What is the best home defense firearm?

 What is the best home defense firearm?

What is the best home defense firearm? This is probably the most widely asked question of firearm dealers and most argued around the camp fire. What is the best home defense firearm? Unfortunately, many firearm dealers will try to sell you a firearm that they have in stock or endorse.

I truly believe that the best firearm for home defense is one that you are comfortable operating and able to put rounds in the target (threat).

But, this isn’t the answer that you are probably looking for. So I will give you my opinion and some information to support it. But at the end of the day it is your decision to make. If I had to choose one and only one firearm to defend my castle with  it would be the 12 Gauge pump-action shotgun with 00 Buck Ammunition. This firearm is easy to operate and can  put down any threat.

12 Gauge Shotgun Intimidation

The 12 Gauge shotgun is the most intimidating firearm. Especially when that big barrel is being pointed directly at you. Do you remember Elmer Fudd and his shotgun? That barrel looks that big when you’re staring down at it.

home defense firearm elmer fudd with shotgun



Shotgun Defined

A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder. It uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug.

home defense firearm 12 gauge pump shotgun



Gauge Defined

The Gauge is the interior diameter of a shotgun barrel. It is determined by the number of lead balls of that fit exactly in the barrel. The total number of lead balls equal one pound.

Pump Action Defined

home defense firearm parts of shotgun

home defense firearm pump action shotgun




Once you fire a shell from the shotgun. You move the fore- end (fore-stock) back and forth. This causes the spent shell to be ejected and place a live shell into the chamber. This back and forth action is referred to the pumping of the shotgun.



You want reliability  your family’s safety is at stake. Pump action is very reliable and fast to shoot.  This pump-action shotgun is a great home defense firearm. It is less likely to jam or malfunction than a semi automatic shotgun (which automatically ejects and loads the chamber each time you fire the shotgun).  The important thing to remember is to fully pump the action. Don’t short stroke it.


I recommend using 00 Buck Shot. You remember from the definition of the shotgun as saying firing pellets from the barrel. The 00 Buck shot contains 9 pellets (you can get 12 pellet version also). So think of it as 9 bullets being fired from the shotgun with each pull of the trigger.

12 Gauge Shot Shell

home defense firearm 00 buck shot


One of those nine pellets can cause great bodily injury or death. At 15 yards, all nine pellets will strike the center mass of your target (or intruder) .  As the range increases, the number of pellets striking the target will decrease. The average room is 10-12 feet across and you’re able to put 9 pellets into your target at 45 feet.


You can equip your shotgun with a variety of sights (Ghost Ring, Beaded, and Rifled). You can get sights that are sel illuminating. But let’s just talk about a basic sight. The basic beaded sight. It’s a metal bead on the end of the barrel. You just point that bead at your target.


The beaded sight is the easiest sight to use. You don’t have to worry about aligning two sights. You can easily find your target and put the pellets on your threat quickly.

home defense firearm beaded sight shotgun



The shotgun is large and heavy. It will take up a lot of storage space. The biggest complaint is the heavy recoil.


Recoil is defined as the act of a gun moving back rapidly when fired. The shotgun is not only intimidating to the bad guys but also to their owners. So many people are afraid to shoot a shotgun because they are afraid of the powerful recoil. Most of these people hold the shotgun improperly causing them pain from the recoil.

Proper Stance


shotgun stance


The proper stance will allow even the smallest of shooters to handle the shotgun with confidence.

There is a pocket in the front of your shoulder. You need to press the stock of the shotgun firmly in this pocket. While keeping the shotgun firmly in place, slightly lean towards your target. This will cause your body to absorb the recoil.

You can shoot this shotgun all day long like this. You will barely feel the recoil. You should practice shooting your shotgun with this stance. Shooting is a perishable skill. You need to practice, practice, and practice. If you concentrate on using this stance, your body will remember. Our bodies have great muscle memory. You will instinctively hold your shotgun in this position.

I’ve had my 11-year-old son shooting targets with the 12 Gauge pump shotgun in 00 Buck. He is able to shoot accurate and with confidence and so will you.

Best Home Defense Firearm Conclusion

The 12 gauge pump-action shotgun is a powerful intimidating weapon. It is extremely reliable. You can quickly and easily acquire your target. The ease of operation and power to stop an intruder makes the 12 gauge pump-action shotgun the best home defense firearm. Purchase one today at Long Beach Guns.