Top Handguns to Have in Case of a Home Invasion

Home alarm systems are tremendously useful in that they keep away opportunistic burglars. What they can’t stop, however, is an ingenious criminal who’s intent on breaking into your home, or even someone you know who wants to force their way in. For those circumstances when your security system isn’t enough, many people turn to a handgun as a last line of personal defense.

Some people will advocate for shotguns or rifles as the right weapon for a home invasion. These might be the right type of weapons for some homes, but not for most. Handguns are much more difficult for a home invader to wrest from your grip, and they’re also less likely to create an over-penetration situation where they damage the home or someone else around. These are just some of the reasons that handguns tend to be the most popular choice for home defense

Yet, not all handguns are created equal. You need to pick a handgun that will reliably stop a home invader in his tracks.

Autoloading pistols
Autoloading pistols are able to carry more cartridges than a revolver. They usually hold around 10 rounds. They’re quicker to reload, if you have a pre-loaded magazine handy. If you shoot your pistol until it’s empty and you don’t have a pre-loaded magazine, you could be in trouble.

Autoloaders are also more likely to jam than a revolver, as well.

When it comes to picking a handgun, you want to pick from service-style handguns. There are a number of good choices from this category, including:

  • Beretta M92 series
  • Ruger P series
  • SIG P229 and P239
  • Both the Full-Size and Compact Glock pistols

Each of these autoloading pistols have double action or safe action. That means they can be stored with the chamber still loaded and the safety off.

Revolvers
Revolvers are a bit different from an autoloading pistol. They typically hold six cartridges. They can remain loaded and unbothered for years; unlike autoloading pistols, there’s no spring that will potentially freeze up.

There are two kinds of revolvers you can use for home defense: single action and double action. Single action revolvers have to be manually cocked – like you’d see in a western, for example. The Colt Single Action Army as well as the Blackhawk and Vaquero from Ruger are example. They’re slow to reload, but they tend to be terribly accurate.

Double action revolvers can be shot using single action style – by thumb cocking and then pulling lightly on the trigger. This is the most accurate way to fire. A single long pull will instead both cock and relese the hammer (thus “double action.”)

Good choices for double action revolvers include:

  • Colt Python
  • Ruger GP100
  • Smith and Wesson Model 10 Military and Police

Ultimately, the best handgun for protecting your home has a lot to do with you. You need a gun that feels right in your hands that you can shoot accurately with, and that’s going to perform when you need it.


Madison Parker is a home security expert whose passion for safety has led to the creation of her HomeSecuritySystems.net blog. Swing by her blog to get more home security tips and advice!

6 thoughts on “Top Handguns to Have in Case of a Home Invasion

  1. I have to say a FN Five-seven is good (no kick and impact of a .45 when it hits). My Kimber .45 is also great in single action. Less pulling on the trigger. When I pull it out of the holster the hammer gets cocked automatically and it’s gravy from there. I do prefer to give a revolver to the less skilled shooters as less room for error, although I’m sure they will not hit much unless very close range.

  2. “Handguns are much more difficult for a home invader to wrest from your grip”

    Not really, handguns make really good little levers, rifles and shotguns are harder to get control of.

    “and they’re also less likely to create an over-penetration situation where they damage the home or someone else around.”

    Any handgun round that will stop an intruder, will over penetrate just like any rifle or shotgun round.

    “Autoloaders are also more likely to jam than a revolver, as well.”

    This is misleading at best. Quality semi auto’s are very reliable, where as even the most high end revolver can suffer from short stroking the trigger.

    “They can remain loaded and unbothered for years; unlike autoloading pistols, there’s no spring that will potentially freeze up.”

    So can Semi automatics. Springs fail by CYCLING not sitting. If a spring fails from sitting compressed is was a substandard component in the first place.

    “There are two kinds of revolvers you can use for home defense: single action and double action.”

    Single action for home defense? Better than nothing I suppose, with it’s slot rate of fire, and extremely long reloads. Might as well recommend using TWO of them if you’re going to recommend single action at all.

    @CT the 5.7 does NOT have the impact of a .45 ACP when it hits because it does not have the same momentum.

  3. look at the Taurus Judge. either .45colt or .410 shotgun. handy and lethal at close range.

  4. Call me old fashioned but I’d be happiest with firstly a 1911 in .45ACP, or failing that a CZ85 or a Browning High Power in either 9mm or better yet .40 S&W.

  5. I noticed the Smith and Wesson Model 10 Military and Police Revolver
    was listed. In fact, I think so highly of classic K and N frame Smith and
    Wesson .38’s and .357’s (yes I admit I’m biased) I even posted my
    own take on this fine classic and venerable revolver. To read my posted
    online comment for 6/4/2012 simply enter http://www.americanrifleman.org/
    videos/S-W-model-10/. Or “I have this old gun: Smith and Wesson
    Model 10.” This is an online NRA video.

    My choice of a self defense/house protection/homeland security handgun
    is fulfilled in a Smith and Wesson (K-Frame) Model 66 “stainless” .357
    Combat Magnum revolver with 4″ barrel. All six chambers are kept loaded with Federal’s 129 grain (+P) “Hydra-Shoks.” Anything I state
    about these historic revolvers will be redundant and repititve anyway.

  6. Pingback: How to protect yourself from burglary or home invasion.

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