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An A-Z Guide to the Best Gun for Home Defense

An A-Z Guide to the Best Gun for Home Defense

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As humans, protecting the place where we and our loved ones live is a survival instinct that goes centuries back. And, while the early humans used rocks and sticks to keep danger at bay, we now have guns to do the job.

But what could possibly be the best gun for home defense, especially with many options on the market? And what should you consider before taking that step to keep your house safe from intruders?

In this guide, we’ll answer those questions in-depth and recommend some of our favorite guns to use for home protection.

Pistols vs. Rifles vs. Shotguns: Which Type of Firearm to Pick?

The first thing you should do before buying your gun is to consider all three types of firearms that have been used for years for home defense. Pistols, rifles, and shotguns are all good candidates, but each one of them has its pros and cons.

In this section, we’ll help you understand what using every type of gun will feel like so that you can make a well-informed decision.

Pistols for Home Defense

A lot of people favor pistols over rifles and shotguns because they’re much smaller. This way, they can be easier to hide. Plus, they’re convenient for use in small rooms or narrow hallways because they don’t take a lot of space. But that’s not everything.

Gun for Home Defense

Advantages of Using Pistols for Home Defense

If you’re considering buying a pistol, you’ll have to determine if you want a revolver or handgun, though. These two buddies can differ in capacity and reload speed, and those are two factors that will highly affect your experience.

For example, a handgun is much faster to reload and higher in capacity than a revolver, its magazine can reach all the way to 15 rounds. On the contrary, revolvers take next to forever to reload, and they’ll only have five to six rounds to offer you.

Another cool thing about modern handguns is that you can add lights to them because their bodies have rails. This is a must-have feature since people will likely need to use a gun in dimly lit settings. Sadly, revolvers don’t have this luxury.

Let’s not forget that pistols are available with a huge variety of ammo. However, for home defense, you’ll have to focus on expanding hollow point ammo, which promises suitable stopping power and reduces the chances of over-penetration through walls.

Plus, the prices for pistols start from affordable all the way to over-the-top expensive. So, you’ll likely find the perfect gun to match your budget without sacrificing much in terms of quality.

Disadvantages of Using Pistols for Home Defense

Despite the many perks of owning a pistol, it still comes with some minor downsides, but what doesn’t?

Because it’s small, accurately aiming the gun, especially if you’re still partly asleep, can be pretty tough. Plus, in some instances, the tiny size might increase the recoil of the gun, but part of that is based on the caliber, too.

Still, you can always learn to overcome these two nuisances with consistent practice.

Also, in comparison to shotguns and rifles, handguns are more likely to face failures. To ensure that isn’t an issue, you should be ready to react quickly and recover after a failure to get the next shot.

Rifles for Home Defense

According to homeowners who use rifles, these buddies are best if you want higher capacity and more reliable performance. Let’s take a look at their upsides and downsides, shall we?

Advantages of Using Rifles for Home Defense

The greatest thing about rifles is that their capacity is almost unmatched, the norm being around 30 rounds. Of course, you could invest in a rifle that supports more rounds, but that might take a few points off reliability. Thirty rounds should be enough for home defense anyway.

The second thing to admire about rifles is they’re pretty easier to control than pistols. Because they’re big enough to provide you with more contact points with your body, you can master aiming quickly.

You can also add lights to their sleek bodies; perfect to improve your night vision.

Better still, if you’re worried about over-penetration, the market is full of ammo to let you use your rifle with no concern.

Disadvantages of Using Rifles for Home Defense

It might not be a deal-breaker exactly, but most rifles are on the expensive end. Sure, some can be considered affordable, but those tend to be less reliable than their pricier siblings. Still, it all depends on what you’re looking for in a rifle.

Another drawback to consider here is that rifles are pretty long, which may not be convenient if you want to move easily in tight corners. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it’ll take a lot of effort to get around that.

Shotguns for Home Defense

Last but not least, shotguns have been a classic favorite of property owners for years. It’s time to understand everything that makes them special and everything that makes them a pain!

Advantages of Using Shotguns for Home Defense

Because they have been the go-to choice for home defense for a long while, shotguns are the least expensive of all three firearm types. You’ll find a huge range of prices on the market to match your current budget, which must be a relief.

Even better, most affordable shotguns are considered reliable, so failures should be the least of your concerns. Plus, they send a lot of lead downrange, but you must aim properly first.

We know that many people think that shotguns can hit their target without aiming, but that’s not the case. It’s just that their range is wider than their siblings.

Disadvantages of Using Shotguns for Home Defense

Despite their qualities, the cons of shotguns far outweigh their pros, which is why they’re becoming less and less popular. However, if you’re still drawn to their charm, you should consider the following downsides to have the full picture.

First off, shotguns are a lot heavier and longer than the previous two guns, having an average weight of eight pounds and length of 40 inches. That can put you at a huge disadvantage if your home is full of small spaces and narrow hallways.

Second off, their recoil can’t be taken lightly, especially if you have a small frame.

Third off, a shotgun takes a long while to reload when compared to a magazine-fed gun. To wield it confidently, you’ll have to practice how to reload a shotgun quickly.

Another major drawback of shotguns is that their capacity is limited, stretching to only six total rounds. When comparing that to the 15 rounds of most handguns and 30+ rounds of rifles, shotguns fall short.

Shotgun on the wall

Lastly, shotguns are often associated with over-penetration of the walls, which is the main reason why many people won’t use them for home defense. Their projectiles can swiftly go through thin walls, which is something to think about if you live near other houses.

Even if your house is far from other properties, you’ll have to think twice about using a shotgun if you have family members sleeping in other rooms.

Now that you have a clear idea about the pros and cons of pistols, rifles, and shotguns, you must’ve made up your mind about your favorite. It’s finally time for us to introduce the best guns in each category, so let’s dive in!

The Top 3 Pistols for Home Defense

Because revolvers aren’t exactly ideal for an adrenaline-filled situation, we’ve decided to review some of the most reliable handguns on the market.

1.   Glock 19

Glock 19 For Home DefenseWithout a doubt, Glock is the first brand to come to mind when someone mentions performance and ease of use. Their brightest star, Glock 19, has a lot to offer people who are concerned about home security.

For example, it’s chambered in 9mm and can handle up to 16 rounds plus one in the chamber if you go for standard magazines. Besides that, the pistol supports a ton of add-ons to make your experience a lot easier.

You can attach lights to it for use in darkened hallways, which is a huge advantage to have in many tense scenarios. Plus, its trigger is firm and trustworthy, and that’s something the majority of users have agreed on.

Reliable, efficient, and simple to use, you can’t possibly go wrong with a Glock 19 for self-defense.

2.   Sig Sauer P320

This buddy is quite similar to the Glock 19 since they both have the same size, reliability, and caliber. Still, Sig Sauer P320 has a few things that Glock 19 doesn’t.

For instance, Sig Sauer P320 comes with a textured grip to ensure a steady aim and boost your confidence. Also, the handgun is available with an extended slide and magazine release, making reloading ultimately faster.

3.   Glock 43

Much like its slightly larger sibling, Glock 43 is a great choice to consider for its performance, quality, and cutting-edge design. Yet, what sets it apart from Glock 19 is its compact size, making it perfect for concealed carrying.

Still, not everyone was a fan of this handgun. Some people didn’t like its ergonomics, claiming that only someone with a really small hand would be able to get a firm grip on it.

Others thought it wasn’t the best candidate if you were looking for high capacity. See, it comes with a six-round flush fit capacity, but you can always purchase aftermarket magazines that could give you up to 15 rounds. However, those usually tend to stick out of the gun.

The Top 3 Rifles for Home Defense

If you’re more of a rifle guy or girl, you’ll probably find your favorite pick out of the following list.

1.   Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II M-Lok Rifle

The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II is one of the most solid rifles on the market, and the good news is that you can use it in other scenarios besides home security. This buddy is engineered for recreational purposes as well, which is a plus point if you’re into target shooting.

While a bit on the pricey side, this rifle is loaded – pun intended – with awesome features. It’s lightweight to carry with no effort, strongly built to withstand collisions, and is always open for modifications.

Better still, the rifle comes with red-green sight to improve shooting accuracy. However, people who have poor sight might not be able to benefit from this point.

Of course, another disadvantage of this rifle is that it’s bulky, but all rifles are, right? Still, if you have a large house with plenty of open spaces, its big size shouldn’t concern you. If not, you’d better stick to a pistol, buddy!

2.   Springfield Armory M1A

Here’s another rather versatile rifle. The Springfield Armory M1A is an incredible option to invest in if you have a knack for hunting. Besides being a reliable home defense rifle, this big boy stands out because of its amazing accuracy.

Many of those who tried it were surprised by how easy it was to aim with this gun. This is all thanks to the set of sights that can work in perfect sync with most scopes that you pair them with.

Others loved that the recoil wasn’t something to worry about when it came to this rifle. Plus, according to the opinions of people who used it, the M1A didn’t seem to face any jamming problems at all!

Still, it’s fair to mention the drawbacks of this rifle, too, but they aren’t really deal-breakers. For example, the sights tend to take a while before they let you zero in the rifle.

3.   Ruger Mini Thirty 7.62×39 Rifle with Flash Hider

Now, this is a rifle that many people swear comes with no cons at all!

The Ruger Mini 30 rifle is one of the best semi-auto rifles for home defense, so let’s see why it’s such a popular choice for homeowners these days.

First off, the rifle’s factory-installed sights do a pretty good job on their own, which many users were delighted to find. According to them, it’s rare for factory sights to perform this good and deliver this level of accuracy.

Second off, the Ruger Mini 30 looks pretty intimidating without having to fire a single shot! It’s available in an all-black rugged finish that should scare off anyone who tries to step into your property.

Also, we like how versatile it is if you think about taking it outdoors. It can be a great choice for target practice, hunting, and more.

Even though the majority of people who tried it love it from the inside out, it still has some minor flaws. The rifle could use a better recoil pad for more convenience.

The Top 3 Shotguns for Home Defense

Would rather stick with a good ol’ shotgun? Well, we have a few solid candidates that you can pick from.

1.   Mossberg 590A1

If you’re ready to settle for a 9-round capacity, the Mossberg 590A1 should have your back. This shotgun is available with different finishes and options, but even the basic model is good enough to have next to your bed.

The biggest perk of this pump-action shotgun is the nice balance between affordability and reliability. Just keep in mind that its action is a tad rougher than other shotgun models, but a lot of people were fine with that.

2.   Beretta 1301 Tactical

The Beretta 1301 Tactical is the star of the market, and there are numerous reasons behind its huge popularity as a defensive gun. Let’s just say that this buddy has been outright compared to the Glock 19, which says something.

What’s so cool about the 1301 Tactical is that its design is slim and sleek, which can’t be said for most shotguns or even rifles. Sure, it’s bigger than a handgun alright, but it shouldn’t get in your way if you’re trying to move between obstacles.

Also, the shotgun has a rail to enable you to add optics, not to mention that it has adjustable sights and length of pull.

Yet, nothing is perfect. The 1301 is quite expensive, coming at more than double the price of the Mossberg 590A1. Of course, this speaks volumes of its reliability, power, and quality, but it might not work for someone on a limited budget.

3.   Benelli M4

This is another wonderful option for a semi-automatic shotgun. The Benelli M4 is easy to shoot and has a solid build and immense power pretty much like the Beretta 1301 Tactical.

The shotgun is also one of the most durable options on the market, and a lot of experts promise that it can keep up with a whole lifetime of service.

However, because it gives you all those great qualities, the shotgun is quite pricey. So, you must weigh your options carefully, think of what you must have in a shotgun, and see if your budget agrees with you!

What Other Factors Should You Consider Before Buying the Best Gun for Home Defense?

You now probably have a general idea about the type of gun you’re ready to purchase. Still, there are a few more points to think about besides the firearm type to make sure you make the most out of it.

Here’s everything else to keep in mind to ensure that your decision is well-placed.

The Size and Location of Your Home

Making a mental note of the size of your home will definitely help you choose a gun. For example, apartment buildings and condos are too small to consider using shotguns or rifles in. You’ll have neighbors and tighter spaces to think about, and those will require you to purchase a handgun.

On the other hand, living in a big farmhouse or a large estate gives you the chance to wield a bulkier and more powerful gun freely. Here, you’ll have to worry less about shots penetrating walls, but you still have to aim!

The Size and Weight of the Gun

This is another major factor to keep at the forefront of your mind before buying a gun. You need to make sure that the size and weight of the gun are just right to use with confidence whenever you must.

Of course, handguns may seem like the best option here, especially that you can fire them with one hand and use the other to open a door or help someone out.

Still, some people are trained enough with shotguns or rifles and they can manage just fine with them being extra heavy or long.

Round Count

Shotgun roundsIf you don’t have much experience with guns, you’re better off with a handgun that can promise up to 15 rounds or even more based on the model. Also, consider buying a rifle since it can offer you an average of 30 rounds.

Yet, those who are proficient in using revolvers or shotguns will probably not be deterred by their relatively low round count. So, it’s actually a matter of your skills with a gun after all.

Security Features

It’s important to invest in a gun that offers you security features, especially if you’re still new to this world. Plus, it’s an essential thing to have if you always have visitors or children in your household to prevent accidents.

Some examples of those security measures include manual, grip, or drop safeties, decockers, and hammer blocks.

To Wrap It Up

We know that trying to find the best gun for home defense can be hard for first-timers. You’ve got a huge variety of models on the market boasting countless features, so it’s easy to feel lost when trying to settle on the perfect one for your needs.

Hopefully, after reading our guide, that should no longer be an issue. Just determine if you want a pistol, rifle, or shotgun, then you’ll be more than halfway through your decision-making journey.

Next, take a look at some of the best market candidates under each category, consider your preferences, and choose the right gun for your lifestyle and budget. Pretty simple after all, don’t you agree?

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