Choices, Choices ( firearms for home defense )

Choices, choices


     At Alaska Krav Maga & Fitness in Fairbanks, a commonly asked question I get is, what's the best gun for home defense? This could be answered differently for different people with different circumstances. There are 5 general categories to consider when choosing a home defense firearm and a few less thought of ones as well, let's examine!


      The five main categories are: 1) accuracy 2) recoil management 3) capacity 4) handling 5)"stopping power". Let's look at each of the three firearm types with the criteria for selection.


     HANDGUNS: Handguns are portable, concealable and quick to bring to action with proper training. When it comes to home defense here are the pros and cons as I see them. Handguns can be accurate; however they are generally not as accurate as a long gun with a longer sight radius. Recoil is tolerable depending on caliber and weight on handgun. Capacity is middle of the road; most handguns range from 5 to 15 round capacity depending on the firearm. Handling is a strong point for handguns as you can  use them in one or both hands. This allows you to use hand held lights in the other hand or ferry others to safety while engaging threats.  Stopping power... (heavy sigh) as mentioned in a previous article, standard handgun simply does not possess "stopping power" accuracy and volume are the handguns make up for this.


      RIFLES: (carbine type)

       Most modern AR and AK type firearms can be quite accurate (some custom ones can shoot 1" groups at 100 yards or less). Recoil can be tolerant to light for these rifles. Most AR type rifles shoot fairly light for most body types and physical capabilities. AK rifles are the same but may recoil a little more with the 30 caliber version.  The 5.45mm version of the AK is similar in recoil to the AR. Capacity, the strong point of the carbine. Most come standard with 30 round magazines. Handling is good but it generally requires 2 hands. Carbines can be quite light, so handling isn't too burdensome. Stopping power is above average to good. Since it uses a rifle cartridge, carbines deliver much more energy than handguns. They deliver temporary and permanent wound cavities.



     Accuracy: though many myths surround the shotgun the greatest has to be that you don't have to aim it!! If I had a nickel..... Yes you do have to aim them! The typical 00 buck from an 18.5”-barrel patterns 1" per yard. So if you have a bedroom that is 15'x15'.. it will only give you a 5" pattern. Some loads with pattern tighter than that! Recoil, this is one of the two caveats of the shotgun. Shotguns do recoil and some of them quite badly. Capacity, the second caveat. Shotguns generally hold 5 rounds in the magazine tube and 1 in the chamber. More may not be needed, however reloading these during a stressful time can be difficult and shotguns LOVE to eat!! You have to feed them. Handling, shotguns tend to rank a little lower than handguns and rifles in this category.  They can be heavy, and the manual of arms is different from pump to semi automatic types. Pumps can be short stroked and not properly chamber a shotshell and semi automatics may not cycle light or reduced recoil shotshells. Stopping power, the shotguns wheelhouse! Although she may be big and heavy, she delivers a big bang! 

     Whatever you chose, be sure to practice and become proficient with it. Be sure to dry fire your home and know its capabilities.  Train hard and stay safe!! Osss


Written by AKM Staff member “Rick”

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