Why Carry an SBR in Public?

| November 28, 2013 | 2 Comments

I’ve held a concealed carry license since 1996. Except for a year spent in the state of Maryland, I’ve carried a handgun almost every day for at least a portion of my waking hours.

More and more of my time is spent learning fight-focused firearms self-defense techniques, and one thing that becomes obvious during this pursuit is the ineffectiveness of handgun caliber rounds against aggressive attackers.

I have been taught to fire an accurate, four-round burst from a standard capacity magazine and a three-round burst from a low-capacity magazine. This is because any handgun cartridge from 9mm to 40 S&W to 45 ACP to 10mm will require multiple shots on target to stop someone. This isn’t a caliber consideration, it’s a matter of physics.

Yes, it is possible to get a one- or two-shot stop by striking the spine or brain stem. However, even fatal shots such as hits to the heart can give an attacker enough time to hurt or kill you or your loved ones.

In short, we don’t carry handguns because they are powerful. We carry them because they are more convenient than rifles.

About two years ago I started wondering what it would take to carry a rifle in public, and the legal restrictions against doing so. At about this same time, public shootings were becoming more common in schools, churches and places like malls or big box stores. 2013 saw the Kenyan mall attack by radical muslims, and I don’t think these types of attacks are going to stop any time soon.

I also began to keep track of crimes wherein there was one victim facing multiple assailants. This type of event is particularly scary for people who carry a lower-capacity handgun such as a revolver or single-stack magazine pistol such as a 1911 or the S&W Shield. If we’re bursting three to four shots per assailant and we are facing three attackers a 5-round J-Frame isn’t going to cut it.

Why carry a short barrel rifle in public?

Let’s define when we might want a rifle — a mass shooting event where:

  • There are multiple attackers.
  • Engagement distances may vary between close (7 yards or less) to long (by handgun standards — 100 – 150 yards) at places such as a mall, church or school.
  • Assailants may be wearing body armor.

In this type of mass shooting, a rifle is preferable to a pistol because:

  • Rifle cartridges are more powerful than handgun cartridges.
  • Rifle magazines almost always hold more ammunition than handgun magazines.
  • Rifle cartridges are more effective at longer ranges.
  • Rifles are more stable and usually more accurate than handguns because rifles offer at least three points of contact on the body versus the two points of contact from a handgun (if both hands are used).
  • Rifles are more likely to have optics on them that makes shooting at different distances easier, even if the sights do not offer magnification.

I know that it is possible to land hits with a handgun at 100 yards and that some pistols are now equipped with micro red dot optics such as the Trijicon RMR or Docter III. However, we’re still using pistol cartridges.

A firearm that is portable and fires rifle rounds is the best weapon with which to deal with a mass shooting.

A pistol caliber carbine such as the Beretta Cx4 Storm, an SBR Glock in a KPOS enclosure, or an UZI or MAC style firearm with a stock will offer better control and faster follow up shots than a pistol alone. These weapons are better than a pistol but not better than a rifle. However, the small size and weight of a pistol caliber carbine (PCC) may be the difference between taking it with you or leaving it at home. The best SBR in the world is meaningless if you don’t have it when you need it.

People also carry SBRs to aid in the entrance / exit of a vehicle or for navigating inside of a building. I don’t plan on doing the former and I can manage the latter with a standard-sized AK or AR. I also own SBRs that are smaller than a usual rifle / carbine but too big to carry in a bag in public.

If you don’t already, consider carrying a short barrel rifle to give you another option in the event of a mass shooting. Rifles have many advantages over handguns, and integrating an SBR into your daily routine isn’t as difficult as it seems.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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2 Comments on "Why Carry an SBR in Public?"

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  1. Andrew Lorenz says:

    Speaking of carrying an SBR, is it legal to do so in Minnesota? I’ve only seen laws talking about carrying pistols, but never stating that a rifle or shotgun could not be carried.

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