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 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 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!