TMR Point Blank: Handguns For Home Defense

357-magnumThis is the first entry in what will hopefully be a successful addition to The TMR Zoo. I have been around and utilized firearms since 1983 and am hoping my personal and professional experiences with firearms inspire a dialog of firearm sporting and safety.

In the upcoming months, I am planning to buy complete AR-15 rifles at a local gun shop and I will be covering not only firearms, but will go over ammo, firearms training, gun safety and gun control. I will also be bringing you product reviews that will bring you face to face with some of the more unique and interesting weapons on the market. We will start today with the question I am asked the most…

What is the best firearm for Home Protection?

If you are interested in a handgun for home defense but are not very experienced with firearms, you should look for a revolver at your local gun store. It is easier to ensure that it’s unloaded/loaded because you can open the cylinder and be instantly safe. Securing a revolver is also simpler… you can open the cylinder and put a simple padlock around the topstrap to secure it. You can also easily store it in gun concealment furniture.


A .357 Magnum is a great example of a home defense weapon. One advantage to the .357 magnum is you can load lighter recoiling .38 special ammo in it for practice. With either round, a .357 would be moderately ok for wild/rabid animals and good for home defense.

Another option to consider is a semi automatic pistol for home defense. A .22 to 380-caliber pistol is a great choice. I prefer a Glock 9mm, though the .40 Smith & Wesson and Ruger .45 are both perfect for home defense. Semi-automatics take a little more training due to how they operate. However, with practice they are just as potent as a revolver.

You should also keep a good, fully-charged, very bright flashlight next to or attached to the gun. In addition to perhaps blinding and dazing your attacker, target identification is very important. From a legal standpoint and from a personal comfort standpoint a clear view of your target is key. Incorporating a laser site can also act as a deterrent and facilitates a true shot at what you aim at, and there are also accessories like the holographic sight that help you aim better as well.

If you do have to shoot someone inside your house, remember, “Know your target and what lies beyond it”. In a house, you can put a pellet, slug, or bullet through a bunch of interior walls if you miss or if they penetrate their target. You do not want to harm any pets or loved ones in the defense of your house.

My last advice is go to a firing range and rent a pistol or two, or find someone locally to help you find the right weapon for you. Try to shoot a few different guns and see which one, if any, strike you as comfortable.

One cardinal rule of home defense I must make clear is that I do not recommend clearing your house alone no matter how highly trained you are.

Ideally you should be able to secure your family away from the danger…do not go prowling around the house looking for a burglar if you do not have to. Call the police and wait, and use the gun to protect yourself if THEY come looking for YOU. If you want one of those, please start by getting concealed weapons license.