Let’s face it:
Using a baseball bat or your night stand lamp as your go-to home defense weapon isn’t going to do jack.
If you’re truly serious about protecting yourself (and your family) from home invaders, you need to get yourself a firearm. More specifically, a solid home defense firearm.
And today, I’m going to show you the top 5 home defense firearms on the market right now. Let’s get started!
Type of Weapon
When it comes to home defense, your weapon choice breaks down into one of three categories:
All three have pros and cons for use in home defense situations. Here is a quick breakdown before we get to specific weapons.
Pros: If you want to overpower your intruder, get a rifle. Rifles are super accurate — especially if you use a red dot like a Fastfire 3 or Venom, low recoil (depending on your caliber), customizable, and could easily take on multi-intruders.
Cons: Rifles are heavy, easier to disarm (due to barrel size), harder to control (requires both hands), and decreases maneuverability (harder to move in small spaces).
Pros: Stopping Power. Shotguns are powerful short-range weapons that are intimidating and actually affordable.
Cons: Heavy, short-range use only, not precise (due to spread), strong kick, and shorter magazine (around 5-6 rounds).
Pros: Proximity. If you want a weapon to use in tighter spaces, a handgun is your best choice. Small and compact, they can be kept by your bedside for easy access. Handguns are best for tight spaces and encounters of no more than 10 yards away.
Cons: Firepower. Handguns have less power than either of the two long-gun options. They also tend to hold fewer rounds than rifles, making it necessary to have backup magazines at the ready.
Top 5 Firearms for Home Defense
Here’s the deal:
Whatever gun you practice the most with is your go-to home defense weapon. For example, if all you shoot at the range is a Glock 19, then that’s your best home defense firearm. Likewise, if you only practice with a Just Right .45 ACP Carbine, then that’s the right gun for you.
Because when you’re facing a home intruder, you’re going to be stressed the hell out. Your brain will literally shut off due to high-levels of circulating cortisol.
The only thing that’ll save you is your firearm training (and home-invasion simulations). So choose a gun you’re proficient with and use it. That said, here the five best home defense firearms on the market…
1. Glock 19 Handgun
The Glock 19 is your best bet when it comes to a mid-range handgun for home defense. With a 9mm cartridge and a 15-round magazine, this gun gives you plenty of firepower for those close encounters. Weighing 3.5 pounds, you’ll want to invest plenty of time practicing at a firing range to get a feel how the gun handles. Adjustable for left- or right-hand shooters, the Glock 19 is easy to operate and maintain. They cost around $550 at major retailers such as Bass Pro Shop.
2. Smith and Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 Handgun
If you’re looking for a lighter gun that is easier to handle and can double as a concealed carry weapon, the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 is your gun. With all the expected qualities of a Smith and Wesson firearm, this gun provides accuracy, reliability, and ease of use. Its lighter weight does mean less ammo, however. It tops out at eight rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Coming in right around $450, this is an excellent option for a lighter-carry handgun.
3. Remington 870 Shotgun
The Remington 870 is a classic shotgun used by civilians, police, and military forces around the world. This pump-action shotgun has a capacity of 4+1, weighs a little over 7 pounds, and boasts a smooth firing and cycling action. This model starts at $330 and tops out around $370, making it a budget-friendly purchase. Easy to learn and easy to use, the Remington 870 is perfect for seasoned gun owners or first-time buyers looking to purchase a weapon for home defense.
4. Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun
For a high-end shotgun that comes with all the bells and whistles, you can’t get much better than the Beretta 1301 Tactical. Designed for law enforcement and home defense, this semi-automatic shotgun works well in tighter spaces common to home defense scenarios. Beretta’s BLINK gas operating system has been installed, making it the fastest cycling shotgun available. Fully adjustable to any shooter’s body type and posture, the Beretta 1301 Tactical is the home defense weapon of choice if money isn’t an issue.
5. Armalite M-15 Tactical Rifle
Commonly known as the AR-15, this reliable semi-automatic weapon is your go-to rifle for home defense. Weighing six pounds with a 30+1 ammunition capacity, this weapon can be wielded by almost any shooter. Crafted for tactical situations, you can’t go wrong if you want a long-range weapon that can also be used in tight quarters. Use an AR-15 scope or red dot sight and you’ve got yourself a beast. However, the AR-15 is a bit harder on the budget, ranging anywhere from $930-$1,000.
Whether you choose a handgun, shotgun, or rifle, you can’t go wrong with any of these. Be sure to purchase a weapon that you are comfortable using and dedicated to learning. A weapon that isn’t accessible or able to be used is the same as having no weapon at all. Weigh your options, decide which weapon is best for you, and be sure to practice with it regularly.
Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared on large publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.