The Best and Worst Types of Firearms to Use for Home Defense

Home invasion has become a severe threat due to the ongoing world situation, and having a way to defend your property and family from burglars is vital. The best solution is to have the proper tools to protect what’s yours. However, some weapons are better than others, and each firearm can be maneuvered with training.

So, you’ve been watching the crime-filled news. You’ve probably heard stories from neighbors or friends about home break-ins. Maybe you’ve even been the victim of a home invasion. And you’ve finally decided to purchase a firearm. Great!

You are one step closer to being safer in your home. But now you have to decide which weapon you should purchase: handgun, assault rifle, or shotgun. Everybody you ask will have an opinion. But the choice must be yours and yours only.

This is an important task, and you can’t just walk into a gun store and ask the guy behind the counter what he recommends. You need to research on your own and learn a few key facts before entering a gun shop and buying one or more firearms for home defense.

Which weapon system you choose could determine whether you and your family survive. Literally. Each has advantages and disadvantages in a home environment. To properly defend your home, you should know which arm works and which are the worst. For this, we’ve compiled a list of the three best and two worst types of firearms for home defense.

Best: Shotgun

good choice for home defense

One of the most popular home defense weapons among beginners is the shotgun. Homeowners prefer this weapon because you do not need to be accurate with it. It is enough to point at the intruders to scare them off. Shotguns are also cheaper than other firearms and have a relatively good shelf life.

There are many shotgun models to choose from that are reliable. The most common bullets for this weapon include birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. Buck is the standard ammo used for home defense, while birdshot is used primarily for birds and small animals. Slugs are dangerous and can go through a wall, so they might be hazardous when shot inside the house.

The most common shotguns purchased are the Mossberg 500, used by the military and police, and Remington 870, which has sold more than 11 million units.

Best: Rifle

Although rifles come in all sizes, only some are good for home defense. The most popular rifle among homeowners is the AR-15. It is reliable, lightweight, and has low recoil, making it easier for beginners to handle. In addition, this rifle can be suitable for hunting and target practicing.

As with all guns, you must train to use them efficiently and correctly. The best cartridge for this weapon would be a 55-grain load suitable for in-house use without destroying everything in its path.

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Best: Pistol

The most popular handguns are pistols and revolvers with a 9mm caliber. Unfortunately, they are powerful enough to scare intruders but can also penetrate through walls, so you need to be careful where you are pointing the gun not to scrape your loved ones.

Since small guns are popular for home defense, 9mm can be difficult to find in stock; that’s why it’s better to buy in bulk to not run out in dangerous situations. The Glock 19 is a compact handgun with a 15-bullet capacity. Most people use this pistol because it’s easy to maintain and has a firm grip.

Worst: Pocket Gun

Pocket guns are tiny, compact handguns that aren’t good for home defense. They are usually semi-automatic pistols that work with .22LR and .25 Automatic cartridges. These small pistols only work at close range, which is risky considering you must be up close to a home invader. The criminal has the chance to steal the pocket gun or perform an evade maneuver while you remain vulnerable.

Worst: Bolt Action Hunting Rifle

bad choice for home defense

This firearm is suitable for hunting; however, some household owners prefer this rifle for home defense. Unfortunately, it is not a good weapon for protecting your home because it has a long barrel, making it difficult to hold and point accurately at the intruder.

You also need to know how to operate the bolt to eject the spent case and load a new bullet after you shoot. They are also very powerful, as their shells can go through walls and can put your family in danger.

Price considerations

Unfortunately, price is a factor for many people when choosing which firearms for home defense to buy. Handguns are the least expensive option. Like a Glock or a Smith & Wesson, a good quality handgun can be purchased for $500 to $800. A shotgun or a rifle will be considerably more expensive. A good quality shotgun runs in the range of $600 to $1,200.

Notice I said, “good quality” with each firearm for home defense. Choosing a weapon for home protection is like buying insurance. It’s not the time to cheap out.

Do your research and buy the best quality weapon you can afford. Then seek training to be proficient and safe with it.

Training is always required


Handguns require less training than other firearms for home defense. Period. They are easy to operate, and most people can become fairly smooth and accurate with them after only a minimal amount of practice.

While rifles are relatively easy to aim and fire, they are more complicated when it comes to learning the system as a whole.

Shotguns are the most complicated of the three firearms for home defense. They require serious training to reach the weapon’s full potential for speed, accuracy, and power. Most people think they can just buy a shotgun, keep it loaded and shoot it when the need arises. This is not true.

Besides the issue of “select slug,” as many dispute this, the shotgun system itself is more complex to learn, and malfunctions are likely if you are not trained. Also, rifles and shotguns require more training to handle the problem areas created by a home environment because of their size. And shotguns have the added weight and recoil issues. Plus, in a sustained gunfight, reloading techniques will become paramount.


To conclude, when looking for firearms to protect your home and family, you should always research which are the ones that can correctly do their job. As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to avoid small handguns and hunting firearms.

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1 thought on “The Best and Worst Types of Firearms to Use for Home Defense”

  1. “One of the most popular home defense weapons among beginners is the shotgun. Homeowners prefer this weapon because you do not need to be accurate with it.”
    Absolutely wrong. Procedurally incorrect. Morally reprehensible. This sentence continues to prolong the myth that a person does not need to properly aim a shotgun at their intended target in order to hit it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like any other firearm, a shotgun must be aimed. With numerous projectiles being simultaneously discharged from the barrel at velocities over 1,000 FPS, failure to properly aim a shotgun before pulling the trigger could cause one or more of the projectiles to hit an unintended (and innocent) person or object. Failing to be accurate with any firearm violates Rule #4 of firearm safety, “Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond (beside) it.” Once the projectile leaves the firearm, there is no calling it back or changing its direction. The trigger should not be pulled unless the shooter absolutely knows what and where the bullet or projectile will hit. This requires proper aiming at the intended target. Beginners and experts alike need to keep the fundamentals of firearm safety in the forefront every time they handle a firearm whether it be practicing at the range or defending yourself in the middle of the night.


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