ARP 144 - Things to Consider When Building an AR for Home Defense


Welcome to Episode #144 of the AR15 Podcast. On this episode we’re responding to a listener request to build an AR-15 catered specifically to home defense. We want to let you know that we are continuing registration for our giveaway for the Vortex Spitfire 3X Prism Scope.  We are asking you, our listeners and fans to nominate a Veteran to receive the Vortex Spitfire.  You can go to the link Click Here to Enter.  We will also have a link on our Facebook Page for you to use. We’ll be doing the drawing on Veteran’s Day (Nov 11).

We want to let you know that we are beginning registration for our giveaway for the Vortex Spitfire 1X Prism Scope.  We are asking you, our listeners and fans to nominate a First Responder to receive the Vortex Spitfire 1x Scope.  You can go to the link Click Here to Enter.  We will also have a link on our Facebook Page for you to use. We’ll be doing the drawing on Thanksgiving Day (Nov 26).

We want to let you know about a great source for T-shirts and Patches! If you go to you can line up to pre-order the new “In God We Trust” patch and buy more FRN stickers, Patches and TSHIRTS!

Main Topic: Home Defense Builds

  • Benefits of carbine vs pistol
    • Accuracy
    • Capacity
    • Size
    • Build pieces
      • Familiarity, under stress you fall back on what you know/are familiar with
      • Manipulation, need to be comfortable transitioning through your home
      • Visual Enhancement, must be satisfied with your target identification
      • Silencer, avoid adding disorienting factors to your environment
      • Lights, Lasers, encourage adding disorienting factors to their environment
      • Complexity, minimize the # of decisions/choices you must make to engage
      • Reliability, build the rifle with components that are tried, true and tested
      • Ballistics
        • Over-penetration?
          • Buckshot penetrates more
          • Calibers (300blk, 7.62x39?)
          • Ammunition
            • Heavy OTM
            • Fragmentation vs bonded expansion
              • FMJs rely on high velocity to frag (avoid in SBRs)
              • Hornady 75gr TAP is popular (nickel cases, BTHP)
              • 53gr VMAX, etc explode into a million pieces
              • Frangible? Hell no.
              • Generally prefer heavy expanding rounds (barrier blind) rather than fragmenting ammo
              • M193/M855 takes too long to frag at CQB ranges
              • Best way not to over penetrate a wall is to hit a bad guy first

  • Accessories
    • Sling (2 hands free)
    • Flashlight (as bright as possible - Scout, Fury, WMLx) (strobe is nice)
    • Laser (Dazzling Laser Light Shows are nice too)
    • Vertical Grips
    • Angled Fore Grips
    • Shortened/PDW Stocks
    • Comfortable Grips
    • Sighting
      • Always-on red-dot
      • Sight offset - height over bore
      • Turn on the lights!
      • Other considerations
        • Size - SBR?
        • Noise - Earpro/silencer
        • “safe” directions of fire
        • Locks/safes
          • No lock is more effective than gun safety training for your kids

Otis Technology:

September 20: Thomas H. Jackson

September 27: Seth Mullins

October 4:  Robert Hollandsworth

October 11: Casey Fowler

The fine folks at Otis Technology have sent over a mountain of rifle maintenance tools and cleaning kits for the AR-15 and AR-10.  We’ve been tasked with giving them away.  Watch for the special posts on Facebook and Instagram to get a chance to win some of the awesome products made by Otis Technology.  We’ll give away a complete MSR Cleaning kit in either 5.56 or 7.62 in the middle of each month up until Christmas, when we’ll give away a complete Otis Technology Elite Cleaning System to one lucky listener.  During the alternating weeks, we’ll be giving away a host of Otis tools and cleaning supplies.


Already receiving lots of great entries to the nominate-a-vet Vortex Giveaway. Thanks for sharing your stories with us and the rest of the listeners on our Facebook page.

Jack:  A discussion of AKs on an AR-15 podcast is totally appropriate if only to offer some contrast to the AR platform. As an owner of both, I can appreciate both systems and the pros & cons.

That being said, I wanted to point out an issue AK aficionados observe all the time. AR loving Americans often like to drop $400-600 on a cheap IO AK or beat up WASR with canted sights then compare it to their Noveske or DD AR race guns. No wonder there is such a disparity!

Reed, I'm no attorney, but maybe this won't be a terrible analogy:

I am trying to pick between purchasing a sedan and a pick up truck. So, I test drive a Kia Forte (I had to look that up) and then a  Super Duty King Ranch F-250 w/ every option.

This is what Americans do when running a sub par AK like an IO vs. the race gun Noveske AR. Why then are we surprised when the Super Duty outperforms the Kia? After this "test drive" we erroneously conclude that Pickups are inherently superior to sedans when in reality we've thrown in a bunch of extra variables.

Anyway, thanks for the entertaining show. Your show follows me on my soul crushing commute as well as when I'm chopping vegetables for dinner.

Mike Kyle:  Hey guys, I have a $800-1k budget and want to build a 9mm sbr. I never built a pistol cal AR so needing some help with a parts list. Have you guys done a pistol cal podcast? -we left a link to episode #120

Charlie Foxtrot (had some issues finding the Podcast listed on iTunes)

While I got you on the line: Thanks for this 'cast!. I'm currently planning my second build: a DMR-ish precision rifle. This will be my first complete upper build -- I think I can tackle it based on what I've learned a lot from your 'cast. How 'bout a show comparing/ contrasting all the build tools/ holders for the uppers?

Tom G. - suggested we go into different POUs, and we started by doing the SPR build episode. He also mentioned some alternative calibers, and we’re very interested in doing a show on Long Range Calibers and builds - what are some of the competitors using to fight the wind with high BC bullets and super hot wildcats?

Shawn Redmond - Have any you guys the chance of handling the new magpul pmag d60 " 60 round drum". What should people be looking into before the 2016 presidential election. Prices seem to jump on ammo, magazines, lowers etc during election years.


And use the Amazon affiliate links on the and websites or goto