Question of the Day: Home Defense…Pistol, Rifle or Shotgun?

m4-tactical-shotgun-pistol-12-gauge

Over at ammoland.com, Tom McHale has a little trigger time with Beretta products and asks which firearms is best for home defense: pistol, rifle or shotgun? McHale gives options, not answers. My answer is simple – pistol – for the reasons that McHale provides: “The big plus is portability. Not only can you fire it effectively with one hand, that same one-hand benefit allows you do to things in a home defense situation like hold a light, child or cell phone – not to mention tasks like opening doors.” One caveat: a pistol is the first line of defense. Once you assume a defensive position, it’s shotgun all the way (I recommend electronic ear pro and an admonition to friendlies to plug their ears). Am I right?

comments

  1. avatar Red in Texas says:

    If I have to fight my way/retreat to a long gun, in my own home, the odds are definitely not in my favor. KISS rules for me. Hi-cap pistol, with a suppressor.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Man that makes me want to put a can on my M&P for the ideal setup, sounds great.

      1. avatar Red in Texas says:

        I’m more than happy with it. The hardest part is carrying it around the house, I have to remove it from the holster to sit down. I got to shoot it inside an abandoned ranch house the other day, without any ear pro. It wasn’t bad at all, but hope that test run is the only time it gets used indoors again. Big rats don’t stand a chance against 147 TAP. 😀

  2. avatar MotoJB says:

    My Glock 21 with light is the perfect home defense tool…with my AR pistol as the defensive position backup. The shotgun is still too large IMO.

  3. avatar Salvatore says:

    The pistol, in my opinion, should be the first option as it is faster to deploy and more portable. A staged long gun is good as an option once everyone is in the safe room. Home invasions happen fast though and I beleive the handgun is by far the most likely candidate to actually be used. IF there is advanced warning, which is unlikely in the civillian world, I would prefer to be holding my 12 gauge.

  4. avatar Bill C in w. tx. says:

    Phalanx CIWS, or don’t bother.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Too much danger of slipping and falling down on the empty brass.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        They have a ‘catch’ bag for the brass…

        But they are really bad for your hearing without muffs on…

        The real question is:Inside or outside the waistband?

        1. avatar Matt says:

          I hate to reignite the whole caliber debate but, well…a 20mm cannon is just going to make the bad guys mad. When the chips are down I wouldn’t trust my life and the security of my home to anything but a 35mm revolver gun.

        2. avatar Marc says:

          Shoulder holster. That thing stands a good chance of pulling your pants down.

        3. avatar JWM says:

          If you carry inside the waistband and have to let off a long burst, make sure you wait an appropriate amount of time before returning it into your waistband.

          Spontaneous combustion of the junk hair would be all bad.

  5. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    SHOTGUN…and if you want to notify the bad guy by racking it go ahead. I provide no such warning.

  6. avatar pod says:

    Depends on your home. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

    My place has narrow hallways and staircases, making utilizing a rifle or shotgun a losing proposition. So for me, it’s pistols. I haven’t accounted for SBRs or SBSs though – but I am constructing one of the former, which may be a viable option for HD.

  7. avatar Mike in NC says:

    I’d be very interested in a brace-equipped AR pistol in 300BLK loaded with heavy subsonics.

    Pistol is it for now though. EDC means home carry too.

    1. avatar MoveableDo says:

      And a suppressor, of course! Octane 45 would be perfect!

  8. avatar Texsylvanian says:

    Glock 19 with an X300, 4 lb disconnect, Heinie straight eight sights and a factory 33 round mag on the nightstand to get me to the tactical walls shelf housing an LMT MRP 10.5″ SBR with an AAC 5.56 SD and Surefire mini scout/pressure switch. Space permitting in the shelf I intend to invest in a magpul 60 round drum. Weapons loaded with speer gold dots and hornday 75 grain BTHP TAP, respectively.

    1. avatar Texsylvanian says:

      Would like to add: I concur with salvatore above. The pistol is my primary. The SBR is a time-and-distance-permitting option.

      Pistols are excellent indoor weapons.

    2. avatar MoveableDo says:

      Seems to me that a supersonic round, especially in a short barrel config, is NOT going to be fun indoors…even when suppressed!!

      1. avatar Texsylvanian says:

        A secondary concern. First concern being lethality.

  9. avatar Steve says:

    Large frame, heavy caliber pistol with extra mags. That’ll do the trick.

  10. avatar Gunr says:

    Pistol for sure, in most cases, where an intruder is already in your home. Rifle or shotgun just too big.
    That said, a rifle or shotgun should also be in the home, in case you have someone on your property, or someone is banging on the door, looking like he about ready to bash it down.
    A Taurus Judge might be a good choice. A 3″ 410 is nothing to sneeze at at close range!

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      In other words …

      Question of the Day: Home Defense…Pistol, Rifle or Shotgun?

      Answer: YES

  11. avatar pwrserge says:

    I’d say a .45 ACP pistol with a nice load for the sphincter tightening moments, SBR AR-15 or a normal AK-47 (not 74) for a fixed position defense. (A folded AK is actually 4″ shorter than a Mk-18 clone and only ~6″ longer when locked open.)

  12. avatar Enuz says:

    Pistol AND shotgun. A nice pistol is going to be your lifelong companion, always on your side, but it can be good to have buckshot available back in the bedroom.

  13. avatar Shwiggie says:

    Whatever I’m closest to, which nine times out of ten will be a CZ75 of some sort.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      I like the way you think.

      1. avatar Joel from PA says:

        Me too….P09 On the nightstand, P07 in top dresser drawer, 870/behind dresser and a 10 pound Yorkie with excellent hearing….

        1. avatar Timmy! says:

          “a 10 pound Yorkie with excellent hearing”

          Until you utilize one of the firearms around him/her! Not that I’m criticizing, just pointing out the facts: Gunz iz lowd!

        2. avatar Joel from PA says:

          Timmy, after she warns me and I touch one off, I know she will be peeing on the floor in the corner, but alas, her job is done…she will get a treat…

        3. avatar Q says:

          SP-01 and 712 ALS (with + 4 ext) for the house, P-01 for the road, and a for pound yorkie.

  14. avatar DrVino says:

    Pistol caliber AR pistol (with a light +/- laser), or a pistol caliber SBR (with a light +/- laser) if you live in a free state.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Being an MD, I’m surprised you didn’t prescribe a suppressor on that rig to protect against ear damage…

      🙂

      1. avatar DrVino says:

        That’s because permanent hearing loss is far far less likely from pistol caliber rounds fired indoors without hearing protection.

        That said I keep electronic Howard Leights with my home defense gun – for obvious tactical advantages.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Electronics would be a big plus, I’d think. Not for hearing protection so much as amplification, you could hear people whispering across the room.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “That’s because permanent hearing loss is far far less likely from pistol caliber rounds fired indoors without hearing protection.”

          Good to know…

          Has anyone done tests on what caliber, barrel length, etc.are quieter than most?

          As a wild-ass guess, .45 ACP in a semi-auto like a 1911?

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          In general, lower-pressure rounds have lower SPL’s.

          The .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .38 Special, .44 Special, are all what I’d consider “lower pressure,” all with MAP’s under 25K PSI.

          The 10mm, .357 Mag are at the very top of the pressure range for defensive guns. The .357 in a confined space is the auditory equivalent of a planet-killing asteroid.

          And I will tell people one more time that hearing loss doesn’t consist only of a permanent level shift – you could be like me, in the worst of both worlds: Having relatively good hearing sensitivity, but significant tinnitus. Hearing aids will never help me – they’d make my situation only worse.

  15. avatar Grindstone says:

    I support diversity. All three.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      I have one of each handy myself, tho the handgun and shotgun are the ones kept in a “ready-to-use” status.

  16. avatar Hawkeye says:

    Fortunately, the entire family sleeps upstairs. If the front door kicks in, my door is right at the top of the stairs. I can pop out with a shotgun and keep the stairs clear.

    If they stay downstairs, then we’ll never see each other. If they come upstairs, they bleed for their intentions.

    I’m also considering a 10×12 AR500 plate for my fixed position.

  17. avatar Sammy says:

    It’s a pistol for me, .45 ACP.
    Regardless of which one wins you cheers,
    Do yourself a favor and protect your ears.

    Indoors, loud noise, hard walls= I can’t hear you Honey.

    I can’t get a can so I keep electric ear protection near the XD.

  18. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    A hand gun under the pillow! Speed is your friend.
    Not a 30 + inch in length long shotgun or rifle. You will need the other hand for other opportunities: lights, hold a love ones hand, dial 911, etc.

  19. avatar Josh says:

    I agree with RF. The first thing I would grab is my Glock 17, and I have my Benelli for defense once my family and I are all safely in the master bedroom. The Glock alone would probably be sufficient, but you can’t beat the close range effectiveness of a 12 gauge.

  20. avatar jdb says:

    Carbine in .223 loaded with quality bullets. Handgun as backup. Yes, an SBR would be nice, but don’t think it’s an absolute necessity. Even a 16″ AR is shorter and lighter than most WW2 SMGs, and they were used for plenty of house clearing type work.

    I’m planning to get get a can for my AR – not only do I have ears, but so do my wife and kids. Touching off any gun indoors is going to be a lot louder – as much as possible I want to reduce their exposure to danger, whether that’s a criminal or a sound pressure wave.
    If you can’t get suppressor, then a pistol caliber weapon with longer barrel is quieter by a lot.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “If you can’t get suppressor, then a pistol caliber weapon with longer barrel is quieter by a lot.”

      This! I have heard both .40 S&W and .45 ACP out of a 16 inch barrel and it is amazing how much less noise they produce in that longer barrel.

  21. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    First think I like to do is set the mood – Barry White usually. Then I pick a gun.

    1. avatar Dr. Vinnie Boombotz says:

      Well done, sir. I laughed out loud.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      Ride of the Valkyries would be my choice.

      “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like… Victory!”

  22. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    I prefer to depend on my Smith & Wesson Governor first, loaded with .410 defensive ammo. The 2nd, 4th and 6th rounds have 45LC hollow points. I also have some other options (firearms), depending upon the situation…

    1. avatar Ed says:

      Ummmm, problem here. I didn’t write this post. I would never disclose my loadout in a public forum. Also I’ve been home all day and NOT on my computer.

  23. avatar Nathanael says:

    Pistol and shotgun. Glock 20 with light/laser if I’m moving, Remington 870 with light if I’m defending a choke point with everything I care about behind me.

  24. avatar Jim R says:

    It’s going to be different for everybody, and there’s no one best choice. For my personal situation (small house, narrow hallways, lots of corners) a pistol is my best choice because it’s small and easy to maneuver. For someone with fewer corners to move around, a long gun would be a better option. There are also the other advantages to using a weapon that can be carried and operated one-handed. (I keep a small flashlight with my pistol, along with some cheap ear pro)
    I’d rather have a .45 for home defense (bigger boolet, and subsonic) but my 9mm will do the job.

  25. avatar paulWTAMU says:

    Ruger SR9c with the 17 round magazine, federal HST. I want something I can safely use one handed if need be.

    And frankly, if the situation is so FUBARd that 17 rounds of 9mm isn’t enough…yikes. I have an AR handy too but I don’t think it’d be my first choice. Can’t use one handed, much larger, etc

  26. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Home pocket-carry small auto; pistols around the house c reloads (secured–this is MA); a shotgun with fore-end light in the safe-room c Side-saddle (+ cell phone, extra flashlights, and ears). Hopefully, I’ll never need them.

  27. avatar Pillager1900 says:

    What about the forth option? Cowering in a closet with your cel phone begging 911 to send first responders before the intruder/s end your life. If that is good enough for the liberals then it should be good enough for the rest of us.

    – End of sarcasm –

  28. avatar Merits says:

    9mm PPQ on the nightstand. 5.56 suppressed LWRC SBR if there’s time.

  29. avatar Hellbilly says:

    I like options. In the bedroom, a Glock 35 with a Streamlight TLR-1 weapon light resides on the night stand. Nearby in the closet is a Mossberg 12 gauge, a 9mm AR, and a 5.56mm AR in a gun cabinet that gets opened before bed. All three long guns are equipped with slings and weapon lights. All are loaded with a cartridge in the chamber.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I like options.”

      Choices. The Left are all for choices…

    2. avatar MoveableDo says:

      WINNER winner chicken dinner. First person to bring up slings!! Every long gun has to have a sling already attached, so you could sling the long gun and still rely on your pistol.

  30. avatar Bob says:

    Right now it’s a pistol. Either my 9mm EDC (XDs) or an XDm 4.5 in 40S&W with Trijicon red dot.

    Ideally, AR15 8″ barreled SBR with a can, running subs and two coupled 30 rds mags, and a red dot and weapon light. Quick access, quiet, high cap, and easy to shoot.

    Double ideal, PS90 SBR with a can.

    Shotguns are great and flexible, but if you store them empty, they are a bitch to load fast, and short length and high cap don’t go together in a shotgun unless it’s a Saiga (or similar). Plus it’s going to be hella loud. yes ear pro, but in such a high stress situation, better to use something that doesn’t need it.

  31. avatar Jeremy in AL says:

    G17 and 300blk sbr, minus the can. No need to add extra 6″ and a pound on the end of my gun.

    Hearing damage and tinnitus sucks, but that shouldn’t really be a worry if you are in that situation. Don’t fiddle with muffs either if you are invaded.

    I don’t think it matters, but I’m surprised nobody is jumping on the folks who say they’d wear earpro. It may look fishy to a court in a post dgu proceeding, ya know?

    1. avatar Nick says:

      You really should reconsider the SBR. Mandatory minimum for a SBR used in a crime is 10 years, and while you may get off the hook with a self defense claim, you might also get slapped with a minor crime of violence and get just probation for it, but if that’s the case, they’ll slap on 10 years for using an SBR.

      Btw, silencers, machine guns, and DD’s get 30 years.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I’ll remember to remove the silencer at some point.

      2. avatar Chase Dean says:

        Here in West Virginia it isn’t illegal to use NFA firearms or items for self defense.

  32. avatar Pillager1900 says:

    Realistically, I have a full size 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P with 2 17 round mags and a 9mm Shield with only 8 rounds as a back up. If the SHTF there is an AR with 2 30 rounders just in case.

  33. avatar JD says:

    No little kids around so until that happens we keep a CZ75 on a magnet under the bed, shotgun next to the bed, PF9 always in my pocket, and various other handguns and rifles staged about the property. Add the dogs and very alert large parrots outside chances of a home invasion that you walk away from here are slim to none. First line of defense would be a pistol while I made my way to something more.
    Its the same thing in both of our daily drivers. Handguns easily deployable while going for long gun if necessary. I will never move to a place or drive through a state where personal safety is dictated to me by people who have armed guards for protection.

  34. avatar Chase Dean says:

    Since I don’t have any children ANY long gun is my choice. Handguns get you to your long gun even if you have children you get them then you go to your long gun in your “safe room”. The people that think long guns are too long you are wrong, full draw with a G19 is the same as a 18-20in. shotgun. You won’t be clearing your house like a tactical swat ninja anyway so it doesn’t matter how long your gun is.

    1. avatar Chase Dean says:

      I will also add that I advocate for house carry of your concealed handgun until you go to bed.

  35. avatar preston says:

    i usually say shot gun, but no weapon is “perfect”.

  36. avatar Jandrews says:

    Yes.

  37. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    FNX45 with a Streamlight TLR, because I missed the memo that said you can’t have your cake (45acp) and eat it too (15rounds baby!) 🙂

  38. avatar pwrserge says:

    I still wish I could find flechette rounds for a 40mm launcher. It might only get one shot off, but whomever is on the other side is going to have a bad, bad, day.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Nah, don’t flechettes run off something like 75 yards before deploying the darts? That is a hell of a home you’re defending! Or am I thinking of the rockets?

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        You’re thinking of the 120mm canister rounds. The 40mm launcher rounds are basically a gigantic shotgun shell.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I’ve seen flechettes as shotgun reloading components, can you reload that launcher ammo?

      http://www.antipersonnel.net/sdllc/007.html

  39. avatar The un-tactical AK operator says:

    M1897 trench gun reproduction with a bayonet. If you need to be quiet just stab him.

  40. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    As always: it depends, and your mileage may vary. Basically comes down to how immediate the threat is (outside, inside the house, right outside your bedroom door?) and how severe the threat is (single individual, multiple, do you hear anyone talking?)

    Overall, it’s really hard to beat a basic pump action .410 shotgun. We prefer and own the Mossberg 500 all purpose shotgun. Chambered in 3″, so you have flexibility to use several shell lengths. Ambidextrous thumb safety on top, which you can release like turning on a flashlight.

    Lightweight, minimal recoil, while providing ample contact points to hold the firearm securely. Best part are the 00 buck shells, each holding five shot roughly the size of a 9mm bullet. At across the room or down the hall distance, it’d be devastating, regardless who wields it.

  41. avatar benny says:

    Phased plasma pulse rifle in the 40w range.
    Wait….was that one of the choices??

  42. avatar Ralph says:

    I home carry, so my answer is obvious. But I do have a wall-leaner for just in case.

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

      Ralph,

      I hope that your “wall-leaner” is properly secured, per MGL. 8>)

      Rick

  43. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I prefer a handgun for the aforementioned reasons and I’ll add that it gives you the ability to open the door with your weapon behind your back. I had a Chinese delivery guy get the wrong address once at about 1:00am. Even with a peephole you can’t tell if it’s something innocent or a ruse for a home invasion. 99.99% of the time there’s no need make they guy soil his drawers. If it is a home invasion you can hold back the assailant with your weak hand while you stick your pistol in his ribs. Also I wouldn’t worry about sight radius at inside the home ranges.

    My usual choice is a 6″ GP100 with some Double Taps that should top 800lb/ft of energy. I carry a 3″ Wiley Clapp version so it gives me the same platform but with more power. Sometimes I switch around just to get something different out of the safe though.

    1. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Or you could just not open the door? If someone wants to kill me at 1am they get to come through the dead bolted door. Nobody who needs to talk to me comes by the house at 1am without calling first In this day and age there isn’t an excuse for just dropping by when normal people are asleep. The best defense is having a gun and the luxury to wait at the top of the stairs calling the police while the perp wears himself out trying to get through the door or risks shredding his wrists and leaving pools of DNA trying to come through the side light.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        And what if it’s a totally hot half naked young woman running away from her now ex-boyfriend? Or what if it’s 8:00pm instead of 1:00am? There are lots of home invasions that start with a ruse to get you to open the door. If they break down your door they lose the element of surprise and are likely to be greeted by a shotgun blast from the top of the stairs. If they lure you into opening the door they’re likely to take you unarmed and unaware.

        That is until you stick the 6 inch barrel of your .357 magnum revolver up their left nostril.

  44. avatar Jack Gault says:

    Yeah, I like to frack up everything I own (walls, furniture, art, computers, TVs, my hearing) with a big old shotgun blast as a tool of first resort in my home. OMG. Yeah and I like to rack the shotgun to scare the victim because I’m a homicidal dick. So retarded. Forget the shotgun and AR. Just use a .380 pistol with HSTs and learn how to shoot behind cover. Forget the lasers and flashlights that identify exactly where you are so they can return fire. Take them on the stairs if you can’t avoid the whole situation and leave the house. A gunfight avoided is the best route. Pack your machismo and pride in your go-bag and leave. Can’t believe some of the ridiculous stuff people write about home defense.

  45. avatar Jack Gault says:

    If I’m a burglar, I’m probably going to snatch that shotgun and SBR out of your wannabe bada$$, amateur hands before you square the corner. Then I will beat you half to death with it before I tie you up and take your stuff. Learn to use a pistol close hold (and don’t extend any part of your body in front of the muzzle). Goodnight.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      If you’re a burglar attempting to snatch a long gun away from me, then you’ll likely be the one getting beat in face. Which I’ll be attempting to do while you’re failing to pull the long gun away from me, the long gun which is attached to my body via a sling….

      Learning to fight with a long gun in close quarters is also an option.

      1. avatar Jack Gault says:

        Useless you practice your long gun in a shoot house, you are kidding yourself. TF 3-10 sends. Learn to use your pistol.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          I take training, I don’t kid myself, I educate myself. You keep your pistol, I’ll keep my long gun.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      If you’re a burglar, then you’re most likely not making hot entry in the first place. 65% of home burglaries occur during the day, when no one’s home, specifically so they don’t have to engage in combat with the resident. So the premise of your post is fatally flawed.

      Those who would come in at night are more likely to be hardcore, armed criminals and/or druggies. You want to go up against that with a mouse gun? Seriously?

      A .380 is barely large enough with which to qualify for a carry license. There’s minimal grip area with which to gain purchase. In the middle of the night, the stiff snap of the recoil, relative to the inevitable subpar, sweaty grip and feather weight of the firearm, is apt to fling it from your hand upon first firing!

      Need I continue with iffy round penetration and bare bones magazine capacity? Never mind. I get the trolling bit, but c’mon! Up your game to at least semi-plausible will you?

    3. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Hey Jack, you ever try and snatch a loaded gun away from anyone? Doesn’t work like it does in the movies. Sounds like your projecting a fantasy of yours.

  46. avatar Nick says:

    Bullpup or pistol. Usually I keep a pistol handy, but if I have time, I’d fetch my Tavor. You can fire it one handed because of the weight distribution and the 50grn Vmax bullets I would use in it would have minimal penetration through walls compared to say my 9mm.

  47. avatar Accur81 says:

    Alarm goes into auto record and calls police if working properly. I’m also a very light sleeper. I get .40 cal Glock, light, and body armor from bedside. Wife gets Taser from nightstand. Wife releases dogs while I check alarm panel. I get 2 year old and hand off to wife. I retrieve Mossberg 930 shotgun and wife’s Sig 227.

    Wife stays barricaded in room and I deal with threats as needed. Dogs go berserk and either find bad guys or kill more rats and rabbits.

    If I have time, and the threat has been eliminated, I’ll throw on a uniform shirt prior to police arrival.

    So pretty much pistols, rifles, shotguns, Tasers, Weimaraners, labs, and whatever else is available.

  48. avatar Nick says:

    To all those who suggest/use an NFA for home defense I have one word for you. STOP. First off, almost any prosecutor will get a hard on for you as soon as they find out you used an NFA to defend yourself, and it’ll be hard to defend yourself in court from a jury who likely doesn’t understand NFA stuff, all they’ll see is the evil SBR or silencer (after all, these are the “tools of assassins right”?).

    Finally, if you get convicted of some minor crime of violence, there’s minimums for using an NFA gun. 10 years for SBR and SBS. 30 for silencers, MG’s and DD’s.

    1. avatar Ian says:

      Castle Doctrine. Doesn’t matter if I use a flame thrower. If they are in my home they have zero legal options after I defend myself. Plus if you can’t get a lawyer that can make the point that you have a suppressor to save your own hearing you have a truly shit lawyer.

      Stop fear mongering. NFA items are just fine. I would stop short of full auto, but to worry about SBR or silencer is just silly.

  49. avatar Muddy Waters says:

    A Mossberg 500 loaded with 00 Buck is fine for me. If there’s more than 8 guys trying to break into my house, I’ve got bigger problems. First of which is that the zombie apocalypse is happening and nobody called and asked if I wanted to be in their survival team.

  50. avatar Ian says:

    Suppressed pistol caliber short barreled rifle. Currently the Kriss Vector and MP5 clone(Soon to be Scorpion Evo when I get a thread adapter) sit on my Wife’s and my bedside respectively. No better setup for the job IMO.

  51. avatar Henry says:

    Always wear a handgun. After bed though:

    #1 11.5 or 14.5 bcm with specwar k suppressor. Power and precision. You can hear reasonably well after firing. Can shoot with one hand. Control your distances.

    #2 Benelli m4. Power. Keep hostage shots under 5 yards.

    #3 handgun. Very few people shoot them well. Not usually incapacitating.

    #4 sub gun.

  52. avatar arsh says:

    If you had to pick one probably a pistol because of it’s maneuverability. The Capacity on many isn’t bad either, glocks can have 30 rounds, and my XD in 45 is 13.

    That said, there are times where shooting 00 buck at an intruders body would suffice nicely, and times where a 30 round mag on a rifle would be ideal

  53. avatar Bob108 says:

    Do I have to choose only one?

  54. avatar Rambeast says:

    Simple for me. Suppressed Tavor. Rifle cartridge, standard capacity, can be fired with one hand easily. Nothing compares to a .223 rifle for fast threat stoppage and low recoil for quick followup shots. If I didn’t have it, then my Glock 21 with a suppressor. Shotguns are deafening (literally), high recoil, and messy indoors.

    1. avatar Henry says:

      You seem to get it.

    2. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      I like your style. I use a bullpup too.

    3. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      My Tavor goes back into duty as my downstairs rifle after i sight in the optic. It’s perfect for indoors. I’ll be looking to get a can in the future.

  55. avatar jake from detroit says:

    5.56 rifle. shortest config you can possibly get it. White light, sling.

    I have a midlength CHF upper from PSA. 14.7″ pinned and welded. Surefire scout light, magpul sling.

    5.56 breaks up better in drywall than most other firearm calibers. I live in an apartment, and collateral damage is a huge concern to me.

    The only downside? i wish the stock on m4geries were more durable. If you have to bash someone with your rifle, I’d rather be doing it with an AK stock.

    All that said, and alarm system and a Rottweiler are going to dissuade more people than I am, rising with no eyeglasses int the middle of the night. Dogs rarely bite friendlies who are moving around, as well.

  56. avatar 0351 says:

    Cheap shot looking for views and comments with that question… But hey, I always like joining in. Having no children and only one roommate who sleeps the opposite schedule offers opportunities. Also I find it easy to take my weapons out of the safe when I’m home. As such, I always have a pistol on my person, and a shotgun within reach. The rifles are not really an option what with the walls and the neighbours. Shotgun all the way. Better for rooms and such. Besides, while I’m quite capable of clearing spaces when needed, why bother when we have paid employees to do the same.

    1. avatar Henry says:

      My first thought as well. A cheap question that attracts noob replies.

      1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

        Noobs? So you’ve had home invaders huh?

  57. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    Revolver in the nightstand. In about 20 years have had to deploy it twice due to bumps in the night. Both thankfully false alarms. Low wife acceptance factor (WAF) for long guns in the bedroom. Even my SBR is banned.

  58. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I live in the country, so it’s the shotgun with a light and sling. 00 buck in it and slugs on it.

    I don’t know what I’m gonna deal with from a bump in the night. Maybe raccoon or feral hog on the pouch getting into the trash can, or maybe it’s a methhead trying to break in the back window…

    My wife called me outside one night because a six point buck was aggressing toward her in her vehicle, and it had blocked her in. So, I went outside and shined the shotgun at light at the buck and ran it off.

    I don’t want an underpowered pistol cartridge for a charging buck during the rut, nor a charging meth head during a break in.

  59. avatar Joe Madds says:

    My M&P 45 with Gold Dots should be more than enough. That is what I carry around the house. My Mossy 590 loaded with low recoil 00 Buck for a defensive position. If I need more than that then that means SHTF and splattered violently. Love my AR but IMHO they and other rifles are better suited for situations other than defense of the castle.

  60. avatar int19h says:

    Shotgun if I can, handgun if I must. Definitely a shotgun over a rifle.

  61. avatar Shaun says:

    I would say handgun, right off the bat. Depending where you live though it’s a tricky situation. Being a competition pistol shooter, it makes more sense to me, and with my house layout, maneuvering a shotgun in the dark, unaware of what you’re against and groggy from just waking up, I think a shotgun wouldn’t do it for me. my SBR AR15 would be good, but at that point, I’m just better off with a pistol.

    If I was expecting someone to show up at my door and kick it in I would have the shotgun ready, and if I was facing a home invasion where I had multiple threats and had to kill everyone as it is kill or be killed, then my AR15 would be great.

    What I would really like to do is kill an intruder with a fork and then be in the news for having 100 guns and killing someone with a fork.

  62. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Upstairs, AK74 in 5.45, downstairs AR15 in 5.56. My pistol is a backup. I can open doors just fine with one hand and use the weapon light on the rifle to illuminate without flagging. Just train with it. From where I sleep at I won’t need to do that. I would just sit and wait If in the bedroom or ambush them from the top of the stairs if on the second floor. Clearing my house alone would be foolish.

  63. avatar John H from Sugar Land says:

    Thanks for asking…. I like just about all the responses so far. My recipe for home defense-
    1) The dogs; any kind of rustling about is going to alert my boys ( one yellow, one black lab). If someone actually gets in the house, BG will have to go through them, and they don’t like strangers (and barely tolerate friends and family).
    2) Firearm of choice- 1911 semi-auto in 45acp defensive rounds

    Big Dogs and Big Gun= bad guy has no chance at this address.

  64. avatar =BCE56= says:

    I’m old fashioned…
    I prefer a plasma Musket.
    I find the smooth bore increases dispersion.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      i just implanted a heart monitor dead man switch in my chest connected to the fusion bottles stored in the basement. If I go, the whole zip code goes.

      1. avatar =BCE56= says:

        Seems kinda complicated.
        Maybe just try a ‘Gun-Free Zone’ sign instead?

  65. avatar Ragnar says:

    I tend to not get into these kind of debates. Mostly because my take on it is “the best home defense weapon is the one you have and are ready/willing to use”.

  66. avatar migikesagiri says:

    I’m pretty sure you men pistol, rifle, AND shotgun.
    Options are good : )

  67. avatar Jack Gault says:

    Useless you practice your long gun in a shoot house, you are kidding yourself.

  68. avatar Jody says:

    The pistol is closer because it’s easier to store away from the toddlers. And, it lets me consolidate the family more easily if I have time.

    With all the time in the world, I’m in favor of the shotgun for the safe room.

  69. avatar Patrick says:

    Keep handgun on or about the body.

    Keep tactical rifle (for me a Kalashnikov in 7.62×39) in bedroom at night and accessible during the day.

    A handgun is necessarily weak or difficult to shoot. A shotgun lacks penetration through many layers of clothing and/or soft ballistic protection, and wounds less per recoil than a high velocity bullet. Accuracy is much less an issue at very close range. Anything from .223 to .308 is probably acceptable, but given my weapon and ability to shoot close without sights, 7.62×39 will penetrate, is fairly damaging, and has modest recoil. I’d consider .223 (or 5.45) with a select fire option, if it was available.

  70. avatar AllAmerican says:

    Dual wield two pistols. If the bad guy grabs one he’s getting shot in the face with the other.

  71. avatar Carlos PR says:

    Too easy!

    FN 5.7 pistol a couple of 30rds mag full of SS198LF 27gr, adjustable sights and a lasermax uni-green, but above all that practice and master markmanship, aim for the fatal T, know your building remember the line of fire…

    That works for me!

  72. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

    Taurus Judge = Pistol & shotgun in one. Sure there are only 5 rounds, but that is long enough for my wife to get her hands on her carry pistol, then she will cover me until I get my carry pistol (assuming in bed, because I usually carry in the house).

  73. avatar Dustin says:

    “Question of the Day: Home Defense…Pistol, Rifle or Shotgun?”

    Everything.

    Tho, I’d grab my Persuader first…

  74. avatar LordGopu says:

    I agree with the original post. Also a pistol with a high cap mag would still be a lot of firepower for 1 hand. Like a glock with a 33 rounder.

  75. avatar TheYetti says:

    Handgun plus a shotgun for escalation procedure.

  76. avatar Daryl Coda says:

    Always a great topic! I would have to go with a shotgun, but there are valid arguments on both sides:
    https://youtu.be/kfjJCe19lvY

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