What to Consider When Buying the Perfect Firearm for Home Defense
December 6, 2017 By Dave Young (YoungBuckDave)
One of the everlasting debates out there is what is the perfect firearm for home defense and how do you figure out which firearm best suits you for a home defense situation. Some say that a shotgun is the perfect firearm because of the infamous sound it makes when chambering a round which people say is the universal sign of "you're not welcome in my home". Others feel that an AR15 is the best due to the number of rounds you can carry in the rifle, along with the stopping power of the rifle, as well as all the accessories you can attach to the firearm to give you the upper hand in case you have to protect yourself and your loved ones during the night. Other people say just a good reliable pistol with a weapon mounted light or a handheld light is the perfect situation for a home invasion. Everyone has their own opinion on this topic, but I am about to discuss some of the major factors I believe everyone should consider before choosing a firearm. Just because it may be your favorite to operate at a shooting range, doesn't mean it is the best firearm for home defense. Also, your friend's ideal firearm for a home defense situation may not best suit you, due to many factors. In this article we will discuss what factors come into play when choosing the best firearm that will suit your needs and what factors you need to consider when choosing a firearm, you intend to have for home defense.
The first factor someone should look at has to do with where they live. Do you live in a house all by yourself? Do you live in an indoor apartment complex or an apartment complex where your neighbors share an adjoining wall with you? Do you have a family and if so do you have any children, or do you just live with your significant other? In my opinion these factors play a big role in determine what firearm is perfect for you because of one main factor and that factor is penetration. If you are in a situation inside your home where your life is in danger and you have chosen to use a firearm to protect you, you do not want the round to pass through the intruder and end up hitting a loved one behind them. Also, if you miss and one of those rounds goes through a wall and hits a sleeping neighbor if you live in an apartment complex it could be bad news. Another factor is if you have kids. Heaven forbid you ever find yourself in a situation where someone breaks into your home trying to harm you and your loved ones and you decide to use a firearm to protect yourself, and then choose a caliber that's too powerful and it over penetrates through the intruder and harms your child or wife. At the same time though you don't want to choose a caliber like a .22LR that has very little stopping power and as a result will not stop someone trying to do harm to you. That's why it's important to find a happy medium when considering these factors and then choose the proper measures to make sure this doesn't happen.
Another factor that should be consider but is closely related to how your home is laid out is choosing the proper kind of ammunition to load your firearm with. One way to prevent over penetration from occurring is to load your home defense firearm with hollow points or rounds specifically made to hit the intended target and not over penetrate. Hollow points are designed to expand stop when they their hit the target while FMJ rounds (full metal jacket), the same ones you use to shoot at the range may over penetrate and pass right through the target. If you feel a shotgun is the best option for you as a home defense firearm you may want to try out multiple types of shotgun rounds to see what fits your situation the best. For example, bird shot is great because they cover a wide area with a large amount of small pellets and do not require much aiming as well as not over penetrating the target. These loads also have low recoil. But since they have a wide spread there is always a chance you may hit someone that is not your intended target due to the wide spread of pellets. With shotguns most people have decided that slugs or buckshot are the best home defense rounds for them. Buck shots vary in size and shoot large balls depending on the type of buck shot. Shotgun slugs fire one big piece of metal and deliver devastating damage to the intended target but require more aiming than bird shot and buck shot. These factors all come into play and are why I believe the type of ammunition you choose to use in your home defense firearm is directly related to where you live, and who lives in your home with you.
Another factor to consider when buying a firearm for home defense is who might be using this firearm and what their experience level is. This factor is very important for multiple reasons. When deciding on the right firearm for home protection you need to look at who may have to use this firearm to protect themselves during a life or death situation. If you live by yourself then it's a lot easier because you can get whatever you like. If you have a family or just live with a significant other it can be a bit more complicated, and the main reason it can be more complicated has to do with recoil. Recoil can be managed by continued practice with the firearm until your body gets used to the violent kick that the firearm may exert and after time you will be able to handle it smoothly and effectively. Regardless of the firearm you see fit for your need as a home defense firearm if you live with other people like kids or a significant other, I believe everyone in the household should be able to operate the firearm safely and effectively under a watchful eye of someone with experience through continued practice. Comfort is also closely related to this factor. You want to find a reliable firearm that gives you the "warm and fuzzy feeling" when you hold it in your hand. You don't want to buy a firearm because it's supposedly the "latest and greatest" gun out there. If it doesn't feel comfortable to you when you hold it, it's not going to feel comfortable when you must shoot it.
These are just some of the factors I believe get frequently overlooked when it comes to purchasing a firearm for home defense. Everyone is different, with their own likes and dislikes, that why taking the time to do some proper research is very important when deciding on the right firearm that suits you best for home defense. My personal firearm that I keep for home defense is a Sig Sauer Legion P226 chambered in 9MM. This pistol is equipped with a high lumen weapon mounted light and two 21 round magazines loaded with 147gr hollow points. I decided on using a pistol for home defense for various reasons. I can maneuver around with a pistol very effectively keeping it close to my body, so an intruder cannot reach out from around a corner and grab the firearm. Another reason I chose a pistol over a shotgun or rifle has to do with where I live which is in an apartment complex and do not want any rounds that may have to be fired during a life or death situation to over penetrate my intended target. Just because this is what I have decided on doesn't make it necessarily the right choice for anyone else. So, if you're in the market for a home defense firearm take the time to consider all of the factors I have listed so you can confidently keep your and/or your loved ones as safe as possible if you should ever have to deploy the firearm to save your lives.