Should You Choose A Pistol or An AR-15 Rifle?


I’m not typically a fan of comparisons like “should you choose this one or should you choose that one?” Most gun owners are in a situation in which they own (or, at least, could own) more than one firearm at the same time, so the question presents a false choice excluding one or the other.

Still, people keep asking the question: “Should I buy an AR-15 or a pistol?” The answer to this question, like the answers to most comparison questions, is, “It depends.” It depends on your current budget, where you’ll be using the firearm, specifics about your body type and composition (gender, height, etc.), what you’ll be using the firearm for, and personal preference.

What do I mean by this? Well, take the question of use. If you’re going deer hunting, I wouldn’t recommend taking a pistol for that purpose. Could it get the job done? Yeah, probably, though probably not as cleanly and quickly as an AR-15. So, I’d recommend getting an AR-15 over a pistol for that purpose.


On the flip side, if you’re looking for everyday carry for personal protection, then I’m going to recommend that you get a compact pistol. Why? Because an AR-15 isn’t easy to hide on your person no matter how loose your clothing is. An AR-15 is a great firearm for self-protection, but it simply isn’t practical as an everyday carry firearm.

If you will be using your firearm in small enclosed spaces, then a pistol may be the better choice for ease of movement. On the other hand, though, plenty of people choose an AR-15 rifle for home defensive use, too, so we’ll have to chalk this one up to personal preference.

Tom McHale points out one thing to keep in mind if you travel much. McHale writes,

Most gun laws related to car transport are pistol centric. Many states allow carry of a loaded handgun in a vehicle with or without a concealed carry permit but prohibit carry of a loaded rifle.

It’s worth noting McHale’s follow up comment, though:

Check your local laws carefully as every state has different requirements for firearm transport.

So, if you must choose between a pistol and an AR-15 rifle, which one should you pick? The answer is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer other than “It depends.” Think about what fits your situation and intended uses to figure out which one will be right for you.



  1. Running for President is Kamala Harris who owns a gun herself for personal protection. Which do you want to see the pot or the kettle. Don’t do as I do just do as your told. Democratically are nothing but liars hypocrites, they want to take everything away from you and tell you how live tax almost 90 percent of your income. Take away your rights, your guns take away our way of living so they institute their beliefs on you. Take away your cars plane and cattle. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Some people don’t like President Trump that’s fine but you like to reap the rewards of the economy. You that this is the best economy in ever. Lowest black unemployment in over 50yrs. Lowest unemployment for Hispanics in history. Lowest unemployment for women. Hundreds of thousands of jobs every month. Jobs coming back from overseas. Walmart raised its base pay to 11 dollars an hour. Companies giving big pay raises employing more people than ever. We’ve a President who has kept all of his campaign promises. Building the wall to protect our borders and Americans. A good example of illegals being in this when a an illegal killed a 5 month infant. I go can go on with more, but do you want put people who want open borders tax all your hard earned income. Take away your second amendment rights tell how to live work and what kind of heath care you’ll get. They will dictate when and how you’ll do. Don’t take my word for it. Quit listening to the fake news left wing news that’s 100 anti Trump. Fox News with Hannity, Laura Ingram and Shannon Bream. It’s the most watched and has the highest rating of all the news channels combined. They’ve challenged some of these Democratic candidates to come in his show and he would devote the whole hour to them. Express their views. All of them refused his offer. Why people would see who an what they really liars.

    • the Second Amendment will be the first to go then Very soon after that all the others will follow. we will no longer be a Nation of Laws we will be a country of Slaves

  2. I myself prefer a revolver if I can’t hit what I’m aiming at with six shots then having more won’t do me any good!

    • Hand guns are for close up work, like within 15 yards. Anything further than 45 feet, you need a rifle. A rifle is good for 50 feet and further out, like hunting or defensive work. Handguns and rifles are the original point and click devices.

  3. Good thing I didn’t see this year’s ago, I wouldn’t have known I could have 6 different handguns, a dozen rifles and 3 shotguns! Lol
    And where I live, I’m considered as ‘not having many guns’.

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