A gun for home defense

7 Best Handgun for Home Defense Reviews of 2020 | The Ultimate Lineup

3 Top Picks

4 Reviewers

20 Hours Of Research

30 Products Considered

With the way things are looking, the need to protect yourself is at an all-time high. If you’ve been keeping up with things, you know there’s a greater chance of break-ins and looting than there’s ever been. By investing in the best handgun for home defense, you can send intruders packing and prevent yourself and your loved ones from getting harmed.

Whether you go for full size, single action,  or one of the concealed carry guns we covered in this post, we are bound to help you make the right choice. We also included one model from our AR pistol reviews just so you have sufficient choice to choose from.

So join me as I shoot from the hip and tell you which handguns you should consider arming yourself with. With a little research, you can have the peace of mind knowing you and your family will be safe from attackers and thieves.

1. [Overall Best Handgun for Home Defense]
 Beretta 92FS

Beretta 92FS handgun

Editor's Rating 

5/5

2. Best Budget Handgun for Home Defense
Ruger LCP II 

Ruger LCP II handgun

Editor's Rating 

4.9/5

3. [Best Semi Auto Handgun for Home Defense]
CZ-USA CZ BREN 2

CZ-USA CZ BREN 2 gun

Editor's Rating 

4.8/5

Buyers Guide to Handguns for Home Defense 

Let’s first explore what goes into delivering a solid pistol to protect your home. By knowing what to look for based on your needs, you’re sure to end up with the gun of your dreams.

If this is your first gun, we recommend reading our reviews in this post. If you're looking for a pocket-size pistol, check out our lineup here.

How Much Stopping Power Do You Need?

What are you planning on using your new pistol for the most? If you’re interested in competition shooting or hunting, you might want to consider one that has a high-capacity 15-round magazine.

If you’re just looking to protect yourself – whether on the streets or at home – a standard 8-round magazine should serve you well. As for the ladies, we reviewed the best gun for women with special care.

Product Name

Benefits

Rating

Beretta 92FS handgun
  • Highly accurate

  • Great capacity

  • Comfortable

5/5

Ruger LCP II handgun
  • Lightweight and versatile

  • Quality construction

  • Accurate firing

4.9/5

CZ-USA CZ BREN 2 gun
  • Sleek design

  • High quality

  • Powerful

4.8/5

Smith & Wesson 69 Combat handgun
  • Comfortable grip

  • Nicely-balanced

  • Well-crafted

4.8/5

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 handgun
  • Comfy ergonomics

  • Durable frame

  • Affordable

4.7/5

Glock G40 Gen4 MOS handgun
  • Powerful gun at a great price

  • Well-balanced design

  • Minimal recoil

4.6/5

Sig Sauer P365 pistol
  • Comfortable

  • Lightweight

  • Precise

4.6/5

Best Handgun for Home Defense Reviews

1. [Overall Best Handgun for Home Defense] Beretta 92FS

5/5

Features: 

  • Minimal recoil helps to give you better accuracy when firing
  • High-quality construction gives you a reliable pistol
  • The durable coating ensures plenty of longevity
  • Ambidextrous design makes it highly versatile
  • High capacity mag reduces need to reload

Beretta 92FS handgun

Taking the top spot as the best gun for home defense is the renowned Beretta 92FS. This robust wonder is ideal for protecting your loved ones, although it’s pretty big. As such, you’ll want to acclimate yourself with it of you aren’t used to firing guns of its size. 

Shooting the 92FS is a dream. It’s incredibly stable, it’s accurate, and it feels really satisfying. It comes with both a safety and decocker, so you will need to determine if this setup works for you before investing in the gun.

Beretta 92FS Technical Specifications: 

Magazine capacity

15 + 1

Barrel length

4.9 inches

Action type

Semi-auto

Caliber

9mm

Weight

33.3 ounces

Finish

Black

You won’t find a rail system that lets you add attachments, but that’s no big whoop. The sights work remarkably well as it is, so it’s not like you need to add anything else to what is already a great shooter.

Thanks to its ambidextrous design, righties and lefties will feel right at home with the 92FS. I like the placement of the safety and mag release, too. They are a breeze to reach for easier management.

The best handguns for home defense are ones that deliver precision shooting. And that’s exactly what you find with the 92FS. I never had any trouble finding my target during testing. And follow-up shots where a cinch to execute.

It’s important to note that this Beretta has a pretty sizable grip. While shooters with bigger hands will feel it’s perfectly fine, those of smaller stature might balk. 

Still, if you can comfortably and safely manage the 92FS, this is one of the best home defense pistol options that your hard-earned money can buy. I found the weight and balance of the gun to be really nice, too.

It feels great in the hands, giving you a well-rounded shooting experience with every shot fired. A big part of this is thanks to minimal recoil. I barely noticed any, giving me greater comfort and control at all times.

The build quality is your typical top-notch Beretta. You never have to worry about this weapon failing you in action. It delivers consistently accurate shooting – a big deal when you’re talking about protecting your home. 

In what is quite possibly the best handgun for home defense, the Beretta 92FS is sure to provide for your needs.

Pros

  • Highly accurate
  • Great capacity
  • Comfortable
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Large grip

2. [Best Budget Handgun for Home Defense] Ruger LCP II

4.9/5

Features: 

  • The low price makes this one of the best home defense weapons
  • Its 7-round capacity is just right for home protection
  • The smaller size is ideal for concealed carrying
  • Exceptional handling ensures better accuracy
  • The comfortable trigger ensures easy firing

Ruger LCP II handgun

With the way things are looking out there, not everyone can afford to invest in a higher-priced weapon. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the best guns for home defense. That’s right, you can still protect yourself and your loved ones without spending a fortune.

Ruger LCP II Technical Specifications: 

Magazine capacity

7 + 1

Barrel length

2.75 inches

Action type

Semi-auto

Caliber

.380 ACP

Weight

0.68 lbs.

Finish

Black

Enter: the Ruger LCP II. For those on a tight budget, this is the best home defense handgun for the money. You’re getting a reliable and well-made weapon for a fraction of what similar pistols cost.

What makes this one stand out from the crowd is its incredibly compact and lightweight design. I found the LCP II to be easy to handle and even easier to fire. It’s a cinch to find your target and shoot.

Its smaller size makes it ideal for concealed carrying, as well. So you’re investing in a versatile little pistol that will serve you well in more ways than one. 

I like that the magazine carries 7 rounds of .380 caliber rounds. This is a nice number that should provide you with plenty of ammunition in the event of a break-in. 

While it’s true that there isn’t anything fancy about this pistol, it delivers the goods where it matters the most. It’s very comfortable to shoot, it feels nice in your hands, and it comes at an affordable price.

If you need to protect yourself but don’t want to spend a whole lot, this is the best gun for home protection on a budget.

Pros

  • Lightweight and versatile
  • Quality construction
  • Accurate firing
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Not the most powerful pistol

3. [Best Semi Auto Handgun for Home Defense] CZ-USA CZ BREN 2

4.8/5

Features: 

  • The AR-style platform provides you with a robust shooting experience
  • Ambidextrous design makes this a winner for lefties and righties
  • Powerful shooting experience that ensures your safety
  • 30-round capacity reduces your need to reload
  • Reinforced polymer ensures greater longevity

CZ-USA CZ BREN 2 gun

If you’re looking to kick things up a notch in the home defense department, the Bren 2 is just the gun for your needs. This robust entry is the best home defense gun among semi-auto weapons.

CZ-USA CZ BREN 2 Technical Specifications: 

Magazine capacity

30

Barrel length

11.14 inches

Action type

Semi-auto

Caliber

7.62x39mm

Weight

5.6 lbs.

Finish

Black

It’s a bit on the heavy side, clocking in at over 5 and a half pounds. But considering its design, this is to be expected. And by my estimation, the gun is better for it.

Thanks to its AR-style construction, the Bren 2 provides you with a reliable and heavy-duty shooting experience. The fiber-reinforced polymer finish gives you a handgun that is built for long-lasting service.

I’m also a big fan of the ambidextrous mag release and safety. This ensures that a wider audience can protect their homes with one of the best home defense weapon entries that money can buy.

And to that point, be prepared to drop a sizable sum of money on the Bren 2. It’s the most expensive gun reviewed here. But it’s also the most robust, so that’s to be expected.

I really enjoyed my time with the Bren 2. It’s a beefy shooter, no doubt about it. But that’s what makes it such an attractive buy. The AR platform goes a long way in providing you with some serious firepower.

If you are a beginner and looking for your first gun, this probably isn’t it. You should have a respectable amount of experience before investing in this weapon. It took me a while to get acclimated to it, as I am used to firing smaller pistols and the like.

But I’m pleased to report that once I got used to it, I had a really great time firing the Bren 2. It’s well-made, solid, sturdy, and it delivers consistently accurate shooting.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • High quality
  • Powerful
  • AR-style

Cons

  • It’s fairly heavy

Features: 

  • Stunning design and performance ensure a fine shooting experience
  • Tough and durable construction gives you a gun that is built to last
  • Comfortable handle texture provides you with a nice grip
  • The stainless steel finish is sure to serve you well
  • The excellent trigger delivers precision shooting

Smith & Wesson 69 Combat handgun

As the best revolver for home defense, the Smith & Wesson 69 Combat Magnum Double-Action Revolver is sure to leave your intruders tucking tail and retreating.

This is an intimidating weapon, to say the least. It’s big, well-crafted, and powerful. In short, it’s everything you would expect from top rated 44 mag revolvers

Smith & Wesson 69 Combat Technical Specifications: 

Cylinder capacity

5

Barrel length

4.25 inches

Action type

Double

Caliber

.44

Weight

34.4 oz.

Finish

Stainless steel

Thanks to the legendary L-frame design, you’re getting a handgun that is both tough and durable. This design choice goes a long way in providing you with a long-lasting and well-made weapon.

The 5-round cylinder is a bit limited in ammo compared to other entries. But since we’re talking about a .44 Magnum, you aren’t likely to have to fire more than a couple of rounds, at most.

The grip on the Combat Magnum is most excellent, as well. It has an inviting texture on it that enables you to get the best grasp possible. And when coupled with the exceptional trigger, you’re sure to get a satisfying shooting experience.

The price for the best home defense revolver is reasonable, too. It’s not exactly budget-friendly, but it’s respectable when you consider the incredible build quality that you’re investing in.

You’re getting a handgun is sure to last a lifetime with the proper care. And that, fellow shooters, is something you can’t put a price on.

Pros

  • Comfortable grip
  • Nicely-balanced
  • Well-crafted
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Limited round capacity

Features: 

  • Protective coating prevents your gun from wear and corrosion
  • The smaller design makes this a great entry-level pistol
  • Consistent reliability gives you protection you can trust
  • Compact frame is ideal for concealed carrying
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to use

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 handgun

Smith & Wesson makes back-to-back appearances, this time with the M&P Bodyguard 380. The design and construction of this handgun are very similar to the Ruger LCP II. The Bodyguard is even around the same price.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 Technical Specifications: 

Magazine capacity

6 + 1

Barrel length

2.75 inches

Action type

Semi-auto

Caliber

.380

Weight

12 oz.

Finish

MCR stainless steel

I love shooting this handgun, as it delivers consistent precision across the board. Not only is it accurate in its shooting capabilities, but it’s also easy to follow-up with shots on your target.

I’m a sucker for pistols that makes it easy to reacquire your target, and the Bodyguard does this expertly. The ergonomics play a big role in this, as it is very comfortable to hold and even more so when shooting.

Nothing feels cheap here, with every shot firing with precision. The frame is solid and sturdy, and the corrosion-resistant coating ensures that you’ll get plenty of protection from the elements.

The only thing I’m not too keen on is the limited capacity. You get just 6 rounds to work with, so you need to reload often on the range. If you’re faced with an intruder in your home, hopefully, you won’t need to empty your magazine.

Fortunately, you get 2 mags with the pistol, so at least you’ll have a backup ready if the situation calls for it.

Pros

  • Comfy ergonomics
  • Durable frame
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Limited magazine capacity

Features: 

  • Easier to customize thanks to the modular backstrap
  • Lefties will appreciate the reversible mag catch
  • The textured frame ensures a better grip
  • Less muzzle flip thanks to the long slide
  • Plenty of ammo for less reloading

Glock G40 Gen4 MOS handgun

As a mainstay among police forces around the world, it’s little wonder why the Glock is such a well-respected and popular handgun. It’s always reliable and it delivers an exceptional shooting experience. 

The G40 makes use of 10mm caliber rounds. If you’re at all concerned for the safety of yourself or your family, you can count on the G40 to put to stop to anyone intruding in your home. 

Glock G40 Gen4 MOS Technical Specifications: 

Magazine capacity

15 + 1

Barrel length

6.02 inches

Action type

Double

Caliber

10mm

Weight

35.5 oz.

Finish

Black

Is this the best caliber for home defense? Well, the G40 is typically used in hunting. So you know you’re investing in a handgun that will put down someone trying to harm your loved ones.

But what I really like about this Glock is its reasonable price. You’re not only getting a well-crafted pistol with accurate shooting capabilities, but you’re also getting it a great price. 

This is a pretty sizable pistol as it is. But Glock made the G40 with a polymer frame to help keep its weight down as best they could. I found it to be very well-balanced as a result, giving you a comfortable and reliable pistol.

And thanks to Glock’s proprietary Modular Optic System, you will have no trouble adding on attachments as you see fit. From sights to lasers, the choice is yours how you want to prepare your pistol for your home defense gun needs.  

I found the adjustable and fixed sights on the G40 to work perfectly well. But I certainly understand wanting to ensure that you have the upper hand in the event of an unfortunate break-in.

When shooting the G40, I found it to deliver exceptional performance. It handles really well and never gave me trouble. 

Homeowners with smaller hands may have some trouble with its larger grip, however. Those with large hands will likely find the G40 to be comfortable and easy to manage. But others may want to consider a different option.

With that being said, the backstrap can be customized to accommodate your preference. There’s the possibility that this will resolve your grip needs, so it’s certainly worth a look.

You can choose from 3 different sizes to ensure that you have a better chance of finding the perfect fit for your hands. 

As far as ammunition is concerned, you shouldn’t have much to worry about here. The G40’s magazines hold 15 rounds each. This is typically more than enough for a home defense pistol.

So, is the G40 the best weapon for home defense? Well, you will definitely be well-protected; there’s no denying that. The question is whether you need a weapon this powerful.

If you don’t like to take any chances and you live in an area that sees high crime – or the crime has suddenly spiked – this might be your best course of action. You can trust the G40 will protect your loved ones without breaking the bank.

The price is more than reasonable and the quality is most excellent. It’s a great bargain that won’t let you down.

Pros

  • Powerful gun at a great price
  • Well-balanced design
  • Minimal recoil

Cons

  • Large size

4.6/5

Features: 

  • X-Ray 3 sights help you find your target quickly and easily
  • 100-round magazine ensures you’ll have plenty of ammo
  • No manual safety for fast firing when it’s needed
  • The lightweight frame makes it easy to handle
  • The thin design makes it easy to conceal

Sig Sauer P365 pistol

As the best 9mm for home defense, the Sig P365 is a great option if you’re looking for a well-balanced pistol for protection. I really appreciate the slim design here, as it makes the P365 very easy to manage when carrying on your person.

Sig Sauer P365 Technical Specifications: 

Magazine capacity

10 + 1

Barrel length

3.1 inches

Action type

Striker

Caliber

9mm

Weight

1.11 lbs.

Finish

Black

I’m also a big fan of the X-Ray 3 sight system used on this handgun. Thanks to its unique fluorescent glow, it’s easier to find your target in a hurry. And when it comes to protecting your loved one in your home, this feature is an absolute must.

With its 10-round magazine capacity, you will have more than enough to fend off intruders if such a situation should ever occur.

I found firing the Sig P365 to be tight and accurate. It’s incredibly easy to handle and control, too. This is a big plus that goes a long way in ensuring that you will be able to quickly and accurately take aim.

The lightweight design is just right, leaving you with a highly-capable pistol that is sure to provide your home with the protection you need. You can rest assured that your loved ones are in good hands with the P365 at your side.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Precise

Cons

  • Grip might be difficult for larger hands

Your Home Defense Handgun Features

When it comes to home defense weapons, there are a few factors you need to consider before investing in a handgun. In the following sections, I’ll cover the most important aspects of home protection handguns and the features you want to keep an eye out for.

This will help you determine which entry is right for you based on your needs. The first thing we’ll be looking at is the caliber.

Caliber

Knowing which caliber is best suited to your needs will make it easier to find the right home defense handgun. From .380 to .44 Magnum, there is a wide range of choices available for protecting your home.

If you’re looking for something that will do more damage, consider a higher caliber weapon. If you’re pretty new to shooting and just want something to scare away a potential intruder, a 9mm or .380 should serve you nicely. 

There’s not nearly the same stopping power found in 10mm or .44 Magnum handguns. But it’s usually enough to send an attacker running.

Round Count

Unless you’re concerned with rioters or mobs breaking into your home, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the round count. In most cases, you shouldn’t have to fire more than a couple of rounds if your aim is solid.

Conversely, if you live in an area where there is a lot of looting taking place, you should most certainly consider a higher-capacity weapon for home defense.

Size and Weight

If you’re new to guns and aren’t yet experienced with handling larger weapons, you might want to consider a lighter and more compact handgun. This will ensure that you have an easier time wielding your weapon.

Investing in a powerful .44 Magnum, for example, could result in you injuring yourself. It’s important to know where you stand with handling guns of all weights and sizes. 

Never bite off more than you can chew. If you are adamant about investing in a larger, more robust handgun, make sure that you spend plenty of time at the range acclimating yourself to your new weapon.

This will go a long way in helping to prevent accidental injury. The more comfortable you are with your handgun, the safer your shooting experience will be.

Safety Features

Any time you’re dealing with a potential intruder breaking into your home, time is of the essence. Some handguns come equipped with both a safety and a decocker. Others are decocker only. 

If you want a handgun that will allow you to fire a round off in the fastest amount of time possible, consider one that foregoes the safety feature. This will ensure that you have less to struggle with in the heat of the moment.

Sights

Many break-ins occur during the daytime. But the night certainly sees its fair share of them, as well. Many handguns have sights that make it easier to find your target in low-light settings.

If you’re at all concerned with an attack in the middle of the night, you want to invest in a handgun that enables you to line up your shot in the dark. 

You might also want to consider a weapon that allows for additional attachments. This way you can add things like lasers and more robust sight systems. 

Weapon Familiarity, Training, and Practice

When bringing a gun into your home, it’s vital that you take the time to acclimate yourself to the weapon. Many accidents occur because someone didn’t familiarize themselves with the gun.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, always spend your free time at the range or in your backyard (if it’s outside city limits) perfecting your shooting capabilities. This will reduce the risk of injury, while greatly improving your accuracy and safe handling of the gun.