There is no shortage of advice on the best type of firearm to use for home defense. Wat about using a rifle? The first article is a video from Rob Pincus, a man whose opinions on the subject of self defense I respect. He believes that a rifle is a viable tool for home defense, and presents a thoughtful analysis on the pros and cons of a few different types of rifles that might be considered for that purpose.

Best Rifle for Home Defense

Then we have this article that argues against the very premise of using a rifle for home defense.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/03/foghorn/self-defense-tip-dont-use-a-rifle/

As much as I like Rob Pincus, I agree with the latter article. In my opinion, unless you live in a home the size of  the Biltmore estate,  handguns are the best for this purpose. They are easy to store, easy to access (e.g. the proverbial night stand gun) and much easier to handle when moving about the residence or on the phone with 911. Also, you can hide from the threat more effectively with handgun tucked tight to your body than you can with a long gun protruding out in view.

As for shotguns, they are devastatingly powerful (when using 12 gauge 00 or 0000  buckshot, for example, but are as big and cumbersome as a rifle.  I would advise keeping one near a door (tip: keep it on hooks above the door), for quick access when you need it for perimeter defense, to stop threats immediately outside the house or on the grounds.  And no, do NOT depend on the “chick-chick” sound of a pump shotgun to scare off the bad guys. Many criminals are drug users.  Drugs alter perception and judgment and the goblins are not necessarily going to respond like you may think to that mechanical sound.

The rifle enjoys a clear advantage in long range (out to several hundred yards) self defense. It can keep dangerous bad guys at a distance – far away from you. Keep in mind that in a typical neighborhood with tightly clustered houses, using a rifle poses risks due the velocity and penetration power of the projectile. Probably best for the rural environment where there are significant distances between houses.

In a nutshell, consider a handgun for interior defense, a handgun or shotgun for the perimeter & grounds, and a rifle for all else beyond that.


At Semper Firearms Training we encourage you to buy a good firearm, get trained in how to use it, get a Nevada CCW permit, and continue your firearms training as part of a defensive lifestyle.