Best Firearms and Guns For Self and Home Defense w. Pics.

It is commonly said that the first rule of gunfights is to bring your gun, so any home defense firearm is much better than none. But some guns are better for the gun fight purpose than others. Following is a an examination and guide to selecting the best gun for self and home defense for you.
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It is commonly said that the first rule of gunfights is to bring your gun, so any home defense firearm is much better than none. But some guns are better for the gun fight purpose than others. Following is a an examination and guide to selecting the best gun for self and home defense for you.

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Rifles

A .22 caliber target or hunting rifle is better than nothing, but like any rifle the weapon is unwieldy. And most .22 rimfire rifles are under powered for the purpose of home and personal defense. Human beings are much larger than the game generally shot with a .22. Any rifle is somewhat easy for an intruder to grab at a close range, and the long barrel of a rifle gives an intruder plenty of leverage to take the gun away from the defender and homeowner. A violent criminal will readily turn a rifle on the homeowner.

Centerfire rifles are also generally unwieldy and difficult to retain in a struggle with an intruder. These weapons generally have plenty of power, particularly the common deer rifle. In fact, the weapons have way too much power and offer an extreme risk of over penetration in suburban and urban areas. The weapons thus represent an unacceptable hazard to innocent bystanders and neighbors.

If a rifle is the only available firearm for your situation, a relatively low powered, carbine length rifle is probably the best choice. A Winchester or Marlin lever action carbine weapon chambered for a pistol cartridge (.357 Magnum, .44 Magnum) would fit well, as would a military surplus M1 Carbine. These weapons would also be satisfactory choices to defend a neighborhood during a small riot or other civil insurrection. Use bullets manufactured for quick expansion.


Marlin with Lever Action

Rifles such as a lever action .30-30 rifle or Ruger Ranch Rifle would be a sensible choice weapon outdoors for defending farm or ranch property from two or four legged predatory animals. For defensive use inside the home, particularly in populated areas, there are much better choices than a rifle.

Shotguns

Shotguns, in particular the short barreled type familiarly known as "riot guns," can be quite effective for home defense. These shotguns generally come with 18"-20" barrels. The firearms are extremely intimidating to an intruder. No sane individual wants to argue with a shotgun.

12 gauge pump guns are generally the most popular type of riot gun, but a double-barreled "coach gun" or autoloader will also serve the purpose, as will similar guns in 16 or 20 gauge range. Small bore 28 and .410 bore guns do not pack enough power and should be avoided for home defense. Good examples of pump action short barreled riot guns are the security versions of the popular Mossberg Models 500 and 590, and the Remington Model 870.


Mossberg 500

Shotgun slug loads involve the same risk of extreme over penetration as a centerfire rifle, and should be reserved for use outdoors when possible. Shot and buckshot loads considerably reduce that risk of over penetration. However, shot loads will do substantial and often unacceptable damage inside the home in which they are fired.

Similar to rifles, shotguns are unwieldy weapons indoors and are may be seized by an intruder. Replacing the buttstock with a pistol grip makes a shotgun more easy to handle in tight spaces. It has been found that particularly true onboard a boat. Pachmayr makes a solid replacement pistol grip for the most common brands of shotguns, and many Mossberg security models come with both pistol grip and standard buttstocks. Remember that you still have to aim carefully to hit a target. Never fire a shotgun from the hip!

A shotgun would seem to be an exceptional choice for sweeping rioters from the front porch steps throughout a civil insurrection, but for defense within the home a handgun is probably a better choice. However, a riot gun is a solid back-up weapon if the situation gets out of control.

Handguns


Smith and Wesson M&P

A handgun is extremely userful indoors and can be conveniently concealed almost anywhere within the home, ready for use. A handgun is the easiest of all guns to hold onto during a struggle with an intruder. The handgun can be fired from either hand in an emergency situation easily. (This is especially true of revolvers). Revolvers and Centrefire pistols from approximately 9mm/.38 caliber on up, assuming correct ammunition is chosen, offer solid stopping power for indoor home defense without the high risk of over penetration of a shotgun stuffed with slugs or deer rifle. They are much less likely to severely damage the home you are trying to protect than a shotgun. For all of these significant reasons handguns are the first and ideal choice of the majority of experts for home defense.

Of the various types of handguns on the market, only revolvers and autoloading pistols should be considered for home and personal defense. Service type handguns are the typical, and first or best, choices. These usually come equipped with better sights and are easier to shoot much more accurately than the smaller, lighter handguns specifically designed primarily for concealed carry.

Autoloading pistols

Modern examples of service style autoloaders good for home defense include the the Ruger P series, Beretta M92 series, SIG P229 and P239, and the Compact and Full-Sized Glock pistols. All of these weapons are double action or safe action pistols that can be easily and safely stored with the chamber loaded and the safety (if present) conveniently off. If the whistle blows it is not necessary to manually cycle the action or manipulate a safety on the weapon, just pull the trigger and the gun will fire almost without fail. In this the weapons are much like a double action revolver.


Glock 19

Autoloaders hold more cartridges than the common revolver, typically about 10 rounds, and are much faster to reload if a pre-loaded magazine is handy. However, autoloaders are generally very slow to reload from a box of loose cartridges--the situation if present that usually pertains if a homeowner shoots his or her pistol completely empty. An autoloader can deliver very precise rapid fire, but remember that you can never miss fast enough to win a gunfight.

Autoloading pistols are more likely however not common to jam than a revolver, particularly if fired through some type of cloth, say from under a bathrobe in a quick and sudden emergency, from an unusual orientation (upside down for instance), or with a shocked "limp wrist" (insecure hold). The autoloader has one other very significant drawback: the weapon is magazine fed and the spring within a loaded magazine is tightly compressed. Magazines should be rotated regularly and often. The spring in a loaded magazine left unattended for a long period of time may take a "set" position and then lack the pressure to reliably feed cartridges to the pistol, causing a jam.


HK USP

If an autoloading pistol is used for home defense we would choose one chambered for the 9mm Luger (9x19) cartridge. Given proper ammunition, the weapon firing the 9x19 offers excellent stopping power with low muzzle flash and recoil compared to that of the popular big bore pistol cartridges (.40 S&W and .45 ACP).

A high quality autoloader in this caliber, owned and maintained by an experienced shooter, is an excellent good home defense weapon. It is perhaps not so good for the general user who is not a recreational shooter.

Revolvers

One of the top choices for a home defense gun is a revolver. Revolvers usually hold six cartridges, but some can hold more. Revolvers are ambidextrous to shoot. Perhaps best of all, the revolver can sit fully loaded and untouched for decades, as all springs are normally at rest, and still be ready to be fired or to go into service at a moment's notice. Just grab the gun and commence firing should any need arise.

Medium size revolvers, this type is generally favored for home defense, and come in two action styles, double action and single action. The difference is that the single action (SA) revolver must be manually cocked by the user before the trigger will fire the weapon. These are the traditional and first "western" style guns, such as the Colt Single Action Army and Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero model revolvers. Such guns are slow to reload, but extremely powerful, accurate and deadly.


Colt Single Action

Somewhat like autoloading pistols, single action revolvers are regarded as an entirely satisfactory choice for home defense, particularly for experienced shooters of weapons, but not the best choice for the casual user.

The all-around premier choice among firearms for home defense is the double action (DA) revolver. These weapons are the typical "police" style revolvers, such as the popular Colt Python, Ruger GP100, or the Smith and Wesson Model 10 (M&P) Military and Police. Double action revolvers may be thumb cocked at a moments notice, just like a single action revolver, and then fired by a light pressure on the light trigger. This is generally referred to as shooting a double action in "single action," and it is the most accurate way to deliver aimed fire at an intruder. They may also be fired by a single long pull on the heavier trigger, which first cocks and then releases the weapon's hammer (trigger cocking or "double action" shooting).


Colt Python

Trigger cocking of the revolver requires a longer and much heavier trigger pull, but it is quick and fast. Shots from this weapon can be delivered as rapidly as from most autoloading pistol. The weapon is sufficiently accurate for close range shooting of an intruder (out to perhaps 7 yards) in trained hands.

Double action revolvers are very reliable, safe, simple to operate, relatively easy to shoot accurately, and extremely difficult to jam. The weapons can be reloaded very quickly if a speed loader is employed, and are extremely easy to reload from a box of loose cartridges should that become necessary in the heat of the moment. For the average homeowner as well as the expert gun shooter, a DA revolver is hard to beat for home and self defense.

The 4" barrel on the revolver is generally the best compromise for a home defense handgun. The shortest barrel recommended for a home defense revolver is 2.5", and the longest 6".

The .38 Special is preferred over the smaller revolver cartridges due to the weapons superior stopping power, and to much larger cartridges, such as the various Magnums on the market, because it produces less flash and muzzle blast, an important consideration in dim light and indoors.

Conclusion

Whatever gun is chosen for home and self defense, take the time to become familiar with the weapon. Make it a point to practice with the weapon at reasonable intervals. A firearm can potentially save your life and the lives of your precious family. But the firearm per-se that gets the job done, it is the experience and confidence of the person behind it. Determination and skill, reinforced by regular practice, will prove very valuable. Remember the quote of Bill Jordan, "there is no second place winner in a gunfight."

Let Us Know About Your Experiences With Your Home and Self Defense Firearm Below?

28 Comments

6 years 8 weeks ago, 6:28 PM

dangersgoods@msn.com

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As an experienced long gun user, I found that the information found here was extremely useful. For the first time hand gun purchaser, this well explained and detailed information has narrowed my decision down substantially. It has given me a better and safer understanding on what is needed for my needs. Hope to see you out on the shooting range soon. Thank you!

5 years 42 weeks ago, 6:00 PM

Anonymous

mossberg 590 12guage

For home protection, the buck stops here, as well as the intruder. I own this 8/1 home defense weapon and i can honestly says i would put my life behind this weapon beyond all others. Ive never had a jam or misfead after thousands of rounds and the 590 feeds anything at any time. Nothing beats a high capacity shotgun because of stopping power as well as the short size of the barrel. For those worried about the recoil from a weapon this powerful, a new stock has hit the market and it is as advertised. Knoxx recoil solutions SpecOps Stock with Powerpack attachment is the end all to ur recoil problems. Buy it and fire 9 rounds of 3in 00-Magnum rnds or even slugs and feel the results. The turnaround on your shots will be unreal and u will be amazed with your speed and accuracy. If u happen to run out of ammo (i.e. u start a war with a small country) five ready rounds wait for your shotgun in the powerpack shot holder. Just remember, you or your family's lives are at stake so dont fool around.

5 years 42 weeks ago, 9:34 PM

silvergryfon

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home defense

I bought a mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun years ago. It came with a riot barrel complete with heat shield and pistol grip. It became my home defense gun because the wife could hit with it. Loaded it with 00 buck, slug, and #4 buck. Seems like that should do the trick for me. What do you think?

5 years 42 weeks ago, 10:05 PM

sarge225

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i agree, a shotgun is a wonderful weapon, very effective.

5 years 30 weeks ago, 6:34 AM

rhager24

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yeah, but

In the close quarters danger, a pistol is the way to take care of the problem. .45ACP SIGP220

4 years 36 weeks ago, 1:24 AM

AntNTx

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I agree, in a few weeks or so I'm trading my G30 for a Sig P220 Carry...

5 years 37 weeks ago, 3:47 PM

Anonymous

home defense

for me home defense means not only your home but your property i have 20 acres so i can tend to be busy, in the house we use a mossberg 500 or my 41 action express and the wife likes her .380 i like my 22 mag and my sks though for the property i either pick my 270 savage or my sks plus my 41

5 years 37 weeks ago, 4:21 PM

craigman9mm

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Home defense

I my self have had a number of firearms for home defense and of course offensive weapons, including handguns.My current weapon is a modified mossberg 500 pump. Very versatile weapon. Slugs,buckshot for any situation at hand. If i have to grab and go with only one weapon,one weapon only it would have to be my 12ga. I have LE buck shot federal,00 buck with flight control wad. You get fist size hole up to 30 yards plus.This stuff dosen't spread untill it hits it target. If any of you out there had one weapon to grab what would be your choice?

5 years 37 weeks ago, 6:10 PM

Anonymous

what gun to grab?

I would grab my 1943 russian sks that is set up with a syn. folder,I also carry in my boogy bag 100 rounds of AP and 100 rounds of 123 gr romanian ammo plus my h&r 22 mag single action is in there with 100 rounds of hornady hp with a hundred rounds of 270 win. handloads so i guess i grag two rifles darn give a guy a break

5 years 30 weeks ago, 6:37 AM

rhager24

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yeah, I agree

If you need to go outside your house to defend it, then if you can keep your sidearm with you, do it. For outside use when the target may be some distance away, I would grab a bushmaster AR (6.8mm) It has much more stopping power than the 5.56mm NATO round and if you got a couple 30 round mags, that should be plenty of heat. Also look into a bushmaster .450! Then again you shotgun fans can never go wrong with a 12 gauge. The only issue I have with shotguns is that they don't have the long range effectiveness that you get with a rifle.

5 years 30 weeks ago, 5:02 PM

craigman9mm

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That's why they make slugs. 50-75 yards out is good enough for me, anything beyond that is not a threat.

5 years 34 weeks ago, 8:21 PM

Redneck_Outlaw

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I believe any gun can be effective if you know it's limitations and our proficent in it's use for me I am comfortable with either my 94 30-30 or my heritage rough rider 22wmr but for women in most cases I believe a shootgun is most efective as far as a 410 not being effective I do not agree a 410 3in 00 buck shell across a room can be very effective that is what my ex had by her bed and was very confident in it's use as she was small framed and my 12ga was a little intimidating for her.

5 years 30 weeks ago, 6:54 AM

chapiro1269

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mossberg 500 persuader

i bought a mossberg 500 model for home protection and i believe thats a good choice , its devestating , i think that would do it, what you think??

5 years 30 weeks ago, 8:04 AM

Pkato

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but in reality, if I had to grab just one weapon, if possible, it would be this one: Automatic Shotgun, AA-12

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/guns/recoilless-auto-shotgun-fires-300-rounds...

Patrolman Kato

Patrolman Kato
Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.
They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone
under independence. -- George Washington
5 years 30 weeks ago, 8:13 AM

skeeter51

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badass

That AA-12 is badass! I saw it on that show futureweapons and they tore some stuff up with it.

"Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies." Thomas Jefferson---------------------------------------------------------- Happiness is a beer in one hand and a gun in the other!
5 years 30 weeks ago, 5:08 PM

Reaper308

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AA-12

i must agree, the AA-12 will take out any thing within a couple hundred yds. that thing is sweet!

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
5 years 28 weeks ago, 5:36 PM

J Caravano

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the AA-12 is a very nice and very powerful,but a bit over kill for inside the home your tryin to protect,not reck it

5 years 28 weeks ago, 5:41 PM

J Caravano

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Home protection

for the first time buyer I would agree with a nice 9mm semiauto with hollow point ammo will be all you need,to do the trick. There are some nice ones out there that were mentioned earler, and not to expentive.

5 years 28 weeks ago, 5:44 PM

J Caravano

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Shot gun

I also like mosburg 500 peruader, and the cuirser perfect for the house. and other places.

5 years 28 weeks ago, 5:47 PM

Ebear

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ALLTHOUGH I KINDA AGREE ABOUT THE 9 MIL.ONCE YOU SHOOT A .45 YOU REALLY WANT ONE. AND YOU CAN'T QUESTION THE STOPPING POWER.I'VE GOT A 9 BUT NOW I REALLY WANT A .45

...check... G-AZ
3 years 13 weeks ago, 6:15 PM

KS101010

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What is that the chick in the top pic is holding? Looks like a Beretta of some kind but something looks off? Any ideas?

2 years 37 weeks ago, 6:38 PM

bt1970

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This is an article written by chuck hawks on his website, yet I don't see his name anywhere. maybe I missed it.

2 years 37 weeks ago, 9:54 PM

Ishootdaily

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I've seen it or dirivatives of it so many times I couldn't tell you who wrote it first but I do remember reading it in Guns and Ammo a few years back and Chuck Hawks was not the author.

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
1 year 40 weeks ago, 11:25 PM

bootstraps

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Home Defense Gun

I have shot many guns and rifles in my quest to find the answer of which gun is best for home defense. I like many that I have taken out and shot. Some have more power, some simpler, some faster, some lighter , etc.. Its really a personal preference of what you like and what you can handle. But, what really made my choice for me was what my wife and my children could handle as well as what can get the job done. So, not only have I gone out and shot a variety of rifles and pistols, but I took my family out to do the same...(home defense does not only apply to you Dad---those wives and kids may be the ones that are put in a situation to do the defending) and in extreme cases you may need your wife and/or kids to get your back. So, based on my layman experimentation I have my choice down to 2 guns. First one, a junior sized 20 gauge shotgun loaded with #2 or #3 buckshot. The gun is short and light, Wifey and kids could handle with ease. Recoil minimal and sound is loud enough to also help in the discouraging factor of home invaders. Loaded with #2 or #3, ballistic power and physical damage is also very discouraging to aforementioned home invader. The second is 38 special revolver. Its simple, it has power and recoil is minimal, especially loaded with proper ammo.Its light and both wife and kids could wield easily. Hollow point , high velocity, low recoil ammo will do the job.

14 weeks 8 hours ago, 2:31 PM

maverickjohn

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Home Defense Firearm

I read an article that said, first rule of a gunfight, is never go unless your weapon starts with 40 or better. I know that isn't true, totally. I think the best is a .45acp. Lots of stopping power, won't go through all the walls. And is a proven caliber. I am very fond of the Colt 1911A1. Time tested. And the series 70 & 80s are tight, and accurate. 185gr Hydro shock by Federal is a very good combination. That's just my opinion. The .45acp was also my T.O. weapon in the Marines.

Maverickjohn, Once a Marine, Always a Marine, Semper Fi
14 weeks 6 hours ago, 4:15 PM

captmax

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Home Defense

When my rottie gets done with them, I can pretty much use any gun at my disposal. Having said that, I agree about the 45, my sig even has glow in the dark sights.

Each election is an advance auction on the sale of stolen goods
13 weeks 6 days ago, 3:18 AM

tallguy007

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45 acp

true but it is ammo to and mine goes BOOOM when it hits........hollow point with jell in it i got on line.........................

DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR
13 weeks 6 days ago, 7:58 AM

captmax

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Ammo

I keep the zombie rounds in my handguns for home defense.

Each election is an advance auction on the sale of stolen goods

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