There are so many options on the market for home defense today it can kind of make your head spin, especially if you are just getting started. You really have to consider several factors regarding a home defense weapon. There are 5 key factors you need to consider, before considering which gun you choose to rely on. Here they are:
1) What kind of home do you live in? Single family, multifamily, wood, concrete, metal?
*We consider this for ammunition penetration concerns.
2) What kind of front door, garage entry door and back door do you have and what kind of locks are on them?
*We consider this because of ease or lack of ease of entry – dead bolts, kick plates, glass windows on doors, sliding glass doors or french doors, wood, fiberglass, metal doors, how old, decay.
3) Who lives in the home with you? Spouse, kids, parents, visiting friends or family?
*We consider this because age, physical deficiencies, location of, etc. can play a part in who gets shot or who becomes a hostage or victim.
4) How much distance is between you and safety? Examples:
A) Living/Family room and front door and back door?
B) Back yard BBQ grill to back door or fence gate?
C) Bedroom to hallway, living/family room, front door, back door?
*We consider this because we need to calculate distance to our attacker, how accurate of a shot you are, distance to a safe room, escape route.
5) What kind of lighting is on?
A) Outside lighting – street lights, street signs, garden lights, neighbors’ lights
B) Interior lighting – night lights, stove hood light, TV light, ambient lights from electronics
*We consider this because light because light normally is our friend, but when someone invades your home it no longer becomes your friend. It is now the friend of the home invader. It helps them see. eliminate as much ambient light as possible. You should have the tactical advantage. It’s your home, you know the layout, especially in the dark! You may have to use that to help save your life.
Now let’s talk about the actual firearm. This is a completely subjective matter and you will get varied answers from all kinds of people as to what you should or shouldn’t use for home defense. Just as in every day shooting the firearm you select for home defense has to be a firearm that you can get to quickly and shoot comfortably. You should also be able to load and unload it in the dark.
Shotgun: Shotguns come in all different shapes and sizes. 12 gauge, 20 gauge and .410. Full length, pistol grip with no butt stock, hunting. I absolutely will tell you to stay as far away from a shotgun with just a pistol grip and no butt stock… like this… This shotgun is too difficult to handle for anyone, let alone someone who has just been wakened by a bump or crash in the night!
A shotgun is a fairly easy to use firearm, plus, it comes with a universal “Oh crap” translator: Click-click With a shotgun you do not have to be accurate… point and shoot! But, beware, it will make a mess of your intruder and anything else the buckshot, birdshot, etc. hits! But, most shotgun rounds/ammunition will not over penetrate a wall. That is especially good if you live in an apartment or condo. Most shotguns will hold 7-8 rounds.
Next up is our ever popular AR15 style rifle. The AR also comes in various styles and colors. I wouldn’t worry about the color much because the person looking down the barrel won’t be too concerned about the color! Trust me! The caliber is .223 or 5.56mm. Most ARs will take either. The receiver will be stamped with the caliber on the side. The AR rifle is lightweight, easy to hold, aim and fire with very low recoil. Almost anyone can handle this firearm, even a child. The .223 bullet is designed to tumble once it makes contact with an object. It does maximum damage to the body but it is actually a good round to use in home defense as it usually will not over penetrate drywall, wood or concrete. You can get AR magazines that hold anywhere from 10 to 60 rounds, although standard is 30. Although the AR is an easy firearm to operate, it does require you to aim and most of the time you will want to steady it with both hands, but again, the recoil is minimal at best.
Lastly, we have the pistol. Smaller, many are easy to handle depending on the caliber of bullet. Pistols, or handguns, can be either revolvers or semi-auto. Revolvers are good, but pack a fairly hefty recoil and are limited to 5-6 rounds of ammunition. I guess if you are in New York that is not a problem! A semi-auto handgun can hold from 6 to 17 rounds of ammunition, again, depending on the caliber. But, the drawback to a handgun is that you need to aim, hold your gun steady and hold it with two hands for maximum effectiveness. One possible drawback to a handgun/pistol is that most ammunition is designed for maximum penetration and have the tendency to over penetrate walls, most drywall and wood. But, to compensate many bullet manufacturers are making lower velocity bullets that reduce the possibility of over penetration. This is special personal defense ammunition.
So hang on… so why should I even be concerned with the amount of ammunition my gun can hold? Great question! Do I need 6-17-30 rounds of ammunition? I have no idea! But, if there is a chance I need more, let’s say due to being nervous we just keep pulling the trigger or there is more than one intruder then I want to make sure I have enough ammunition at my disposal to ensure that the threat has been stopped… no matter if that means I need to only use one or it’s necessary to use 30! Same as in my kitchen or garage. Do I get a small fire extinguisher or a big one? Well, depends… am I expecting to have a big fire or a small fire? I have no idea, but either way I want to be prepared! Don’t you?
Well.. hope this sparked some interest, maybe even some discussion in the family. If you have any thoughts, comments or questions feel free to post them here!
As always… Stay FOCUSED!