When it comes to choosing the best handgun for home defense, a variety of factors should be considered. While price is an obvious consideration, the skill level of the shooter, the size and strength of the shooter, and ease of use during a potentially life-threatening invasion are also important aspects that play into a handgun purchase. (See some great options here).
Revolver or Semi-Automatic?
While this debate is sure to make for interesting conversation amongst gun aficionados, for the purpose of home defense, a revolver is a solid choice. Semi-automatics take more time to properly learn, as they have more moving parts. This leads to the potential for more things going wrong and the need to learn how to react quickly.Revolvers are simpler but generally hold fewer bullets than a semi-automatic. They are a bit slower to reload, but they take less skill to operate. This is important in a crisis situation, as people tend to have tunnel vision during these times. Having fewer steps to remember in operating a gun is important. While a semi-automatic is a great choice for a skilled shooter, most casual shooters will be better served with a revolver.
Size and Weight
Some guns are heavy. For a person with a powerful grip and a steady hand, these may feel just right. Getting a handgun that feels comfortable is extremely important. Individuals with less hand strength will probably want to choose a gun that is smaller and lighter. There is no right or wrong with regards to size and weight other than if a gun feels too heavy or bulky, it is probably a bad idea.
Caliber and Stopping Power
The bigger the bullet, the more likely that a hit will stop an intruder. The speed of the bullet also plays a role, but almost any gun fires bullets at sufficient speed to do the necessary damage. To get a good amount force for home defense, a caliber of around .38 or higher is a good minimum.
Also, all things being equal, the bigger the bullet, the stronger the kick from the gun the shooter will experience when firing. It is a good idea to fire guns of various calibers to see what can be comfortably withstood. Firing a gun that gets knocked out of the shooter’s hands due to kick is not going to help much with home defense.
Best Tactical Home Defense Handguns That May Save Your Life
Many people consider owning a firearm for their person or home in order to protect themselves, their property and their families from potentially threatening situations. In order to take on the responsibility of owning a lethal weapon for the purposes of personal defense, most gun owners extensively train with these firearms. This practice is not just to familiarize yourself with the handling of a firearm, it’s effective and safe operation, but also it helps novices identify what style of gun they’re most comfortable handling. Many potential gun owners prefer handguns because they are the simplest to maintain, conceal securely and operate consistently and safely. Used properly, your purchase of tactical firearms may someday save your life.
Wilson Combat X-Tac
The Wilson Combat X-Tac is a .45 caliber ACP handgun modeled on the Colt M1911. It has an effective range of 1″ at 25 feet, a trigger pull of 3 1/2# and a clip capacity of 8 bullets. It’s the largest and most expensive of the three guns at 8.7″ long and an MSRP of $2,395. It’s made of lightweight carbon steel, making it somewhat lighter than a stainless steel M1911 style handgun.
One of the latest luxury tactical firearms, the Wilson Combat X-Tac also has all of the typical bells and whistles you might expect, from an ergonomic grip to a thumb and grip safeties. One of the most prominent innovations is a U-shaped rear sight that aligns with a rectangular, low-light front sight, but the issue with this sighting system is that the narrow rear sight makes it difficult to align with the front sight, taking some extra practice to get accustomed to this design quirk.
Sig Sauer P220
Also known by the Swiss Army as the “Pistole 75,” the Sig Sauer P220 is a service handgun that replaced the P210 back in 1975. Like the X-Tac, it’s .45 caliber ACP, holds 8 bullets in a magazine and is shorter than the X-Tac at 7.7 inches. It also costs about half as much, at $1,115 MSRP. Unlike the X-Tac, it has a double-action trigger, which allows the user to fire the pistol in semi-automatic fashion or in single shot mode by cocking the hammer of the gun.
Despite the small profile of the gun, ease of maintenance and consistent operation, the double action trigger might pose an issue for novice gun users, as it takes some time to get used to the heavy trigger pull (about 12-14 lbs) on the initial shot and much lighter pull (about 6 lbs) on each subsequent shot in the clip. Once properly practiced in it’s operation, the Sig Sauer P220 becomes a desirable and reliable weapon for personal defense.
FNH USA FNX-45 Tactical
Another .45 caliber weapon, the FNH is probably the best of the three featured handguns. It’s slightly bigger than the P220, at 7.9 inches, and features a similar dual action/single action trigger. Most advantageously, it holds 15 bullets in a clip and is the cheapest of all three guns, at $809 MSRP. This gun is fully ambidextrous and unlike the other two, has a military standard under slung rail for attachments such as laser sights or flashlights.
The main disadvantage of this gun is that it has a heavier trigger pull (more than 14 lbs), but like other DA/SA guns, you can cock the hammer to mitigate the heavy pull on the first pull and empty the clip with a lighter pull on subsequent shots. Overall, though, this represents the best value, ease of use and sufficient firepower to deter any threat to your personal space.
While there are many more factors that could be discussed regarding the best handgun for home defense, based on the above-mentioned criteria, the Medusa Model 47 is the perfect weapon. It is not limited by caliber, but can fire 25 different sized rounds in the .38/9mm/.357 range. This allows a shooter to choose the bullet that feels the most comfortable to fire.
It also comes in a variety of lengths, from a 2.5 inch barrel up to a 6 inch barrel. This will help with weight and size, as the shooter can test out different sizes to see which feels best. It is also a revolver and is simple to operate. While quite rare, the Medusa Model 47 is unique but offers unprecedented versatility for home defense. Check out the best handgun chart for all the greatest reviews.