Best Home Protection Handgun


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R_Thornhill
October 10, 2009, 03:35 AM
I just wanted to know everyones opinion on the best home protection HANDGUN. Now I know most will say a shotgun is the best home protection weapon, but I am more interested in handguns for protection and range fun and shotguns for bird hunting. Have fun posting...

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Broken11b
October 10, 2009, 03:37 AM
Wow, here it comes.

The only best one is the one you know how to use, and have when you need it

Onesiphorus
October 10, 2009, 03:45 AM
Pump shotgun with #4 pheasant loads. put a cheap laser on it. The sound of racking round and a laser flying around will make just about everbody leave. 2nd best is a 1911 with spare mags.

purebred
October 10, 2009, 04:36 AM
The most reliable and the most confident one you have and biggest caliber you can handle.
That's my Honest opinion.

jkinkade
October 10, 2009, 06:51 AM
A matter of choice,,,,,one that you are extremely corfortable with,,,,that you have practiced with and feels like it is part of you. You must be able to operate it in the dark etc. and have confidence that it is 100% reliable.

My own preference is a Les Baer Comanche,,,,,,a shotgun would be a good choice also.

06
October 10, 2009, 06:57 AM
A 45 ACP is a slow moving big chunk of lead and will do very well at stopping an attacker. Like the above said-what ever you feel comfortable with will work. My nephew swears by his 40 cal. I like a 380-which I call a miniature 45. Now I carry a Makarov(9X18). There are probably more 9mms out there than any other at present. 38s or 357s are an old reliable stopper. 38s were the standard for LEOs for generations-that and 45s. Thoroughly confused yet??? If you start throwing lead most perps in your home will seek life elsewhere and in a quick hurry.

Deus Machina
October 10, 2009, 10:26 AM
Like others have said, the best HD gun is almost certainly a pump-action shotgun. #1 buckshot, for my preference.

As for handguns, it's completely subjective. The best HD handgun follows the same rules as the best CCW, but is more a more open choice because of size.

It's the gun that you shoot well, you can trust with your life, you can manipulate and aim in the dark, in the largest caliber and largest capacity that you can handle quickly.

My HD and CC gun are the same. At home, I have the benefit of having an extra, larger-capacity magazine handy.

ByAnyMeans
October 10, 2009, 10:53 AM
Of course you guys are right that a longarm is best and I choose a 12 gauge but the OP asked for only handguns.

For a handgun I think you should first find out which handgun you are most accurate with that you are comfortable operating. Some love revolvers others semi's. Some go for SA while others want DA/SA or Safe action striker fired.

Then find out what caliber your choice comes in, I suggest at least .38 special in revolver and 9mm in a semi auto. Find out which caliber you shoot the best and what is most important to you. Do you want a larger round and will give up magazine capacity and for most people quicker follow up shots or would you rather a smaller round because you will load it with a good jhp and want quick follow up shots and larger capacity. Some go for a middle ground with .40s+w, although some feel it has almost the same ballistics as 9mm in gel tests and more recoil than a .45acp. These choices will be up to you as what suits you best and pay no attention to caliber or handgun wars.

MachIVshooter
October 10, 2009, 12:34 PM
The most reliable and the most confident one you have and biggest caliber you can handle.

Pretty much. I keep a S&W 1006 stoked with my handloaded 180 grain Golden Sabres. The Woman will dispatch a threat with her 9mm Baby Eagle and 147 grain Hornady XTP's.

Pick your handgun based on the aforementioned advice, then use the most effective round that will reliably cycle in your pistol.

btg3
October 10, 2009, 01:01 PM
Sage advice from the ruger forum's guru...

There is so much hype about what gun is best or what ammo will shoot through three New York City phone books that most gun owners get confused on what’s fact and what’s fiction. To complicate matters, the so-called “experts” that write articles for gun magazines, corrupt your mind with even more garbage. Seems every new gun or type of ammo they test is the best ever in the whole world.

I thought I would give the Iowegan point of view on the subject with unbiased, common sense risk assessment information. I don’t claim to be an expert but I do have many years of experience. We’ll start with some really basic stuff to include options for firearms, ammunition, accessories, sighting systems, and good old common sense procedures.

There are many different things to consider when using a weapon to protect yourself or loved ones in your home. There can be a huge difference in what you legally can or can’t do based on state and local laws. Example: in a few states, you are within your rights to use lethal force to protect your property. Most states exclude this and only allow you to protect yourself and other people. All states support home protection, without any special type of permit or license, other than what it takes to buy a gun. This document is not intended to be a legal guide so check the laws for your local area before you get in trouble.

Before we get into the details, let’s define the basic concepts. Your goal with home protection is to keep yourself and household members out of harm’s way should your home be invaded or if someone in your home is at risk of being attacked. The mission is to stop the attack, not to kill, maim, or destroy. In other words, don’t do stupid macho things so the wrong person ends up in prison or innocent people get hurt. Always keep this in mind.

There are hundreds of firearms to choose from but really only a few that meet the “sanity test” for home defense. I look at firearms just like I do with tools … always select the right one for the right job. In the bedroom, you want a gun that is easy and safe to use. If you wake up to an intrusion, you don’t want anything that requires much thinking or dexterity to operate. Your self-defense weapon(s) should be stored in a loaded and ready condition. When time is of the essence, you don’t want to be fumbling about trying to insert cartridges in a revolver or inserting a magazine in a pistol. There are too many opportunities to fail if you don’t follow these basic concepts. In my narrow-minded opinion, a revolver is much better suited for the bedroom than any other type. All you have to do is point and shoot … no inserting a magazine, jacking a slide, or even operating a safety catch …. just point and pull the trigger. Most any revolver from a snub nose up to a 6” barrel will do nicely. Anything longer than a 6” barrel gets a bit unmanageable. Typically, you don’t need a lot of firepower in a bedroom gun. Five or six rounds should be more than enough.

To be effective, home defense weapons must be loaded and positioned for quick access. Of course the presence of non-adults require additional safety equipment such as a “GunValut”, see: http://www.gunvault.com/handgunsafesminivaultstandard/ or an equivalent. Depending on your home’s floor plan, you may need additional firearms or you may have to transport a single firearm from place to place. There’s not much sense in having a gun in the bedroom if you have to run upstairs to get it and leave your family unprotected while a bad guy kicks the front door in. Firearms located in key areas of the home can be a revolver or pistol. Just make sure they are located in the area where they will be accessible. Just like a fire extinguisher … you don’t want the fire between you and an escape route … likewise you don’t want the bad guy to get between you and your family. Find a “retreat area” in your home where you can go if someone is kicking the door down. Again, depending on floor plans, you may need more than one retreat areas, which would require more than one firearm. In my home, the master bathroom is my retreat area. From that location, I can arm myself and get positioned between the bad guy and my family. My wife and I occasionally go over our “emergency action plan” to make sure we both remember what to do if …. My wife heads for the master bedroom and I rush to the bathroom. From there, I open the GunVault and grab the revolver. I then have the advantage over the bad guy. If I’m not home, my wife knows the drill too.

Here’s some criteria for a home defense firearms and ammunition. You don’t need and in fact don’t want some big magnum gun loaded with bear killer loads. You want a weapon with manageable recoil, non-deafening sound, minimal muzzle flash, and loaded with ammo that won’t pass through the walls and injure or kill the family next door or the person in the next bedroom. Granted, there’s no such thing as a perfect cartridge but if you stack the odds in your favor, chances are you will emerge the victor without accidentally shooting an innocent victim. Of all the ammunition on the market, 38 Special lead hollow base wadcutters do the best job of meeting all the criteria. Wadcutters are intended for target loads so they are very accurate and low power, thus minimal recoil. The bullet is designed to cut a nice clean hole in the target instead of tearing a hole like a round nose bullet would do. They do the same with flesh and create a nasty wound that bleeds profusely. Because the loads are quite light, you won’t get a muzzle flash to blind you nor will you blow your ear drums out like a more powerful load will do when fired indoors without hearing protection. Last, the soft lead bullet will flatten when it hits any solid object. Likely they won’t go through an outside wall at all, and will lose most of their power if they go through an inside wall.

There really isn’t a good comparable load for a semi-auto. One weapon that meets most of the needs is a 45 ACP loaded with low power lead semi-wadcutters. Light target loads won’t function well in most 45 ACP pistols without installing a light recoil spring. They tend to penetrate deeply so walls aren’t much of an obstacle to innocent victims.

For home defense, ammunition tends to drive the type of firearm. In this case, a 38 Special or 357 Mag revolver loaded with 38 Special 148 gr HBWCs is the overall best solution for a bedside gun. It’s also a good solution for a retreat area weapon, however some people prefer a semi-auto pistol.

Home defense weapons don’t need many accessories. Unless you plan to carry the weapon, holsters are not recommended because they just take extra access time.
A GunVault mini-safe is a good idea if there are non-adults in the house. Access time from a GunVault isn’t much different than a gun sitting on a shelf. A loaded speedloader or magazine isn’t a bad idea even though statistics don’t support some big firefight in home invasion scenarios. Standard factory fixed or adjustable sights are fine. I like the Crimson Trace Laser Grips and have a set on my bedside revolver. It’s very intimidating when a bad guy sees a red dot on his chest. Besides, it makes the weapon much easier to aim in low light conditions and from awkward positions. Action jobs, or other custom work is not necessary … just a basic weapon that functions flawless.

This is no time to skimp so buy a good quality weapon. Though snub nose revolvers or compact pistols will work, the most manageable weapons are full sized guns with 4 to 6 inch barrels. Ruger GP-100s or S&W Mod 586/686 with a 4” barrel top the list. The larger size and heavier weights are in your favor, especially because you don’t have to carry the weapon on your person. Your home defense weapon can also be used as a CCW or as a range gun for fun and practice. Unless you live alone, make sure other adults in your home can also handle the gun.

38 Special, or 357 Mag with 38 Special HBWCs: low muzzle flash, low recoil, modest noise level, excellent accuracy, adequate stopping power, unlikely to penetrate walls. (best)

9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, or 44 Special: low muzzle flash, modest recoil, very loud, good accuracy, excellent stopping power, likely to penetrate both internal and external walls. (marginal)

380 ACP, 32 ACP or 22 LR: Modest muzzle flash, low recoil, modest noise level, poor accuracy, marginal stopping power, likely to penetrate interior wall but not exterior.
(poor)

Shotgun: excessive muzzle flash, heavy recoil, excessively loud, hard to miss accuracy, excessive close range stopping power, wall penetration depends on shot size and distance. (bad choice for indoors, excellent choice for outdoors)

357 Mag or 44 Mag: excessive muzzle flash, heavy to excessive recoil, excessively loud, good accuracy for the first shot only, overkill stopping power, excessive wall penetration. (bad choice)

Don’t confuse home protection with trespassing on the property outside the home. Here’s where an additional shotgun may be the best tool for the job. Just remember …. in most states, the laws for inside the home and outside the home aren’t the same. Check it out.

In conclusion, use some brains when selecting weapons or ammunition. Forget the macho crap and base your decisions on a good common sense risk assessment. Practice with your weapons, your equipment, and your accessories and make sure they all perform to your satisfaction. Make an “emergency plan” and use it. All adults in the home should be proficient with the weapons and know where and how to access them.

gunnie
October 10, 2009, 01:10 PM
if ALL the replies so far seem non-committal/side stepping, it is because the posters have wisely chosen to avoid an "X" caliber and "X" mfgr urinating contest that this sort of open ended question always seems to degrade into...

that said, MY $0.02, from a posting from a guy looking for a handgun for his wife, just as true for a male:

taken from another posting i made at a different thread:

"...a guy told me what i believe to be very good advice for someone trying to decide what handgun to use for the most dangerous species. first, decide what recoil level you are comfortable with between .38/9mm and 45 ACP. many have used less than the lower threshold with good results. it is just a line that is usually considered the lowest you can count on. above 45 ACP usually starts taking too long for a second shot.

then go to a user friendly store(s) and pick up every one they have on the counter that is within your comfort level for shooting. pick a target on the wall, about pie plate sized. close your eyes and point the weapon at where you remembered the target being. the ones that are pointing at same target when you re-open your eyes most reliably are what you should consider buying.

statisticly, most shootings occur at night, and at bad breath ranges. a hangun that points instinctively for you can be a real bonus in that scenario..."

gunnie

IF THE ABOVE MENTIONED 38/9MM FLOOR IS TOO MUCH RECOIL, GET SOMETHING SHE IS NOT SCARED OF.

AKElroy
October 10, 2009, 02:10 PM
Probably not perfect, but with 17 rnds of 165 gr DoubleTap Gold Dots, Heine Straight-8 sights, Streamlight TLR-2, I cannot think of a more effective bedside companion. At least as far as handguns go. Personally, I keep a 12 gage next to my bed.

btg3
October 10, 2009, 02:13 PM
IF THE ABOVE MENTIONED 38/9MM FLOOR IS TOO MUCH RECOIL, GET SOMETHING SHE IS NOT SCARED OF.
With regard to recoil, don't neglect the size of the gun for a given caliber. Shooting .38spl in a .357 handgun with a 4" barrel and rubber grips is generally very acceptable.

Caliber alone will not assure a specific recoil level. For me .380 is very uncomfortable in the LCP/P3AT.

KBintheSLC
October 10, 2009, 02:24 PM
I wouldn't get too wrapped up over caliber or brands. Just go with the basics... choose a gun that is totally reliable, that you can shoot well with, and that the ammo won't be too difficult to find (you need to practice with it). Just having a working gun that you can shoot well with in and of itself will make you a far more painful target than the next guy.

Shooting .38spl in a .357 handgun with a 4" barrel and rubber grips is generally very acceptable.

That is exactly what came to mind for me. Perhaps a 4" GP-100 loaded with some .38 spl +P. The heft of the gun will tame the recoil nicely.

kdstrick
October 10, 2009, 02:28 PM
Anything with a mounted light is preferable because it is far more efficient that using a separate flashlight. Simply put, the barrel goes where the light goes. Also, you have a free hand if you need it.

18" bbl 870 with light also next to me by the bed.

Shown: G23 w/trijicon NS, Streamlight M3, 13+1 Corbon 135 JHP w/ Busse Sarsquatch.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg214/kdstrick/IMG_4376.jpg

golden
October 10, 2009, 02:43 PM
My home defense weapon is a handgun.

I usually go with a 9m.m. or .40 S&W caliber pistol with a large capacity and night sights. I favor the BERETTA 92/96 line, the WALTHER P-99 or H&K P-2000.
The .45ACP and revolvers are out based on their ammo capacity. I do not spray and pray, but if a fight starts, I do not want to be left holding an empty gun.
The 17 and 20 round factory mags for the BERETTA 92 a very appealing to me for that reason.

I recently purchased a BERETTA 96d Vertec and intend to put a light on the built in rail to use for my nightstand gun.

I go with these choices based on stopping power (I consider the 9m.m. 115 to 124 grain JPH +P and .40 caliber 155 or 165 JHP to be perfectly adequate), recoil, ammo capacity (I do not keep a reload in my boxer shorts for that 3:00 am bumb in the night), weight and size.

I do not use a shotgun or rifle. They are too difficult to manuever inside a house and if you have just been awakened, they twice as difficult (my experience).

I can keep a handgun close to my body to prevent a gun grab and fire it one handed (try calling 911 while holding an intruder at gun point with a long gun).

I have based my choices on my own experiences.

Jim

Shawn.L
October 10, 2009, 02:51 PM
speaking plainly of hardware and ballistics an AR15 Carbine and the .223/5.56 round wins hands down.

but the best tool for HD isnt a piece of hardware. Its sound tactics and solid training.

Your choice of round and all the energy and money you put into it doesnt mean much if your child comes running out of his room to see what the commotion is and passes between the muzzle and the threat.

Deanimator
October 10, 2009, 02:51 PM
Like others have said, the best HD gun is almost certainly a pump-action shotgun.
Really? Have you seen MY home?

A non-NFA long gun is about as useless as a naginata in my home.

It's pointless to tell somebody what's "best" in THEIR home when you've never even seen a PICTURE of it.

And if your firearm isn't locked and loaded when you're in close proximity to a potentially armed and dangerous opponent, you're wrong. The only "noise" a home invader in my home is going to hear is a LOT louder than any sound produced by the mechanical action of a firearm.

RedAlert
October 10, 2009, 03:07 PM
We've all heard the phrase: Guns don't kill, people kill!

So on that premise I suggest that everyone who has responded to this question has failed to mention the ultimate weapon for home defense!

I say that the shooter, YOU, are the ultimate weapon. So too, it is very important that the shooter be trained and practiced and knowledgeable. All too many "gurus" on here focus on their pet pistol, rifle or shotgun.

I say, attend some training courses. Learn what to expect IF you are ever forced to use deadly force in defense of yourself or your family. Then, once you have absorbed the advice and teachings of true experts, find out what tool best suits you, the weapon, and practice, practice, practice.

My choice of "tool"; well I won't say because I don't want you to be prepared if you attempt to break into my dwelling.

As the sign outside says: "Don't worry about the dog, Beware the owner inside!"

Dr.Rob
October 11, 2009, 03:07 PM
Cave men had it right: throw the biggest fastest rock you can throw accurately.

The rest is details and personal preferences.

If that doesn't work reach for a spetsnatz shovel. Or a rabid beagle. You throw a rabid beagle at someone they aren't just gonna stand there and take it. ;)

Noveldoc
October 11, 2009, 03:42 PM
I keep my Garand handy with a clip of 150 deer hunting soft points. I have always liked the idea of bringing a battle rifle to a pistol fight.

Tom

rondog
October 11, 2009, 04:47 PM
I would prefer to keep my M1 Carbine handy for clearing uglies outta the house, it's the perfect CQB weapon! I'd love to find a flashlight/laser combo that snapped onto the bayonet lug. But the wife ain't gonna go for having any longarms leaning up against the wall next to the bed. She tolerates the 1911 in my side of the headboard, because she can't see it.

GRIZ22
October 11, 2009, 05:24 PM
The sound of racking round and a laser flying around will make just about everbody leave.

This is a widespread misconception. The racking sound and laser will most likely help the BG know where you are and give him a heads up that you are armed and he needs to deal with you.

My choice for a HD gun is a revolver, at least 38 spl and 4" barrel. The manual of arms is simple for everyone to learn

deputy tom
October 11, 2009, 07:07 PM
I'm guessing Florabama is down south in a humid enviornment.If so I'd suggest a S/S S&W K-Frame revolver in .357 mag. or .38 Spl. caliber.Also as has been mentioned before, a 12 ga. SG in a non-corrosive finish would do nicely.tom.:cool:

Thekid90
October 11, 2009, 09:19 PM
I like my xd40 personally, but I would say whatever your most familiar with :)

THE DARK KNIGHT
October 11, 2009, 10:19 PM
Wow, what a surprise, more people thinking that various sounds and lasers will scare criminals. It's funny how so many people cite that guns should be widely available to the citizenry because these vicious, violent criminals have them anyway, but in all their imagined HD/SD scenarios the criminals are always unarmed fools like Marv and Harry from Home Alone.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=107027&stc=1&d=1255310267

mljdeckard
October 11, 2009, 10:35 PM
Yes, I say shotgun first. My backup is an M-1 carbine.

Having said that, the main distinction about a HD pistol is, you don't much have to worry about size or weight, because you aren't going to carry it for a long time anyway. You don't have to worry about fitting rails and lights into your waistband. To me, this means a steel-framed pistol or revolver in a heavy caliber. Since it's heavier, you will have less felt recoil. I'm thinking .45 auto, and .357 or even .44 mag. If you are into lights and rails, this is the gun to put it on.

kmrcstintn
October 11, 2009, 11:01 PM
since this is a HANDGUN THREAD I am going to compose my response within the parameters of that criteria...:scrutiny: (aka...not argue a point about long arms in a handgun forum)

there are several that get rotated for HD use, but I always have my CCW revolver loaded and on standby; it is NOT the PERFECT tool for the job, but it is AVAILABLE without having to unlock a safe, go into another stroage box and find a speedloader or magazine to load it with; with that stated...my CCW is a lightweight S&W 642 .38 spl +p snubby loaded with either Winchester WWB Personal Defense 125gr jhp's or Remington 158gr lswchp's

Prosser
October 12, 2009, 12:47 AM
If you want a rifle in a handgun fight, why not pick a handgun that provides rifle like ballistics? We have those now.

First one that comes to mind is the Hornady 200 grain HP at 2300 fps, out of the .460 S&W.

Others: .500 JRH, .500 S&W, .500 Linebaugh, .475 Linebaugh, etc. All provide 50-110 type ballistics out of a handgun.

sig228
October 12, 2009, 01:12 AM
Holy crap, why is this so difficult to answer for the poor OP?

ANSWER: S & W 686P in a 4" barrel. 7 rounds of .38 special, you can always put a few rounds of .357 magnum in there to light up the room or "just for fun".

THE DARK KNIGHT
October 12, 2009, 01:17 AM
Not to mention, a handgun is good for HD because you've got the gun in one hand, and a cell phone to 911 in the other. My HD gun is a 12 gauge (Mossberg 590) but I've got a .357 (S&W 686) readily available also.

If you want a rifle in a handgun fight, why not pick a handgun that provides rifle like ballistics? We have those now.

First one that comes to mind is the Hornady 200 grain HP at 2300 fps, out of the .460 S&W.

Others: .500 JRH, .500 S&W, .500 Linebaugh, .475 Linebaugh, etc. All provide 50-110 type ballistics out of a handgun

Yikes! May stop the badguy but you'll be deaf and blind for life lol! "Hey guys look, here's my best Moses impression!"

kmrcstintn
October 12, 2009, 01:34 AM
Holy crap, why is this so difficult to answer for the poor OP?


good point...my 'primary' HD handgun most of the time is a Ruger GP100 w/ 4" barrel loaded with either Winchester WWB Personal Defense 125gr sjhp .38 spl +p or Remington 158gr lswchp .38 spl +p; simplicity in a DA revolver ranks high on my list; I have other DA revolvers that rotate in and out, but it is hard to beat the mild recoil of a proven .38 spl +p load from a steel-framed, duty size revolver;

on a related note...I just bought a Springfield Armory 1911 Mil-Spec in .45 acp (haven't owned a 1911 in @ 5 or 6 years) and I am 'retraining' myself to deal with a thumb safety and grip safety before I consider using it for HD;

RockyMtnTactical
October 12, 2009, 02:20 AM
The gun you prefer in the largest caliber you can shoot comfortably, quickly, and reliably. Sorry, that answer isn't fun. Maybe this one is, Glock 19!

MrCleanOK
October 12, 2009, 02:42 AM
The biggest one you can handle reliably when you are foggy and half awake. Preferably one you can hang a light on.

purebred
October 12, 2009, 03:48 AM
The biggest one you can handle reliably when you are foggy and half awake. Preferably one you can hang a light on.
this is true!

mljdeckard
October 12, 2009, 08:04 AM
Prosser- Have you ever FIRED one of those guns indoors, with OR without hearing protection? Most people can't even get through a box of those things without giving up. Shooting them enough to be proficient for HD is another matter entirely.

Hawk
October 12, 2009, 10:09 AM
Holy crap, why is this so difficult to answer for the poor OP?
Because he used the word "best".

There is no "best". If there was the answer would be obvious and there would be no point to the question.

In general, when a product manifests itself as "best" the market will single it out. It will, for a brief time, be the only perceived viable choice then spawn a host of imitators. Its trade name will become a generic descriptor for the product.

Think stuff like "Aspirin", "Xerox" and "Kleenex".

If that ever happened with handguns you'd hear such questions as "what's the best Centennial for home defense?" which would include the trademarked Centennial along with all the copies. But handguns are compromises that launch pellets and everyone's priorities and anatomies are a bit different - hence, we have dozens if not hundreds of available choices any of which might be "best" in one or more categories but possibly suck in others.

It's like automobiles - nothing has bubbled up to be a "best" compromise. The Maybach may be best in one or another category but it sucks at "cost of ownership".

Handguns will be a dog's dinner of compromises between size, capacity, weight, reliability (perhaps perceived reliability), capacity, aesthetics, balance, general ergonomics, cost of purchase, usable ammo, trigger quality, magazine vs cylinder, striker vs hammer, etc. ad darn near infinitum.

The rabid beagle seems viable, to which I would add "balled up cat, claws first".

Snarky comments on "best" threads is something I do only rarely - I will now allow the next 99 "best" threads to go by unmolested without pointing out the obvious.
:D

skwab
October 12, 2009, 02:23 PM
As you can already gather this is a very personal decision. So many factors go into it it's hard to casually discuss it, especially with a group of people who take it very seriously.

For me - I have a S&W M&P .40 with a light and a spare mag. For me, I shoot it well, I shoot it often and it's been 100% reliable.

For you? - could be different. If you're not a range junkie like so many of us here are, keep it as simple as possible - I'd go with a revolver. If it's something you're going to get and plan to practice with often, then the sky is the limit - just make sure it's reliable and that in your hands, it shoots well. For you - an M&P .40 might not be a good choice, that's for you to figure out - go to a range with rentals and try out a few, see which works best - good luck!

Dogbite
October 13, 2009, 01:38 AM
My choice, Smith 686 357 mag, 6" barrel.

ArchAngelCD
October 13, 2009, 02:44 AM
As you can see from all the posts already there are many opinions on what is best. That question can only be answered buy you. IMO shoot the most powerful handgun you can shoot well and hit what you shoot at. Nothing wrong with a 4" revolver or a 1911 IMO.

My personal choice for a HD handgun is a 4" S&W M686 loaded with Remington/Federal/Winchester 158gr LSWC/HP ammo, the FBI Load. Don't forget a good light...

noskilz
October 13, 2009, 05:41 AM
A non-NFA long gun is about as useless as a naginata . . .

Wow, I learned a new word today. :cool:

noskilz
October 13, 2009, 05:50 AM
If you want a rifle in a handgun fight, why not pick a handgun that provides rifle like ballistics? We have those now.

First one that comes to mind is the Hornady 200 grain HP at 2300 fps, out of the .460 S&W.

Others: .500 JRH, .500 S&W, .500 Linebaugh, .475 Linebaugh, etc. All provide 50-110 type ballistics out of a handgun.


Surely you jest, Prosser. What a joy that would be to shoot in the confines of your house. Please accept my apologies if your home is a mountain top cave in bear country. :D

Erik M
October 13, 2009, 06:35 AM
personally a model 66 .38spl loaded with +p ammo suits my needs. Like almost everyone else there is also a 12ga mossy close by but I would go for the pistol first.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 13, 2009, 06:38 AM
Mine kind of alternates between what mood I'm in.
Anywhere from a .380 Auto to a 500 Magnum to a 12 guage to a .223 (or all of the above).

One of my cats, thrown into the subject's face would be a sight (sic).

Southern Shooter
October 13, 2009, 11:36 AM
I don't know if there IS a best handgun for home protection. My HD gun is a Ruger Speed-Six, .357 Magnum, 2.75" barrel, loaded with Remington .357 Magnum 125 grain SJHP.

Each of my children, at their homes, keep a service size (4" barrel) .38 Special loaded with Remington 125 grain Golden Sabers.

And, we practice a lot with them.

I don't think any of us are lacking in the self-defense department.

drjoker
October 13, 2009, 01:52 PM
Yes, go to a gun store and try several. Then, buy the one you can most comfortably fire accurately. I know, lots of you guys think that only a shotgun/rifle is good for home defense, but lots of people cannot afford more than one gun. If you need a gun for concealed carry and home defense, I suggest a Glock 19 because that is the most reliable gun that is small enough for you to carry and has the least powerful caliber that has over a 90% one shot stop statistic (I know, those stats are suspect, but they do sound plausible as these stats say larger calibers are more effective than smaller calibers, duh!). More powerful calibers will be more difficult to shoot. Therefore, IMHO a Glock 19 is ideal for a home defense pistol. There are smaller 9mm pistols out there, but they have never seen extensive millitary service and therefore are not as reliable. There are more powerful calibers, but they are more harder to shoot. There are less powerful calibers but they have less than 90% one shot stop statistics. There are bigger 9mm guns but they are impossible to conceal. It is also more reliable than the Glock 26 (baby Glock) because to preserve the operational reliability of the short recoil system, the mass of the slide remains the same in the Glock 19 as in the Glock 17 from which it is derived. However, keep in mind that semi-auto pistols require maintenance. To avoid magazine compression and damage, you have to swap mags every once in awhile.


Therefore, if you are not a gun hobbyist who will enjoy swapping mags and practicing regularly, then I recommend a snub nosed 38 special revolver as your only gun. A revolver can be put into a nightstand and forgotten. It is almost just as deadly at close range.

atomd
October 13, 2009, 02:21 PM
This is a widespread misconception. The racking sound and laser will most likely help the BG know where you are and give him a heads up that you are armed and he needs to deal with you.

Yeah, because every person trying to steal a stereo system to sell for crack is just dying to confront a homeowner with a shotgun. :rolleyes: I think the presence of any type of gun (or a dog) is enough to deter most people. Heck, even yelling can deter a lot of crimes. I don't agree that the sound of a shotgun being racked is the be all end all...but I don't think it hurts either. If they know you are in a bedroom with a loaded shotgun, I think there's a very good chance the situation won't escalate. If you snuck out of that room and tried to catch them by surprise, I think the chance of the situation escalating increases dramatically. I'd rather stay in the room with the shotgun and call the police. If they tried to come into that room, I would use the shotgun to stop them. I think I would have the advantage. One door...one way in....and I would be ready. If I had children in another room or something like that, it would be a different story of course.

trigun87
October 14, 2009, 02:27 AM
I would say a glock, no strange safety's to deal with when your awaken all of sudden by intruders. Very reliable, If you get a subcompact glock in can be hd and carry.

BushyGuy
October 14, 2009, 02:34 AM
my favorite defense gun is my trusty Ruger SR9 with 17+1 124 gr Hornady CQ TAP JHP sitting in my night stand.

i would use my Bushmaster AR15 if i can get to it fast enough, otherwise i will just grab my lil 115 lumen flashlight and my SR9 during a break in or if someone is tresspassin in my back yard at night.

Bluenote
October 14, 2009, 08:01 PM
The sound of racking round and a laser flying around will make just about everbody leave.

This is a widespread misconception. The racking sound and laser will most likely help the BG know where you are and give him a heads up that you are armed and he needs to deal with you.

My choice for a HD gun is a revolver, at least 38 spl and 4" barrel. The manual of arms is simple for everyone to learn
Exactly , and to explore that further , when you rack that action in a stress situation ,regardless of the weapon involved you produce a sound signature that can give away your exact location to the potential assailant , if said assailant is armed and a bit of a lunatic they might just open up and start spraying.

I really don't think there is one "best" in this scenario , me ? Well my "bedtime gun' is a three inch model 24 Smith that I've had forever . loaded with mild loads of either 180 jhps or hollow base wadcutters loaded base out that I cast myself , if I need more than that I'm going for the 12 gauge .

I have been know to just load the .357 with some zinging little 110s or 125s that are lightly jacketed too , but all in all I'm kind of stuck on the larger caliber " flying ashtray" concept. And I live pretty far out in the boonies where LEO response times can be fairly extended , might be quite a while until they get here so I can really depend on 'em to save my bacon in a stress situation.

And in the most basic sense , doesn't the question of " What's the best home defense handgun?" beg the answer of " the one you've got in your hand when you have to defend yourself."

A .25 in the hand is better than a .45 in a drawer. ( Jeff Cooper)

Bluenote
October 14, 2009, 08:06 PM
If you want a rifle in a handgun fight, why not pick a handgun that provides rifle like ballistics? We have those now.

First one that comes to mind is the Hornady 200 grain HP at 2300 fps, out of the .460 S&W.

Others: .500 JRH, .500 S&W, .500 Linebaugh, .475 Linebaugh, etc. All provide 50-110 type ballistics out of a handgun.
Well at least if you miss the bad guy will be deaf and blind , of course you may well be too.

Of course now if it's old Mr. Ursus Horribilis breaking y'alls bedroom you might have a point.

sheepdog
October 14, 2009, 08:28 PM
...for me, it depends...I like the power of a shotgun, but not the spread when it may be that I have a family member close by or being used as a shield...I load my 500C Mossberg 20 ga. with 4 slugs and 2 buck...buck to be fired last...my Winch 1300...the same...I have a 1200 pump with all Aguila buck...I wouldn't grab it for inside work...and the rest of the options include Mini-14, 1894, 336 Marlin, and "a few" handguns of .44 and .45 caliber...I'd grab the shotgun first if the door got kicked in....

easyg
October 19, 2009, 03:05 PM
I'm comfortable with my Glock 22 as my home defense handgun.

hddeluxe
October 19, 2009, 07:43 PM
I would say caliber aside, it has to be the one you have practiced with and are comfortable shooting in all conditions.

Big Bill
October 20, 2009, 01:07 AM
What btg3 said! +100

I use my SP101; and now, I'm going to buy some .38 special wadcutters.

PAPACHUCK
October 20, 2009, 08:33 AM
My HD handgun is a XD45Tac.

14rds of Golden Saber Bonded await any intruders.

I sleep well.

Fishman777
October 20, 2009, 11:42 PM
I think that home defense handguns should be safe, reliable, ammo insensitive, and easy enough to shoot accurately that anyone in your house can operate it. In my opinion, revolvers fit this role better than any other handgun.

If your spouse is a shooter, the best hand gun might be an autoloader that fits you both well. If your spouse is not a shooter, your best option is probably a medium framed all steel revolver. I would choose either a Ruger GP100 or a Smith and Wesson 686.

I prefer the GP100, but would feel equally good about the Smith.

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