In a crisis situation it may become necessary to defend your home and proprieties from marauders who do not have good intentions. For many older folks, especially women, firearms are often strange objects that are feared and looked down upon. For others, especially those with military experience or grew up hunting, firearms are not an item to get stressed about.
The subject of the best firearm to have in defense of your home is a tremendously controversial one with so many strong opinions it can lead to a lot of confusion. Here are a few thoughts:
- Any firearm is better than no firearm.
- The best firearm to have is the one you are comfortable with, can operate efficiently and safely, and can fire accurately.
- A firearm does not have to be expensive or “evil” looking to work.
- Many calibers of bullets can easily pass through a wall or walls within a house.
- Safety, safety, safety.
Here is my Top 5 list of firearms to look at to purchase, train with, practice some more – and then have at the ready stored safely in your home:
1. .357/.38 Revolver with exposed hammer – simple to operate and when loaded with .38 Special ammunition the recoil is very low. Trigger pull can be on the heavy when pulling double action. With exposed hammer the hammer can be pulled back and cocked and then shot by pulling the trigger which will be MUCH lighter.
2. Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic pistol – 17 shots of 9mm in the magazine and simple operations similar to a revolver. Basically this pistol has to have the slide moved back to cock the action and after that each trigger pull results in a shot until the magazine is empty. Those with weaker hands and/or wrists will experience difficulty activating the slide. Weaker grips on the pistol can cause the firing mechanism to malfunction. If these are not problems for yourself, the Glock 17 can be an excellent choice.
3. Ruger 10/22 .22LR carbine – For many this may seem like a strange choice. “A .22LR?”, you may ask. Absolutely I will tell you. One .22 in me is one too many. There are more people killed every year in the United States by the .22LR rimfire than all other calibers put together. It is not an ideal defensive caliber however it provides some benefits such as little too no recoil, low noise, limited penetration capability, and inexpensive. The Ruger 10/22 is cheaper and super reliable. 100 rounds of quality .22LR can be purchased for under $7.00.
4. Ruger SR22 .22LR pistol – As far as the .22LR – see description above. The Ruger SR22 is a new semi-automatic 10-shot .22 pistol that is inexpensive and from all reports I have read very reliable. Again – I must emphasize the .22 is not by far the best defensive round however for those on a budget and/or limited by health issues is a decent choice. A tactical light can be mounted on the front of the SR22 to illuminate things in the dark.
5. 12 gauge pump shotgun – The 12 gauge shotgun is often looked at as the king of home defense due to its incredible power. The 12 gauge is very versatile in that there are many different loads that can be loaded into the shotgun depending upon the intended purpose. Why not at #1? It can be depending upon your firearm experience and health. The 12 gauge can have violent recoil and the pump action required will use a decent level of strength. So – depending on overall health and abilities is can be a great choice or not so much.
If you are not experienced with firearms do your best to try out a few guns at a shooting range. Often ranges will have rental guns available. The added expense to actually be able to fire your choice prior to purchasing is well worth it.
Once a purchase is made I advice you to sign up for a training session at the range. Having someone walk you through all the safety aspects of using the firearm as well as how to shoot it is critical. It is also good to have the range officer take you through the cleaning and lubrication process as well.
Hope this helps. Feel free to leave comments and ask questions.
Take care all – Rourke