Sgt. Maj. Kyle E. Lamb (courtesy centermassinc.com)

Over at americanrifleman.com, Sgt./Maj. Kyle E. Lamb is crystal clear on the supremacy of the AR-15 platform for home defense. Anyone who thinks a 1911 is up to the task just isn’t thinking properly, apparently. “If you are among those who say, ‘If I can’t fix the problem with my eight rounds of .45 ACP, it can’t be fixed,’ I say please grab a big old mug of black coffee and wake up from your dream. No one knows who, what, when, where or why the fight will start—blowhard statements only degrade an intelligent conversation.” Yup, this is gonna get ugly . . .

You reckon a pistol is faster to shoot?

It can be true if you already have your hands on the gun. However, the last part of that statement is often overlooked: “Pistols point faster, and miss more often.” Although we can quickly get the pistol into the fight, the carbine will get there and be more shootable for the average person. With a carbine in the low-ready position, the average shooter can get shots on target in less than one second.

Easier to grab?

With the carbine, a simple two-point sling is all you need to have the ability to go hands-free. Grabbing the carbine, if needed, is quick and safe.

Offers quicker target acquisition?

With a red-dot or low-power scope on your carbine you won’t need to align sights as you would need to with your pistol. Simply keep both eyes open, place the red dot on the threat and squeeze the trigger.

More wieldy?

The ease with which you can transport a carbine in and around the battlefield is one of the reasons I immediately gravitate to it for home protection. When the battlefield is your domicile, the only real difference between Iraq and Home Town, USA, is the distances you may need to engage.

Delivers less possibility of over-penetration?

A shot from a pistol, shotgun or the AR will all easily penetrate a conventionally constructed wall consisting of sheetrock, wooden studs and possibly insulation.

No word on weapons retention. Anyway, for home defense, I say pistol on your person during the day, bedside by night (preferably equipped with night sights), followed by any damn long gun you like, preferably in a defensive position. And electronic ear pro.

What say you?

148 Responses to The Last Word on Why You Should Use an AR-15 for Home Defense. Or Not.

      • I take my long guns out of the safe and place them in a couple rooms away from points of entry when I get home. Then my pistol on my hip is used to get me to the vastly superior rifle. Not a tough concept.

        • Yeah, pistol for me too. Just easier to grab. FNX 45T with 15+1 rounds of HST – and most importantly for me a thumb safety (only gun i like one on), so I don’t need a holster and can keep it ‘hot’. Also has a DA first pull – and then it’s all Go. If that aint enough, I can always pull out the 930 SPX and knock down some walls. If I had a ranch or big ol homestead, I’d keep the AR more handy….

    • I’m trying to picture this guy washing the after-diner dishes with his AR on his 2-point sling. LOL!

      • I’ve done this plenty….when you get a new weapon or accessory, best way to familiarize yourself with it is to mess with it, everywhere, all the time. Plus, it’s fun knowing that you’re “that guy”.

    • Exactly. What’s that old saying?

      “A pistol in the hand is worth two ARs in the safe.”

      Ok, maybe it was birds and bushes, but same thing.

  1. I say this advice doesnt do jack for apartment dwellers and non uniformed residents of MA, CA,NY, NYC, Chicago, NJ, DC and Conneticutt .

    • In a home defense type deal I’d much rather have 8 rounds of 45 and a spare mag within reach than 10 rounds of .223 and a bullet button that the kommifornia overlords make me have.

      • I live in CA, and if I have a need to reload an AR, well, I’m going to reload the damn AR.

        With that being said, I’d rather have the Mossberg 930 inside a house than the AR(s).

        • I agree.

          Crime inside my home is likely going to be late at night while I am asleep in bed. My dogs think the wind works for ISIS, so I’ll likely have a few seconds notice before someone could get to the door, and in that time I have to wake up enough to make a decision that could possibly end someone’s life, find my glasses (I’m quite blind without them.), and arm myself. I am completely unconcerned with fighting fair in my home under those conditions so I keep an 870 with a light beside the bed. It puts out 8 times as much lead per pull of the trigger than either a pistol or a rifle, and is much more forgiving in the aim department. The worst thing that would happen here is that I accidentally hit a tv or cheap painting- no neighbors or housemates that would be tall enough to catch a round passing through a wall- and I care less about stuff than I do about my family’s safety.

        • I can’t tell you how many police here in California have told me to disobay the magazine capacity law for home defense.

          One recently told me, “it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.”

      • If I lived in a miserable communist shithole tax drain state that required a bullet button for a detachable mag, I’d simply have to adapt, and while the weight and ergonomics and accessories aren’t as handy as the AR, there is a lot to recommend itself about an M-1 Garand if you’re living in Commiefornia.

        -no detachable box mag. (and best part DeLeon, this actually HAS a .30 caliber clip!)
        -quick reloads (en bloc clip again)
        -no threaded muzzle for Sen Franken… errr Feinstein to get her knickers in a wad over
        -less than 10 round capacity (which sucks, but keeps it legal)
        -rugged, durable reliability that you can beat a man to death with in a worst case scenario.
        -pretty walnut instead of scary black plastic!

        Now get off my lawn.

    • While most newer mags are neutered, one can still lawfully own pre ban mags in Mass. Replace the followers and keep those AR’s handy. Always carry a sidearm and fight your way to your rifle!

  2. I live in a row home. I’d be very concerned about “down range” injuries, as in the people next door, with a .223/5.56. .22LR, 9mm OK………..maybe.

    • Lightweight, high velocity 223 (in the neighborhood of 42 grain 3300fps) will destabilize instantly upon hitting sheetrock and come apart after a few layers, generally ceasing to be effective after about 4 (2 walls) while a 200 grain .45 hollowpoint at 850fps isn’t stopping for anything.

      • This would be my argument as well. Personally, I think the 5.7×28 is a great apartment/townhome caliber. I don’t think the argument should be rifle vs. pistol, it should be rather caliber selection for your environment.

        • The Box o Truth shows that #4 buck pretty much stops after 4 sheets of dry wall.
          Someplace else has gel tests (shooting the bull?) which show that #4 buck will get some decent penetration whereas birdshot won’t.

        • Yeah, Steve. 4 buck is the smallest that will achieve FBI penetration minimums. Personally I use #1 Buck but with my house layout that’s not a risk.

  3. Well, here in cuomostan we aren’t trusted with any evil black weapons of mass destruction so I keep 9 rounds of 00 and 1 oz slugs in a 12ga. Mossberg 500 Persuader with a one-point sling, red dot and flashlight. Along with a few assorted handguns, mags, etc. Even if ARs were permitted by our overlord, I think I’d pass.

    • Similar- Mossberg 500 with a Sidewinder mod and a flashlight, 10 round mag of .00 buck, 5 round spare mag with .00 buck.

      Now, for those in other states with more options. What say you to an AR based pistol, and in what caliber as an option instead of an M4gery?

      • 300BLK SBR with a can. I am blessed enough to live in a state that affords me both those options.

        • Definitely my ideal home gun as well. An 8 inch barrel and a can still may be shorter than a pinned 14.5 (depends on the can of course) and I would MUCH rather not have to work about deafness/EarPro at a time like that.

    • (hushed tones) Rick, you mean that nameless faceless firearm that you lost at sea during that terrible fire . . .

  4. I home carry my EDC pistol. But if things get tense, my rifle will within arms reach in what ever room I am in.

  5. A short barreled carbine might be my ideal home defense firearm, but I’m going to home carry a handgun. Shorter version: have a handgun to get back to your rifle.

    • I was thinking the same thing. A handgun is much easier to carry than a carbine and will stop most home invasions. As for the few home invasions where a handgun will be inadequate, it will buy you enough time to get to a carbine in most of those remaining situations.

  6. Im not going to be slinging my rifle in the middle of the night when I hear someone break in.

    Sight alignment vs red dot placement? Takes the same amount of time.

    Give me my sig any time of night and I’ll do fine. 90% when the bad get has lead flying at them, they leave.

  7. My house is small. Moving from my bedroom to the hallway would require that I drop the muzzle of a rifle, even a 10″ SBR.

    blowhard statements only degrade an intelligent conversation

    I agree with this statement, which is why I disagree with the article. The best weapon is one that YOU can use effectively, in YOUR particular situation/circumstances, that YOU have on hand immediately when needed.

    I’ve studied all news reports of local home invasion DGUs, most end with an average of about 1.2 shots fired from the defender. Worst case scenario that the entirety of ISIS rolls up my block and picks my house? Sure, I’ll grab a carbine. A couple pill-poppers looking for a score? They’re getting either .45 or 9mm pills first.

    Respect for his service, but he’s a warfighter, not a civilian home defense expert.

    • You are right again, Grindstone, I was gonna say the same about blowhard statements but you got to it first.

    • I don’t know how you hold guns, but If I hold my 8-10″ SBR in close in a shooting position, and hold a handgun at arms length in a shooting position, the SBR is the more compact package by a good deal. I can put a suppressor on my EVO and Vector and have the same length profile as an extended handgun. I would have the drop the muzzle of a handgun(or hold it improperly thereby sacrificing control and accuracy) before I had to do the same with an SBR.

      • I can pull a pistol close to my chest while keeping the muzzle towards the threat. I’m still going to have two feet of SBR no matter how close I pull it. A pistol doesn’t always have to be at 100% arms extension to shoot an intruder.

  8. I tend to not listen to folks that declare that there is only one way to do something and that is their way. That all other ways are wrong and that we are all stupid for not agreeing with him.

  9. I believe he said to keep your off-hand far forward to help give you leverage against someone trying to wrench it out of your hands. He also doesn’t advocate the AR for everyone and acknowledges that each of us has to use our noodle when choosing our home defense firearm, he was simply advocating the AR as a good option to be considered.

  10. Not even close….pistol. If I lived in the ‘hood or a more remote, rural local then…maybe. For now the AR’s are stayin’ in the safe.

  11. I’d take a 9mm Tavor or similar bullpup/carbine due to short barrel without the stamp, and 30 rounds of pistol caliber from a carbine length barrel, ie: maybe I could hear and see the police when they show up later. Of course if I had my way, the only items worth stealing would be used for defense.

  12. “The only reason for a handgun is to fight your way back to the rifle that you should have never left in the first place.” Clint Smith-Thunder Ranch

    Not always applicable in the real world but excellent advice for most situations.

  13. For my circumstances and at home defense distances, sight acquisition is unnecessary with a pistol: front sight point and then shoot. For me, the idea is to protect my family and fight my way to my shelter position which is where my shotgun and AR are and use them to defend the siege until the police arrive 30-45 minutes later to draw chalk lines and take photos. If I hd a big ranch, well that’s different. Besides, as some have already pointed out, in the People’s Republik of Kaliforistan, we are limited to 10 rounds in rifles over 30″ in length with 16″ minimum barrels and a re-loading impediment when your 10 runs out called a bullet button. So the Ar is very limited for home defense.

    • It’s of the AR that’s limited, it’s the stupid laws that are limiting the AR. At least the gangbangers don’t have to worry about no stinking bullet buttons.

  14. I’ve found that anytime I dissagreed with SGM Lamb when it comes to weapons manipulation I’ve ended up being wrong. But this time, I agree with him. Pistols are great. There are some situations where they may be better. But, in general, I’d pick a carbine over the pistol and definitely so for home defense.

  15. Sgt. Major! Call your Pharmacist. Your prescription sedatives are ready for pick up.
    Your friend,
    Cpl. Smoke

  16. My bedside 1911 should give me enough time to grab my AR or my 870 which are both very close. I’m not one with children living at home or close neighbors and my wife shoots and handles the AR better than a pistol. I say have your cake and eat it too!

    • I was just thinking that if 8 rounds of .45ACP won’t solve my problem, it’s because my problem is wearing flak vests and battle helmets. Darn, where’d I leave that Garand with 8 rounds of M2 AP?

      • Don’t forget the cop problem usually travels to their home invasion target in gangs of size greater than eight.

  17. Ahem.

    I have much experience with the M16A1 and A2. These weapons are more than adequate for home defense.

    I own a Ruger Mini-14 with many-many large capacity magazines. I can step into the next room, load and fire it in under a minute.

    Still, the weapon within arms reach is my everyday carry Smith and Wesson 638 bodyguard. That’s right, a humble 5-shot j-frame .38 special revolver.

    I can’t fight off the Roman Legions with it but the first bad guy through my front door will wish he had stayed at home while he breathes his last.

    The best weapon is the one at hand. The worship of a particular kind or brand of weapon is fatuous.

  18. I lean more towards pistol for maneuverability in my own home. We have narrow hallways and stairwells which make a standard carbine AR unwieldy and impractical for HD use. Especially with a can attached, the OAL is nearly 4 feet.

    With that in mind though I have been (slowly) building an AR pistol.

    But to each his or her own.

  19. I keep an AR with a Specwar 556 and Glock 21 with an Osprey 45 and a attached light near my bed. Less of a need to worry about hearing protection.

  20. If your are going to go 5.56 rifle for home defense, then I would argue you are better off with a short little Tavor than an AR. Just my 2c

    • I agree. My girlfriend has a 14.5″ rifle and I use an 18″ rifle but in an apartment space they’re difficult to use especially since the exit of our room is directly into a hall meaning extremely tight corners to turn. I’ve been very interested in getting a bullpup-type firearm but it’s not in the cards financially at the moment.

    • Yup. Using this, we can even cauterize the entry hole from the fireball so the bad guy doesn’t bleed all over the carpet.
      Just thinking about cleanup…

      • Yep, cauterize from about 8 feet away. And if the bullet doesn’t stop him the concussion will.

    • If you don’t use M855 green tip I will be very disappointed. If anyone from the atf read what you said they would have a mental breakdown.

  21. I think it depends on what your definition of home defense is, or more to the point, where the engagement is taking place. Inside my small house, the hallways are narrow. I wouldn’t want to wrangle a long gun of any kind in there. If you have a big, spacious house, or you are including your entire property in the definition of “home defense,” then maybe a carbine makes more sense.

    I think he went off base when talking about deploying the carbine, especially when he talked about being slung up. Who slings up their gun around the house or when they go to bed at night? Chances are a home invasion will be a complete surprise, and you’ll have to grab your gun and go. There won’t be time to fiddle with the sling, a red dot, or anything else.

    He’s off on the risk to others too. In my suburb, a round from my handgun that gets away will likely hit the ground before it hits the neighbor’s house. A 5.56 round is a different story. As somebody else pointed out, handgun rounds that hit the bad guy also tend to stop inside the body. Again, different story with the 5.56.

    He’s entitled to his choice, but I’ll stick with my handgun. I have trained enough that I can reliably hit at 25 yards, and statistics say that is farther than I will likely need to shoot in self defense. In SHTF or if ISIS rolls into my neighborhood, I’ll pull out the M14 and get medieval. But for the most likely threats, my handgun will do just fine.

  22. Gonna build a 300 blk pistol for this purpose. First 5 rounds will be subsonic, anything after that will be louder.

  23. Por que no los dos? Me and the Wife both keep our EDC’s on our hip until it is time to get ready for bed. And as soon as we get home the Scorpion EVO and Kriss Vector both wearing Octane 45’s come out of the safe and hit the bedside. If someone comes in, the handguns on our hips will get us to either the bedside guns or the safe with the rest of the guns.

  24. It’s always a trade off. First off, in martial arts training, we were taught that anything you can put your hands on is a weapon. It can be a jar of pickles in the store or your car keys that can be used to stab with. The possibilities are endless. The pistol is by far the most convenient, lethal deployable weapon.

    As noted in numerous writings, the purpose of your pistol is to fight your way to your rifle.
    If SHTF, or is about to, or has that possibility, I’m headed to my black scary rifle. That is my main weapon of choice and not because Sargent Joe Experience says so, it’s due to my own knowledge of reliability, effectiveness, capacity and range. There is also the deterrent factor, but we don’t need to tread those waters. We all know the deterrent value over a pistol. What is more intimidating, officer friendly at your front door or militarized Joe Swat with his battle rifle? Joe Swat has a lot of “oh shit” to it!

    • You are right. Anything, well durn near anything, you can get your hands on can be a weapon. All it takes is the will to make it so.

      Of course some training makes it a much BETTER weapon.

      • No substitute for training. A lot of training though is instilling mindset. The attitude I WON’T be a victim. Cops do this training. The yelling and fighting and refusing to give up sort of training they do.
        My training was KENPO. That training spills over to everyday confidence and heightened awareness. Using obscured moves, margin for error and so fourth. I generally park way out in parking lots and although I don’t have door dings, it put’s me at higher risk, especially at night when walking to the car, I don’t carry things in my gun hand and my EZ Go unlocks the car door when I get near the car. I’m not paranoid, I just heighten my advantage with awareness and a few extra steps of safety during the times I’m most vulnerable.
        I have the mindset that if they try to take me, they will lose and they probably will. My EDC is a Sig P229 and my BSR is a SAM7R with a T1 and X300 Ultra

  25. Not. Meh…shotgun alternated with slugs and 00buck. And a pistol loaded with 9mm or more. I don’t plan(there’s that word again) on a long-range shootout. WAY too many neighbors nearby for an AR bullet that might fly 2miles. +2 axes,a machete,knives,baseball bat and 3 pepper blasters. There is also nowhere nearby to shoot an AR. YMMV…

  26. Respectable resume. All or nothing statements. There is a sliding scale on everything guns where true is more and less true.

  27. I’ll stick with my 9mm Ruger SR9c. With a second mag it have about 30 shots total. The laser works when I squeeze the grip so I don’t worry about sights. I’ve found I’m more accurate when I shoot from the hip, using the hip to brace my arm. I don’t expect to go looking for anyone, let them come looking for me. And I practice both left and right hand, and probably send 10 rounds down range without the laser for every round with the laser. Will I be able to hold off an army or ISIS? Of course not, but if it’s that type of battle all the bad guys have to do is drop a grenade in the house and they win anyway. If 30 rounds aren’t enough I’ll apologize to everyone, but I’m not really worried about it.

  28. I’ve dealt with two break-in scenarios in the real world. First case was coming home to burglars in my house. I was unarmed and they bolted out the upstairs door as I came in. A concealed pistol would have been my only option but at the time I had neither the pistol nor the CPL needed. The AR would have been no help then as I wouldn’t be carrying it coming back from the grocery store.

    Fast forward several years, I’ve since armed myself (long guns only), moved to a much more small-town rural area and become much more conscious of home security…

    Second scenario was someone breaking into my neighbor’s house at 215AM. I’m in a duplex and they were breaking into their second-story bathroom window which is roughly 12 feet from my own master bath window. My AR is in a locked case and the keys hidden from my kids, my access time is about 15 seconds. Too long, but I can’t think of a way to both secure it from small fingers and access in a semi-quick fashion. Wife calls 911, I grab the AR.

    Had it been my house being broken into they would have already been in the bathroom 5 steps from my bed by the time I even woke up. Police response time was a tick under 15 minutes.

    Given the scenarios I’ve faced I got a CPL just recently, and I think it is time to buy that handgun and quick-access safe I’ve been putting off. Rioters coming down the street? ISIS blows up elementary school? Russian paratroopers take over the town? (lol) Grab the AR. Dude smashing in the window, grab the pistol.

  29. For home defense, I accept nothing less than a fully loaded MRAP, or at least several claymores mounted at strategic points along points of entrance!

    That said, the my answer is – it depends. Answer the front door after dark when I’m not sure I can identify who it is? Pistol in covert ready.

    Small bump in the night? Red dot pistol with mounted flashlight at bedside.

    Major crash in the night? Suppressed .300 BLK AR-Pistola, also at bedside.

    Coyotes howling right next to my bedroom window at night? Either the Mossberg or a set of earplugs.

  30. None of these self appointed operators seem to have ever thought of the one attribute of a handgun that makes it my choice for home defense. I don’t have stats to back it up, but I’d bet that the majority of home invasions start with a seemingly innocuous knock at the door. You can easily conceal a handgun when you answer the door. You can even have it in your hand behind your back ready to go AND without making those poor elderly Jehovah’s Witness ladies soil their panty hose. And if it turns out they’re evil ninja old ladies passing themselves off as Jehovah’s Witnesses you won’t have time to go running to grab the AR from behind the bedroom door or even if you have managed to conceal it behind your back, it will be a lot harder to bring it into the fight when by the time you figure out you need it you’re getting your head bashed into the coffee table.

    Is an AR a better battle implement than a handgun? Absolutely. That still doesn’t make it right for every situation.

    • We do that, answer the door with a handgun just out of view. We don’t open the door to unexpected strangers to begin with, but we sometimes wonder whether someone might use an expected visitor as a means of entry.

      For example, could a couple of would-be home invaders follow the pizza delivery guy from his shop in a nice neighborhood to his stop, waylay him, then knock on the door and wait for them to open up? They’d already be expecting someone, so might not hesitate to open the door. They might even have cash in hand.

      • Another thing is that it’s likely your encounter will be very up close an personal, requiring a contact shot, so there’s a plus for the BFR (big effing revolver). I keep a 6″ GP100 handy loaded with Double Taps. Plus you can stick the barrel up their nostril and thumb back the hammer for dramatic effect. Pistols are fine, but just remember not to press it into their ribs or you’ll take it out of battery.

        • Also, it’s a Ruger, which means it’ll serve admirable double duty by being built strong enough that you can beat the bad guys to death in a pinch. If you really wanna up the intimidation factor, though, not much beats a Model 29.

        • Yes, if pistol whipping was a socially acceptable activity the GP100 with a 6″ barrel and full underlug would be the ultimate tool for the job. I agree with the model 29, but I think I’d rather leave myself at the mercy of home invaders than to fire a .44 magnum in a confined space with no hearing protection. I do have a .44 magnum Blackhawk, but it stays in the safe loaded with some Double Tap .44 specials.

    • Think security gate. They can be quite decorative and prevent opening the front door from granting unimpeded access to your house. And which means that the BGs will be selecting some other house, or will be coming in a window such that there is no ambiguity as to their intent. It also means that you can leave your front door open on a lovely day without reducing your security.

      • Good idea. I was specifically thinking of a number of incidents I’ve read about where the home invaders used a ruse to get into the house. Obviously you need to be careful about who you open the door for, but with a handgun you can be neighborly and still be protected.

    • Self-appointed? You do realize this guy is a Delta Force legend, right? He is the definition of “my ops are blacker than your ops”.

  31. At close ranges (roughly 12 feet and in), I don’t need to align sights on a handgun. Rather, I use instantaneous point-shooting. I am on target as fast as I can raise my handgun. Of course at the same ranges I do the same thing with a carbine — point shooting where time to get on target is how long it takes to raise the carbine.

    Once you start talking about ranges between 30 and 300 feet, the carbine has huge advantages.

    At any rate, to each his/her own.

  32. We go the hybrid approach: pistols for around the house, but long guns in the bedroom. A long gun is great when you have time and don’t need maneuverability. Unfortunately, in a home invasion, conditions are apt to be the opposite.

    Nevertheless, if someone crashes in through a living room window in the middle of the night, we have our long guns at the ready. In that scenario, we have time (albeit measured in seconds) and don’t require maneuverability at the end of the fatal funnel, anyway.

  33. Anyone who thinks that AR-15 is up to the task of defending your home and your loved ones is insane. What if you get attacked by ISIS, or worse yet, BATFE? We’re potentially talking about heavily armored (class IV) operators, possibly with NVDs, smoke grenades and flashbangs. You think your puny 5.56 can stop them? Silly! I would recommend at least a 7.62x51mm machine gun, though if you can get your hands on Ma Deuce, that’s just perfect.

    Don’t forget to mount them at all strategic entry points of the house! And, of course, the early warning system – tripwires if you’re on a budget, claymore mines for those who truly value their safety. That way, you’ll be up and manning the MG before they even get to your door.

    You might also want to acquire an RPG in the event of aerial assault.

  34. How about the 15rns of .45acp my double stack 1911 holds with 2 back up mags, is that up to the tast?

  35. Can’t fit a AR15 carbine in the top drawer of a dresser. Don’t worry, I have tried. Colonel Cooper said it best. A pistol is there so you can fight your way back to your long arm. That’s what the pistol will be for in my home. Depending on the home and the laws that govern your barrel length it could be harder to move through your house with a carbine on point vs a pistol.

  36. Home D, for me –

    Inside = Pistol (or shottie, in a distant second place)
    Outside = AR/Long gun

    and I aint doing home defense outside. I don’t have 100 acres of private property to defend and I’m not going to chase someone outside, so it’s all pistol.

    and if I’m leaving my property, it’s CCW. But every situation is different of course. If the Ruskies are coming (haha), I’d open the safe…

  37. My bed is probably 15 feet from the front door of my apartment. It’s not small, it’s just how it’s layed out. Therefore time is of the essence, and a handgun is a faster handier fighting tool for me. Partially because it’s better in tight spaces and I can slip in and out of my apartment with it and nobody bats an eye. I prefer the grey man approach.

    Secondly, I don’t like the blast from shooting an AR with a 16″ barrel. I always double up ear pro. I hate SBRs. Why does this matter you may ask? Well if I can plan for it and be able to defend myself while still protecting some of my hearing, I would prefer that. I have electronic hearing protection, but if I don’t get it on in time, the blast from the hand gun might not be as bad as the rifle. I’ll probably look into a suppressor soon.

    In terms of stopping power…. 9mm is good enough, and I would likely shoot a lot anyway so it doesn’t worry me.

  38. I think he is exactly right. All things considered, an AR beside the bed, loaded with frangible ammo, equipped with a quality FF rail and high powered light, will get the job done much better than a 1911, Glock, etc., will. Expensive-yes. However, we can not scrimp on tools that are meant to save lives. If necessary, cut back on superfluous expenses! Also, some were saying that an AR would look ridiculous for home carry. When did Mr. Lamb ever say anything about carrying it around your home? Finally, to those who say that a 16″ AR is unwieldy inside of a home-let me introduce you to high-ready.

  39. Reaction time is everything, that is the main reason we want to defend ourselves vs calling 911 and waiting for a response.

    Thus the beast weapon is the one you are carrying all the time. If you want to tote an Ar15 around the house, have fun. A loaded pistol fits the bill for me. Worst case it provides a temporary solution to get me to a shotgun or AR.

  40. Glock 19 with 33 round happy stick of Corbon DPX, Surefire 700 lumen light, grit and determination to validate the threat and shoot it into the tile hitting with all shots.

  41. I home carry a 91/30, hanging on dog collars as the tsar intended of course. You don’t need a red dot or sight alignment when you muzzle is 4 feet away. Every shot a contact shot!

  42. I and my wife have had formal training with handguns, rifles and shotguns and we will both opt for a rifle first if it is in reach, both have handguns handy at our normal work and play areas. I Home carry all the time, she does not. My EDC at home is a 380, bedside a 40 revolver and a locked and loaded carbine, safety on, 16″ barrel. She has a Glock 17 and loaded carbine, safety on, hers is a 7.5 inch SBR. I have a Mossberg 930 in the corner with the first two rounds birdshot, next three buckshot, it has a six round sidesaddle with three rounds of Buck and three rifled slugs.

    We both feel ay more ready to defend with rifles., More accurate, hits harder, has more bullets.

  43. I read the Kyle Lamb interview. I have no doubt that he is a master of the AR-15. I agree with his points on the utility and potential of a rifle. Some of his thoughts are the same as my own, and why I purchased an AR-15 in the last couple of years. I have, and still do, preferred a handgun. I am comfortable in my ability to use it and it is my first choice. Everyone has their choices of weapons. My hope is they be had but not needed.

  44. 15+ round capacity handgun with a suppressor is ideal. Using a 16″ rifle in a small house just seems wrong, and not everybody is a stamp collector. Given the option between suppressed pistol or suppressed sbr I’d still pick the pistol.

  45. The carbine is the absolute best SECOND gun to get to, in my humble opinion. But the pistol is a lot easier to access quickly. Not to mention that I am much more willing to have $500-800 handguns out of a safe and ready for action than I am with my $1500 rifle. Though my pistol lives in a Crossbreed Bedside Backup holster, my carbine lives locked in an AR-15 Shotlock, which requires a button combination.

  46. Yeah, I’ll stick with my pistol.

    If I miss at ten to twenty feet, the bad guys deserve to win.

  47. Most folks touting a pistol as ideal have not had to use one in home defense or forced entry. There’s s reason it’s called a “secondary” weapon. Rifle first, rifle last, rifle always.

    • And most folks touting a rifle also haven’t had to use one in home defense or forced entry. Such occurrences are quite rare in America, outside of beefs between drug dealers. It’s all just speculation and guesswork for almost all of us, so no wonder we each come up with a solution that fits our own skills and circumstances.

  48. High capacity pistol will be handy, provide the best quick reaction time and at least some decent limited fire power. Shotguns with light shot is best if neighbors are in a spaced suburban setting. Trust me, light shot is deadly at indoor close range, in spite of the FBI test propaganda. Longer ranges not so much. .223 is frangible, but it has a lot more zip and range. Not necessarily a bad round in the country in a farm setting.

  49. For a high stress, low light, close quarter, instant incapacitating, and effective shot inside your house nothing beats OO buckshot….

    • I kinda think you are overestimating the spread of buckshot. I’m not affiliated with them, but I found a good article on the subject at the website Box o’ Truth. I do agree on the instant decapitating part though. But I’ll keep my AR. No offense meant or anything, just trying to facilitate discussion.

    • Nothing beats 5 rounds? I think the very biggest shotguns carry 8+1. I can think of a lot of firearms that hold more than 9 rounds…almost all of them. Although very little can beat the effectiveness of an on-target buckshot load, getting the load on target is not as easy with a SG. And very little is more difficult than reloading an empty shotgun under stress.

  50. “A shot from a pistol, shotgun or the AR will all easily penetrate a conventionally constructed wall consisting of sheetrock, wooden studs and possibly insulation.”

    Yeah but the difference is the .223 will penetrate your wall, keep on going, and penetrate your neighbors wall or window. If you live in an apartment you most definately do not want to be using an AR for home defense. Not to mention the fact that home defense tends to be a close quarters type of defense. A pistol, or a short barreled rifle(maybe an AR pistol) is far better for this.

    Don’t get me wrong, its definately a good idea to have your AR handy but if I suspect an intruder in my home I’m reaching for my pistol first. There’s not going to be anymore then an average rooms distance between the intruder and me and its possible there are multiple intruders who could jump me, in which case my AR becomes all but useless.

    • Anything capable of putting down a human being quickly is capable of this, AR, Buckshot, pistol… Humans are difficult to kill. Rule 4: Know your target and what lies beyond it.

  51. A Taurus Judge comes to mind. Probably not the best choice, but it does have the advantage of buckshot AND a hardball, all in the same cylinder.
    And please don’t tell me the 410, at close range, doesn’t have enough hutzpah!

  52. Any of you Nancys read the article? Member of the NRA (you get the mag for free as a member)?

    For a squid Lamb is actually a pretty decent writer and is familiar with rational thought and logic. He discusses in the piece shotguns and handguns vs real guns.

  53. There is no way in 7734 that I am staging loaded rifles or shotguns around my house! The absolute longest range anywhere is only 35 feet, most distances are closer to 15. To top it off, I am another California resident, which means no greater than 10 round mags, no suppressors, and no SBRs. ARs have to have bullet buttons, which means that after 10 rounds you are pretty much done with it because it takes too long to reload. Nor am I a fan of the AR “pistol”. Last, I live in a small town, and while we have lots of burglars, most of them are meth heads or heroin addicts who operate alone or in duos, so I do not anticipate a long stand off or shoot out with a large gang of miscreants. The only time that happened here was a raid on a grow house, and that is not a risk that is pertinent to my quiet lifestyle. I’ll stick with home carry and my four legged early warning system.

  54. Kyle E. Lamb. Sounds like a character in a Road Runner cartoon. What would a Lamb with an AR 15 do to Wile E. Coyote?

  55. If you’re missing a leg like I am, it’s fairly easy to incorporate an SBR into your prosthetic. Something to think about.

  56. My AR is a .308 carbine. I’m sure my neighbors would rather I used the 9mm or .45 to deal with a person unwise enough to enter the house with fell intent.

    My only other AR is a competition model that weighs 16.5 lbs.

    Of course, I do have a Garand, but sadly no bayonet for it. I really need to remedy that. Out of respect for the neighbors, I have a clip of 8 rnds 220gr soft points as opposed to M2 ball ammo. They work just fine in my Garand but they do kick a bit.

    • Double check on this, because I am running on a faulty memory, short sleep, a screaming two year old an no coffee yet… But I do believe that 220 grain anything is not recommended for use in a Garand because it does nasty things to the pressure in the gas system and breaks things.

      If you’re talking handloads, I know you can load a 150-170 grain hollowpoint/softpoint .30-06 all day.

  57. Um, no. I have thousands of hours of training assaulting buildings from my youth, and believe me, the AR is not always the best firearm for maneuvering in tight quarters and retention. If you have a team with mixed weapons, sure, you want a few; otherwise, not so much. Once the bad guy gets control of the barrel of your rifle, which is fairly easy, the fight becomes all about retention. If we are talking about home defense, not the streets of Ramadi, I want a service pistol and a flashlight.

  58. First, mad respect for Kyle Lamb.

    Second, I read the whole article & absolve the guy because he stated this:
    The catch with many magazine articles, Internet postings and gun shop discussions is not the fact that folks want to select a different system for the defense of their home—as an unbending supporter of the Second Amendment I am in favor of whatever you prefer, are comfortable with, or can afford. The rub comes when folks tell me that mine is a poor choice and cite reasons that cannot be supported by fact.

    “Absolve” because he also stated this:

    If you envision any scenario that involves you shooting through automobile windshield glass I would highly recommend this type of projectile.

    Kyle is a combat veteran and for a wide range of applications a carbine in 5.56 is a great option. However, most people will never encounter what Kyle has and their encounters will be very narrow in scope to the point of niche.

    If you bring a any gun to the fight that ends most of them. If you discharge your firearm that ends most of the rest. For the remaining 5% it will probably get in your face literally.

    The revolver has a distinct advantage here (I do not own one BTW) as you can make contact shots with less chance of a malfunction (has already been mentioned here). The battery of arms is simpler. As far as training goes, a gym w/ padded floors (or better your own house) is better than the range. My hats off to TTAG for featuring gun advice that showed training involving contact shots (it was “the Rabbi” I believe). The fight will more likely involve putting a palm to the BG’s face and putting a snub nosed in his chest vs. blasting through a car door at a checkpoint.

  59. Talking home defense, not out and about, a bedside/chair side firearm. My 12 gauge pump with 18″ barrel, collapsible stock, makes a compact easily maneuverable firearm, loaded with six 2 3/4 inch 00 buck. I have a belt close by the shotgun with twenty 00 buck and five 2 3/4 inch segmented slugs. At inside the house range I’m betting a hit with 00 buckshot trumps most anything else. At home, the pistol is just in case I need something to buy time with to get to the shotgun.

  60. I may be in the minority, but my first line of HD is my rabid dogs that will shred any home invaders and give up their own lives defending mine. The 1911 with extra magazines loaded w/ HP .45ACP will have to do as the second line of defense. Just how I roll… Have a nice day! =^)

  61. Always have a pistol on but at home the pistol is there to get me to my Steyr AUG, which I prefer to an AR for the home defense role. Compactness, same OAL as a 10.5″ barrel AR but with the benefit of a longer barrel and higher muzzle velocity, and also much easier to manipulate one-handed. Yall’s mileage may vary but I think a bullpup-style carbine (AUG, Tavor, FS2000, PS90, whatever) has more benefits than drawbacks compared to other options for home defense.

  62. With all do respect to the Sergeant Major, but unless you live in rural Arkansas, the standard AR-15 is a lousy home defense weapon. The round has the potential of leaving your house with enough retained energy to be lethal on the next block. A pistol round may be collateral damage threat in your house but will lose enough energy to make unlikely to penetrate the house across the street. I would agree with him if it is chambered in a pistol caliber.

    if you want a personal defense long arm find an M-1 carbine. it was defined for personal defense.

  63. The main problem I have with rifles for home defense is they are two-handed weapons. So you have no free hand for a cellphone, flashlight, doorknobs, light switches, or pushing a loved one out of your range of fire without going out of ‘ready’ position with the rifle at least for a few moments. Sure you might still be able to fire your shouldered AR one handed, but how quickly could you swing it on target one handed if your weak hand was doing something else. Not a problem with a pistol. While two hands is ideal for either platform, you can probably fare better one-handed with a pistol versus a rifle if you had to. That is assuming you at least have a pistol grip on a reasonably balanced AR. With a conventional stock on a mini-14 for example, one handed is even less workable, especially if you have to swing the gun left or right to get on target.

    In an ideal situation, where you have plenty of time to gun up with your rifle and engage from across a room or down a hall, the AR would be nice to have. But what if you get surprised at close range and the perp gets to contact distance quickly. With a pistol, I can use my weak hand to keep him at arms length and still be able to shoot by pivoting my strong side away and drawing the pistol closer to my body where he can’t reach it. Would be much harder to do with a rifle one handed, and the rifle barrel would remain within his reach.

    With all the possible ways a home invasion could play out, the first gun I would want in my hand would be my carry pistol.

  64. For home defense a sbr with can and light OR a pistol with can and light will both do the job perfectly. The SBR has the advantage of a sling so that your gun can’t be grabbed from you.

    The real question is have you the proper ammo to minimize pentration of the wall behind who you’re shooting? That’s a question you have to answer whichever way you go.

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