Nightstand Gun: Three Must-Haves

A “nightstand gun” — the handgun you keep by the bedside for a bump-in-the-night-scenario — is a niche firearm. While your nightstand gun can be your carry piece as well, it’s best to have something specifically suited to the task (finances allowing). Here are three criteria which should guide your selection.

1. Full-size, striker-fired semi-automatic handgun or revolver

There’s one main reason not to carry a full-size handgun: it’s too big. As you don’t have to carry your nightstand gun — again, depending on your financial situation — why not have a big *ss pistol by your bed?

Given the dangers of over-penetration (i.e. stray rounds) at home, maximum accuracy is a must. Full-size handguns enable the best possible grip — one the keys to shooting accuracy. Full-size semi-automatic pistols also stow plenty ‘o ammo. While capacity prolly ain’t no big thang in a home defense scenario, no one ever ended a gunfight wishing they had less ammo on board.

Which raises the thorny question of whether a five, six or seven-shot revolver makes for a suitable bedside gun.

The overarching concept: have a nightstand gun you can shoot well. Instinctively, even. If that’s a full-size revolver, mazel tov. Just don’t get to thinking you’re going to reload your wheelgun in the dark, under stress, while moving. (You’re not likely to be carrying a reload in your jim-jams).A man’s got to know his handgun‘s limitations.

Back to semis for a second . . .

While I carry a 1911, I prefer a striker-fired handgun without an external safety for home defense. If ever there’s a time when I’m likely to forget to switch off a safety, the middle of the night is it.

2. Night sights

Night sights are a tremendous aid in low or no-light conditions. That’s why your nightstand gun should have them.

I know that a lot of gun owners eschew night sights in favor of a weapon-mounted flashlight. I get it. A WMF illuminates the dark while keeping a hand free for opening doors, dialing 911, guiding friendlies and turning on lights. Equally, WMF adherents reckon that their knowledge of their house — in the dark — gives them a strategic advantage. Surprise!

It’s my considered opinion that clearing a dark house is a technique best left to operators operating operationally. There are too many ways a solo house clearance can go very badly wrong, especially if there are multiple home invaders. Which is why those Triple O’s work in teams.

Turning on your lights in a bump-in-the-night (BITN) scenario eliminates the stress and danger of clearing a darkened house. While lights-on signals the bad guy/guys that you’re awake and alert to their presence (and maybe even your location), the info may cause them to retreat, especially if you shout out that you’re armed and the police are on their way.

Will most home invaders retreat when the lights go on and they know they’ve been detected? Who knows? But some will. Remember: a lawful killing involves an awful lot of paperwork, expense (ServePro) and potential psychological trauma.

Also, unless you’re not going to leave the WMF switched on — which clearly identifies your exact position — manipulating your light under stress will be extremely difficult. Training in WMF room clearing techniques may ameliorate some of these unavoidable challenges. Or it may not.

As for using a handheld flashlight for BITN work, again, I believe it’s best to have a spare hand for ancillary tasks.

3. Suppressor / active headphones

Guns are REALLY loud. Fire a gun in your house and you will lose at least some hearing, probably permanently. Personally, I value my hearing to the point where I’m not willing to sacrifice it if I don’t have to. And I don’t have to.

As you may know, suppressors aren’t necessarily “hearing safe.” But they will reduce your gun’s sonic signature to safer levels. Not only will a suppressor protect most of your precious hearing long-term, they allow you to use your sense of hearing during a gunfight.

OK, sure, the bad guy may shoot a [very loud] gun. Hopefully, that noise won’t be right by your ears. And if he does, your hearing probably won’t be your biggest concern. Equally hopefully, you’ll be able to shoot the armed bad guy(s) before he or she has a chance to fire. Assuming they’re armed with a gun.

Active noise cancellation headphones are a cheaper and more effective alternative. Not only do they eliminate gunfire entirely, they amplify your hearing. You’ll be able to more easily identify the threat’s location.

Of course, you have to keep them next to your gun and remember to put them on. Will you do so under stress? If you don’t like the idea of wearing ear pro when the S hits the F, or worry that you might forget, a suppressor is the better choice.

Oh, and one more thing . . .

A small gun safe by your bed. If you have children in the house, especially ones who are too young to adhere to The Four Rules of Gun Safety, get one!


  1. avatar I1ULUZ says:

    I would suggest a SECUREIT under bed safe vice a small safe. Couple of I bolts and bike lock cables to lock it to frame would prevent it from walking out without permission. LocTite the nuts on the inside, use big washers to prevent the bolts from being twisted out.

    Room for everything, out of sight, mount a magnet out of sight with backup key stuck to it.

    1. avatar Paul B says:

      I recently purchased the same unit from SecureIt to lock up my Mossberg. I rent, and as such I am unable to make the necessary modifications to my home needed for a more robust safe. While it won’t keep out the determined thief, their “Fast Box Model 47” is a sound solution for folks in my boat.

    2. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

      Typically, the easiest and fastest way to remove a bolt isn’t to try to take them out, it’s to tighten them up. A 3/8 breaker bar and a decent socket will twist the head right off 99% of bolts used commercially. Don’t believe it? Try it. You’ll pop bolts off in a tenth of the time it takes to remove them.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Hadn’t thought of that — and it’s absolutely true. I’ve done it accidentally more than once with assorted 1/4″ diameter bolts and lag screws just by getting a bit too enthusiastic with a standard socket wrench.

        This is why carriage bolts are a thing. They can’t be loosened or (over)tightened from the outside.

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          Most “commercially” available bolts are very soft, There are grade 5, and grade 8 hardware available in a lot of hardware and big box stores. The grade 8 is considered aircraft hardware. This is the one to use.

  2. avatar racer88 says:

    Mine is a FNP-45 Tactical with 15+1 rounds of .45-ACP goodness. I’ve added a Trijicon RMR (RM-07) that co-witnesses with the stock suppressor-height night sights. It’s a BEAST of a pistol stored in a quick-access safe. Active ear pro on the night stand (Peltor Tactical Pro).

    The only thing I’m missing is a suppressor. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the HPA to pass. I just don’t have it in me to go through the NFA process.

    1. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

      I fired that FN a couple of weeks ago, with a can. Sweet gun, I got good groups, and the action was louder than the shot.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        I hear people say this all the time, but I’ve never seen that actually be the case. If somebody has a link to a situation where this is a true statement please share it.

    2. avatar No one of consequence says:

      We use two of those as our HD firearms. Nice pistols!

      I agree that a suppressor would be great for a home-defense gun, but I can’t think of any pistol-scale safe on the market that would accommodate one. Not a reason not to use one, but it would be nice to have a bridge between security boxes for the pistol alone, and ones sized for a rifle.

      1. avatar madtrader says:

        It took some searching to find, but I bought one of these for that purpose. Springfield XDM + SilencerCo Osprey fit just fine.

        1. avatar Glenn says:

          This sounds like the best option to me ?

    3. avatar Pete says:

      Yup, FNX45 (or FNP) has a lot going on if carry isn’t a concern. Maximum features and payload, calmer handling than a 9mm glock. Not that the size is that extreme, compared to widebody 1911’s and the HK Mk 23 it’s light and trim.

  3. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

    The safe is the most important thing if you have little ones. Good advice, although I will note depending on house construction the best idea may be a safe room concept. If the house layout supports bring all your loved ones to one easily defense able room with good fields of fire and call the police. Working from the ambush you have the advantage, clearing the house you give them the advantage

  4. avatar SurfGW says:

    Wholeheartedly agree with the safe! Also a cell phone to call 911 and then put everything on record so you can defend yourself when you are investigated

  5. avatar Ed says:

    I hate these ‘opinion’ articles that are written as gospel fact. A revolver? Really? If I am going to confront possible multiple threats inside my home I want more than six shots. The writer is so worried about keeping it simple that he doesn’t mention that a auto pistol with re-strike capability would be a good idea along that same mindset. Another thing, the supressor I can see if the average person could get one without becoming the ATFs bitch, but headhone style hearing protection usually cuts down on hearing when you’re gonna want to hear most!
    Also, i have NO need for a safe next to or under the bed as I have a big dog and if you got by him while I wasn’t home, you were already armed….and don’t give me that typical “…for the childeren” crap about a safe either. I grew up in a house around loaded AND unlocked guns, never a issue. Stupid happens…kinda like this article.

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      I’ll agree with you on most everything except the second strike thing. If the round doesn’t go bang the first time, I’m cycling that one out and getting a new one in. There’s no need for multi strike. Bad ammo is bad ammo regardless of how many times the primer is struck.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Ammo’s expensive. I’m going to strike it a few more times just to make sure. Lol.

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          And I’m gonna do it with a double action pistol.

    2. avatar HandyDan says:

      The author specifically mentioned ACTIVE type hearing protection, the electronic kind with microphones in them that amplify normal noise and mute loud noises that will damage hearing.

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      LOL. I like Ed.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        Mutual +1

    4. avatar RocketScientist says:

      I HATE it when mere opinions are presented as facts!!!

      (Proceeds to spew several paragraphs of his opinions presented as fact)

      1. avatar Ed says:

        It’s called giving my own opinion as rebutal, apparently you are unable to recognize the difference…you really ARE a rocket scientist.

    5. avatar Tom says:

      I keep my Springfield armory saint topped with a vortex strikefire II loaded full of lehigh defense controlled chaos for my bump in the night gun

  6. avatar Texheim says:

    Total bull on the striker fired shit. Sig 226/229

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah not sure what the issue is with that. Maybe the only guns the author knows exist are Glocks, revolvers, and 1911s.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        He’s afraid he might forget to click a safety off. But that’s funny because you don’t have to use the safety if you don’t want to. In fact you can operate a DA/SA exactly the same as a Glock if you don’t use any of the “extra” features that provide more options.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:


  7. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Hand held or mounted light…

    Gotta see what you’re pew pew ‘n at.

    1. avatar None says:

      That’s why I don’t really do the night sights thing: why would I have expensive night sights that allow me to shoot someone I can’t identify? I have a son and even if I didn’t, I’m not pulling the trigger unless I can ID the person. Unless they jump on top of me, at which point, fuck sights.

      1. avatar Ebby123 says:


  8. avatar Thomas M McGovern says:

    Why a striker-fired autoloader? Why not a hammer-fired autoloader, e.g., Beretta 92, CZ75, or their clones?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I can’t speak for the man but I would guess that the concern would be having (in many cases) an external safety.

      For carry some people worry that a safety can be bumped off but that device can also be bumped on which isn’t what you need in the middle of the night when you’re mostly asleep and expecting the gun to go bang.

      1. avatar Mosinfan says:

        My personal experience was, if the bump was suspicious enough that I grabbed my gun and light to investigate, I was *WideAwake*. YMMV.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        No need for an external safety on sa\da guns with a decocker. If revolvers are included it’s asinine to exclude, say, Sigs.

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          But… But… Striker fired plastic fantastic!?!

      3. avatar tmm says:

        I’m not a fan of safeties, but there are decocker-only hammer fired options (some CZs, typical Sig Sauer…).

        1. avatar Scoutino says:

          My bedside Tanfoglio CZ 75 clone has safety. I just never use it other than as a thumb rest. Strikers are fine…in rifle.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Yes, yes on the hammer!

  9. avatar Timao Theos says:

    My “nightstand” firearms are the firearms im currently CC’ing during awake hours, so in the summer its two SS LCP’s and during colder months its a Model 1927 and a .45 cal Ruger Blackhawk convertible.. As far as something being to heavy to carry thats odd because i use a very good belt from Comp-tac and holsters from Mernickle. Weight doesnt seem to be a problem for me using that kit. PS on those thoughts,If Ed thinks im outgunned he can buy me what he thinks are better firearms, lol.

    As far as needing to lock up firearms because of kids how come when i was a kid my father never had to. Yes we rode in the beds of pickups, pedaled our bikes with our .22 rifles with no helmets. Drank out of garden hoses, yada yada, what is wrong with these new kind of humans that have invaded this planet?

  10. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

    My wife can’t sleep without a fan on. The fan noise is at the same frequency as my tinnitus. Solution? I sleep with earplugs, and my hearing is acute enough I can hear activity in the apartment. Don’t need to grab Mickey Mouse ears
    in the middle of the night.
    Nightstand gun is a striker fired with double strike capability, flashlight on the nightstand (but ambient external light would be enough for my adapted pupils, while leaving the intruder in the dark.)
    When I’m at the range, I wear foam AND muffs.

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      I’m the one in my house that can’t sleep without ambient noise. That’s why I have a dog. His hearing is far better than mine. He’s also fun to play with. Win-win.

      1. avatar Jeff Stewart says:

        Basic military training cured me of white noise dependency. It was bad for a while, I didn’t sleep for probably 5 or 6 nights, but eventually I got over it. I fell asleep in formation once during that time. I also fell asleep marching. The chow hall had the right intensity and type of white noise to put me to sleep as well. Everyone was sleep deprived, so I fit right in. To this day, 30+ years later, I still sleep better with a fan or an air conditioner running in the room.

        Oh, uh, I have a revolver for my night stand gun. 38spl. I live in CA so no cans allowed. I prefer walnut and stainless steel over plastic.

  11. avatar Docduracoat says:

    To Ed,

    I agree completely about loaded guns in the house with kids
    My three kids grew up knowing there were two loaded pistols in the downstairs furniture one loaded rifle in the bedroom closet and a loaded pistol in the bedroom in the nightstand
    When they were very little they liked to “help” Daddy clean them
    Helping was more like putting on gloves and glopping oil over everything
    They knew that if they even touched a gun without permission a dreadful punishment would result
    They were taught never to touch a gun they found, never let anyone else touch a gun they found, and tell an adult
    I tested them on this numerous times by leaving unloaded guns around the house on purpose
    When their little friends were over then everything went into the gun safe
    Only to come out again when we’re back to just family
    We also have a big dog and an alarm system but the guns are there for back up
    They never grew up to be gun nuts like I am, but they still come to the range with dad occasionally to spend some time with the old man
    And I rest easy knowing that even when I am not home they have close access to a gun and know how to use it
    As for what to keep under the bed, I switched from the CZ 75 pistol with Crimson trace laser to a CZ scorpion Evo pistol with folding brace
    That is some serious firepower that can be fired one handed even with the brace folded
    I’m going to buy a short suppressor for it even if the hearing protection act does not pass soon

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      My go-to is a suppressed Scorpion Evo. Love it. 30 rounds of HST is nothing to sneeze it, even if that’s about how loud the shots are 😉

    2. avatar Philthegardner says:

      The wife has a Sub-2000 (G2 9mm) on her side of the bed. I have a 9mm AR pistol with brace. Both use Glock mags. Both have lights. And both are pretty light and easy to maneuver. I have pretty bad eyesight so I don’t believe that I will be effective in a home defense situation with a pistol. Oh and despite the bitching going on here in this thread, I am a firm believer in amplified ear pro.

  12. avatar Tim says:

    You forgot to mention safety glasses. Get in a gunfight in your house, and some rounds are likely to come through the wall. Ever get drywall dust in your eyes? You’re blind, or at least incapacitated… And oh, by the way, two Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the room help too!

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      And a respirator or dust mask too! When you start firing shots in your home, like permanent hearing loss, you don’t want dust particles permanently entering your lungs, causing breathing problems later or even possibly cancer.

      So let’s recap. Hearing protection (even though it’s okay not to have this when you are out and about around town with your ccw), safety glasses, dust mask, flashlight, gun, and maybe some “field notes” – you know, just in case.

      1. avatar Bob in IN says:

        Chuckle on the field notes. Oh and a bayonet knife when you run out of your three mags of ammo.

        1. avatar billy-bob says:

          LeMat and a cavalry saber, in case things get stabby.

        2. avatar Gunr says:

          And a couple cans of Bear spray.

      2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        I wear an OSHA approved hazmat suit at all times, just in case. With ear pro on underneath.

        BTW shooting a gun outdoors without ear pro and indoors without ear pro are two very different experiences.

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          Not that different. The magnitude of the echo is going to be less than the blast which will be the same in both instances.

          Furthermore, you may be using your ccw in an enclosed space (room, restaurant, convenient store, etc) as well. But no ear pro is required for that.

      3. avatar GS650G says:

        And 3 mil plastic on the floor for cleanup. Pays to be prepared. Don’t forget graves predug in the cornfield.

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          Man, you are thorough!

      4. avatar Ebby123 says:

        Don’t forget gloves! We can’t be getting callouses while fighting for our lives.

        Oh, and knee pads! What if you have to take a knee quickly – you could end up with a nasty bruise or even rug burn!

        The whole concept of putting on earmuffs to go investigate a suspicious noise is 110% pure mall-ninja f*ckery.
        Suppressor? Sure. Clear advantage there, takes no extra time to deploy, reduces flash and perceived recoil.

        But Ear muffs? REALLY? You’re worried about a potential life and death encounter and your first thought is “Gee golly I hope I don’t tinnitus”. Pure delusional ignorance.

        Here’s a short list of things that would be MORE valuable in a gunfight than ear muffs:
        – Flashlight
        – Trauma Kit
        – Plate Carrier / body armor
        – Cell Phone
        – Spare magazines
        – A friend with a rifle
        – A good pair of athletic shoes or boots

  13. avatar Jon in CO says:

    I think muffs are a ridiculous thought, trying to solve a problem that already has a solution (silencers). The problem is, there’s not enough ass and backbone to get that crap legislation redone.

    I can assure you, the min you wake up from a dead sleep after 12 hrs at work, hearing the doors or windows rattle, your first thought is not, “how do I protect my hearing before I may have to encounter this potentially armed psychopath?” I’m already disadvantaged, I’m not throwing on anything covering my senses, especially senses that are a benefit in the dark. We need to make suppressors accessible to everyone, so we can stop perpetuating this dumb speak of putting on ear pro at 2am.

    1. quote: “stop perpetuating this dumb speak of putting on ear pro at 2am


      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Yep. Might as well take the time to strap on a bullet proof vest too, and some eye pro as well.

    2. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

      For those few of us who are denied the luxury of silencers ( thanks Illinois ), hearing protection is a valid point.

      1. avatar Ebby123 says:

        Yes hearing protection is a valid concern.
        No, hearing protection is not even in the top 20 of your significant concerns when preparing for a potential life and death encounter.

        Here’s a short list of things that would be MORE valuable to you in a gunfight than earpro:
        -A flashlight
        -Trauma kit
        -Body Armor
        – Cell Phone
        – Spare magazines
        – A friend with a rifle
        – A knife
        – A good pair of athletic shoes or boots
        – EYE PRO (because loud noises can’t keep you from acquiring a sight picture, but drywall shrapnel can).

        You’ll find hearing protection one spot above “Hand lotion” on the list of things that will help you survive a gunfight.

    3. avatar RocketScientist says:

      Active ear-pro is a thing. Actually IMPROVES your hearing, but cuts out the damaging stuff. Also a lot cheaper and easier to get than a silencer. And I can put mine on with one hand while picking up my gun with the other, doesn’t slow me down any. They sit right there next to each other. Hearing loss is no joke, its a permanent physical disability that only get worse and can really ruin your quality of life. If my options are lose some hearing or lose my life, then obviously i’ll pick losing some hearing. But if i DON’T have to make that choice…

    4. avatar Ebby123 says:

      “stop perpetuating this dumb speak of putting on ear pro at 2am.”

      *SLOW CLAP*
      Can we all agree to stop spreading this square-range mall-ninja mythology? Please?!?

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    I have a Taurus 111g2 and a 709 slim next to me. Loaded,chambered on safe. A handheld light between them-losded with Sig HP’s.. And a loaded unchambered Maverick88 literally 2 feet away in a corner. Perfect? No but OK. No little kids or critters. I’m working on s laser/nightsights.

  15. Big gun on the nightstand?

    Ruger’s Redhawk Hunter 44 Magnum fits the bill – however that beast is a bit too beastly – even for me.

    A 6-inch S&W 686 is a good compromise with a butter smooth trigger as good or better than my EDC (38 special LCR.)

    I may bring the Ruger P90 DC back into service as a nighttime guardian. It has no external safety and shoots great balls ‘o fire – just like those first two shooters.

    Don’t sweat the noise – it won’t kill you or your hearing (at least not all of it). I once shot a 357 revolver inside the cab of a Ford F-100 – (much to the dismay of the other two passengers). I can still hear well enough to wish I had a hearing aid to turn down while being read the honey-do list.

    1. avatar DavidW says:

      Depending upon where you reside, you may want to keep that .44 just in case your home is invaded by a family of Kodiak bears.

  16. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I continue to advocate for revolvers as the nightstand guns. If you’re awakened while in bed and have to use a gun, you might not have the correct grip, the proper presentation, etc – this ain’t gonna be like standing on the range, you might not even have two hands on the gun. A revolver won’t have a stovepipe due to improper grip as you’re being awakened, you just point it at “the problem” and pull the trigger.

    As for night sights: nice, but not necessary, and expensive. I put night sights (and other new sights) onto self-defense pieces all the time. Out in the street or in public, should you have night sights? Sure. In your bedroom situation? You’d be much better served by getting some practice on a B-27 target hung at 5 to 7 yards.

    What’s in my nightstand? A S&W 625 in .45 Colt. If it comes to hand-to-hand, a N-frame makes a heck of a club.

    Lots of people could do much worse (and at absurd prices) than to find a police turn-in K or L frame, .38 Special +P or .357.

  17. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    A Klarus XT11. Strobe function is quite effective.

    9mm with Federal 147gr HST.

  18. avatar BuildToShoot says:

    How about a PCC/SBR? I run a 9mm Vector with an APL and KAK brace. If i can find a very short silencer for a reasonable price i would add it too. 9mm minimises the risk of putting rounds in my neighbors house, and the SBR configuration keeps it mobile while providing an accuracy and stability bonus.

  19. avatar TommyJay says:

    No mention of the ultimate night sight: a laser? Why screw around with little glow-in-the-dark dots? There are various real problems with lasers in combat (I’m told) or even at the range. But for the BITN, I don’t see the downside; assuming your smart enough to ID the bad guy target correctly first.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “No mention of the ultimate night sight: a laser? Why screw around with little glow-in-the-dark dots?”

      Lasers, like tracers, work both ways.

      The beam points right at *your* gun while illuminated.

      Why give an invader an easy target?

      1. avatar TommyJay says:

        Interesting point. But in clear air, there is not a visible “beam,” only the dot on target and maybe the source dot. You really need to have a flashlight on target before shooting someone, so I think you’ve been pinpointed anyway.

        Of course, once wall board dust begins to fly there will be a visible laser beam.

  20. avatar MiserableBastard says:

    Big nightstand gun is either a suppressed Scorpion SBR with 30 rounds of Federal HST 147grn +P, or a suppressed Beretta ARX100 SBR with 30 rounds of 64 grn softpoint Gold Dots. Mounted Streamlight TRL-1s and single point sling on both.

  21. avatar tdiinva says:

    Your carry gun should be your nightstand gun. It is tbe gun you are the most familiar with and probably practice the most with.
    A full size gun is not to big heavy to carry concealed. I suspect at least half of TTAG’s readership carries at least a Glock 19. If you use a suppressor, practice exclusively with you gun/suppressor combo. The can changes the weight and balance of your handgun.

    I do agree that a gun with a safety might present problems. You have different muscle memory for a holstered gun and a gun on the table. But if your only gun has an external saftey the solution is condition 3. Your instinct will be to rack the slide when you pick the gun up. You can train for that too.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      I do agree that a gun with a safety might present problems.

      Then never use the safety or the decocker, and it operates the same as a glock.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        A lot of people aren’t comfortable doing that. I wasn’t saying how I would do it. I keep my bedside pistol in a holster which is another safety.

  22. avatar IAmNotTheHulk says:

    Usually G43 or G30SF with 2000 lumen light on nightstand, 147 grain Hornady custom JHP, or 255 grain Buffalo Bore, if they get past the dogs that is.

  23. avatar Pete says:

    If I were seriousely worried about home invasion, my ideal would be a 9mm SBR with a can, laser, light, and medium primo reflex sight. Second prize would be a trench-ified automatic 20 gauge.

    As it stands I just keep a mag full of whatever out of the safe and the corresponding gun. It’s been a 22 pistol for the last 6 mos.

    1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

      Mine is a trench-ified pump 20 gauge loaded with #4 buckshot.
      And, I’m a very light sleeper, unfortunately.

      1. avatar Pete says:

        Awesome. Yeah, more choices in pump action but I haven’t much experience with them and there’s at least one semi-auto I like that could be put in trench fettle.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Neither my son nor I had ever fired a pump anything when I bought a 18″ Mossy 590 12 guage, so of course our first stop was a skeet range, we had so much fun it was hard to believe! Both of us hit several doubles, use of the pump is so near reflex right out of the box that it’s amazing.

  24. avatar strych9 says:

    #4 GoPro, if you’re gonna zap someone in your house HD video for your lawyer and beers with friends later is a must. “Bro, watch. When I slow this down you can see how I JFKed his ass… Right there! Brains! Fucking airborne zombie food, man! It’s like an Amazon Fresh drone delivery for the undead! How awesome is that!?”*toasts beer*

    Joking aside: If going the suppressor route eyepro is a must. Pistols with can on the often throw junk back at you out of the ejection port. You don’t want that stuff in your eye(s).

    Personally I have my EDC pistol gussied up with a SiCo Osprey so that I don’t leave a gun lying around when I’m not around plus eyepro and electronic earpro in case I actually need that shotty on the wall.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      That’s right! Safety guys. Ear pro or silencer, eye pro, dust mask for all the flying drywall, maybe a bullet proof vest too, and some BDUs if you have them. Drop the “field notes” in one of the cargo pockets – just in case. Oh – also a gun. Don’t forget the gun.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Yeah, because giving yourself basic options, like the ability to not fuck up your ears and eyes for life, is such a bad idea.

        You may not have the time but if you do, why not have the option?

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          I agree. If you know they are coming ahead of time and all.


        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          Navy seals should do it too. When they emerge out of the sweaty jungle with face paint, gun, and those goofy boonie hats, they should be wearing ear pro because the active sound amplification is so amazing. Also, eye pro as well. That way they don’t fuck up their ears and eyes for life. I see this all the time too.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          “Navy seals should do it too.”
          They do. If your helmet is on your Peltors are on.

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          When you get some hot sharp shit in your eyes, and maybe lose your vision, don’t say you were not warned. Have fun explaining it to the eye doc when they remove that stuff too. Like a welder with a piece of wire wheel in his eye; the doc’s gonna tell you the truth, which is that you’re a dumbass.

          But hey, you’re the one who thinks shooting an unmuffled pistol in a hallway with no earpro isn’t a big deal. I did that like 10 years ago. I assure you that your hearing doesn’t come back and that tinnitus sucks.

        5. avatar Ebby123 says:

          On the list of things that might help you survive a potential violent encounter, earpro doesn’t even make the top 20. Its one spot above “Hand sanitizer”.

          Seriously. Hearing protection is about comfort. The people advocating it want to be comfortable while they’re fighting for their lives – like they are when they go shoot at their favorite range. This is how out of touch with reality we have gotten.

        6. avatar Anonymous says:

          “Navy seals should do it too.”They do. If your helmet is on your Peltors are on.

          Good point John. We should add a helmet to the list.

        7. avatar Anonymous says:

          But hey, you’re the one who thinks shooting an unmuffled pistol in a hallway with no earpro isn’t a big deal.

          When you are in a gun fight, for your life, it’s about as big a deal as putting on a jacket while your at it to keep from getting scratches on your skin. Your opponent or opponents could be shooting at you with intent to kill you, and you are going to take the time to put on ear-pro? LOL.

          Take a look at these guys:

          You know what they’re thinking? They’re thinking – “I need ear-pro”

  25. avatar M1Lou says:

    I have a CZ P-09 for my bedside gun currently. Hammer or striker isn’t a problem. It it goes bang when you pull the trigger who cares? I did switch to the safety over the decocker after a bunch of shooting to see what I liked better. I like the same trigger pull each time. It’s simple to flick off. Plus the gun holds 18-19 rounds per mag.

  26. avatar Boba Fett says:

    A couple weeks ago, I bought a MKE/Zenith Z-5P (MP5k clone) with an SB tactical side folder stock brace. I bought it because it’s cool as shit, and I’ve wanted an MP5k ever since I saw one on the internet about 20 years ago. But since I’ve been breaking it in at the range, I’ve realized it’s actually a perfect home defense gun. It’s lightweight, compact, maneuverable, and accurate (rested, I’m grouping just over an inch at 45 yards with iron sights). And with 30 rds of 147 gr, I can’t imagine a home defense scenario where that wouldn’t be sufficient firepower.

  27. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    maybe for the overthinkers. i don’t think i’ll ever own a striker fired gun because i don’t want one. your ears are going to ring for awhile after firing indoors. so suit up if you can. i’m sure there will be plenty of time for that. i can’t get more than thirty feet away from someone in my house, so while glow sights are good, pointing is pretty much what’s required. mufflers would be made or obtained illicitly here so…

    more like three never have’s.

  28. avatar Ian says:

    For me its been a Glock 41 for the past several months, with a Streamlight tlr1. Otherwise I prefer a 45 pistol or a revolver with standard pressure 38 specials so there’s less risk of overpenetration of walls. When my Dead Air Ghost 45m gets out of NFA jail this fall it will be on fulltime night stand duty. And when I get my Sandman-S out of jail my 10.5 inch ar15 pistol will probably tag team.

  29. avatar Ralph says:

    The single most indispensable piece of equipment for a nightstand gun is — a nightstand! Without one, you can have a floor gun, or a pillow gun or a dresser gun, but you can’t have a nightstand gun without a nightstand.

    Your nightstand should have (i) adequate room for a lamp, your gun, flashlight, rape whistle and all the other accouterments of home defense, (ii) a telephone, so you can call ServePro to clean up after a DGU and a lawyer to clean up after a DGU (“Like it Never Even Happened”), and (iii) an extra two thousand rounds of ammo, for just in case.

    In my next article, I’ll explore tactical mattresses.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      My mattress has built in plate carriers. Lumpy and uncomfortable but at least I know that any bullets that get thru me won’t damage that expensive OAF mattress.

      I recently got a new alarm system. Trigger it and you get strobing lights and a deep voice saying “First it puts the lotion on its skin…..”.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        That’s a creepy alarm you’ve got there.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Yes I want to hear more about the “Tactical mattress” Is that the one that has 6MM plastic sheeting around it, so you won’t spoil it when you “shit the bed”

  30. avatar RSic says:

    I recommend a striker fired pistol without a manual safety like I recommend a 1911 style pistol with safety off, only to those who are proficient enough not to touch the trigger under duress or panic after waking at 3 am by something unknown, like your teenager, or maybe a home invasion. I do agree on having plenty of ammo, night sights, and flashlight, I would much rather recommend a single/double action pistol, with the biggest caliber using hollow point, that can safely be used without over penetration

  31. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

    Bedside gun, carry gun, same gun. For fear the man who only has one gun….

  32. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    The bigger question is, what’s the full title of the book?
    I gotta know.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda.

      Google Fu or, more creepy, was I in RF’s house without him knowing!?

  33. avatar Hannibal says:

    Night sights taking the headline at #2 instead of a flashlight? No.

  34. avatar tiger says:

    That looks like Captain America’s nightstand gun.

    Anyway, as for the blog points? Action type is not critical. But, training in use by all home users is key. You may not be home when trouble goes down. Hidding under the bed calling Liam Neeson, is not a great option. Otherwise, skip the mouse guns & pocket stuff. No need to conceal in house. A set of foam plugs makes more sense than a suppressor. Unless you are at James Bond’s nitestand. A TAC light is good to have, a laser is
    good low light fight tool also. Point shooting is more likely than any eyes on sight stance. The ability to blind a threat by laser or white light to end a problem short of lead flying is good to know. A charged cell, beats the price of the muffs or a suppressor. The safe? OK, if you can work it under stress? A option two weapon nearby would be nice too. A baseball bat, is cheap, deadly, and has no waiting periods for those without a gun.

  35. avatar Steve P says:

    Angry dog that sleeps in hall. 2 angry dogs that sleep in bedroom with a PMS-ing wife with a shotgun. Take what you want if you make it past them.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      That’s some seriously funny sh!t!

      1. avatar Gunr says:

        Tom, I was thinking the same, but my wife who has always seemed like she has PMS, is a bigger threat to my than an intruder!

  36. avatar Hank says:

    Striker fired is not a need. Also shooting inside a room isn’t going to deafen you for life. If you have to do it multiple times like I have, then you get tinnitus and minor hearing loss. But a couple rounds once? Especially in pistol caliber? You’ll be fine. You don’t even notice the sound when your adrenaline is going.

  37. avatar Aven says:

    With all of the stuff many of you claim to have, an actual break-in would look like an Abbott and Costello movie.

  38. avatar Keith Simpson says:

    Great article! Makes a lot of sense as a Retired Marine I get where the author is coming from don’t agree with everything but enough good stuff! For further conversation!

  39. avatar Pg2 says:

    Keep it simple. SW 625. You need more then that your likely fked anyway.

  40. avatar James69 says:

    S&W Governor w/ Critical Defense .410.

  41. avatar GS650G says:

    Got an Astra A100 9mm for the nightstand. A reliable Sig clone with 18 rounds that doesn’t cost a fortune. You’ll lose the gun for sure if you need to evict intruders feet first.

  42. avatar Palehorse says:

    I keep a Mossberg 930 HD shotty with a reflex sight. Cheap and effective.

  43. avatar Dm says:

    White light is far more important than nightsights. You must have PID for any home defense situation. When activating the wml, whatever sights are on the gun will be backlit to the point that any illumination of night sights would likely be imperceptible anyways. Brightest wml you can buy should replace nightsights on this list.

    1. avatar None says:

      Thank you, I’m glad someone else said it. Everyone is hyping the night sights, but they’re expensive and not necessary because we HAVE to ID before we shoot. For the $75+ it costs for the sights, you can get a lower end Surefire that can be used in so many more and varied situations.

  44. avatar LarryinTX says:

    My experience with electronic ear pro (more than a decade ago) is they don’t work unless you turn them on, something I can’t even imagine at 2 AM with strange noises around me. Did I miss the intro of motion sensor electronics? ‘Cuz otherwise that suggestion seems useless except as evidence that you were anxious to shoot someone in your home. OTOH, with motion activated earpro, my bedside gun would be my Mossberg 590 with shorty shells and an empty chamber, for that fabulous racking sound which should clear your house without a shot fired.

  45. avatar Bruce Barber says:

    Your criteria in the article are inconsistent. I have yet to see a small handgun safe (which I completely agree in the safety concept) that will hold a full size semi-auto handgun with a suppressor attached. You need to rethink your suggestions. You can either have your firearm in a quick access safe so that it is protected from unauthorized usage….or you can have a suppressor mounted on it. You can’t have both.

  46. avatar Texheim says:

    A lot of negative comments here, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a purge

  47. avatar Pistol Pap says:

    Night sights are cool but always run a light .

  48. avatar Gunr says:

    I have been thinking for a long time of installing a few of those really powerful blinding LED light in the bedroom, putting them up high, and pointing at the door. You would want them bright enough that they would blind anybody coming into your bedroom, although they wouldn’t bother you as long as you didn’t turn you eyes toward them.

  49. avatar DP says:

    Keltec Sub 2000 9mm, Glock 33 round magazine, UTG red dot, Streamlight TLR-4 laser/light and active headphones. Enough for any home defense situation.

  50. avatar Hugo says:

    Ruger GP100, flashlight, phone, ear protection that allows me to hear ambient sounds. SHTF (hurricane, blackout etc…) 12g Remington pump action shotgun + Springfield XD .45 w/light/laser.

  51. avatar Glocks Rock says:

    Finally broke down and bought a WML. The bright part of the beam is an 18 inch circle @ 5 yards and the rounds go smack in the center of that circle every time. What a concept 🙂

  52. avatar Jeep1967 says:

    A few points:A DA/SA with decocker only, or decocker safety with the safety disengaged is just as simple to operate well as a striker fired. If you can’t be assed to disengage a safety, forget about the hearing protection. And if you go with the suppressor make sure your “little nightstand gun safe” is big enough to get your chosen firearm in and out of the safe easily with the suppressor attached.

  53. avatar The Nefarious Dr T says:

    Pintle mounted ma deuce mounted on the nightstand with offset anti-aircraft lights aimed at the door. Fortunately I sleep under the bed with my head encased in lucite, so I should be ok there…

    Oh yeah, and they have to get by my terrifying army of tiny but deadly spiders I keep chained up in the hallway. They’re awful hungry these days…

  54. avatar sound awake says:

    if its too dark to see your sights its too dark to identify your target and whats behind it

    thats what the flashlight is for

    its better if the light is not mounted that way youre not muzzling or near muzzling everywhere youre looking if its attached to the pistol

    night sights are a waste of money

    spend that money learning how to shoot two handed holding the light or one handed holding the light in the other hand

    we should all be learning how to shoot left and right and single handed anyway

  55. avatar Mikial says:

    Good article. I agree with the full sized striker fired by the bed. I have two G21s, and an auto-loading shotgun on my side. My wife prefers her Beretta 92 and a 1911.

    Regarding night sights vs mounted lights. The G21 that I do not carry EDC has both. Night sights are great, but if you can’t even tell where the target is in the dark a blinding bright mounted light can be a real advantage.

    Finally, shooting a gun in a house. I’ve shot and been there when other people shot guns in a house, and it really isn’t all that loud. Having said that, a suppressor would be great on a home defense gun.

  56. avatar davzway says:

    Gun with night sights is Glock 20, having fifteen up due to Plus 2 extension (NEVER fully load mag to save mag spring,, and every couple months change rounds from loaded to unloaded mags, Unloaded? Have mag in gun, and half dozen in go bag strap goes over shoulder, carrying bag, flashlight that is REALLY bright with strobe if tail button hit second time (in fishnet water bottle pouch one side) , OTHER side pouch has electronic stereo head ear muffs,, IF time allows, they are available. Awake to get gun in open pouch not zipped, gun STILL in holster that must be removed,,, FIVE + decades shooting, three as NRA Instructor, decade shooting 25k rounds per year practice and IPSC or match of some kind,, doubt I’d put finger on trigger, still don’t take the chance.

    SHOULD TIME ALLOW, there is another gun even closer, Keltec PMR30, having 25 rounds in mag not 30, safety not on but NO round in chamber for added safety,, clip on holster gun’s in has extra mag with 25 rounds,,, Keltec has Streamlight Laser N Light.. two hand hold can do momentary,, one hand or want full on continuous then push lever ALL the way down with finger, two or one handed.. flashlight can see gate 25 yards away from door,, laser also can be seen, initially BOTH on when lever is hit. LOT of shooting and don’t put down 22mag,, nasty round with Hornady polymer tip ammo.

    MORE time, having go bag and decided on Keltec 22mag,, pick up shotgun while passing closet or another spot goes unmentioned,, must thumb in rounds, six on right side and six on left.. extra round is there,, DON”T have loaded mag tube, no way save spring unless buying extra spring to do yearly . There’s a fifty round shoulder band, having mixed bag on ammo, depending on needs. Cell phone is on table, to call if time allows,, ANYTHING POSSIBLE TO AVOID SHOOTING MUST BE DONE,, CALL 911, YELL OUT POLICE CALLED, KEEP OPERATOR ON LINE TO RECORD EVENTS. still as advised to students, AVOID, avoid, and avoid,, if can be done safely for family and self.

    IF merde has run into the blower, another bag is there with hard core tools you never want to get out to use. Still better ready than not. MUST PRACTICE and have same things in same places, every time,, Stressed out,, you will fall back on what your muscles remember,…

    Have told students,, NICE to show great target, small groups, cocking that revolver all the time,, so you have single action trigger pull (2# or so), vs double action trigger for revolver that needs 12# + to get loud noise and groups ARE NOT SO GOOD. BUT, believe it or not,, IF you ALWAYS cock and shoot single action,,, life in danger and in hurry and stressed out.. you WILL most likely cock hammer regardless of is BRAIN knowing it’s slower. Hit 9″ paper plate inside 30′, sitting standing getting out of bed, etc FAST, that’s usually good enough. Something like 75% of shootouts are inside 21′, last under 2-1/2 seconds, with two shots fired (1.8 shots),, and whatever was to happen is OVER. Good or bad. davzway

  57. avatar Billy says:

    I’m not going to inpede my hearing in anyway. I wanna be able to hear a pin drop if someone’s in my home. Ear damage, or not. I’d rather have a great tac-light instead of the hearing protection, but that’s just me.

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