Home defense is one of the most important factors in firearms ownership besides, of course, everyday carry. But when defending our home, we have a lot more options for the home defense tool and its accessories. Your home defense firearm should be very capable, have ample ammunition, be short enough to move through doors and hallways, be equipped with a light, and have a method of signature reduction.
We won’t delve into the caliber debate as there are just as many “for” as “against” in every category. Let’s just say you should use what you are comfortable with and what you have trained with. You should also be very aware of your lines of sight and where lanes of engagement are within your home to minimize risk against unintended targets.
I will say, without a lot of experience and testing, it can be hard to know exactly how to outfit your rifle and select gear that will perform every time. I have had the fortune to be able to test a lot of gear in a lot of different situations to find the stuff that works when I need it to, regardless of the situation or environment. You should also have a way to secure your firearm while also keeping it within easy reach in case of an emergency.
A Fitting Option
After I received the 5.56mm Hellion from Springfield and did some training on the range, I could tell that this rifle would be exceptional in a close quarters combat scenario. The short overall length of the Hellion makes it a great choice for moving through tight spaces. The Hellion also employs a standard 30-round capacity magazine, giving you enough ammunition to stop a threat, or multiple threats.
Now, to outfit the rifle further with essentials for a home defense rifle. I started with the fore end of the rifle to see the positioning for a weapon light and pressure pad. I was ecstatic to see the whole fore end removes from the rifle with one pin. This made attaching accessories and absolute breeze.
For the weapon light, I chose a Surefire M600 Pro, which fit perfectly into the M-Lok on the top 9 o’clock slot. I then used the Surefire UE07 smaller switch because you can slip it into the M-Lok slots and then out the other side, hiding the wire inside the rail and keeping everything tidy. To attach the switch to the 3 o’clock position, I used a Magpul tape switch mounting plate. The mounting of the light and switch are very low profile and clean, almost as if they were made for the Hellion. We now have capability to identify targets in low/no light.
One of my favorite ways to grip a rifle is a modified c-clamp, using a hand stop to stack my pinky and ring fingers on. This allows me to pull the rifle into my chest as well as being able to properly grip the rail. To accomplish this, my preferred device is the Bravo Company Vertical Grip Mod 3. It’s a stubby grip with a bit of an angle. It works wonderfully to really control the rifle and create a repeatable indexing point for your support hand. I attached the M-Lok Grip at the 6 o’clock position closest to the trigger guard.
For the optic, I went with the Aimpoint Pro. It’s combat-proven and has a three-year battery life. The Hellion’s top rail is a bit taller than the buttstock, and for that reason, I used an American Defense Manufacturing Low Mount for the Pro. This puts the optic at about the lower 1/3 co-witness height while still being able to use the irons through the optic. A red dot optic is great for quick sight acquisition at close and medium ranges.
When it comes to signature reduction, we are talking about muzzle flash and the sound of the rifle firing. To eliminate both signatures we can look at suppressors. Suppressors for a home defense weapon are hotly debated, but they do have merit. Have you ever fired your rifle in the dark, to be momentarily blinded by the muzzle flash, or shot your rifle without hearing protection? Both of these can be extremely disorienting. Therefore, reducing the flash and sound greatly can have advantages within the home.
The Hellion comes from the factory with an adjustable gas system, which also greatly aids the weapon in performing while suppressed. I went with a SilencerCo 36M in the shorter configuration to keep the overall length of the rifle on the short side to maintain the advantage of the bullpup. With the suppressor attached, the rifle measures in at only 32” — and that is with a full 16” barrel. Talk about compact.
I really love the handling of the Hellion’s compact nature. The BCM vertical grip really helped keep the rifle secure in my hands to mitigate recoil. The positioning of the Surefire light and switch were easily accessible in my reach, while being out of the way when I didn’t need white light. The Aimpoint Pro is such an easy optic to work with, the glass is super clear, and the reticle is nice and bright even in daylight. Attaching a suppressor to a 16” barrel usually makes the rifle a bit unwieldy on a carbine meant for confined spaces as well as distances. The bullpup nature of the Hellion makes adding a suppressor a non-factor on length. I didn’t even notice the additional 6”, and it made using the rifle with or without ear pro an enjoyable experience.
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