Top Categories

The Best Home Defense Weapon

The best home defense weapon is a shotgun, right? Well, not exactly.

Monderno contributor Aaron Cowan discussed this topic on Recoil in a two part series titled AR vs. Shotgun for Home Defense, wherein he discussed his choice for a home defense weapon – the AR-15.

2 Vets Arms LRRP

One of my favorite rifles, my 2 Vets Arms Custom LRRP

He started by saying what everyone needs to hear BEFORE commenting:

When it comes to the topic of “Best Weapon for Home Defense,” no firearm has the amalgamation of features and performance that would make it serve perfectly in every single home.  The reason for this is explicit; the vast majorities of homes are not identical, do not share identical (or even similar) floor plans, and are constructed of different materials, by different methods.  Homes vary in location; from wilderness to rural to suburban to inner city, etc..  The word “home” can mean an estate, mansion, single family dwelling, condo, apartment or something that doesn’t easily categorize. Because of the differences between the residence of a reader in Georgia to another in California, there can be no “Best Weapon for Home Defense.”

He then moves on to slaying what is to some, a sacred cow:

There is one weapon that best fills the role due to versatility, effectiveness and availability of enhancements:  the AR-15.

I’m sure that gets a gasp or two, perhaps come shaking of heads and I’m sure that more than one person said aloud “No, it’s the shotgun.”

No, it isn’t the shotgun, but we will get to that.

In part 1, Aaron discussed the desired characteristics of a home defense weapon and briefly touches on some of the myths surrounding the AR-15 and the 5.56 round.

In part 2, he talks “stopping power,” addresses why people fall when they’ve been shot, specifically examines “stopping power” within the context of the 5.56 round, and takes a brief critical look at the shotgun as a home defense weapon.

It’s already ruffled some feathers, and it’s sure to ruffle some more.

Read Part 1 | Read Part 2

Buy a shotgun…buy a shotgun.

8 Responses to The Best Home Defense Weapon

  1. Brenda February 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Very good article! I plan on having 3 HD weapons. AR, shot gun (tactical of course-semi auto) and my 9mm! I agree with the author! TY

  2. Ray Hrach February 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    This is a great article. He covers the lethality and over penetration parameters of home defence very well. He doesn’t address the noise issue and how that could negatively affect the homeowners. Would you use an unsuppressed AR for home defense? If so, aren’t you concerned about the noise?

    • dgdimick February 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      Are you talking about the 3 or 4 rounds you could fire, or the firefight you’re going to have in the hallway?

  3. dgdimick February 7, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    I would have guessed 5.56 was the round NOT to use. Makes you start to think about putting the shotgun in the gun safe, and keeping the AR out.

  4. Fox Hunter February 8, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    The best home defense is the person itself, having guns is great but having a clear mind is better. Invest in a home security system, be aware of your surroundings, instruct your family about security issues and self defense. My choices: buy a dog, have firearms around the house and in your person at all times, instruct your family about firearms safety and if you have small children or guest secure your weapons but have them available. Remember if you look like a sheep the wolves are going to eat you.

  5. hardh8 February 9, 2014 at 2:37 am #

    I have a glock 21 next to my bed at night.

  6. hardh8 February 9, 2014 at 2:39 am #

    Because of where I live I wouldn’t want to use an AR.

  7. Kendal Black (@KendalBlack) February 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    I still prefer the shotgun, though I have argued elsewhere that the AR-15 is a very good home defense weapon. (Here for example: ) The shotgun is surely adequate, I am more familiar with it and trust it to do the job. It may bear less stigma if, God forbid, I end up in front of a jury. “Good enough” is hard to argue against.

%d bloggers like this: