The Best Home Defense Firearm. When I first got interested in home defense in mid 2009 I had no idea what I wanted or needed as a home defense weapon. Online research led me to the Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun. I hadn’t owned the shotgun for a couple weeks before I decided I wanted a handgun for versatility, backup, and to augment my home defense preparedness. The research for a handgun yielded the Glock 17 as the most popular handgun, used by more law enforcement, government agencies, and military organizations than any other firearm because of its reputation for reliability, ease of operation, and ease of maintenance.
So now I had a shotgun and a pistol as my home defense arsenal. That was well over a year ago now. Since then I have purchased 3 shotguns, six rifles, and 14 handguns. I have shot about 10,000 rounds at the range and have been learning and practicing along the way.
At the start I felt the shotgun was the ultimate weapon for home defense when it comes to best home defense guns. I still feel that my Remington 870 is a prime home defense firearm, but with the experience gained and knowing what I know now, I would grab a pistol at the first indication of a home intrusion. The only disadvantage to a shotgun is that it is a long gun. A long gun is not as maneuverable as a handgun. The advantage to the shotgun is the power. No other weapon has the stopping power of a 12 gauge shotgun using #4 shot or 00 buck shot. Accuracy is still a requirement. Myth has it that you can just shoot a shotgun in the general direction and hit the target. Not true! A shotgun load spreads at about 1 1/2 inches per yard of distance from the target. at 12′ the spread would be about 5 to 6 inches. At 21 feet the spread is about 10 inches more or less. Even at 45 feet my shotgun pattern is only about 20 to 24 inches. This means that you better be aiming that shotgun right at the target or all you’re going to shoot is furniture.
There is something to be said for the psychological impact that a 12 gauge shotgun has. The sight of it instills terror into most people, and the sound of a Remington 870 racking a round into the chamber sends a formidable message. With all those pluses I will still pick up a pistol to use inside the house instead of the shotgun as one of my best home defense weapons of choice.
I have many high quality pistols from which to choose, including one revolver. Out of the 14 handguns I own, guns for home defense, and guns for personal defense, I would pick up my Glock 21SF in .45 ACP as first choice for best home defense firearm, or perhaps the Smith & Wesson 686 Plus .357 magnum revolver. These are large size handguns, too big for comfortable concealed carry weapons. But in the home defense scenario large size is not a factor in gun selection. When and if the home defense situation arises, I’ll grab a big gun and hold it in my hands at the ready. That handgun along with a light is quick to grab and easy to maneuver.
Why the Glock 21SF? First it is a Glock, so it is reliable, it is accurate, it is .45 ACP so it makes big holes, and it holds 13 + 1 rounds so it has capacity. The Glock is also very simple to operate in an adrenaline pumping home defense, self defense situation. Why the light? Target identification. You can’t shoot until the target is identified.
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