AR-15 for Women | Home Defense

Last week, we heard the story about a Florida woman who used an AR-15 to protect her husband and daughter from from violent intruders. Here’s the story, as told by her husband.

“Them guys came in with two normal pistols and my AR stopped it. [My wife] evened the playing field and kept them from killing me,” King said.

Hats off to this woman who stepped up and saved the family. This story exemplifies the need for legal firearm ownership for home defense.

But at a closer look, the story tells us something about the firearm itself. Even though there is plenty of political backlash against the ‘scary-looking’ AR-15 Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), it remains one of the most popular rifles on the civilian firearms market for recreation, competition, hunting, and as in this case, home defense. Relatively affordable and available, AR-15’s are known to be effective, yet manageable firearms for people of all statures. As such, they are particularly beneficial as home-defense weapons for women.

AR-15 for women, self defense.
Photo source: NBC

AR-15 for Women?

Women are adaptable. With training and practice they can, and do, learn to operate all kinds of firearms. But who doesn’t appreciate owning and operating a firearm that fits their own physical dimensions? Women are typically smaller than men, with shorter arms and smaller hands. Because of that, there are several AR-15 features that women shooters can benefit from.

Lightweight and Easy to Maneuver

AR-15’s are relatively lightweight and easy to shoulder, thereby potentially increasing accuracy, speed, and safety. Since they are shorter than most standard long guns, they make it easier to maneuver around corners and obstacles inside the home.

According to some AR-15 owners, it can be operated by one hand, which speaks to it’s ease of operation. This is a specific benefit to physically impaired individuals. For instance, gun owner and writer Mary Chastain says that the AR-15 is easier for her to use.

“You can use it with one hand, which helps me,” she said. “My entire left side is handicapped, caused by brain trauma at birth. There are many guns I cannot use. The AR is perfect because I can use the functions with only my right hand. The lightness of the gun makes it easy for my handicapped left arm and hand to hold it.” 

Lower Recoil

Since the AR-15 has a lower recoil compared to other rifles and shotguns, women and other people of smaller stature can operate it with more confidence. This assists with target acquisition, and makes it possible to make quick follow-up shots if needed.

AR-15s are Highly Customizable

There are many accessory options nowadays for AR-15 owners. Beyond the LOP, owners can upgrade the trigger, hand-guard, barrel length, and grip. Thanks to accessory rails, users can also choose from the wide assortment of lights and optics that are available.

Adjustable Length of Pull (LOP)

A firearm that is too large for the the shooter to manage can be dangerous. Typically, women have shorter arms, which means they’re more likely to need a shorter LOP. Women who desire a personal home-defense weapon that is tailored to fit their stature can do so with an adjustable stock, ensuring that the trigger is at the optimal position for their needs.

The Pistol Grip and In-Line Desige is Easier to Control

AR-15’s are designed with a pistol grip and in-line stock and muzzle, as compared to lower-set stock on most rifles. The in-line design reduces muzzle rise after a shot is fired, and sends the recoil directly back into the shoulder, which results in a decreased felt-recoil. Lower felt-recoil equals greater confidence and control for the woman shooter.

And as with many aspects of the AR-15, the pistol grip can be upgraded and customized to meet the user’s specific needs. Here are just a few examples.


There are many accessory options nowadays for AR-15 owners. Beyond the LOP, owners can upgrade the trigger, hand-guard, barrel length, and grip. Thanks to accessory rails, users can also choose from the wide assortment of weapon lights and optics that are available.

AR-15 for Women’s Home Defense

Each of these features make it clear that the AR-15 deserves some respect as a home-defense firearm that is especially useful for women. It’s lightweight, adjustable, and can be customized to fit individual women’s needs.

Women holding a custom tactical AR-15 rifle NICHOLAS ERWIN / HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-ND/2.0/
Women holding a custom tactical AR-15 rifle. NICHOLAS ERWIN / HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-NC-ND/2.0/

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