Home invasions and self-defense are the most traumatic scenarios someone may ever experience. Sometimes homeowners must reach for a gun to protect their family or property before calling the police because things move quickly in case of a home burglary.

In the worst-case scenario, your home could be full of kids and loved ones attacked by a burglar with a gun or knife. A baseball bat or stick won’t give a lot of protection to you and your family members. If you come across an intruder in your home, having a home defense weapon near at hand is more than desirable.

You need to have the right weapon, though. This raises the question: Which gun is the best choice for home defense? To help you make the right choice, we have created a list of the top 5 guns for home defense.

The 5 Best Guns for Home Defense in 2020

The following are what we consider to be the 5 best shooting gloves for 2020.

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The Details of 5 Best Guns for Home Defense in 2020

Our Rating

Top Rated Shooting Glove


Glock is a trusted well-known brand in the weapon world. This Austria-based company offers an extensive line of polymer handguns besides apparel, knives, and entrenching tools. Their flagship guns are known for being easy to handle and simple yet very effective. While Glock pistols are mostly used by the police forces and law enforcement, many homeowners also use them for home defense because they are ultra-reliable.

Despite the fact that there are still a lot of Gen 3 and Gen 4 models in weapon stores, the newer Gen 5 Glocks have been flooding the market. Both Glock 17 and Glock 19 Gen 5 models have exploded in popularity. Let’s see what makes them a popular choice for home defense.

Glock 19

When it comes to Glock 9mm handguns (a favorite pistol caliber of many gunmen), the Glock 19 is the best-selling pistol from this manufacturer. It’s a bit smaller than its predecessor Glock 17, which makes this pistol a great choice for self and home defense. The Glock 19’s barrel is slightly shorter and its magazine capacity is a bit smaller, too. That makes it easy to conceal (it doesn’t take up much space in a gun safe) and less obtrusive. The smaller size facilitates maneuvering through tight indoor confines. That is why it has an advantage over long guns (like AR-15) for home defense.

The Glock 19 boasts manageable recoil. That comes in useful in stressful situations that require keeping the muzzle on a target. With self-defense rounds and a flashlight attachment, this 9-millimeter pistol can promptly eliminate a threat. The Glock 19 is one of the best beginner handguns today. It is great for concealed carry and you may use it for the nightstand and the range too.

What’s new? The pistol has undergone a considerable change in its design. There were many changes made to this handgun, including NDLC finish, match-grade nonpolygonal barrel, ramped safety plunger, and ambidextrous lock levers. Besides, the leaf spring has been replaced by a coil spring to make the slide lock lever more effective. There are no disturbing finger grooves now, as it was the case with previous generations, which is why the handgun has a more comfortable grip. It fits well in the hand and offers a completely different feel.

Glock 17

The Glock 17 is one of the oldest pistols by this company and the fifth generation of famous Glock handguns. This lightweight full-size pistol is intended for duty use in the first place. Many people use it as a home defense gun not only because it is a plausible choice but also due to the fact that this slim pistol easily fits into small gun safes. It only takes a minute to disassemble the handgun.

The simple design of this home defense pistol includes several parts only, most of which are made from polymer. It’s all about simplicity. The trigger mechanism, barrel, and slide are the only metal parts used. They are all covered by a coating to be resistant to corrosion. Although Glock 17 uses polymer for most parts, it can withstand extreme temperatures (from -40°F to 392°F).


  • Durable, high-quality materials
  • Great reliability
  • Decent accuracy and ergonomics
  • Sights are also good
  • Ammo capacity is satisfactory


  • Cartridge spring is prone to breakage
  • Non-blowback model

Our Rating


Not only are revolvers easy to use, but they are also very reliable and powerful. Thus, they are ideal for people who don’t want to bother with complicated semi-automatic rifles like AR-15. Revolvers are also suitable for people with no practical experience with guns. Generally speaking, revolvers have longer reloading times and smaller magazine than semi-auto pistols. While these disadvantages matter, the .357 Magnum revolvers offer a lot of advantages in return. If you are looking for a simple home defense gun for beginners, the Smith & Wesson M2.0 is a good choice.

Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0

Designed as an updated variant of the legendary M&P, the Smith & Wesson M2.0 is one of the best 9-millimeter handguns available right now. This striker-fired full-sized pistol features a grip frame made out of polymer with a very aggressive texture. The Grip Swap Technology enables you to change palm swells of different sizes. The M&P M2.0 has a magazine capacity of 17+1 rounds to be a powerful home defense weapon. It is equipped with a 4.25″ barrel. 

The .45 ACP and .40 S&W are the most popular models from this series. If you are looking for reliable home defense rounds with less ammo, we recommend choosing the first one. It boasts excellent ergonomics and adjustable grip among other things. Aside from that, this handgun comes with inserts for the holes and fits well in hand. The texturing is added across the grip. The built-in chassis reduces torque and flex when shooting. Instead of roll pins, this model uses solid pins. The trigger is crisp and it allows you to fire bullets without causing finger pain.

Smith & Wesson 686

The double-action revolvers can be used with .38 Special rounds that not only produce less recoil but are also great for training due to the inexpensive price point. The .357 Magnum rounds are rather powerful thanks to the outstanding stopping power. Smith & Wesson 686 is actually designed as a full-sized duty revolver with a four-inch barrel that holds 6 rounds. These features make it a great home defense choice.


  • A broad range of loads
  • Easy to take off
  • Aggressive grip texturing
  • Crisp trigger
  • Fairly priced


  • Some users said that they have a problem with jamming
  • Accuracy could be better

Our Rating


If you like classic double-action revolvers, then you need to consider choosing the RUGER GP100. With great adaptability, 4-inch barrel, double-action nature, beefy frame, and unique capabilities, it is an excellent choice for home defense. The revolver is easy to maneuver and ready to fire thanks to its double-action design. Unlike some handguns, it doesn’t rack a slide in order to chamber rounds.

What makes this gun special is that it can adapt to fire 2 different calibers: 38 Special or 357 Magnum. Whichever pistol caliber you want to fire, this magnum pistol will serve the purpose just fine. If you prefer softer shooting, then you need to try the .38 Special rounds. That’s one of the revolvers with the lowest recoil on the market. The Ruger .357 Magnum, on the other hand, is more suitable for shooters who crave more power at the expense of greater recoil.

Overall, the RUGER GP100 is an outstanding home defense weapon that comes at a fairly affordable price point. Both 38 Special or 357 Magnum excel at overall quality and performances. You need to consider your preferences when choosing between them.

The biggest downside of this revolver is the lengthy process of reloading. Also, keep in mind that the cylinder can only support 6 rounds at a time. If it doesn’t work for you, then you may want to go for semi-auto pistols or AR-15 guns.


  • The transfer bar mechanism adds to the safety
  • Very powerful and durable
  • Minimum recoil (it absorbs the recoil very well)
  • Nice stainless steel finish
  • Exceptional value for the price


  • Reloading time is quite long (it is still good for a revolver)
  • The capacity is low compared to semi-auto pistols (only six rounds)

Our Rating


Sig Sauer P320 has been selected by the U.S. Army to be their sidearm and there’s a good reason for this. While this compact handgun comes in numerous versions, most gun enthusiasts still prefer the civilian original one. Sig Sauer has made a lot of changes in recent times. The hammer-fired pistols have been replaced by striker-fired ones that have an innovative design. They are a true replacement for famous Glock handguns when it comes to general shooting and CCW.

The P320 is a good example of their striker-fired guns. It comes with improved internal safety and a more consistent trigger pull. It is easy to fix and assemble. On top of this, the handgun is more affordable than traditional guns. These are the reasons military units and police agencies switched to new Sig Sauer guns. The P320 is also popular with armed citizens, especially for home defense.

Key Features

  • Safety: The safety features include a trigger bar, firing pin, and other components that make this pistol safe. Unlike other pistols, it has a single-piece trigger. We find the trigger very consistent and smooth.
  • Fire control: Neither grip frame nor slide is serialized. This enables you to shoot just about every caliber out of the gun. Simply change the mags and slides before shooting. The gun can be resized to fit into anyone's hand. This is where Caliber X-Change kits come in handy.
  • Grip frame: The gun allows you to tailor its size and grip width. All you need to do is switch the grip frame. It's that easy. Note that the grip is made from plastic.
  • Red dot: Some Sig Sauer models come with an integrated red dot sight, such as the RX model that is equipped with Romeo1 red dot. While not on par with high-quality AR-15 red dot optics, they can still fulfill their purpose.
  • Accuracy: You can use the gun in shooting competitions and outshoot other competitors. That's because the handgun is designed to function and fire plinking ammunition into a ragged hole.


  • Magazines are easy to remove and add
  • Comfortable grip
  • Excellent stock trigger
  • Very reliable
  • Lightweight


  • The handgun requires extensive maintenance and cleaning
  • It produces quite a bit of recoil

Our Rating


Chances are good you have heard of Mossberg. It’s one of the most trusted and oldest shotguns dating back to the 1960s (all rights reserved). Since then, Mossberg has launched a wide variety of series and models. The 500 series is definitely the most popular among shotgun enthusiasts. In the last 60 years, it has sold more than ten million guns to shotgun lovers as well as law enforcement organizations and military across the United States.

The 500 series includes the FLEX, tactical, and hunting models. In 2018, the Mossberg Retrograde entered the market with the 590A1, a premier fighting shotgun. This pump-action 12 gauge shotgun offers a great value for the price. It was developed with no extra disassembly tools and just a few parts to be easy to use. That makes it a good choice for home defense. This 12-gauge shotgun is pretty effective against burglars when used with #4 birdshot. It will do a great job of protecting your loved ones without penetrating walls.

The 590 series mostly include tactical guns. Even so, most models may be used as a home defense gun. What makes this series different is an extendable magazine tube, meaning there is no limited magazine capacity. These guns come in various configurations and styles, including the Mag-fed 590M and full size 590A1 shotgun. They have recently released 2 new models: a 6-shot and 9-shot shotgun. They are both perfect for security applications and home defense.

Which One is Better: Mossberg 590 or 500?

You can’t go wrong with either of these shotguns. The Mossberg 500 is designed primarily for hunting – for duck and turkey hunting in particular – which doesn’t mean you can’t use it for home defense alike. On the other hand, the Mossberg 590 models come with heavier calibers for self-defense and are developed with military applications in mind. They generally have shorter barrels and larger shell capacity, which makes them quick-firing shotguns.

Both feature dual extractors, pump-action, twin action bars, and ambidextrous levers. They are all smooth to shoot and ambidextrous as well. So, which one to pick? Think about what you actually need the gun for when choosing between the Mossberg 500 and 590. The choice is yours.


  • On par with AR-15 in terms of home defense
  • Magazine tube is easily extendable
  • Plenty of configurations and styles to choose from
  • Raptors grip for a firm hold
  • Moderately priced


  • Not suitable for long-range shooting (you better buy an AR-15 style rifle for this purpose)
  • Shell capacity is not that impressive, which is especially true for the 500 models

Recommendation for Best Gun for Home Defense

While there are a variety of calibers on our list, it is recommended to go with a 9mm home-defense handgun, especially if you’re a first-time gun buyer. Compared to guns with large rounds, 9-millimeter handguns generally have a greater capacity (17+1 or 15+1). You will be able to practice with a 9mm handgun and spend less as they use less expensive rounds.

If you are an experienced shooter knowledgeable about caliber, gun ergonomics, ammunition, and similar things, then you should look for the best home-defense handguns. Choose one that comes with the latest features and improved performance that can do a terrific job of safeguarding your family and your property alike.

Basic Features & Considerations when Choosing a Gun for Home Defense

From ergonomics to capacity, fit, safety, action, sights, caliber, and ammunition style, there are a lot of things to consider when buying a gun for home defense. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most important considerations and key features.


Is bigger always better when it comes to caliber? Well, not really. If you are a beginner, you should get started with 9mm rounds. Choose a home defense gun that supports this type of ammo because it’s widely available and inexpensive in comparison to larger calibers (like 6.5 Grendel and .458 for AR-15).

The smaller caliber means higher capacity and less recoil. Nevertheless, you may still choose a gun with a larger caliber, such as .45 ACP, if you don’t mind dealing with recoil and paying more for ammunition.

Ammo Style: Bust vs Hollow-Point Bullets

If you’re planning to use a gun for home or self-defense in particular, then you need to opt for hollowpointsThose bullets have less recoil and greater stopping power (the capability of stopping in drywalls). Maybe you buy ammunition for training or practice purposes. If so, you’re advised to go for bust and purchase ammo in bulk as it is a more affordable option. For other applications, we suggest purchasing 135-grain or 115-grain hollow-point bullets.


Higher capacity is helpful in combat high-pressure situations when you may have a hard time hitting your target. Your best bet is to pick a 9-millimeter handgun having a 15+1 or 17+1 capacity. It will let you fire 15 or 17 bullets with a single round in your gun’s barrel. You might be wondering what “+1” means? It indicates there can be only 1 bullet in the barrel while other ones are stored in the cartridge.

Grip & Fit

Grip and fit are also very important things to consider when buying a home defense weapon. You want to buy a gun with an aggressive texture for a better grip. It is also supposed to fit well in your hands so that you can hold it firmly all the time.

We suggest choosing full-sized guns since they fit well in almost every hand. Moreover, these guns make it easy to shoot because they offer a more generous grip area and absorb recoil very well. The compact handguns, on the other hand, will give you slightly more area to grip at the cost of losing some sight radius.


Getting a night sight is highly recommended because intruding and crime scenes often occur at night or dark conditions. Most guns reviewed above have night-sight versions. If you don’t like them, you can always buy and install other sights available on the market.

Those who prefer AR-15 rifles for home protection may consider using a red dot. Red dot sights are popular with many gun owners and firearm enthusiasts because of fast target engagement and increased night-time visibility. On the downside, red dots require battery replacement and are quite expensive.


How the handguns feel in hands is of great importance. Those with bigger hands should pick a chunky handgun (like Glock 19) that provides various grip angles. Full-sized handguns offer a larger area to grip, so they are great for beginners. If you have smaller hands, then you should look for something like the M&P M2.0. It is important to point out that the newest M&P and Glock models come with removable grip inserts to allow for custom ergonomics. You must feel confident while using a gun anyway.


The trigger also plays an important role in how the gun feels. Every trigger has a distinct feel despite the fact that almost all the triggers now feature striker-fired design. Do not alter the trigger if you intend to use your gun for self-defense. While the trigger will be smoothing out slightly after a while, the feel will be pretty much the same. So don’t expect notable change.


If you are a beginner searching for a home defense weapon, we recommend sticking to striker-fired handguns. Those guns give consistent shooting experience since the trigger pull doesn’t change over time. To make sure a gun is a striker-fired one indeed, take a look at the back of the slide. It shouldn’t have any exposed hammer and must be perfectly flat.

The ammo capacity of revolvers is too low (five or six only). That’s why many gun owners prefer striker pistols to revolvers. In addition to higher ammo capacity, they also have better performance and smaller size in general. Nevertheless, many people like revolvers because they are reliable and powerful. As for the double-action handguns (like Sig Sauer P320), the first shot is pretty “heavy” because the hammer is cocked back when shooting.

External Safety

We recommend avoiding external safety when shopping for a gun or pistol. Perhaps this sounds odd, but it makes sense. Many people forget to disengage the thumb or external safety of their weapon when they face an attacker. This is especially true for beginners and inexperienced users. You should rely on your own mind rather than safety features in home-defense situations. So, if you’ve just started with a gun, make sure it doesn’t come with any safety system.


Now that you know what to look for when buying a gun for home defense, you should not have difficulty choosing between the firearms on our list. Whether you prefer handguns or revolvers, there are lots of options to choose from. Of course, you do not have to limit yourself to the firearms covered here.

Whichever gun you pick, it is a good idea to rent it (if it’s available) and try it yourself at a local shooting range. That will ensure you are satisfied with a gun before making a purchase.