Updated thoughts on a home defense tool

Some years ago I wrote down my thoughts on home defense tools.

My thoughts have progressed over the years.

The other day I read this article: Long guns for home defense – not such a hot idea. My initial reaction was to groan, because there actually is a place for them, but my groan was purely on the article title. So I went and read the article, and I actually agree completely with the author.

(Aside: This is why it’s good to actually READ the article, not just the headline. I loved NPR’s troll/experiment on this very thing.)

But since I know from looking at my own site statistics that people rarely click-through to read the referenced article, here’s the “tl;dr” summary:

  • Handguns are generally better for home-defense because they are compact and one-handed
    • Have you tried quickly navigating your house with a long-gun?
    • How about contending with opening doors, using flashlights, finagling children, etc.?
  • Long-guns are useful when you stay-put.

Now is this the be-all-end-all? Of course not. There are a great many factors to consider. For example, I know a couple (and just the 2 of them; no kids to worry about) that lives in a rural area. They are far back from the road so there’s longer distances to cover. As well, a more common issue for them is to contend with 4-legged predators around their livestock. Considering the totality of their circumstances, a rifle actually works out well for them.

In my house, a handgun is generally more useful, because people, because tight and twisty hallways, and most of all? Because it’s the tool with which I am most proficient.

And I’m sure YOUR situation is different.

Consider the totality of your circumstance and pick the right tool for the job. I know Internet mantra is “long guns for defending the home-front”, but remember what’s right for someone else behind their keyboard may not be appropriate for you, your family, and your home.

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9 thoughts on “Updated thoughts on a home defense tool

    • Agreed that would be better than non-SBR-length long guns. But it’s still not as maneuverable as a handgun.

      I’ve even got one particular situation in mind where I know for a fact any sort of long gun (even a shorter long gun) likely would have been more hindrance than help.

      But again, blanket statements all around. In the end it’s all about picking the right tool for the circumstance.

    • Oh, I have no qualms about a good shotgun. My only beef is their length, unless you go through all the trouble for the tax stamp. 18.5″ barrels, then even if you cut the stock down a little bit (which I did after taking some Defensive Shotgun classes with Tom Givens; shoulders better with about a 13″ LOP for me), it’s still mighty long. So it gets back to that whole mobility thing.

  1. . . . and that was a thoughtful and well-researched NPR article. It took me a while to get through it all, but well worth the half hour. I may actually have to pay them more attention, even though I don’t normally read newspapers.

  2. Handgun for me, M1 carbine for the wife.

    It’s easier for her to manipulate a rifle than a handgun, and she is more of a ‘bunker down and call 911’ type.

    Handgun for me, since I am more proficient with a handgun and it’s easier to manipulate with a flashlight and set of keys in our 6 bed/4 bath two story house.

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