My adult son mentioned he wants to buy an AR-15 for plinking targets and hunting, while I have thought about it for home security. I have done research on brands etc. and feel overwhelmed. I have plenty of rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Any experienced suggestions being in the $1200 range for quality and dependability? Everything I buy is for the long haul, and want to be satisfied with the purchase.
Keep in mind, K&M sells a GREAT 22 conversion kit for your AR. Takes less than 3 seconds to convert your 556/223 to 22LR. About $150. You'll save that in a year.
.450 Bushmaster is an AR15 cartridge...it shoots a 250-300 gr. bullet in the 2000-2100 fps range. .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf (12.7x42) are also in the same general category. Huge recoil in the AR15 platform tho compared to other cartridges. I decided to go with the new 350 Legend that was developed by Winchester in 2018 and released at SHOT Show 2019. It shoots a 150-180 gr. bullet at 2100-2350 fps range and is a deer and hog killer to about 200 yards, plus has greater magazine capacity than the larger 'Thumper' rounds listed above.
If he is looking for a strictly home defense cartridge, the .223/5.56 with a very light (35-40 gr.) varmint bullet would be better. Less chance of over penetration. Still good for hunting things like coyotes and other nuisance animals, but is marginal for large midwest whitetails. It has a larger following in the southern states for whitetails because their deer run smaller on average. Other hunting cartridges in the AR15 platform are the 7.62x39, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC and a few others. Ammo for these can be difficult to find other than online. 7.62x39 is everywhere, but the magazines can have issues in the AR15 platform when it comes to reliable feeding. Not a big deal for hunting...HUGE deal breaker for home defense. If you want the 7.62x39 for a defense round, buy an AK. It was designed around that cartridge.
For those using shotguns for home defense and having over penetration issues, don't use 00 or 000 buck...use 3 buck or 4 Buck. It is smaller, has more pellets, and still hits like a truck. Its like being shot 20 or 25 times simultaneously with a .22 LR. If you don't train very often or have a spouse that doesn't have a lot of shooting experience, a shotgun is probably the best HD option out there. I actually have my wife's Mossberg 500 Bantam 20 gauge loaded with 6 rounds of 4 buck with an Improved Cylinder choke. She shoots trap and turkey hunts and is familiar with the firearm, which is important should she ever need to use it. The short barrel on the Bantam model is also night for HD. I would never dream of forcing her to use an AR to defend our house/family.
Edit to add: The nice thing about an AR15 is the modularity. For example, if you want a .223/5.56 for home defense, but also want to hunt deer, you can buy the 5.56 rifle and a 350 Legend, 7.62x39, 6.5 Grendel, etc. and with two pins and about 15 seconds, you have a whole new rifle for less than half of what another whole rifle would cost. Something to think about if you want to shoot several calibers without breaking the bank.
Forgot the full name of the .450 . It was created for the states like Illinois that finally allow rifles . But they must be a straight wall cartridge of a minimum , maximum length . So no .44 mags or ,45 70 .
Too hard to keep track of all the cartridges made for AR15 platform, it might be the 450 Bushmaster
So the .450 isn’t a 10? Just curious
Plus now there's the .450 . A large slower bullet that would probably not have much over penetration.
Snakester - I like the Ruger alot, no problems with it but I don't have alot to compare it to, I don't know mcuh about AR's.
As far as home defense I have some handguns placed throughout the house in hard to find places but easy to get to. Once our newborn gets older I plan to buy more safes. The AR is in a soft case under the bed with some loaded magazines. Not sure when I would ever use this in rural WI but we live in crazy times. I agree with a shotgun being a great choice for home defense.
When I lived in Alaska I always had a loaded shotgun with me when camping and at home for bears, along with a .454 revolver with bear load that I carried on me when I was out hiking or fishing. First two rounds in shotgun were buck shot, last 3 rounds were slugs. Better chance of hitting the bear with buckshot and scaring it off without killing it.
Few things that I want to elaborate on, take it with a grain of salt..
Shotguns, yes they are very effective at close range. Very limited magazine capacity, muzzle blast, and yes over penitration.
I love them for HD(2 shockwaves, 590 and 1100 12 round) but has anyone tried to fire a pump action prone?
My buddies and me did a simple test at the range in a 20' connex box.
Yes, shotgun was the worst concussive force out of anything, plus the overpenitration of 00 buck.
40-45 grain " varmint " bullets, coupled with 30+ round magazine capacity are a very viable HD weapon. They basically vaporize on contact,with temporary and permanent wound cavity rivaling a shotgun wound.