15 votes

Best gun for home defense?

Hello fellow DP-ers,

I'm relatively young and married, and my wife and I don't live in the safest urban area ever. Thus, I am looking to purchase a gun soon, strictly for the purpose of home defense. I don't really know what to look for, as I don't know much at all about guns.

It needs to have the following:

- Stopping power
- Ease of operation
- Affordability
- Reliability
- Durability

A good friend of mine suggested a pump action shotgun.

What do you folks recommend?

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Stopping power?, Reliability?

An 870 Remington pump action shotgun will the job for you, 12 gauge is acceptable if you have a slight build, 20 gauge won't knock ya back, good if you want less rocoil, I recommend you this link


12 gauge shotgun....


Just one last kick in the nuts, then a final deathblow

an AK74 (5.45x39mm) DEFENSIVE HollowPoint like ones offered

by Hornady.

great terminal ballistics, and cheap (FMJ East Bloc military surplus range ammo).

The rifle itself can be had for between $380~900, depending. Which is pretty much how much you'd pay for a reputable, reliable handgun, like Glock, Beretta, FNH, Kimber, Springfield Armory, S&W, Colt, Walther, Steyr, Kahr, HK or SigSauer (if on sale).

And, stick a good red dot sight, which doesn't have to be the newest super duper tacticool gizmo from EOtech or AimPoint or Trijicon. You can have a good red dot for $80~370 from Bushnell, BSA or TruGlo, which are just as good for home use.

[Check] - Stopping power: The Russian 5.45x39mm is similar in characteristic to the US Military & NATO's 5.56x45mm, but some would argue, has a slightly better (debatable) terminal ballistics.

[Check] - Ease of operation: it's an AK
[Check] - Affordability: $380~900
[Check] - Reliability: it's an AK
[Check] - Durability: it's an AK

The notion that a shotgun is the best home defense gun vs. a rifle, is as much debated as 9mm vs. .45ACP and AR15 vs. AK47. That said, others' mileage may vary, but for me personally, especially if you've got more than one occupant in the same house, I find a carbine to be the better option.

Shotgun pellets are meant to spread, and you want to lessen point of aim vs. point of impact variables, not increase it, especially when a situation turns more dynamic. And slugs/sabot will go through bodies and drywalls like butter in CQB distances.


But really at the end of the day, it all depends on how proficient you get with ANY tool, be it a gun, or knife, or a sledgehammer.

While even a Ruskie 5.45mm FMJ round can and will over-penetrate, with proper modern defensive ammo like the ones offered by Hornady, they are likely to expand and dissipate energy upon hitting the first object, or an assailant, fairly dependably, significantly minimizing over-penetration.

Besides, if you miss with ANY type of gun or ammo, they'll ALL go through a typical American house's walls, which are more than likely nothing more than two sheets of drywall, anyway. So the emphasis should be more on your own proficiency and shot placement, rather than the weapons platform, per-se.

Plus, you have more ammo in a carbine (since you live in non-Commie Missouri, 30rounds vs. 5~8rounds more common in typical shotgun tubes). Since most armed home invasions consist of multiple intruders, no one ever complained about having more BB's.

Yup, most don't think scheisse like this can happen to them, until it does.

And, you can aim your rifle precisely at the assailant, without worrying about your ammo scattering uncontrollably once it leaves your muzzle, like a shotgun would. Granted, more than likely even within CQB distances most 12ga double ought buck would hold a tight pattern, but you're far better off at least having the option of having a precision weapon, than strictly a scatter weapon, especially with your family members around, where the need for emphasis on avoiding stray shots are more paramount than ever.

And, don't ever listen to anyone who claims racking a pump action shotgun is always enough, to scare a thug; you don't rack your shotgun to scare them, you rack it only if you are certain about defending yourself against an immediate threat or an assailant.

Same goes for 'warning shots.' NEVER shoot warning shots. If your pistol's out of your holster, and your rifle/shotgun stock touches your cheek, it should be hot and good to go. All that crap about racking and warning shots are ALL Hollywood myths.

But, most of all, ALL weapons are useless, unless you actively make time to train yourself to FIGHT with them, not to mention, know what to do AFTER a lawful lethal defense.

If you don't have any reputable tactical schools near you, some of these videos are a great primer to get you off in the right direction.

MagPul Dynamics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrRFLDyiKOQ

Travis Haley, fmr.CEO & MagPul Dynamics Instructor: Adaptive Kalash

Gabe Suarez (a few screws loose, but no nonsense):

Rob Pincus (very scientific, and a bit overly analytical, but works):

James Yeager (just an all around bad ass mofo):
Erika rocking an AK74 in 5.45mm at Yeager's Tactical Response Fighting Rifle Class.
Plus, if he can teach a R3VOL's ELEVEN year old daughter to do this, Tactical Response can teach anyone to become a good gunfighter.

Good hunting.

P.S. Or, better yet, an acceptable compromise: a rifle/carbine in a pistol caliber would also be a great option.


Like the Beretta CX4 Storm carbine in 9mm, which you can use the same magazines from their pistol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtkuVzbgD98

though for me personally, considering the fact that it costs as much as a well made AK or a workable AR, I'd rather just buy an AK or AR, instead.

also, since you're a family man, this goes without saying, but please buy a good gunsafe that you can quickly access in an emergency, or have a good rapid deployment strategy, and teach EVERYONE in your family about 4 basic safety rules:

- Keep your finger off the trigger until you're certain of your target and ready to shoot
- Know what your target is, and what is behind it (over-penetration concerns)
- Treat All guns as IF they are Always loaded
- Do not point the muzzle at anything you're NOT willing to destroy

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul


FNP 9mm

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm just well-informed



SteveMT's picture

Sounds like you are describing gold, not a gun! lol.

Anyway, if you want home protection, bigger is better. Home protection begins with "4," and it ends with "5." A Glock 21 works for me. It's a 45 that holds 13 + 1 in the chamber. It comes with 2 clips, a loader, and cleaning materials. A "Judge" also works. That gun holds 410 shut-gun shells or 45 longs. I alternative those rounds in the 5 bullet chamber. These will both stop anyone. They are both worth it.


A good, all-around choice is a 12-gauge pump action shotgun. Personally, I'd choose a Mossberg 500 (the Remington 870 is great, too, but IMHO the Mossy seems to run smoother). If your wife isn't too fond of the cannon-size recoil, though, a 20 gauge is perfectly good (and quite lethal) as well.

In terms of pistols, that really depends. I adore revolvers - simple, reliable, no frills, and nearly indestructible. Others love autoloaders - high magazine capacity, superb rate of fire, and extremely swift reloading. I will warn you, .40 S&W is great, but it's rather jumpy. 9mm and .38 Special are good handgun options if you're looking for good power and low recoil, though I tend more towards the .45 ACP or .357 Magnum rounds for their stopping power (and yes, before anyone asks, I HAVE fired each and every caliber mentioned numerous times, so I know what I'm talking about when I warn about the recoil). If the pistol is strictly home defense and not for carrying, go with a full-sized one. They're easier to handle, IMO, and reduce the recoil nicely.

Just my two cents' worth.

Louisville Slugger

Hickory has a nice tone to it when you make contact.

The Louisville 32 never needs re-loading, the trigger never jambs and you get a workout in the process. Plus being close to your work, hands on as it were, can be very gratifying.

"One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas" Victor Hugo

Yes, but only AFTER you have

Yes, but only AFTER you have run out of bullets

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

Whatever gun you go with

Whatever gun you go with PLEASE learn gun safty and how to shoot your firearm. Also learn exactly what that ammunition that you keep in your gun will penetrate, you dont want any innocent person getting shot. If you lived in FL I would show you everything my grandfather taught me. Good luck in your hunt, if you need any additional info just ask.

The loaded one...


get this

On a cold Sunday in December 1776 John Mott's family was keeping warm by the fire when a party of six Hessian soldiers approached their home. Mott sent the children to hide in the cellar and barricaded the door. The Germans smashed the door with axes. Mott met the intruders as they entered and fought them with a fireplace poker and tongs. He killed three of them, and the other three fled for their lives.

Yes, you should get a gun, but it's more important to get the proper training and have the right mental equipment. In fact, every American should own a proper MBR (military battle rifle) and know how to use it. It needs to be done, and there is currently an avenue to start on your road to becoming a rifleman. It is not expensive, and it is provided to you as a voluntary service of your fellow countrymen.


(Story about John Mott from Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer.)

Look at the Mossberg or Remington 12g

I suggest the Mossberg 12g, with 18.5 in barrel.
Mossbergs are solid, modifiable (you can get a longer barrel for hunting purposes and they are easily interchangeable), and pretty inexpensive.
Since you'll need to practice (a lot), ammo cost and availability is important. 12g shells are everywhere and not that expensive.
I suggest #4 buckshot for indoor home defense. You might want to get some 00 ("double-aught") buckshot for outdoor use, and rifled slugs if you need to stop a larger zombie or a vehicle ;)
Remington makes a great shotgun too, they just tend to be more expensive.

SpoT on

Mossburg 12 ga w/ pistol grip, 00-04 shot, I like 02,

Add a sig pro .40 , if you can afford, you won't be sorry.


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I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

My father-in-law seconds your buddy's suggestion

And he adds that you might want it to be a smaller gauge, unless your wife is a tough woman. He says that if it's too big or too intimidating to use, then it's worthless when it needs to be used.

(I read your post to him to see what he thought, because I am in your situation too...)

"He did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it." - John 3:17

"Well, you know it's like I always say 'it ain't government work if you don't have to do it twice.'" - Jerry Gergich

Any gun is better than none.

Whatever gets "the job" done.

"Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books...Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: 'I'm free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn't. I can. And my children will."

-Jimmy Stewart

Linda Cross's picture

Are you looking for a list of what guns are owned by DP members?

edited, no comment.

If you see something, say something, the government is listening.
Silence isn't golden, it's yellow.

It depends on your state's gun laws.

Do the research on that first and then you'll know what options you have. But here are some good high capacity shotguns...

Kel Tec KSG that can hold 15 shells
Saiga 12 w/ a 20 Round Drum

I respect all the other

I respect all the other comments as most are fine weapons..But I assume you want something your wife can fire..Women are scared of weapons so you want something she is comfortable with..I have tried .40 with women and they are frightened of it with its recoil..depends on the woman..a 38 is the same way..I would start with a 9 gloc..Ease of operation and nice at the range..Your wife will have no problem reaching for this and being accurate in a time of crisis

Women are not scared of weapons

At least not me. But I am scared of pistols I don't feel I can control. Like the glock. 38 is way way better for a lady with small hands. See the comment below about the slide as well.

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

You may not be able to get THAT,, but you CAN get this...

http://betaco.com including on a Glock 9mm. Check it out.

Ron Paul 2012
The Champion of the Constitution

At the cross Jesus Christ defeated sin, death, hell, and the new world order.
C’mon boys, let’s take the plunder!

Nice! pretty cool

Nice! pretty cool website.

Check out the Glock 17 with explosive ammo! heh,heh...

benelli super 90 with a

benelli super 90 with a magazine extension. double 00 buck.

Winchester Defender 8-Shot

Model 1300, Defender 8-Shot w' Pistol Grip
3" Mag, 18" barrel
Weighs just 6 lbs. 8 oz.
$354.00 MSRP

Load buckshot first, then alternate with deer slugs. From an 18" barrel the buckshot won't miss with a clear shot and the deer slugs will go through doors and walls and anyone trying to redistribute your wealth.


The ad is ancient, but this one is all ready to go with a mag lite, shoulder strap and holder for extra shells.

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty" TJ

FN 5.7 handgun. A little on

FN 5.7 handgun. A little on the expensive side, but it's a close quarter gun with some longer distance range if needed.

There are lots of theories on this

My personal opinion is that 12 gauges don't require precise aiming, but they are unwieldy in tight spaces, and if you don't have the stock properly placed against your shoulder, you could easily take yourself "out of the battle" and never even hit the intruder. I don't think it's a good choice for a woman who doesn't have experience in shooting.

I would go the .357 magnum route. Even then, I'd make sure to take her to the range because it has enough of a kick that it scares some people. The time to learn how to shoot the gun is not the first time you need it.

The most important thing, however, is to be mentally prepared both to make sure of what you're shooting, and to commit to shooting an intruder should the time come. It sounds trite, but hesitation will get you killed in those circumstances, so you need to visualize the situations where you'd be willing to take someone's life, and you need to mentally commit to those situations. Forget all the old-west movies or any of the other Hollywood fictions about gun fighting. If you have an advantage, take it. There's a reason that most shootings in the real old west were in the back. In life-and-death situations, "fair" fights are idiotic.

Hands down best gun for home defense

the JUDGE! made by tarus. It will fire 410 shot gun shells AND 45 colt! I love mine and keep it loaded with 410 shells for the simple reason that the 410 shells will do the job with the added bonus of not going through my wall and into my neighbors house. 9mm and up will tend to penetrate multiple walls and will end up god knows where. With the judge you can find a ton of different shells to load it up with that are SUPER deadly. Just make sure you know how to use it. Oh and did i mention its a revolver that's only about 7in long?

Ron Paul > Gary Johnson > Crap > Obama

A friend of mine has one

Its like the loudest hand gun I ever shot, use ear protection! Probably the best weapon for close range, you just point in the general direction and you hit whatever is infront of you.

My Choice Also !

Here is a video on the "Judge"


Treat it with respect - It is one powerful weapon