5 Best AR-15 Mods For Home Defense [Practical Setups]
In this guide, we are going to check out the best AR-15 mods for home defense.
A good home defense AR15 just needs to be be lightweight and simple to operate.
Let's check them out & use it on your next training session!
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What we recommend - The Surefire M600DF & Cloud Defensive REIN for any tactical long guns including the AR15. They have tons of aftermarket scout light mounts & pressure switch accessories that can go on M-LOK, KeyMod & Picatinny handguard rail system.
In addition, a good low light training class is high recommended for anyone using a weapon light on their guns and you will learn a lot to increase your skill set
- Max Lumen Output - 1500 Lumens (18650 battery)
- Max Candela Output - 12800
- Length - 5.56"
- Weight - 5.15 Oz
- Mount - MLOK, M1913 & KeyMod
- Max Lumen Output - 1400 Lumens (21700 USB rechargeable battery)
- Max Candela Output - 60000
- Length - 6.172"
- Weight - 6.91 oz
- Mount - MLOK, M1913 & KeyMod
Why use a light - A weapon light allows a home defender to clearly identify the target in the dark. You have to see the target before anything else.
More than 80% of the shooting according to FBI happens in low light situations, so having a effective weapon light is indisputable for home defense.
Positively ID targets - Anytime when a home defender is in a low light situation, a high lumen light helps the shooter positively identify whatever is in front of the muzzle before pulling the trigger, and this is absolutely critical when making a decision on a weapon light.
Peripheral Illumination - A powerful light with the widest flood beam reflector can see what's in front and what's around the defender without directly pointing the muzzle at something, and it's important to understand that the defender doesn't need to point the light at every object he/she is trying to see in the dark if using the right light & applying right techniques
Look For A High Lumen & Candela Light - There are times where the ambient light or other photonic barriers can affect your light beam, so pick a highest lumen & candela light in the range 14000 candela & 1000 lumens or more can solve this problem.
Good Activation Switch - Being able to activate the light with simple to operate user ergonomics is important. A tape switch works but they can fail sometimes so we want a dual switch capability to provide failsafe performance
AR Sights For Home Defense
Faster Aim - Although most personal defense situations occur at close range where point and shoot techniques usually suffice, a red dot sight can provide several advantages.
Better Situational Awareness - A wide field of view red dot sight can help shooters acquire targets faster without the need to align traditional iron sights. For those with an AR15 setup for home defense, a red dot is an excellent sighting system to have as it allows for quick and accurate point and shoot without aligning iron sights.
Always On, Never Off - Most durable red dots, such as the Aimpoint Micro, last for over 50,000 hours and are always on and ready for action without the need to touch any buttons.
Target Plane Focused - The user can be target focused without aligning the sight. Thanks to the parallax-free nature of a red dot sight. This allows for more flexible head movement behind the optic with unlimited eye relief.
This feature is particularly useful in improvised shooting positions where the defender may need to move their head to aim accurately.
What Do We Recommend - A simple BCM vertical grip works perfectly. if you want a more natural wrist grip angle, then an angled vertical grip works too.
Why use a foregrip - Foregrip on the handguard allows the shooter to control the muzzle & handguard grip leverage better when applying the right technique.
Drive The Muzzle Faster - If the foregrip is mounted further out on the handguard, then it also allows the support hand extended out closer to the muzzle allowing them to drive the gun more precisely and prevents over travel when transitioning between multiple targets
Better Stability & Recoil Control - Having a vertical foregrip allows the shooter to control the grip stability of the rifle & to control fast follow up shots way better by utilizing the C Clamp grip
Consistent Grip Every Time - By using the grip as a reference point on the handguard, the shooter can place his/her hand in the same spot every time when gripping the rifle, which can help increase accuracy over time
Large Size Charging Handle
Why use a large size charging handle - A large size charging handle latch provides the shooter under stress a large gripping area to charge the rifle or use it to clear malfunctions.
Better Leverage - Unlike a small size charging handle latch that comes with most factory AR15s, a enlarged latch gives the shooter better grip leverage to operate the bolt carrier group without slipping or having difficulties pulling the charging handle
What Do We Recommend - BCM Gunfighter & Raptor ATX charging handles are our top picks, please check them out below:
Battery Assist Lever
Why add this little thing to your AR15 - The battery assist lever is designed to considerably improve the speed and efficiency of the AR15/M16 bolt catch for better weapon manipulation and clearing malfunction especially during stress.
Enlarged Button For Better Weapon Manipulation - As the default AR15 bolt release paddle is often too small, particularly when adrenaline is pumping. The larger button makes it easier to press under stress, and it also makes it ambidextrous.
Works For Lefites & Righties - The BAD Lever quickly addresses reloading and malfunction clearance shortcomings of AR15/M16 platforms by extending a paddle to the right side of the weapon, allowing manipulation of the bolt stop from the fire control / ready position with the right-hand trigger finger.
Please Note: The BAD Lever may get in the way of the left side magazine release button if your AR15 has one.
Bonus - Nice To Have
"Why use a suppressor on an AR15?" A suppressor-equipped AR15 allows the defender to see and hear shortly after a lethal engagement event, which is beneficial for communication with someone inside the home and law enforcement officers who may arrive at the scene while adrenaline is still running high.
Some argue that a non-suppressed loud gun can pose a serious psychological disabling threat to direct threats and send aggressive psychological messages to remaining threats, such as "It's going down! Don't charge your way in or you will have a bad day."
While opinions on suppressor use vary, it is important to train and use it appropriately based on your specific situation. As for recommended suppressors, the OSS suppressors, when combined with an upgraded charging handle and BCG, seem to be the best.
The OSS's Flow-Through technology can direct expanding gas away from the bore-line, routing it forward through the Flow-Through coil and deflector design, and out the muzzle. Sound levels are effectively suppressed at the shooter’s ear, toxic gas blowback and rifle recoil are dramatically reduced, and weapon performance is improved. However, note that buying a suppressor requires NFA registration, tax stamp, long wait, and gas blowback reduction upgrades.
A suppressor reduces the chance of permanent hearing damage by preventing the defender from losing their hearing completely and muzzle concussion when firing rounds inside a house. However, it is important to look for a suppressor with reduced gas blowback to prevent gas from blowing back onto the shooter's face, which can cause burning and force eyelids to close. Upgrading the charging handle, bolt carrier group, and gas system can typically help solve this problem.
Laser System - Aim Assist In Improvised Shooting Positions
Why use a visible laser on an AR15?" A weapon-mounted laser allows for fast and accurate aim at close range without the need to look down the sight in an awkward or improvised shooting posture. However, it is often considered a non-necessity due to several factors.
Firstly, most visible lasers on the market today are expensive and can lose zero due to drops or bumps, which can cause reliability issues in a home defense situation. If the laser is zeroed incorrectly or even slightly off, the point of aim will not match the point of impact, which can become a liability for your defensive rifle system. As the distance increases, even the slightest laser offset can magnify and become more pronounced.
In order to get the best and most reliable laser aiming system available for a long gun, you would need to spend a significant amount of money. For more information on laser aiming systems, you can refer to the guide link below.
How Should Your Home Defense AR15 Look Like
After all the research, your home defense AR should look like this
If you want a multi purpose AR for defense, hunting & range. Something like this is a pretty good lightweight setup
- Red Dot & Light
- Added laser aiming device for night vision
- Can be suppressed if desired
- Can add red dot magnifier if desired
As the content creator of badassoptic.com, My background in the firearms industry and shooting sports gives me the experience to recommend tried and true products and keep away subpar ones.