We Rate the Best Guns for Home Defense

We Rate the Best Guns for Home Defense

Publushed by:

Mathew R Reed

Last updated:

Best Handgun: Walther Colt Government 1911-22

Short summary

The Colt Government 1911 Rail Gun is considered a classic handgun and friend of the police and military, and Walther has managed to create a replica version that’s brought it into the 21st century. 

This .22 LR handgun has a single action trigger, grip safety, and checkered grips, and has been designed to look and feel just like the original.

The slide is lighter and it uses rimfire cartridges, but there’s more weight in the handle, so everything evens out.

The best thing about this gun is that it’s reliable and that’s exactly what you want in a home defense situation where you have to think quick. While most people assume a .22 is just a practice gun, Walther has managed to create a weapon with an accurate shot and absolute dependability, as long as you’re using quality ammo. The shape of the gun forces you to use correct handling as well, which is another point towards accuracy.

Another advantage is the safety factor, and you won’t be able to fire this gun unless you really want to. There’s a manual safety mounted onto the side of the frame and it utilizes a grip safety found in traditional 1911 handguns as well, which has been a preferred weapon of the military over the last century.

The Walther Colt Government 1911-22 is compatible with the standard parts of the original 1911 which is pretty impressive. You have free reign to do whatever upgrades you want including the trigger, safeties, hammer, grips, and sights. What was once a pretty basic gun can become something seriously impressive, so it’s up to you how you want to customize it.

One of the biggest issues with guns that use 22 LR ammo is that they get incredibly dirty, because of the round itself. Just one being fired can cake your gun with lead, soot, and debris, which means you’ll likely have to clean it more often.

Another downside is what comes with this weapon when you get it out of the box, as it’s a little lackluster compared to others. The gun is housed in a plastic case and includes a magazine, gun lock, and wrench for removing the barrel’s tip, so don’t get your hopes up if you’re looking for extras.

The Walther Colt Government 1911-22 might be considered an entry-level piece but it’s got incredible reliability and usability that makes it the best gun for self defense at home. If you want something that is tried and trusted that’s easy enough to maneuver with fast response time, the 1911-22 is one of the best replicas out there.

Quick Facts

  • Type: Single Action
  • Ammo: 22 LR
  • Capacity: 12

Pros

  • Accurate shot
  • High capacity
  • Good safety

Cons

  • Uses 22 LR ammo

Runner Up: Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS

Short summary

When it comes to handguns, there are few out there with the reputation that the Glock 19 holds. The Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS matches the standard firearm with a Modular Optic System so nobody will escape you while you’re defending your home.

With 9mm caliber, 15+1 capacity, 23.65 oz weight, and an overall length of 7.36 inches, it’s got everything you need to feel safe.

The best thing about the Glock 19 is the added Modular Optic System which allows you to mount most optic sights to the weapon. The mounting system features a range of adapter plates that you can use and install quickly and easily, giving you a clear advantage over the intruder who’s found their way into your home.

Another bonus of using this 9mm pistol is the trigger, which has been upgraded and improved significantly from the Glock 19s in the past. When you’re in a situation that requires home defense with your firearm, you want a reliable trigger that’s easy to manipulate, but without being unsafe, and that’s what this gun offers.

The Glock 19 is also highly regarded for safety in other areas and their popular safe action system that all of their guns are made with. If you prefer not having an external safety on your firearm you’ll love it as well, and you can point and click to turn it on and off, saving you precious moments in a life or death situation.

However, it’s not all good, with the biggest downside of this firearm being that it doesn’t fit as snugly into a holster as it would without a sight attached. You’ll need a holster made specifically for this setup and in a home defense situation where you might be grabbing the weapon out of a safe or cabinet, this may not pose that much of an issue.

As a newer generation, you might find that some of the aftermarket parts that once fit a Glock 19 no longer do. You’ll have to be careful about what parts you choose and even during disassembly, as the entire gun’s layout appears to be different which requires a steady learning curve.

If you’re looking for the top gun for home defense and want to stick with a favorite, the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS is the way to go. You’ll have accurate sight and better precision, plus the reliability and dependability that comes with the Glock name. There’s more than one reason why the G19 has earned itself a place in handgun history and you’ll be able to find them out the second you fire one.

Quick Facts

  • Type: Semi-automatic
  • Ammo: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1

Pros

  • High capacity
  • Modular Optic System
  • Reliable trigger

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit as snugly into a holster

Best Shotgun: CZ-USA Drake Shotgun

Short summary

CZ-USA has developed the Drake 28 gauge shotgun that’s perfect for home defense. With a fixed stock with a pistol grip, over/under action, extractor operation, laser-cut checkering, and a single selectable trigger, you’ll find this hunting shotgun to be everything you need to protect your home and more.

Simplistic in its design, the Drake is a basic shotgun with a low price, but it’s lightweight at 6lbs and has a fixed stock with pistol grip for ease of use.

The best thing about this shotgun is value for money and if you’re looking for an affordable way to protect your home but don’t want to cheap out on inferior firearms, you’ll be pleased as well. In terms of price for power it’s one of the most highly rated and it doesn’t skimp in any of the important areas.

Although technically classed as a hunting shotgun, this passed the test for home defense. The fact that it’s lightweight and easy to handle means it’s good for maneuverability and if you’re looking to scare off intruders with the sight of your weapon, nothing beats a nice shotgun.

Customers also loved how The Drake came in a left-handed model to cater to those who need it. The Drake Southpaw was released in 2018 and has enjoyed just as much fame as its right-handed predecessor so it’s nice to know you can get an affordable and quality shotgun for home defense no matter your preference. For a cheaper option without the frills, CZ can still appeal to a wider base.

On the downside, for a cheap shotgun, it could feel a little flimsy at times. Although the CZ brand has a reputation for its solid price for performance ratio, it doesn’t look like much, including its basic satin finish and thin rubber butt pad, so if you’re after bells and whistles this isn’t the gun for you.

The Drake is also missing some other features like no ejectors, using extractors instead, and no side ribs to be found on the barrels. Although not necessary and a good way to save money, this might be a deal-breaker for some, especially if you’re particular about the type of shotguns you buy.

The Drake by CZ proves just how well this manufacturer can perform at such a low retail price, and if you want a backup shotgun for your home defense, it’s a smart buy. Although it can look a little simple and is traditionally used for hunting and sports, it’s a reliable and menacing way to protect your home from intruders.

Quick Facts

  • Type: Shotgun
  • Ammo: 28 gauge
  • Capacity: 2

Pros

  • Pistol grip
  • Lightweight
  • Maneuverabe components

Cons

  • Feel a little flimsy

Runner Up: Black Aces Tactical Shotgun

Short summary

If you want the most intimidating shotgun for home defense, something like the Black Ace Tactical Shotgun will scare off anyone who comes near your home. This 12-gauge shotgun comes with an 18.5-inch barrel length, shockwave grip, and full sized stock.

Included in the kit with your firearm are front and rear sights, three chokes, and a hard carrying case for convenience.

As a pump action shotgun, you can’t beat the feel of this firearm in your hands, and it’s instantly intimidating. If your plan for a home defense gun is to look scary and never have to actually fire a round, the money spent on the Black Aces Tactical Shotgun will get you exactly that. With a black and nickel finish, it’s shiny in the right places and with a solid grip on the rest.

Another major selling point of the Black Aces Tactical Shotgun is the front shockwave grip which makes aiming, handling, and reloading a breeze. If you’ve been hesitant to use a shotgun for home defense because you didn’t want too much effort, a pump action shotgun like this will change your mind completely.

However, some have found this shotgun to feel a little stiff and stated that they needed to spend more time breaking it in. For those hoping to buy a firearm that’s ready for action, you’ll want to shop around, as this one will work best once it’s been fired a few times and mastered by the shooter.

There may also be issues with ejecting shells, but this depends on the user and the type of ammo they’re loading. Some customers have noted issues in this regard and claimed they had to add more lube to help them come out smoothly, which isn’t something you want to deal with when you’re in a home defense situation. This is another reason why it’s so important to test and master the gun before it’s used for this purpose.

The Black Ace Tactical Shotgun is one of the most serious looking firearms on our list and guaranteed to scare anyway away the second they look down its barrel. With reliable grips and a little bit of effort needed to break it in, you’ll have absolute peace of mind knowing that this is what stands between you and anyone who tries to enter your home without permission.

Quick Facts

  • Type: Pump action
  • Ammo: 12 gauge
  • Capacity: 5+1

Pros

  • Front shockwave grip
  • Easy to use
  • Intimidating look

Cons

  • Issues with ejecting shells

Best Rifle: Ruger PC Carbine Rifle

Short summary

Ruger is a trusted name in firearms, with their PC Carbine Rifle being our pick for the best home defense rifle. This carbine rifle uses pistol caliber ammunition in 9mm, weighs a solid 7lbs, has a barrel length of 16.12 inches, and features an aluminum and M-Lok compatible handguard.

Included with this firearm is the SR-Series Pistol and Security-9 magazine well, extra magazine for Glocks, and storage case, giving you everything you need for versatile use.

The coolest thing about this gun is that it has interchangeable magazine wells. What this means for the shooter is that they can choose between Ruger and Glock magazines to use in their rifle so the ammo is readily available, affordable, and reliable, which are great points for any firearm.

Although you might not think of a carbine rifle as the best home defense gun for a woman, you’d be wrong. The Ruger PC is easy to handle for all body types and even if you have a smaller frame, so although it looks intimidating to the outside, nothing is threatening about using it yourself. Just make sure you put in the right amount of practice and training with it to improve your skills.

The accuracy that this firearm offers is second to none and even if you’re not the greatest shooter, the Ruger PC will make up for it. That doesn’t mean there’s no need to practice though, as you absolutely should, but what you lack in precision this weapon will cover, which is a major bonus in a self or home defense scenario.

One downside to this rifle is that it costs a pretty penny when you stack it up against the competitor. For some though, it’s worth it to pay extra for the Ruger name, but if you’re looking for a simple backup weapon or something to keep stored away in your safe in the hopes that you’ll never actually use it, the Ruger PC could be a little costly.

Another negative to consider is that it’s quite heavy for a carbine and can be a little difficult to maneuver with its length. If you prefer the compactness of a carbine because of its light weight, you’ll want to keep shopping around for one that’s not so hefty.

The Ruger PC Carbine Rifle is a little costly and heavy, but it has versatility in ammo and the reliability that the Ruger name is known for. Rifles are particularly great at long range which can be useful when protecting the home, and if you need something that can go the distance, it’s one of our favorites.

Quick Facts

  • Type: Carbine
  • Ammo: 9mm
  • Capacity: 11

Pros

  • Interchangeable magazine wells
  • Accurate
  • Good for women

Cons

  • It’s quite heavy

Guns For Home Defense FAQs

Every home is unique and requires something specific for its defense strategy but there’s no denying the impact that a carefully wielded firearm can have.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a gun to protect your home but still have questions, we’ve answered some popular ones to get you started.

Is A Shotgun Or Pistol Better For Home Defense?

There are pros and cons to both shotguns and pistols so it’s up to the individual to decide.

A pistol is more convenient and easier to maneuver in close quarters but a shotgun is powerful and can deliver a larger load of projectiles in a single shot, so it depends on what you prefer in your line of defense.

Is A .22 Good For Home Defense?

A .22 caliber rifle isn’t the first choice for a home defense weapon but it should be powerful enough to stop an intruder or at least deter them from coming further.

The benefits of this type of firearm are that its low recoil and is fairly easy to handle which can be a major selling point for those with limited shooting experience.

Can I Shoot Someone To Protect Someone Else?

In every US state, there are laws surrounding firearms and what is considered reasonable force.

There may be situations where it’s permitted to fire a gun and prevent an attack against yourself or someone else, but the onus is on the individual to determine what laws they’ve covered by and to adhere to them.

Will A .22 Stop An Attacker?

A .22 caliber firearm can deliver enough force to stop an attacker even if it’s not considered the most appropriate caliber for this purpose.

With the right training, you can improve the impact of one of these bullets, and they’re also regarded for being affordable and with low recoil which helps in a self defense situation.

A Vital Tool For Home Defense

Whether you choose the range of a rifle, the power of a shotgun, or the convenience of a handgun, there’s no denying you’ll feel a lot better once you have something ready to go.

Home defense is one of the most commonly cited motivations for gun ownership and with good reason, so consider one of our top picks to protect your home.

4/5

G-Force GFPG3 Shotgun

Ergonomic pistol grip
Fixed polymer stock
Easy to operate

Mathew R Reed

Mathew R Reed is a professional gun seller who runs a dedicated gun store in the suburbs of Oakland, CA. A hardcore hunting enthusiast since childhood, Reed has ample experience with guns and accessories. He is the founder of ArmorHoldings.com and creates some of the most helpful gun-buying guides and explainers. If not in the gun shop, you can find him on the nearest hiking trail or nearby hunting spot.