Originally posted May 6th, 2015.
As part of your family’s defense arsenal, does a tactical rifle make sense? The short answer is yes. If you are a pro, you know that a shotgun ranks number one on your list, whether it is semi-auto or pump. Shotguns, however, are the dreaded enemy of the midnight-awakened amateur. Go to the gun range and kick off a few rounds from a shotgun to see what I mean. It’s a shoulder-jolting awakening. A nice tactical rifle is also a tool best left to the pros, but for personal defense, you deserve a shot at defending your family from a late night incursion.
Just a couple of nights ago, a person I know well had to face a late night prowler for the second time in over a month. Terror is a word of understatement. And as the story was recounted to me, it’s easy to be in a bewildered state of unreadiness. I will go into the readiness subject in upcoming installments of this series. A pistol is a great option in such a situation and will also be the subject for discussion soon.
But back to the matter of a tactical rifle, your government and a number of states (Massachusetts comes quickly to mind) do not want you to be able to defend your family with one of the best home defense options available. There has been a nasty record of legislating away gun rights. I do not want to be in a position to be prevented from doing what I feel is best for the safety of my family. As such, I would concentrate on both the AR-15 and the AK-47. I own both and like them equally well. Perhaps America’s most influential Special Forces operator is Billy Waugh, who was the oldest and one of the first Americans deployed to kill bin Laden in Afghanistan post 9/11. As I have read, Billy went in with an AK-47.
As to the AR-15, I would stick with a manufacturer recommended by your local dealer. (And see TheNewRifelman.com’s buyers guide here.) There are too many great choices to get into in an introduction like this. You want to have a good working relationship with your local dealer. Colt, however, is the name that you will hear most often and has been our military’s go-to source over the years. A Colt is always a good choice. One note about ammo. You need ammo suitable for personal defense as well as for the range. I am talking two different things here. This means for personal defense you will eschew full metal jacket (FMJ) ammo.
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