We each have our own unique situation dictating which home defense weapon works best for us. Some gun owners have kids. Some live in apartments. Some have disabilities. Whatever works best for you weapon wise is what I recommend you stick to—be it shotgun, revolver, SBR or whatever.
The best gun for home defense is one that, when handled safely and competently, provides peace-of-mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s a handgun, shotgun or rifle, the trick is knowing what each gun does well and what it doesn’t do well.
If you’re a gun owner, you’ve probably heard someone tell you to “just get yourself a shotgun for home defense.”
A great starting point for home defense is the personal firearm you carry every day. It’s something you’re comfortable with: It’s capable, and it’s going to be easy to access. Obviously, we have a myriad of good choices for carrying guns, but for some people, many of those choices just won’t work.
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Like any weapon system, there are accessories that can enhance the platform. For home defense or self-defense handgun, simplicity and reliability are paramount.
If there is one universal truth when it comes to a home defense weapon, it would be this: Make sure you’re well practiced with your home defense choice.
That said, there are several accessories which can provide the law-abiding citizen with an advantage in a home defense situation, without adversely affecting the simplicity and reliability of the handgun.
TOP HOME DEFENSE HANDGUN ACCESSORIES
Handguns are by far the most popular choice for a home defense gun because they’re the most plausible choice. Given their size and range, most handguns are intended to engage targets at short distances. They’re also highly maneuverable in enclosed spaces like inside a hallway or turning through doorways.
Whether you’re looking for a new grip sleeve, the perfect Kydex holster, or a tactical item like a laser sight, there are several styles and items to choose from.
Gun fit is often thought to only apply to shotguns but more and more folks are realizing that the fit of a gun to an individual shooter applies to handguns as well.
How a pistol feels in your hand not only can be a matter of wildly varying factors but also offers the most opportunity for creativity and personal expression. As such, just changing the grips or stocks (on guns that allow you to do so, of course) can make a gun more concealable or more shootable, and, sometimes, both.
Currently, most handgun manufacturers offer interchangeable backstraps, side panels, or both to aid in fitting the gun to the shooter.
Different trigger lengths are also available to better fit the gun to the shooter.
Grip compositions such as synthetics, rubber, metal, and the old standby wood add to the choices for many models as well.
Pro Tip: When selecting a new set of grips or a new gun, consider fitting the gun to both hands individually as well as the two together using the guidelines that I have provided above. You will find that it isn’t all that complicated to find something that will work well for you.
Go with shorter grips to make a gun more concealable. Go with longer grips to make a gun more shootable. And go with laser-engraved, color grip panels if that’s your thing.
Got big hands but want to carry a small gun? There’s a set of grips out there to fill your hand even as they fit the gun. Sweaty hands or constantly carrying in adverse weather? Rubber, textured grips might be the way to go.
Hogue HandALL Beavertail Pistol Grip
Hogue's new HandALL Beavertail grip sleeves are designed to fit specific polymer frame pistols now on the market, most notably subcompact concealed carry pistols.
Most of those pocket-size handguns are too small to feature replaceable grip panels or backstraps that are so common with compact, semi-compact or full-size polymer-frame pistols – which unfortunately means that they are not factory-adaptable for all hand sizes.
The Hogue HandALL Beavertail grip sleeves solve this problem in a simple and straightforward way, and at a very affordable price.
- Gentle palm swells
- Naturally positioned finger grooves
- Hogue's famous Cobblestone texture - Hogue HandALL grip sleeves provide unparalleled comfort.
- The Beavertail design offers additional rubber higher on the frame and increased recoil absorption.
Most guns come from the factory with simple “white dot” sights — usually a single white dot for the front sight and two dots for the rear sight. The goal is to align all three dots in an equally spaced and level row for center-target hits.
Some find the 2-dot sights are easier to align, especially for those shooters who use the flash sight picture shooting technique.
Some shooters find the 3-dot sight provides too much optical input, causing the shooter to inadvertently focus on the rear sights, though some may find they prefer one or the other.
They’re adequate as long as you’re shooting in decent light. But, strangely enough, bad things happen in low- or no-light conditions too.
And, while you should have a secondary source of light, such as a tactical flashlight, as a part of your gear, you’ll also be helped by replacing those standard sights with low-light sights — commonly referred to as “night sights.” Night and low-light sights are standard equipment for most law enforcement and military applications, but are also very well-suited to self-defense and concealed carry applications.
Tritium-filled tubes in the sights glow with light, providing the ability to see the sights better when there’s very little light available. Tritium night sights are very effective in low-light conditions.
These sights use a very safe, low-dose radioactive gas to produce illumination instead of battery power. To activate them, a “primer” source of light must be aimed at the sights, since tritium is photoactive.
However, the effect wears off after a certain period of time so you have to occasionally reactivate them. This especially goes for guns that sit in a dark place (like a gun safe) for long periods. (Don’t forget the gun rule about seeing your target too.)
Also, consider the value of fiber-optic sights. These gather whatever light is available and channel it to the sights, providing brighter sights with which to aim. And some manufacturers make combo sights — fiber optic plus tritium — to maximize your ability to see the sights and aim better.
Semi-automatic handguns with a red-dot optic mounted onto the slide are becoming more and more popular among today’s shooters. Advances in optics technology have resulted in micro red dots that are small enough to be mounted onto a handgun slide, and are hardy enough to withstand the tremendous punishment of riding along during a recoil without breaking or even moving off target.
Due to increased reliability and availability, slide-mounted red dots make a great choice for home defense. Some of the biggest issues in home defense, center upon getting threat-stopping shots on target quickly and effectively. The micro red dot’s use in competition shows that, under pressure, shooters find the target faster and more easily with a red dot than with iron sights. This is absolutely essential in a home-defense situation, where lives depend on speed and precision.
Another added benefit of a red-dot sight for home defense is that the use of a red dot is intuitive. Many people relying on handguns for home defense may not have the time or money to get to the range as often as is necessary in order to build lightning-fast skills with an iron sight. With a red dot, shooting becomes a simple matter of placing the red dot on top of the target and squeezing the trigger.
The Trijicon RMR Type 2 Adjustable LED Sight
- Available in three different dot sizes, the Trijicon RMR® Type 2 Adjustable LED features eight brightness settings, two of which are night vision-compatible.
- Easy-to-use buttons on the sides of the optic allow the user to adjust the illumination brightness, toggle between manual and automatic modes, and power down the RMR for storage.
- The automatic mode functions the same as the Trijicon RMR® Type 2 LED version.
If a manual mode has been chosen, the RMR will remain in manual mode for 16.5 hours following the last push of a button. After 16.5 hours, the optic will default back to the automatic mode so that the RMR will be ready for your next mission or task.
- Additionally, the user can lock out the buttons so that the RMR functions in automatic mode only.
- 1.0 MOA Dot:
The 1.0 MOA dot gives the user our smallest dot available in our Adjustable LED models. The fine dot allows for shooting more accurately at greater distances and is a great solution for long-range pistols, rifle, and carbine applications.
- 3.25 MOA Dot:
The 3.25 MOA dot is the most versatile and popular of all RMR dot sizes. The dot is small enough to allow accurate shooting at range while also being big enough to locate quickly.
- 6.5 MOA Dot:
The 6.5 MOA dot gives the user the biggest dot available in Adjustable LED-operated models. The bigger dot size gives the user the ability to locate the dot quickly, which is ideal for close-quarter engagements and is also a great solution for those with poor vision.
Laser sights make quick aiming and firing easier and can be a valuable addition to a home defense handgun. Lasers are helpful sighting tools for many reasons, such as low light conditions. Equipping guns with lasers gives you the confidence in knowing exactly where your shots are going to impact.
A laser can also help when aiming and firing the handgun from a non-standard position, such as while in bed. This is important since criminals don’t tend to break into your home while you are wide awake and in a perfect Weaver firing stance.
In a defense situation, you should not look to put holes in anyone unless you have to. We always hope that a situation can be resolved without a shot being fired. And I suspect that, if a perp doesn't back off when a pistol is aimed at him, he just might when he sees a red dot dancing on his chest. Extra deterrent, with no damage done.
A tactical handgun light can help the user be sure of his or her target since it is *never* acceptable to fire until the target has been identified. This is especially true in the home defense scenario since that bump in the night could be many other things than a home-invading criminal.
These tactical lights attach to the handgun and are durable enough to withstand the recoil. They produce a bright white light, which can help identify and disorient a criminal in the home at night, and even disorient the criminal if the light is shined in their eyes.
On the downside, the light will give away your location, so it is a matter of personal choice as to whether a handgun light is used.
The Streamlight TLR- HL Tactical Light & Red Laser Combo
- Powered by two 3-volt CR123 lithium batteries with a 10-year storage life
- White LED technology impervious to shock with a 50,000 hour lifetime.
- Up to 300 lumens and up to 2.5 hrs. in Light/Laser mode
- LASER ONLY runs 48 hours.
- Rail grip clamp system securely attaches/detaches quickly and safely with no tools and without putting your hands in front of the muzzle
- Fast, Adjustable, Secure Side mounting to 1913 and Glock style Rails
- Machined aluminum sealed construction with black anodized finish
- IPX4 rated for water resistance
- Ambidextrous momentary/steady on/off switch
- Highly accurate sight repeatability when remounting
- Fits existing light bearing holsters
- Includes keys for Glock-style, Picatinny, Beretta 90two, S&W 99, S&W TSW and Sig P320 rail
- 4.72 oz.
Admit it, Hollywood makes suppressors look pretty darn cool threading onto a handgun. While many have seen and even held suppressors not too many have shot or understand the sound suppressors actually make and the practicality of using them.
If you are willing to brave forms, fingerprints, $200, and a wait time best described as dreadful – then you can access some of the coolest toys around - including suppressors!
Real suppressors sound much different in real life than they do in the movies - So how do they work?
When guns fire, they produce superheated and pressurized gases. When the gases escape into the open, the dramatic change in the environment causes the loud sound of a gun blast. So silencers work by making the transition more gradual for the gasses. Inside the device are baffles and expansion chambers to efficiently funnel, cool, and spread out the gasses to reduce their noise once they do reach the outside. Other benefits of a silencer include reduced recoil, better accuracy, smaller muzzle flash, and less damage to nearby ears.
However, it can still be loud. Using subsonic ammunition can guarantee that it’s quiet enough to be safe without protecting your ears.
Outside of Hollywood and military applications, suppressors have a very legitimate utility for civilians: home defense.
Shooting a gun inside a house is super loud. And if you need to hop out of bed in your underwear to grab your gun, you probably won’t grab your earplugs - Using a suppressor on your home defense gun enables you to defend your home and your family with a firearm without losing your hearing.
The Silencerco Omega 9K
The Omega 9K and Omega 45K are exceptionally versatile suppressors. The Omega Ks are the smallest, lightest, and quietest silencers in their respective classes. Full auto rated and usable with pistols, rifles, and submachine guns, the Omega K series oers extreme durability in an ultra-compact package and is compatible with 9mm as well as subsonic and supersonic .300 BLK. With the fully welded, tubeless, minimalist Omega K, big sound suppression now comes in a tiny footprint.
- RATED FOR FULL AUTO.
- COMPATIBLE WITH PISTOLS, RIFLES, AND SUBMACHINE GUNS.
- USABLE WITH .300 BLK.
- SMALLEST, LIGHTEST, AND MOST QUIET IN ITS CLASS.
- HEARING SAFE WITH SUBSONIC AND SUPERSONIC 300 BLK
WE CAN'T FORGET...
Safe Means Storage
“Safe” is a relative term.
If you live alone or with stable, properly trained adults you can trust, you could make an argument that “safe” might mean keeping a loaded pistol on the nightstand if it’s not in a holster on your person.
For a household with young children, this is not “safe” at all, and keep concealed carry guns either on yourself or in a quick-access safe.
A handgun safe is a great way to securely store your handgun when you are not home, to prevent theft or accidental use by a child. Remember, it is the responsibility off every gun owner to keep their guns secure from theft or misuse.
A no-brainer, but It's amazing at how many people buy a pistol and then don’t buy defensive ammunition for it.
Quick ammo primer: There are essentially two types of ammunition for handguns; solid full metal jacket bullets (FMJ), most commonly used for target practice and plinking, and jacketed hollow-point ammunition (JHP) which expands on impact, typically used for hunting and self-defense.
In general, you want to use hollow points in a defensive gun because they increase the wounding power of a pistol round, which then increases the chances of you stopping the threat to your life.
However, smaller caliber guns (less than .380ACP) usually don’t have the "umph" needed to penetrate deep enough to cause enough damage to stop a threat, so choose your ammo carefully if you carry a smaller gun.
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas of choices to accessorize your home shotgun to make it safer and more effective for defensive use. And hopefully, none of us ever have to actually defend ourselves or family from a home invasion.
However, it is one of those things where it is better to have and not need than need and not have. So as responsible citizens, we need to always be protected as is our right.
While these gadgets are useful, having them is only half the equation. Practice, and with that, knowing how to use them in dim light, is equally valuable.
Be sure to shop Sarge's Sporting Goods for all of your home defense needs! Looking for your first, or next shotgun? Use coupon code 5OFFPISTOL for additional savings at check out!
Stop by our blog page as we continue our Home Defense Series and cover Top Rifles and Top Shotguns for protecting your home. As we mentioned, the best gun for home defense is one that, when handled safely and competently, provides peace-of-mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s a handgun, shotgun or rifle, the trick is knowing what each gun does well and what it doesn’t do well.