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Home Defense Best Gun: Pistol vs Rifle vs Shotgun Home Defense Best Guns

Which gun can be considered as home defense best gun?

One of the leading reasons why someone buys a firearm is the proper defence of their own house. Protection of the house is a pretty sacred right in Canada. When it comes to home defence there are a lot of various opinions out there on a lot of various weapons. 

The top three weapons that compete to be the best home defence guns are:

  1. modern pistol/handgun
  2. repeating shotgun,
  3. semi-automatic rifle

In this article, we are going to explore all three weapons mentioned above. We will discuss in detail their advantages and disadvantages.

After having done a bit of research and talking to some people knowledgeable in the subject it might seem to you that there’s no perfect answer. Different homes, situations, and people will have a different gun that’s best for them. At the end of the day, the foremost important thing is having a weapon to defend your family.

home defence handgun


Let’s start with the smallest gun in our group.  It is the pistol. When we talk about handguns for home protection keep in mind semi-automatic pistols. 

Revolvers are special, and if that’s all you have, it’ll do. But, the latest handguns give you a lot more room for customizations. Also, they are more adaptive to different situations and needs of the carrier.

By modern gun, we mean the Glock series, the Beretta series, the SIG Sauer P series, the S&W M&P guns, and so on. Check these handguns out and buy your favourite:


Firstly, a pistol is one of the lightest also the smallest house defence weapon. This may be important to the shooter.

The pistol is extremely maneuverable and simple to handle in close quarters combat. 

Depending on the shooter’s abilities and also considering the situation a pistol can be handled very precisely in close combat situations or in o tight space. It can be shoot accurately even using one hand if necessary.

The latest 9mm pistols will come with a minimum of a 15 round capacity magazine. Other pistols may have an extended magazine, but that is an optional choice and depending on the kind of pistol you have in some cases it can be against the law. Custom magazines are also available  for pistols that shoot other calibers like 45ACP or 5,7×28 and 22LR as well.

You can easily hide a handgun or keep it on the body when answering doors or investigating noises. This way you will prevent undue panic in an innocent stranger. But, in any case, you have your weapon to combat someone’s ill intent.

If you’ll buy only one gun for both home defence and concealed carry, the pistol can do double duty.


The pistol is the gun that has less stopping power than the rest of the group. 

Pistols are considered an alternative firearm for a reason. They’re dangerous but, they’re also the least likely to prevent an attacker with one shot due to the lack of stopping power. Shot placement using a pistol is a truly crucial factor to keep in consideration. Being accurate with a pistol needs you to be fully aware of the characteristics of the gun you are using and the kind of ammo you need.

You will need some hours down the shooting range to understand the gun you are using, the type of ammo you want to run with and the different properties of different types of ammo available. best gun home defence


For a long time, the rifle was considered a bit much for home defence. However, times and attitudes have changed significantly about the rifle. 

A semi-automatic rifle is an efficient tool for home defence. The AR-15 is especially wonderful due to its capacity, cost, accessibility, and modularity. Taking into consideration that the caliber a normal AR-15 shoots is a fast-moving bullet and with very little recoil makes it a very efficient gun. But, 5.56 Standard NATO isn’t the only cartridge that the AR can be configured. Or if you want to get a little more exotic you can have an AR-15 system running on 50 Beowulf for some extreme stopping power.

If you are a much more standard stopping power kind of shooter and not a big fan of customization’s you can always run with an AK-47 platform. It is known to be one of the most reliable and resistant platforms competing in the gun market. 

We also have a lot of other platforms on the rifle class, which are not as much used as the AR-15 or the AK-47 and we will be covering them in another article. 

Rifles are powerful defensive firearms due to the fact you can have them chambered in different calibers. Some models offer stopping power similar to a shotgun or even bigger but without as much recoil or lack of precision. 


The house protection rifle is potent and truly capable of doing damage to the human body. That’s possible due to the speed at which the projectile travels, the precision you have on shot placement and the variety of calibers you have access to. 

Rifles have three points of contact and minimal recoil. A shooter can easily engage with multiple targets and fire rounds accurately in quick succession. Also, the shooter will be having full control over shot placement and the recoil. This way, he/she has the possibility to control ammo consumption and also avoid unnecessary damage to the environment. All this by performing quick and efficient target engagement. Modern semi-auto rifles most often feed on 30 round magazines which give enough ammo for multiple threat neutralization.

The home defence rifle is well equipped with optics, lights, and also can be equipped with a short barrel for better maneuverability and other accessories like muzzle brakes or compensators to make it a true close quarters combat machine. When paired with the proper ammo they’ll penetrate drywall but rapidly lose energy and become less likely to continue travelling than both pistol and shotgun rounds. That depends on the kind of ammo you are using or the caliber you are shooting.

The modern rifle is a really capable firearm and their use in active war situations has tested them to be very efficient close-quarters weapons. 

They’ve also become more and more affordable over the past years.


The first disadvantage will likely be the weight of the gun for a smaller shooter. Some rifles, especially pistol caliber rifles, may be incredibly light. You can go for carbon fibre barrel equipped rifles which are very light or skeletonized and short barrel or compact platforms. A rifle is planned to be fired with two hands and in a pinch, it also can be used with one hand in certain situations. Depending on the gun configuration you may have, it can become a little difficult to shot accurately with one hand. 

The standard rifle is additionally longer which may make it difficult to navigate small areas and harder to use when opening doors and other navigational tasks which make it necessary to have an additional secondary gun to run in this situation which means being forced to use a less powerful gun meaning you have to carry extra weight and ammo.


The shotgun, especially the repeating shotgun, has been for a long time a favourite gun for home protection. A repeating shotgun is usually a pump or semi-automatic design. Shotguns are available in various calibers but 12 and 20 gauge are the foremost commonly used for home defence. Shotguns are quite affordable, easy to find. A pump-action shotgun may be sold for fewer than 200 dollars making them very accessible for those on a budget.


The strength of the shotgun is its ability to deliver tremendous amounts of stopping power upon hitting the target. In close range, the spread is likely to be about the dimensions of the fist when it hits an opponent. The 9 projectiles are more likely to strike an important organ than the first shot. Shotguns also are more capable of causing significant blood loss from one shot.


The biggest disfavour of the shotgun is the training a shooter needs to use it effectively. Furthermore, knowing the way to reload your gun is totally critical. 

Shotgun requires two hands to use and is a challenge for many shooters to move and shoot with. As a two-handed, long gun, they’re difficult to use when managing doors and other obstacles requiring a second hand.


Choosing one or another as your primary self-defence weapon is often a challenge. Different situations require different tools. Small homes and apartments could also be better served with a pistol because of their small size. A shotgun is ideal for bunkering down in one room and engaging threats through a funnel. The rifle could be a great tool when you may not know if you’ll be clearing a house or holding steady.

You can choose one, but it may be a wise idea to own more than one. Having a firearm ready for a home invasion scenario allows you to be flexible and to adapt to the situation as it arises. Of course, budgeting exists and if one is all you’ll afford, decide on one that you are comfortable with, can afford, and can practice frequently with.