For those who choose to defend their home with a firearm handguns are usually the choice. I have no data to back up that claim but damnit, if Brian Williams doesn’t need data than neither do I!
Handguns are popular for home defense for a lot of reasons. They’re way easier to conceal in the home because nobody wants nosy Mrs. Anderson next store to know they’re packing heat. Handguns are also much easier and cheaper to lock away from children, pets, and liberals.
When choosing a handgun solely for home defense it’s important to remember a few things. First, they’re harder to shoot accurate than their longer cousins, the shotgun and the rifle. Second, because you won’t be carrying this gun in public, it makes sense to go with a full size pistol or revolver. Third, most pistols and a few revolvers come with picatinny rails, so don’t be afraid to mount optics, lights, or lasers.
As with any home defense weapon practice is important. In the local news recently there was an incident of a resident defending himself with a handgun from an armed attacker. The two exchanged a total of 13 shots from a range of one to six yards. Thankfully the resident lived but he sure learned a hard lesson about accuracy. Limited practice won’t prepare you for a close range blood and guts gunfight, but the muscle memory you develop will give you a better chance of survival.
A full size pistol or rifle will give you added advantages in defending your home. More ammo equals a better chance of hitting your attacker before reloading. Full size handguns also allow you to shoot a larger caliber more comfortably. A larger caliber will cause more damage and causing damage is the point when it comes to defending yourself, your family, and your home.
Weapon attachments such as optics, lights, and lasers will help your accuracy in a gun fight. I’m admittedly not a fan of optics on handguns but for a novice shooter they have advantages. Lights can help you see your attacker better and seeing him/her before they see you is a huge advantage. Lights will also help you distinguish a baseball bat from a shotgun, which in some states is the difference between jail and freedom. Lasers, besides helping you aim, can also have a psychological impact on your attacker. For instance, an unarmed attacker may run at the sight of a laser because they rightly, in most cases, assume it’s attached to a gun. Most home invasions are crimes of opportunity, that’s why they commonly happen late at night or early in the morning.