When considering the safety of one’s home, the choice of a firearm for defense is a decision not to be taken lightly. It is a delicate balance between power, reliability, and ease of use. In this discussion, we aim to present an expert-curated selection of the top 7 firearms ideal for the purpose of home defense. These recommendations are designed to provide homeowners with effective tools to protect their sanctuary while ensuring the choices are suitable for a variety of skill levels and security needs.


Advantages of Shotguns for Home Defense

Shotguns are renowned for their formidable stopping power and the psychological deterrent they present. Their wide spread of shot makes them more forgiving in high-stress situations where precision might be compromised.

Best Type of Ammunition for Shotguns

For home defense purposes, experts often recommend using buckshot, as it provides a balance between stopping power and reduced risk of over-penetration, which is a crucial consideration in residential settings.

Expert Opinion on Shotguns

Many firearm experts endorse the shotgun as the quintessential home defense weapon due to its simplicity, reliability, and effectiveness at close range. It is especially highlighted for use by those with limited firearms training.


Advantages of Handguns for Home Defense

Handguns offer several advantages in the context of home defense: they are compact, easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and can be conveniently stored in a nightstand or a safe for quick accessibility. Their portability also aids in the safe and secure transportation within one’s residence, without sacrificing readiness.

Best Type of Handgun for Home Defense

For self-defense scenarios inside the home, experts often suggest a semi-automatic pistol in a caliber that balances stopping power with manageable recoil, such as the 9mm. Such firearms typically offer a higher capacity than revolvers, providing the homeowner with several rounds before needing to reload.

Expert Opinion on Handguns

Firearm experts advocate for handguns as a practical choice for home defense due to their portability, ease of handling, and the vast options for customization and practice. They underscore the importance of training and familiarization with one’s handgun to ensure effective use in a situation where defense becomes necessary.


Advantages of Rifles for Home Defense

Rifles, particularly those of the carbine variety, offer advantages in home defense scenarios through their increased accuracy and stopping power at range. Their longer sight radius and, in many cases, advanced sighting systems, make target acquisition more precise, an asset in the high-stress situation of defending one’s home.

Best Type of Rifle for Home Defense

For home defense, the choice of a rifle often leans towards those with a shorter barrel, such as carbines in intermediate calibers. The AR-15 platform, chambered in .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO, is frequently cited due to its ease of handling, low recoil, and customization options that cater to specific needs and preferences of the homeowner.

Expert Opinion on Rifles

Many experts consider the modern sporting rifle to be extremely capable as a home defense weapon. They point out that, with proper training, rifles can be as easy to handle as handguns but offer significantly more firepower. Experts emphasize the importance of responsible usage, secure storage, and continuous, comprehensive training to ensure that the defender can safely and effectively employ a rifle in a defensive role.

Submachine Gun

Advantages of Submachine Guns for Home Defense

Submachine guns, firing pistol-caliber rounds, offer a unique combination of high-capacity magazines and automatic fire capabilities. They provide ease of maneuverability in the confined spaces of a home and can deliver rapid multiple shots to neutralize a threat quickly and efficiently.

Considerations for Home Defense

However, submachine guns can be heavily regulated and may not be readily available or practical for all homeowners. Furthermore, their automatic fire capability requires discipline and practice to avoid over-penetration and collateral damage within the home environment.

Expert Opinion on Submachine Guns

Experts typically view submachine guns as specialized weapons that may exceed the needs of standard home defense scenarios. They advocate that while they have certain advantages, the legal, ethical, and practical implications of using such weapons for home defense should be carefully weighed. For those trained and legally able to own and operate submachine guns, they can be a formidable part of a home defense strategy, but for the average homeowner, experts suggest more conventional firearms that are easier to handle and less controversial.


Advantages of Revolvers for Home Defense

Revolvers are praised for their mechanical simplicity and reliability, making them an excellent choice for home defense. Their straightforward operation is user-friendly, and they are less likely to jam or malfunction compared to more complex firearms.

Best Use Case for a Revolver in Home Defense

Revolvers are best suited for homeowners who desire a dependable, low-maintenance option for home defense. They are ideal for close-range encounters where the simplicity of use and the reliability of the firearm are paramount.

Expert Opinion on Revolvers

Experts value revolvers as a viable home defense weapon, particularly for those who may not be as experienced with firearms. The expert consensus is that while revolvers have a lower capacity than semi-automatic pistols, their ease of use and dependability make up for it, ensuring that homeowners can wield them effectively in stressful situations.

Pistol-Caliber Carbine

Advantages of Pistol-Caliber Carbines for Home Defense

Pistol-caliber carbines (PCCs) bring the best of two worlds by marrying the ease of handling and control of a rifle with the lower recoil and noise levels of handgun calibers. They are more accurate than handguns at distances relevant to home defense and are less intimidating for novice shooters to operate effectively.

Considerations for Home Defense

PCCs, while offering a reduced recoil experience and higher capacity magazines, can still pose challenges such as over-penetration in a residential environment. As with any home defense weapon, the choice of ammunition and awareness of the home’s layout and potential backstops are critical considerations.

Expert Opinion on Pistol-Caliber Carbines

Firearm experts often recognize PCCs as a versatile and user-friendly option for home defense. Their appreciation for PCCs is tied to their adaptability to shooters of various skill levels, reduced recoil, and the shooting comfort they provide. Nonetheless, experts caution that as with all defensive tools, proper training and understanding of the weapon’s capabilities and limitations are vital to effective home defense preparation.

Personal Defense Weapon (PDW)

Advantages of PDWs for Home Defense

Personal Defense Weapons (PDWs) are designed for close-quarter combat situations, which makes them suitable for home defense applications. They offer a compact form factor combined with the stopping power more traditionally associated with rifle rounds, which can be beneficial in the confines of a residential setting.

Best Scenarios for Home Defense

PDWs excel in situations where maneuverability and ease of handling are key due to their small size. They are particularly advantageous for individuals with limited space or the need to move between rooms and corridors. Additionally, PDWs can be an excellent choice for users who require a high rate of fire and capacity in volatile home defense situations.

Expert Opinion on PDWs

Firearm experts recognize the PDW as a niche weapon with specific advantages in certain defensive scenarios, particularly where engagement at close range with multiple threats is expected. However, they often highlight the necessity for specialized training to handle the PDW effectively. Experts remind potential users that while PDWs can provide significant firepower, the associated noise, potential for wall penetration, and recoil management must be factored into their decision-making process.