- Pistols, handguns, rifles, and shotguns can all be ideal for home defense depending on your situation
- Ample aftermarket customization defines many of our top 5 choices
- The “best” gun also depends on user skill and their wider home defense strategy
2021 is definitely the Year of the Gun. More people than ever bought a firearm last year, and their primary reason for doing so was self-defense, with around a fifth being first-time gun owners. Many gun owners only ever intend to use their gun in the home to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their property against aggressors.
Self-defense and home defense are thus deeply connected, and the best possible firearm must be selected for the job. We’ve assembled a short list of what we feel are the five top contenders for your home defense weapon. The guns were considered on four key criteria: reliability, ease of use, functionality, and availability.
1. The Glock 19
Topping our list is the gun generally considered to be the world’s most popular pistol, and one that earns its fame through solid reliability and other impressive features. The favored sidearm of soldiers and law enforcement officers alike, the Glock 19’s popularity has also soared as a home defense weapon since its introduction as a police firearm in 1988.
The gun has a standard magazine of 15 with one in the chamber and takes 9mm ammunition, meaning there’s plenty of readily affordable rounds available in its caliber. The ubiquity of the model also means there are many avenues for training available.
You’ll also see Glocks (and 9mms in general) showing up on many shortlists for female-friendly firearms due to the guns’ generally lighter weight, smaller size, and gentler recoil. Ladies can take advantage of a new 2021 course designed for them by Glock Professional (more details on their site).
The Glock 19’s globally positive reputation has allowed for a massive selection of after-market accessories and parts, including optics and barrel and trigger augments. This highly customizable aspect is important when it comes to making a home defense weapon truly “yours.” The Glock 19 can also be relied on to stop an aggressor without endangering people or property behind them due to its easy handling and relatively low penetration (depending on the ammo used).
2. The AR15 Platform
Being the favored rifle of the U.S. military is enough to land any model on a top 5. Tried and tested in diverse environmental conditions, it will be more than capable of performing in the cozy confines of a house, however, it’s the AR15’s history of successful use in urban warfare that marks it as a solid option for home defense.
This is another highly customizable weapon; so much so that it can be trimmed down to 9mm size. The NRA praised its virtues, naming portability (ideal for navigating the close quarters of a home), lightweight design, and low recoil among its many advantages.
ARs also deliver levels of accuracy exceeding those of any other kind of gun. Popular adoption of this design again means that ammunition and training opportunities are in ready supply. There is one caveat that must be noted: The AR15 fires 5.56/.223 rounds. The power of these two cartridges must be understood before committing because some rounds (like FMJ) may not stop when they hit the target and continue through any object or individual behind them.
There are also plenty of options out there closely resembling the AR15, such as the Sig Sauer M400 and the Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport II. Consider the benefits of these dependable, modular designs before making your next purchase.
3. The Mossberg 590
Shotguns are synonymous with stopping power, and the 12-gauge Mossberg 590 is among the finest. This is another design favored by the U.S. military and one that can be extensively customized for function, grip, and tactical advantage.
Shotguns are commonly associated with a low shell capacity that can lead to the belief that it’s best-suited to experienced shooters who need fewer shots. The Mossberg 590 houses six shells with one in the 3-inch chamber, meaning there’s ample opportunity to fire again.
It weighs in at 6.3 pounds and, like the AR15, comes with the potential drawback of advanced penetration. The Mossberg must also be considered in terms of its spread pattern and the damage this might cause along with the greater recoil of a shotgun, although the latter concern can be addressed by aftermarket additions to reduce the effect.
4. The Sig Sauer P226
Handguns have the built-in bonuses of being portable and easy to conceal when navigating corners in a home. The Sig Sauer P226 is a 9mm caliber handgun, meaning it provides the stopping power necessary to handle an aggressor with a high number of rounds in the magazine. It also accepts other ammo in .357 SIG and .040 S&W rounds. The Navy SEALS have been using this design for decades, which marks it as a very reliable gun.
The highly accurate P226 comes with SIGLITE night sighting as standard and can be further tactically customized with aftermarket add-ons. This ergonomic gun weighs in at 34 ounces, has low recoil, and boasts an impressive variety of product models with the potential drawback of a higher price tag. Shop around for the best deal.
5. The Remington 870
The second shotgun on our list and with good reason, the Remington 870 holds as many shells as the Mossberg 590 and can be customized with many aftermarket additions like tactical lights, pistol grips, and adjustable stocks. Indoor maneuverability is aided by the Remington’s short barrel, and powerful optics help keep targets sighted clearly.
The pump-action 870 is a durable, dependable choice that’s typically on the more affordable end of the shotgun scale. Users also commend the 870 for its thick butt pad, which delivers more comfortable shooting and reduces the effects of recoil. It isn’t the lightest choice depending on your build, weighing in at 7.5 pounds.
Final factors to consider
The mechanics of firearm performance matter, but they’re only part of the “best gun” equation. There are other aspects to consider, such as how smoothly it can become a part of your three-tiered home defense strategy. Another important element is if it can be successfully stored to allow quick access during an incident and maximum safety against accidental discharge (or theft by an intruder).
The next question is if the gun is a good fit for you and whether or not you are skilled enough to use it. Our blog on concealed carry criteria will teach you the core concerns when selecting a weapon that can effectively become part of your life, while our guide to shooting locations will help you increase firearm competency.
Explore your home defense options with Ammunition Depot
We provide a wide range of pistols, rifles, and shotguns that can help you decisively defend your home. We also provide the very best ammunition, magazines, gun parts, and gear, so you can create a comprehensive firearms strategy that will keep you and your loved ones safe. Drop by our contact page to learn more or ask any home defense questions.