Fellow Contributor Jager has submitted another excellent article on self-protection and this one discusses self-protection in your home. In many circles I have frequented over the past ten years this topic seems to be part of the discussion. What is your plan if you wake up and hear someone in your home. Or, you have an intruder and you are separated from your personal protection. Good read I must say. Thanks, Jager.
Fighting your way to your rifle - By Jager
I have said often that a pistol is just for fighting your way to your rifle. Obviously, there would be times when you would not have the option of going for your rifle. This statement would apply to defending the home and the family. Before grabbing the evil black rifle out of the closet there are some considerations you must address.
With the added range and power a rifle gives you over your pistol, comes the problem of over penetration. In your field of fire are there family members, pets, livestock etc. who you would like to see when the sun comes up? I once had an accidental discharge of a 223 Remington round that went through my front door, glanced off the roof of my car and through three walls of a neighbor’s walls. Oops. That is the downside.
If you are faced with a threat inside your home, then you might not have time to grab the AR. Whatever you can grab quickly is the weapon you want. Up close and personal nothing equates to the force equalizer of a 12-gage shotgun loaded with OO buckshot. Again, if a shotgun is what you choose to defend the castle, think about where those 33 caliber shots are going. OO buckshot will penetrate sheetrock and anybody or anything on the other side. I practice often with 12 gage slugs at distances up to 100 yards. No matter your proficiency level, a shotgun slug falls on its face after 100 yards and buckshot at about 25 yards.
I have pistols, shotguns, and rifles and consider myself proficient with all of them. I can safely say I have sent more lead downrange than 95% of the people reading this article. I am going to talk about the three most popular caliber rifles out there. The 5.56 x 45 NATO (also known as a .223 Remington) is the predominant load in the AR platform rifle. The AR platform is still used by our military and magazines and ammo for the semi auto civilian versions are interchangeable with the military weapons. That would come in handy if we were ever invaded by a foreign power. The American people are the militia mentioned in the 2d Amendment. My only thing I would avoid in an AR platform is polymer receivers. The second caliber is the 7.62x39. This caliber is most commonly used in the AK and SKS platforms. AKs are well known to fire when dirty. The loose tolerances of the AK cause a loss of accuracy. The bullet weight of the AK round is double that of the AR round. That extra bullet weight relates to foot pounds of energy delivered to your target. The SKS rifle is an older design than the AK. It is often modified to accept large capacity magazines like the AK. In my humble opinion that causes jams and should be avoided if modified. The third cartridge is the 7.62x51 NATO round. In a pinch you can shoot a 308 Winchester round in a gun chambered for 7.62x51. If you try to shoot the NATO round in a 308 Winchester gun you might have trouble chambering the round. Your typical 7.62 NATO round is a 150gr. It is heavier than the AK round and beats the AR and the AK platform in long range performance and accuracy. You also have a great deal of options with the 7.62 NATO round. You can fire 55grain accelerator rounds up to a 220-grain round, good for penetrating heavy brush and dangerous animals both 4 legged and 2 legged.
The point of this article is to emphasize that you are at a disadvantage if you are attacked by someone with a rifle and you have a pistol. In a life and death situation a determined assailant with a rifle can shoot through your house. If you have a rifle you have a chance to win the day. You have some concealment that will help you until you fire the first shot. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “one shot one kill”. Use the concealment until you get the shot that ends the fight.
I want to mention some options that are available for the different calibers. All of them are available in a bolt action rifle. The AR platform is available in a number of calibers: 5.56mm, 6.5 creedmoor, 260 Remington, 308 Winchester/7.62x51, 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, 50 Beowolf. There are others but those are the most common. The AK platform can be had in .223/5.56x45 NATO plus the 7.62x39 and the newer 5.45 x 39. The 7.62 NATO is available in FN/FAL rifles, various AR-10 platforms, M1A/M14 and many variants used by the military and police forces for sniper duty.
In closing, the rifle is the great equalizer, but you are responsible for where that round goes. A pistol or shotgun round falls on its face in a relatively short distance while the rifle round is still flying 2 miles down the road. Practice with your weapons, all of them. Hopefully you will never need to use your weapon in your defense, but gun control is not a law that penalizes legal gun owners. Gun control is about hitting your target with the first round fired. Practicing needs to be a family affair.
Bravo Echo Out,