If you’re new to shooting or self defense in general, purchasing your first weapon for defensive use can be intimidating. Store shelves are lined with row upon row of similar looking black or silver handguns and it’s tough to tell them apart – or pick which one’s best, without some help – which we are here to give you.
Most Americans are somewhat familiar with firearms as the rate of firearms ownership in America is one of the highest per capita on Earth, but having said that, your average American is much more familiar with sporting firearms. These are guns like duck hunting shotguns, scoped deer rifles, all manner of .22 varmint guns, and things like that. In a pinch, any of these weapons can be used as a home defense weapon, but they don’t really make a good choice. For home defense, you need a dedicated tool, a weapon that does just that one job and nothing else. Keep in mind that multitasking is great when it applies to computers or cell phones, but it doesn’t work in the real of home defense weapons. You really do want a “jack of ONE trade” to do that job.
Overwhelmingly, we recommend a pistol to new firearms buyers as their first home defense weapon to purchase, and their go-to weapon to deal with home threats thereafter. If you were hoping for another conclusion to this article, we’re sorry to disappoint, but here is why a pistol beats almost anything else hands down for home defense:
- Pistols are compact and can be used to clear even the smallest of apartments of any threats.
- If you are so inclined, you can wear your holstered pistol around your house all day long – a rifle slung over your shoulder is a bit much, even by our standards.
- Pistols are less intimidating for new shooters to learn due to their compact size and intuitive ergonomics. While new shooters often have superior accuracy with rifles as opposed to pistols, the differences at the ten yard or less distances seen within a home are negligible.
- The cost of a home defense pistol is a little less than the initial cost of a rifle, and about the same as a shotgun, yet pistol ammo is still cheaper than either to repeatedly practice with.
- Pistols can be loaded with hollow point ammunition, which is the best ammo for stopping an attacker. Hollow point ammunition expands to many times its size when it strikes a target, causing a massive wound channel and internal trauma, and at the same time, this expansion means that the bullet will not over penetrate past the attacker like rifle and shotgun rounds will.
- Pistols can easily be kept in compact biometric style safes close at hand, meaning that they are far more likely to be where you are – when you need them – than any long gun. As a rule, most people automatically store long guns in safes.
We’re not saying that pistols are the only weapon for home defense, nor are we saying that they are superior to rifles or shotguns in some home defense applications. What we are saying is that they should be your first purchase for home defense, especially if you know nothing or very little about firearms.