AR-15s In The News

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 9 months ago

Courtesy of Say Uncle, there is this on use of an AR-15 for home defense.

If you are considering an AR-15 as your choice of home defense weapon, I urge you to read “”Bring Enough Gun”: A History of The FBI’s Long Arms,” by Bill Vanderpool in American Rifleman, October 2013, pages 115, 116 …

On page 115, Mr. Vanderpool begins discussing why the FBI chose to replace the H&K MP5 type weapons with members of the AR family for “entry” weapons.  He gives a brief history of the decision-making process and concludes that “…the AR system was found to be a safer and more effective round to use in close-quarter combat.”  [He means safer to shoot inside rooms than the two submachinegun rounds in use at the time in 9mm and 10mm.]

Well, yes, this is rehearsed in articles I’ve written about the AR-15 and ballistics of the 5.56 which tends to yaw in flight and shatter upon impact (frangible ammunition, not green tip, or steel core).  Remember though, use of any weapon inside a home means that you must remember the rules, one of which is that you must be aware of your backstop.  Dry wall is not a good one regardless of whether you are using a handgun, shotgun or rifle.

Policymic summarizes five instances of use of the AR-15 in self defense (situations that likely saved lives).

April, a 32-year-old named Jasper Brisbon attacked a Philadelphia couple as they entered their home. The man grabbed his AR-15 and pointed it at the intruder.  The man told Brisbon to leave, but he didn’t. Instead he advanced menacingly as the resident screamed, “Stop! Stop! Stop!” and finally fired a shot into Brisbon’s torso.  He called 911 and an ambulance delivered the intruder to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police said the AR-15 was legally purchased.

This February, a man and woman attacked a tax preparation business near Detroit, pointing handguns at the receptionist and owner.  As you can see in this surveillance video, when one of the attackers advances past two horrified victims to check out the next room of this house converted into a small business office, a security guard behind the door enters with an AR-15 and scares off the intruders with two shots.

This January, two men with a handgun broke into the NY apartment of a Rochester Institute of Technology student named Raymond. His AR-15 may have saved his life.

In 2010, a 15-year-old Texas boy used his father’s AR-15 to defend himself and his 12yo sister when they were home alone one afternoon and two home invaders attacked their house.

Then the author lists the 1992 LA riots where a Ruger Mini-14 was used.  I am surprised that they didn’t list the instance of Mr. Stephen Bayezes that I discussed in No One Needs ARs For Self Defense.

The owner of the Guns and Ammo Gunsmith store in North Augusta, S.C. thought he was going to die tragically. Three men had driven a van into his store, executing what they hoped would be a quick “smash-and-grab” robbery.

Instead, they met owner Stephen Bayezes, who opened fire on the three intruders after the commotion set off an alarm, hitting each one at least once. He says he is not proud of what he was forced to do, but added sometimes “you’ve got to.” The incident occurred on Aug. 9, but the owner says a set of tire marks on the store’s floor and an unfinished wall are daily reminders of the night that he almost lost his life.

“It’s a haunting thought. It literally is a haunting thought when you see the tire tracks, you hear the tires,” Bayezes told WRDW-TV. “Everybody assures you that you just did what you had to do to protect your family. They say it’ll heal over time, but when does time go away? It’s something that nobody ever wants to do.”

But he says he had no choice after he heard one of the robbers shout, “Shoot the mother f**ker!,” followed by the sound of a gun cocking. “I mean, they would’ve shot me. In my mind, with no reservation. If that firearm had been loaded, I might’ve been a statistic.”

Finally, notes that Cerberus has tried to unload manufacturers of AR-15s (probably Bushmaster) but has been unsuccessful, and is still making loads of money off of AR-15s.  Then the author makes this amusing comment.

The inability to close a deal says a lot about the conflicted state of the US gun control battle. There’s clearly something wrong with owning this company—otherwise, why would Cerberus try to sell it and why would no buyers emerge? But there’s also little apparent public-relations cost (and no litigation cost—gunmakers in the US aren’t liable when their weapons are misused) to owning the firearms giant, at least as long as Cerberus claims not to want to. And meanwhile, the money just keeps rolling in.

Uh huh.  Look, we’ve discussed Freedom Group / Cerberus before, and how they are essentially venture capitalists and look to bust up competition rather than making their procurements better.  Thus, the way they look to increase sales in any one category is to buy and close down competition in that category.  Many a small and medium sized gun manufacturer has closed down after being purchased by Freedom Group.

They aren’t good for the gun market in the long term, and thus I won’t shed a tear at their problems.  But it’s a nice problem to have – making all of that money.  I suspect that they are trying to get out while the market is at the peak (or thereabouts), to invest in something else.  Freedom Group isn’t about guns like the article seems to think – good or bad.  It is about money.  That’s why the article is misleading and confused.

AK-47s are also in the news and you can read about it if you wish (I have shot the AK-47 before and I think it’s an imprecise, rattling clanker), but around here we speak the name of Eugene Stoner with hushed, reverential awe and respect.  If you say anything bad about Eugene Stoner or AR-15s you will be banned for life and imprecatory prayers will be spoken about you and your children’s children.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On September 26, 2013 at 1:03 am, FredB said:

    The original Wyndham, Maine Bushmaster plant that Cerberus was consolidating in another facility is back in the hands of Bushmaster’s founder, Richard Dyke and now operates as Wyndham Weaponry.

  2. On September 26, 2013 at 6:23 am, MJM said:

    Thanks for the link re the AR-15 article, Captain. I do want to emphasize that my blog post does not even enter into the debate over whether or not the AR is a wise inside-the-house defense weapon. I’m just recognizing the reality that some may defend the castle with it. Given that reality, then the Vanderpool article in “American Rifleman” supplies information tending to prove that the good guy had sound rationale for choosing it over certain other calibers. The FBI’s endorsement of the AR for inside work might help one of us someday when sued or arrested. It’s a piece of helpful courtroom evidence to be able to say, “Well, I always try to be as safe as possible. I read this article where the FBI studied the matter and chose the AR as the safer caliber.” And, your listing examples of the AR’s use for inside-the-walls defense adds to that evidence. I’ll add that upping the odds of hitting the target with the AR equipped with weapon light and red dot optical sight, compared to shooting with a pistol ought to be a sound argument for choosing a carbine, too.
    Responding to cross-examination with those reasons sure would sound better than sitting there stone-silent when some lawyer mocks you for using an “assault rifle” inside your house.
    Thanks for citing those examples and referring to your own earlier posts. Noted.

  3. On September 26, 2013 at 7:25 am, Mark Matis said:

    If I ever end up using my weapon of choice inside my home, MJM, I don’t expect to end up in court but rather will be dead. However, before I get there, I will take as many of the maggots with me as I can. And should I survive the initial onslaught, I shall not wait for them to regroup and up-arm, but will instead set out to kill as many of them as I can, wherever they are. Those with “company” cars in my area had better understand that an attack on me by their Brothers in Blue will result in an attack on them and their families should I survive. WAY past time for them to enjoy the fruits of their very own Rules of Engagement.

  4. On September 26, 2013 at 7:43 am, Rhodes said:

    Having spent a goodly amount of time unfouling stoner rifles for Uncle I only three words for you.

    Battle of Wanat.

  5. On September 26, 2013 at 7:57 am, Herschel Smith said:


    I think there are two other things at work in Wanat. You can Google my articles and see the articles I wrote, but the location and strategy was a disaster that no battle rifle could have ever overcome.

    Also, Colt (who lost the M4 contract) began to make sub-par weapons towards the end of their contract. My own son, who has shot the 5.56 as much or more than anyone else, notes that my RRA AR-15 is a better weapon than the one he was given to shoot in the Marines.

    MJM, thanks for the comment. I note that your point may have been lost in the citation of your remarks, but I hope as I drove traffic to your place readers picked it up. This was the second good article in this issue of American Rifleman. This was an outstanding magazine this month. The other one I cited in:

  6. On September 26, 2013 at 8:04 am, Paul B said:

    M-16 and M-4’s where made by the low bidder on a government contract that counts soldiers as statistics.

    The AR-15 is made in a high quality environment for individuals using tighter manufacturing controls.

    You cannot compare the two.

    I have had SKS’s and have handled AK-47. Having shot them both I don’t like the ballistics of the 7.62×39 round and those guns, while going bang every time are accurate to minute of man.

    I will keep by AR-15. Thank you very much.

  7. On September 26, 2013 at 8:45 am, Richard said:

    The worst jam I’ve ever had was with a Chinese MAK-90 (AK-47 clone). My experience with AR-15s (rifle, carbine, and pistol with over 20,000 rds shot over 20 years) has been that as long as they are properly maintained and lubricated they are extremely reliable. My only failure with an AR-15 came near the end of a 2 day training session where I shot about 4000 rounds when one spring broke (fixed it by cannibalizing a spring from a pen) but that gun had about 10,000 rounds fired before any failures. Furthermore, if you train regularly for failures, you can recover from 95% of them in 5 seconds or less.

  8. On September 26, 2013 at 8:46 am, Herschel Smith said:

    It occurs to me to throw a link at readers from Mountain Guerrilla:

    I didn’t intend to continue the debate (it was more news and blogs), but I will if I have to. Take his AR-15 challenge or keep quiet.

  9. On September 26, 2013 at 9:30 am, Rhodes said:

    Excuses are poor comfort on a battle field.
    I used a stoner for 6 years, there wont be a seventh. With all due respect for the person and the challenge I will not be making the trip for $500 and I will speak up about anything I please when I please.

  10. On September 26, 2013 at 9:32 am, Herschel Smith said:


    I’m not sure to whom that last comment was directed. You can speak to the individual I linked if you wish, and it’s up to him whether he allows it.

    If you’re talking to me, you’ll speak up only when I allow it. It’s my web site. Go get your own, troll.

  11. On September 26, 2013 at 10:03 am, Chuck said:

    “It’s my web site. Go get your own, troll.” Get ’em, Herschel. It always irks me that for some reason ignorant jackwagons think the 1st Amendment applies to someone else’s personal blog. What part of “Congress shall make no law” is so hard to understand?

    Oh, and 20 yrs as an infantryman, plus several years as an AR-15 owner and I will take the Stoner platform anytime, every time. I’ve seen everything in the US inventory from the M2 cal. .50 down to the M9 pistol jam from neglect and operator error. The M4/M16 is no more or less prone to failure than any of them.

    In ascending order of importance: keep it clean, keep it lubed and trash any mags with damaged feed lips and you’re golden.

  12. On September 26, 2013 at 10:08 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Rock on Chuck. And my own son likes the Magpul mags with the tilt-less follower (which he didn’t have in Iraq). He has shot all of the guns you mentioned as well, and was the SAW gunner for his fire team. And again I say, buy a good firearm, not a piece of crap, and you’ll be just fine.

    Nothing pisses me off more than a crappy gun.

  13. On September 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm, Bill Cleveland said:

    I own both AR15’s and milled receiver custom American produced Ak’s. My AR’s are gas piston guns. Out to 300 yards milled receiver Ak’s are as effective as anything else out there and have a heavier throw weight bullet. If you load your own rounds the 7.62 x 39 round is as accurate as anyone could ask for, within it’s inherent limitations. The AR’s give you a 500 yard accuracy push and works quite well for that end; with it’s own set of limitations. A cheap, folded sheet steel AK is not accurate enuf to do you any good at any distance over 75 yards. A cheap AR15 is not much better. Invest in quality weapons, designed for the task you have in mind. Keep them clean, maintenanced and then practice – practice – practice and then practice some more. Anything over 500 yards – I prefer a .308 AR10 type LR platform. Neither an AK, nor an AR15 – is desinged for long range mahem with any guaranteed accuracy. Best to use the correct, quality tool for each different mission application. If possible.

  14. On September 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm, dad29 said:

    IIRC, Cerberus also owns TDMS. They might have tried to sell that outfit rather than Bushmaster.

    And the fact that no one bought? Maybe the price was a little high, eh?

  15. On September 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm, AR_DebatesBoreMe said:

    .308 is antiquated for long range shooting. 6mm range beats it in accuracy and energy at range and is available in a handy AR friendly packages, as well as fine bolt rifles like Tikka T-3s. My AR is a Grendel. There are other choices. Lighter Stoner rifle than AR-10 platform, higher magazine capacity, better accuracy and terminal ballistic. Yeah, they are reloader cartridges, and unless you are shooting service rifle, so what?

    As for the piston designs, they don’t significantly increase reliability and they were avoided by Stoner, as, amongst many things that caused the engineering choice, the less reciprocating mass, the better…provided you want to repeatedly fire aimed rounds and not tend as much towards AA gunner mode.

    .308 is for people that are planning on using NATO supply lines, if you are going to bother to reload, reload something better.

  16. On October 1, 2013 at 9:25 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I once held a piston design AR platform, and I didn’t like the addition to the front end weight. Bad design, in my opinion. The DI is the Stoner design and I like it – will stick with it. Why mess with something that works?

    As for the Grendel, I’ve never become a fan. One thing you have to keep in mind is ammunition availability if ever SHTF. The .308 is a fairly ubiquitous cartridge, like the .22LR, 5.56 mm, .38, .357 magnum, .45.

  17. On December 29, 2013 at 4:48 am, echo-319 said:

    12 Gauge pump

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This article is filed under the category(s) AR-15s,Guns and was published September 25th, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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