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Talk me into buying an AR-15

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Netspirit, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Netspirit

    Netspirit Bellevue, WA Active Member

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    Well, not me, but anyone who might be reading this thread.

    We live in downtown Bellevue, population 122-something thousand. Not a big city, not a rural village in the woods. Number of murders in 2010: zero. Number of murders in 2011: one. Green and landscaped.


    We own multiple pistols and a shotgun. We started with a shotgun because this is arguably the best "home artillery" (when the family is barricaded behind a door). However, it turned out to be quite heavy for my spouse (yes, even a 20ga 870 can be too heavy - petite females do exist), so I bought her a full-size M&P 9. A one-handed weapon is useful when you need to open doors, grab kids, etc.

    We also carry two absolutely-identical 9mm S&W Shields, concealed. We shoot every week, having fun and getting better over time.

    I know, rifles are cool, awesome and all that. Daniel Defense V7 (lightweight barrel middy) looks mean and sexy enough for me to buy - if I had a good reason. The problem is: I am not sure I have a good reason. Maybe I am missing one?


    1. Home defense. Why would you shoot a rifle indoors, which will inflict *huge* (assuming no silencer) hearing damage and won't be any more effective vs. a shotgun? Lower over-penetration of 5.56 bullets?
    2. A riot / zombie invasion situation? Very unlikely.
    3. Revolution in the U.S., police storming my apartment? Very unlikely.

    So what is an AR-15 (or any semi-auto rifle, even Tavor) good for, apart from the sheer fun, for a city dweller? Intimidation? Coolness? I get it and agree with it, but are there any practical advantages? Why do I *need* an AR-15? What could I possibly do with one?

    Important disclaimer: this is not a discussion about whether AR-15 should be legal. It is about utility in specific circumstances.
  2. akmewon

    akmewon clackamas Active Member

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    If by some chance sdhtf then an ar15 would be my grab gun to leave the house with .30 rounds good out about 250-300 yards ,as opposed to 13-15 pistol rounds.but for home defense i think you got that covered.
  3. Botte Hork

    Botte Hork Camas WA Well-Known Member

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    You don't need one, you just want one. Zero need.

    Until you need it of course, but the likelihood is not super big.

    So why get one? I answered that for myself: To satisfy my desire. I went to the shop, saw a really nice BRO, thought for a little while and decided to throw down the money.

    By the way, pretty much any caliber inflicts hearing damage indoors. Fortunately silencers became legal to use in WA, so that's a viable option. Takes a while though. Or keep useful protection next to your home defense gun. And useful means: easy to put in/on, allows you to hear (semi-)normally when no shots are fired. Electronic or something with echo chambers (surefire has some, 3M battle plugs, etcetera). And for night time, get a light too.
  4. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    Once you step away from the fantasy/video game mindset (sounds like you have), an AR does have some utility. The capability of plowing endless dollars into meaningless "upgrades" comes to mind.

    Maybe in a pistol caliber one would present some home defence value. Penetrating average house exterior walls with some velocity left over would lessen with a pistol caliber. But, pistol caliber AR's are kind of like having a corvette with a vega engine. The same thing can be accomplished with less expense, after all great accuracy isn't really required at close range. Of course the fabled gas impingment operating system would be nullified, for all pistol caliber AR's (I've seen) are (blow back) recoil operated, so why bother with a pistol caliber AR? Of better value would be a carbine length rifle like a camp 9, or even a trapper model winchester 94 in .357 or 44.

    While much is said and great worry expressed about overpenetration, I haven't seen a lot of "stray bullet" evidence. Not to say there isn't any, I just haven't seen it. What are the odds? Same as getting hit by lightning? Elevator failure? Shark attack in Arizona?

    Not to make light of the hand wringers, but, where is the evidence? Stray bullet deaths per 100,000 people, lets see it.

    I have had quite a number of AR's, built and bought, really liked the fun of doing it. At the end of the day in a shtf scenario (as stated, unlikely) I will go to a large caliber 20 inch barreled bolt gun, and my 16 round .45 handgun.
    solv3nt and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    Save your money.

    Every "assault rifle" is overpriced, and in an urban setting, wholly unnecessary.

    I scratch the rifle itch with a bolt action, a SR K31 to be exact. Ammo is more expensive, but I burn through less of it to get good training results.
  6. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Don't know if the AR is good for you.
    I trained, slept w it. Can strip, re-assemble it blindfolded. Really can.
    I have one, I like it. Making a couple more (80% lowers)
    You are doing well, having a mate that's congruent with you.

    Mission: Personal/Home defense
    Drabness says not worth the effort, stealth.
    Flashy home, car? not stealthy qualities.
    home artillery
    concealed carry
    non-perishable food and water for a week (use by practicing)
    Some munchies n refreshments n 9mm n toilet paper in the trunk (use and rotate)
    (handgun gets you home to the rifle)(rifles and ammo locked in a bimart closet safe)

    Mission supplement: Get outta Bellevue! Make a plan, practice it.
    Stealth, camoflage, don't stick out or wear hunter orange. Be Drab.
    Teach fear, respect, distance to zombie gomers
    Bolt rifle Savage 110, 30 cal. Reach out and touch something.
    AR-15/M4 to 600 yards
    AK-47 to 300 yards

    Survival camping is fun if you don't have to.

    My opinions are my own. I stole them from folks I admire.
    Old, sneaky, fart
    Brutus57 and (deleted member) like this.
  7. PotshotJim

    PotshotJim Oregon Member

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    Here's an article I read a while back that goes against the common thoughts on overpenetration:

    Is .223 the Best Home Defense Caliber? - Guns & Ammo

    Interesting info I thought.

    On whether or not you buy an AR15 or any other rifle: If you don't know why you need one then you probably don't.
  8. djgaloot

    djgaloot Oregon City Member

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    Need? What does need have to do with anything?
    I have built several ARs for different "missions" just because they are fun.
    Hopefully, none of the missions come to reality. Especially the ones I sold/traded.
    I figure a pistol, shotgun, AR and longer range hunting rifle covers most scenarios.
    So why do I have so many guns? hmmmmm. I guess I just like them.
    Brutus57 and (deleted member) like this.
  9. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Reason - 3 Gun competetion or multi-gun competetion is a very good reason.
  10. raftman

    raftman Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    They can make decent hunting rifles. Also can be used in various competitive shooting events should you ever get into that, though I suppose that falls under the "fun" umbrella. Then again, some people also fall back on the old "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it" cliche.
  11. Benihaus

    Benihaus Portland American

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    Im gonna catch some grief here but that's ok, I don't mind.
    Here are my negatives
    To me, if you are in a SHTF situation that you are carrying a rifle specifically because it has a high capacity so that you can shoot at more targets then you are walking down the road to your own death. You are not going to survive a ground war in your neighborhood because you have 30 mags.. you are going to be a priority target, simple as that.
    The .223/5.56 is a very small round designed for varmints and humans, it is not an effective hunting round. Can you kill a deer with it? yea, but you can also kill a deer with a .22 LR if your shot is THAT good.. is it? (NO it really isn't in real world situations)
    Range for an AR platform rifle is great, but who cares? are you sniping hordes from a secure place? get a heavy *** stable thumper for that, one shot one kill beats 30 rounds as quick as you can pull the trigger any day.

    The positives... again in my opinion
    they are pretty, nothing wrong with that.

    .. thats all I got

    consider moving out of KWarshington and getting a beater 9mm or .45 sub machine gun while you still can.
  12. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    Home invasion, multiple opponents. 30 rounds and fast reloads> whatever your shotgun capacity and very slow reloads.

    Penetration is a non issue compared to buckshot. Use varmint rounds in .223 rather than 5.56 FMJ Ball.

    Precision. God forbid you ever need to make a hostage shot, but GL doing it with buckshot and if you're worried about over-penetration, slugs are worse than 5.56.

    That's why I use an AR for our safe room, rather than a shotgun. But if all I had was a shotgun, I'd feel perfectly well defended.

    I have an AR because they are an absolute joy to shoot. Any defensive use is a distant second to that.
  13. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    Netspirit you obviously are not a veteran. I don't say that being disparaging. The military is not for everyone. I say that because nearly every vet, especially those of us who either served in the Marines or Army received a lot of training on the AR-15, M-16, and/or M-4. Having said that, for me getting an AR was a no brainer. Now I have three. All BCM's too.

    AR-15's are notoriously reliable, easy to train with and economical to shoot which had a lot to do with Uncle Sam's decision to go with them in the first place.
  14. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    As a man, boyfriend/Husband or Father your duty is to be prepared to defend.
    A semi auto rifle, a pistol and a shotgun are my bottom three suggestions.
    As per what semi auto would be best.. Thats a different subject.

    Unless you've got the time to really throw some lead down range.. The AR or any semi auto platform may not be suitable for your lady. Mine (even though weve gone over the manipulations dozens if not hundreds of times) seems to "not get it" or claims that "Its too heavy".. I take her comments with a grain of salt knowing one day (God forbid) she might actually have to pick up that rifle and defend herself or others.. And at that time it wont be too "heavy" or "confusing".. I can tell shes not all that into it.

    But women aside. I think every man
    (if not otherwise denied his 2A rights due to a felony or "mental issues") should have an AR or AKM platform in the household as per their militia duty (that most have forgotten about) here in America.

    Be prepared for anything.
    As for your (Or whoever's) need to be talking into owning something they should already own regardless of their urban location.. I think your (or whoever's) mind is already made up. Sadly.

    But it, after all is your liberty and freedom to chose how and how not to arm and defend yourselves.
    Brutus57 and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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  16. meener777

    meener777 King County Active Member

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    I like them because they are flexible. Want a scope? No problem. Iron sights? Sure, would you like them, cowitnessed or perhaps mounted at 3:00? No problem. Fixed stock, adjustable, sniper stock? Yes. Rail system? If you want sure! Foregrip, bipod, angled foregrip, hand stop, yes all that! Lights, lasers, yeah that too. I just love the platform, and as someone else said theyre a joy to shoot.
  17. tanzuki

    tanzuki Salem Active Member

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    Because you might not be able to buy one in the future.
  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    If you think an 870 is heavy, whatever you do, don't get a hefty AR and then add every piece of crap to it or you'll have a.. piece a crap, handling-wise.
  19. BiggerHammer

    BiggerHammer Deep in the Pacific Northwest. Member

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    A handgun is a secondary or bare minimum, better than nothing, no matter how you paint the picture in my book. I have never specifically hunted varmints, two legged or four legged with a handgun. While hunting big game affiled, either a rifle, shotgun or M4 Carbine in 6.5 Grendel is in hand. Most often than not a handgun is stowed away on my person. While varmint hunting, Cougar hunting or calling. A M4 Carbine in 6.5 Grendel or 5.56 is my firearm preference with a handgun stowed away.

    Home defense, I would call it over on the East Side where I'm at. Home/ property defense. I will opt for/ have in hand a quality shotgun or carbine before I ever will pick up a handgun as a stand alone choice. When confronting trespassers I am always carrying a concealed handgun and there is always a shotgun or M4 carbine close/ inside the truck.

    There are more valid real world reasons to own a quality M4 Carbine than there are not to. Considering the current administration and the fluxuating economy and political direction and mood. It would be a wise decision to purchase one, take a little time to become well versed in its function and application. Then if need be, tuck it away and just consider it insurance for you and your loved ones. The accuracy level of some of today's carbines is exellent, so you may find enjoyment in working those groups smaller and smaller, on the range or the public lands of Washington.

    Good luck with your purchase decision. I for one, wouldn't be without one.

    I've never hunted big game with it but I have put the heat on my share of Rockchucks with my Sig Sauer 716 carbine(.308).�� I prefer a carbine with a little more "Thump" than 5.56.

  20. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    Lots of very good points. My decision based on this. Affordable for me over an AR 10. Decent range, good carbine for SHTF. And the universality of it if we do go post apocalypse. As one poster said. Stone Axe Simple, Even a Caveman could shoot it. Heck, this shade tree mechanic built his without a vise and only lost one detention pin and one spring. Lastly because they might be taken away. To me, it is the ONe thing the average citizen can have that this current government fears. There are probably 2 million Americans out there who not only have one but know how to use it pretty well.

    Did I mention they are evil, black and cool, oh yeah, fun to shoot. Remember the first time you emptied a .22lr semi auto? As a kid? Well, think of that only on steroids. Need, right this moment, maybe not. Good insurance, probably. I am guessing any angry mob sees a couple of AR front iron sights peeking out behind a curtain are going to "move along."

    Brutus out