Not an AR, but last week a guy at the range let me shoot a couple of slugs out of an AK 12 gauge, maker forgotten. Recoil was more of a shuffle than a kick, very comfortable. He had it loaded up with an optic, and some shroudy stuff, but the base model was only about $300. Accuracy was typical for a smoothbore. I would certainly consider one like it for defensive use or a truck gun.
Actually,that's the first AK of any sort I’ve fired, and I found the controls pretty intuitive, maybe because I’ve seen so many on YouTube.