Video: Should You Keep Your Defensive AR Loaded?


Ensure your AR is safe, secure and ready at a moment's notice.

In terms of self-defense, an unloaded gun makes a dandy club, not much else. But does it always make sense to have one in the chamber, particularly when it comes to firearms that aren’t on your person continuously? Say an AR-style rifle.

One of the most popular options in home defense, AR-15s and M4-style carbines take consideration as to how they’ll be secured, yet kept at the ready. The bad news, there’s not a set-in-stone correct answer. Much of it depends on your lifestyle and living conditions, say if you have children or others in your household who might gain access to your guns. What mode they should be kept in the home takes a bit of consideration.

Breaking down nearly every potential condition – if that term can be loosely applied to a long gun — shooting instructor Ken Hackathorn gives shooter some valuable food for thought. The brass tacks of this conversation, how the gun is stored should reflect the state of readiness you deem necessary for your personal situation. For some that means a loaded magazine secured away from the rifle, others a fully chamber gun that simply requires a flick of the safety to be ready for action.

Obviously, this takes some forethought and reflection on what makes the most sense for you. It also requires being honest with yourself and accurately assessing your circumstances. Do these things and the answer should become self-evident.

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  1. An AR in any caliber larger than .45 ACP is NOT a home defense weapon, unless you live on 100 acres or more, or plan to shoot through several people, including your neighbours, in their houses!
    I am surprised- and shocked- that you fail to mention this!


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