Whether you’re getting your first gun or your 50th, it’s important to choose the best handgun for home defense when it comes to protecting your family. A million things will run through your head when someone breaks into your home and tries to upset the balance you’ve worked so hard to create. It’s your right to defend yourself and you need the right gun to do it.
Although, there are many factors to consider such as caliber, size, price, and brand. In this guide, we’ll provide some recommendations for the best handguns based on these factors. We’ll also help guide you through the process of making an informed decision on the right handgun.
Choosing the Right Handgun
Before we look at some guns, let’s talk about some of the factors used to determine the best choices.
If you’re a gun novice, choosing a caliber might sound like a tall task but it’s not. It’s generally recommended to choose between a 9mm and .45 ACP but we suggest going with a 9mm. These bullets are smaller, cheaper, and more readily available at local stores so you won’t have to go to a specialty shop to find them. The smaller size means less recoil and a higher capacity magazine which makes a lot of sense for home defense situations. The 9mm is a lot easier to control and will certainly get the job done in the event of a home invasion.
Once you’ve decided on a caliber, the most important decision is to find a handgun that you can handle well and it fits you. Choosing a full-size handgun will mean that it feels a bit larger in your hands but the extra mass will be there to absorb the recoil and you’ll have a bigger area to grip. On the other hand, a smaller handgun will serve better for concealed carrying situations if that’s your plan and you could hide it in tighter places inside your house if that’s a concern.
Overall, when it comes to fit you can only know what works by going out and handling some guns. If you’re a beginner, we suggest going to a local gun shop that has a range and trying out some guns to gain an understanding of the differences in size and fit from gun to gun.
This is a highly debated topic and we’re going to leave it up to you but simply plan on shedding some light on two scenarios. Scenario one is, you keep the gun in your bedside table as you hear someone smash a window in your living room. You wake up, grab the gun, and head to the top of the stairs as you look down and find someone rustling through your home looking for valuables. As you creep down the stairs they spot you and point a gun at you. Your initial response is to fire at them but you forgot to disengage the safety. The rest is history.
Scenario two is the same with a handgun that doesn’t have a safety. That small decision could be what saves the lives of you and your family. While there may be some risks associated with a handgun without a safety, in the heat of the moment, most self-defense shooters will forget to disengage it.
Having a night sight is a nice feature because most self-defense shootings will occur at night. You have the choice of purchasing the sights that come with the gun you buy or purchasing an aftermarket product and having someone install them. Either way, we highly recommend getting a night sight because it will make a big difference when it matters most.
Playing into the feel of the handgun is the trigger. Each gun will have a slightly different trigger and some have an easier pull than others. Ideally, you want to find a trigger that marries sensitivity with stiffness because an overly sensitive trigger without a safety could be a disaster and a stiff trigger could be a problem too. You need to try the gun out at a range or store to truly understand how it will behave in a self-defense situation.
Since most of the best handguns for self-defense are striker-fired they’ll run between $500-1,000. Keep in mind that you can always find sales and you should also compensate for potentially purchasing night sights too. They’ll cost around $100 to purchase and if you buy aftermarket ones you’ll need to pay a special installation fee too.
Best Handguns for Home Defense
Now that we understand some of the factors that go into making this decision, let’s take a look at some guns. It’s survival of the fittest whether you live in a suburban neighborhood or a 10-acre homestead, you need to understand how to prepare for emergencies and defend yourself. As preppers, we’re always preparing for something whether it be fishing when SHTF, stockpiling food and ammo, or developing rainwater capture systems. We must always be prepared.
The Glock 19 is one of the most popular self-defense handguns because of its ease of use and reliability. When you’re looking for something to protect your family, you need something that you can rely on no matter what. The 19 is the most popular model because it’s chambered in 9mm, uses a standard mag, and holds 16 rounds plus one in the chamber.
Beyond the high capacity, you also get the reliability that only comes with a Glock. When you need it the most, it’ll be there to deliver. They also sell a ton of aftermarket accessories so things like night sights will be readily available, affordable, and anyone can install them.
2. Sig Sauer P226 MK-25
This handgun comes with a 4.4-inch barrel, night sights, and it holds 15 hollow points in the 9mm chamber. The thing that stands out about this handgun is its design and ergonomics. The trigger pull is so smooth, sensitive, and proper based on the amount of pressure applied. This handgun makes a lot of sense for home defense and that’s one of the reasons why it’s the most popular option. The only thing that can turn a lot of people away from this Sig Sauer is the price tag. You can expect to pay upwards of a grand or more for this home defense handgun.
3. Ruger GP100
When you’re looking for the best handgun for home defense you need something with great reliability and stopping power and that’s why we had to throw the Ruger GP100 into this article. It’s a .357 Magnum with great simplicity, excellent ergonomics, and perfectionist reliability. We also find this to be a great option for inexperienced gun owners because it’s easy to handle, load, and fire with limited recoil. It’s a great option for those of you who are unsure about the desire to own a handgun for self-defense.
4. Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0
Here we have one of the newer M&P models which stands for Military and Police. It’s one of the best 9mm handguns on the market, hands down and it comes with a variety of customization options and accessories for those who are into that. It has a 15+1 capacity and a total barrel length of 4-inches.
One unique feature about this handgun is that it comes with optional dual-sided thumb safeties so both righties and lefties will have an easy time disengaging the safety. There’s also a magazine disconnect safety that will prevent the handgun from firing once the magazine is removed. These are some of the reasons why we recommend this gun as a great choice for nervous homeowners who may have young and curious children.
5. Sig Sauer P365
When this handgun premiered in 2018 it was considered one of the best concealed carry handguns out there. With its portable size, subcompact double stack, and new 15 round magazine, it does seem like that. It also comes with night sights and a pinky extension for those with larger hands. This makes it a great choice for portable home defense as well. The handgun is small enough to hide in the house while still making it accessible. It also has the necessary stopping power and limited recoil for nervous handlers. If you’re looking for a soft shooting gun that is accurate with an awesome trigger, this is a great choice and it comes at a price that won’t scare you away.
6. Ruger SP101
Small, durable, and beautiful is what we say about the SP101. This handgun is the perfect choice for both concealed carry and home defense. It comes in a wide variety of calibers including .357, .22LR, and .38 Special. It’s known for incredible reliability, great value, and consistent performance.
The gun comes with a triple-lock cylinder that guarantees great reliability and it comes with an aesthetic stainless steel finish which looks great. The main thing we love about this gun and many Rugers, in general, is the sheer number of customization options from caliber, to size, to barrel length, to accessories. There are so many things you can do with this gun and it’ll quickly turn you from a gun hater into a gun lover.
Choosing the best handguns for home defense is one of those decisions many of us fail to do before it’s too late. Being prepared is key, whether that be honing our survival skills or stocking up on supplies for a “rainy day.” We must always be prepared. We believe that every home should have a firearm for protection. When push comes to shove, it’ll be the only thing standing between you and the evil that lurks in the night. Any of the recommendations above are great choices for personal home defense.