Is the AR 15 Good for Home Defense?

As an AR 15 upper assembly parts company, the team here at Bootleg, Inc. has heard a wide variety of stories from different firearm owners over the years, including a range of reasons why they purchased an AR to begin with. For some, it was previous military experience and familiarity with the firearm while, for others, the reasons ranged from hunting to simply enjoying the accuracy they experience when shooting it at a range. However, the reason most prevalent among firearm purchases is because of safety concerns.


According to a 2013 poll, when asked about their reasons for purchasing a firearm, sixty percent of Americans chose to do so for safety reasons. That subset of reasons can include everything from fear of public shootings to home defense needs, but the statistic points out a glaring need among the American public. Even more telling is that, by 2015, that number jumps up to seventy-two percent. What this tells us is that firearm owners are scared for the potential violence and see a firearm as a way to have a bit more personal security. This raises a question discussed pretty frequently in AR owner communities and by the American public in general: Is the AR 15 a good firearm for home defense?


Home Protection Needs

The United States saw an average of 3.7 million home burglaries a year between 2003 and 2007, according to the Bureau of Justice. Of that number, almost 30 percent of those home burglaries happen when at least one member of the household is at home – that’s roughly a million people a year who are home when the break-in happens. We aren’t trying to throw fear-mongering tactics at you and make you worry about your safety; we say this to illustrate a point. Home break-ins are a widespread issue across the country and, particularly for those who have already experienced a break-in (or someone nearby has), the concern for home security means people begin taking their security very seriously. For some, that may mean investing in a monitored home security system, while for others, that means purchasing a firearm for protection.


Choosing a Firearm

When it comes to choosing a firearm for home defense, there are several factors to consider; arguably, the most important of those factors is your comfort with the firearm. Many expect a pistol to be the go-to options for home defense because of its size and low weight; however, the problem with using a pistol for home defense is in handling it – if you aren’t comfortable firing a pistol with any degree of accuracy on a range with no pressure, shooting it under the pressure of a home break-in will likely lead to poor results. The AR 15, on the other hand, was developed for the US military to provide a lightweight firearm that was easy to shoot, and the results live up to that goal. For many, especially many novice shooters, the AR is easier to handle with better accuracy. Of course, be sure that anyone who will potentially be handling the firearm has the necessary training and experience before settling on any firearm for home defense.


The other option commonly suggested for home defense is the shotgun. The common conception is that, particularly with the spray possible with some shells, a shotgun can be an excellent home defense option because it doesn’t require a high degree of accuracy. The downside to a shotgun is, potentially, two-fold. Unless you have a semi-automatic shotgun, the time to load new rounds can be a detriment during a home invasion. In addition, just like with a pistol, the recoil can be particularly problematic for someone who isn’t overly comfortable firing a shotgun.

As we mentioned above, degree of comfort is a major component of picking a firearm for home defense, and not just for the primary user. Anyone in your home who may potentially be firing the firearm, like your spouse, should have gun safety training and enough experience firing to feel comfortable. The AR makes a good home defense firearm choice because it is easy enough for even someone with little gun experience to be able to fire it safely and with a pretty good degree of accuracy.


When it comes time to outfit your AR to your specifications, shop Bootleg, Inc. for the best AR 15 accessories and parts and be sure your AR suits your needs! Choose your upper assembly parts online today!

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