Best pistol for home defense?

What pistol brand/model do you recommend for home defense and target shooting? Not to be carried or concealed.

I already have a revolver and am looking for a pistol to mount a red dot on. Doesn’t have to be cheap but not $3k+ custom either

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So of course there’s always a level of personal preference and experiences in all this. For example I don’t love Glocks, just have never liked the feel of them. Others will swear by them. In general for home defense pistols I like full size models.

None of these are going to shock anyone as recommended pistols, as someone who doesn’t like Glocks. But these have been my favorites

Springfield XDM
Sig Sauer P320
Smith and Wesson M&P
Walther PDP

I ended up with the HK. It just felt the best to shoot and how it feels. But you can’t really go wrong in my opinion with any of these or any striker fired pistol.

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Gotta go with the Smith and Wesson M&P for home defense and target shooting, though your best bet for home defense is either an AR, or a tactical shot gun with 00 buckshot, not a hand gun.

Kel-Tec P-3AT .380 for concealed carry.

That’s the gun I carry at work in my prosecutor job.

Easy carry in a suit coat pocket.


It all comes down to preference.

My choice is a glock 17 9mm with hollowpoints. I agree with Law regarding the shotgun, but not the AR for home defense.

The Walther CCP is a nice conceal and carry gun that I have.


I have a Doberman


P226 here. With the hollow points so I don’t shoot my neighbors house. Shotgun is best, it’ll be a chaotic event.

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Seconding the Glock with hollow tips

But many people are uncomfortable with its lack of a safety lever (the reason I prefer it actually)

That is why for a carry one the Walther, it has a safety.

The Glock still technically has a safety it’s just not activated manually

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Ryon - I have a Shield (Plus?) but have a hard time with it given my big hands (insert joke here)

In general, an extended magazine, short barreled PUMP 12 gauge is what most people should have as a first option. If racking it in earshot of a criminal doesn’t run him off, then you’re as ready as you’re going to get.

As a backup, any semiautomatic pistol in 9mm or .45 is fine. More importantly you need make sure it fits your hands and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

Despite what you see on tv, operating a firearm is not natural.

I don’t like Glocks (irrational personal preference) and have a Beretta 92G (a variant of the standard military sidearm) that I really like. It can operate in single and double action with a decocking lever that makes carrying it with a round in the chamber as safe a mechanically possible. It’s a big heavy pistol that’s easy to shoot.

Before getting the Beretta, I used an Army surplus.45. Dead simple to operate and the .45 round stops anything it hits. Unfortunately the magazine is limited to 7 rounds.

I’d avoid an AR platform for home defense. Few people (including me) are proficient enough to wield one effectively.

I would say that this is correct, but I like my AR. When I lived in the greater DC metro (Alexandria, VA), I used to sleep with it under my bed (Virginia’s gun laws were way more lenient than DC’s and Maryland’s).

Prefer the Smith and Wesson M&P over Glocks. Also, having fired Berettas in the Army, not a fan.

This handgun is DA BOMB:

The Army has now adopted a SigSauer M17 as their new service handgun, but I wish they had chosen the S&W M&P 9mm instead. I love mine. Most accurate shooting pistol I know of. Well balanced, perfect feel, durable…can mount a site…it has EVERYTHING!!!


Absolutely. And if its your first gun take a class with professional instruction.


To give everyone an idea of just how durable the S&W M&P is, it was the one pistol that flawlessly passed both the mud test and the frozen pistol test.

Don’t want to get into a CoogFans holy war here. Individual tastes are just that.

I have and sometimes carry a M&P shield plus but it’s only good for close range given my hands. It’s a fine pistol otherwise

Other than aesthetics , you wouldn’t recognize my 92G. Langdon Tactical worked it over and it’s (for me) the best pistol I’ve ever shot. Just the trigger job was worth every penny.

Shaggy dog story: I lived in a crappy apartment complex in Austin in the late 70s. One night about 2:00 am, I woke up to some a$$ trying to jimmy the door open. Grabbed my 870, walked up to the door, and racked it. I could hear the perp taking the stairs 4 at a time. Probably squirting all the way down. :sunglasses:


The S&W M&P Shield isn’t a bad short barreled hand gun.

But the regular S&W M&P 2.0 is almost in a class by itself.

I’d only put the SigSauer P320 in the same category (a version of that became the Army’s new M17 pistol), but would still personally rank the M&P in first place.

My mistake, I thought you were referring to the shield (plus), not its big brother.

Haven’t shot the 2.0 and can’t comment on it

“That’s the gun I carry at work in my prosecutor job”

So if it looks like the guy might beat the rap you take things into your own hands Law!
I like it!

This might be an outline of a new TV script.

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I have a Shitzhu

She will light you up boy!


There’s a reason he has a 100% conviction rate.

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The Glock 17 failed the frozen pistol test miserably, even after they tried pouring some water on it to thaw it out.

I don’t care for it. Some Marines when I was in Afghanistan the second time had it, but it wouldn’t be my choice.

A lot of NATO armies use it though.