You awake to a loud noise. There is a threat in your home. Responsibly-armed citizen that you are, you have decided to go and defend your family from a would-be assailant. What should you use?
In this scenario, it’s a little too late to start the decision process, but we have compiled a list of 25 firearms for home defense that make for some solid options.
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Let’s begin the countdown:
25. A .22LR Revolver
OK, so we’re starting out with the basics. The .22LR is one of the smaller cartridges that you can fire, but it has one advantage — it’s not hard to find. If you don’t have one, go to the pawnshop. You’ll find one, I promise. It’s not a heavy hitter, but it is readily available, and a plethora of firearms in the hands of responsible citizens is a good thing, regardless of caliber.
Don’t like .22LR? Well, I’m going to try to change your mind one more time…
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24. Ruger 10-22
This makes the list for the same reasons that the revolver made the list — they are everywhere. Not only are they everywhere, but they are inexpensive. Although the 22 Long Rifle is not the best for stopping power, you can really stretch your dollar in terms of training and focus on shot placement.
Alright. These guns shoot a tiny cartridge. Would you like to kick up the bore size a bit with me?
23. Desert Eagle
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Ah, yes. The king of ridiculous firearms. This firearm takes the list from underpowered to epically overpowered with one iconic design. Put a round down range with this thing, and if your bad guy isn’t running scared, he’s a braver man than I.
Alright, so that might be a little too big. What if we went for a smaller bore, but a killer style?
22. Ruger Blackhawk
Want to dispense some cowboy justice? Unleash some lead with the Ruger Blackhawk. This firearm is not an exact replica, but it does give off some major Old West vibes. Plus, .357 Magnum is no slouch.
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A Blackhawk is not a small handgun, and if you need something compact for storage or concealed carry use, you might need to downsize. Try this on for size…
21. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard
This is just one of many small, lightweight revolver designs. These are a step up from .22LR, and are certainly formidable enough to get the job done. There is a reason that revolvers dominated the landscape until relatively recently, and it’s because they are die-hard reliable.
Up next is a rarely-discussed, way-awesome rifle for home defense and the budget-minded.
This one very rarely makes an appearance in the home defense catalog, but I guarantee you, it is more than up to the task. This firearm has served multiple armies across the decades, and it has done so admirably. The relatively low expense of this firearm and its use of the readily available 7.62×39 cartridge makes this relatively mild-looking rifle a beast for home defense. Most advocates for this cartridge caution hollow point ammunition to avoid over-penetration — it’s worth the investment for peace of mind.
Up next is thirty rounds in a handgun. Some love them, some hate them — where do you stand?
19. Kel-Tec PMR-30
Chambered in 22 Magnum, this firearm is often looked down upon by big caliber gun fans. However, this firearm not only shoots a round that can get the job done, this gun carries 30 rounds in a standard magazine. That’s a lot of hurt on the bad guy. As an added bonus, this is one extremely light firearm, and one that is often used to introduce new shooters to the world of guns.
If you want something a little lower capacity and larger in caliber, you might want to try one of the next handgun!
18. Ruger Redhawk
Not to be mistaken for the Blackhawk, the Redhawk is one of Ruger’s best revolvers. The firearm has multiple chamberings, every single one of which would make your bad guy pee his pants.
Not a big enough bore? Fine. Let’s see if this next controversial firearm fits the bill!
17. Taurus Judge
A lot of gun aficionados really, really do not like this weapon, saying that it has no practicality. However, it has two things going for it that keep it on this list. First, you can load .410 shotgun shells in this thing for some serious damage, or you can whip out the .45 Long Colt, which is nothing less than terrifying. Secondly, despite all that fire power, this firearm has remarkably manageable recoil. That means more powerful rounds headed accurately in the right direction.
Some would say that the next firearm on the list is the only option for home defense. Obviously, it’s not, but it is a classic. Take a look!
16. Double Barrel Shotgun
Some people believe that the double barrel shotgun, regardless of who makes it, is the standard for home defense awesomeness. And to be fair, it is one cool firearm. Few things will scare the bad guy more than clacking that shotgun closed. However, with the poor round capacity and the fact that there are so many more advanced shotguns out there, this firearm did not earn a higher spot on this list.
From the archaic to the futuristic, the next firearm can catapult you right into the 21st century. Just be prepared. Relatively, it’s tiny.
15. FN P90
This is one beast of a firearm. The compact nature of this weapon ensures its place as one of the coolest and scariest weapons in the list for close-quarters. If you come out of your room with this up against your shoulder, the enemy is going to be grossly outmatched.
What’s the P90 without its smaller, handgun cousin? It’s a match made in heaven. Check it out!
14. FN Five SeveN
This handgun fires the same ammunition as the P90, and comes in a handgun form so nifty that I have even seen some folks conceal carry it, despite its full size. Finding the ammunition for these two firearms can be tricky, but if you can get a source, it is well worth it.
I’m waiting for your eyes to roll on the next page. Judge not — it’s a great firearm, and there’s a reason it’s so far up the list!
13. Hi-Point Carbine
I know what you’re thinking– “How dare he put a Hi-Point on this list, much less above a P90?!” Although you will get no argument from me that the P90 is a higher-quality weapon, Hi-Point carbine’s can be gotten for as little as a fifth of the cost, especially if one utilizes the used firearms market. That makes this a budget-friendly firearm. Buy this firearm in the same chambering as your handgun and you have a pretty decent combo, although if you can find an extended magazine in your caliber of choice, that is highly recommended.
Now, in the spirit of pistol-caliber carbines, I present next to you a fan favorite…
12. Kel-Tec Sub-2000
Although there are plenty of people who really dislike the brand, Kel-Tec really made a winner with the Sub-2000. This firearm is an excellent pistol-caliber carbine, and is extremely handy in close quarters.
Now, to the king of the pistol-caliber carbines… according to me. How could you not go to the next page?
11. CZ Scorpion EVO
This is a higher end firearm, but if you really want to unleash some justice on some bad guys, you could do a lot worse then the scorpion. This firearm is one of the best pistol caliber offerings in the field.
We’re going to leave the world of carbines for a minute for one of the great handgun classics. Do you own one of these?
10. CZ 75
You can add to this rank your favorite CZ handgun, because they have some very nice offerings. CZ really brings out some of the best in the hammer-fired handgun world, and many of their firearms have such a high capacity that they rival some of the carbines on this list. This is one of the most-copied firearms on planet earth, and there really is a model for everyone.
Now, let’s take a moment to weigh in on one of the biggest striker-fired fan debates out there. Get ready for sparks to fly.
9. Smith & Wesson M&P and Springfield XD
Both of these lines offer excellent variants, and I would not hesitate to take either one of these into the fray. Springfield came under some heavy fire for alleged involvement with anti-gun politicians in Illinois, which has caused a lot of gun aficionados to shun the brand completely. However, these are both excellent product lines, and both provide stellar reliability at a really good price point.
But of course, atop both these handguns, reigns the king of the striker-fired handgun world…
8. GLOCK 17/19
Both of these firearms are superior in terms of reliability and reputation, and have a fanatical following. The GLOCK fans out there might try to convince you that George Washington sported a GLOCK as he made his way across of the Delaware river, and then dare you to prove that he didn’t. But in all seriousness, these guns are Honda Accords of firearms — they are plain, they are no-frills, and they are wildly successful.
What can beat a GLOCK? I’m going to spoil this one for you — it’s another GLOCK. Look and see why it’s ranked differently.
7. GLOCK 20
The 10mm round is not nearly as common as 9mm, .40, or .45. However, it is an incredible round that is proving itself more and more as time goes on. If you want a round with superior stopping power, 10mm is an excellent choice, and the GLOCK 20 might just be for you.
What firearm do people like to pit against GLOCK, regardless of just how little they have in common?
6. A Really Dependable .45 Handgun
.45 ACP is a terrifying round. People know it, and it is the original caliber of the 1911, one of the most successful firearms this planet will ever see. However, I will not make this rank solely about the 1911, because there are so many good options in this caliber out there. A 1911 will do just fine.
That was the last handgun in the list. Seriously — that was it. Check out the top five!
Love them or hate them, the AK platform is rock-solid reliable, and capable of putting out accurate fire easily at any distance you are going to face in a home defense scenario. This firearm will keep you safe, and at a low entry-level price point, civilian variants of this rifle are a superior choice for home defense.
The next rifle is like an AK variant, but it’s so, so much more. Come see!
4. Galil ACE
Take everything I just said about reliability, and apply it to this firearm right here. This Israeli rifle has some serious features, including tritium inside the iron sights to help you see at night, a left side charging handle, and some of the best accuracy that you can get in a semi-automatic platform with 7.62×39. This firearm has other chamberings, and those are likely to become more common as the market continues to thrive in the Trump era.
I’m an AK guy, but this next rifle really has an edge in terms of modularity and all-American awesome. You can guess it.
I would be willing to bet that some of you saw the AK platforms and thought that nothing in 5.56 would to make it to the list. Fear not! There really is not a firearm list out there in which you can ignore the prevalence, the modularity, and the overall epicness of the AR-15 platform. These firearms are time-tested, and with our current president being a fan of the Second Amendment, these firearms are becoming less and less expensive to get into. Every gun fan should own at least one AR platform. It’s as American as apple pie.
We’ve missed out on a lot of a particular type of firearm in this list — let’s rectify that.
2. 12-Gauge, Pump-Action or Semi-Automatic Shotgun
This is as good as it gets for home defense. Whether you are sporting a Maverick 88 or a terrifying KSG, the amount of stuff that you can put through this firearm will get you through any situation that you could face at the homestead. Worried about penetration? Try birdshot. Want a solid round? Try a slug. Most folks opt for buckshot, but it is not the only option out there. If you do not own a shotgun, seriously consider adding one to the home arsenal.
Wait, if the shotgun is #2, whats #1? An excellent question…
1. Whatever You Have
You have a right to keep and bear arms, and this list isn’t going to cover all of the options for effective home defense. If you use a 20-gauge shotgun, great. If all you have is a bolt action 22, use it. The best firearm is the one that you have when you need it, so stay armed and stay safe.
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Which is your favorite gun in the list? Scroll down to comment below!