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I went to a local gun shop and asked the owner for his opinion. For a first gun does he like a handgun or a shotgun? I was leaning towards a shotgun, but I was surprised when he suggested an AR-15. His reasons? It’s relatively easy to aim with some accuracy and would cause less collateral damage to people or property nearby. He was not overly concerned about a stray AR-15 bullet going into a neighbor’s house but I live in a close-packed subdivision with the homes about 10 feet apart on the sides and with small front and backyards. He also cited the AR-15”s intimidation factor like the example of the St. Louis couple that held off the BLM mob in front of their home. So what would you all buy for your first home defense gun?
 

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What are you proficient with?ie what can you already shoot well under stress.?
For me, a shotgun or pistol if I was in your position, but with a lot of practice .

To me you're right to be concerned about overpenetration from the AR.
 

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I am sorry, but I can not agree with your gun stores advice. With the surroundings you describe, an AR would definitely not be my first choice. He may not have been worried about a stray bullet but you sure should be. The "intimidation factor"? Is his last name Biden? If you had your mind set on a handgun, I would suggest a revolver in 38 Spl. Less chance of jamming or having a mechanical failure. With that said, I would suggest a shotgun. Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 with a 20" ish barrel and loaded with #4 shot. Just my :twocents: worth.
Curious, how much was he wanting to sell you an AR for?
 

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I'm with howlnmad.............. I have old S&W Model 10's in every bedroom.

Easy to use; no safeties to mess with - simply Point and Click. Not much recoil.
Not likely to go through walls.
For less recoil and penetration use 148 grain wad cutter ammunition.
 

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A lot depends on the neighborhood you live in. If it's a dangerous area where you may have 3 or 4 gangbangers busting in I would go with a shotgun. If it's a safe low crime area I would go with a 9mm handgun or a 38/357 revolver.

The last on my list would be an AR. The 223/556 can go through your walls and your neighbors with no problem. That could very well cost you your life savings and your freedom.

An AR would make a good option in a rural or farm area. Not in the city or a suburban area.
 

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Me thinks that AR has been on the store shelf for some time and the owner wants to move it. A rifle is a good choice for a jungle but not a urban jungle.
IMO, a shotgun is best for home defense.... Cha Ching
His statement below is proven false.
A AR would cause less collateral damage to people or property nearby. :rolleyes:
 

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I'm with everyone else, the AR would be my last choice if my house was 10 feet from my neighbors! I have a .40 caliber Beretta next to my bed with hollow points. If it didn't go through my grandson's head, they shouldn't go through the neighbor's wall. I have several AR's but they are play-pretties. not home defense.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What are you proficient with?ie what can you already shoot well under stress.?
For me, a shotgun or pistol if I was in your position, but with a lot of practice .

To me you're right to be concerned about overpenetration from the AR.
Not “proficient” in anything yet. I have Hunters Safety merit badge from Boy Scouts. Does that count? . Many years ago I had a .22 rifle. Other than that I’ve just shot my son’s handguns. He’s a police officer and got very pi$$ed at himself when I shot targets as good as him. I have never used a shotgun. I would certainly expect to get a lot of training.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited by Moderator)
A lot depends on the neighborhood you live in. If it's a dangerous area where you may have 3 or 4 gangbangers busting in I would go with a shotgun. If it's a safe low crime area I would go with a 9mm handgun or a 38/357 revolver.

The last on my list would be an AR. The 223/556 can go through your walls and your neighbors with no problem. That could very well cost you your life savings and your freedom.

An AR would make a good option in a rural or farm area. Not in the city or a suburban area.
Not a dangerous area. It’s a middle class suburban area 20 miles east of Sacramento. Although everyone did freak out when BLM tried to hold a protest march two miles away. We had National Guard to protect property in the area.

I am sorry, but I can not agree with your gun stores advice. With the surroundings you describe, an AR would definitely not be my first choice. He may not have been worried about a stray bullet but you sure should be. The "intimidation factor"? Is his last name Biden? If you had your mind set on a handgun, I would suggest a revolver in 38 Spl. Less chance of jamming or having a mechanical failure. With that said, I would suggest a shotgun. Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 with a 20" ish barrel and loaded with #4 shot. Just my :twocents: worth.
Curious, how much was he wanting to sell you an AR for?
Howl: he builds guns, including AR-15s. $900 something $.
 

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I am sorry, but I can not agree with your gun stores advice. With the surroundings you describe, an AR would definitely not be my first choice. He may not have been worried about a stray bullet but you sure should be. The "intimidation factor"? Is his last name Biden? If you had your mind set on a handgun, I would suggest a revolver in 38 Spl. Less chance of jamming or having a mechanical failure. With that said, I would suggest a shotgun. Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 with a 20" ish barrel and loaded with #4 shot. Just my :twocents: worth.
Curious, how much was he wanting to sell you an AR for?
.357/.40/9mm all have over penetration issues in that situation. I have pistols/revolvers for downstairs with my EDC. Upstairs I have those as well plus a 20 ga and an AR 15. Upstairs, if able to get into the hallway area, it is a tri-level so I could angle down for most defensive shooting which eliminates most of the over penetration issues with any of my guns. We have 30 feet between us and our nearest neighbor, a fence in-between and some trees in shrubs in part of it.

Over penetration is an issue with just about any but the smallest of calibers and shotguns. Using birdshot is NOT the way to go with a defensive round indoors. So, learn of over penetration, deal with it in your own home defense scenarios and pray you never have to use them. But you can plan line of fire for each room you are in when it presents itself.

Your most important defense against over penetration is to avoid FMJ for home defense and hit your intended target. Stray bullets that don't hit the target are very likely to pass through internal and external walls and be able to enter another house. Just the way it is.

Shotguns with #4 buck have excellent stopping power but a miss is less likely to exit the house and enter another.

Here is an excellent review of shooting different rounds through jell/internal wall/external wall in series to each other. Almost all of the rounds except a few are stopped either in the jell or internal wall after passing through the jell. Very few made it through Jell, then internal wall and then through an external wall.

https://www.pewpewtactical.com/home-defense-overpenetration/
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I went to a local gun shop and asked the owner for his opinion. For a first gun does he like a handgun or a shotgun? I was leaning towards a shotgun, but I was surprised when he suggested an AR-15. His reasons? It’s relatively easy to aim with some accuracy and would cause less collateral damage to people or property nearby. He was not overly concerned about a stray AR-15 bullet going into a neighbor’s house but I live in a close-packed subdivision with the homes about 10 feet apart on the sides and with small front and backyards. He also cited the AR-15”s intimidation factor like the example of the St. Louis couple that held off the BLM mob in front of their home. So what would you all buy for your first home defense gun?
Great input. Thanks everyone. I’ll rule out the ARs and decide between the handgun and shotgun. Still leaning towards the later.
 

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Not “proficient” in anything yet. I have Hunters Safety merit badge from Boy Scouts. Does that count? . Many years ago I had a .22 rifle. Other than that I’ve just shot my son’s handguns. He’s a police officer and got very pi$$ed at himself when I shot targets as good as him. I have never used a shotgun. I would certainly expect to get a lot of training.
From what you describe as your situation it would be hard to find a better fit than a shotgun unless it intimidates you. I would normally say #4 buckshot but in your situation heavy turkey loads may be more suitable. Your son should be able to bring you up to speed with his training. What did he suggest? He has a better understanding of your situation, skills and potential capabilities than any cyber adviser.
 

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Not “proficient” in anything yet. I have Hunters Safety merit badge from Boy Scouts. Does that count? . Many years ago I had a .22 rifle. Other than that I’ve just shot my son’s handguns. He’s a police officer and got very pi$$ed at himself when I shot targets as good as him. I have never used a shotgun. I would certainly expect to get a lot of training.
Been reading your posts. An AR is about the last thing you should consider. Neighbors that close - your local gun shop guy is nuttier than a fruit cake. Consider a shot gun. Doesn't take all that much training (point and shoot in a close range defense situation). With bird shot - deadly at close range.

Forget the AR. Get a good pump shot gun. Cheaper, ammo MUCH more available, less training required, can't be beat at close range and with common light bird shot won't go thru 6 houses in a tight neighborhood. You ever hear a pump action being cycled at night? Something you wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of. Good luck!
 

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Shoot several different types of guns and figure out which one(s) you can hit best with under time pressure (a .22 LR firearm DOES NOT COUNT). Most likely, it will be a short-barreled shotgun, but not all the time. If someone in your family is recoil-sensitive, get a youth-model 20 gauge pump-action shotgun with a short barrel.

Intimidation factor? Consider the loud and somewhat distinctive "SHLICK-SHLACK" sound of a pump shotgun slide being racked to chamber a round. There's also the intimidation factor of looking DOWN a shotgun barrel. A 12-gauge bore is almost 3/4" in diameter (.729") and a 20 gauge bore is well over 1/2" (.615"). Nobody with the slightest trace of self-preservation instinct enjoys having one of those pointed at them.

I know of one case in which a friend's house was burgled while he was there. He grabbed the shotgun by his bed and racked the slide. One of the burglars, inconveniently distant from the door through which he entered, broke out the nearest window and jumped through it.
Now, such results are to be hoped for, rather than expected. But it's nice to know that they CAN occur. The bottom line, however, is that if you seek to defend your home with a firearm, you MUST be prepared to kill the intruder. You don't fire warning shots, you don't aim to WOUND them, and you DO NOT communicate any reluctance to take their lives if they don't leave. Your resolve to survive and win an invasion of your domicile is at least as important as the weapon with which you choose to defend yourself.
 

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If it was my first & it was only to be used for home defense. I would buy an AR pistol in 9mm, .40, or .45.
That's a lot of fire power in a small, light weight, easy to handle package.
You can get up to 33 round mags & it is real accurate out to about 100yds if you have to step outside.
 

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Been reading your posts. An AR is about the last thing you should consider. Neighbors that close - your local gun shop guy is nuttier than a fruit cake. Consider a shot gun. Doesn't take all that much training (point and shoot in a close range defense situation). With bird shot - deadly at close range.

Forget the AR. Get a good pump shot gun. Cheaper, ammo MUCH more available, less training required, can't be beat at close range and with common light bird shot won't go thru 6 houses in a tight neighborhood. You ever hear a pump action being cycled at night? Something you wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of. Good luck!
Jim, there are 556 and .233 rounds that are perfectly acceptable in indoor defense situations with an AR platform. Think of what SWAT uses routinely. All weapons have over penetration issues. Folks should not kid themselves about pistols or revolvers being safer from that standpoint if they don't take into consideration all the factors including ammo.

The Pew Pew Article I listed above noted one of its defense rounds it tested bounced off of the interior walls after passing through the gels.

https://www.pewpewtactical.com/home-defense-overpenetration/

Unfortunately, ammo choices right now are limited so I don't have any 556/223 hollow point self defense rounds. I am on waiting lists for them and when available will get some for that. Right now my AR is a backup gun only. First line upstairs is the 20 ga and then my handguns which all have self defense, hollow point rounds that have less over penetration issues if you hit your target. If you miss, or it passes through a window, all weapons are a risk.

I take extra precautions trying to keep the creeps out and not target my house in the first place with lights on all exterior walls to start.

But, I would not completely exclude AR 15's and M4s even in suburban areas. The LEO's use them almost exclusively in urban area SWAT teams.

SWAT Assault Rifles & Submachine Guns
The SWAT rifle of choice is the M4 carbine. The M4 is a shorter version of the M16A2 assault rife. The M4 is a shorter design for both out and indoor purposes. It has three modes of firing rates. It is able to fire automatically, semi-auto, and even in a three round burst depending on threat levels. This rifle provides great stability and control while being fired. Giving the shooter better accuracy is a top reason they are used in the city. SWAT’s submachine gun of choice often leans toward the H&K MP5. The MP5 fires a 9mm round that is extremely compact. Imagine it as a full auto pistol that can hold up to 30 rounds with the same firing options of the M4 that can be switched for full auto, semi-auto and also 3 round burst.

http://www.shootingrangeindustries.com/swat-teams-training-requirements-weapons-gear-popular-pistols-submachine-guns-shotguns-assault-sniper-rifles/
 

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Best 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington Home Defense Loads:
1. Remington 62-grain Ultimate Defense PSP (Bonded)
Shooting this load proved that Remington accomplished everything it claims.

My first shot had perfect expansion and imbedded into the first sheet of drywall after passing through the 12” of ballistic gel.


62-grain Remington Ultimate Defense expanded and stopped by the first layer of drywall.
I was so impressed that I later fired 5 more shots into a 16” block of 10% ballistic gel.

Every single time, the 62-grain bonded bullet expanded into a 5-leaf clover shape and had 12” of penetration.


Awesome expansion on the Remington Ultimate Defense
The metallurgical bonding of the copper jacketing and lead core makes for a lethal combination in a pointed soft point with great terminal ballistics.


Remington Ultimate Defense
Remington 62gr .223 Ultimate Defense

22
at Palmetto State Armory
Prices accurate at time of writing

VIEW DETAILS

https://www.pewpewtactical.com/home-defense-overpenetration/
 
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