Home Defense Options

Some honchos in the gun world have weighed in with their home defense choices:

Keeping all of this in mind, we sought out a variety of professionals to comment on their particular home-defense guns, and more importantly, why they have those guns — simply telling you they use a 12-gauge isn’t very helpful. You don’t have to be a Special Forces guy or SWAT ninja to consider their rationales, so our hope is that after you read this piece you’ll evaluate the contents of your own nightstand. While there are some brand-names mentioned, think of each configuration as a loose guideline for a given situation and not an internet special, where all the parts and pieces have to match exactly. This is about choosing home-defense equipment, not points on the ‘gram. Still, we’ll disclose all of those parts and pieces, because we dabble in gear nerdery.

Sheesh.  Talk about space-age stuff.

I’m not one of those “heavy hitters”, nor do I get free shit thrown at me by any manufacturers [sob]  so here are my home defense suggestions, based in my own circumstances.

Bedside:
DA revolver in .357 Magnum, because as I’ve said countless times before, your “people in the house, grope in the dark” gun has to be like a fork:  when you pick it up, it has to work simply and without any chance of failure.  My only “accessory” (which I don’t have at the moment) would be one of those laser pointer thingies that are activated by squeezing the grip.

Home defense:
AK-47.  I live in a suburban apartment complex, so there’s little call for any kind of animal varmint reduction.  Human  varmints, however, may be another (albeit remote) situation even in my affluent location, and I prefer an AK over a shotgun because 20 rounds are better than 2 (I don’t have a pump- or semi-auto shotgun, only a side-by-side).  (Also, nothing  says “RUN AWAY!” like the sight of an AK pointed at your midsection.)

Accessories:
Fenix FX-PD35TAC flashlight, because of the 1000-watt beam and the strobe option — which is so disorienting it actually causes nausea at the naughty end.  I carry one of these bad boys in my gilet pocket, and keep another next to the bed.

Sjambok for controlling angry dogs and/or assholes.

That’s it.  I have other options, so to speak, but the above are what I always keep (very) close at hand.  Well, they would  be kept close at hand, except for that unfortunate canoeing incident on the Brazos River a few years back.  This is just my wishlist.

13 comments

  1. RE: .357 Magnum as a Bedside Prescriptive: IIRC, some years back Tam mentioned a 2 1/2″ Model 66 as her “cookie recipe gun,” the principles being, first, .357 Mag to deter anyone who arrived unannounced at 0300 claiming an interest in discussing cookie recipes, and second, a short barrel to discourage gun take-aways.

    “The original point-and-click interface” well describes quality revolvers; to that end, perhaps such nightstand utilization also describes a useful niche for the current run of 8-shot wheel guns, outside ICORE and Eastwood movies at least, assuming there’s a K-Frame-size grip frame on the thing, adjust the barrel to ~4 – 4.5 inches, and include a useful comp (beyond the rifled section of barrel, please, to avoid compromising velocity). Eight bites at the .357 apple should be adequate under such circumstances, especially if assisted by one of CT’s little lasers, and better be as well; Heaven knows there ain’t a good way to reload those 8 little holes with full-length cartridges in a rush that doesn’t involve several far eastern mantras and a large bit of luck.

    (Yes, I know the Wizards of Massachusetts produce 2″ and 2 5/8″ barreled versions, and there’s a 4″ Performance Center issue, but < 3" is a bit short for velocity, balance and aiming, and the 4" is compless; adding 3/4" of 2-chamber comp, akin to what's on the 500, would be worthwhile and perhaps justify the ~$1100 PC premium.)

  2. “Your home defense needs are completely covered by calling 911 and sitting quietly, waiting for the police to arrive.” – DNC, GOPe, National Review, Never Trump, Soybois, most politicians, and the UN….

  3. I can sleep through a train wreck, but the years have trained me to snap wide awake at unusual sounds in the middle of the night; a creaking stair, a squeaky hinge. My S+W revolver is at close reach, not in a box, closet or drawer, because I’m too old to go looking for it in the dark.

    Whoever you are, don’t come visiting until after I’ve had my coffee.

  4. As Murphy said. We have creaky pine treads on the stairs that lead to the bedrooms on the 2nd floor. My Beretta 92FS sits here in the desk drawer of my detached office-workshop then it goes to the bedroom when I sleep. No kids here and my wife is mostly sane so weapons are not an issue. We also have a 47lb Aussie-Brittany shepherd-spaniel with all her senses highly tuned at all times. I also have a Winchester model 12 shotgun in 12ga in the corner of the dining room next to the hutch. We’re rural here and it’s a fair distance from the house to the end of the driveway which is gravel. The remaining perimeter of the property is heavy forested over very deeply textured terrain. It’ll take a hardy person to penetrate this compound but if the do they won’t like what they find. Most people around here are addressed the same.

    If you live in an urban or suburban location you are inviting trouble.

  5. I can’t argue with your choices. For the flashlight, I’d be inclined to go for a greater number of cheaper flashlights (because Murphy’s law is always strictly enforced, so the damn thing WILL fail when you need it, grabbing the one next to it works well), and I’d prefer they use regular drug-store batteries. My niece and nephew gifted me one such a couple years ago, I need to pick up a couple more. Nearly every drawer in the house has a cheap, 9-LED, 3-AAA battery flashlight in it just in case.

    1. As long as your eyes are not in the direct beam — i.e. you can’t see the bulb flashing — it’s okay.

  6. My home defense is quite simple. A 9mm SIG 226 with Tritium nite sights (original equipment) fitted with a Streamlight Laser / light. A second high intensity light is on the light base next to the bed too.
    The bedroom is about 50 feet from the home’s entrance to the garage which has a safe with firepower from spitting distance to about 1000 yards, with dope for all distances in 25 yard increments.
    If more than this firepower is needed, a prayerbook is available.

  7. Choices, choices, choices. Have to say the most common one near my bed is a 38 special. Has worked well since the bullet was new.

    Auto can have issues on any shot after the first. Have problems with a DA revolver and just keep pulling the trigger. If I need more than 5 something is wrong in the world and I will be using something else.

    YMMV

  8. I urge folks who are considering a .357 Mag bedside gun to sweet talk your local range into letting you sit in the dark for 15 minutes to let your pupils dilate and then fire off a round of SuperMegaBlaster into a target at 10 yards (no ears & eyes, please). Then see how accurate your followup shots are.

    Then ask yourself what your main interest would be if you’re hit center mass with two rounds of .38 Special bunnyfart loads from 10 yards. Would it be “continue to burgle Gwalchmai’s house” or “find the closest ER”?

    😉

  9. .327 Federal Magnum for win! All the power, half the pain. Makes a dandy lever action partner to have as well.

  10. .45 ACP is a good thing. I keep a ruger P series next to the bed, because its the gun I am most accurate with.

    Big fugging bright LED flashlight next to it.

    I live in a small village out in the boonies. Deer, bear, fox, raccoons, possum, feral dogs and cats, all pose a threat to my livestock, pets, and family.

    There is a 12 Ga pump at the back door, and a plethora of assorted semi automatic lead launchers available..

    Dog is primary security system. He does it quite well.

    Our house is quite safe.

  11. > Also, nothing says “RUN AWAY!” like the sight of an AK pointed at your midsection.

    Perhaps, but even a single barrel 12 gauge pretty much says ‘fill your pants front and back, may as well ’cause that shotty is going to do it for you; you’re dead already’.

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