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Setting up a defensive rifle

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by K. Foster, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. K. Foster

    K. Foster

    2,461
    367
    Feb 19, 2002
    Mo.
    This is my opinion on how an AR type rifle should be set up for defensive purposes. You may have a different opinion, and that doesn’t make either of us wrong.
    THE BASIC GUN: I recommend a 16 inch barreled flat top with a 5.56 chamber, chrome lined barrel and a flash hider, from a quality manufacturer.
    BUTT STOCK: I like collapsible stocks because I can get the same stock fit whether I’m in a T shirt or winter clothes and body armor. Also, I like my stocks fairly short. Typically, the second or third hole. Stocks like the Vltor and LMT sopmod provide an improved cheek weld that may be beneficial for precision accuracy. However, I find the generic 6 position M4 stock to be perfectly sufficient.
    SIGHTS: The old days of “irons only” for combat are gone. The military issues Aimpoint, Eotech and the ACOG with good success. Most confrontations happen in reduced light and dot sights make low light shooting much easier. I’ve been pleased with both Aimpoint and Eotech. They are similar but different and dependant on your needs, I would recommend either. Every defensive rifle should have back up sights. I prefer a fixed front sight and an optic mount that gives me a Lower 1/3 co-witness.
    LIGHTS: I consider a light to be a requirement for a defensive rifle. You can spend a lot more on fancy tactical lights but they won’t be noticeably better, from an application stand point, than a Surefire G2 or G3 LED. If most of your application requirement will be indoors, the G2 is enough. If you intend to use the rifle outside much, go with the G3. A standard set of cheap 1" scope rings will mount these lights to a rail. If you want an ‘offset’ mount, Viking Tactics has a good one. I dislike pressure pads (tape switches), they aren’t reliable and the cords are always in the way.
    SLINGS: I also consider a sling to be a requirement for a defensive rifle.
    I’ve found Three Point slings to be overly complicated and tend to bind up any equipment you have on your chest. They can get in the way during magazine changes and malfunction clearance.
    The Two Point, Vickers’ style is a very workable concept, the only down side is, like the Three Point, it can get in the way during magazine changes.
    Single Points are very good for manipulating the gun. You can also quickly move the weapon to the off side shoulder, should the need arise. If you have to transition to a pistol, while moving to cover or have to drag a team member or family member to cover, it can beat the crap out of your knees.
    HAND GUARDS: I don’t like a lot of weight on the front of my rifle so, any rail system I use has to be light. If you aren’t going to use PEQ lasers, vertical fore grips or other things, you probably don’t need one. Free Floats are nice but not needed on a defensive carbine. If the only thing you are mounting is a light, there is nothing wrong with a plastic hand guard and a bolt on accessory rail. You can mount a light on the front sight tower, as well.
    MAGAZINES: Magazines are a wear item and should be discarded, or at least stripped for parts, when they become worn. USGI mags are fine but I recommend replacing the follower with MagPul’s self leveling follower. P Mags have been problem free for me. They are the only plastic magazine I recommend. HK mags are heavy, expensive and they rust.
    VERTICAL FORE GRIPS: I’ve never been able to warm up to these. However, they do make manipulating a light easier. I have a Tango Down stubby grip that I use more as a hand stop then a hand grip.
     
  2. jrs93accord

    jrs93accord

    6,150
    179
    Jul 10, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    Your idea of an AR setup sounds like a good one. One thing, I would not consider it as a "Defensive" setup. An AR is an all-purpose weapon. In most cases, it is probably used more as an offensive weapon.
     


  3. Kegel

    Kegel

    238
    0
    May 9, 2009

    Nah. Its a perfectly good defensive weapon. Everyone should have one loaded next to the bedstand (forget the glock). A 5.56 steel core round is the best, especially for firing in confined spaces with the kids in the next room. Everyone knows that. :whistling:
     
  4. kgain673

    kgain673

    370
    0
    Oct 8, 2007
    glen burnie, MD
    :rofl: I thought you were serious at first.
     
  5. djegators

    djegators

    7,425
    1
    Mar 1, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    What exactly are you planning on defending?
     
  6. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    38,414
    3,776
    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
    One's self, family, and belongings?
     
  7. K. Foster

    K. Foster

    2,461
    367
    Feb 19, 2002
    Mo.
    Exactly. Thank you.
     
  8. JASV.17

    JASV.17 Prime Example

    4,913
    0
    Jul 10, 2007


    http://www.downrange.tv/bestdefense/wall-penetration.htm
     
  9. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

    38,414
    3,776
    Jun 25, 2004
    Amarillo, Tx
  10. JASV.17

    JASV.17 Prime Example

    4,913
    0
    Jul 10, 2007
    A "trollron".

    Yeah, I know. But I came across that sometime ago and have been saving it for this very moment.
     
  11. mvician

    mvician Lifetime Member

    3,149
    7
    Jun 8, 2007
    NW Indiana
    once again a good post gets turned into a 3 ring circus.........
     
  12. kabob983

    kabob983 "Mostly" Dead

    541
    0
    Jun 27, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    +1 to the hand guards. People are often too quick to run out and buy the newest baddest quad rail and 10 things to hang off of it, most of which they'll never use. For distance shooting FF is nice but for the average shooter (like me) who's not doing precision shooting at distance but wants a defensive weapon the stock handguards are perfect. If I get a light I'll probably grab one of the CAA Bayonet Lug adapters.
     
  13. EZFLY80

    EZFLY80

    554
    0
    Jun 8, 2003
    Good video. My department actually tested our .40 cal Gold Dots against our issued 5.56 and found that the .40 actually overpenetratd while the 5.56 broke apart in the walls due to its speed. Its a common misconception so this video does a good explanation.
     
  14. USMC03

    USMC03

    991
    0
    May 3, 2001
    Southern Colorado
    Reposted info from a simular post:



    Carbine and Optics. Don't buy cheap, you will regret it in the long run.

    Spend money on training and after getting some training add accessories to your gun as you find a need for each accessory.

    Many guys start off with a $3,500 carbine and end up removing or changing approximatley $2,000+ worth of stuff because it didn't work for them or they purchased "cool guy" accessories (ie. like a 4x ACOG for a home defense gun)

    A good starting point is a quality carbine, quality mags and ammo, a quality red dot optic, a small quality weapon light, and a tactical sling.



    Some articles that you may find useful:


    [​IMG]
    03designgroup | BCM Complete AR15 Upper and Lower Receivers


    This info also applies to most AR shooters, even though it was directed toward law enforcement when I wrote it:
    [​IMG]
    03designgroup | Advantages of Mid-Length Carbines for Law Enforcement Officers


    [​IMG]
    03designgroup | Carbine vs. Mid-Length Gas System on a 16" Barrel


    [​IMG]
    03designgroup | Tactical Slings For The Carbine


    [​IMG]
    03designgroup | AR15 Buttstock Considerations




    Hope this helps
     
  15. Popsmoke

    Popsmoke

    60
    0
    Jan 17, 2006
    Atlanta
    The 5.56 is sufficient for the Zombies. Its the robots that need a heavier caliber, you know, to get through all that metal. I suggest a M1A or an AR-10 in .308

    Popsmoke
     
  16. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    One good shot to the cranium is enough for a zombie. Just take out the brain.

    Robots are a tougher deal. Most have the CPU well encased behind enough metal to block most small arms fire. You would really need the 50BMG with the hardened anti-armor rounds.
     
  17. Popsmoke

    Popsmoke

    60
    0
    Jan 17, 2006
    Atlanta
    The problem with the zombies is that they tend to bunch up. So you need a faster manuvering 5.56 with a good sidearm as a backup. Sometimes a good scattergun line the Benelli M4 or a 1170 will do, I have both.
    The robots, well they tend to wander around without much purpose, (except for those laser beams), so a good sniper setup to take out the CPU is a fine way to go. Heaver calibers and higher accuracy are called for. I use an accurized M700 with a Nightforce 4.5-24.
    I like to keep my AR's suppressed, because all close quarter firing can be tough on the ears. I recommend the following - a Sabre 11.5" with a AAC M4. This supressor can be fitted on to any of your other AR's with with adapter. So when the zombies get close to your house you can pick them off easily.
    I also keep a 9mm subbie with a 5" barrel and a SWR Trident. This is extremely good for close in work, better than my SIG P229's or a G19, because with an Aimpoint I can deliver deadly accurate fire to 50 yds, Zombies hate this.

    To keep the robots at bay, I use a M700 as I mentioned. However a Springfield Armory SOCOM 16 is a nice 308 battle rifle that will drop most robots out to about 400 yds.

    Scatter guns, are always handy - and should always be bedside. Nothing can rattle a zombie brain like some buckshot being chucked into a pump action or the bolt of a outloader. The zombies usually jump out the windows with they hear that.

    One piece of advice, "fear the man who has one gun".

    Popsmoke
     
  18. kabob983

    kabob983 "Mostly" Dead

    541
    0
    Jun 27, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    Some good info, but what do you think about a potential 14.5" middy (which BCM will soon offer)?