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Thread: 10.5/11.5" SBRs/AR-15 pistols are okay for the average home defender

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Runkle View Post
    And my original quote was...”I think the prosecution could argue that it is a de facto buttstock if intended to be shouldered by the end-user, despite how it is regulated when sold by BATFE”

    Your letter simply explains how it is regulated by BATFE when manufactured and sold, but doesn’t address my concern as originally expressed, which is: end-user intent.

    A rubber band when sold is not a machine gun. I’m sure that the BATFE could easily produce a letter saying that the ownership of “a rubber band and a firearm” does not constitute the ownership of a machine gun. That, however, does not address end-user intent, and does not mean that improper usage based on end-user intent contrary to original intent when manufactured cannot be prosecuted.


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    They're legal to buy, own, shoulder and use. I'm not sure how much more legal you need them to be.

    What other legal activities do you avoid because of a Chicken Little the sky is falling type fear?

  2. #32
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    The only first hand experience I have with my 11.5 is a few thousand rounds through my BCM. It’s reliable. It’s loud compared to my 16” rifles but they are loud too. I shot next to a swat cop during a Pat Rogers carbine class. I don’t remember any details of his 11.5 beyond the blast was obnoxious. A friend has a 11.5 SBR. His only complaint is accelerated wear. When I went through the colt M16 armorer course; the Instructor was Ken Elmore from Specialized Armament. IIRC he said the 11.5 could be reliable if the gas port size , ammo and buffer weight were working together. BCM did have an explanation of the benefits of the increased dwell time of the 11.5 over the 10.5 on its website.
    In the army I used what was issued and I did not have any choice. In the police Dept. I fought for years to get rifles for patrol. We did not have the ammo budget to experiment with new equipment. Ammo was purchased off of state bid and due to the liability and the stakes we never had the desire to be beta testers. I had a chief tell me once if the state police didn’t issue it we didn’t need it. My old Dept is going to Glocks because of the FBI purchase
    Last edited by Poconnor; 09-13-2019 at 03:07 PM.

  3. #33
    Foppish Dandy Darth_Uno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poconnor View Post
    The only first hand experience I have with my 11.5 is a few thousand rounds through my BCM. It’s reliable. It’s loud compared to my 16” rifles but they are loud too. I shot next to a swat cop during a Pat Rogers carbine class. I don’t remember any details of his 11.5 beyond the blast was obnoxious.
    Did he have a brake/comp? I've never seen much of a difference with an A2 or other "normal" flash hider. If it's comped you can tell the difference between 11.5 and 14.5.

  4. #34
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    So for defensive uses and 3 Gun use, I gather from reading this thread I should get a 16" barrel for my needs/wants?
    --Jason--

  5. #35
    You'll Shoot Your Wad Out RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Runkle View Post
    And my original quote was...”I think the prosecution could argue that it is a de facto buttstock if intended to be shouldered by the end-user, despite how it is regulated when sold by BATFE”

    Your letter simply explains how it is regulated by BATFE when manufactured and sold, but doesn’t address my concern as originally expressed, which is: end-user intent.

    A rubber band when sold is not a machine gun. I’m sure that the BATFE could easily produce a letter saying that the ownership of “a rubber band and a firearm” does not constitute the ownership of a machine gun. That, however, does not address end-user intent, and does not mean that improper usage based on end-user intent contrary to original intent when manufactured cannot be prosecuted.


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    The ATF has held - since the first brace letter that incidental contact with the shoulder does not constitute a design change. You grabbed your braced AR-pistol, you were preparing to strap it to your arm with the badguy broke in. In your haste you simply brought the gun up and fired it, in the process the brace touches your shoulder. That’s perfectly legal, ASSuming you were justified in firing the gun.

    To answer the question - yes if either of the options is legal (pistol and/or SBR) then there aren’t a ton of compelling reasons not to, except the concussion of firing.

    For me, an AR pistol has as many uses outside the home as inside. By virtue of being something that you can, literally, tote, under a concealed weapons permit in most states.

    In Illinois, the various AR/AK/MP5 etc pistols have a distinct advantage. There is state level pre-emption on all handguns and handgun accessories. So even if your local jurisdiction wants to ban “assault weapons” they cannot ban the pistols. This is one reason why Cook County and Chicago’s AWBs are currently unenforceable (and thus not being enforced).
    Last edited by RevolverRob; 09-14-2019 at 12:30 AM.
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  6. #36
    Foppish Dandy Darth_Uno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    So for defensive uses and 3 Gun use, I gather from reading this thread I should get a 16" barrel for my needs/wants?
    There are way too many factors for this to be a yes/no answer. But 16” is the best balance of all those factors.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth_Uno View Post
    There are way too many factors for this to be a yes/no answer. But 16” is the best balance of all those factors.

    Understood. Thank you.
    --Jason--

  8. #38
    I guess my issue with the concept of this thread and the magwell grip thread, is that just because something could work, doesn’t mean it’s what should be done. In civilian self defense shootings, LE shootings, and I’m sure in military operations, a lot of times the good guy wins, but not because what was done or used was ideal. Just because someone won the gunfight, it doesn’t mean that a doctrine should be built around that one instance and accepted as a good tactic.

    I’m sure a 10.5/11.5 would be just fine for a civilian home defense scenario. But most likely so would the 7.5” PSA, the 20” M16A2 “clone”, the M1 garand, a double barrel shotgun as Mr. Biden so thoughtfully recommenced, Taurus PT11-whatever, or your Kel-tec P3AT. Who really cares about what is “okay”?

    Magwell grip can work. You can shoot targets, you can transition targets, you can do whatever. But is that ideal? Nope. You control a gun better grabbing it from further out if your goal is to run the gun hard.

    So, I don’t really care if it’s “okay” I’d rather we discuss what’s ideal. Not so we can be snobs and look down on those who use lesser equipment or inferior tactics, but so we can grow the knowledge base.

    That rant said:

    If I’m doing something in a house for searching/offensive stuff, I want a shorter gun like an 11.5. It’s easier to maneuver, lighter, and can be moved in ways a longer gun can’t.

    For home defense, since I can’t decide what will happen (what if the wife/kids I don’t have yet are in a different room and I have to go to them) I’d prefer a gun optimized for various scenarios, not just hunkering down.

    That said, a 16” gun would probably work almost equally well, with the advantage of better velocity, softer felt recoil, and the blast being further from the shooter.


    Whatever barrel length you choose for an AR if you know how to manipulate the gun would probably be fine. Shorter barrels are louder, and have more FELT recoil generally. The ballistics in home-distance gunfights will probably be minimally different, and the noise in the moment hopefully won’t be the make or break matter.

    My emphasis for home defense would be more on the muzzle device assuming a quality gun/light/optic. An A2 on an 11.5 is still pretty blasty, but not nearly as bad as a even a mild comp like the BCM comp. if going with a shorter gun, consider taking whatever setup you choose to an indoor range to feel the blast. I think the BRT comp thing would be a good option for this usage.

    As the barrel gets longer, the muzzle device gets less critical, but still plays a big role indoors. The open port comp outdoors on your 16” may be okay, but in a room the concussion has nowhere to go. A friend didn’t have his earpro on when I took a shot with my 14.5” BCM comp gun, and his ears rang for days. 16” barrel and VG6 brake, took a shot with no ear pro, my ears rang for days. Comps are loud. Worse so inside.

    To conclude. While I’d rather we discuss what’s “ideal” not “okay” I guess I’ve come full circle in my response, to say that probably either would work just fine, but the muzzle device is an important part, and my preference is strongly towards an 11.5/12.5.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by BK14 View Post
    I’m sure a 10.5/11.5 would be just fine for a civilian home defense scenario. But most likely so would the 7.5” PSA, the 20” M16A2 “clone”, the M1 garand, a double barrel shotgun as Mr. Biden so thoughtfully recommenced, Taurus PT11-whatever, or your Kel-tec P3AT. Who really cares about what is “okay”?
    Except ballistics out of 7.5" 5.56 barrels is terrible, a 20" gun would work in some homes/hallways, but maybe not others, a Garand is .30-06 and a terrible choice for HD, a double barrel Biden special would only be useful against one or maybe two attackers, and Taurus PT11s and Keltecs are known to be shitty.

    Magwell grip can work. You can shoot targets, you can transition targets, you can do whatever. But is that ideal? Nope. You control a gun better grabbing it from further out if your goal is to run the gun hard.

    So, I don’t really care if it’s “okay” I’d rather we discuss what’s ideal. Not so we can be snobs and look down on those who use lesser equipment or inferior tactics, but so we can grow the knowledge base.
    I'm not a big fan of magwell hold and don't use it unless shooting from a barricade or resting the handguard on something. If you'd rather discuss what's ideal because you don't feel these topics are worthy of your time, feel free to start those threads.

    That rant said:

    If I’m doing something in a house for searching/offensive stuff, I want a shorter gun like an 11.5. It’s easier to maneuver, lighter, and can be moved in ways a longer gun can’t.

    For home defense, since I can’t decide what will happen (what if the wife/kids I don’t have yet are in a different room and I have to go to them) I’d prefer a gun optimized for various scenarios, not just hunkering down.

    That said, a 16” gun would probably work almost equally well, with the advantage of better velocity, softer felt recoil, and the blast being further from the shooter.
    The velocity difference between 11.5" and 16" will likely never make a difference in a home defense shooting. I disagree with the softer shooting part too, at least in any measurable way that would make or break a defensive shooting. My 6933 and BCM 11.5" uppers with Springco springs and H2 buffers track very similar to my 16" guns, but they also have proper size gas ports. If you're rocking a PSA 10.5" with a gaping gas port, cheap spring and carbine buffer, yeah the difference will be greater.

    Whatever barrel length you choose for an AR if you know how to manipulate the gun would probably be fine. Shorter barrels are louder, and have more FELT recoil generally. The ballistics in home-distance gunfights will probably be minimally different, and the noise in the moment hopefully won’t be the make or break matter.

    My emphasis for home defense would be more on the muzzle device assuming a quality gun/light/optic. An A2 on an 11.5 is still pretty blasty, but not nearly as bad as a even a mild comp like the BCM comp. if going with a shorter gun, consider taking whatever setup you choose to an indoor range to feel the blast. I think the BRT comp thing would be a good option for this usage.

    As the barrel gets longer, the muzzle device gets less critical, but still plays a big role indoors. The open port comp outdoors on your 16” may be okay, but in a room the concussion has nowhere to go. A friend didn’t have his earpro on when I took a shot with my 14.5” BCM comp gun, and his ears rang for days. 16” barrel and VG6 brake, took a shot with no ear pro, my ears rang for days. Comps are loud. Worse so inside.
    I run either an A2 or BRT Covert Comp on mine, the only time I'm gonna run a brake on a 5.56 gun is for a suppressor mount, which my BCM will have once my YHM Turbo is out of jail in a year.

    To conclude. While I’d rather we discuss what’s “ideal” not “okay” I guess I’ve come full circle in my response, to say that probably either would work just fine, but the muzzle device is an important part, and my preference is strongly towards an 11.5/12.5.
    This thread was about having a discussion and making you think, not to convince anyone that they should switch to a shorter gun, so I'd say it was a success.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Friday View Post
    Except ballistics out of 7.5" 5.56 barrels is terrible, a 20" gun would work in some homes/hallways, but maybe not others, a Garand is .30-06 and a terrible choice for HD, a double barrel Biden special would only be useful against one or maybe two attackers, and Taurus PT11s and Keltecs are known to be shitty.



    I'm not a big fan of magwell hold and don't use it unless shooting from a barricade or resting the handguard on something. If you'd rather discuss what's ideal because you don't feel these topics are worthy of your time, feel free to start those threads.



    The velocity difference between 11.5" and 16" will likely never make a difference in a home defense shooting. I disagree with the softer shooting part too, at least in any measurable way that would make or break a defensive shooting. My 6933 and BCM 11.5" uppers with Springco springs and H2 buffers track very similar to my 16" guns, but they also have proper size gas ports. If you're rocking a PSA 10.5" with a gaping gas port, cheap spring and carbine buffer, yeah the difference will be greater.



    I run either an A2 or BRT Covert Comp on mine, the only time I'm gonna run a brake on a 5.56 gun is for a suppressor mount, which my BCM will have once my YHM Turbo is out of jail in a year.



    This thread was about having a discussion and making you think, not to convince anyone that they should switch to a shorter gun, so I'd say it was a success.

    I 100% agree all those guns are less than ideal. If I had options, I’d never use the above list, which was my point. They’re not ideal, but most likely for the “average” home defense use they’d work. It’s probably just me, I’m just having a hard time connecting the dots with why you’d want to discuss what’s okay for an average home defense scenario instead of what’s ideal.

    I probably could have left out the first half of my post, and just kept the confusion to myself. My bad.

    The only short barrels I’ve shot were properly gassed 10.3/11.5 Daniels, and my 11.5 BCM also with a sprinco blue and H2 buffer. The longer guns include a properly gassed 14.5 BCM with H2 buffer, a Faxon 16” middy which feels a bit over gassed, and even a PSA piece of crap 16” middy. Whether I’m running a staged course of fire, a bill drill, etc. I can feel and see my groups open up between the shorter guns vs longer guns when I’m running the trigger at similar splits.

    Obviously your experience may be totally different, but when I’ve put shorter vs longer guns on the clock, I can control longer ones better.

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