Handgun Home Defense

Keeping Your Family Safe

If you defend yourself with a gun, who protects you? Learn More Here

They’re just tools, keep this in mind. Tools to keep your family safe, just the same as the fire extinguishers you have placed around (right?), flashlights and a good dog or three. Don’t over-think things here, you’re looking for a good gun matching your budget and your needs. Read Tiger McKee’s Tactics & Training columns for simple but good ideas, tips and tricks to keep things safe. And keep in mind what works for someone else may not be right for you.

If you live in an urban apartment maybe a 10mm might not be the ticket. But translate the same chore onto 20 acres in the country and suddenly, the same 10mm may make perfect sense. Get it? Any “good” gun is better than no gun when it comes to protecting your kingdom. At least that’s our opinion.
This isn’t a comprehensive list here, but hopefully it’ll get you thinking.

S&W’s ground-breaking M&P .380 Shield EZ (see our cover story, Sept/Oct 2018) opens a new book for home defense guns. If you’re infirm, weak-wristed or just tired of being beaten up by big calibers, the EZ might be the ticket. Loaded with modern defensive .380 ammo and a light on the rail, the EZ would do home defense chores just fine. At less than $400 MSRP, it’s loaded with features and comes with two magazines. We found our test samples to be accurate, 100 percent reliable and easy to manipulate. This is one of my new “favorite” pistols and it might be yours too.

In the “not everyone needs a big gun” category is Ruger’s new SP101, a burly all-steel revolver in .38/.357. The blued alloy steel finish looks traditional, and the 5-shot, small frame gun has a fixed rear sight (tough to get out of whack!), ramped front and a 2.25" barrel. At 26 oz., it’s not a flyweight, but combined with the rubber grip it helps to assure you can hang onto it when shooting. And the same comfort means you’re more inclined to practice. The SP101 goes for about $719 at full MSRP but it’s available at lower costs at your local gun store, we’re sure. Look for a full review in GUNS Magazine and in our pages soon.

If budget dictates a small gun for carry having to do double duty for home defense, Ruger’s 10th Anniversary edition of their famous LCP might work for you. The LCPII, following the original, introduced new features like a sort of “cocked and locked” carry mode making the trigger pull better. The wider backstrap makes shooting snappy .380 loads a bit more comfortable. But the original LCP has a slimmer grip and a sort of “half-cock” hammer mode where the DA trigger pull finishes the hammer cocking, then fires the gun. The 10th Anniversary edition has nifty etching on the top of the slide commemorating the occasion and a nice two-tone look. It holds seven rounds, weighs a feathery 9.6 oz. and is MSRP’d at $299.

Mossberg’s Model 590 “Nightstick” isn’t a pistol, isn’t a shotgun and it isn’t a rifle — it’s a “firearm” according to the BATFE. But it may be just right for your home defense ideas. This latest rendition has a classic wood stock and leather forend strap — to keep your hand where it belongs — which looks, to our eyes, both retro and solid-looking. The Nightstick is a compact 26.37″ overall, with a 14″ thick-walled barrel. Other models are in 20 and .410 gauge. MSRP is about $520 for this model.

FN’s 509 Tactical is about as serious as you can get when it comes to protecting your family with a handgun. Based on the same gun submitted to the military for testing, this model is enhanced with a slide ready-made to install any one of 10 or more red dot sights from different makers. The 24-round magazine keeps you in the fight, and the 509 comes with a suppressor-ready barrel. This is an honest, battle-ready handgun, not a consumer toy. MSRP is $1,049 — but you get what you pay for.

GLOCK’s G45 (a compact 9mm) combines a compact slide with a full-sized frame, along with new Gen5 features. It’s 21 oz. minus the magazine, the barrel is 4.01″, it uses the standard GLOCK trigger system and the slide sports forward serrations. Lotsa’ goodies. Mag capacity can be anything from 17 to as high as 33 and the light rail allows you to stick on a light or light/laser combo, just the ticket for home defensy stuff. Lots of people like this sort of “shorter slide with full size grip” idea and at around $699 or so, now’s your chance.

The VP9-B from Heckler & Koch now offers an “American” style push button mag release rather than the sort of strangish “paddle” release favored by the Euros. The VP’s trigger has a short, light take-up followed by a clean break and short reset. The striker-fired running gear means it’s easy to manage with no external hammers or safety levers. The amazing thing is you can customize the fit into 27 unique configurations using different grip panels and backstraps. This is another battle-ready military quality defensive handgun, with an MSRP of about $719. We think it’s a screaming deal for what you’re getting.

The new S&W M&P45 M2.0 is the latest in the model line. In .45 ACP with a 4" barrel, the new “M2.0” mods means more new features. From a better trigger, lower bore/muzzle axis, tactile/audible trigger reset and an extended rigid steel chassis reducing frame flex when shooting, to the Armornite finish, this is a compelling package. The four palmswell grip inserts allows a set-up sure to fit just about anyone. The rail allows light installation and the sights are steel and three-dot. At an MSRP of $569 this makes a dandy CCW gun or home defense tool.

If you feel you need to get serious about home defense it’d be hard to get more serious than the new Springfield Armory XD(M) in 10mm. Available as a 4.5″ or 5.25″ — my favorite — it has the light rail, good sights, changeable backstraps, etc. de rigueur on today’s polymer guns. Mags hold 15 rounds, it has a full-length guide rod and a grip safety I like and which never interferes with operation in my experience. A 180-gr. 10mm at about 1,250 fps would likely solve most any problem you have, including the bear on the porch attacking the dog. MSRP is $652 for the 4.5″ and $779 for the 5.25″. Wear ear muffs if you do it.

If you defend yourself with a gun, who protects you? Learn More Here

Purchase A PDF Download Of The American Handgunner March/April 2019 Issue Now!