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How to Choose the Ideal Pistol for Home Defense

Posted by Justin on

Pistols are a popular choice of firearm for home defense; they’re small, easy to train with, and relatively affordable.

However, with all the options of top-notch handguns available, it can be tough to know which critical features to look for - especially when choosing the best model for your home defense needs.

Let’s break down the 4 factors you should consider when purchasing the ideal pistol to defend what's yours:


4. Pick the Caliber

First things first, you'll need to choose the caliber and define your type of pistol. Home defense pistol calibers can range from as low as .22 LR to as large as 5.56/.223 caliber ammunition.

In a nutshell, caliber simply refers to the size of the bullet fired by the handgun, but it also translates to other characteristics worth noting.

The caliber of your rounds not only impact the stopping power of your weapon, but also its penetrative abilities. For most home defense needs, 9mm ammunition and their firearms are ideal since 9mm ammo is cheap, easy to find, and produces enough stopping power to kill an attacker in one or two shots in many cases.

One more thing – when choosing a firearm and ammunition, hollow-point bullets are usually best for home defense. Hollow-point rounds won't pass through walls, which keeps your neighbors safe if you need to discharge your weapon indoors. Plus, they also spread out when they hit a target so they provide more stopping power. As you probably know, if you shoot someone in self-defense, you do so with the intent to kill, not to wound.

3. Weight and Comfort

Next, choose a firearm that has a good weight and balance when you hold it. It can be tough to know whether a gun will be comfortable if you’ve never held a firearm before, so it may be a good idea to visit a gun shop and ask to try several firearms.

Many of the best gun shops will even have shooting ranges where you can pay to practice with a gun before purchasing the firearm you select. 

Generally, smaller and lower-caliber firearms are better for women. Larger firearms may be more suitable for men since they have larger palms. Regardless, a good self-defense pistol will also have a textured grip so it’s easy to keep your hold of the firearm even if your hands get sweaty.

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2. Attachment Acceptance

It may also be wise to find a home defense firearm that can accept various attachments, like a laser sight or flashlight that attaches to the rail. Both of these can help you verify and hit your target in low-light environments, such as your home in the middle of the night.

1. Concealed or Not?

Lastly, you must consider whether a home defense pistol can be carried concealed or not. The pistol only needs to be concealed if you like to take it with you elsewhere. If the gun will only be used at home, it doesn’t need to be small enough to fit into a concealed carry holster.

Your Best Options for Home Defense

Now that you know what to look for, here’s a selection of a few ideal home defense pistols we recommend:

  • Glock 17 or 19 Gen 5 (the 19 is compact)
  • Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0
  • Sig Sauer P320
  • Walther PDP
  • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm

Aside from those stellar sidearm picks, you should feel free to keep shopping and speak with other home defense experts. 

With these tips, you're well on your way to finding the right pistol for your needs so you'll feel safer and more secure in your home than ever before.

Thanks for reading - stay strong, patriots.

Justin | FamTeeWorld
Maine, USA

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