Rethinking the AR-15 for Home Defense.

I’ve totally sidelined all my “Combat Rifles” for Home Defense use.  Specifically the 5.56mm guns.  See, the AR-15 does great for Home Defense in many aspects.  They are easy to use, have precision accuracy, and have a great capacity.  They should be perfect for Home Defense, right?
Not really.
The AR-15 has one dramatic problem.  They are hella loud.  The High pressure, Supersonic Crack, of the AR-15′s Report is severely damaging to human ears.  Even Ogre ears.
Last time I took one of my boys out shooting, I provided him with Ear Pro and Eye Pro.  We were having fun shooting, and he’s a good Shooter.  Well he loaded up an AR-15 and forgot to put his Ear Pro back in after taking them out for some unknown reason.  (No, that’s his reason… “I don’t know”.) I wasn’t looking as I was loading a magazine and normally he is a cautious shooter and does it right.  Well, he cracked off a shot.  Now, we were outside, well away from structures that would reflect sound waves.  But the rifle was still so loud that it hurt his ears pretty badly.  2 Weeks later, he still had signs that his hearing took some damage.  Unfortunately with Hearing, there is nothing you can do.  What’s done is done.

Imagine how this could have gone down if we were in an Indoor shooting range.  He could have been made deaf from the AR’s blast.

Imagine in an emergency situation in the home… Bad Guy makes a threat.  You suddenly grab your AR and let him have it.  5, 6, 12 rounds into the Goblin.  Inside your house.  Now you and your wife and all your kids are all completely deaf thanks to the AR-15 and thanks to the Pain In The Ass and Expensive Restrictions on Suppressors.  Sure, the Goblin is no longer a threat… but now all of you are going to suffer from this the rest of your lives.
Sure, a Home Defense Shotgun is Loud – but it’s not that sharp, eardrum shattering crack of a 5.56mm Carbine.  Hell, even my .45-70 Thumper isn’t that loud.  Even pistol caliber carbines are a great option compared to the AR-15.
Another bad choice for HD duty is the .357 Magnum.  An ungodly loud handgun that is unpleasant to fire with earpro in an indoor range… Devastating to your hearing when fired indoors unprotected.

The best weapon ever invented for Home Defense remains the Tactical Shotgun.  Probably the most effective and least damaging to one’s hearing for weapons running Un-Suppressed.   And you can get a good shotgun for a few hundred bucks.  Or you could use that Thousand Dollar AR, with that 800 Dollar Can and that 200 Dollar Tax Stamp… Couple Hundred bucks vs A Couple Grand.  You chose.  But ask yourself this… Is that 2 Grand worth of rifle going to do a better job of home defense than the Shotgun?

 

75 thoughts on “Rethinking the AR-15 for Home Defense.”

  1. Agreed. The larger the bore the “bassier” it sounds.

    How about an AR in .45 ACP? Even with +p’s it wouldn’t be nearly as brutal as 5.56

    1. Did I just create a Crusader “Defender” carbine?

      Just need to decide if you want to go with a lower that takes Thompson mags or G21 mags.

      You would wipe the floor with Oly Arm’s version.

  2. This is a valid point.
    I have some electronic ear pro conveniently located next to the gun for HD. Yeah, I realize I may not grab it due to the rush to address the intruder but it’s there nonetheless. A suppressor would be much more useful in this situation.

  3. Suppressor? I would hate to have an AR with light and can impounded after a shooting but it would be an improvement in noise and muzzle flash.

    I suppose a single person could have a set of Peltors on the bed post but that doesnt work for the kids.

    Until then the shotty is still king.

  4. No one has to know that the shot was fired with a suppressor. No amount of CSI is going to prove it was attached. Any CSI devoted to proving something like that would be so prohibitively expensive that it wouldn’t be conducted unless the unlawful intruder was a US Senator.

    Defend yourself then unscrew suppressor and place in safe next to NFA paperwork.

    They may still impound your AR. I’ve never understood why in cases of self defense. “I know, let’s take away the tools he used to defend his property and family so the dead perp’s buddies can safely come back for revenge!”

    Genius.

    1. Normally, I would say this is a bad idea, but you are right. I doubt they would be able to figure out if a suppressor was used. On the other hand, if you are not arrested or eventually acquitted, you will get your gun back eventually.

  5. Heck, indoors I’m not even sure normal hearing protection is enough. A few weeks ago I was shooting at an indoor range and some guys came in and starting shooting an AR in the lane next to me. I was wearing both plugs and muffs and that thing still hurt my ears. In fact, I think I may have sustained a little more damage to my (already damaged) left ear.

  6. The bank robbers in Heat were pro’s. But I will have to watch it again to see if they at LEAST had plugs in their ears when DeNiro opened up inside the car with his “Commando”.

    A short barrel 5.56….inside the confines of a vehicle….

    Yeah, no thanks.

  7. That’s been one of my questions on all the various SWAT teams going to a M4 variant instead of subguns: are they issuing some kind of ear protection, or just figuring on the guys going deaf after they actually use the things indoors?

    I know the .223 has some real advantages over a pistol round, I’m just wondering about that problem

    1. If the AR’s didn’t have supressors then I’m willing to bet the entry team is wearing electronic ear pro.

    2. Back in the days when I was a former action guy actually doing team entries where everyone carried a Commando with an 11.5 barrel I always wore electronic ear pro which was issued by the Department. I can only think of one other guy who always wore it. it was issued to everyone but a lot of guys thought they didn’t need it for operations.

      I wasn’t always as religious about wearing ear pro in my early days and it’s starting to catch up with me. Years of flash bangs and shooting gas guns on callouts without it.

  8. In college I had a job at a gun shop with an outdoor shooting range. We had an Open House/Machinegun Shoot at the end of June every year. Product Reps showed up and laid out tables of S&W, Glock, Ruger, Taurus, DPMS, etc. One of the locals would show up with his .50BMG single-shot. We would have one full-auto AR-15/M16 lower with three uppers for shooters to choose. Naturally, most of them (especially the younger shooters-with-adult-supervision) chose the 10″. The range was a hundred yards away from the shop, and built into low ground with a large sand berm all the way around it. When someone would touch off the .50BMG, you could feel a ‘THUD’ in the shop and maybe some things would vibrate a bit. When someone ripped off a burst with the 10″ AR, You could feel everything in the shop start shaking… we may have had things fall off the wall.
    Pistols, magnum revolvers (including .500 S&W), shotguns, deer rifles, Marlin-load .45-70′s were barely noticed. I think you’re better off parking the AR’s and going with nearly anything else for in-home defense, especially if that anything else involves buckshot.

    1. 100 yards away with a sand berm all the way around it and a 10″ AR had everything shaking? What was the place made out of? Foamcore board?

      I will grant you that a 10″ AR is loud as hell.

      1. Agreed. That’s some funky physics. Maybe the berm was open to the shop i.e. reflecting towards it? Perhaps 10″ AR just happens to hit its resonant freq?

        1. It was that freakin’ loud. We had a guy ‘assisting’ people with that thing (his job was to slap the barrel down when it started climbing, hopefully before rounds went over the berm/trees at the far end). He looked pretty punch drunk after a couple hours next to that thing. I’m sure resonance of the building played a part of it, but even single shots with that thing were louder than the .50BMG was.

  9. I’m keeping the AR in the bedroom for now. I hadn’t thought about the noise issue, but it is a valid concern. I prefer my Mossberg 930 for ME, but my little lady is rather…little. The adjustable stock on my AR means she can make it fit her and the Mossy is just too big. Plus, we live in an apt, so I’m not okay with over penetration which makes our pistols less attractive. So, shotty for me, AR for her. Everyone wins. Except the bad guys.

  10. I spaced out my earpro while shooting the .44 Mag snub under a shooting shelter ONCE.
    That day I replaced the Magnum loads with 200gr Gold Dot Specials for home defense with a loader of Magnums as a reload.
    You are right about the .45-70.
    I forgot earpro with it once and it wasnt horrible.
    High pressure rounds are hell in enclosed places.

    Jim

  11. 30 M1 carbine with a 30 round mag. Just make sure it feeds the ammo you chose to use. Controllability, light recoil, quick follow up shots, less overpenetration then 5.56

  12. 300 BLK suppressed. First 10 are subsonics, the rest full bore. Quiet, no flash and if the subs don’t work for some reason then 200gr@ 2300fps or so should do the job. More risk of overpenetration.

    The big advantage of the AR is that it is so versitile. With that said, my first choice is the Beretta92 witha light, then shotty or AR. My shotgun does not have a light though.

  13. Personally I still think the advantages of the AR for home defense outweigh the disadvantages. Truth is damn near any firearm will do damage to the shooters hearing in a home defense situation. That said you are right to say that the 5.56 is worse than a handgun or shotgun. Still though, a suppressed AR is still likely to be shorter than a traditional 18″ shotgun. It will definately cost a good bit more but it is a tool that is there to do a job. It does that job with far greater versatility than does the shotgun. Even without the suppressor a simple set of hearing protection with the gun is a damn fine idea. It will take a few seconds to don but that is an option. Personally I believe the suppressor industry is catching up to the demands of the market. There are a number of new manufacturers that are starting to cater to the average shooter. Most shooters don’t need the smallest, lightest, quietest thing on the market. What they need is a good serviceable design that doesn’t cost as much as a used car. I recently picked up a 5.56 can that I have been very impressed with and it sells for $399. If you guys are pimping NFA stuff at that shop of yours you may want to look into the Huntertown Arms line. It’s not the high end H1 Hummer that some folks drool over, it’s the 2-4 year old Ford F150 that is within reach of just about everyone.

  14. I’ve always been a huge fan of my basic 870 tactical for HD, because it always works, everytime. I haven’t really thought too much about the sound levels shooting inside, but atleast I know I’ll survive the hearing damage, what’s ever on the other side of some 00 Buck at HD ranges won’t be so lucky. A LEO friend of mine did have a ND with a Glock 17 in his home once (what!? I thought cops were amazing tier 1 level operators? you mean they’re just people, no?!), and he said his ears rang for 2 weeks after that. I think a Crusader Pistol Caliber Carbine is a winning idea!

  15. You are right Ogre. The AR-15 is great for HOMESTEAD defense but not so good for home defense. I also agree with the person who said use a supressor and then take it off. The right to effective self defense is inalienable. There is a huge difference in the hearing damage incurred by a 12 guage vs an AR-15. You can have it both ways in this situation. So plan for all LIKELY scenarios.

    Wish I could get my hearing back from my younger days of dove hunting without earplugs but we didn’t know any better back then. Self defense includes you hearing!

  16. Mr. Qgre- I would like to request a genuine certified Ogre Brand review-

    Specifically the Mossberg 930′s little brother, the SP-20- I picked one up at the show , and it was a small light little thing, looked like a superb shotgun for general around the farm use, or for home defense while avoiding the recoil of a 12 gauge. Can you tell us about this?

    1. I’ve not shot one of those… But 20 Gauge is gaining a lot of popularity with Home Defenders due to the lower recoil. But the 20 does offer almost as much destructive power. You don’t give up much in the 20 at all.
      And Mossberg shotties have their advocates and good points. You probably have a very good Gauge in that gun.

      1. Having read most of the following post,I am going to look into a 20 gage pump for when and if I am blessed enough to become chronologically gifted.

  17. Well, I suppose I’m one of those fossilized dunderheads who’s always used a shotgun for home defense and never switched to anything else. The 12 has a fair dose of stopping power. Good for boarding teams and good for repelling boarders.

  18. just curious, anyone have any data tables showing the relative noise in decibels of various calibers…I have one somewhere in a mag that discusses different barrel length in an AR and its effects on noise and pressure, but its all for 5.56.

    As far as taking a suppressor off, if its stamped and legal and I use it in defense of myself and family legally in my home with its intended use being to keep them from going deaf, screw it I am leaving it on….let it be used as a lesson as to why they need to be more easily obtained for the same reason by others.

    Also, I wonder if there is a product or a company that can come into prebuilt structures and put sound deadening material in the walls so your kids have a barrier of sound suppression between the report and them.?

    1. If you have a house build it is a common option to have the interior walls insulated for noise deadening. Textured walls help, the heavier the texture the better. Soft sided furniture and also three dimentional hanging objects on walls help also. Thick carpet like a shorter shag (popular just a few years ago) would be good.

      Another thing is to NOT have a compensator on your HD gun. Even a flashhider throws the sound to the sides. Remove the flash hider or get a linear muzzle device like a LaVang, Troy Claymore or Flaming Pig. These throw the sound forward, which will bounce back at you. At least it isn’t comming from the wall 18″ from your ears though.

  19. Solution is obvious here.

    A 10″ barrel and a large suppressor. Noise is reduced to the supersonic crack.

    If you can’t get a signature for an SBR and a suppressor, hire a local lawyer to start a revocable trust for you.

    1. Obvious to those that can afford it. They aren’t legal in every state either. Others just opt for 12 gauge.

      1. Crazy amounts of money?

        A good can is not that expensive.

        Tax is $400.

        You can use Nolo Press’s Willmaker for the trust template. Or just ask the Sheriff to sign the form 1 and the form 4.

        Tell me you wouldn’t like a can or an SBR …

      2. Yes a $300 shotgun is more cost effective. But money isn’t everything.

        And not everything can be dealt with using ten rounds or less.

        I guess I’ll take the opposite end of the equation, George.

        I am willing to spend a little more money to be more effective.

        Guns generally don’t rot … they just get more valuable.

  20. Sorry “CSI” CAN determine if a round was fired through a suppressor and they impound the firearm used in a homicide of any kind until the courts offically confirm self defense in fact not just claimed to deflect prosecution. Welcome to the 21st. century.

    1. Possibly true -though I won’t blindly accept it until someone can illustrate how that would be done. As someone with more than a fair amount of exposure to forensics in the “21st century”, there are many things that still can’t be done.

      There are even more things that CAN be done, but are not done because they represent additional expense, require very specialized equipment, and most importantly are not done without a reason.

      Any investigation still relies on the judgement of PEOPLE. What, pray-tell about a cut and dry home defense scenario as described above is going to prompt an investigator to order a presumably more detailed forensic examination, incurring extra expense (however big or minimal I don’t know)just to find out if a suppressor may or may not have been attached at the time of the event?

      If the shooting is otherwise legal, I doubt they will do forensics to make sure that rifle fired what’s left of a fragmented 5.56 round.

      Like I said, it has to have some important ramifications in order to warrant TV style CSI, and even then it will likely not effect the outcome.

      Can I take my Eotech, my light and my other accessories off or can they figure out I used those with CSI too? :)

      1. One of the simplest lies to get away with is the truth. My freedom and the cost of my self-defense in court is more important to me than potential loss of the can for a year or two (or even forever). I personally wont risk an obviously justified shoot turning into something else on the chance I will be proven a liar. Easier to just tell it like it is. I’d also point out that the police are pretty good at figuring out what happened via forensics…most are excellent at detecting when someone is lying.

        YMMV, but I would rather fork over the supressed AR.

  21. We have to stop with the whole AR thing! Mankind was defending his homes just fine with firearms for many years before the AR came along. I contend that in the overwhelming majority of HD situations, a good ‘ole pump 12 gauge with the right load is vastly superior to the AR. No question…..

      1. I may question the superiority of the shotgun to an AR. Yes the 12 gauge is a devastating weapon, it is not only destructive to the bad guys but unfortunately to interior/exterior walls as well. If you live alone or maybe just with a spouse, in a sparsely populated area, you are fine. Living in a tightly packed suburb is a different story entirely. I know one person who had an ND and put a slug through his cinder block wall and his neighbors chimney. That is not something I fear from the 40g TAP ammo I keep in my AR. I did my own “box of truth” tests with them and found them quite impressive against “liquid” while blowing apart and losing almost all energy after a few pieces of sheet-rock. At home defense distances, 00 buck stays tightly packed enough to easily blow through common building materials as well. There is also always the capacity argument to consider.

        1. thank you for sharing your experience. the little kids in my house and their delicate ears are still unaccustomed to firearms.

          our room’s aren’t that big, that’s my main problem. the living room and yard is large, but if I have to fight from our bedroom, we’ll probably all go deaf w/ 5.56. (at least we’re alive)

          I suppose AR will work for many people, but it will not do for my situation. I love both platforms, but I’ll go with a shotgun.

          If ammo is needed, my 50 round bandolier is right next to the shotgun. my wife has her own gun too. if you need more ammo than that, you’ve probably pissed off the Russian Mob and probably deserve whatever pickle you’re in.

  22. I’ve been a longtime reader of your blog. This is my first reply to one of your posts. I completely agree with the points you made and with your overall stance on the use of an AR for home defense work. It has always been my position on the matter.

  23. If I must use a rifle indoors, it would be my Marlin 1894 loaded with 44 specials. It’s very quiet indoors, and with the EOTech, it’s very fast on target.

  24. AR all the way. More precise, lower recoil, higher capacity, easier & safer to load/unload, less risk of over-penetration (as pointed out above), easier to shoot one-handed.

    Nice that a pump shotgun is less expensive but ridiculous to suggest that lower cost makes a shotgun more combat effective. :-)

    Hearing protection – electronic muffs not only protect hearing but give tactical advantage in HD scenario, turning up the volume enables one to hear better than with unaided ear. Regardless of weapon, electronic muffs are a great idea.

    1. And you are guaranteed that you will have time to put them on?

      Knowing there is a potential threat to your life and loved ones you will stop and take a few seconds to put on electronic hearing protection and turn them on.

      Sorry, every second I know an intruder is in the house it’s “go time” and it’s not “go time” if there isn’t a weapon in hand.

      1. Yes. It is a matter of preparation.

        If you are so concerned about seconds then wearing a sidearm is your best bet.

        Besides, galloping around in “go time” mode could well get you killed particularly if there are multiple assailants.

  25. The risk of overpenetration with a shotgun is fairly easy to address by simply changing the shot. Somewhere along the spectrum of birdshot to slug there’s a round that is likely to meet the unique requirements of each HD environment. You don’t have to blow a hole through the goblin, just incapacitate the SOB. Heck, depending on where a person lives, they may want to change the load from summer (lightly clothed goblins) to winter (goblins with heavy clothes). Of course, if you’re expecting goblins wearing body armor, you’re either delusional, or have reason to expect armored goblins and have also already sorted through the complications for yourself.

    The noise aspect is one thing that has been keeping me on the fence between getting a shotgun next or an AR platform. (Well, that and the fact that I really enjoyed shooting black rifles back in the day.) If I do go with an AR platform next, I’ll probably go with a 300BLK with a can. Of course, that’s going to be more expensive to buy and run than a basic 5.56 black rifle, soooo….

    Sigh. So many different considerations in choosing something that hopefully is never NEEDED.

    1. If facing goblins clad in ballistic fibre, it helps a great deal to lower your point of aim. A few pellets through the pelvis and thigh can mechanically disable someone regardless of how much armor they have across their ribcage.

  26. Yes they can and my in state a “CSI” type exam is standard SOP for any homicide weapon any gun takes first place of pride in the lab. Been doing this for over 30 years. Find out if there was other equipment mounted? Done. Check for the right marks on the bullet, shattered or not? Done. This “they will never know” is on the same level as the old advise to “just drag the body inside” and of of just as much use…

    1. Now I am not talking about a “drag the body inside scenario” or evidence tampering to make yourself look better. What I am talking about is less of my expensive property sitting in a police evidence locker or being destroyed after a justified and legal self defense shooting.(it happens)

      Okay, let’s grant that some forensics will likely be performed.

      With all due respect, it still doesn’t explain the WHY some tests would be performed.

      For example. You may be able to tell that I have had other accessories mounted. What purpose would such tests serve? “this guy is holding out on us, we should have been able to seize more of his stuff”?

      Like most people, my AR has had a ton of different accessories mounted over the years as technology has improved etc. What forensic tests will tell you what light and red dot and other farkles were mounted the night of the shooting? Why do you care?

      I could have just as easily removed them earlier that night, before the shooting. Does it effect the case in any way? NO.

      Now a suppressor may be a little more arguable, if an overzealous prosecutor wants to paint a picture here. But with how relatively uncommon suppressors still are, how many investigators are going to order the tests? All at extra expense to the department? The guns may get “first place of pride” but there is a point of diminishing returns here.

      1. Weird claims come up during investigations. They’re not always logical but it’s nice to know that the forensics will confirm your side. Now, when they decide to examine the bullet for whatever reason and see suppressor marks red flags will be raised. “I didn’t want the cops to take it” might sound a little hollow in court. Still the truth, but self-defense claims occasionally get murky and tossing a lie of omission in there is only going to hurt you.

        Anyways, in the end it’s going to be your choice. I just know that I wouldn’t want to add a blatant, verifiable lie into what should be an open/shut defense case. At best you worry a bit but get away with it. At worst it could become a legal nightmare, lead unjust sentencing, and hurt the efforts of those who fight for our right to self defense. I’m not saying that’s right, but it is often how the world works.

  27. Glock 17 with weapon light is next to the bed and is the first thing I reach for. If I have time I’ll retrieve my 12 gauge.

  28. Won’t really matter, almost every rifle/handgun/shotgun hovers around 160DB, the AR-15 is around 163DB so the actual difference is very little. No matter what you use, you will lose some hearing.

  29. “What I am talking about is less of my expensive property sitting in a police evidence locker”… in a criminal investigation that’s called a lie by omission and evidence tampering in a homicide investigation an one instance proving you did that pretty much makes ANY statement you make about any shooting or any fact you purport supports your side of the story easy to destroy at trial, criminal or civil true or not. It IS a drag the body inside scenario and you do it at risk of putting yourself in prison or losing everything you own for life just to keep a piece of machinery? I give up.

    1. Just a mental exercise here, I just fail to see how hitting a quick release and tossing my expensive optics aside are much different than dropping the magazine and clearing the weapon before the cops get there.

      But prosecutors are out to get convictions, not necessarily to see justice done. I guess they have to have something to use to call you a liar.

      In that case I agree with you. Go ahead and take my stuff.

  30. I like the FN PS90 for home defense. It is short, handy, reliable, light recoiling, and has very little muzzle blast/flash compared to an AR or a shotgun. It also recoils less than either and 40 grain ballistic tips will not over penetrate. It is not as powerful as the shotgun or AR, but it is a good option and is less expensive than most ARs if you know where to look.

    1. The PS90 retails for around 1600 bucks. So unless you are looking at Used guns, no, they are not less than most AR’s which retail for around 1000 bucks.
      But you are right… they would make for great HD guns. Accurate, not too loud – nothing like a 5.56mm gun, and they have a great Mag Capacity with cheap ammo.

  31. Question- can a shotgun be suppressed? Just to knock down the sound somewhat, to make it less deafening? And is there a threshold between “legal” and “NFA”? Is it considered a suppresser if if it knocks down the noise by half? These have been times I have gone out after a coyote and realized I left my muffs behind..before you laugh, around here the max shot is about 50 yards…….

  32. I use a modded Sig tacops 1911, Silencerco 45osprey and a TLR-1s. I’d be out a few grand for a bit and if the locals looked twice at the gun it would be to say “I wish I had that”.

    In other states it would behove the defender to use the least tactical looking whatever they can effectively defend themselves with. Perception IS reality in the case of a jury trial.

    Two other points I’d like to make.

    An AR in 300blk with 220gr subs is going to be quieter than a stock 5in 45acp.

    The best weapon to defend yourself with is the one at hand. Your guns do you no good locked in a safe down the hallway or sitting at the gunstore waiting on a stamp.

  33. The original premise of Ogre’s post is false.

    12ga out of 18″ barrel is 5dB louder than .223 out of 18″ barrel.

    http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml

    28″ barrel would be quieter… But are any of you shotgun fanboys advocating 28″ barreled shotguns as ultimate home defense weapons? Is not current vogue a Rem 870 or Mossberg 590 in 18″? Meh.

    1. Frequency matters. A lot. Second, as the charts on that page demonstrate, so does barrel length. The barrel length of the .223/5.56 tested is 18″. I’d venture that 85% of M4geries sold today are 16″ carbines, so volume will go up. Additionally, in home defense, the mantra is “the shorter the better”, so AR’s purchased with HD as a primary purpose will almost certainly have 16″ barrels, sometimes less.

  34. Crap! Do I dump the 16″ Noveske upper or what – and what do I do with my 20″ match AR? Where’s my Peltor Tac-6′s? Two is one, so where’s the other?? :-) Damn!

  35. When I was on SWAT we were issued Colt Commandos with 11.5″ barrels. When we did team entry training in the live fire houseI always doubled up on ear pro. The noise and concussion from one M4 inside is pretty bad. When you have four guys in an 8×12 room shooting multiple rounds on multiple targets it’s horrendous.

    As bad as the M4 and it’s variants are the HK 53 I was issued and carried for years was worse. It was truly a beast to carry but I loved that gun. It had a nine inch barrel. Guys would move away from me on the line. I can’t imagine shooting it inside without ear pro.

  36. I have not read all the comments on this post, but wanted to include that if you are hand loader, you can do subsonic buckshot in 12 gauge that will handle anything civilian that could happen in your home. If you do 2 -inch shells, you even get extended capacity with that mag extension. Yes, you have to make your own 2 inch shells, but it is very easy to do with your used casings. It’s not hard, for those of us who like 12 gaugees for HD.

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