Over the last two years thousands of law abiding American citizens purchased tactical rifles of all makes and models; however, the basic M4 style (US Military Type) was the most prevalent. This rifle can be an extremely viable home defense option, if it is equipped properly.
However, when it comes to equipment for the M4, the invention of the rail accessories application systems made it easy to attach a plethora of tactical tools. Some of these tools are a valuable addition to your personal defensive M4. But, how do you know what to choose? First you have to identify your specific defensive firearms needs. If your focus is home protection, you only need tools that enable you to easily maneuver and get fast, accurate, multiple hits on an assailant(s) at close distances and under low light or no light conditions, because anything else just increases weight and cost.
Attach a quick target acquisition sighting system. They utilize an illuminated reticle projected on a flat display window. These red or green colored reticles are most often in the shape of a large dot or a circle with a dot inside the circle. The reticle is very easy to find for quick target acquisition and accurate shot placement during outdoor daytime or low light indoor shooting situations. These systems have zero magnification, so they work at “Close Quarter Combat” distance (0’ – 10’) or fifty to a hundred yard distances without the need for manipulation or adjustment. Some of the available brands are: “Red Dot”, “Eotech” and “Burris Fast Fire”.
However, these systems must be sighted in for the desired personal defense distance, if you wish to achieve accurate shot placement. The FBI, “Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed in the Line of Duty with Firearms” from 1999 to 2008 (Table #36) research documents 80% of all law enforcement shootings occurred under twenty feet. This is known as “Close Quarter Combat” (“CQB”) distance, so a seven yard sight in distance is applicable for a home defensive situation.
Attach manual iron sights as a backup to your quick target
acquisition sighting system.“Murphy’s Law” dictates that if something can go wrong, it will, and it will go wrong at the most in opportune time. If your quick target acquisition system fails, you must be able to quickly transition to your iron sights for long distances, when you have the time to do so. Fixed iron sights or "pop-up" front and/or rear sights can be used. Remember, in order to survive a gunfight you must deliver fast accurate hits on your assailant(s) at close range. This can be accomplished by aiming the firearm with a quick target acquisition sighting system and by training in a "Body Alignment Shooting" technique such as the "Israeli Point Shooting" technique. The "Body Alignment" technique enables the shooter to get quick accurate "Close Quarter Battle" ("CQB") hits without the need for a sighting system. This technique is easy to master and maintain with just a little remedial training. With all three of these sighting options in your defensive arsenal, you are assured of delivering quick accurate hits on an assailant(s).
Attach a collapsible stock. This gives you the option of shorting or extending the overall length of the rifle in seconds. The AR depicted is thirty-five inches long, and a shortened rifle stock can reduce its overall length to about thirty-two inches for enhanced residential maneuverability. The extended overall length might be more advantageous outside for longer distance applications, while shortening the overall length enables the operator to easily handle the rifle in the close confines of a residence. For example, the average residential hallway is approximately forty-two inches wide, and a shortened rifle stock can reduce its overall length to about thirty-two inches for enhanced residential maneuverability.
Attach a front fore grip. It enables the shooter to pull the rifle tightly into the shoulder. This stabilizes the rifle and provides a solid base from which to deliver fast accurate shots at “Close Quarter Combat” (“CQB”) distances (0’ – 21’), and at the same time, it provides a great location to attach additional personal defense options such as a flashlight and light activation switch.
Attach a flash light. This gives the operator a practical tool for quick "subject identification" and "threat verification", and this is critically important. Step one is always "subject identification". It enables the
operator to identify whether the subject is friend or foe: family member, responding law enforcement personnel or criminal. Step two is "threat verification". It enables the operator to identify whether or not the criminal is an immediate threat which would legally justify the use of deadly force.
Attach your primary flashlight at the under of the barrel to maximize your tactical advantage. If you attach your primary flashlight on either side of your rifle, you can get significant light backsplash coming off walls, when you are shooting from behind a barricade wall. This light backsplash can eliminate all your night vision and also make it difficult to aim the rifle at your attacker. If you attach your primary flashlight above the barrel of your rifle, when you are forced to you’re the flashlight at night, the light will be reflected off the rising smoke coming out the end of the barrel, this will also eliminate your night vision and make it difficult to aim the rifle. A friend of mine who was highly trained in the military brought this to my attention, and after I experimented with it, I discovered he was correct, so I now position my primary flashlight under the barrel of my rifle.
One point sling attachment. It attaches your sling to the rifle with only one point of contact. This point of contact allows the rifle to hang down, and this frees the shooters hands to address a situation, and at the same time it allow the shooter to quickly access the rifle, if that particular situations escalates to justify an armed response. This accessory gives the shooter the ability to quickly attach and detach a sling from the rifle.
These attachments can greatly enhance the accuracy as well as the usability of your M4 type rifle, and thereby increase its viability as a home defense option.