It will obliterate any intruder entering your door, it will obliterate their getaway vehicle parked in front of your door, it will obliterate your neighbours house across the street, it will obliterate the house behind them and so fourth for a glorious 4000 yards assuming flat terrain.
      And it’s hand cranked and a over a hundred years old so you don’t have to declare it to nobody (your experiences may differ).
      As for the possibility of an intruder coming through another enterence… I don’t know, claymore mines or something?

      • Joe Gamer

        4000 yards…
        more like 300 meters…lol
        Interesting concept though, thank you for bringing it up.

    • noob

      Is that a gun that rednecks use to obliterate things? or that is used to obliterate rednecks? or do the rednecks obliterate each other? so many questions….

      • Some Guy

        it is a gun made by a redneck. I don`t know what he wanted to obliterate though, him beeing a redneck i suspect it would be a lot of cans.

  • Vitor Roma

    Some delayed blowback 9mm with with a 9″ barrel and supressor. Low recoil, low flash, low gas, compact and the round has plenty of energy out of this barrel length.

  • USMC03Vet

    Blunderbuss that shoots ebola, cancer, and miniature grizzly bears at trespassers.

  • nova3930

    Ma Deuce on an automated defense turret…..

    • John

      I have the Nerf version, does that count?

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Sure buddy, im gonna use my most expensive gun that I may or may not ever see again after the cops take it.

    • BillC

      Oh lord, that fallacy. Then you should just use a Hi-point with that logic; since, why would you use the best tool when your life is on the line?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        The best tool, for me, is my G 45. Why anyone needs a rifle for that is beyond me but hey do what you do.

        • BillC

          … because split times with a 5.56mm carbine, that has a red dot and 1,000 lumen weapon light, is 0.2 seconds between shots on my worst day, all in the A-zone at 10 yards in low light shooting, so that means about 5 shots a second of 64 grain Speer Gold Dots all in the pump house with 26 rounds to spare, or a VTAC 1-5 drill with no misses in 4.69 seconds (that’s a split time 0.3 seconds with 15 shot, 4 transitions among 3 targets) and a suppressor so I don’t blow out my or my missus’ hearing? Yeah, I’d say that’s optimal. Kinda expensive, but in a justified, legal, self-defense shooting in my domicile, the last thing I’m thinking about is the cost of firearm.

          • Chop Block

            This guy gets it.

          • Hell, in an M17 gas mask, with an old carrying handle M16, shooting at what were basically “head and shoulder” targets at 25 meters, I could consistently drill the targets just about as fast as I could pull the trigger, even though I never bothered trying to use the sights (with that stupid “cant” technique the Army taught) – I just looked OVER the sights like it was a shotgun bead.

            Having four points of contact (two hands, shoulder, cheek) with a longarm makes it REALLY, REALLY good at using body index or silhouette close range techniques. Longest shot in any house I’ve lived is a hair over 10m…

            Now, pistols? Wee bit harder…

          • Brett baker

            The old”quick kill” technique?

          • Chop Block

            Same, but M40 mask.

          • James Young

            Good response on the efficiency of a rifle for the job. Another reason is the effectiveness of rifle rounds and the ineffectiveness of pistol rounds. Quality .223 ammo has a much higher first round stop chance when compared with a pistol round like 45 ACP.

          • What he said! Home Invaders usually run in pairs, at least… commonly 3-5. If bullets start flying, the man with the well equipped carbine on his shoulder, with some decent training under his belt, will be the best dressed, BY FAR, at that bullet party!

        • James Young

          I think the disagreement here is that you’re arguing for the best weapon for your situation and what you feel comfortable with while others are arguing what the overall most effective weapon would be generally

      • Toxie

        Oh I think it’s reasonable to leave the 4k rifle in the safe and put the $600 Smith Sport on home defence duty, provided the Smith is reliable.

        • Nashvone

          With regular maintenance, it will be.

        • James Young

          Only problem with the Smith is that it’s not easy to get a light on it without changing out the hand guards. But certainly cheap and effective, yes.

    • Rick O’Shay

      ARs are mind-boggling cheap right now. There’s no excuse. It doesn’t need to be 3Gun worthy. A PSA or Anderson would be just fine for home defense.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        True, but I dont want one for that.
        My main concern walking around in the dark looking for someone who may be in my house is them jumping out and grabbing the barrel. Its too much gun. I want a pistol I can control with one hand so I can use the other to fight if need be.

        • Rick O’Shay

          Fair enough. Honestly, I have no objection to any firearm someone would choose to use to defend their home. I actually have a shotgun, an AR, and a pistol (with a Streamlight next to it) all on standby should someone break in. My initial preference would be to grab the AR, but the pistol and light are quicker… so I guess it really depends on how I intend to respond, and what the situation is. The shotgun is more just what my wife prefers, as she’s gone duck hunting since she was a kid.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah, I mean to each his/her own.
            I dont have any kids in the house (that I know of) so I keep my Glock 45 and a Mag Lite within arms reach when I go to bed.

            One night I heard a noise that sounded at the time like someone kicking my door so I jumped up, grabbed the gun and saw that my cat had knocked the router off of the shelf.
            I almost shot him.

          • Bradley

            You just cancelled out your argument about having your off hand free.

        • CommonSense23

          During part of my career I spent a lot of time being the redman doing CQD. Which pretty much involved a lot of drills where we got to go full force on the student. I found its a lot easier to beat the crap at of someone holding a pistol than a slung rifle. And far easier to take the pistol from them. Didn’t matter if the student had zero previous experience or years of it.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Id like to know more about the precise circumstances of those exercises.
            Its not super hard to beat on someone if you have the element of surprise.

          • CommonSense23

            Well considering they were well aware they were about to be in a fight of some kind, I highly doubt they were really surprised. The issue becomes if they are close enough to grab your gun, they are rarely going to be coming from the front. So now you are stuck in horrible body position in terms of defense. Typically very close to a wall. And with a pistol that both of you are trying to control. That leaves the assailant with the better body position. Better striking capabilities. And better ability to strip the pistol.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Ill take your word.
            Still I doubt Delta Force is going to break in and steal my TV.

          • Blurb

            You obviously don’t live in NOLA.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            There’s a reason for that.

          • Nope… those boys go right for the PBR… defend your fridge!

          • Bill

            I’ve had the opposite experience in weapons retention classes. It’s skill-dependent, but I found the easiest gun to teach people to defend against takeaways were smaller, slicker semi-auto handguns. Slung long guns wound up being easily levered against the person wearing them, if they weren’t quick enough to barrel thump a critical area or disengage.

          • CommonSense23

            So when you did this where did the assailant start, and are we talking full contact like expect someone to get a concussion?

          • Bill

            It’s kind of hard to cover the contents of an 8 hour course in a blog response, but cop trainees would start either covering a suspect, and have to defend their gun and prevent a takeaway, or being held a gunpoint and having to execute a shot avoidance maneuver (which Im not a huge proponent of as designed) or execute a takeaway on the bad guy. Blue guns were used, and I cheated and cut away the trigger guard on a couple to avoid broken fingers, on trainees or role-playing bad guys. After working on the fundamentals, the pads and headgear went on and we’d ramp up the effort, all the way up to full on FIST- or Redman suit levels as appropriate.

            A key training point was that in real life both parties would be injured, and the goal was to minimize injury to the good guy or girl. In messing around, I mean developing new training curricula, tiny autos like Jennings and Kahrs were well nigh impossible to get away from someone who had a good grip on them, so I focused on controlling the direction of the muzzle whilst destroying the assailant’s hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, face and so forth, so at least the weapon couldn’t be used effectively.

        • Chop Block

          Virtually everyone who says this doesn’t actually have any training in weapon retention.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            lol
            Next week your story will be “Only Idiots Use Carbines For Home Defense!”

          • Chop Block

            Lol. No. I’ll argue both sides of some issues, but carbines are categorically better. I might argue for and against 5.56mm, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x35mm, though.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            You do you, man.

          • Timmah_timmah

            Genuinely curious why you would pick 556 over 300BLK or 6.5 Grendel. Especially for close range. 556 has the lowest energy of the three. Especially out of <12" barrels.

            300 Blackout was literally made for this role: CQB SBRs. Forget subs, supers only. 300 Blackout in a 10" performs like 7.62×39 from a 16" barrel. Given this, I fail to see why anyone would prefer an SBR AK in x39 (or AR if you really wanted to, of course).

            Grendel will have more blast than Blackout, sure. But it also has more energy. The days of thinking of Grendel as a round for long barrels and long range use ONLY have passed. That is simply not true. Many users of 12" barrels are recording solid chrono figures. Similar to 556, if blast is a concern – run a can!

            What am I missing here?? Honest question.

          • DT

            Going back to usual debate about over penetration, I suspect it is because it has the lowest energy of the three. I read it as trying to find that balance of precision and power without killing everything two rooms behind the perp.

          • Bill

            Virtually no one has training in weapons retention. It’s covered in police academies, I can’t speak to the military, but relatively few other programs cover it. Our state CHL training requirement requires instruction on de-escalation, but nothing on weapons retention.

            Weapons retention training isn’t sexy, it hurts and requires stuff many independent trainers don’t have, like wrestling mats and lots of tape for sprained, cut and strained fingers and hands.

          • Chop Block

            You got that right. The few that do it, don’t usually do it as much as they should.

        • Odie Tucker

          RIFLE=>SLING=>MECHANICAL RETENTION
          HANDGUN=>NO SLING=>ORGANIC RETENTION

    • John

      I see the point, however, I would use the best gun possible to protect my life. If I get it taken away, so be it, as long as I am still alive. JMHO

      • Chop Block

        Right?
        “I’ll risk my family’s safety because I value my possessions more.”

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Have you ever fired an M4 with a 10″ barrel in a small room with no ear pro?
          First, it sounds like a small bomb. Second, the muzzle flash totally destroys your night vision.

          • Chop Block

            And that’s why the silencer is so important. But it’s not like a 16″ rifle is quiet, either.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Difference of opinion.
            A long gun will never be my go to for a break in.
            I’m more comfortable with pistols at short range and that’s what they’re made for.
            In the early days Delta trained for room clearing and assaults on hijacked planes with 1911’s.

          • Chop Block

            Whether or not that’s actually true, they sure as hell don’t clear rooms with pistols now. And no, pistols aren’t really “made for” close range. They are made for convenience. It’s not that they are better at close range, they’re just worse at long range. And wounding. And for hitting targets quickly at close range. The only thing pistols are good at is being small enough to be on your person when you need one.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Well, it sounds like you should read up. I’ll give you a little history lesson.
            Delta wasn’t allocated much money in their formative years so they had to make do with grease guns and 45’s.
            Their main job was to thwart hijackers which means they had to be able to pose as any number of airport employees so that limited the weapons they could carry under Delta airlines coveralls.
            Pistols.
            It’s true that they don’t do that now but even SEALs carry a hybrid pistol, the MP7.
            And your argument that pistols only exist as a convenience is ridiculous.

          • Stock

            Carbines/ SPR/ PDW hit propability under stress is WAY higher than of any Pistol, why in hell risk your live the smallest bit by using a wiggly pistol. That is simple and basic physic, dont let that large diffrence of not having a stock work against you if youre live depends on it. -> Murphys Law!

            Just because back in the day they where using pistols doesnt mean its the best or any bit smart. Carbines and SBR’s are there and used by everyone sane for a damn reason.

            I usually like you but this here is just insane.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            My point is that you can become dependent on fads and trends. The truth, and I know this from unfortunate experience, is that a handgun is deadly in the right hands.
            I’ve been shot at and with both.
            Right tool for the right job.

          • But a pistol is obv the wrong tool for the job. It is the right tool for the job of discretly carrying a firearm on your person.

          • Anonymoose

            How about an AR pistol with a KX3 on it? Put on a light and laser and make it over 26″ (11.5″ barrel, or a 10.5″ barrel and a rifle tube) and you can put a vertical foregrip on it. You can shoulder pistol braces again. NFA weapons are a bad idea for civilian defensive use.

          • Timmah_timmah

            An AR pistol with 8-12″ barrel chambered in 300 BLK would be a solid choice. Legalities with AR pistols might be the only thing murkier than NFA SBRs, but they are technically legal!

          • CommonSense23

            The only seals with access to the MP7 is currently Devgru. And they don’t use the MP7 operationally abymore. It’s pretty much limited to trash runs and going to the range for FID. The use of a MP7 operationally disappeared with the introduction of the 300BLK.
            And the only use of pistols as a primary comes into confined spaces like tunnel ratting/vehicles, suppressed offensive use cause you don’t rate 300BLK, climbing, and hostage rescues on a bus or plane, and the most extreme limited visibility operations.

          • Jeff Whiting

            Honestly, if you have to use a pistol, you are already out of better options. I’m still in the shotgun-for-home-defense school. Anyone who hasn’t fired a shotgun, in doors, at night, has no idea what shock and awe means, and when the battle hype hits you, and you plow umteen rounds of 9mm into the ceiling and three out of 4 walls, you will rue the day you didn’t get you a decent shotgun. And it the cops take it? Skip the night out with the gang, and head to Walmart for another.

          • John

            Well, no, I would not use a .223 in my bedroom but my AR was only $600. The P226 was well over $1000 with all the accessories and THAT’S what sits next to the bed.

            I would love to get a suppressor for it someday but only if the “Hearing Protection” law gets passed and the prices drop below $500 for them…….or when pigs become so aerodynamic that they can glide like seagulls which will probably come first.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            The M16 was designed to penetrate a steel helmet at 500 yards not blast a guy holding a microwave in your kitchen.

          • Brett baker

            There are these bullets called softpoints. They reduce penetration below handgun bullets. I think they called them dum-dums in the day.

          • Ghost300BLK

            A dum-dum round (aka. hollow-point) is something. A soft-point is another, totally different.

          • Brett baker

            The original Dum-Dum Arsenal modified FMJs were softpoints.

          • CommonSense23

            No it wasn’t.

          • iksnilol

            Just get a cheap PSA AR for like 500 bucks and use that for HD. Oooh, get a really crappy krylon paint job on it,so that you don’t miss it if it gets taken away.

          • CommonSense23

            Have you. Cause had a MK18 go off and didnt realize how bad until 15 minutes later?

    • HenryV

      I once made a similar comment on a well known YouTuber’s channel in response to a review of a lovely commander sized 1911. Did I cop some heat for it. One chap banged on about carrying the gun that best suited the carrier; even if it is $1800 1911. And another chap went on about how the police should be careful with private property. They went on and on about it, despite my attempts to quietly and calmly leave the conversation. I stopped putting comments on YT videos for a while after that.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        SHUT UP! YOURE WRONG!!

        • HenryV

          🙂

          I can’t even buy a 1911 here. And they really aren’t my thing. But it was such a lovely firearm I thought I had to make some comment in support of a great review. Never ever joke about Glocks being boring on YouTube…….

    • SPQR9

      I don’t agree with you entirely, but I would agree that its foolish to use a gun that is irreplaceable either from family sentiment or collectibility as a self defense choice should equally effective guns be available.

    • n0truscotsman

      No kidding. When push comes to shove, its not going to be on my mind, but im not going to get bent out of shape if i don’t see my M&P or glock again when i used it in self defense. Whoopdie doo

  • Michael Powers

    whatever you choose, train with it including dealing with retention. And if your training is “shooting them off the barrel” you better hope your kids dont come home unannounced….

    • Chop Block

      Truth.

  • Swarf

    Forgive my ARgnorance, but isn’t a 10.5″ barrel AR a pistol?

    • B-Sabre

      Unless it has a stock, in which case it’s an SBR.

      • Swarf

        Right. But now I can shoulder my brace as long as I say “mayonnaise” three time, or something.

        Either way, it’s not a carbine, yes?

        And what’s all this about pinning/staking the barrel?

        AR’s are complicated.

        Edit: Check that. The rules surrounding ARs are complicated.

        • BeGe1

          The legal definitions and the common sense definitions are not the same thing.

          If you’ve got a 10.5″ AR with an arm brace that you shoulder, then for training/defense purposes, it’s a carbine.

  • SerArthurDayne

    Make sure you practice your tactical ninja-flips from doorway – to- doorway, room-to-room clearing via infrared chemlights & night vision, and of course having one radio with an earbud in one ear for your family-frequency and the other earbud a radio on your team’s frequency, so you can request backup should the insertions and extractions get hot….. Also, don’t forget to line your bed’s perimeter with claymores!

    • Swarf

      THIS SIDE TOWARDS ENEMY takes on a whole new meaning when my wife is mad at me.

  • Brett baker

    The preferred set-up is after HPA passes, right Andrew? (For recommending to a non-gunner)

    • Chop Block

      An unsuppressed 16″ AR is still a dammed good choice. But when you can afford it, a registered SBR and silencer make a big difference.

      And HPA isn’t going to pass.

      • TalbotFarwell

        What about a 20″ AR? I have one because I’m limited to my budget options and decided I can’t afford to be picky; my line of reasoning was that my AR is not only for HD but also for SHTF, hunting, plinking, ect. My setup has a general all-arounder A3-style upper with round handguards and a flat-top receiver for simplicity’s sake, right now I’m using rail-mounted carry handle irons until I can afford a decent 1-4x optic.

        • Chop Block

          A 20″ AR still beats the snot out of a handgun or shotgun for defense. Added benefit of being able to put M193 or 50gr TSX right through level III steel armor. Take a look at the Primary Arms 1-6 or 1-8x24mm ACSS.

  • MIke H

    “…So the answer to the question is a short, light carbine is probably the best choice for home defense. And the best short, light carbine to choose is a 10.5″-11.5″ suppressed AR-15 chambered in 5.56mm and loaded with Sierra 77gr TMK…”

    Nope.

    To call something “best” or “worst” are subjective terms which require you to rely on a set of criteria to make that judgement. But one person’s set of criteria doesn’t necessarily apply to the next person. The above setup is going to run north of $2,000, which is prohibitively expensive for a lot of folks. I mean, tax stamps for the above is going to be $400 alone. A decent suppressor is at least another $600. And in the urban/suburban area where I live, there simply aren’t that many ranges that allow rifles calibers to practice with. If it’s cost prohibitive and difficult to practice with, I fail to see how that’s the “best”.

    And it doesn’t take into account individual home layouts. I live in a condo built in such a way that even an SBR is cumbersome around some corners (let alone an SBR with a can hanging off the end). And any home defense scenarios are going to almost universally be point blank to no more than 15 feet. Any reliable handgun with a 4+” barrel in a reasonable caliber with good night sights and a weapon light is going to be just as effective… with the trade off of being slung for having the ability to keep one hand free for phones, door knobs, loved ones, etc.

    At the same time, my parent’s live in an old farm house sitting out in the sticks on one acre next to a section of the Canadian border frequented by drug runners and other less savory characters… an 11.5″ rifle almost seems like it would be too small.

    Saying one firearm setup is universally the best for everyone regardless of the own unique situation is well intentioned, but ultimately silly

    • CommonSense23

      Is that why professionals clear building with pistols and sling rifles? Cause the pistol is just as effective? Or wait they don’t, they use rifles.

      • MIke H

        I think you made my point for me.

        Part of my point is that one person’s criteria for “best” doesn’t necessarily apply to the next person. I’m not a professional door kicker… and when the professionals clear a building, they’re on an offensive posture, not a defensive one. In an HD scenario, I’m not going to be clearing a building… I’m going to be repelling a home invasion in a condo with some short hallways with tight corners while trying to guide/defend my wife.

        Plus, professional door kickers have larger budgets than many non-pros.

        An SBR may very well be the best tool for a professional door kicker and what they need it for… but my non-professional needs are different than theirs.

        • Chop Block

          Really? Are your needs that different? Do you expect to be attacked by a different species? The only significant difference is that they are entering a structure with which they are not familiar and you are defending one that you know well.

          • SPQR9

            No, there are a lot of differences. Among them that they have a stack of friends with rifles behind them. And no need to worry about having a hand free for the 911 operator ….

          • Chop Block

            Good point about the hands. I forgot to cover that. If you need both hands for something and you aren’t wearing pants, you’re a lot better off if you have a rifle on a sling than you try to stuff your 1911 in your tighty whities

          • MIke H

            “…and you are defending one that you know well.”

            Which, again, is making my point. A professional needs a weapon that can reasonably be used to clear a park, a warehouse, an office building, a house, and an apartment/condo complex. I will be doing none of these things. WA state law (where I live) is pretty explicit about use of force. It’s all good when they’re in my residence. Outside of my residence, and the use of force becomes a bit harder to justify… so I wouldn’t be leaving my residence (unless they were an immediate threat to someone else).

            BUT, while they’re in my residence which, as you pointed out, I know well… I know it well enough to know if I hear a bump in the night, the most likely point of contact with a bad guy is going to be in a series of tight hallways and corners just outside my bedroom where an AR15 with even a 10.5″ barrel is too long after you hang a 5″-10″ suppressor off of it. Sure, all things being equal, a single 5.56mm round might be more effective against a bad guy than 9mm out of a 4″ or 5″ barrel… but at 5-10 feet, it will be effective enough. And after 4-6 rounds, I fail to see how there with be much practical difference in the final outcome.

        • CommonSense23

          I absolutely hate this retarded mentality. I’m not a professional so I shouldn’t try to use what the professionals use.
          People shoot rifles better than pistols. Especially under stress. So if you are just bunkering down you are going to be far better off with either a rifle or shotgun than a pistol.Unless you have training, doesn’t matter what you are using you are going to have issues with either a long gun or pistol clearing your corners.
          This whole free hand to do things is also crap. If you have to shoot. You are shooting to end the threat. You need to do that immediately. If you are shooting and someone with a gun, they are probably going to shoot back. You need to end the threar quickly. Let go of the phone. Your wife, your kid, and put down the threat as efficiently as possible. That is best done with a long gun.

          • MIke H

            I do, in fact, have an unsuppressed AR15 loaded nearby… but it isn’t going to be my go to gun while in my condo. It isn’t because I shouldn’t try to use what the professionals use because I’m not a professional, it’s because my unique needs are going to be different than theirs. I know where I’m most likely to use a firearm… and maneuverability far outweighs firepower there.

            And if 22 rounds of hollowpoint 9mm (plus spare mags) at under 10 feet isn’t enough firepower to stop a home invasion in my condo, than I doubt sacrificing maneuverability for 30 rounds of 5.56mm would have made much of a difference.

  • Meh

    I actually have yo disagree about pistols being easier to take from you in a scuffle. I’ve taken enough force on force classes and seen enough scuffles that IF an assailant gets ahold of a long gun, there’s a lot more real estate to grab on to.

    • Chop Block

      Were you wearing that long gun on a sling? Have you been trained in weapon retention techniques for both pistols and long guns?

    • BeGe1

      That’s only because long guns are SO effective in close range as beating tools that in a force on force training if you actually reacted anywhere even close to the way you should react if an assailant grabbed your rifle your training partner would require reconstructive surgery.

      • Yup. “Muzzle strikes” are a thing, and I’ve ALREADY got two hands on the gun, at firm points of control.

        I’ve played the whole “wrassle for the rifle” schtick before, and even without using head strikes, only time I lost control of my own weapon was when this ginormous Samoan dude (he made The Rock look like a JV baseball player) literally *ripped* the rubber ducky out of my Smurf-like hands. If he didn’t get the rifle out of my hands, he was going to be tossing me around *by* the rifle anyway…

  • HenryV

    Defending what from what, at what distance, and against what arms?

    • Chop Block

      Humans.
      At distances less than 50 meters.
      Not more than two arms each.

      • HenryV

        ‘Not more than two arms each.’ 🙂

        But are they bear arms?

        10mm KRISS Vector then……….

        • Mazryonh

          Just don’t go all tacticool on that Kriss Vector, like the version covered by this blog seen in Marvel’s Deadpool 2 carried by the character of Cable.

          • HenryV

            There is no danger of that, here in the UK it is illegal. 🙂

            Objectively though unless you own a farm or a ranch, and need to reach out, then a rifle isn’t what you want. You need something controllable with a big bullet because your target is going to be somewhere between spitting distance and 50 yards.

      • Blurb

        You’re so dibrachist. Shame on you.

        • nonobaddog

          What is this ‘dibrachist’ you speak of?

          • Blurb

            It was meant to be funny. While the construction may have been off, it was meant to be an ‘accusation’ that the previous commenter was prejudiced against those with more than two arms. But, you know what they say: if you have to explain it, it wasn’t funny.

  • Vizzini

    Most people are simply not going to jump through the hoops for an SBR and a suppressor, so this is advice for people that probably already have a safe full of guns and know what they like. That makes it less-than-useful advice, in my opinion.

    I’d recommend most ordinary people who aren’t gun enthusiasts get a pistol caliber carbine in 9mm. A cheap, ugly Hi-Point carbine, a Beretta CX4, a Kel-Tec Sub2k or something similar (I’m not as thrilled with 9mm AR-style, because not having the mag through the grip makes the whole rifle longer and more nose-heavy). If you’re old school, get a Rossi M92 16″ lever action in .357 magnum, or an M1 Carbine.

    I think you can get 20-rd mags for Hi-Points now, even.

    All the 9mm semi-auto carbines above are comparable in length to an SBR AR, much quieter unsuppressed, have virtually no recoil, are super pointable, and put out a little extra velocity than a handgun.

  • FN luv

    My choice is a tri-rail PS90 SBR with light and red dot.

  • Charlie Victor Alpha

    Whatever you are most competent with.

  • Cymond

    I know this sounds insane, but I have a family member who could die from the sound of a gunshot (weak heart), so I keep a 22lr AR-15 pistol with suppressor. 25 rounds of CCI Mini Mags is not an ideal load, but I have to balance the need for defense against the risk that my defense harms those I’m trying to defend.

    I have a similar platform in 9mm (4.5″ barrel AR pistol), and will switch to that after I get a 9mm suppressor.

    • BeGe1

      Not insane at all. .22 LR may not be the best stopper…but its also easy to shoot very fast. 5 in rapid succession is nothing to scoff at.

      The main failing is being rimfire. Duds too often. I’ve seen a round (mini-mag, actually) in a defensive pistol that had been in the tube for weeks…and the person went to the range to shoot one day and *click* on that first round…dud. That’ll make you reevaluate a few things…

      But if you have some special reason where you can’t have a centerfire (like the situation you outline above) then you do what you have to. Just practice more failure drills and practice rapid shooting 5+ round bursts.

    • redsr

      Short barrel 5.56 rifles w/o suppressors are equivalent to flashbangs going off indoors…
      And 9mm out of a rifle length barrel (not worrying about a suppressor) is fairly quiet, about as loud a 22lr rifle…

  • Twilight sparkle

    I would disagree with the 77 grain sierras, i’d probably step down to a 45 grain for home defense. Heavier isn’t always better

    • Chop Block

      45 gr doesn’t penetrate adequately. 75-77 gr BTHP/OTM from most makers tend to fragment well and penetrate properly. The TMK is really special, though. Goes off like a bomb, with a very large TSC, short neck, and perfect penetration.

      • BeGe1

        I’ve seen some tests that actually make me a believer in 55 grn M193 for home usage. The stuff penetrates some of the least of anything through walls, yet still does some pretty nasty things wound-wise at close range in bodies. Easy to get hold of too.

        I’m not necessarily disagreeing with your choice either, purpose built defense rounds I’m sure do great. Just adding that to the discussion.

        • FleetYaw

          Dude it tumbles verry late if youre unlucky, a no go. If you hit an arm or leg it could icepick trough, where an hollow point/polymer tipped hollow point/ soft point/ etc would have already expanded.

          • Chop Block

            This is actually an overstated problem.

          • BeGe1

            From everything I’ve been able to determine from checking out as many tests as I can find, at super close range it is very effective from a 16″ barrel, reliably yawing at about 2″ into flesh, and then creating a basketball sized temporary cavity, and usually only ending up getting about 12″ of penetration overall.

            That’s performance about as well as most specialty self defense rounds in .223/5.56.

            M193 has a reputation for failing to yaw sometimes, but that’s during military applications at distance. Once it loses a little velocity with distance then that happens. At close to muzzle velocity (which almost all home defense will consist of) it yaws quite reliably and extremely quickly.

            Will special defense rounds improve on that? I don’t doubt that at least some of them will offer improvement. I’m not claiming M193 to be the pinnacle of possibility. But M193 is still a great contender that is easily obtained and a fraction of the price and works well.

        • James Young

          But M193 out of a 10.5″ or 11.5″ barrel would burn a significant amount of powder outside of the barrel. Flash, noise, and reduced velocity would make it undesirable. Now 16″-20″ barrel maybe. Or just go with soft point

          • Chop Block

            M193 and M855 are both quite effective, even from a short barrel, at least at close range. But you’re right that a short barrel is loud AF.

          • BeGe1

            Yes, but 90% of AR owners (actually probably higher than that) use a 16″-20″ barrel. But yeah, it’s not an SBR friendly round. It needs velocity to yaw effectively.

          • James Young

            I don’t have an issue with M193 out of longer barrels. It performs well and doesn’t penetrates walls similar to 9mm in tests I’ve seen. I would still go with a dedicated self defense round for use in any barrel length. Speer, Federal, etc.

          • BeGe1

            I hear ya. I definitely don’t want anything I’m saying about M193 to be interpreted as me disparaging actual defense rounds. They’re great stuff.

            I just have a hard-on for the idea of being able to practice often with the same stuff you’d use in reality. If M193 is even 50% as good as the actual defense rounds (which personally I’ve come to believe that it is probably even more than that, at least at close range out of 16″ barrels) then I’m gonna use it. Even if the only thing I actually gain from it is the confidence of knowing I’ve shot this round thousands of times before.

  • Blurb

    ED-209. Anything less is not giving it your very best.

    • Mazryonh

      “I’m sure it’s just a glitch.”

  • Scott Tx

    when my adrenaline is going short stroking isnt a problem, I slam that thing. plus… you know the drill.. practise practise practise. it might happen in 3 gun but those guys are shaving milliseconds.

    • Chop Block

      Run some the gun matches and you’ll learn differently.

      • Scott Tx

        possibly. I still keep a shotgun out all the time for emergencys.

        • Chop Block

          Sorry, stoopid fone. Should have read “three gun” but I think you got it.

    • James Young

      Short stroking happens under pressure which is one reason why I don’t keep a pump shotgun for HD. Semi auto shotguns cost too much, so rifles and pistols make the most sense for me.

      • Scott Tx

        my shotgun gets more use ventilating raccoons than home defense but its always out of the safe so its handy if I need it in a hurry.

  • DESTRO YAKISOBA
    • Blurb

      What is that?

      • iksnilol

        ChainSAW.

  • Don Howard

    a lazy gun . . . the only weapons system with a sense of humor

  • Ark

    A pistol with decent capacity, good defensive ammo, and a powerful flashlight in the off hand. You need your off hand to do stuff like flip light switches, drag children out of the way, or hold a phone while calling 911. There is no reason in the world to pick up an AR with a weapon light and try to play room clearing opr8r in your own home. Homes are confined spaces with doorways and corners where the ability to use a gun one-handed will be essential and you could quickly find yourself very, very close to an assailant.

    Not to mention the pistol can be hidden behind your back while using the flashlight for target identification. Running around with a long gun and a weapon light means pointing your gun at family members or responding police. I know everybody is grasping at anything to legitimize AR ownership in the face of moral panic and AWB laws, but come the hell on.

    • Chop Block

      There’s a lot of fail on that post. I’m gonna miss some, but I’ll do my best:

      Unless you are gluing your hands to your rifle, you can take a hand off to do all those things you mentioned. What’s more, you can take BOTH hands off if you need to. Hard to do with a pistol in your undies.

      Operator fallacy

      Unless you live in a porta potty, or you are a hoarder, stacking dead cats and laundry boxes to the ceiling, you have room for a short rifle.

      I can’t imagine why you’d want to hide a gun in your own home.

      Lots of folks who learned how to use a weapon light from watching TV think you have to point the light/gun at something to see it. You don’t.

      Scawy bwack wifle fallacy. Name one person who was convicted in an otherwise justified shooting because of a scary gun. I’ll wait.

      • I actually find it EASIER to use my hands with a carbine than while holding a pistol.

        I use this magical piece of new geerqueer technology called “a sling” (simple two point) and “side sling swivels”, looped over my neck and just loose enough that the sling allows me to shoulder the rifle on either side.

        If I have to let go, the rifle’s grip stays right where I left it, automagically!

        • James Young

          True. Also, modern carbines are so light that it’s not hard to keep one hand on the pistol grip and use your left for something else. Not hard to fire with one hand either, especially .223

    • BeGe1

      I have yet to find one police or military entity whose SOP’s state to sling your carbine and go to your pistol when in “confined spaces with doorways and corners” because you might end up “very, very close to an assailant”. In fact, last time I checked, having a 7 lb. hunk of metal that I have a 2 hand grip on seems like exactly what I want if I end up bad breath distance. But what do I know.

      Maybe you just know more that all of them.

      • I can rock a dude’s world with a little under a meter of steel and aluminum, especially if I DON’T CARE what it (or he) looks like afterwards.

        • Edeco

          Yep. I don’t think about it much anymore, but pretty sure there’s a good chance one could demoralize and/or deactivate an assailent by poking with the muzzle of a rifle. Be like a baton but better, two arms on it and a smaller area of impact. No garuntee, but valuable option I’d think.

          • retfed

            I wouldn’t bet my life on that. I saw it not work. I was in a little scuffle with a mass murderer and his wife was crawling across the bed to help him. One of my backup agents kept poking her with the muzzle of his M4 and she didn’t even notice. Of course, he never really thumped her with it.

          • Edeco

            Wow, does she have a sister? Seriousely, crazy anecdote. Fundamentally I agree, I mean, wouldn’t bet my life on it for nothing, there’d have to be a payoff and/or lack of better options. Also, yeah, one way or another one would have to get enough energy on target to subdue. There’s practically no way to garuntee that, but sometimes it can done with bare hands or a baton, and I think a rifle as a tool would tend to improve the odds. I have no real world experience but more to hold onto, weight suitable for a thrusting weapon, tight focal point…

          • BeGe1

            A muzzle is capable of shattering half your skull relatively easily. Nothing is certain in real fighting, but it’s worth betting quite a lot on.

          • retfed

            A skull is sort of a small target, and easy to glance off of when it’s moving, no? And if you’re gonna muzzle-thump someone, why not shoot them?

          • BeGe1

            Glancing or no, if I smack the side of your skull with a muzzle it’s gonna be a damn good introduction to the fight, even if it doesn’t end up as the fight ender (though it still has a good chance to be). And no, hitting someone’s head in hand to hand combat is not typically perceived to be crazy hard…in fact it’s how most hand to hand combat ends: with a good head blow.

            And I’ll assume you’re just being facetious about the “why not just shoot them” question. 🙂 I think everyone agrees that if you have the opportunity to just shoot them you will, and I think everyone knows we’re talking about hand to hand struggles where it’s not always as simple as “just shoot them”.

            Keep the context of what’s being discussed here: Some people are arguing the specific merit of NOT having a rifle in hand to hand combat vs. having one…saying that it’s actually a BAD thing to have have a meter long hunk of metal two hand gripped when fighting hand to hand. It’s a ridiculous assertion, which is why people are pointing out the benefits of having said meter long hunk of metal if stuff gets that close.

          • retfed

            I’m old school. I say “yard-long,” not “meter-long.”

    • MIke H

      Regarding the suppressor statement… blanket statements that no one should ever use a suppressor for fear of being prosecuted ignores the fact there are at least 50 general sets of standards for deadly force in this country. It entirely depends on your jurisdiction. Here in WA, the law is pretty explicit– forced entry is always justification for deadly force. In the 12+ years that I worked in TV news, we did plenty of stories about people killing intruders, and I don’t remember a single story about someone being prosecuted when the intruder was killed inside the home. No prosecutor in his right mind is going to decide to charge someone for using a suppressor equipped weapon while inside their home, no matter how anti-2A they are. If you were legally justified in killing someone who is breaking into your home, what you use to shoot him… so long as it’s legally owned… isn’t going to make a difference.

      Everyone’s needs and restrictions are unique to them and their environment, and much like “a suppressed SBR is *always* the best choice for everyone” is wrong, so is a blanket statement that an unsuppressed pistol is always the best choice. What’s best for me may not be what’s best for you.

    • Timmah_timmah

      Boy. The gun grabbers really have brainwashed you brother. ARs are not scary and evil. They are merely modern technology. Semi automatic rifles are the dominant format today and have been for some time.
      Why are semi auto pistols perfectly acceptable, but semi auto rifles are scary and evil? Makes no sense at all.
      And why is it every time someone mentions a carbine for home defense, the critical responses always say nonsense about room clearing. Because you can’t sit tight with a phone and a carbine? Huh?

      • Ark

        There’s nothing inherently bad about them. The whole “AR is the only acceptable home defense” fad is an overreaction to the people who are irrationally scared, want to ban them, and constantly screech “Whyyyyyy do you need that!?”. Pre-AWB, nobody was spouting nonsense about shooting home invaders with an AR. The entire notion was made up because, after the AWB, gun owners and manufacturers felt that they needed to aggressively justify why they own ARs. Thus, the two stamp AR home defense fantasy.

        Sure sold a lot of tax stamps, though.

  • Wth

    Iron Sights…? Or have they atleast tritium? And 20Round Mags……?

    Strange….

    • Chop Block

      Handles nicer with the 20 round. And yes, the front post has tritium, but if you have developed decent muscle memory with the rifle, you ought to be able to hammer rounds right in the middle of a bad guy without any sights by just imposing the FSB on the target.

      • Wth

        What do you mean it handles nicer? And why give up 1/3rd firepower. Sure it isnt planned to shoot a lot of rounds, but ya know -> murphy’s law.

        • Chop Block

          I just like how my SBR feels with a shorter magazine. To be honest, it’s loaded with a 30 round mag right now. But yeah, if someone breaks in,I probably won’t have to shoot. If I do have to shoot, it probably won’t be more than 3-4 rounds.

          • Wth

            *thinking about Andrew touching his AR15 inappropriately and moaning*

          • Chop Block

            That’s cool. I won’t judge you. Bold of you to admit that, though

          • iksnilol

            *lewd

  • The Mystic Seer

    Hello, Thanks for this fine blog. I think it is really a great topic to write about on my blog

  • nonobaddog

    Any title that has “best” or “worst” in it just click bait and results in completely useless arguments by all.

  • ActionPhysicalMan

    It seems to me that choosing a weapon for a confrontation that one doesn’t know anything about is just a gamble – trying to guess what will be the most appropriate for a struggle that you don’t get to choose the nature of. Your choice seems as good a bet as any with just one thing that is not clear to me. If this is for home defense, why do you choose a high BC long range bullet? Why not one that shines at short range?

    • Neck&Penetration

      Is that a joke? Its not about BC…… Its about the mix of early expansion (verry short neck), but also right penetration. This is one of the best in that area.

      • ActionPhysicalMan

        Not having a .223, I had not paid attention to the .77 THK testing videos. Yes it looks like it really puts a hurt on gel and water jugs. If it performs the same in living flesh it makes much sense to me now.

        • Neck&Peneration

          You dont? Not 5.56×45 eihter?

          • ActionPhysicalMan

            No, I have been negligent in that respect. People do strange things, I am no exception.

          • Chop Block

            He called it. The 77gr TMK is probably the best terminal performance available in the caliber right now. It’s just a happy accident that it is also an accurate long range bullet. I wish EPR was more widely available. I even put one through level III from an 11.5″ AR.

          • Timmah_timmah

            I’m genuinely puzzled why you would pick 77gr 556 over pretty much any supersonic 300BLK… Or even 6.5 Grendel. Both rounds offer considerably more energy on target than 556 out of 10-12″ barrels. Ammo price or availability might be the only pro in favor of 556… which is not relevant if terminal performance is the only criteria.

  • demophilus

    Once upon a time my hdw was a compact .22 pistol; after that it was a 12 ga. pump and that pistol; then I got gifted a .357 revolver and I swapped that in for the .22; then I got another, and put the 12 and the .22 in a safe.

    I have also had baseball bats, claw hammers, CS and pepper spray, kitchen knives, etc. pretty close at hand.

    In all cases my defensive choices have been driven by the AO, “task environment”, or “battlespace” — where I lived, fire angles, lanes, and ranges, local crime statistics, etc., etc. — and expedience. I have relied on whatever is at hand. Never had to actually use any of it yet, praise God.

    I don’t begrudge anyone their choices here, but it does seem like some of the commentators don’t get the difference between sweeping a space, and defending it. The former is an assault — or at least a recon by fire — and the latter is an ambush.

    The former is an unknown, so you need overmatch. You need the biggest hammer you can maneuver through the space. An ambush should be well laid out, if not overly planned. You need to be thinking about cover and concealment, not just ordnance.

    Which is a roundabout way of saying that if you need a suppressed SBR to defend your home, it’s maybe time to move to a nicer part of town. Most of us will never, ever need that big a hammer.

  • If you’re gonna use a short barreled AR for home defense, for frak’s sake get a suppressor for it, or you most certainly will sustain severe permanent hearing loss if you’re ever forced to use it for its intended purpose.

    I mean, I’ll use a gorram 75mm recoilless rifle in the living room if it’s that or get crowbarred by a methhead in my own house, I’m a Texan and Mein Volk don’t just burn bridges we Deaf Smith them with an axe to make sure, but take some reasonable steps before engaging in pyrrhic self defense.

    • Chop Block

      Well, you’re going to sustain hearing damage, no matter what you use, unless it’s a suppressed .22lr or 9mm. But you’re right. A suppressed 5.56mm will damage your and your family’s hearing a lot less and leave you more capable of communicating with the dispatcher and complying with police orders.

      • Mazryonh

        Another alternative is to use pistol caliber ammunition out of a pistol-caliber carbine. If you’re using a 16-inch barrel on a PCC, it’s actually quieter (even without a suppressor) when firing than if you fired the same rounds out of a handgun, even more so if the rounds are subsonic by the time they exit the muzzle.

  • 22winmag

    Lieutenant, what do those pulse rifles fire?

    Ten-millimeter explosive-tip caseless. Standard light armour-piercing round. Why?

    Look where your team is. They’re right under the primary heat exchangers.

    So?

    So, if they fire their weapons in there, won’t they rupture the cooling system?

  • Realist

    “So the answer to the question is a short, light carbine…the best short, light carbine to choose is a 10.5″-11.5″ suppressed AR-15…”

    One caveat to this…you better have a legion of good defense lawyers. All it takes is one anti-2nd Amendment Prosecutor to convince a panel of Jurors that the homeowner’s actions were “excessive force” and you’re done.

    I’ve seen this play out (yes I’m an Atty.) many times where the weapons used weren’t “pimped out” like the “answer” above.

    • Lee Enfield

      I’ve seen this play out (yes I’m an Atty.) many times where the weapons used weren’t “pimped out” like the “answer” above.

      Then I’m sure you can provide links to those public cases.

      • Chop Block

        This.

  • jerry young

    The best home defense gun is the one closest to hand when needed, that being said it also depends on what you are defending against, close quarters I’ll take a handgun over all a short shotgun would be my second choice, if you are defending your property then a rifle or shotgun and a handgun in that order,.

  • nick

    I do like these chats, as everyone has interesting opinions on it. One thing that is missing though, is how you are set up for “advance notice”,

    if you know someone is approaching your home, its less of a scramble that when the door or window comes in.

    I live on a rural property, but, have a closed gate, and half way up the lane, a MAD system that chimes in the house, gives me plenty of warning of visitors….like the one I had a 0230 back last year on a Sunday morning

    chose a 12 ga flare for that one….long before they got to the house. there may, or may not have been different 12 ga selections in the mag tube for “later”

    they left a few break in tools on the ground in the scramble to get back in their truck, dutifully passed to LE for any prints

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Why settle with any of that when you can use claymores. I keep the trip wire in my hand while I sleep and when I hear a sound, I pull. Can’t get too attached to pets though.

  • retfed

    I don’t get all this “house clearing” stuff. If I hear a noise (or the better half hears one), I’ll check the premises. Since the odds that it’s really anything are pretty low, and I’m going around corners and all, a pistol is fine. If I know someone is entering or already inside, I plan to stay put with the spouse,call the cavalry, and let the bad guy come to me, where I have a surprise waiting..
    So, am I missing something here, or does all this reference to SEALs and SWAT teams seem irrelevant?

    • Chop Block

      Yes, you’re missing something. You’re missing a lot, really.

      • retfed

        Not sure of your point. I’ve cleared enough buildings (on warrants and raids) to know that only an idiot does it alone. If the person in your house is a run-of-the-mill burglar you can probably get him to leave without firing a shot. If it’s a crew of home invaders, you could quite easily be ambushed and your $3000 carbine won’t do you a bit of good.
        Leave the house clearing to the people who are paid to do it.

        • Chop Block

          Oh, gee, Mr policeman, could you tell me more? I know exactly how bad an idea it is to attempt room clearing alone. But I’m not going to leave my small children to fend for themselves, either.

          • retfed

            Oh gee, Mr. Soldier, could you be a little more condescending?
            I never said anything that would imply advocating leaving innocent people to the mercy of criminals. In most residences, the bedrooms are grouped together, either on the second floor or at the same end of the first, and you can get everybody into one room without much, if any, house clearing. That’s when you call the cavalry, and wait for the bad guy to come to you. If he does, you have your carbine there, ready to go. If he doesn’t, all the better. No loud noises, no blood to clean up, no unpleasant questions to answer, no legal fees. (I also said, “If I hear a noise . . .” I was talking about my specific case: no kids in the house, and only one other person to worry about.)
            (And to think I just wrote a favorable comment about your ammo tests.)

        • Timmah_timmah

          $3000? Good lord, what an absurd number. You can build an SBR for $800, a form 1 can for $400 – stamps included. Done.

    • m444ss

      Yep. If you don’t have to protect folks in other bedrooms, your plan of action is sound / prudent.

  • TyrannyOfEvilMen

    Yeah… Except that the bump in the night that you hear in 9 out of 10 cases is going to be something innocuous – your kid got up in the middle the night, your cat knocked over a lamp, your drunk neighbor is pounding on the wrong door again – So you can keep your handgun concealed in those cases.

    Then again, if you confront your drunk neighbor with an AR-15, you may have to hose down your porch in the morning. Depends.

    • Chop Block

      Because if your pistol is hidden in your tighty whities, he’ll be fine but a rifle transforms you into a murderer like Dr Jekyll?

      • TyrannyOfEvilMen

        Tidy whities? Tattooed war paint, son. F**ks up their OODA loop. 👍🏽

  • sepheronx

    I figured that the cheapest and easiest to use firearm may be ideal. Some cheap handgun like the Zastava M88 or something alike.

  • DanGoodShot

    We all know what they say about opinions… I have one as well. It happens to agree with yours.

    • Chop Block

      Oddly, I have a few of them.

  • m444ss

    Re penetration concerns with rifle ammo…although addressed in the article re 5.56/.223, one could also use a pistol caliber carbine.

    • BeGe1

      Many .223 rounds actually penetrate through fewer walls than most pistol rounds do.

      The heavy/slow/fat bullet of a pistol tends to continue penetrating through quite a few walls.

      The light/fast/long bullet of a .223 tends to lose a lot of energy in a wall and tumble/fragment very quickly, making it through far fewer walls.

      That’s why so many police agencies have switched from SMGs to AR-based carbines. It’s actually safer.

  • Mark T

    My G17 fitted wit night sights that co-witness my my red dot, with a rail mounted flashlight, and A 23 round mag (17+5 extension) and a second 17 round mag is my primary home defense gun. I prefer a pistol for CQC. But to each his own,

  • John Sarsfield

    Hands down, a claymore is the best.

  • The short barrel suggestion, while a good choice, requires a lot more paperwork, wait, and money at the gun shop for that FFL Tax Stamp. And of course, the addition of hearing protection device on the end of that short barrel is also a great choice, but it too, requires the same paperwork, wait and money at the gun shop. Assuming the home defender is willing to deal with these two Federal tax/license issues for these two items (and can legally do so in the state in which they reside)… wouldnt a 300BLK be a far superior cartridge for both the short barrel, as well a suppressor use? As this is a specific design for home defense (not an all-around carbine), I don’t see much downside to going with the 300BLK, so long as the owner stacks back enough ammo to handle all those home defense/supply disruption issues that may occur during short term crisis. Great advise on the carbine! and double that for the advise for the sling! Cheers!

  • Mazryonh

    Remember when an eight-year old kid, home alone, scared off a pizza deliveryman with a bunch of firecrackers in a metal pot?