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Old 11-29-2017, 12:59   #1
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AR pistol for home defense

Is the 5.56 round effective out of a 7-10 inch barrel? For close quarters the shorter weapon is more maneuverable but how much do you sacrifice in terminal effectiveness?
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Old 11-29-2017, 13:47   #2
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10" is better than a 7" for velocity, but how big is your house? I would stick to a conventional pistol and shotgun for home defense, but if you want an excuse to buy an AR pistol, then one would be perfect for the zombie apocalypse.
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Old 11-29-2017, 13:53   #3
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It's a poor choice, if you want one in .223.

Muzzle blast is literally deafening in a confined space, and the muzzle flash in the dark has to be see to be believed.

Now, a 9mm AR pistol is a different story as the sound level from a 10" 9mm AR pistol is down around 117 dB, compared to around 150 dB for a 4" 9mm pistol, and muzzle flash is minimal.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:22   #4
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I think the round itself is good but model 52 is right in my opinion... you might not have the option of getting hearing protection on and may blow out an ear drum, possibly taking you out of an important fight... If you plan on using a 5.56/.223 for home protection, try shooting it at the local indoor range with no hearing protection on to see how it affects you.
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Old 12-05-2017, 13:50   #5
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Originally Posted by Steak n eggs View Post
I think the round itself is good but model 52 is right in my opinion... you might not have the option of getting hearing protection on and may blow out an ear drum, possibly taking you out of an important fight... If you plan on using a 5.56/.223 for home protection, try shooting it at the local indoor range with no hearing protection on to see how it affects you.
With all due respect, I believe trying that could cause permanent hearing loss to some degree.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:10   #6
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I agree,... but I’ve seen this question over and over on several different forums and there are always a few guys that swear up and down they will be fine, they served overseas and shot in closed envirements with no hearing protection, etc... then there are the guys who think they will be good too without the experience of the vets... long story short... I’ve found that debating those arguments are fruitless to those that don’t want to hear it... Instead, in this case I changed tactics up a little, stated my opinion and encouraged those types that think they’ll be ok to test their theory in a controlled envirement before staking their families lives on the two way range.
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Old 12-10-2017, 16:49   #7
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Originally Posted by HugoStiglitz View Post
Is the 5.56 round effective out of a 7-10 inch barrel? For close quarters the shorter weapon is more maneuverable but how much do you sacrifice in terminal effectiveness?
Compared to a 16" barrel, the 7.5" loses ~ 300 fps with the same round. Still fast enough for expanding bullets to function. My partner is an avid "Hunter", and after sighting in at 100 yds on paper with an Aimpoint PRO, feels he would carry it with confidence knowing what it can or can't do at even longer ranges. A SEI Vortex FH tames the flash nicely. With a properly tuned Superlative Arms AGB, this rig has ZERO FTFs / FTEs with good ammo.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:58   #8
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Originally Posted by Model 52 View Post
It's a poor choice, if you want one in .223.

Muzzle blast is literally deafening in a confined space, and the muzzle flash in the dark has to be see to be believed.

Now, a 9mm AR pistol is a different story as the sound level from a 10" 9mm AR pistol is down around 117 dB, compared to around 150 dB for a 4" 9mm pistol, and muzzle flash is minimal.
I really like the idea of a 9mm AR pistol. How much more effective is a 9mm round out of an 8-10 inch barrel compared to a full size 9mm handgun?
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Old 03-08-2018, 15:49   #9
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Why? Unless you have very large rooms, big doors or wide open living spaces a rifle or sg as a house gun is a poor choice. IMO. Too hard to manipulate through narrow halls, blind corners, too easy for intruder to get past the muzzle. If light equipped you are limited to only being able to illuminate where the muzzle points potentially sweeping a friendly. To protect your outside property, barn, shop etc sure. A full sized handgun and a seperate high lumen tactical light is a much better idea.
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Old 04-27-2018, 20:53   #10
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I recently have been pondering an AR pistol as a HD primary. Everything I’ve been seeing recommended is a surpressed .300blk out of a 10.5” barrel.

Personally I am in the pistol camp, and am looking to go to a suppressed set up as well.
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Old 05-01-2018, 23:52   #11
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Seven inch can be a mixed lot of hit and miss for 100% reliability. Stick with the ten inch if you must go 5.56. You need to look at your overall living situation as other members have suggested "rural vs urban, over penetration, deafening, muzzle flash, concussion in close quarters etc.". You might keep one of each ready for that so called bump in the night. One (pistol) for inside friends and one (rifle/shotgun) for outside friends....LOL
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:43   #12
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Originally Posted by HugoStiglitz View Post
I really like the idea of a 9mm AR pistol. How much more effective is a 9mm round out of an 8-10 inch barrel compared to a full size 9mm handgun?
Assuming you have a 4" barrel you'll get about 150 fps more from a 10" barrel. Many of the AR-9s advertising a "10 inch" barrel really have an 11.5" barrel as the barrel goes all the way back to what would otherwise be the bolt carrier, as a 9mm AR does not use a rotating bolt or barrel extension, like a .223 AR-15. They are called "10 inch" since they have the same OAL as a 10" .223 AR-15. Conversely, most "16 inch" AR-9s have a barrel that is right around 16.25" to 16.5" from the bolt face, so they have an OAL comparable to a 14.7" M4. Consequently, the difference in length between a "10 inch" and a "16" AR-9 is just 4.5", not 6".

With a 16" barrel, the increase in velocity is really load dependent and can vary from 150 fps to as much as 300 fps compared to a 4" barrel.

In a 16" barrel you can get close to 1400 fps with a 124 gr bullet and around 1450 fps with a 115 gr bullet using standard pressure loads. You can increase that to about 1450 and 1525 fps respectively with a +p load.

For comparison purposes a .357 Magnum will produce right around 1500 fps with a 125 gr bullet in a 4" barrel, so in essence a 16" barrel with a +P load will deliver .357 Magnum revolver level performance.

If you hand load and use a slower burning powder, you can get 1550 fps and 1600 fps with a 124 gr or 115 gr bullet respectively in in a 16" barrel.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:25   #13
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Originally Posted by Baltimoreed View Post
Why? Unless you have very large rooms, big doors or wide open living spaces a rifle or sg as a house gun is a poor choice. IMO. Too hard to manipulate through narrow halls, blind corners, too easy for intruder to get past the muzzle. If light equipped you are limited to only being able to illuminate where the muzzle points potentially sweeping a friendly. To protect your outside property, barn, shop etc sure. A full sized handgun and a seperate high lumen tactical light is a much better idea.
As someone that's done this professionally, Most of this is incorrect.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:28   #14
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Originally Posted by MOTOROLANUT View Post
Seven inch can be a mixed lot of hit and miss for 100% reliability. Stick with the ten inch if you must go 5.56. You need to look at your overall living situation as other members have suggested "rural vs urban, over penetration, deafening, muzzle flash, concussion in close quarters etc.". You might keep one of each ready for that so called bump in the night. One (pistol) for inside friends and one (rifle/shotgun) for outside friends....LOL
If you're concerned about over penetration in a typical stick-built home, 5.56 is a better choice than a handgun or shotgun.
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Old 05-08-2018, 19:20   #15
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Originally Posted by Model 52 View Post
Assuming you have a 4" barrel you'll get about 150 fps more from a 10" barrel. Many of the AR-9s advertising a "10 inch" barrel really have an 11.5" barrel as the barrel goes all the way back to what would otherwise be the bolt carrier, as a 9mm AR does not use a rotating bolt or barrel extension, like a .223 AR-15. They are called "10 inch" since they have the same OAL as a 10" .223 AR-15. Conversely, most "16 inch" AR-9s have a barrel that is right around 16.25" to 16.5" from the bolt face, so they have an OAL comparable to a 14.7" M4. Consequently, the difference in length between a "10 inch" and a "16" AR-9 is just 4.5", not 6".

With a 16" barrel, the increase in velocity is really load dependent and can vary from 150 fps to as much as 300 fps compared to a 4" barrel.

In a 16" barrel you can get close to 1400 fps with a 124 gr bullet and around 1450 fps with a 115 gr bullet using standard pressure loads. You can increase that to about 1450 and 1525 fps respectively with a +p load.

For comparison purposes a .357 Magnum will produce right around 1500 fps with a 125 gr bullet in a 4" barrel, so in essence a 16" barrel with a +P load will deliver .357 Magnum revolver level performance.

If you hand load and use a slower burning powder, you can get 1550 fps and 1600 fps with a 124 gr or 115 gr bullet respectively in in a 16" barrel.
Excellent information. Thank you. I ended up going with a Freedom Ordinance FX-9 pistol...8 inch barrel. I will stick with +P ammo for home defense. It is a sweet gun. Very accurate and reliable so far.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:04   #16
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Ontos, I'd be interested in where you think my logic is flawed in my earlier reply. Rifles or sgs usually need two hands to operate, if both hands are on the gun you will need a weapon mounted light to identify your target which means you potentially could sweep a friendly, long bbls are harder to safely manipulate in close quarters and easier to get past. Also there is the ability, when using a handgun, to use your weak hand to deflect a strike from an assailant who gets too close but still be in control of said handgun to deliver rounds on target. I didn't even mention the blast from a .223 would be tremendous indoors but others did. I would also add that while penetration tests are generally in wallboard or lumber any bullet that goes through a glass window is dangerous to the neighbors and given the energy difference between a handgun round and a rifle round, the rifle round will be the more dangerous. I've never shot anyone, in my home or outdoors so I have no firsthand experience there, just my logic. Here is a comparison between my AR.45/mp5 build with a 9 inch bbl and a 1911 with a light. BIG diff. My nightstand gun is a .38 2 inch bbl Smith revolver loaded with Hornady Critical Defense +P ammo and a seperate tactical flashlight. If you doubt your accuracy with a handgun get Crimson trace grips installed. I still believe that, while tacticool, the AR in a handgun configuration is not a good choice for a 'bump in the night' gun.
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Old 08-12-2019, 20:37   #17
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Have you taken any defensive pistol courses from reputable instructors? I would suggest that you do that first before you purchase any AR pistols. Take a good 9 mm, .40 cal or .45 cal pistol with lots of ammo and extra magazines with you for the training. A good pistol in the hands of a well trained shooter can be a highly effective and maneuverable device.

Once you learn to shoot with speed and accuracy, then learn to keep up your proficiency with lots of practice, you won't worry too much about what an AR pistol can or can not do for you. Tactical applications like a simple double tap will stop most bad guys cold when they get hit with pistol bullets. A well placed pistol shot, like one to the head, can also ruin the bad guy's day.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:15   #18
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If you use a 9mm pistol with a suppressor for home defense, you'll be able to take down a bad guy AND your hearing will be intact afterwards. Hearing is kind of important.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:01   #19
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Originally Posted by Baltimoreed View Post
Ontos, I'd be interested in where you think my logic is flawed in my earlier reply. Rifles or sgs usually need two hands to operate, if both hands are on the gun you will need a weapon mounted light to identify your target which means you potentially could sweep a friendly, long bbls are harder to safely manipulate in close quarters and easier to get past. Also there is the ability, when using a handgun, to use your weak hand to deflect a strike from an assailant who gets too close but still be in control of said handgun to deliver rounds on target. I didn't even mention the blast from a .223 would be tremendous indoors but others did. I would also add that while penetration tests are generally in wallboard or lumber any bullet that goes through a glass window is dangerous to the neighbors and given the energy difference between a handgun round and a rifle round, the rifle round will be the more dangerous. I've never shot anyone, in my home or outdoors so I have no firsthand experience there, just my logic. Here is a comparison between my AR.45/mp5 build with a 9 inch bbl and a 1911 with a light. BIG diff. My nightstand gun is a .38 2 inch bbl Smith revolver loaded with Hornady Critical Defense +P ammo and a seperate tactical flashlight. If you doubt your accuracy with a handgun get Crimson trace grips installed. I still believe that, while tacticool, the AR in a handgun configuration is not a good choice for a 'bump in the night' gun.
To start with your entire assumption that you are forced to
Muzzle something in order to illuminate it is patently false.

Run a WML of 800+ lumens and use splash.

Also, a carbine is easy to run indoors... single handed operation isn’t an issue.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:18   #20
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Originally Posted by Model 52 View Post
It's a poor choice, if you want one in .223.

Muzzle blast is literally deafening in a confined space, and the muzzle flash in the dark has to be see to be believed.

Now, a 9mm AR pistol is a different story as the sound level from a 10" 9mm AR pistol is down around 117 dB, compared to around 150 dB for a 4" 9mm pistol, and muzzle flash is minimal.
^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^
Do I keep rifles loaded for possible engagements at distance? You bet! (You DO have a range card for your surrounding area, don't you?)
A pistol may be easier to maneuver, but it's harder to get hits with. A rifle may be harder to maneuver, but they usually have better sighting systems, so hits may be easier.
Pistol rounds, esp. FMJ ball rounds, can sail right through drywall/plaster/wall studs, etc., so you have to know your back stop and not shoot the neighbors/kids, etc.
Most rifle rounds traveling at least 2500+ FPS will disintegrate upon hitting these structures, so the danger is reduced somewhat.
Everything is a compromise.
Best bet is to try clearing your house, with a cleared firearm, in the dark, and see just how difficult it is.
Then go to a shoot house and do some realistic training, and train some more.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:46   #21
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Kind of an old thread but I'll play.
Canine units have over watch while we sleep. The two are growing fast Kali is 10 months, Khan is 4 months. Once they reach adult hood nobody is coming through the door or window without serious issues and if they harm my "family member", I have a green light to stickem to the floor with dam sword I keep handy. My worst case scenario is having to discharge a weapon in my house. The entire what would you use discussion is after your security is breached. I say use your brain and have some security while you sleep so you never have to deal with the hassle of killing a thief and not someone trying to kill you.
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Old 10-24-2019, 14:16   #22
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I dunno... I'm looking pretty hard at a Sig M400 pistol right now... real hard... because sometimes 16 rounds of 9mm ain't enough... especially in today's climate!
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Old 10-24-2019, 15:08   #23
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Originally Posted by Parnelli View Post
I dunno... I'm looking pretty hard at a Sig M400 pistol right now... real hard... because sometimes 16 rounds of 9mm ain't enough... especially in today's climate!



Maybe you should move to a safer area, or toughen up on door and window security. Firing those hot rounds in a house will leave you deaf. I have suppressors on my 9mm and .22LR pistols, which makes the noise level acceptable and not harmful to anyone's hearing.



16 rounds ain't enough, eh? That's really funny.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:06   #24
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Ooops... I looked a little too hard and long at it... the Romeo5 tops it off nicely!

Very nicely!!!
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:11   #25
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Originally Posted by Parnelli View Post
Ooops... I looked a little too hard and long at it... the Romeo5 tops it off nicely!

Very nicely!!!

I have a Romeo 5 I swap onto a variety of my firearms. It's a nice red dot, especially for the friendly price.
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