You roll to your side to take a quick glimpse of the clock: it’s 3 AM. You’ve been awake for the past 2 hours, trying to go back to sleep. You couldn’t. Something’s off…you can just feel it.

Ah, it must be paranoia,” you think. When you’re about to close your eyes, you suddenly hear a loud shatter downstairs. You get up. And then, your front door slowly creaks open, bringing a chill down your spine. “Oh shi—” you panicky think before cutting yourself off. You know what this is:

A home invasion.

Your heart starts pounding as you quickly try to find your .30-06 hunting rifle with scope. Beads of sweat roll down your face as your hands begin to shake uncontrollably. You realized that your hunting rifle is downstairs. And then, suddenly out of the shadows, a dark hooded figure emerges. What do you think will happen next?

You’ll either lose your life or your precious valuables. Why? Because you weren’t adequately prepared for a home invasion. How do you prevent that from happening? By getting prepared. And one of the first steps in being prepared is getting yourself a SOLID home defense weapon. That’s why I wrote this article — to show you my top 3 favorite home defense firearms, starting with my first recommendation…


  • Remington 870 (Shotgun)

Mitch Barrie on Flickr


Pros: Flexible ammunition types, insanely powerful

Cons: Heavier and harder to carry (compared to pistols), requires two hands to shoot, low ammunition capacity (compared to rifles)

Why use a Shotgun for Home Defense?

Because they’re scary as hell. If ANY intruder hears a sound of a shotgun, they’ll most likely bolt for the door… and will never step foot on your property again. But that’s not the only reason you should invest in a shotgun. Shotguns are also extremely versatile. Meaning, there is a wide variety of ammo available like:

  • Slugs
  • Buck Shot
  • Bird Shot

In other words: Shotguns are multi-purpose. They can be used for hunting and target shooting as well as home defense. And that’s not all. Shotguns are incredibly reliable. (More specifically, pump shotguns). They are very easy to use and won’t fail on you — even with minimal maintenance. The best part? Shotguns are pretty darn cheap. In fact, a brand new Remington 870 only costs $300. And if you really look, you could get yourself a used one for less than $150.

Recommended Accessories: 

  • Shotgun Sling: Makes extra ammo easily-accessible.
  • Red Dot Sight: Allows for rapid target acquisition. The FastFire 3 from Burris is SOLID.
  • WeaponLight: Flashlights and lasers are a must for shotguns.


  • Glock 23 (Pistol)

WikiMedia Commons


Pros: Easy to carry, lightweight (and compact), requires only one hand to shoot

Cons: Low ammunition capacity (compared to rifles)

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Why use a Pistol for Home Defense?

The fact is this: Handguns are some of the best firearms for home defense. They’re also my personal favorite. Here’s why… Accessibility. I carry my Glock 23 almost EVERYWHERE I go. It’s small, compact, light and fairly easy to use. That said, you’d be able to move quicker and quieter through your home. Bruce Willis in Die Hard would probably agree with me. Another reason for acquiring a pistol is because they rarely run into jamming issues, easy-to-clean, and just straight up reliable.

Look: Just do yourself a favor and get a handgun (if you don’t have one already). It’ll protect you everywhere — inside AND outside of your home.

Recommended Accessories: 

  • Grip: Upgrade your stock grip with a grip from a reputable manufacturer for an improved grip quality.
  • Light/Laser: Will help with accuracy and seeing in low-light conditions.
  • Holster: A must if you conceal carry. Feel free to read my top 3 essential firearm accessories.



  • AR-15 (Rifle)



Pros: Higher ammunition capacity, powerful, long-distance shots

Cons: Heavier and harder to carry (compared to pistols), requires two hands to operate

Why use a Rifle for Home Defense?

If you want to be a badass like John Wick, use an AR-15. The reason? It’s INSANELY versatile. The AR-15 can be used for home defense, target shooting, and even deer hunting. How is that possible? The AR-15 is chambered in a 5.56 cartridge and could also shoot a .223 — allowing for a flexible platform. And get this: An AR-15 is actually EASIER to shoot than a shotgun or pistol due to the low recoil and accuracy. If that wasn’t enough for you, the AR-15 also holds a larger total capacity of ammunition. In other words: you can easily take on multi-person home invasion.

Let me make it simple: I highly recommend owning an AR-15. It’s just… awesome. I’m not the only person who thinks so. In fact, the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America.

Recommended Accessories: 

  • Rifle Scope/Red Dot Sight: Read this article on how to choose a rifle scope.
  • Front Hand Grip: Allows for MUCH better grip.
  • Flashlight: Great for low light environments.

Which Firearm Should I buy For Home Defense – Pistol, Rifle Or Shotgun?

It depends on your environment. Want something lightweight and easily accessible? Get a handgun. Live in a rural area and have a lot of distance? Invest in a rifle. However, if you live in a more densely-packed area, go with a shotgun. Also, don’t forget to check your local laws to see which firearm is legal. But most importantly: whatever firearm you choose, make sure to commit to training and practice. As long as you head to the gun range a couple of times per year, you should be golden. With that said…

Now Its Your Turn

These are my top 3 favorite firearms for home defense. Sure, there are hundreds of guns out there you can choose from but these were my top 3 favorites. That said, I’d like to hear from you:  What firearm do you use (or plan on using) for home defense? Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.


Author Bio:

Richard Douglas is a scopes expert with over 10 years of hands-on experience and has been featured on Burris Optics, War History Online and more. No wonder his friends call him the “James Bond of Scopes.” Richard now spends most of his time reviewing scopes and sharing his exclusive findings on his blog, Scopes Field.


Feature image courtesy of Pixabay