Protecting Your Place: The Best Home Defense Handguns

Last Updated on January 12, 2021.

A handgun is a solid home defense platform. Yes, there are ballistically superior platforms. But a handgun is a better choice for some home defenders. In fact, if they have one of the best home defense handguns they can get, a handgun is the best option for many shooters.

However, not every handgun is a good home defense firearm. The best home defense handguns are full-sized guns that have the highest possible magazine capacity and a long slide.

There’s no need to hide your home defense handgun under your clothes. So there’s no real downside to getting the most capable handgun.

Our Best Choice

Glock 17


This is a ridiculously reliable gun that’s easy to control and has a large magazine.


  • Top notch reliability.
  • Large enough magazine for a home defense gun.
  • Full-size grip makes this gun easy to control through multiple shots.
  • Super simple operation.
  • SPOILER—if you’d rather not sort out all the options yourself, the Glock 17 is the overall best home defense handgun. It’s reasonably priced, simple, and reliable. There are guns that do certain things better. But this gun has the ideal combination of features for the majority of home defenders.

    If you’re looking for something with a more specific feature set, stay with us. We’ve got all the best home defense handguns lined up for you.

    Top Home Defense Handguns on the Market Today

    The Best Home Defense Handguns Reviews: The Best Blasters to Keep in Your House

    The overall best home defense handgun is up for review first. The other best home defense handguns will be racked up in order of price.

    The most affordable home defense handguns are reviewed near the top.

    The home defense handguns that give you the most gun, period, are reviewed near the end.

    Read the reviews that cover the guns you can afford.

    1. Glock 17 - Overall Best Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Glock 17
    • Barrel length: 4.49 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 17 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    It’s kind of boring to place a Glock in the overall best home defense handgun slot. But Glock pistols do everything pretty well, though they may not do many things great.

    The Glock 17 gets the best overall spot by nature of the fact that it will work for the majority of people.

    The things that make Glock handguns so good are the simplicity and reliability.

    This model is simple to it’s core. It’s simple to shoot, simple to maintain, and even simple to disassemble even further than the basic field strip.

    Then this gun is incredibly reliable. Glock handguns are one of the pistols that are responsible for raising the bar for handgun reliability. This gun simply won’t malfunction, so long as it’s working as intended.

    Reliability and simplicity are two of the most valuable features for any defensive handgun. And this gun has those two characteristics in spades.

    Additionally, this is a full-size gun. It holds 17 rounds in the magazine. And the barrel is 4.49 inches long.

    This gun has plenty of rounds in the magazine. You’ll get as much ballistic performance as possible from your defensive ammunition. And this pistol is easy to control and get the precision you need for defensive accuracy.

    One more thing: Glock pistols come with 3 magazines. Many handguns only come with 2. So you get enough spare magazines to put your gun to work right out of the box.

    There are two drawbacks to this gun:

    First, the sights are plastic. They tend to rip off when you use them for one-handed manipulations. But they work for most standard shooting positions. And they are easy to replace.

    Then, the trigger is only okay. The break is a bit mushy. And the movement is a bit gritty. But it’s totally manageable.

    Overall, if you want an affordable gun that meets the most critical demands of a home defense gun, this is the one to get.

    2. Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact - Budget Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact
    • Barrel length: 4 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 15 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    The Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 Compact is not only an affordable home defense handgun, it’s also exceptionally versatile. So the value can be very high if you deploy this gun in multiple contexts.

    First, the basics.

    This is a compact gun. However, it’s not as small as that sounds. The magazine holds 15 rounds. And the barrel is 4 inches long. It’s only a bit smaller than a full-size gun.

    However, that small size difference actually adds a lot of versatility to this model. It’s small enough that many people could use this gun as a concealed carry gun.

    On the other hand, most shooters don’t notice the difference in felt recoil and control between this and a full-size gun. This gun is still very easy to control, despite being a half inch or so smaller than a full-size handgun.

    In addition to the versatility, this gun also has an impressively nice trigger. It’s not the best trigger ever. But it’s relatively smooth and the break is pretty crisp.

    The trigger is still a striker fired trigger. But it’s more than good enough for a defensive gun.

    The biggest complaint that people have about this gun is that the grip texture can be a bit too abrasive.

    Yes, it gives you an incredibly secure grip, even when your hands are oily or sweaty. However, it can bite into your palms during long training sessions.

    Even with a grip texture that might be a bit overzealous, this S&W model is still an incredibly affordable gun that you could potentially use as your go-to gun for all your self-defense needs.

    3. Sig Sauer P320 - Value Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Sig Sauer P320
    • Barrel length: 4.7 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 17 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    It feels a bit odd to place a Sig in the category of “value handgun.” However, I can’t deny that the Sig Sauer P320 is actually really well priced. And it’s a solid handgun.

    In addition to the price, the thing that makes this handgun really unique is the trigger pack. The trigger pack is the serialized part of this gun.

    Essentially, the trigger pack is the gun. Everything else—the frame, the slide, the barrel—is just a part. So you can purchase one P320, then get different frames and slides. That way you have one gun for every context.

    But there’s more about the trigger.

    The trigger is really nice for a striker fired handgun.

    Yes, the break is just a tad spongy. But only a little bit. Other than that, though, the trigger is great.

    The movement is smooth, the travel is very short, and the pull weight is about as low as is acceptable for a defensive gun.

    One more thing: this model comes with a full size frame and slide. So you get 17 rounds in the magazine. And the barrel is 4.7 inches long, which is a bit more than many competing full size guns. So you get a lot of performance.

    The slide is a bit tall. This gun does have a slightly high bore axis, which can cause more felt recoil. But it’s not even noticeable for most shooters.

    Ultimately, this Sig Sauer model is a really well priced home defense gun that could be turned into a one-size-fits-all gun with a few additional parts. That makes the initial value and potential value very high.

    4. Glock 19 - Versatile Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Glock 19
    • Barrel length: 4.02 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 15 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    The Glock 19 is the little brother to the Glock 17. It’s essentially the exact same gun, just a half an inch smaller.

    So you get all the simplicity and reliability that you expect from a Glock. And that’s about as much simplicity and reliability as you’d need from a defensive gun.

    Also, this gun comes with a slightly smaller price tag than the Glock 17.

    Overall, yes, this gun is smaller than the Glock 17. But it still holds 15 rounds in the magazine. And the barrel is 4.02 inches long. In terms of magazine capacity, controllability, and performance, this handgun is totally capable enough to be a home defense gun.

    However, it’s also small enough that most people can use this as a concealed carry gun pretty easily. Additionally, it’s pretty comfortable to shoot, which makes it decent for recreation. That’s why this is such a versatile gun.

    Now, the trigger isn’t great. And the sights are plastic.

    But the sights work for standard shooting. And the trigger is good enough for a defensive gun. Could they be better? Yes. But they’ll do.

    If you want a decently priced gun, that makes a great do it all gun right out of the box, this is just about the best gun you can get.

    5. Walther PPQ M2 - Ergonomic Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Walther PPQ M2
    • Barrel length: 4 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 15 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    Walther striker fired guns are somewhat new. Not the newest, but newer than some of the more popular options. However, the Walther PPQ M2 is a nice gun, even if it doesn’t have a super long reputation.

    This is a compact handgun. The magazine holds 15 rounds. And the barrel is 4 inches long. Pretty standard fare for a compact handgun. But this is a good contender for a one-size-fits-all gun.

    However, the standout features on this gun are the grip and the trigger.

    First, the grip is incredibly comfortable. There are very subtle finger grooves and an indexing tab near the bottom to help you get a consistent grip and keep your hand in place when you shoot.

    Also, the palm swell is incredibly well designedIt’s comfortable and delivers excellent control for shooting multiple shots.

    Last thing about the grip: the grip texture is outstanding.

    It gives you excellent grip traction, even when your hands are wet or oily. But it’s not abrasive at all. You can comfortably shoot this gun a lot without the grip digging into your hands.

    You may want to do a reliability check on this gun, if you don’t trust the shorter reputation. But there’s no reason to believe that this handgun wouldn’t pass any reliability check.

    Overall, this Walther firearm is the gun to get if you’re picky about the comfort and trigger on your gun.

    6. Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 - Full Size Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0
    • Barrel length: 4.25 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 17 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    The Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 is the full-size version of the M&P Compact. It’s a bit larger and makes a better dedicated home defense handgun.

    The larger size gives you 17 rounds in the magazine. And you get a 4.25 inch barrel. So you get more bullets and more ballistic performance.

    The full size frame also gives you more control, less felt recoil, and makes it easier to get the precision you need for home defense.

    Then, the trigger is the same M&P 2.0 trigger that you’d get on any other M&P handgun. It’s decently smooth, has a pretty crisp break, and a relatively light pull weightFor a defensive handgun, the trigger is great.

    However, the full size frame does make this S&W gun less than ideal for concealed carry. This is definitely a dedicated home defense gun. It’s not great if you want a handgun that you could also use for concealed carry.

    Also, the grip texture is a bit aggressive. It’s certainly good for a secure shooting grip. But it can also be a bit abrasive during long shooting sessions. So be prepared for that.

    Even with the aggressive grip, though, this handgun is an outstanding option if you want an affordable dedicated home defense gun.

    7. Sig Sauer P320-M17 - Tactical Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Sig Sauer P320-M17
    • Barrel length: 4.7 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 21 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    The term “tactical” sounds a lot cooler than it is in this case. It’s not meaningless. But there’s nothing crazy about the Sig Sauer P320-M17. Mainly it just has a few design features that give you a bit more performance.

    Here’s what I mean:

    The main thing about this handgun is that it comes with a 21 round extended magazine. That’s a lot of bullets. This gun definitely has enough magazine capacity for a home defense.

    Additionally, the slide comes with an optic cutIf you want to add a red dot to your handgun, you won’t have to pay for any machining work to add the optic.

    Other than that, this is essentially a full size Sig P320. That means a 4.7 inch barrel and a serialized trigger pack. So you can get other frame and slide sizes for this handgun and use it for things like concealed carry.

    That also means that you get one of the best triggers you can get in a striker fired gun. The movement is very smooth and there’s very little travel. The break is a little bit spongy. But it’s not a deal breaker by any means.

    In terms of the bare specs, this is just a full size handgun. However, the extended magazine and optic cut slide make it an excellent option for anyone who’s looking for a more tactical home defense gun with an optical sighting system.

    8. Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Tactical OSP - High Capacity Home Defense Handgun

    • Model: Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Tactical OSP
    • Barrel length: 4.5 inches
    • Magazine capacity: 22 rounds
    • Action: Striker fired
    • Frame: Polymer

    The Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Tactical OSP is a huge gun. The grip circumference is still fine, even if you have small hands. But everything else on this gun is definitely as big as you can get.

    The main thing there is that the standard magazine is 22 rounds. That’s more magazine capacity than you get from almost any other home defense handgun.

    Additionally, the barrel is 4.5 inches long. That’s pretty normal. It’s certainly a full length slide. But it’s nothing crazy like you’d find on a competition gun.

    Moving back, the slide is cut for a red dot optic. It comes with a cover plate. But you can mount an optic on this handgun without paying for any machining on your slide.

    And, if you decide to mount an optic, this model also comes with suppressor height sights. That way you can use your iron sights if your optic fails for some reason. It’s pretty much the most reliable setup for a pistol optic.

    At the bottom, this gun has a flared magazine well. If you need to reload during a home defense incident, the flared magazine well makes it very easy to get your magazine seated without looking. That way you can keep your eyes on the threat.

    Lastly, the trigger on this gun is pretty nice.

    The trigger shoe is a flat face shoeThe shoe helps you press your trigger straight to the rear, even if your trigger finger placement isn’t perfect.

    Additionally, the trigger movement is super smooth and the break is impressively clean and crisp. My only gripe with it is that the pull weight feels a little bit heavy. It’s probably somewhere between 5 and 6 pounds.

    The trigger pull could be lighter. But, really, that’s a small complaint. The trigger is perfectly fine for a defensive gun.

    This Springfield model is definitely not a potential concealed carry gun.

    But it’s an excellent option for home defenders who want a handgun with the highest possible magazine capacity and those who want to mount a red dot optic without losing the reliability of their iron sights.

    Getting To Your Barricade Position

    There are plenty of reasons to prefer a handgun for home defense over other options. Ammunition prices, accessory costs, and simplicity make a handgun the best choice for many home defenders.

    But, even if a handgun is the most efficient option for you, it’s still important to get the best home defense handgun you can afford.

    Glock 17

    With that in mind, the Glock 17 makes an excellent home defense handgun for just about anyone. It’s simple, reliable, and affordable. That’s pretty much all most people need from their home defense handgun.

    There’s never a good time to be without a good tool for home defense. A handgun is a totally legitimate option. Now that you know which ones are the best, it’s time to fix your home defense plan.

    You can also check:

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