The Best Guns to Own for Home Security

May 22, 2012

Security, Self Defense

choosing a weapon

The following article has been contributed by Madison Parker, a personal and home security blogger. It has been published with permission of the author. It does not necessarily represent the views of

When it comes to protecting your family and home from would be intruders, one area to focus on in regard to home defense is owning a weapon. And choosing the right weapon to protect your loved ones is a serious responsibility, one that should be carefully researched.

Firearms are the best weapon for home security. Choosing the best gun means selecting an effective weapon, one that is completely capable of stopping an intruder in his tracks. The capabilities of various guns are often debated, but the main idea is to choose something that’s easy to use and has the fire power you need at a moment’s notice.

You’ll also want to consider the penetration capabilities of the gun you select to defend your home. Remember, walls are not always a barrier to bullets.  When you discharge your weapon you won’t want to injure or possibly take the life of someone in the next room. So you’ll want to choose the ammunition you use as well as the caliber of the weapon itself carefully, so as not to over-penetrate your target. And always remember that you should not shoot a gun if you’re not okay with shooting at whatever is behind the target.

Naturally, you’ll want a gun that is reliable and isn’t prone to malfunctions, and one that can be purchased at a reasonable cost. And, be sure that the gun you choose can hold enough ammunition to suit your defense purposes. You will likely need to be able to fire more than a single shot, and you won’t want to reload under this type of stressful circumstance.

Of course cost is another consideration. As a general rule, you’re not expecting to have to use your weapon, and so you won’t want to spend a fortune investing in a high tech weapon. You should be able to find a solid defense weapon for fewer than two hundred dollars.

Shot Guns

Shot guns are certainly more powerful at a distance; handguns are easier to store and may be easier to lift. Carbines are another option.

In the shot gun category, a twelve gauge pump action is easy to load and fire, and is incredibly accurate at a range of twenty five yards or less. If you choose this type of weapon, be careful not to overcompensate with ammunition that is too powerful for a closely populated environment or home. A twelve gage is reliable, low cost, and can be purchased used. A Remington 870 is a sturdy and reliable twelve gauge shot gun to choose.

Carbine rifles are semi-automatic weapons that are highly effective and provide great shooting range. While this type of weapon affords less of a risk for over-penetration, it also          isn’t as powerful a weapon. It also comes with a caution: never use hollow point bullets or full metal jacket bullets for home defense which indeed cause extreme penetration.

Carbines have moderate to strong reliability and can hold large amounts of ammunition. They’re more expensive than shot guns; on the low end of the scale the light, fairly easy to use DPMS Panther Lite 16 is highly recommended.


Handguns are the most often selected weapon for home defense, due to size and easy storage near to where you may need to use one. They are also relatively inexpensive, and simple to learn to shoot. The effectiveness of stopping a target with a single shot, however, is low. And handguns do have a significant risk of over-penetration, so be vigilant about whatever is behind the target.

Handguns are reliable, reasonably priced, and can fit conveniently near your bedside. One of the top choices is a Glock model. The Glock 17 is accurate, reliable, and lightweight.

No matter which type of weapon you choose to defend your home, you can feel confident that you’ve selected a gun that can protect you and your family from harm, should an intruder access your home.

Madison Parker is a home security professional whose goal is to help individuals and families become better at increasing safety in and around their homes. You can get more ideas at Madison’s blog found here!

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20 Comments on “The Best Guns to Own for Home Security”

  1. Stu C. Says:

    Another good article. It isn’t only important that you have a weapon, but that you know how to use it properly. Unfortunately the new gun owner has some major hurdles to cover- not the least of which are the gun shop “experts” that need to make a sale. Marketing which tells you cartridge “x” is better than cartridge “y” clouds the waters even further. Try and find a friend that owns somehting so you can create some sort of baseline for your opinions. Some ranges have rental guns, this is a good option because you can generally test a wide variety instead of buying something and then finding out you don’t like it or it doesnt function as advertised. I am of the mindset that pistols are forfighting your’ way backto the rifle/shotgun you never should have left in the first place, but that doesn’t mean they are ineffective. No matter what you decide to go with you need to train on the system until you are completely confident in both thee abilities of the weapon, ammunition, andmost importantly yourself. Great article.


    • Joe Says:

      Absolutely, Stu C! Owning a weapon does you very little good if you don’t know how to use it, how to maintain it, etc. The same goes for most every other piece of gear too – compasses, first aid supplies, etc.


  2. David L Says:

    For home defense, a shot gun (Mossberg 500 pistol grip is my preference) is the way to go. I have some pistols, let alone rifles, all of which would too easily penetrate a wall or walls, possibly hitting someone in the next room or next home over. Birdshot at close range will cause the perp to immediately stop as it has not had time to spread out and if the adrenaline rush contributes to a miss, it won’t penetrate drywall (birdshot, not buck shot). If you plan to shot the perp who is using your loved one as a shield, shift to your pistol if you have the ability.

    And yeah, for the backyard or detached garage or a really big room, birdshot doesn’t have the range to be a quick stop. If the problem is that far away, rethink shooting as the threat may be too far away to be considered a threat to your life. I would strap on a pistol and grab a rifle. Hopefully not dawdling on which one to pick, and wait a bit

    In a SHTF scenario, remember you can shoot through a wall; an M4 can do it but my preference is either with a 308 like an AR-10 or M1A. A lesson of concealment versus cover…. Get a coupler to pair up 2 mags and keep it in or near your rifle of choice.


  3. Steve S Says:

    Concerning a shotgun for home security, there is at least one major drawback, which I’ll explain in this brief story told to me by a co-worker.

    About thirty years ago my co-worker, a teenager at the time, was at home with his younger sister when their home was broken into. His family had a shotgun for home defense, so he grabbed it and went towards the front door. The intruder had a knife, as well as his sister. He didn’t want to risk shooting his sister, so he opted to lay down the gun and take his chances hand-to-hand against the intruder. The intruder shoved his sister to the side and came after him. I won’t tell the complete ending, but my co-worker and his sister were uninjured and the intruder was still alive.


    • Joe Says:

      Hi Steve. Thanks for sharing the story. I’m glad that everyone lived to tell the tale, though it sounds like there may not have been a “happy” ending.

      Nevertheless, the drawback to the shotgun that you mentioned is that it is a “scatter gun”?



      • Steve S Says:

        Yes, that would be the drawback to a shotgun. If there is only one person involved, then it’s not really an issue, but you never know when there might be a “hostage” that you’d prefer not to potentially harm.


        • Joe Says:

          I see. That’s a tough scenario.

          However I will say that I would doubt that most people would feel any better about holding a rifle in that situation, much less a pistol. Adrenaline and nervousness would likely cause shaky hands.


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