Home Defense Faceoff


Uh oh. It’s 3am and you hear the unmistakable sound of an intruder. Your don’t hesitate. You hoped this would never happen, but you’re prepared for the worst. You hastily reach for home defense tool of choice. Is it a handgun like the venerable 1911? Is it the ubiquitous GLOCK 19? Is it a AR-15 or Mossberg 500? The home defense gun is usually the cornerstone of a shooter’s collection. It’s the gun you choose to protect what you care about most. For some, it’s the only firearm they own. For others, it’s just another tool in the box. Which one is yours? Take our poll below, then comment on specifics. We want to know what firearms people trust the most.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 02-05-2017 09:00:00
End date 02-06-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
What's Your Go-To Home Defense Weapon?

110 Comments On This Article

  1. Yes. A few of the above. I have a 1911 with crimson trace grips, an AR and a lever action 45/70. They’re all within 10 feet of my pillow and which I would grab depends on what threat would present itself.

  2. I never limit myself to one particular weapon for home defense. I readily have a pump 12 gauge, 45 ACP’s, 40’s, and AR’s. Since I don’t know if or when I will be forced to defend my family and our way of life nor do I know where I will be, then I have a ready supply in various places.

  3. It’s dark, your sleepy and not thinking so the tried and true revolver gets the job done. No safety, no chambering a round, just aim and pull the trigger. Problem solved.

  4. I keep my Rossi M720 .44 special on my night stand. This gun doesn’t care if I’m running hot loaded 165gr HP or Cowboy Action 240gr CLWC, it puts rounds down range accurately every time.

  5. The Taurus Judge is the perfect bed side firearm. Choose any one of a dozen different 410/45 long colt rounds and your solid.

  6. Donald Fiordland

    Remington mod 870. 12 gage, rigged with flash light, red laser beam, red dot sight, gun is tricked out, folding stock, extended magazine,short barrel,loaded with slug, double o buckshot,slug and buck shot is every other one…357 revolver, 10mm semi auto, rigged for night fighting…all guns are loaded and very assessable…

  7. Douglas Rothbaler

    Mossberg defender with pushbutton actuated tac light. Load that baby full of .00 buckshot and keep it ready to rock under my bedskirt on gun hooks. Used once successfully to ward of an intrusion.

  8. Ruger P-90 .45 caliber, locked and loaded at Bedside and short barreled 12 gauge Double both barrels loaded with buckshot, fitted with light. Back up .45 carbine semi-auto loaded, Smith and Wesson AR-10 semi-auto loaded with 25 rounds of .22 LR all ready to fire. No children in house. Wife and I. Live in country. Field of expected fire clear of unwanted targets.

  9. I use both a Detonics .45 and a Ruger SP101. Both are readily available for what ever the situation calls for.

  10. First line of defense is my large four legged best friend…then I reach for my 9mm Mod 2! Still believe a large dog is the best home defense.

  11. The only thing worse than having to shoot an intruder is getting your dog shot! My Sig 938 goes everywhere with me, my Walther PPQ M2 sleeps next to my bed, and my 1911 hides in my living room. I practice with them all weekly.

  12. Glock 19 with night sights and light and Serbian AK 47 pistol in 5.56, no arm brace or stock, slung over shoulder at side.

  13. Pump shot gun , .45 ,.44 magnum, if that dosen’t work a K-Bar should do the job , let the bad guy come in this house is defend by a U.S.Marine with combat experience. Semper-Fi

  14. My dog is my early warning system. When she barks my hand picks up my EDC semi-auto Sig Sauer that is on the night stand next to my head. Assuming I have time, my second move is to grab my AR-15.

  15. I have a Remington 870 pump shotgun loaded with#8 shot. All of you guys with buckshot & slugs you might want to think of your home damage and your next door neighbors life too. 😋

    • Ragman makes an excellent point here. Consider your home’s construction and unless you have concrete walls, over-penetration is a real issue. I use #9 birdshot in a Kel-Tec KSG; at close ranges one encounters with home invasions, birdshot is devastating on an intruder with less worries of over-penetration.

  16. I have a Taurus judge with many different rounds of .410 and a 45 lc plus other weapons around the house, I will be ok !

    • I agree. Have mine loaded with two 410 defense loads followed by three LC .45 defense loads. Those 410 loads with 2 discs followed by buckshot will discourage any intruder!!

  17. U.S.M.C. Combat Vet. pump shot gun loaded with slugs and 00 buck. .45 auto and 44mag. anaconda, 357 python, M1 carbine, and my K-bar I used in Nam. old but still willing to defend what is mine. God , Country, Corps. Semper-Fi

  18. It depends on the room. For the living spaces I have a Glock 20 with the brightest light StLight makes tucked away out of reach of the kids. In the master bedroom there’s my 870 with a bird head grip and 18.5″ barrel with mounted flashlight capable of strobe. Both or unchambered but loaded, easy to use by myself or the wife, and basic weapons. No bells and whistles to fumble with and both have defense rounds to limit friendly fire. As the kids get older they’re getting taller and the theory of shooting chest to head high goes out of the window. There is also another 870 as well as a 629 .44m in the closet. The master closet is the rendezvous spot for something like this.

    There are several tools in the box per se. But they are all simple to use especially if being woken up at 3am. Any one of them can clear a room and can get you to the next one.

  19. Sig 516 loaded w/ .223 75 gr Hornady TAP, aimpoint PRO and flashlight, FNS-9 ready as backup. Kiddos present + thin walls so shotgun is last resort.

  20. Two dogs that bark, a Glock 23 .40 w/night sights, light + laser in bedroom upstairs, a Walther P38 9mm along with a 12 ga semi-auto downstairs.

  21. Darrell,
    I have a mosburg tactical 12 ga. I live in the stupid state of N.Y.
    where you need a pistol permit…………..and I figure its no ones business
    What kind I have how many I have how much they hold and what size they are………………2nd amendment rights….except in N.Y.

  22. I have a 9mm carbine that sits beside my nightstand. My wife also has a 9mm carbine beside her nightstand as my backup and there are other weapons available.

  23. I have the ” Judge” by my night stand- it is loaded with 410 shells
    that have shrapnel shot in them- kinda like a shotgun- spray n pray….!

  24. My first choice has always been a 1911 with a spare magazine and flashlight. Wife has her .38. Lately, I have been using a Glock 19 with spare magazine (30rds total) equipped with the excellent Ameriglo night sights. I also have electronic ear phones for both of us in case we have time to use them – or to enhance our hearing if we are trying to determine what that strange noise was…..

  25. Well to start with, I sleep with my flashlight equiped PT 111 G2, and hidden but within reach is my tricked out well slicked 1911 commander and of there’s time to collect my home defense long gun it a FX9 AR type 9mm carbine, now if the fight goes long then I will grab my AR47, I don’t have at this time a shotgun but it is on my to do list and will have another in the near futre but I will still go with more likely than not my previous go to choices,

  26. First and foremost is my trained family’s best friend, who goes by the the name Axle. A American Staffordshire Terrier, also know as a Amstaff or American pitbull terrier. Backing him up is my Springfield XD-40 with stormlake barrel, night sights and flashlight. If it’s a really bad night, I back that up with my AR and Remington 870

  27. Fastest one to grab is my Glock 19, but also have a G17, a Mossberg pump, and a Ruger 10/22. The long guns are in cases so they would take longer to access. Also have a tactical flashlight by my bed that can blind an intruder.

  28. Kids in the house so everything is in a gun safe in our bedroom. I have serveral loaded guns in the safe ready. A Glock 21 .45 and an assault Remington 870 pump would be my first choices.

  29. I keep a suppressed H&K 40. USP Tactical with a Viridian green laser/light combo in a hidden, easy to grab location.

  30. My choice is a reliable S&W 38 special revolver securely loaded and stored next to my bed in a Hornady Rapid safe. Can have it open in 1.5 seconds. Don’t have to worry about mag springs ect. If I leave it undisturbed for months, I’m confident it will fire when needed. If your living in CA like me and you have to make the difficult choice to legally defend yourself in your home, your not getting your gun back form the government. So don’t spend too much on a home defense gun but do buy one that is most reliable. Spend the extra money retaining a good lawyer.

    • I don’t live in CA but the trusty revolver is my choice too. S&W M60 w/.38 loads (125 gr Hdy XTP’s) w/a red laser. Two speed loaders kept handy. Utterly reliable. I do rotate the ammo regularly.

  31. MY carry gun is a Sig SP2022 in .40 S&W.
    When it gets dark a Streamlight TLR1s gets attached.
    My dog is the early warning system.
    A backup, if needed is a Remington 870 Express modified as a tactical with a folding pistol grip stock, pistol grip foreend, rifle sights, light and 8 round extender. It is usually loaded with #1 buck but I leave the tube one short in case I need to put a slug or or 00 buck from the side saddle as a first round.

  32. Multi layered system starting with perimeter lighting, utilization of door and window locks, a monitored electronic alarm system, a large dog that has a proven bark (she has never been forced to bite but shows protective tendancies). Thats all downstairs. Bedside there is a light equipped either Glock model 19 (9mm), 20 (10mm) or 40 (long slide 10mm) on my side. Momma has a light laser equipped Glock 43 (her CCW) on her side. Finally in a small bedside long gun safe are 2 AR15s and a tricked out (light and extra ammo) Remington 870.

  33. I keep stuff stashed all over the house but “bump in the night” would be a Glock 10mm with Streamlight TLR1 on the nightstand and if I have time a suppressed 5 inch 9mm AR in the closet ready to rock 4 steps away. That has an 1100 lumen Streamlight and a Sig Romeo 4C sight. Short, handy, accurate and very quiet with 147 gr XTP’s loaded to 1020’ish fps.

  34. The gun on the nightstand is a Bond derringer loaded with 410 BBs. After that I can sonar the screaming with a 9mm

  35. The judge first round is 410 🐦🐦bird shot next is buck shot both flat and Round pellets then the last two 45 long colt are 210 grain hollow points than I would have time to open the gun safe and secure the environment

  36. A Taurus Judge Loaded With OOOO Buck and 2 speedloaders with 45LC will take care of anything that goes bump in the night.

  37. Ruger SR9C w/ 18 rds’ LC9S w/ 8 rds, LCR 357 w/ 5 rds, LCP w/ 7 rds. I suspect the SR9C would get the job done, but just in case the others are at the ready. If needed a Maverick 88 12 gauge w/ 5 rds & 5 on the stock, which is combo pistol grip/shoulder stock. Lots of flashlights at hand and the 1st 3 guns have lasers.

  38. Texas SWAT- Retired

    I’m a retired Avanced Texas Police Officer (22yrs). All but my first 2yrs on the job I was a SWAT officer and Special Investigator. 15yrs on the entry team and the last 5yrs as a DM as well. I have a GLOCKS strategically concealed in each room of my house for rapid deployment, along with a SB Mossberg 500 in the living room, laundry room, garage, barn and beside my bed. All of the GLOCKS are equipped with tlr2 light/laser systems and nightsights. The Mossbergs are equipped with Streamlight systems and AimPoint sights. There are several AR15s and AR 10s, as well as many other long guns, carbines and pistols in the safe if needed. A pistol is just a weapon of opportunity that allows you to fight to a bigger weapon (ie. Shotgun, AR, Carbine)! In my opinion a shotgun loaded with Federal Tactical 00 buckshot is the best home defense weapon period. I have put a lot of people in prison, and never know who may want revenge on me or my family. My son is 13yoa and practices with every weapon in the house on a monthly basis. There is an emergency plan in place to be followed for every situation and practiced at least monthly. If you don’t pactice with the weapon you intend to defend you and your family with, you might as well have a hammer to use! Several people have spoke of the lighted weapon systems, but how many practice in the dark with them. What is your plan and is it practiced for different situations? Can you maneuver in your house in total darkness and know where every light switch is (batteries and bulbs on your weapons lights can fail at any time). Training or practice, whatever you want to call it is the number one priority in any situation. Just because you goto the range and can X-ring every shot, it is completely different in a CQB situation when your families life is in harms way. Please everybody, practice and be safe. ‘911’ should be your first defensive move!

  39. 12 ga. Rem 870 .. 18 1/2″ improved cylinder, tritium sights, 7 Rounds #4 Buck … Has already worked once… No shot required.. Two male burglars. I chambered a round, then I heard them running and trying to get away, they broke my door leaving and they dropped their pistols and both jumped over a railing and off of my 7 foot raised deck, one broke his leg falling and the other fell trying to get away…

  40. Scott in Atlanta

    Sig P226 9MM with Streamlight TLR-2 HL G Light/Laser, Mossberg 590 12 ga. pump in the corner close by, but the most important piece of equipment? My L3 Gen 3+ PVS-14 white phosphor night vision on the bedstand, ready to go and reveal what the threat is in a brilliant, clear, no-green-at-all sight window. Must have!

  41. Dukhunr in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee

    on the night stand on my right is my Canik TP9SA loaded with 20 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense. on my left side of my bed by the wife is my Ruger SR40C with 15 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense, under my bed and just under me is 12 rounds of Hornady in my Springfield XD40, if I have time i.e. 8-12 seconds to pick what weapon I want is my Remington 870 Magnum loaded with Steel T-Shot and last but not least, next to my cell phone is the phone number for the local Haz-Mat Cleanup Team because there is gonna be a big mess.

  42. A Glock 21 45acp on a Mech Tech carbine and a Glock 17 9mm on a Mech Tech carbine. Both are much more quiet than a shotgun, ever shot one in a house? Oh, and my two dogs.

  43. Henry lever .22. Very dependable, with practice, a shooter can let loose accurate shots as fast as any semi – auto.
    I know, the caliber is not very intimidating, but my intention is not to intimidate. I got .12g Rem 870 with 00 buck, M4 like Bushmaster, Sig p226, and SOCOM 16, for intimidation. And an EDC Sig p289 not used for intimidation nor bedside defense. The p289 is strictly concealed carry.

    • Forgot to mention…..the Henry loads on Sunday and shoots all week. And is relatively cheap at $289.00. Lots better than a $900+ Sig pistol if I have to give it up to authorities for emptying the the mag in a stranger dumb enough to go bump in the night.

  44. An inexpensive .357 revolver loaded with .38 Special Hornady HP’s. The revolver can stay loaded for decades (no magazine spring issues) and the HP’s reduce the amount of spackling required. Coupled with a several of high intensity lights and a Maverick 88 (00 Buck) and you have a reliable and cost effective home defense system.

  45. Actually my Sig 226 is closest to my bed but I will try to access my Mossberg pump with mini bucks loaded. I can get two extra rounds in the magazine tube using the minis.

  46. I keep both a .22LR lever action rifle and a .30-.30 lever action rifle loaded and ready. The .22 holds 13 rounds and the .30-.30 holds 7. Please don’t come in my door without being asked.

  47. BC Nam Vet.

    Mossberg 20 gauge with #3 Buck for wife. Mine Mossberg 12 gauge with 00 Buck &. Brennekie hi antimony slugs. Live in a brick home, and can fix a wall, or buy appliances. The object is to STOP intruders, humans bodies can absorbe more punishment than most people realize, especially when on dope. Bring enough gun, and always double tap !

  48. I keep a 226 40 by the bed for most bumps in the night. For the big bumps, I’ll stroll over to the safe, looking over the 12 ga’s. How big was the bump? Maybe the trusty ‘ol saiga ak. Or maybe I want the shorter c39 pistol… and I’ll definitely need a little backup gun, so do I slip the 380 in a pocket, or strap the snub nose 357 mag on? And what loads?critical duty? Or did it sound like a big animal (requiring bear loads)
    Usually by this time, my wife has been brutally murdered. So, ladies, I am indeed single again.

  49. I have a P229 Legion with a crimson trace green laser/light combo and an extended 17 round mags with 2 other backup mags; also keep my shooting RX glasses and electronic ear muffs

  50. Ralph Helm-- NRA life member

    #1–a GLOCK17 in9mm—#2 a Mossberg 12guage with first round out 00 buck followed by #4 buck—#3 is a Taurus twenty four seven in 40 cal& # 1A is a three cell mag .light with a magnum(brighter than issue bulb). #4 would be a call to 911& also for a local funeral home to send a hearse!!! I am a very peaceable guy– but do not crowd my living space– I go my own way & do not bother or harass other folks– give me the same respect in return!!! Thank you very much!!


  51. I have a Springfield 9mm EMP with night sights within 5′ of my bed with a loaded magazine right next to it. Hearing protection is also close by – with the electronics on I can hear any noises much better too.

  52. I typically have the Kel-Tec KSG ready with 7 rounds of birdshot in one magazine and 7 rounds of 00 Buck in the other. My backup is a Sig 226 in .357 Sig loaded with Hornady Critical Duty cartridges. For me, it just doesn’t get better than this. Remember, whatever works for you, is the best for you. Cheers,