Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay

How to Choose a Handgun for Home Defense

When locking your doors and windows doesn’t seem like robust enough home defense, you should do your research and consider purchasing a handgun. A handgun can give you the peace of mind you need to protect your family, home and assets.

Burglaries are always on the rise, with an average of 2.5 million break-ins every year, 66 percent of which happen in homes. Many people turn to handguns for home defense, with 30 percent of U.S. adults owning a gun for protection purposes, according to Gallup.

Before purchasing your handgun, take the following steps to ensure that you make the best decision for your home and family.

Step 1: Decide the Purpose of Your Gun

Before considering the type and price range, determine how you plan to use your gun. Do you want to use your gun for home safety or utilize it as a concealed weapon? Are there other options available that can provide you with home security and peace of mind?

Answering these questions will help you decide if purchasing a handgun is the best choice for you and help you narrow down the type of gun you should purchase.

Step 2: Do Your Research

The most important step when choosing a handgun for home defense is doing your research. There’s an array of different options and features to choose from when purchasing a handgun. Here are some of the main features you should consider:

  • Recoil: Recoil is the gun’s backward movement caused by the momentum of the bullet leaving the barrel when you fire the weapon. Performing research on the recoil power of the gun will help you choose one that is manageable for your size.
  • Caliber: The caliber, or bullet size, impacts the recoil and size of the gun. If you are new to using a handgun, consider getting a 9mm. It’s smaller, more affordable and easier to manage for most.
  • Size: If you are a first-time gun owner, size is important. You need to ensure that your handgun is the right fit for your hand so that you are comfortable firing it. Full-sized handguns are bigger but absorb recoil better, offer a larger area to grip and have a longer sight radius to make hitting your target easier. In contrast, compact handguns are great for concealed carry purposes and are lightweight and easier to maneuver.
  • Type: You may be torn between purchasing a revolver or semi-automatic weapon for home defense. Revolvers are known for being easier to operate and offer different action modes, but they take longer to reload and are heavier than semi-automatic weapons. Semi-automatic weapons are lightweight and easy to load, but lack a manual safety and require you to rack the slide to chamber the first round. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both options, you need to do your research and choose the gun that works best for your situation.

Step 3: Take Your Research to the Range

Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay

After considering the advantages and disadvantages of each gun, it’s time to take your research to the range. There are many things that you can’t account for when reading reviews online, so it’s helpful to try out different guns at the range to make the best choice. Consider the following when firing different guns:

  • Stopping power
  • Trigger style and “feel”
  • Ergonomics
  • Ease of control
  • Sight radius

Step 4: Learn About Gun Safety

Before you make your purchase, you should strongly consider taking a gun safety course to learn about your manifold responsibilities as a gun owner. You should also look into purchasing a gun safe that has anti-drill, pry-prevention and fire protection to keep your handgun safe from children and thieves.

Purchasing a handgun for home defense comes with a lot of responsibilities, so it’s important to determine whether you are confident and emotionally stable enough to maintain your composure in a stressful, dangerous situation.

Selecting a handgun for home defense is a major decision with safety, ease-of-use and affordability in the mix. By following these steps, you’ll be able to make an informed decision for your home and family.

About the Author:

Scott Huntington is a writer who lives in Vermont. Check out his blog Off The Grid or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

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