Approximately 63% of gun owners own a gun for personal protection. Furthermore, there are between 2.1 to 2.5 million instances of Americans firing their guns for self-defense annually.
Considering the prevalence of people using guns for home defense, you want to have the best option to keep you and your family safe.
I tested six guns for this buyer’s guide of home defense guns and found the Glock 19 to be the best firearm for home defense.
I own a gun to keep my family safe. Sure, hunting and target practice are fun, but I wouldn’t own a gun if it weren’t for home defense.
Over the years, I’ve tested many revolvers, rifles, and shotguns. However, I’ve found the most success when using a Glock 19. It is practical, easy to use, and effective at taking down-home invaders.
The Glock 19 has a comfortable grip that makes it accessible to even novice shooters. It isn’t excessively powerful, so it won’t cause substantial damage to the rest of your house if you fire at an intruder.
I’ve also rounded up the best guns for beginners, all-purpose use, and hunters. Near the end, you’ll find some runner-ups that you may also like. If you’re into DIY, you may also want to look into 80 lowers for sale to build your own firearm.
Keep reading to learn more about these six guns that can help you protect your home.
Best Overall: Glock 19
The Glock 19 is my favorite gun for home defense. It is smaller than the standard Glock, making it easier to hold. Also, you can readily use it for concealed carry. The dimensions of this compact gun are:
- 9x19mm caliber
- 7.36-inch overall length
- 4.02-inch barrel length
- 1.26-inch overall width
- 5.04-inch height with magazine
- 2.80-inch trigger distance
- 30.16 oz weight with a loaded magazine
It has a Safe Action system with a 15-magazine capacity. You can upgrade to a 17, 19, 24, 31, or 33 capacity. It’s trigger can also be upgraded to Glock Performance Trigger to improve shooting accuracy.
Another benefit is that you can readily assemble and disassemble the Glock 19. Also, it has high accuracy from its “U” dot sight configuration that will help you if someone breaks into your home. You can comfortably hold it and aim at the intruder with ease, even in a high-stress situation.
It also makes for easy training, and the durable frame is highly resistant to cracks and damage.
Best for Beginners: Ruger GP100
This is an excellent choice for those who may be buying their first gun. The relatively compact frame allows for nearly unnoticeable concealed carry.
The barrel length ranges from 2.5-to 6 inches, and you can choose between cushioned rubber, Hogue Monogrip, hardwood, and walnut grips.
Also, this gun has two safety measures. The first is the double-action which prevents accidental discharges. Also, it stops the weapon from firing until the trigger reaches the back.
Best for All-Purpose Use: Smith & Wesson M&P 15 AR-15
The comparatively lightweight design of the Smith and Wesson AR-15 complements the available space of 30 rounds the magazine can hold. It has a 16-inch length barrel that makes it easier to hold than some other semi-automatic rifles.
This AR-15 has forward assist and can also be extremely accurate, which will prevent any accidental misfires when aiming at a home invader.
With the rifle being so popular among gun owners, tons of products are available to aid the user in safety and effectiveness. While the AR-15 isn’t the most concealable weapon, it has the power to defend your home from anything.
Best for People That Also Hunt: Taurus Raging Judge Magnum Revolver
The Raging Judge is a great gun in size, power, and minimal penetration.
The revolver holds six rounds, weighs 4.5 pounds, and has a comfortable grip. This mid-sized handgun is also powerful enough to take down an animal while hunting.
Other Great Options
In addition to the best guns to protect your home, some others work well for personal protection.
M54A1 Marine Pistol
The U.S. Marine Corps uses this gun as their Close Quarters Battle Pistol. As the name implies, this pistol excels when face-to-face with an attacker. It has three-dot night sights and a dual recoil spring system for speedy use. Additionally, it holsters well and has excellent grips that reduce slippage.
- Easily cleaned
- Extended safety
- Has a target
- Ambidextrous safety lock
- Features two magazines
- Might be too small for larger individuals
- Better suited for experienced shooters
The S&W Governor is perhaps the easiest to hide out of all the guns I tested. It holds six rounds and has moon clips that work with different kinds of bullets.
This gun has a three-finger grip and recoils quickly. You can sneakily whip out this gun to fire at the intruder in a close attack.
- Many aftermarket accessories
- Can handle a lot of force
- Easy to hide
- Suited for concealed carry
- Does not work well at long ranges
- Might feel uncomfortably small
There are several things to consider when choosing the best home defense weapon.
The Benefits of a Home Defense Gun
You can have the best video surveillance system, top-quality locks, and several alarms. However, someone could still break into your home and bypass your security measures.
In this case, you will want to have a weapon to fight off any intruders. That’s where firearms come in handy. You can fight off your invader and keep your family safe.
How to Choose the Best Gun for Home Defense
Start by doing your research. Figure out the purpose of your weapon and where you plan on keeping it. Then, head to a gun store to see how it feels in your hand. You might like the idea of a big gun, but you need to know if you’d feel capable of firing it when faced with an enemy.
Some other things you should consider include the following:
- Household dimensions
- Body size
- Shooting experience
Also, try to take the gun to a shooting range to test your comfort level. Ask the seller about gun maintenance and operation to see if you can handle owning it.
Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when choosing a gun:
- Type of trigger
The Best Use of a Self-Defense Weapon
When protecting yourself, you want to remain within the limits of the law. Traditionally, you will want to:
- Act reasonably
- Retreat if possible
- Only use enough force to stop the attack
For example, Sgt. Dennis Tueller found that 21 feet is a sufficient distance to draw your weapon, aim, and fire at an armed attacker.
When using a firearm, aim to let both parties walk away alive. Try to threaten them with your weapon to scare them off. Discharging your weapon should be your final option.
Any of the above weapons could scare off a home intruder. They are powerful, accurate, and popular enough that someone might recognize them.
Although there are many weapons to choose from, the Glock 19 serves as an all-purpose safety measure that can ward off an attacker. However, any gun on the list can effectively defend you, so choose the one that best fits your needs.
If you’re ready to decide, contact your local firearm dealer to inquire about any of the above guns. Of course, you’ll want to see if you can test them out before purchasing.
Brady Kirkpatrick is the owner of GunMade.com and has been featured in Cheaper than Dirt, Officer.com, AllOutdoor, and countless others. He is from Omaha, Nebraska, and has been an avid gun enthusiast since he moved to the Midwest over 15 years ago. It’s his passion to share his knowledge and expertise about guns and gun safety.