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Old 12-22-2019, 03:15 PM
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Default Ramblings on Homestead Defense AR Pistols



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Greetings all.

To preface this rambling thread, I have been using a 12 gauge Mossberg as my homestead defense gun. In the commiefornia republik, 8 rounds of buckshot is about as perfect as you can get. Plus, where my parents live the longest shot we could justify taking (in a non shtf scenario) is about 12 yards, so patterning and such is not much of a problem.

But....

I live in a free state now. And as such, Iíve been working with my AR and mag changes a lot more. Iím visiting my family for Christmas, and I went out shooting with my brother yesterday. I tried some drills with the shotgun, and 3 out of 5 times, when I ran it empty instead of grabbing a shell off the stock, I reached for a magazine.

I know this is just a training issue, but it has me really thinking about standardization and consolidating my defensive weaponry. Not to say that Iím wanting to sell all of my non AR firearms, but when it comes to the guns that I grab when things go down the tubes I think I like the idea of a single platform.

As it sits, my ďPaul RevereĒ gun as I call it (the one I grab when the British are coming) is an AR 5.56. I wonít go into why and all that, but thatís how it sits. I work with that rifle a lot, and Iím pretty familiar with the AR platform. So Iím thinking Iím going to build an AR pistol for HD. Itís the same operation that Iím so familiar with, but overall smaller for moving inside. It has more range than a shotgun, which could come in handy if I need to plink a coyote (or wolf) getting into my chickens at my new place (the place Iím looking at is 14 acres, mostly grassy). And it has a lot more capacity than a pump shotgun. Seems like a pretty good trade up.

The other side of this coin is that I donít really have to stay with 5.56. In fact, Iíd rather not. Not that 5.56 isnít a good round (my primary rifle will still be in that caliber), I just think something that throws a bigger piece of lead could be nice when Iím dealing with a drugged up crazy in the same house as my kids. Iíve got a few contenders for this job, and Iím still deciding which I might want to go with. Hereís my thought process for each.

450 bushmaster/458 socom
Pro
- >1 ton of muzzle energy
- ď45 ainít gonna get any smaller if it doesnít expandĒ
- moose roam Montana

Con
- over penetration is a major concern (see comment about kids in the house)
- have to take out a second mortgage to buy ammo
- reduced capacity (10 rounds in a standard size mag, iirc)
- recoil in a pistol


6.8 SPC
Pro
- bigger bullet/more energy than a 5.56
- carries energy well to longer ranges (wolves are big)
- has been around long enough that parts and ammo are pretty easy to get

Con
- more expensive ammo than 5.56 ($20 for 20 at cabelas)
- takes different mags than 5.56
- muzzle flash in a short barrel

300blk
Pro
- parts compatibility
- I already reload 30 caliber things
- subsonic if I ever buy a can
- huge market for it right now
- designed specifically for short barrels

Con
- possibility of grenading my 5.56 rifles
- longer shots could be more difficult (thinking of 200 grain bullets here)






So thatís my rambling for today. Some thinking out loud mostly. And itís not really an issue for the next 6 months while Uncle Sam is tossing me around CONUS and Europe anyway. But I thought Iíd share what is bouncing around my brain like a dvd screensaver.
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Old 12-22-2019, 06:18 PM
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what about a 9mm AR? that might help with your over penetration problem to some degree as well as increase mag capacity.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:49 PM
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what about a 9mm AR? that might help with your over penetration problem to some degree as well as increase mag capacity.
I thought about 9mm/45, but I figure if Iím going to cart around a rifle-size gun, I want a rifle size caliber. Something that gives me a ballistic advantage over a handgun (more than 1000ft/lbs of energy, and more than 2200fps).
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:40 PM
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throwing a bigger piece of lead doesnt immediately mean more effectiveness.. 7.62x39 throws a heavier chunk of lead with more energy, but M43 spec will tend to overpenetrate doing little damage while a lighter 5.56, or a more modern TMK style bullet would do significantly more damage and a .300BO will be about 100fps shy of 7.62x39

there are also other .30 cal AR-15 chamberings that have better supersonic performance than .300BO, and wont fit into a 5.56 chamber, but they do require different magazines.. and cartridges that provide 95% of the performance of 6.8SPC with the same bullets, but still use 5.56 magazines and brass

none of them provide enough performance in enough categories to surpass the versatility, availability, and commonality of 5.56 rifles and parts though, and depending on ammo choice it can easily kill small game, big game, or two legged opponents that shoot back with ease anywhere from close quarters out to 600 yards

i know theres a habit with many people to believe the grass is greener with a different cartridge, but it really isnt and i would resist thinking that spending a lot of money in new parts and ammo for the belief that the negligible perceived increase in performance will be what saves the day, and stick with what already works well
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:02 PM
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I built a truck AR pistol... went 5.56mm.

Likewise, I moved from a restricted state (NJ). But my move to ME was as Federal L/E, and with the increase in crazies pulling out a gun and walking into a Walmart... the brass at our port actually support us carrying off duty and to have a ďbiggerĒ gun in our vehicles. I do have a TAC-14, which Iím going to get an AOW stamp for a folding brace (we use 14Ē 870s at work, so it is a good stand-in for that). While Iím definitely a shotgun guy... rifles do have a little more capability than a shotgun.

Iíll either have my 9mm S&W 642-1 or Glock 30S on me when Iím not working (when they approve weapon lights for duty carry... Iíll carry the duty gun more). But if I need something more, a 5.56mm is probably the most versatile for my likely needs, plus is common enough for me to practice more than something with better performance. I did think of .300 Blackout, but similarly... I donít want to accidentally have one end up in a 5.56mm gun. Same reason why I never went into .357 SIG... having .40 M&Ps and a SUB-2000 (would be less catastrophic).

We are moving to 9mm Glocks next year (the 47... more/less a 17), so I have been considering a CMMG Banshee to use the same magazine platform. Only issue is while it may be a little hotter out of a 8Ē barrel, was leaning towards 5Ē for compactness. Will be a little easier to shoot with a shoulderable pistol... but not getting the extra performance to justify it. Probably will still get one... just because. I do have a .45 ACP D/I AR, which I was debating about throwing in my truck, but at that point, why not just use a SUB-2000? It is a 16Ē carbine that I just converted the stock over to collapsible.

I went with a 11.5Ē barrel. If I did a 12Ē or even put in an A5 buffer assembly, Iíd get over 26Ē (like an 1/8Ē short now) and could toss a vertical grip... but not really too much of a hindrance with a standard forend. It isnít worth the money/effort to do the ďfirearmĒ route. But the slightly longer barrel gives a little more velocity... which I like. While Iím not going to be using regular M193 if I was responding to something, M855 does get loaded in two magazines in case I need to penetrate something. Probably would never need green tips specifically, but rather have and not need over need and both have. Regular carry load is 73 grain Hornady Critical Defense (two other magazines in a carrier, and then a 20 rounder in the gun). Seeing the testing of the round, which I will be repeating here to confirm when it gets warmer out... I feel it is a good choice for my AR pistol. If I need more than 140 rounds, I went into the wrong situation (probably by that point, Iím using the guns off the dead shooters).

Only big thing I did was a muzzle device that pushes the blast forward... that was on the list as soon as I ordered the upper/lower (built off an Anderson, upper was an Adams Arms piston; pistons do shine with shorter barrels). I likely will be getting a suppressor, but putting one on would make the compactness of an AR pistol a little moot. Other stuff is my normal AR build... ambidextrous controls, Magpul furniture, pistol light off a rail, and a one/two point sling (MS4). I did go with the SBA3 brace, which I really like. That and the endplate I picked give me a few options for a single point setup. Magazines are PMAGs, but waiting on Ranger plates for them.

Ideally, mine is a 100 yard maximum gun. That is considering sizes of parking lots/stores/schools Iíd be responding to... and if I can even get to my truck. If something happens as Iím dropping off my girlfriendís daughter to class... at the most, I have 21 rounds of .45 or 20 rounds of 9mm to deal with whatever Iím facing (an extra moon clip or 13 rounder is in the center console of my truck... but likely not getting to that, either). While that would be a crappy day... Iíd make do with it. I am also likely going to pick up some lightweight armor (donít want to leave my Level III setup in the back of my truck), just to be a little more prepared.
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Old 12-22-2019, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by justin22885 View Post
throwing a bigger piece of lead doesnt immediately mean more effectiveness.. 7.62x39 throws a heavier chunk of lead with more energy, but M43 spec will tend to overpenetrate doing little damage while a lighter 5.56, or a more modern TMK style bullet would do significantly more damage and a .300BO will be about 100fps shy of 7.62x39

there are also other .30 cal AR-15 chamberings that have better supersonic performance than .300BO, and wont fit into a 5.56 chamber, but they do require different magazines.. and cartridges that provide 95% of the performance of 6.8SPC with the same bullets, but still use 5.56 magazines and brass

none of them provide enough performance in enough categories to surpass the versatility, availability, and commonality of 5.56 rifles and parts though, and depending on ammo choice it can easily kill small game, big game, or two legged opponents that shoot back with ease anywhere from close quarters out to 600 yards

i know theres a habit with many people to believe the grass is greener with a different cartridge, but it really isnt and i would resist thinking that spending a lot of money in new parts and ammo for the belief that the negligible perceived increase in performance will be what saves the day, and stick with what already works well

Iím not giving up my 5.56 for primary duty. Thatís a good cartridge for an all around rifle. But in a home defense capacity I just think there could be better options for some people. Like for me, I want something that tosses bigger bullets than that. Personal preference, but from experience I like 100 grain + for close in work. Iíve seen a 6.8 used at close quarters on people (I was using a 5.56 at the time), and it was effective, to say the least.

Not to disagree with you. I like 5.56, and have used it effectively on two-legged critters with Hornady TAP. But at more distance, and with 5 other rifles to back me up. Not that I think other cartridges will be Thorís hammer, but i just like the way the bigger bullets worked. Like I said, personal preference. Iím still keeping at least one 5.56 around.

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Originally Posted by Screwball View Post
I built a truck AR pistol... went 5.56mm.

Likewise, I moved from a restricted state (NJ). But my move to ME was as Federal L/E, and with the increase in crazies pulling out a gun and walking into a Walmart... the brass at our port actually support us carrying off duty and to have a ďbiggerĒ gun in our vehicles. I do have a TAC-14, which Iím going to get an AOW stamp for a folding brace (we use 14Ē 870s at work, so it is a good stand-in for that). While Iím definitely a shotgun guy... rifles do have a little more capability than a shotgun.

Iíll either have my 9mm S&W 642-1 or Glock 30S on me when Iím not working (when they approve weapon lights for duty carry... Iíll carry the duty gun more). But if I need something more, a 5.56mm is probably the most versatile for my likely needs, plus is common enough for me to practice more than something with better performance. I did think of .300 Blackout, but similarly... I donít want to accidentally have one end up in a 5.56mm gun. Same reason why I never went into .357 SIG... having .40 M&Ps and a SUB-2000 (would be less catastrophic).

We are moving to 9mm Glocks next year (the 47... more/less a 17), so I have been considering a CMMG Banshee to use the same magazine platform. Only issue is while it may be a little hotter out of a 8Ē barrel, was leaning towards 5Ē for compactness. Will be a little easier to shoot with a shoulderable pistol... but not getting the extra performance to justify it. Probably will still get one... just because. I do have a .45 ACP D/I AR, which I was debating about throwing in my truck, but at that point, why not just use a SUB-2000? It is a 16Ē carbine that I just converted the stock over to collapsible.

I went with a 11.5Ē barrel. If I did a 12Ē or even put in an A5 buffer assembly, Iíd get over 26Ē (like an 1/8Ē short now) and could toss a vertical grip... but not really too much of a hindrance with a standard forend. It isnít worth the money/effort to do the ďfirearmĒ route. But the slightly longer barrel gives a little more velocity... which I like. While Iím not going to be using regular M193 if I was responding to something, M855 does get loaded in two magazines in case I need to penetrate something. Probably would never need green tips specifically, but rather have and not need over need and both have. Regular carry load is 73 grain Hornady Critical Defense (two other magazines in a carrier, and then a 20 rounder in the gun). Seeing the testing of the round, which I will be repeating here to confirm when it gets warmer out... I feel it is a good choice for my AR pistol. If I need more than 140 rounds, I went into the wrong situation (probably by that point, Iím using the guns off the dead shooters).

Only big thing I did was a muzzle device that pushes the blast forward... that was on the list as soon as I ordered the upper/lower (built off an Anderson, upper was an Adams Arms piston; pistons do shine with shorter barrels). I likely will be getting a suppressor, but putting one on would make the compactness of an AR pistol a little moot. Other stuff is my normal AR build... ambidextrous controls, Magpul furniture, pistol light off a rail, and a one/two point sling (MS4). I did go with the SBA3 brace, which I really like. That and the endplate I picked give me a few options for a single point setup. Magazines are PMAGs, but waiting on Ranger plates for them.

Ideally, mine is a 100 yard maximum gun. That is considering sizes of parking lots/stores/schools Iíd be responding to... and if I can even get to my truck. If something happens as Iím dropping off my girlfriendís daughter to class... at the most, I have 21 rounds of .45 or 20 rounds of 9mm to deal with whatever Iím facing (an extra moon clip or 13 rounder is in the center console of my truck... but likely not getting to that, either). While that would be a crappy day... Iíd make do with it. I am also likely going to pick up some lightweight armor (donít want to leave my Level III setup in the back of my truck), just to be a little more prepared.

My truck gun is a 16Ē 5.56 AR. I have 90 rounds of Hornady Frontier 68gr BTHP, 60 rounds of M193, and 60 of M855, all in Pmags. I also have almost 300 rounds of mixed 193 and 855 in an ammo can under the seat. I keep 200 rounds of Winchester 9mm 147 grain JHP in that box too, plus 2 standard capacity mags and a 30 round magazine for my Beretta carry gun in the glove box.
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:40 AM
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Iím not giving up my 5.56 for primary duty. Thatís a good cartridge for an all around rifle. But in a home defense capacity I just think there could be better options for some people. Like for me, I want something that tosses bigger bullets than that. Personal preference, but from experience I like 100 grain + for close in work. Iíve seen a 6.8 used at close quarters on people (I was using a 5.56 at the time), and it was effective, to say the least.
for home defense i will ALWAYS prefer a handgun to a rifle or shotgun
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Old 12-23-2019, 03:50 AM
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for home defense i will ALWAYS prefer a handgun to a rifle or shotgun
Hey, whatever floats your boat. Itís better than hiding in the closet with an old shoe.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:27 AM
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Hey, whatever floats your boat. Itís better than hiding in the closet with an old shoe.
you have never smelled some on my old shoes!
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:36 AM
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300blk
Pro
- parts compatibility
- I already reload 30 caliber things
- subsonic if I ever buy a can
- huge market for it right now
- designed specifically for short barrels

Con
- possibility of grenading my 5.56 rifles
- longer shots could be more difficult (thinking of 200 grain bullets here)
A co-worker has an AR pistol in 7.62x39 and loves it; zero issues and remarkably accurate even with cheap, steel-case ammo.

I have a 300BO pistol and if I was starting from scratch, I would have an AR pistol (like my Daniel Defense DDM4V7) in 5.56mm and I would build a matching upper in 300BO...solely for the purpose of suppressing and home-defense.

Yes, there is the risk of putting a 300BO in a 5.56 chamber for a kaboom, but that's strictly an organizational problem and shooter discipline, not necessarily a disadvantage. I currently use my DDM4V7 as my primary trainer as ammo is less expensive for classes. The 300BO is more than capable with a pistol barrel, to accurately hit out to 250 meters (haven't shot any further); however for home defense, it's the sweet spot and with a suppressor, even more so. I live in a more rural area, so it's not just in-home defense as I may walk out to the barn or end of the property, and this just gives me a good platform with decent ballistics even after suppression.

It's still hard to beat the value of 5.56. I know it's not ballistically superior to other options, but it still works relatively well and for those that actually invest time and money into training, that's where the value shines.

I'm sold on the pistol variants. Unless you're in an unknown area or if you have a lot of ranges beyond 200 meters with no broken terrain or cover, a pistol is far more maneuverable, easier to handle while negotiating obstacles or working equipment, lighter, and they make handling in tight quarters almost as easy as a conventional pistol.

ROCK6
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:11 AM
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Hey, whatever floats your boat. Itís better than hiding in the closet with an old shoe.
I prefer something that isn't going to get bumped on door frames or walls, doesn't need a lot of space to get the muzzle pointed in the direction it needs to go, and frees up my off-hand for opening doors, flipping switches, or pushing away an attacker while delivering more than enough firepower to get the job done... and if someone comes in while you're asleep it'll take that much longer to ready along arm than it is to grab a pistol off the stand

handguns have many advantages over shotguns and rifles for home defense
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Old 12-23-2019, 03:44 PM
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for home defense i will ALWAYS prefer a handgun to a rifle or shotgun
You need more training.
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SCPigpen View Post
you have never smelled some on my old shoes!
Good point.

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Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
A co-worker has an AR pistol in 7.62x39 and loves it; zero issues and remarkably accurate even with cheap, steel-case ammo.

I have a 300BO pistol and if I was starting from scratch, I would have an AR pistol (like my Daniel Defense DDM4V7) in 5.56mm and I would build a matching upper in 300BO...solely for the purpose of suppressing and home-defense.

Yes, there is the risk of putting a 300BO in a 5.56 chamber for a kaboom, but that's strictly an organizational problem and shooter discipline, not necessarily a disadvantage. I currently use my DDM4V7 as my primary trainer as ammo is less expensive for classes. The 300BO is more than capable with a pistol barrel, to accurately hit out to 250 meters (haven't shot any further); however for home defense, it's the sweet spot and with a suppressor, even more so. I live in a more rural area, so it's not just in-home defense as I may walk out to the barn or end of the property, and this just gives me a good platform with decent ballistics even after suppression.

It's still hard to beat the value of 5.56. I know it's not ballistically superior to other options, but it still works relatively well and for those that actually invest time and money into training, that's where the value shines.

I'm sold on the pistol variants. Unless you're in an unknown area or if you have a lot of ranges beyond 200 meters with no broken terrain or cover, a pistol is far more maneuverable, easier to handle while negotiating obstacles or working equipment, lighter, and they make handling in tight quarters almost as easy as a conventional pistol.

ROCK6
I havenít tried shooting an AR pistol that far yet. It would be fun. Like I mentioned, the place weíre looking at is 14 acres, so longer shots could definitely happen. Iím thinking Iíll put a Holosun red dot on it too, with their horseshoe reticle.

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I prefer something that isn't going to get bumped on door frames or walls, doesn't need a lot of space to get the muzzle pointed in the direction it needs to go, and frees up my off-hand for opening doors, flipping switches, or pushing away an attacker while delivering more than enough firepower to get the job done... and if someone comes in while you're asleep it'll take that much longer to ready along arm than it is to grab a pistol off the stand

handguns have many advantages over shotguns and rifles for home defense
ďThatís just like, your opinion, man.Ē
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:36 PM
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Good point.



I havenít tried shooting an AR pistol that far yet. It would be fun. Like I mentioned, the place weíre looking at is 14 acres, so longer shots could definitely happen. Iím thinking Iíll put a Holosun red dot on it too, with their horseshoe reticle.



ďThatís just like, your opinion, man.Ē
and what will you do if you find yourself with only one arm available?
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:45 PM
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and what will you do if you find yourself with only one arm available?
swim in a circle?
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Old 12-23-2019, 08:31 PM
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and what will you do if you find yourself with only one arm available?

Why AR pistols have pistol braces, no?

There are countless examples of people using long guns one handed. Mireles in the Miami FBI shootout used an 870 very well... without any training on how to manipulate it in that manner. I definitely advocate practice weak side shooting, as well as one handed, in all platforms... being at least youíd somewhat know your capabilities in those situations.

People should use whatever they feel comfortable with... but most people consider handguns a weapon to get a person to a long gun. Our port, all officers carry an H&K P2000... and we have M4s and 870s strategically placed around the port (Iím actually very vocal in them needing to be more accessible to officers... but neither here/there). Iím in that group, being if Iím taking rounds, I want more firepower than a .40 or 9mm pistol if I can get it. Nobody ever wanted to be on equal ground with their adversaries... and I sure as hell donít.
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Old 12-23-2019, 08:49 PM
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`

If you aren't sure what will work best for you, borrow on other peoples real world research. Paul Harrell is just one of several good Youtubers who have posted videos showing what various cartridges/calibers do in relation to walls & human analog targets. FWIW I have by my bed an AR pistol in 300BLK, a Glock G23, a 12ga rem 870 clone & then my wife has her Ruger SR40c. That would in effect be one long gun (though the AR pistol w/ a 10.5" barrel is technically not a long gun ) & one sidearm for each of us if something goes bump in the night. We have lights on the shotgun & AR pistol as well as handheld lights by the bed.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:18 PM
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and what will you do if you find yourself with only one arm available?
Use the weapon with one hand. Iíve trained for that.

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swim in a circle?
Hopefully not. I donít live near any water that deep
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:24 PM
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2 is 1, 1 is none, yadda yadda - build a 5.56 AR pistol to go with your rifle.

These AR pistols are great. Short, light, handy, accurate, and reliable.
Fun stuff. Can use them as a truck gun and shoot through the windshield if needed.

My buddy came over for a visit, I let him handle / shoot a couple of my 5.56 AR15 pistols. He was instantly hooked and went out an bought himself one the next day.

He's working on a building a 2nd one.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:32 PM
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Metcalf Metcalf is offline
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If you already have a 5.56/223 rifle, I would just stay with it for the the 'pistol'. At 'pistol' ranges, the shorter barrel isn't going to make much difference. There are more and more heavier bullet fast powder offerings coming available all the time. Don't limit yourself to cheap 55grn ball ammo. There are other options.

If you can't hit them, the noise and flash will probably make them rethink their life choices.
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