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Home Defense Question

This is a discussion on Home Defense Question within the Gun Talk forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; I have a question, I read an article in American Handgunner about Home Defense firearms. It said ARs (223/556) were preferred over handguns due to ...


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Old 01-11-2019, 07:03 AM   #1
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Home Defense Question

I have a question, I read an article in American Handgunner about Home Defense firearms. It said ARs (223/556) were preferred over handguns due to their superior stopping power and "less" penetration through drywall. I might agree to the stopping power of a high velocity 55gr .223 over 115 or 147gr 9mm but "less" penetration? What am I missing?
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:37 AM   #2
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I think any rifle is too awkward to manuever indoors. Maybe too powerful in most calibers; what's your max distance, 10-12 feet? I can't believe the American Handgunner guy recommending any rifle, and it's even a handgun magazine.........

From what I understand, most all AR ammo is FMJ? That is definitely going through drywall or plywood. Best bet indoors is HP, keeps the bullet in the bad guy instead of the next bedroom. With a miss, not likely to fully penetrate a wall if you keep your power down. That means standard load 9 or 38, no +P or magnums. You have to consider the flash and blast in a dark house, as you won't likely have time for sunglasses or muffs..........that first shot will leave you half blind and deaf.

I picture one of those short shotguns as most effective on a bad guy, but too rough on the house even in 20 gauge........
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:36 AM   #3
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.223 penetrates a lot less than you think, because the light bullets dump energy very quickly after contact. Yes, FMJ .223 will penetrate less than 9mm in most cases, even HP 9mm. Yes, you can maneuver an AR indoors. Easily. There's 2 reasons I don't keep my AR loaded up for home defense. 1. They're insanely loud. Way louder than I ever want to experience indoors without hearing protection. 2. I just don't shoot mine very often, and that's not a formula for a good HD gun. If I had a suppressed 300 blackout AR, i'd definitely shoot it more and keep it ready in the house. Oh, and you can certainly buy all the hollow point and frangible .223 ammo you want.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:38 AM   #4
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It doesn't make any sense to me 44's.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:18 AM   #5
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I would never imagine a small pointy FMJ .223 not zipping through drywall only a few feet away. That's not a gun I'd want in military combat. The whole point of the Geneva Convention on ball ammo is for bullets to pass through an enemy, to just get him out of the fight. If the .223 won't get a guy behind a sheet of drywall, no thanks.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:47 AM   #6
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Hornady makes a 55gr VMax Varmint Express that blows up instantly, at least it does in the videos I've seen when shot into gelatin. So I don't see a problem with the ammo inside the house, but, the loudness would probably shatter the windows, certainly your eardrums. The length of the gun would be out of the question indoors, for me. I prefer a handgun or maybe a suppressed 300BLK pistol, which I am looking into. I would disagree with American Handgunner, without more info on their logic.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:18 PM   #7
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I've done some Googling, and finding a lot on .223 penetrating drywall. In many tests, .223 FMJ went through six and as many as eight standard drywall walls, spaced ten feet apart. It quickly tumbled, mostly after the second wall, and went off a straight line, though. Most conclusions were that someone two rooms (two walls) away from the rifle was still at great risk. Not good for HD.

I don't find a 36 inch rifle as manueverable as a ten inch handgun.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:56 PM   #8
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I've done some Googling, and finding a lot on .223 penetrating drywall. In many tests, .223 FMJ went through six and as many as eight standard drywall walls, spaced ten feet apart. It quickly tumbled, mostly after the second wall, and went off a straight line, though. Most conclusions were that someone two rooms (two walls) away from the rifle was still at great risk. Not good for HD.

I don't find a 36 inch rifle as manueverable as a ten inch handgun.
I'm assuming that means 12-18 layers of drywall as a wall has drywall on both sides? So 6-9" of drywall.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:34 PM   #9
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I'm assuming that means 12-18 layers of drywall as a wall has drywall on both sides? So 6-9" of drywall.
Some had photos, and showed 2 X 4 frame with drywall on both sides. No insulation, wiring, etc.. One even commented about it not being painted, and speculated if that would matter.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:46 PM   #10
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Some had photos, and showed 2 X 4 frame with drywall on both sides. No insulation, wiring, etc.. One even commented about it not being painted, and speculated if that would matter.
Speed kills.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:32 AM   #11
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I have zero experience with the AR platform so can't comment on it as a home self defense weapon. I like my Sig P250C in 45 ACP and/or my Sig P320 in 40 S&W.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearcatter View Post
I think any rifle is too awkward to manuever indoors. Maybe too powerful in most calibers; what's your max distance, 10-12 feet? I can't believe the American Handgunner guy recommending any rifle, and it's even a handgun magazine.........

From what I understand, most all AR ammo is FMJ? That is definitely going through drywall or plywood. Best bet indoors is HP, keeps the bullet in the bad guy instead of the next bedroom. With a miss, not likely to fully penetrate a wall if you keep your power down. That means standard load 9 or 38, no +P or magnums. You have to consider the flash and blast in a dark house, as you won't likely have time for sunglasses or muffs..........that first shot will leave you half blind and deaf.

I picture one of those short shotguns as most effective on a bad guy, but too rough on the house even in 20 gauge........
My thoughts exactly!
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:27 AM   #13
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Thanks for the opinions! I'm going to re-read the article and see if I missed something then, send them a response. I can understand using an AR clearing a building / warehouse, but a residence? Too cumbersome to me, especially if you add a suppressor!
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:52 AM   #14
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I didn't know there was frangible or HP AR ammo. I'd seen polymer tip, which I guess is the plugged HP that can get through heavy clothing.

One thing I definitely knew is that they're LOUD. I've been next to too many ARs at the range. They should come suppressed in the box. Doesn't that tend to give away your position in combat?
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:55 AM   #15
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I live in the sticks. If they took the time to come out here to do something nefarious, they're comin in a group. Ar's are fairly short, and the capacity and short range power is ideal. Line em up you could probably stop 2 or 3 of em at once.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:29 AM   #16
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I don't have an AR but do like my Mini-14 and it is ready with 100 rounds in 4 mags! But they are LOUD!
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:58 PM   #17
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The bullpup platform is a perfect length if one wants to use a rifle for home defense or clearing a room.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:59 AM   #18
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To me, the bullpups are so ugly I am embarrassed for them.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:06 PM   #19
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To me, the bullpups are so ugly I am embarrassed for them.
I guess it depends which end you're on.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:24 PM   #20
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I guess it depends which end you're on.
I've never shot one.
Are they fun to shoot?
Is there a difference in felt recoil?
Do they feel small?
Different questions come to mind because I am not familiar with them.
They have a 16" barrel....is that correct?
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