Best home defense firearm?

Discussion in 'Tactical And Home Defense' started by DHonovich, Aug 4, 2010.


Which do you prefer?

  1. Shotgun

    12 vote(s)
  2. Rifle

    3 vote(s)
  3. Handgun

    13 vote(s)
  1. Rossignol

    Rossignol .410

    m24, lots of good points and in particular, you mention the shorter LOP, being able to get your body behind the stock. Absolutely correct! Thats the point I wasnt able to articulate very well. This is what I have been going through with my daughter. A shorter stock allows a person to be able to square up behind the stock, rather than being awkwardly twisted sideways from the waist up.
  2. hunter72

    hunter72 .22LR

    Lots of information in this post, IMHO some good and some potentially deadly to the Home owner

    1) the racking of the slide to warn does NOTHING but allow an itruder to drop on you.

    2) Not aiming is probably the scariest thing I have ever read concerning Home defense and firearms in general.
    3) Any shooter from the smallest in stature lady to the largest he man can be trained to handle a 12g pump.
    other gagues will work and in some applications are needed. a .20 g or a .410 are great if thats what you have and have trained with.
    4) BIRDSHOT IS FOR BIRDS NOT HOME DEFENSE. Use propper ammunition for tha job. in the case of HD 00 buck followed by slugs works well.
    in .410 same thing. My son has his 500e fully loaded with the new handgun ppersional defense rounds. basically disks and buck in one shell.
    (although the best thing the taurus judge brought about is the new handgun .410 ammo)
    Also on ammo there is a reason they came out with "low recoil" buck and slugs, some LEO's take a little longer to train with the shotty than others.
    Some of hte higher end rounds kick in 12g the same as 20g birdshot.

    I am not trying to act like an expert, however there were some huge misconceptions posted that could get someone killed.
    Please forgive the authoritarian manner of hte post
  3. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri .22LR

    On a slightly different tangent ... everything is a tradeoff. If your intent in defending yourself in your home is to "hunker down" and truly act in a defensive manner (and I hope that is your intent) then I am a fan of the shotgun. If, on the other hand, you need to maneuver throughout your home to defend your family then a "long" gun like a shotgun or a carbine is going to prove more difficult to maneuver than a handgun. Personally, I'm not a big fan of carbines or rifles for home defense period. (Perhaps that is the subject for another thread.)

    I'll open up my own kimono a bit to provide an example of why there are tradeoffs and why no one gun is perfect for every home defense situation.

    My house is a single-story home with a finished basement. My wife and I have a 10 year-old son and no other children. My son's bedroom is on the opposite end of the house from our master bedroom. In the event of a home invasion during the night, when we are all in our respective rooms, I need to maneuver from my bedroom to my son's bedroom for his protection. My wife has been instructed to hunker down in our master closet, which gives her three sets of doors for safety, and call 911. She will be hunkered down in our master closet with a coach gun and additional ammo. She is familiar with the gun and its operation is about as simple as it gets. The gun is secure yet easily accessible as she locks the door behind me.

    I need to traverse the length of the house to reach my son's bedroom. To do so, I need to negotiate several doorways and a hallway. This is much easier to do with a handgun than it would be with a shotgun or carbine or even a coach gun.

    Different tactics demand different weapons. I would humbly suggest that there is no single "best" firearm for home defense.
  4. Rossignol

    Rossignol .410

    I can totally agree with this.
  5. Jay

    Jay Copper BB

    If I'm awake, I'll go meet the threat with a handgun. If I'm in bed, the perp has to come upstairs to get to me, and I will control the stairs with a handgun, while my wife calls 911, as the stairs provide me a choke point.

    Home defense weapons should be weapons that the user is proficient with, not just paper range targets once every few months. I'd suggest handguns because they don't require as much room to redirect one's aim, and handguns are more easily used by most females. Most proponents of shotguns for home defense will tell you that at in-home distances, the pattern is still quite tight, and is not the "aim that-away, pull the trigger, and you'll get 'em" exercise that many folks envision. Many folks swear by their defensive, tactical shotgun, but have never actually patterned the weapon to see just what their pattern is, at the in-home distances they could be faced with.

    I don't advocate clearing your home with any weapon unless you know:

    how many intruders are involved
    are they armed, and how are they armed
    where in the house they are

    Cops may take a bit to arrive, but they will bring back-up with 'em that you don't have. Protect people with lethal force, but don't make yourself vulnerable for things that are most likely insured anyway.

    The firearm folks choose to use is highly subjective, but proficiency with whatever firearm you prefer, and having/practicing a defensive plan, will give the homeowner a serious advantage.
  6. Billythekid

    Billythekid Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    great advice, and well put jay.
  7. OlympicFox

    OlympicFox .410

    There's really no such thing as the BEST home defense firearm IMHO. There are a variety of possible home defense scenarios as well as varied home environs that can affect the choices. Since, we don't get to pick and choose the circumstances of the home defense scenario, we've opted to prepare ourselves for a variety of situations.

    1. Sig 1911 Ultra (3.25") in 45ACP or an S&W Shield in 9mm worn in a holster is his go-to gun during the day and evening.

    2. S&W 686 357 Mag in a small pistol safe mounted on the side of her rocker recliner is her daytime & evening go-to gun.

    3. Sig P226 Elite Stainless 40 S&W with light/strobe - his primary nightstand gun.

    4. Mossberg 590-A1 milspec 12-gauge - his alternate nightstand gun

    5. Mossberg 510 Mini 20-guage - her nightstand gun

    6. One 1911 is always ready in his safe and a Sig P220 in hers.

    In the event of a major disaster resulting in widespread "social problems" there is one loaded mag in each gun safe for the AR's.
  8. J.L. Latham

    J.L. Latham .22LR

    After a trip to the range, and after some basic safety training, and then after observing my lady friend actually handle and fire a variety of handguns from .22LR to .40 cal (all semi automatics), we opted for a Sig Sauer P238 (.380). The reasons were several - first she is a petite woman - about 5'6" tall and 105-110 pounds and once she moved into the 9mm or .40 cal weapons she had some obvious recoil control issues. Also she had trouble loading magazines on the compact sized 9mm (Glock 26) and .40 cal (Glock 27) pistols without a quickloader type aid. She was able to completely refill the Sig's 6-round magazine by hand, she had no trouble with the size of the grips, nor of putting bullets center mass at about 15 feet. And then, since Sig provides fashion accessory looks to some models, when she saw the P238 "Rainbow", she knew just what she wanted and I agreed it was probably the home defense weapon most suitable for her.

    So what went into our decision: finding a gun that was the 'right size' for her, that she could handle easily and safely, and use when the time comes without having to spend hours at the range becoming more intimate with it. She can get to it quickly - faster than going for a long gun of any type, and easier to maneuver in a small space, be it behind a bed or in a closet.

    As it turned out, I liked it so well that I replaced my own KelTec P-3AT with the "Extreme" version of the P238 as my pocket/backup carry pistol - fits very nicely in the front pocket of dress slacks or jeans.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  9. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    I have all three types...Handgun, Rifle, and Shotgun at the ready...for Home Defense

    Handgun: Glock 30SF in .45 caliber

    Rifle: Olympic Arms M4 in 5.56 caliber

    Shotgun: Mossberg 590a1 in 12 gauge
  10. Rob poston

    Rob poston .270 WIN

    For my home defense guns, I have a Judge loaded with an alternating .45lc/Winchester PDX1 .410 setup. I also have an Ithaca 37 20g pump, as well as a 1911.
  11. Rob poston

    Rob poston .270 WIN

    Personally, I do not endorse the use of a rifle for home defense, for several reasons (no offense to anybody who does use them for this purpose, mind you).
    First of all, a bullet will carry lethal energy from one room to another. If you were to engage your I.T. and miss, the bullet can carry through the sheetrock walls and kill the very people you are trying to protect. Shotgun loads greatly dissipate their energy, and even larger shot will lose a great majority of it's energy during wall penetratioon. Secondly, a rifle can be more cumbersome to swing around a tight house. Also, if you have a flashlight mounted on the firearm, you will give your location away to the intruder, whereas with a pistol, you can hold the flashlight away from you (as most law enforcement officers do), so that if the intruder were to target onto the flashlight, he/she will shoot beside you instead of a centermass shot. This can mean the difference between getting a lethal gut shot or getting a bullethole in the wall beside you. Lastly, if the fight gets down to a hand-to-hand battle, a rifle is rendered useless, whereas a pistol can be maintained to shoot the target, even in close hand-to-hand range.

    Best advice that I can give...
    See what feels the most comfortable to your scenario, then practice. Devise a bug-out plan for your family, as well as a central meeting location (safe place, so to speak). Know the entry points of your home, and the traps to avoid (interior rooms that may only have one egress location). As far as shotgun recoil goes, I wouldn't concern myself too terribly much with that. You can use 7 1/2-9 shot for your light load to practice with. 00BK will kick considerably more than the lighter field loads, but in an intense situation such as an intruder, you will not even notice recoil... your brain is tuned to a more important threat than the exerted force.
    SHOOTER13 likes this.
  12. TexasPete

    TexasPete .22LR

    My concern with the weapon choice in the house is how far will the rounds, slugs, shot travel? Anyone living in an area in close proximity to other dwellings needs to be aware of this. I had a roommate fire a 9mm through two interior walls and then exit the house still travelling at enough speed to dent someone's health record. In extremis, at night when many are home is not the time to be peppering the neighbors.
  13. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Nice Claymore...
  14. Rob poston

    Rob poston .270 WIN

    Ohhhhhhhh... that would be fun to shoot.....

    once. ;+)
  15. In The Ten Ring

    In The Ten Ring .270 WIN

    I live alone, no children, so I can do this pretty easily.

    I keep a loaded handgun in every room I spend a lot of time in. This includes the bathrooms although I don't spend a lot of time in there but also don't want to get caught with my pants literally down.

    All of my Ready Alert battery operate double action or single action, cocked and it's not hard to remember how they all work. I never answer the door without a weapon on my person, this includes when the pizza guy is due.

    I keep a powerful tactical flashlight and pistol on the nightstand.

    I have put in EZ Armor into all the door frames.....kicking one's way in will make a lot of noise.....

    A woman broke into a local house about two years ago. The homeowner ordered the invader to stop but she did not. The homeowner shot and killed her with a .357 Magnum revolver. The local sheriff went on the news about "defending one's house" and that was the end of that. We have Castle Doctrine here and it is against the law for an invader or his/her family to sue the victim.

    Now when I have non gun people or new girlfriends over I put up all the weapons (except what stays on me) but I almost never have non gun people over......just about all of my friends carry their own guns.
  16. Norske

    Norske .410

    If there is no option but shooting an intruder, I want a 73 caliber gun (12gauge) with 1 3/8 ounces of birdshot in each shell. The shotcup will hold the shot together across the largest room in our house, the shot can disperse after impact. Misses aren't likely to exit the walls of our wood-framed house, nor penetrate the walls of our neighbors' houses.
    Back when Rex Applegate was still alive, a budding gun writer was assigned an interview with him. The writer noticed a snubby 38 Special attached to the bottom of the coffee table. When asked about it, the Colonel showed the writer that he had one hidden in every room and along the hallway to the bedroom. The bedroom had a handy 12 gauge.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  17. Coyote56

    Coyote56 .410

    4E66B057-09F4-4ED1-9B8E-F11B5D6E8693.jpeg Mossberg 930. 12 gauge, #4 buckshot,
    Ranger6 likes this.
  18. Coyote56

    Coyote56 .410

    Finding a new home for the Mossberg. Great shotgun, just did not have the correct overall ergonomics for me.
    Enter, the Benelli M2. This is a file photo. Mine is on the FedEx truck today.
  19. Coyote56

    Coyote56 .410

    …And here it is. Will be bolting on some bling over the next couple weeks. Barrel clamp, sling, and forward rail for a flashlight will be the first additions.
    Probably a magazine extension sooner than later also.

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