Reader Jeremy Hopper writes:
Home defense should be a serious consideration for all homeowners and renters. It’s impossible to predict if a criminal will single out your home for a robbery or an invasion. So make sure that you’re prepared to defend your home and your family in close quarters by investing in one of these or — better yet — a collection of the best home-defense guns.
1. .357 Magnum Revolver
The .357 revolver is a favored firearm among enthusiasts. Revolvers are powerful, versatile, and heavy. What makes revolvers stand out as the best home defense handguns amongst other home and self defense guns is that their ease of use. Unlike semi-automatic pistols, revolvers can be used by someone with very little firearm experience while the gun’s weight will minimize felt recoil.
This allows other members of your family (or first-time users) to use the gun should they be required to defend against an intruder in close quarters while you’re not home. A .357 is also versatile, allowing the use of many different types of ammo from light .38 loads to heavy-hitting .357 rounds.
An AR-15 may be a surprising addition to a home defense weapon list, but works for a variety of reasons. If your home or your property is unfortunate enough to be targeted in a home invasion or by multiple intruders, the AR’s capacity and pointability will serve you well.
In a multiple bad guy situation, an AR-15 will help even the odds by giving you the advantage of distance, velocity, and ammunition capacity that smaller weapons can’t match.
3. Smith & Wesson Governor
An impressive piece of machinery, a Smith & Wesson Governor is a very versatile handgun that can fire shotgun shells as well as centerfire rounds. The Governor is also relatively lightweight which makes it a perfect home-defense firearm to be used by family members who are physically incapable of wielding a heavier or more cumbersome firearm for home protection.
You can load the Governor with .410 shells, .45 Colt or even .45 ACP rounds (with moon clips) which gives you options to handle different situations.
4. GLOCK 17 or 19
The ubiquitous, reliable GLOCK 17 is one of the most popular handguns in the world, and for good reason. Its polymer construction makes it lightweight and with a 17-round capacity, you’ll be able to handle almost any situation.
If you’re looking for something a little smaller, you can opt for a GLOCK 19. The barrel is slightly shorter and it weighs a little less than the larger G17. And while the standard magazine for the G19 is 15 round, it will take the G17’s 17-round magazines and will even even run GLOCK’s larger 33-round mags.
5. 12-Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun
The intimidation factor of a pump shotgun can’t be overstated when it comes to home defense. Once an intruder sees you point the barrel of a shotgun in their direction, they may decide it’s just not worth the effort.
Besides the intimidation factor, a pump gun also provides significant stopping power when loaded with buckshot or slugs. And at longer distances, when shooting buck or bird shot, a 12-gauge shotgun gives you a little more room for error if your aim isn’t perfect.
6. SIG P226
The SIG Sauer P226 is widely used by the military, law enforcement and other professionals all over the world. They’re well built and are available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 SIG. Its full frame size and double-stack capacity means you’ll have plenty of firepower to handle a personal-defense situation. The SIG’s DA/SA and decocking capability make the P226 a reliable, safe alternative for home-defense use.
7. CZ 75
The underrated CZ 75 sports a full-size frame but is still extremely comfortable to shoot. Its barrel and sight radius mean quicker aiming and more accuracy in personal-defense situations. Noted for its low felt recoil and solid construction a CZ 75 will provide homeowners and gun owners with years of peace of mind.
8. Beretta 92
A staple firearm of police departments across the globe, the Beretta 92 is also the weapon of choice for the United States Military. This is due to the fact that this pistol consistently surpasses the U.S. military requirement of a 10-shot group of 3 inches or less at 50 meters.
This large semi-automatic pistol has an open slide and a short-recoil delayed locking-block system for a faster cycle time which delivers reliability, accuracy and quick follow-up shots. The semi-auto pistols are available in double action/single action as well as single-action-only models to enhance safety.
9. Ruger P Series
This impressive pistol sports a 25-year record of being reliable and durable. While no longer produced, Ruger’s P series handguns are reliable, economical options that you can depend on when you need it. This firearm has a textured grip and ambidextrous safety/decocker for added peace of mind. Relatively compact and lightweight, this pistol will serve you and your family well without costing you a fortune.
10. Bersa Thunder
The Bersa Thunder is a smaller, metal-frame pistol that offers not only the best in combat features with multiple safety controls. While a smaller pistol, the magazine extension affords the shooter a full grip. The Thunder, chambered in .380 ACP will better fit shooters with smaller hands and women, and is easier to rack than many of its full-size competitors.
When choosing the best handgun for home-defense, the best advice is try before you buy. If possible, borrow or rent one of these guns before laying down your hard-earned money. The most important factor, though, is to know your gun and how it works. Practice may not make perfect, but in a life-or-death, home-defense situation, you’ll be glad you know what your gun can do and how to use it.
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