best home defense pistol

7 Best Home Defense Pistols Reviewed In 2024

When it comes to defending your home and loved ones, having the right pistol is an essential part of a comprehensive security plan. With so many options available, choosing the best home defense pistol can seem too overwhelming. To help you complete an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best home defense pistols on the market today.

Each of these pistols has been selected for its unique combination of reliability, accuracy, and ease of use, making them ideal for use in home defense scenarios. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a beginner, you’ll find a pistol on this list that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Pistols are a popular handgun choice for home defense applications because of their compact size, versatility, and ease of use. Whether you’re a seasoned gun owner or new to firearms, choosing the best home defense pistol can be a daunting task. With a lot of overwhelming options available in the firearms market, it can be pretty difficult to determine which one is best for you and your home.

In this review guide, we will take a closer look at the top picks for the best home defense pistol, considering factors such as reliability, accuracy, and ease of use. Whether you are searching for a budget-friendly option or the most advanced technology, this review guide will help you make an informed decision.

But before going to the most exciting part of this guide, let’s first discuss why handguns are the best options for home defense applications. With no further ado, let’s get into the topic.  

home defense handgun

Why Choose Handguns for Home Defense Applications? 

A home defense handgun is a purpose-built firearm designed specifically for defending one’s home and loved ones in emergency situations. It is different from other firearms in several key aspects. For instance, it has features such as low recoil, easy-to-use controls, and reliable accuracy that make it well-suited for use in high-stress, close-quarters scenarios. 

Additionally, a home defense handgun is often smaller and more compact, which makes it easier to handle and maneuver in tight spaces, especially in home defense situations where quick access and maneuverability are critical. Another key aspect of a home defense handgun is its reduced recoil, making it easier to control and shoot accurately, even for individuals with limited firearms experience. 

The reduced recoil advantage is particularly important in high-stress situations where quick and accurate shots may be necessary. Furthermore, some home defense handguns come equipped with night sights, allowing for improved visibility in low-light conditions, which can be a significant advantage in home defense situations where lighting may be limited.

Lastly, a home defense handgun typically has a higher magazine capacity than other firearms, allowing for more rounds to be fired before reloading. That can be a critical factor in home defense situations where multiple threats may be present. While a home defense handgun can be a valuable tool for home defense, it is not a substitute for a comprehensive home security plan that includes measures such as alarm systems, security cameras, and sturdy locks.

All in all, the main edge of a handgun compared to a rifle and shotgun is its compact size. It is easy to get anywhere and is able to be drawn quickly when your life depends on it. Plus, a home defense handgun is great and accurate enough for close to mid-range encounters. 

Advantages of Home Defense Handgun

Having a home defense handgun can provide peace of mind and a sense of security for you and your loved ones. These are the various advantages of having a home defense handgun and why it’s an important consideration for any homeowner.

Quick Access in an Emergency

In a home invasion or other emergency, a home defense handgun allows you to quickly and effectively defend yourself and your loved ones. Unlike other forms of defense, such as a bat or a knife, a handgun is specifically designed for self-defense and can be used at a distance.


Home defense handguns come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and caliber options, making them suitable for a wide range of individuals and home defense scenarios. Whether you’re looking for a compact option that’s easy to conceal or a larger handgun that provides greater stopping power, there’s a home defense pistol out there that will meet your needs.


A home defense handgun must be reliable and effective in a high-stress situation. When choosing a home defense pistol, it’s important to consider the manufacturer’s reputation and the pistol’s track record for performance and reliability.

Ease of Use

Home defense handguns are designed to be easy to use, even for individuals with limited firearms experience. Look for options that have a simple, user-friendly design and are easy to operate in high-pressure situations.

Cost Effective

Compared to other forms of home defense, such as alarm systems or security cameras, a home defense handgun is a cost-effective solution. With proper maintenance and storage, a home defense pistol can provide years of protection for you and your family.

handgun for home defense

Disadvantages of Home Defense Handgun

While home defense handguns have several advantages, it’s important to also consider their potential disadvantages. Understanding these limitations can help you make an informed decision when choosing a firearm for home defense.


Home defense handguns can be relatively expensive compared to other firearms. The cost of a high-quality home defense handgun, as well as the cost of ammunition and accessories, can add up quickly. It’s important to factor in these costs when deciding whether a home defense handgun is the right choice for you.

Training and Skill

Using a firearm for home defense requires a certain level of training and skill. You need to be familiar with the safe handling of firearms, as well as the laws surrounding their use. Additionally, practicing shooting regularly can help you develop the necessary skills to effectively use a home defense handgun in a high-stress situation.

Liability Concerns

Owning and using a firearm for home defense carries with it certain legal responsibilities and liabilities. If you use a firearm for home defense, you need to be aware of the laws in your state and understand when it is legally permissible to use deadly force. Additionally, even if your use of a firearm is justified, you may still face legal and financial consequences.

Accidental Discharge

As with any firearm, there is always the potential for an accidental discharge, which can result in injury or death. This risk can be especially significant in the close quarters of a home, where family members and pets may be in close proximity. Proper training, handling, and storage of firearms can help reduce the risk of accidental discharge, but it can never be entirely eliminated.

Home Defense Plan

Owning a home defense handgun is only one part of a comprehensive home defense plan. While a firearm can provide a means of self-defense, it should not be the sole focus of your home defense strategy. A well-rounded home defense plan should also include measures such as alarm systems, security cameras, sturdy locks, and an emergency plan.

While owning a home defense handgun comes with certain considerations, such as cost and training requirements, these disadvantages are outweighed by the significant advantages it provides. A high-quality home defense handgun is purpose-built to handle the unique challenges of home defense scenarios, offering features like compact size, reduced recoil, night sights, and high capacity. 

Additionally, with proper training and a comprehensive home defense plan, potential liabilities can be effectively managed. Ultimately, a home defense handgun can provide a critical layer of protection for your home and loved ones in emergency situations. Out of the different types of handguns for home defense, let’s highlight pistols. After all, pistols have already proven their advantage and worth. Hence, explaining their popularity. 

The best home defense pistols won’t disappoint, so if you need a defense weapon, check them out below. 

pistol for home defense

7 Best Home Defense Pistols 

When it comes to defending your home and loved ones, having the right pistol is an essential part of a comprehensive security plan. With so many options available, choosing the best home defense pistol can seem too overwhelming. To help you complete an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best home defense pistols on the market today.

Each of these pistols has been selected for its unique combination of reliability, accuracy, and ease of use, making them ideal for use in home defense scenarios. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a beginner, you’ll find a pistol on this list that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Here you go. Take a look below. 

1. Walther PPS M2 LE Semi-Auto Pistol

Walther PPS M2 LE Semi-Auto Pistol

You can never go wrong with a pistol that is specifically designed for defense and concealed carry applications. That’s why the Walther PPS M2 LE Semi-Auto Pistol is well-deserved to be on this list. Based on its primary purposes, you can expect a rugged yet reliable performance from it. Surely, it is a home defense pistol you can count on when your home is in danger. Good for beginners, it is not slippy on the hands because of its non-slip textured grip surface. There’s no need for a super tight hold. 

Appearance-wise, this semi-auto pistol exhibits a nice slim and lightweight profile. That construction follows a reliable, striker-fired platform advantage. It is not too big, which makes it harder to grip, and not too small to slip on the hand. In fact, you will absolutely like it if you have actually gotten your hands on it. There will be no problem taking it anywhere with you for your peace of mind. Since it is lightweight, it is also easily accessible during the most stressful situations. You can’t just trust any handgun for home defense, so checking out this pistol is the right thing to do. 

Moreover, this Walther PPS M2 LE sports a short, smooth, consistent trigger pull that comes with a tactile reset. That gives an edge to its performance in home defense situations. The steel slide features a corrosion-resistant Tenifer matte black coating that adds to its great ergonomics. Meanwhile, the front and rear cocking serrations promote an enhanced slide manipulation control. Most stressful situations can happen in low-light situations; good thing that this pistol is equipped with phosphoric front and rear night sights that quickly acquire lightning for better performance.  

Going back to its frame, this home defense pistol boasts a frame that is constructed of tough polymer material. It is not slippy because the frame has a detailed non-slip textured grip surface. With or without gloves, you can comfortably hold it and shoot for ultimate protection. With its great ergonomics, this Walther PPS M2 LE Semi-Auto Pistol can offer you phenomenal accuracy and reliability—the performance needed for home defense applications.  

Don’t just settle with any pistol. Always go from one that you can actually rely on. With its highly reasonable price, you don’t have to double-think about getting one. 

2. Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Full-Size Pistol

Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Full-Size Pistol

Sporting an incredible appearance, the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Full-Size Pistol is not just popular with countless law enforcement agencies and civilians just because of its impressive build. It proves that it can offer more than a fancy look; it can be completely reliable as a striker-fired, polymer pistol for defense situations. What’s interesting about this home defense pistol is it has its well-thought build and details as its strong suits. 

Every feature added to this pistol contributes to its incredible functionality, which is a good thing because it suggests that your money will be worth it. For starters, it comes with a polymer frame featuring an extended, frame-embedded stainless steel chassis. The chassis reduces flex and torque when firing, resulting in superior comfort and control. A beginner won’t even experience struggles with firing. You can quickly get accustomed to its feeling and build. 

Moreover, this home defense pistol features a stainless steel slide and barrel that are finely finished with a non-reflective, corrosion-resistant Armornite finish. That finish provides protection and durability for the handgun. The interchangeable grip inserts, on the other hand, also further improve the overall comfort and control. With a lot of details that focus on comfort and control, they won’t surely be your issue with this pistol. Whether you are wearing gloves or not, this handgun won’t slip on your hand. 

The M2.0 trigger comes with a light, crisp pull and a tactile and audible reset. That’s a kind of trigger quality that is actually great for a home defense pistol, so you will find it as one of the best advantages. Meanwhile, the high grip-to-barrel bore axis included helps dramatically decrease muzzle flip for improved accuracy during rapid fire. The sear deactivation lever, on the other hand, allows it to be disassembled without pulling the trigger first. 

Want to try customizing your home defense pistol? No problem with that for this one because it is equipped with a frame-mounted Picatinny rail. The rail provides adequate space for aftermarket, rail-mounted accessories. Hence, you can unlock the best performance and maximum versatility of this pistol. This Smith & Wesson Full-Size Pistol fits the role perfectly if you are searching for a beautiful pistol with incredible accuracy and reliability. 

3. Glock G19 Pistol

Glock G19 Pistol

One of the best advantages that the Glock 19 Pistol brags about are its fantastic versatility. Not only that it makes an ideal home defense weapon, but it is also a great handgun to trust for concealed carry at home or on duty. That’s why it will never disappoint when it comes to reliability. Since it is an ultra-reliable pistol, it makes sense why it is highly popular in law enforcement worldwide. Thus, it makes a wonderful home defense weapon as well. It is easy to learn and handle, so give this a shot. 

The Glock 19 is a mid-size pistol that shoots in a 9x19mm pistol cartridge—powerful and easy-to-find ammo, which is good. If you like to improve your shooting skills, the cost of ammo will not hold you back. In short, you are free to do so and earn more confidence to defend your home with no problem. Construction-wise, it is also a well-built, short-recoil operated, striker-fire semi-automatic pistol. There’s nothing complicated to it, making it an excellent companion for home defense.  

Price is one thing that holds back most beginners who need a home defense weapon. Thankfully for this pistol, everything that it has gives value to it. That proves it is worth trying and trusting as your home defense weapon. For starters, it highlights a safe-action trigger system that guarantees shooting in stressed situations is foolproof. It will work according to your expectations, and it is already a great advantage because that’s the very purpose of any home defense weapon.

Regarding the frame of this Glock pistol, it is well-constructed from a high-strength polymer material, which has a highly reputable resistance to shock, caustic liquids, and temperature extremes. That suggests impressive durability. And complementing that frame are the milled steel slide and the barrel treated with matte black Tenifer finish, providing extreme resistance to wear and corrosion. Thanks to its incredible durability, you won’t have any problem keeping it close to your body. Even if you sweat, this pistol will not deteriorate. 

Moreover, this Glock 19 Pistol highlights the white-dot front sight and the white-bracket rear sight that brings rapid acquisition for dim lighting situations. If these sights are not enough, you don’t have to feel bothered because it is equipped with an integral accessory rail in front of the trigger. It is a space dedicated to aftermarket tactical flashlights or laser sights. Another matter related to that is its easy fieldstripping advantage. With no tools required, you can regularly clean it for proper maintenance, preserving its lifespan. 

Lightweight, accurate, durable, and flawless performance—the Glock 19 Pistol seems to give you the ultimate advantage for home defense applications. Try it to see if it fits exactly what you need for a home defense weapon. 

4. FN 509 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol

FN 509 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol

Whether you need a handgun companion for tactical or defense applications, the FN 509 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol fits the role perfectly. Be it the US military or civilian shooters, this one has been included in the top choices. The primary reason for its popularity is its impressive build. Essentially, it is about accepting different suppressors, while the suppressor-height night sights permit sight over an attached suppressor. The Low Profile Optics Mounting System also enables the attachment of commercially-available miniature red dot optics. 

Compared to other home defense pistols, the strong suit of this model is the great focus on optics for accuracy. But that doesn’t mean that it has compromised its other details. For starters, it is equipped with an enhanced grip texturing scheme. Some parts that are needed to be textured are designed grittier for a more secure, non-slip hold. That is combined with some smoother parts where excessive texture can become abrasive. From the looks of it, comfort and control are prioritized in the design. 

Additionally, the grip portion of the polymer frame is designed for free adjustment to fit it to the user’s hand perfectly with 2 interchangeable backstraps. That’s why there’s no need to be concerned with the size of your hands. The striker-fired DAO trigger pull, on the other hand, is short and smooth, combining a positive reset. Several safety features are incorporated into the trigger. They prevent the pistol from firing unless the trigger is pulled all the way. Hence, dramatically decreasing the chance of accidents. 

The safety features on the trigger make up for the lack of magazine safety. Meanwhile, the magazine release and slide release are fully ambidextrous and easy to reach for convenient use and shooting. Despite some lacking, this is still an ideal home defense pistol to try if you want a weapon that is insanely comfortable and smooth to shoot. 

5. FN FNX-45 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol

FN FNX-45 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol

Just from the looks, the FN FNX-45 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol has the aura of being fancy. Well, that’s true because this home defense pistol does not come cheap at all. Don’t feel intimidated by its price because it only mirrors the handgun’s quality. Quality comes with a price, after all. 

You won’t be disappointed with this semi-auto pistol because it is harnessed from the latest handgun engineering in a battle-ready upgrade. Because of its construction and quality, it is ideal for combat and defense. Offering hammer-fired reliability, it is powerful enough to stop any attacker. You can expect it to function as expected for its purpose. 

Moreover, this FN FNX-45 is constructed with a cold hammer-forged stainless steel barrel featuring a polished chamber and feed ramp for reliable feeding and extraction. With those details, it is easy to operate without much trouble. On the other hand, the barrel is threaded, which allows for attaching aftermarket suppressors. Among the suppressors that fit the barrel is a thread protector. 

The raised 3-dot Trijicon green tritium night sights are standard and allow the use of sights with a suppressor attached to the barrel. Meanwhile, the included mounting bases permit attaching aftermarket electronic sights direct to the slide. The slide is designed to have solid contact with steel rails and a steel recoil spring guide rod. That’s a well-thought design because it improves reliability and longevity. Thanks to the low bore axis, the recoil is highly reduced for enhanced operator control.

Surely, you can’t expect less with the FN FNX-45 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol, given its price and quality. It is jam-packed with more components that boost performance and functionality. The stainless steel slide comes with serrations on both the front and rear, promoting a solid grip when loading or clearing the weapon. The aim is also made easy by the grip angle that delivers a natural point of aim. If those perks are not satisfying enough, four included interchangeable backstraps will let you customize the grip feel. 

With this pistol, you don’t have to worry about your dominant hand. Its operating controls are designed to be fully ambidextrous, guaranteeing ease of use. That means there is no trouble picking it as your home defense weapon since it is made of simple operations that even beginners won’t find complicated. Other highlights of this home defense pistol include the integral MIL-STD-1913 accessory mounting rail and loaded chamber indicator. Obviously, they are features that upgrade the performance and customizable advantage. 

Realistically speaking, the FN FNX-45 is not that pricey as it comes with a lot in its package, including a fitted, soft Cordura nylon case, a locking device, a sight mounting kit with plates and screws, and two magazines. If you consider all of them, this home defense pistol is ideal for picking because it saves you from trouble while giving you a high-quality home defense weapon. More importantly, if you like customizing your weapon, this is an obvious choice that will give you an amazing experience. 

Get the best home defense pistol that fits your preferences and needs with this FN FNX-45 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol, and get the best value for your money. Check this out on its product link below. 

6. Sig Sauer P320-M18 Semi-Auto Pistol

Sig Sauer P320-M18 Semi-Auto Pistol

A pistol patterned from the US Military M18 model, the Sig Sauer P320-M18 Semi-Auto Pistol is made to deliver unmatched reliability, accuracy, and dependability. The exact performance needed for ultimate home defense. Regarding the details, it doesn’t come inferior to other home defense pistols because it even has an interesting Coyote Tan finish, making it stand out. 

Moreover, this compact-sized civilian version pistol comes with optics-ready, stainless steel, Coyote PVD-finished slide. That is complemented by a removable night sight plate. You can consider it a smart detail because it provides easy installation and quick removal of optics. Meanwhile, the carry-length polymer grip module adds aggressive texturing. By being textured, this pistol delivers an enhanced, non-slip grip and improved control. Whether your hand is sweaty or you are wearing gloves, this will not slip out of your grip. 

Like other home defense pistols on the list, this one also comes with sights. Specifically, it is equipped with a Siglite front sight and night sight rear sights. That means you can expect intuitive target acquisition, despite any light conditions. It is a great help with defense because you will have a higher chance of seeing the attacker. Thus, no need to feel bothered even if the lighting conditions are not on your side. 

For some beginners, having a home defense pistol can be completely daunting. Thankfully, this Sig Sauer P320-M18 has considered that concern. That’s why it incorporated an ambidextrous manual safety, making sure of safe handling and effortless engagement or disengagement. With either thumb, you can simply operate that for hassle-free use. It comes with one 17-round and two 21-round magazines. 

Basically, this Sig Sauer P320-M18 Semi-Auto Pistol is the go-to pick if you need a beginner-friendly pistol that guarantees unmatched reliability and performance. 

7. Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer Compact Semi-Auto Pistol

Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer Compact Semi-Auto Pistol

With custom details, the Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer Compact Semi-Auto Pistol has a very fancy look. What’s good about it is that it is more than just a fancy handgun. In fact, it has an outstanding capacity to deliver threat-stopping shots on target. Even if it is lightweight and slim, it has a big function and role. Besides all of that, other good characteristics make it one of the best bets for home defense applications. 

For starters, it displays an aluminum alloy frame, anodized with a hard black coat. The frame has durability that can resist corrosion and damage. So it does not easily deteriorate even with hard use. Besides that quality and durability, this Springfield Armory 1911 will also not let you down in terms of defense assistance. Thanks to its extended beavertail grip safety with pronounced memory bump aids, it ensures intuitive and quick shots. 

Additionally, the flat mainspring housing and thin cocobolo grip panels are checkered to give the ultimate secure hold and grip. Such issues regarding slipping will never be your concern, and that’s a good thing. No need to have a tight grip because everything is well-thought to ensure a comfortable yet non-slipping hold. On the other hand, the stainless steel, match-grade bull barrel effectively locks up with the parkerized steel slide for maximum accuracy advantage. 

Thanks to the skeletonized speed trigger, you can expect a crisp and clean performance. The combined full-length guide rod, dual recoil springs, and a lowered and flared ejection port all work well to contribute maximum reliability to the performance. So, if you like a reliable defense weapon, this guarantees that you can rely on it during the most stressful situations. The low-profile combat rear sight and a fiber optic front sight also upgrade the performance. These sights work very well to make shooting under various lighting situations more tolerable. 

All in all, the Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer Compact Semi-Auto Pistol is great to buy for many good reasons, such as the nice custom detailing and power to deliver threat-stopping shots on target. If you want a home defense pistol that you can also conceal carry, this is purposely made for that. So you can’t go wrong with this one. The power of this slim and lightweight pistol is exciting to see for yourself. 

Frequently Asked Questions

You can learn more about the best home defense pistols and other related topics on the frequently asked questions below. Check them out:

What caliber pistol is best for defense?

There are many calibers for pistols that are best for defense, and among the top options is the 9mm caliber. What makes it great is the magazine’s capacity and wounding capabilities. More rounds in the magazine will give a more solid opportunity to stop a home attacker. 

Is a pistol enough for home defense?

There are several firearm options for home defense, including rifles, handguns, and shotguns. That’s why it is hard to pick. While shotguns are more powerful and rifles are more accurate, handguns have their own charms. In fact, handguns—like pistols—are best for having compact and convenient sizes and versatility. Also, they offer more capacity and maneuverability, making them easy to be drawn quickly when your life depends on them.

What is the best weapon to have in your house?

Aside from home defense pistols, there are other weapons to try. That includes home defense shotguns and rifles. Each firearm type has its own strengths, so it might not be bad to try them all. 

Why is a pistol better than a revolver?

With the revolver vs. pistol debate, the pistol is better than a revolver in terms of capacity. Still, the two are great options for home defense applications. A revolver is a great choice because of its simplicity and reliability. On the other hand, a pistol is ideal for being smaller, lighter, easier to conceal, and quicker to bring to bear. Sometimes, a pistol has more safety features than other firearms, adding to its popularity. 

Is a revolver better for beginners?

The revolver is among the most powerful production handguns in the firearms market. However, revolvers are often way too big for beginners to shoot safely. Also, too big guns are often heavy and more challenging to grip and safely handle. That’s why pistols are great alternatives to revolvers. 

Is 9mm good enough for home defense?

Regardless of where you are on your home defense adventure, the 9mm is considered among the best options for home defense applications. With proven efficiency and reliability, 9mm has effectively secured its place in American self-defense hand gunning.

Where to buy the best home defense pistols? 

Most of the best home defense pistols on the list above are available at Cabela’s. But if you like to check other trustworthy online sites, you can look at Brownells and Palmetto State Armory. You can see high-quality home defense pistols at reasonable prices. 

Final Thoughts 

With everything stated above, you can’t go wrong with choosing a pistol as your home defense weapon. But with how there are overwhelming options in the market, you might feel it is a daunting task to find what’s best for you. So, it is a good thing that various best home defense pistols are listed above with their respective strengths. That’s why there is a high chance you will find the best pick for you on the list.  

Let’s have a little recap. The Walther PPS M2 LE Semi-Auto Pistol is great for having a rugged yet reliable performance. With good texturing, it is a non-slippy home defense pistol you can count on. If you like a weapon with a fancy, incredible build, the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Full-Size Pistol will fit your liking since it is also highly reliable. Meanwhile, the FN 509 Tactical Semi-Auto Pistol is a two-in-one home defense pistol to buy if you also like tactical applications. 

Really, there can be the best pick for you. Hopefully, you can find this review guide helpful. If you want to see some of these guides and reviews, you can check out the Survival Gear Shack and see more of them. Don’t miss out on this chance to upgrade your shooting experience today. 

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