Editor’s note: Here’s another article from home security expert, Madison Parker. This one’s sure to stir up a few comments. – John
It’s a dangerous world, and you have every right (and even a duty) to protect yourself. In the sanctity of your own home, you need to be ready to combat any threat that might creep in. A gun is the last line of defense against an intruder, the last layer in what should be a multi-layer home security plan. Once a home invader is past your deadbolt locks, your alarms, and your security cameras, it’s good to know that you still have recourse to protect yourself and your family.
Yet, the degree to which you’re truly protected depends on whether you’ve picked the right gun. Pick the wrong gun and you might as well not have one at all. A gun that’s ineffective or that does more harm than good isn’t a reliable means of personal protection.
Five criteria for choosing the right gun
Before we discuss specific models, let’s step back and take a look at the criteria for picking a gun for home protection:
- Effectiveness. A gun needs to be able to stop a burglar or a home invader.
- Penetration. You need to know how powerful a gun is, and what the danger is that it might hit unintended targets.
- Ammunition. A single shot will often take down an intruder, but if you miss a couple you need to know there is enough ammunition to land one.
- Reliability. The gun needs to work every time without a misfire.
- Price. Budget, as with most things, is a factor in choosing the right gun.
Many factors can influence your needs in each of these areas, but the bottom line is that you need to factor them all in.
A 12-gauge shotgun lets you take down an intruder fast and without worrying too much about accuracy. If you use #1 buckshot or smaller, you can reliably take down the target without worrying about over-penetration. You can get a good shotgun for home defense for around $150. The Remington 870 is a top choice for reliability and price, as is the Mossberg 500.
The AR-15 rifle is a civilian version of the M-16. This is a particularly effective and lethal weapon. Penetration is high, so you need to choose ammunition that’s frangible. You don’t need to worry about supply, because a magazine holds 30 rounds. This is one of the most expensive options, of course, and you can expect to pay $700 or more. The DPMS Panther Lite 1 tends to be a favorite in this category, and enjoys a good reputation.
A handgun is the most popular choice for personal protection. It’s also often the least effective. It can take multiple hits to put down an intruder. Penetration can be a problem. A typical handgun holds anywhere from 7 to 30 rounds, and they’re fairly reliable. You can pick up an inexpensive handgun for about $300. The Glock 17 gets high marks for reliability and accuracy.
Ultimately, your home is only as safe as the gun you choose to use to protect it. Choose the gun that best matches your skill, needs, and budget.
What do you think? I’ll bet you’ve got an opinion on the best guns and calibers for home security. Feel free to leave a comment and let others know what’s on your mind.
You might also like an article Madison has written about The Booming United States Firearm Industry.