Home Defense: Shotguns vs. Handguns

When choosing a home defense weapon, there are a lot of variables that you have to take into consideration when making your purchase.  Handguns and Shotguns are the two favorites when it comes to defending your home against an intruder.  You can get each in a variety of sizes and calibers, and the number of quality manufacturers is on the rise.  Let’s take a moment to look at both handguns and shotguns so that you can decide which, if not both, are right for you.

If you think that bigger is better, it is no doubt that a shotgun comes to your mind.  The number of quality weapons available from brands such home defenseas Mossberg, Remington, Browning, Winchester, and many more, can be overwhelming.  You can choose from a range of calibers such as .410, 20 gauge, 16 gauge, 12 gauge, and even larger calibers if you can handle them.  The most popular is most likely the 12 gauge, and ammunition is still in abundant supply.

Now that you know some popular calibers and brand names, you have to decide on the weapons action.  Do you want a pump action, semi-automatic, single shot, or possible a double barrel?  Your decision will likely come down to what you prefer, but pump action and semi-automatic are probably your best choices.

The biggest factor when deciding on a shotgun is stopping power.  The odds are that no matter what type you decide to purchase, it will in no doubt get the job done.  Some of the benefits of a shotgun is the option for progressive loading.  You can start with a light load or possibly a nonlethal round, and work your way up through buckshot and slugs.  If you aren’t willing to take someone’s life, this may be the way to go.

If you are uncomfortable with a heavy recoil or the awkwardness of a large weapon, a handgun is your next available option.  You can choose from revolvers, automatics, and even single shot derringer style weapons.  The key is to choose a quality made weapon in a caliber that will both stop an intruder, and is comfortable to use.  Most enthusiasts would recommend that you stay with a caliber that is larger than .380 for self and home defense.

Some reliable brands include Smith and Wesson, Glock, Springfield, Berretta, and more.  You don’t have to pick the most expensive brand, but home defense pistolstay away from the cheapest by all means.  Ask any enthusiast, and they will name their favorite brand and why it is the best.  Feel free to ask questions about which brand to choose and try a few out before making your purchase.

The final debate when choosing a handgun is which caliber is the best.  Take into consideration the stopping power, the depth of penetration, and even accuracy when making this decision.  You don’t want too little, but there are calibers that are just a little too much for home defense.  You can get a caliber that allows you to carry more ammunition, or go larger for more stopping power.  Start with something comparable to a .380, and go bigger from there, just keep in mind that a caliber designed to take down a buffalo at 100 yards is a little too much for firing inside of your home.  Your neighbors may appreciate that.


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