The Best Weapon for Home Defense

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Okay, I know there are a lot of articles on the Internet about this. They're all over the place. I'll make you a deal: if you promise to stick with me to the end, I'll try and make this as light and pain free as possible.

This is just an overview, and I may discuss the pros and cons of each option in more exhaustive detail in the future, but let’s begin with basic introduction for now.

Home Defense Weapons

So you have purchased your first gun (or you are considering the purchase of your first gun) and your primary concern is home defense. Let's look at this practically...

(Note: At some point, I'll write an article about the concerns about keeping a gun in the home and/or away from children, but for now we're going to focus on the basics of selecting a weapon for home defense.)

Other Considerations

Shooting Inside 

Over penetration with rifles, shotguns and handguns are all a problem. (For the newbies among us: This is what happens to the projectile if it goes through your intended target.)

There are certain considerations if you live in an apartment, if you have neighbors nearby, children or other “not-want-to-shoot'ems” in nearby rooms and when I expand on these particular arms for self-defense in the home I will cover those things more clearly.  For now, be aware that overshooting can happen and it can be devastating.


Guns are loud! Have hearing protection stored next to it. I prefer the electronic kind because they allow you to hear what else is going on in the house. Always use hearing protection when practicing to improve your skill with any weapon.

A light mounted to any of these weapons is a great idea, since things sometimes go bump in the night, and a sleepwalking child, or a meandering pet is not your intended target.

So, Which Weapon is Best?

The one you have when you need it.

Handguns are more maneuverable/controllable but less effective, long guns are less maneuverable but more effective and the amount of compromise you're willing to put up with should determine which is the best for you.

The main thing is keep safety in mind, get proper training and in the unlikely event that you need to use it be absolutely sure before you pull the trigger.

How to determine the best home defense weapon from the options of: Handgun, Shotgun and Rifle.

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