When you’re shopping for a home defense weapon to protect yourself and those you love at home or in public, you may be tempted to flip through any of the several gun magazines at the newsstand, or ask any of the self-proclaimed experts down at your local firearms store.
If this sounds familiar, then you probably also know how frustrating it can be to get a different answer from nearly every source that you research.
The fact is that when you are shopping for a home defense weapon, it's personal, and it’s hard to find a one-size-fits-all solution that will fit everyone’s needs and capabilities.
But when it comes down to it, the best home defense firearm for you is the one that you’re trained with and that you can accurately shoot under stress in a real attack.
But it also needs to be designed for reliability and tactical response when you need to perform.
While your training will take care of the former, choosing the right home defense weapon that’s tactically reliable can be measured and tested.
When Shopping for a Home Defense Weapon, the Operative Word Is “Home”
The operative word in shopping for a home defense weapon is “home.”
You need to look at the needs of your entire household. What type of gun will serve those needs?
The needs, the wants, and the desires of a 200 pound man who can handle recoil across a broad spectrum of firearms will differ from the needs, wants, and desires of that man’s petite wife, or his teenaged son.
Simply put, a single-stack 1911-pattern .45 automatic isn’t the right gun for every person in the household, no matter how effective a weapon it happens to be in and of itself.
Buy Something That The Whole Family Can Use
When you are shopping, make sure the weapon you choose is something that every member of the family can hold comfortably and shoot reasonably well.
This might mean you have to choose the “lowest common denominator,” meaning a gun that is considerably lighter in caliber than the gun any one family member might choose.
Don’t select the perfect gun for your whole family that is chambered for some oddball caliber, however.
You want a gun that every member of the family can practice with regularly and without bankrupting the household.
Consider Low-Light Options and Accessories
When shopping for a home defense weapon, don’t forget that many self-defense scenarios occur in low-light conditions.
Make sure you take this into account when choosing accessories when home defense weapon shopping.
These include night sights, lasers, and even weapon-mounted flashlights.
It may be the case that older family members don’t see as well as younger family members.
Low-light accessories and high-visibility sights will help those family members even if the lighting conditions are not at nighttime levels.
Home defense weapon shopping requires you to consider everyone in the home.
Buy a gun that the whole family can use.
Make sure you account for low light options.
Then practice as much as you can, as often as you can.
In this way, your home defense weapon is truly going to help you defend your home.