What gun or guns do you think would be good for home defense?
Here’s some truth: while any gun is better for home defense than no gun at all, some types of guns are far better for home defense than others as well. For example, a hunting rifle with a bolt action would be great for, well, hunting. But would it be great for home defense? Not really.
Rifles, handguns, and shotguns can all be used for home defense alike, but there are certain types and makes and models that will be far better suited than others. Those makes and models are exactly the ones that we are going to cover in this article, and you can decide which you personally favor for yourself.
Here are some of the best home defense guns that you can secure yourself with today:
The 12 gauge pump action shotgun is probably the epitome of what a home defense weapon should be in many people’s minds. It’s easy to see why: a 12 gauge buckshot round or slug at close range is going to be simply devastating against human flesh. One of the most popular pump action shotguns on the market as well is the Mossberg 500, as well as its 590 and 590A1 cousins. These shotguns are well known for durability and reliability, and the 590A1 is the only pump action shotgun to pass the United States military’s torture testing on pump action shotguns. In addition, the 500 series of shotguns are very user friendly thanks to the ambidextrous safety lever on the rear of the receiver. Standard capacity is 6 rounds with the 500, but the 590 includes 8 rounds and the 590A1 holds 6.
Another very popular shotgun to consider is the Remington 870. This is actually the highest selling shotgun ever made. Standard capacity is either five or seven rounds. The 870 utilizes a very rugged action and is in use with many law enforcement units and militaries all over the world, and many swear by it as the only shotgun that they will consider using.
The SIG Sauer MPX is an advantage of a pistol caliber carbine. It’s a gas operated weapon that fires the 9mm round, and features a closed, rotating bolt. These features are designed to make the gun more safe and more reliable to shoot. It also utilizes a short stroke push rod gas system to reduce the recoil of the firearm as well. The advantage here over an AR-15 or any other rifle caliber carbine is the fact that the MPX will be much more compact, nimble, and be easier to shoot in a home defensive situation.
The Colt Rail Gun is a variant of the Colt 1911 that features a tactical rail for adding lights and lasers. The 1911 is an older gun that nonetheless remains enormously popular today. The advantages it has going for it include the slim frame and grip, which many people find comfortable. In addition, the 1911 is also well known for its naturally shoot ability and point ability as well. That’s also not to mention that the .45 ACP round is a very effective man stopper. The metal weight to the gun also reduces recoil.
The AR-15 is rapidly becoming one of the most popular home defense weapons on the market today. It’s not difficult to see why; the AR-15 is easy to shoot, has very low recoil, is very ergonomic, more stopping power and range than a handgun, and the 5.56 round is also very effective. If you’re on a budget, the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II and Ruger AR-556 are often available for lower prices of around five hundred dollars or so. If you have the money to spend on a higher end AR-15, you’ll want to look at options from companies such as Colt and Daniel Defense.
The Benelli M4 is a gas operated semi-automatic shotgun. It’s currently one of the shotguns in use by the United States military, and utilizes a short stroke design with two self cleaning pistons to function on the opposite side of the rotating bolt. This is a much simpler system than many other semi-automatic shotguns, which should theoretically enhance reliability. Being a semi-automatic, the M4 will have a much faster rate of fire in contrast to other semi-automatic shotguns. That being said, the M4 is also a very expensive weapon, so if you’re on a budget a pump action would probably be better cost wise.
The Heckler & Koch USP is perhaps the most torture tested pistol in history. HK put the USP through extreme torture testing, including firing hundreds of thousands of rounds without a failure, dropping it in mud and water and snow, interchanging parts between worn out guns, and even sticking a bullet down the barrel and then shooting it out. Needless to say, the USP is a pistol that you can depend your life upon. The HK USP in .45 ACP holds 12 rounds for impressive firepower, and also has a tactical rail option for mounting lights and lasers. The 9mm holds 15 rounds and the .40 S&W holds 13 rounds. Compact versions of the USP are also available.
The Smith & Wesson Governor is a very versatile revolver that can chamber and fire the .410 bore, .45 Long Colt, and .45 ACP rounds. The .410 and .45 LC rounds can load individually on their own, while the .45 ACP will need to be loaded with moon clips. The .45 LC and .45 ACP rounds are both very effective for self-defense already, especially with hollow point rounds. Meanwhile, the .410 Bore can also be a very effective round for self-defense, and especially at close range.
Another pump action shotgun offering to consider is the Winchester SXP, a development of the previous Winchester 1200 and 1300 shotguns. The SXP utilizes an inertia assisted action and a rotary bolt system to reduce recoil in contrast to other shotguns. This means that follow up shots with your SXP will be much faster, at least theoretically speaking, when compared to other similar shotguns such as the 500 or 870.
That being said, the Judge does have some key advantages over the Governor. For example, many find the flush grip on the Judge to be significantly more ergonomic than the grip on the Governor. Furthermore, the Judge comes with models that have a three inch cylinder, which means that the .410 bore shells you can fit into the Judge will be longer than the shells you can fit into the Governor, which means that it will be more powerful. A three inch .410 buckshot round will have equivalent firepower to three 9mm FMJ rounds going off, at least at close range.
The Beretta 92A1 is a variant of the original 92FS pistol. The main differences are that the 92A1 features a tactical rail and a curved grip, whereas the 92FS has a mostly squared grip. Having a tactical rail on your self-defense pistol, especially for a pistol meant for a home defense scenario, is imperative. You need to have the ability to see in darkness, and while you could easily just use a a flashlight in your opposite hand, chances are good you’ll want to have that hand free. This is why having a light on your pistol itself will be preferable. Beyond that, the 92 series in general are well known for excellent reliability. The pistols also have a metal frame, which means the guns are heavier and recoil will be reduced as well.
You probably expected to see the Glock on this list, right? The Glock is easily one of the most popular home defense pistols on the market today. It’s a very simple and reliable gun that also offers a lot of firepower. While the standard capacity on the Glock 17 is 17 rounds, you can also get 33 round extended magazines to further increase your firepower as well. Take note that there are also Glock pistols available in a wide variety of other calibers, such as the Glock 22 in .40 S&W and the Glock 21 in .45 ACP.
Yes, a lever action rifle can indeed be used for home defense if necessary. While a semi-automatic rifle may be preferable, a lever action will still provide a faster rate of fire than a bolt action. That’s also not to mention that the lever action has mild recoil, is compact and narrow for use in tight quarters, and has moderate to minimal recoil. The Marlin 336 is a great example of a lever action rifle that could be used defensively if need be.