Simplest AR Pistol Setup For Home Defense

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  • Post category:Upgrade AR
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ddmk18 pistol

The best AR pistol for home defense setup is to make it super light and only attach the most useful accessories to it.

Besides the basic AR pistol with brace, an optic, a light, and a sling are the best 3 accessories to have.

AR Pistol Loadouts - Parts

Setting up an AR pistol isn't any different than setting up an standard AR15 rifle for home defense. The use of the brace doesn't change the overall functionality of the rifle. It's like setting up a short barrel rifle at the end of the day.

Here is a down and dirty list for some aftermarket recommendations:

Red Dot Sight

aimpoint micro fov

For most people living in an apartment or a regular size home (excluding 20000 acres homes with fences), a red dot sight is the best optic choice for an AR pistol for home defense taking hallway distance engagements.

We recommend:

(Closed emitter)

(Open emitter)

For more red dot sight options, please browse here


rifle sling

Some people are pro-sling and others are not. But here is the context we need to address for a home defense AR 15 setup.

A home defense gun never needs to leave the house until it does. For the most part, have the single-point sling tucked into the rifle with a rubber band strap to prevent snag hazards inside a home.

For people living in a suburban house or apartment - A sling is generally not needed due to hypothetical snag hazard, but it allows the use of your hands to grab things, pick up your child, use your phone, check the security system...etc while the gun is still strapped to your body.

For people living in open space urban environments - A sling is very helpful for a long gun in case you need to exit your property to a large open area, and it provides good retention while freeing up your hands to perform other tasks whether in-home defense situations or on the range.

We recommend:

Attach to the rear receiver plate via existing QD point (Most standard receivers don't have QD point)  or Magpul ASAP adapter

They provide good material and a wide-width strap so the rifle weight doesn't dig into you for a long period of use.

Weapon Lights

cloud defensive rein on mk18 indoor

A weapon light is a must-have on a defensive AR15 rifle or pistol in low light situations to identify things in the dark, and it can also be used as a nonlethal tool to disorient a threat with a bright light.

Flood beam helps illuminate things around you without pointing the muzzle all over the place to see, and the hot center helps pushing the bright light beam far.

cloud defensive rein with eotech exps3

We recommend the Surefire M600DF with a simple to activate pressure switch that offers momentary and constant-on mode.

Try the Surefire M600DF using IWC offset scout light mounts (M1913, KeyMod or MLOK based on your handguard type).

M600DF's head can be swapped with MODLITE PLHv2 heads for hotter throw performance.

dd mk18 handguard with hotbutton setup

For most home defensive hallway distance, the default Surefire M600 gets the job done. You only need to upgrade it for long-distance applications.

hotbutton and modbutton top view

Then get the Unity Tactical HOTBUTTON for activation.

For more pressure switch options, please browse here

For more outdoor weapon light options, please browse here

Other Considerations

Keep your AR pistol setup clean, and keep your home configured with functional security system for recordkeeping purposes. 
  • Have 911 on speed dial on your phone if you haven't already (Most modern smartphone already have this right out of the box)
  • Know the law beyond "things you heard others said" to protect you in court
  • Invest time in training
  • Invest time in learning and practicing what to say post an incident to first responders
Lastly, Keep your home clean because the last thing you want in a home defensive situation is a messy room that adds stress finding things or trip over things while you navigate through it.