Choose the best home defense rifle to secure your home and protect yourself from threats
- The underlying condition before selecting any rifle is how well it serves your needs
- Don't let the cosmetic appearance and brand get in the way
- Consider the caliber, price, barrel length, ammo, and stock fit
- Check your house plan, budget, surroundings, and other specific parameters
- Factor in accessories like optics and a sling that may add to its weight and cost
America has always been a nation of riflemen. The history of rifles in the USA dates back to the Revolutionary War and maybe even further.
The love for rifles never waned and is still as strong as it ever was, so much so that people have started considering rifles as a dependable firearm for their homes.
Yes, that's right, we are talking rifles for home security.
Choosing the right home defense rifle is a difficult decision. Size, type, make, weight — there's so much to consider.
Don't fret, we'll walk you through the different types of rifles.
Once through, you'll be able to make an informed decision about the best rifle for your needs. Don't take any chances with your family's lives.
Get yourself the most reliable and practical rifle.
Why does a home defense rifle make sense?
Rifles are lethal, accurate, customizable, carry large magazines, have a low kick, and quickly neutralize multiple targets.
You can't go wrong with a rifle in your home. If safety is your top-most concern, then a rifle is your absolute best ally.
It is far easier to aim and operate a rifle. A longer sight radius and superior grip give the rifle the ultimate edge in any defensive situation.
The firepower, muzzle energy, and bullet velocity from a rifle are what you need to overpower your intruders.
The next time a threat comes knocking at your doorstep, it would probably consider it safer to retreat after seeing what you're packing.
A rifle helps you incapacitate your invaders, secure your family, save the day, and become a hero.
Top 5 factors to consider before choosing a home defense rifle
There's no perfect home defense rifle; it all boils down to your requirements.
Ultimately, the best home defense rifle is the one that saves the occupants in your home.
Let's look at all the top aspects that you need to consider before splurging on a rifle:
- Distance: The last thing you want is to engage with assailants in close quarters. This is where an extended-perimeter rifle comes in.
If you're going to deliver crucial blows, way beyond 250 yards, then an extended-perimeter rifle makes perfect sense. Otherwise, opt for a close-perimeter rifle.
- Weight: Don't get bogged down by heavy rifles like a Zastava M70 ZPAP in crisis moments.
Also, always factor in the extra weight from scopes and stocks. Now, check the cumulative weight. If it adds up to your comfort level, then go for it. Otherwise, stick to a lighter variant like a KelTec SUB-2000.
- Penetration: The rifle you choose mustn't inadvertently injure your loved ones or neighbors.
That is why it's essential to know the depth of a weapon and its round. An overly powerful round, like a .30-06, could pass through the intruder and out the wall to enter your child's bedroom.
- Length: The length of a rifle is also something you need to consider.
If it's too long, then positioning it to fire a round could take forever and it won’t be the best weapon to rely on in tight spaces.
A cumbersome long gun will make it hard to move around and reduce the speed with which you can respond to a threat.
- House Plan: Your home goes a long way in deciding what rifle makes the most sense for you.
The area around, size of your house, threat levels in the vicinity, and other parameters in your society will influence the best rifle.
Before deciding on a firearm, understand every nook and corner in your home — corridor, room size, ceiling height, wall material, and more.
Top 4 home defense rifles
With those parameters in mind, here are four rifles that fit most home defense needs
- AR-15: The AR-15 rifle is the most powerful weapon for someone seeking their first home defense rifle.
AR-15s are easy to shoot due to the low recoil and ergonomic grip, have great magazine capacity, and have excellent accuracy. AR-15s are affordable and readily available all over the United States.
These are easy to customize and upgrade, as well. You'll have no problems attaching an optic, handguard, or any other accessory.
You can either purchase an AR-15 as a complete rifle or build the same from parts. Either buy a mid-length AR-15 with a 16-inch barrel or opt for a full-length with a 20-inch barrel.
The 16-inch is lighter, compact, and much easier to maneuver; the 20-inch, not so much. What you lose in weight with the 20-inch, you gain in muzzle velocity and accuracy.
Irrespective of the variant, when it comes to an AR-15 rifle, you can't go wrong.
- AK-47: A gas-operated assault rifle that takes a 7.62×39mm round, AK-47s are widely popular for being easy to repair, easy to unjam (rarely does), and easy to maintain.
Over the years, the semi-automatic AK-47 has acquired a reputation for its reliability and ruggedness.
AK-47 currently sits as the most frequently used tactical rifle in the United States, after the AR-15. Its cartridge, 7.62x39mm, tends to over-penetrate — it can cut through anything — but the AK still serves as a decent defensive rifle in all households.
- AK-74: An upgrade to AK-47, consider yourself fortunate if you manage to get your hands on one. Why?
The 5.45x39mm round of AK-74 makes it a more reliable rifle than the AK-47, which uses a 7.62x39mm cartridge. AK-74 has an effective range of 550 yards, and the lighter cartridge and recoil mean the weapon is easier to handle.
- IWI Tavor: The Tavor is a bullpup, piston-driven rifle chambered in a 5.56x45mm NATO caliber.
Tavor X95 is a compact and reliable variant that measures less than an AR-15 with the stock collapsed.
It'll set you back around $2000, but the size, reliability, and other features make it value for money in every way.
Only settle for the best home defense rifle
Whether you choose an AR-15 or a rifle from the AK series, weigh your options carefully.
Understand your unique needs, house plan, neighborhood, caliber, budget, weight, price, and other factors to finalize the best home defense rifle.
Don't just settle for a subpar and low-cost rifle that fails to perform in life-threatening moments.
The challenges and pain points vary from house to house.
Ensure you research, define, evaluate, and then commit to spending your dollars on the right style and caliber rifle for your unique needs.
What worked for someone may not deliver the same results in your locality. For more updates on rifles, check out our blogs.