A popular reason for people to get a firearm is home defense, and many of us sell that to our significant others as to why we bought a gun or twelve…however, what is the best option? I would argue that like all things, it depends, but I want to give you my top three and some pros and cons to each.
The first on my list is the shotgun, which is a simple answer but is much more complex than most realize. First, there are a few different types, lengths, and calibers (gauges) of a shotgun to consider. I would recommend a shorter shotgun, anywhere between the minimum legal length (18 inches), to about 20 inches, because of the need to potentially use it to clear a room, and it is easier to manipulate versus a larger hunting shotgun that is closer to 28”. Second, I would look for one with a magazine, not detachable, but one that can hold four or more rounds, as it gives you forgiveness if you miss, which happens in a stressful situation. Finally, I would stay in the 12 gauge or 20 gauge category, as they are the most common to find ammunition for, as well as they, offer the most varieties. Speaking to ammo, be sure to look at your dwelling and see if over-penetration is an issue. A 12ga slug is a great man stopper but can go through a lot of walls before they stop, which could increase the risk of hitting someone or something you don’t mean to hit.
Second is a reliable handgun, preferably in a caliber that you can easily absorb the recoil from shooting. I am a little less prescriptive on the type, be it revolver or semi-automatic, but more concerned with the ability to handle the weapon. I would lean more towards firearms that can be accessorized with either a light (preferred) or laser, as they aid in low-light
scenarios. Just remember that those capabilities can lead the intended target to your location. I would recommend anything over a .380 but would not go much higher than .45ACP due to over-penetration, recoil, and muzzle blast, which can be awful in a closed environment.
Finally, any carbine length, carbine caliber rifle, by which I mean a rifle that tends to be on the shorter end, 16 inches, that fires an intermediate cartridge versus a full-power cartridge. This description would mean something like a .223/5.56 or 30 carbine round with some stopping power, but the risk of over-penetration would be much less than a 30-06. This requirement also should allow for faster follow-up shots, less noise/concussion, which is disorienting at night, and many of those firearms have a higher magazine capacity. I also wouldn’t be opposed to a lever-action rifle in a pistol caliber or 30-30 as they are both effective within the confines of a home. Still, they have a downside of being more difficult to reload without significant practice.
Also be sure to check out JM4 Tactical for your holster needs!
Author: Ian Bolser