Handguns for home defense

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.

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9 thoughts on “Handguns for home defense

  1. Stan R. Mitchell

    Great article.

    And reading this reminded me that lasers for home defense makes more sense than lasers in the military, where you have multiple people zipping around lasers and it’s tough to know which laser is yours.

    I still think that post you wrote about just barring yourself away in your room is the best idea. Call 911, keep your weapon on the door with your back to the wall, and just wait.

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    1. tactpunk Post author

      Good point. I would add though that lasers that are invisible to the naked eye are very useful to elite LE and Military units.

      When defending in a room I would caution against keeping your back against a wall, assuming the room only has one entrance.

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      1. tactpunk Post author

        You lose 180 degrees of mobility. And being against a wall can hamper fighting movements (reloading, crouching, etc). Being against a wall, deep in a room, gives your attacker a better view of you because you’ll need to be more exposed in a doorway to see out of it.

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      2. Stan R. Mitchell

        Okay, gotcha. Hadn’t thought of some of that. (We were trained more for clearing than defending.)

        Where’s the best place, you think? Far left or right corner, on the side of the room that is on the same side as the opening?

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      3. tactpunk Post author

        No damn corners either, don’t give ground until you have to, and again you’re limiting your movement. Get behind the door jamb, shoot whichever way leaves your body least exposed, and stay there. You can always fall back if you need to, you’ll have a lot more cover/concealment, and you’re defending not attacking. No need to move forward.

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      4. Stan R. Mitchell

        Gotcha. Sounds wise.

        Interesting that they taught how to defend buildings from firing out of windows (back in the corners/shadows), but never how to defend individual rooms…

        I assume they just could almost never imagine a situation where enemy troops would have the strength and numbers to actually assault a town or building that we held.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. tactpunk Post author

        That’s mostly to hide muzzle flash for snipers. As long as a regular grunt doesn’t have his whole gun hanging out the window it’s okay.

        Americans haven’t faced a large scale attack since 1968 (Tet Offensive). So it’s not really taught much anymore.

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