Another variation on the personal defense rifle


Back in April, I wrote a three part series on the personal defense rifle:  what to look for, what to include and what to leave out, etc.  It seems to have been well received, and frequently features in search returns on this blog.

I was interested to read another man’s approach to the same need.  Karl Dahl, writing at the new Sanctity of Security blog, discusses building AR-15 rifles for members of his family, so that they can all help to defend each other and their home.  Here’s how he begins.

Earlier this year I realized that I had a desperate need to update my personal arsenal into a family defensive arsenal so that I could streamline ammunition logistics, spares, etc. as much as possible. My personal collection was interesting, and I had a core battery with plenty of options for my own use, but my go-to weapon, a medium weight AR-15, was the weapon my wife and son showed the most aptitude with. It was also my only AR-15, because I was “collecting,” for myself, interesting guns in a variety of calibers. Just as importantly, my key stockpiled defensive ammo was primarily 5.56mm.

My son is still a pre-teen, but is mature and big enough to train with a defensive centerfire rifle. While libtards may find this observation “dangerous” or “scary,” they swim in the rainbow-colored waters of western late 20th century normalcy bias. My wife is petite, yet very athletic, and in an upper tier of physical capabilities for her size. She can shoot the AK and proper battle rifles, but she shoots and, more importantly, handles an AR much better. I have considerably more firearms training and experience than the two of them, and know a few systems and calibers rather well, but they don’t. Thus, I needed to provide them with simple, lightweight, ergonomic rifles with simple external ballistics so that they needn’t perform math in their heads in a theoretical stressful situation. I determined to build them simple, lightweight, point-and-shoot AR-15s for my auxiliaries.

  1. Simple.  A “dream AR” build, with a grip of advanced features, would be appreciated by a seasoned shooter, or someone who has developed their tastes after x repetitions, but the shooters who will be using these rifles are more likely to be confused by options. The rifles need to go bang when the trigger is pulled, and hit where they’re being aimed.
  2. Lightweight.  Fighting rifles don’t spend any time, beyond sight-in and training in fundamentals, on the bench. They’ll be fired from the shoulder in a variety of positions, and carried. Each ounce of weight ups the difficulty performing, particularly with smaller-framed people. Additionally, outside of a bench-rest situation, heavier rifles do not make for more accurate rifles. Without going overboard on trimming the weight (exotic = $$$), the rifles need to be as light as possible. This requires careful selection of lighter-weight but standard components. The rifles described below came in at 6.1 pounds unloaded, with optics installed.
  3. Point-and-shoot.  5.56mm external ballistics are about as close to point-and-shoot as we get in The Current Year + Whatever, particularly with the US military’s 25 meter Battle Zero (BZO) approach to sighting in iron sights. While Low Power Variable Optics (LPVOs) are all the rage, and I happen to like them, they require too much thinking and discernment for my auxiliaries. Thus, the BZO is the way to go. More on that below.

There’s more at the link.  Interesting and recommended reading.

I note that Mr. Dahl’s and my approaches to AR-15’s for personal defense have much in common.  We both emphasize light weight, simplicity and combat effectiveness.  I think he may have military experience, perhaps in combat, too:  I’ve found that those of us who do tend to put great emphasis on simplicity and light weight, as opposed to loading up our guns with every conceivable gadget.  At any rate, I was glad to read his approach and find so much in common with my own.

Mr. Dahl also discusses painting his rifles, to make them less conspicuous against various backgrounds.  I have some with Cerakoted handguards and other features, but I’ve never painted one in full.  Intrigued, I looked for more information, and came across this video describing the process.  There are many others on YouTube, but this offers a simple, basic approach that appeals to me.

I think I’m going to take that video’s advice, plus that offered by Mr. Dahl in his article, and use one of my rifles as a “test dummy” to see what results I can obtain.  I’ll have to read up about suitable urban camouflage colors and patterns, as well as what’s best for a North Texas environment.  It should be a fun project.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?



  1. I like ar rifles as you can fix them pretty quickly with tools on hand. I currently have 4 15's and one 10. 5.56/223, 350 legend, 450 bushmaster and one in 308. Two are used for deer so less rounds on hand

    I do not like the AK or Sks so if I end up in that range I have lever action 30/30. Probably more rounds than I will ever use unless things go bad after Nov 3rd.

    Yes, i have shot AK and Sks, which is why I will not chose them

    I can hit what I am aiming at with almost anything except maybe a sling and that is because I have never tried.

  2. No matter what you have you will need to use it. Election day is only a few days away. If R wins you can expect L people to go crazy and terrorize every R supporter and those who never supported R. Looting is just too much fun. If L wins expect L supporters to come after anyone who flew an R flag or displayed an R yard sign. If you live in any city or a surrounding suburb this applies to you. If they come for you you will be fighting for your lives.

  3. Not a big fan of 223/5.56 but I have a Mini-14 and AR-15 as last resort rifles. My preferred AR version is the 6.8 SPC. At 115 grains it has a bit more knockdown and can reach out to 600 yards while retaining enough power to still do some damage.

    I work more with pistol. The 9mm 1911 is my range gun that I use to keep my skills sharp. My goto pistol is a 15 round 10mm. I have firepower and knock-down power with 10mm.

  4. I like that video on painting. I'm not crazy about a lot of my guns and how 'black' they are. I never thought about just using a spray can.
    As for rifles, AR-15's are light and easy and there's a lot to be said for them. I also like my model 72 lever action, though it's not as easy to load or carry.

  5. Anyone know how these colors reflect IR?
    It's hard to find info about that – and if we're talking about "real word use" I don't want a gun that lights up like a beacon on night vision 😀

    (Especially considering the latest drone attack videos from the Armenia…)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *