When purchasing or building your AR15 carbine specifically for home defense, you may be asking yourself what you need to have on the upper receiver or install in your lower receiver to make it the perfect weapon. Here are a few things you may want to consider when looking for or building that ideal home defense AR-15.
Short is Good
Although you probably know the inside of your home far better than an intruder and know where all the blind spots are, a short-barreled rifle is much better for close-quarter situations.
One thing you need to remember above all others is that you need to fire and move. Quick maneuverability and unimpeded target acquisition become critical. The longer the barrel of your AR 15, the less strategic it becomes. Not to say that you can’t get an AR15 with a longer barrel to your shoulder and fire away.
Regardless of how well your flash hider works, your first shot will ultimately reveal your position in a low or no light situation. A much longer barrel may prevent a smooth transition from one spot in your house to another.
Sighting is Critical
While invisibility is an advantage inside a darkened home, it cuts both ways. The intruder may not see you, but without proper optics, you can’t see them either. Here is when having a rugged miniature reflex red dot optical system will be a must-have for a fantastic home defense AR15.
Not only will an RMR optic system allow you to acquire the target quickly, but it also provides you with something else you need in a moment like this – a broad field of vision. Remember, you’re firing and moving. Maintaining a wide field of vision is critical and using a red dot optical system will aid you in both hitting what you aim at and spotting your next tactical position.
Another excellent optic system to consider is any non-magnifying holographic sight.
As a backup you still need to count on fixed iron sights should, for some reason, the red dot system fails, primarily because you forgot to change the batteries when it was time.
Slings and Grips
The difference between successfully clearing a room and bungling it all together is determined by how you move and keeping a steady grip on your rifle. Home defense is a tactical situation and requires silent, efficient handling of your rifle.
Think of it this way. If you’re in a position where you must use your hands to find your way, something needs to be attached to your AR15 to keep it close and ready. That sling should be in place, and your rifle needs to be in front and prepared for you to bring it up and take care of business. If both hands are on the rifle and you’re moving to clear the house, a forend grip will make sure you have a firm, positive grip, and a steadier aim if it becomes necessary to fire.
Let There Be Light
Having a light system set up on the front of your Home Defense AR15 seems logical enough, right? It’s the adage that you can’t hit what you can’t see. Having sufficient light when moving around your home is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be white light.
Ensure the light system you install has both white and red optics. Using red optics in the flashlight will still allow movement in low or no light conditions.
Of course, if you spot your intruder and you want to ensure the intruder can’t see you well, switching to white light may provide a technical advantage by blinding your opponent long enough for you to get a shot off.
Be careful if you do this because your opponent won’t be the only one blinded by the light. It will take several minutes for you to re-acclimate to your darkened surroundings.
Another thing few of us think about when practicing at the range and switching magazines is the magazine release. How many times during a day of shooting do most of us practice a no-look magazine ejection? Could you do it if the situation ever occurs when a magazine ejection and new insertion in complete darkness must happen?
An oversized magazine ejection button and a flared magazine well are two things to consider when building or purchasing the perfect home defense AR15. With both installed on your AR15, intuitive magazine refreshes are a snap and take only a second to perform.
The Right Ammunition for The Job
Speaking of magazines, having the right kind of home defense ammunition in the magazine of your AR15 is just as important. What you use when you hunt or when plinking targets at the range may not be what you need for home defense.
Remember, when you’re hunting, you’re not clearing a room. Most of the shots you take are between forty and a hundred yards. A high-velocity bullet that penetrates and fragments inside what you’re hunting may pass entirely through an intruder when shot at close range.
It would be best to fire something with a lower grain that will penetrate between ten to twelve inches and provide maximum and terminal expandability as it travels. The trick is to take down the intruder and ensure the intruder stays down either permanently or at least long enough to secure the threat until the police show up.
Something 55 grain and lower with an open tip is the perfect choice for a home defense round. The FMJ open tip boat tail design provides stability to the target and penetrates with effective terminal expansion.
The Right Size for You
The best setup for your home defense AR15 is typically a combination of personal preference and tactical commonsense. Having the best red dot optic or holographic sighting system, the correct grip and sling, and of course, mastering no-look operation and stocking up on the best home defense ammunition is all you’ll need to protect your home.