Why are these firearms rated as the "most popular?"
Popularity contests, polls, and surveys are commonly found on the web today. There is even a popularity poll about firearms. As of June 2020, these firearms were the top selling home defense guns purchased in America:
Glock 19 (9mm)
Sig Sauer P320 (9mm)
Mossberg 500 12 gauge pump action
Remington 870 12 gauge pump action
Ruger AR556 (AR-15-style) semi-automatic
Having owned and operated every one of these firearms at one time, I can speak to why they might be the most popular.
The Glock Model 19 is a mid-to-large sized polymer frame handgun that is reasonably priced, has a 15 round capacity, and has a ton of aftermarket parts that can be purchased to customize it to the user's needs. It is a reliable, solid workhorse, used by many police and security agencies.
The Sig Sauer P320, while not as inexpensive as the Glock 19, offers high capacity, exceptional workmanship, and above-average accuracy. There are several variations of this handgun, ranging from the compact P320 to the big X5 Legion - one of the most accurate handguns that I have ever owned and fired.
Smith & Wesson's M&P (derived from Military and Police) line of handguns is remarkable. Offered in .22, .380, 9mm, .40 and .45, these guns can fit nearly anyone's needs. While priced about the same as the Glock 19, many find the M&P's ergonomics to be superior to others.
Some M&Ps are fully ambidextrous and come with a reversible magazine release, left and right side slide lock, and L&R thumb safeties as standard equipment. In a household comprised of a left-handed and a right-handed person, an ambidextrous gun is a huge benefit.
Mossberg's 500 series pump action shotguns have been around for 50 years and 50 million have been sold, per the company. They have a more ergonomic safety that resides atop the receiver. You push it forward to "go" or "fire" versus other shotguns that use a cross bolt safety underneath the trigger guard. Is that a small issue? Not under stress, it's not, for it is an intuitive design.
Oftentimes, Mossberg 500s are sold in stores with two different barrels - a long one for sporting purposes and a short one (18.5 inches) for home defense. Smart!
The Remington 870 pump action shotgun is the Mossy 500's main competitor in the marketplace. The 870 is almost always more expensive than its Mossberg counterpart. More American police agencies use the Rem 870 pump action shotgun than any other brand. Perhaps they view them as more robust.
The 870 shotgun has been in service for 70 years, so the company must be doing something right.
It is unlikely that you will wear out either a Remington or Mossberg in normal use. They are both fine weapons. I own both and really cannot decide which I like the best.
The Ruger AR 556 rifle is another spin-off from the AR-15 rifle. FYI: "AR" is not an acronym for "assault rifle." It was the name used by the Armalite company whose designer Gene Stoner invented the rifle in the late 1950s.
AR-15 rifles have become the most popular "sporting rifle" sold in America for understandable reasons: it has very light recoil, a vast number of aftermarket parts, is reasonably priced, has very good accuracy, and, unless you live in an anti-gun state, high capacity. Love them or hate them, they are extremely popular and here to stay.
Is Ruger's variation "better" than the ones offered by at least 20 other companies? Not necessarily. They have done a remarkable job in marketing their AR 556, considering that it was introduced in 2009, and made it a relative latecomer to the game.
So, for "home defense" which would be best? Opinions vary widely, and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of articles written over many years that address that very question. Pistol, shotgun, or rifle? You have the right to keep and bear arms - buy a handgun for the nightstand, a shotgun for perimeter and close distance protection, and a rifle to keep the two-legged and four-legged predators far away from you.
No matter what gun you buy, get the proper training in its use before you operate it.
As for a dog, maybe. It needs to be the right breed, have the right temperament, and the right training for you to depend on it to protect you and your family. Put a lot of thought into choosing this animal. More than than your gun. Maybe get both!
At Semper Firearms Training we encourage you to buy a good firearm, get trained in how to use it, and continue your firearms training as part of a defensive lifestyle.
Please be sure to watch these two important videos and to send the links on to a friend:
- Good Guys With Guns: http://www.good-guys.us/premiere/
- Innocents Betrayed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN0Xi8no6us
Images courtesy of Oleg Volk
Semper Firearms Training
9732 Pyramid Hwy #409
Sparks, NV 89441
9 am to 7 pm Seven Days a Week
We are a training school, not a retail store
Images courtesy of Oleg Volk