When considering home defense, the choice of a firearm is crucial. While options like pistol grip shotguns offer robust defense capabilities, our focus here is on handguns, particularly those suited for home protection. In today’s society, with concerns ranging from home invasions to personal safety, selecting the right handgun – be it a .45 ACP or a 40 S&W – becomes pivotal for safeguarding yourself and your family.

What is the best gun for home defense?

We’ve chosen the full-size, semi-auto, .45 ACP Glock 21 from Glock as the Best Handgun for Home Defense. We chose it because of the following reasons; gun size, round/caliber, capacity, reliability/readiness, and the gun type.

Gun Size

For home defense purposes, it’s not necessary to have a smaller-sized gun, as it would be in the concealed carry arena. It’s probably a better idea to have a bigger gun, so it can hold more rounds of a more powerful caliber. This leads us to select the full-size frame of the Glock 21, a model renowned for its capacity and caliber. Unlike compact handguns designed for concealed carry, a full-size handgun like the Glock 21, chambered in .45 ACP, offers the dual benefits of increased ammunition capacity and the stopping power needed in critical home defense scenarios.


Many people think that the revolver is the best gun for home defense, and I just about decided on a .44 mag revolver for this title. But as I thought about it, there was one major problem with the revolvers; their ammo capacity. A revolver only has the capacity for 5-6 bullets, while the Glock 21 has the capacity for 13. With a semi-auto gun, you also can reload a new magazine much quicker than a revolver could, even with a speed loader. In a situation of an actual home invasion, you want all the rounds you can have, because you probably won’t be your most accurate shooter when your heart is beating so fast and you’re that nervous. For that, you should have more rounds available to you than a revolver could provide.

Round / Caliber

I’ve chosen the .45 ACP as the round of choice in the area of home defense, because it is a very powerful and accurate handgun round, with ample stopping from close distance. It’s also much smaller than say the .44 mag or the .500 S&W, so you can have a much greater capacity in your gun. Those other rounds have significantly more power than the .45 ACP, but in a home invasion situation, the .45 ACP would have ample stopping power.

Reliability / Readiness

Among various semi-auto, full-size, .45 ACP handguns, the Glock 21 stands out for its unwavering reliability and readiness. Known for their dependability, Glocks, especially the Glock 21, are engineered for simplicity and consistent performance. In a home defense situation, where every second counts, the Glock 21’s design ensures there are no concerns about jamming or complicated safety mechanisms.

They are also known for their readiness because safety is built into the trigger. No worrying about fiddling around with a safety switch when you want to be firing, and in such a stressful time, another thing to worry about is not good. The Glock will fire when you pull the trigger, period. The Best Handgun for Home Defense is the one that will fire whenever you need it to.

Gun Type

Now this category was a close one, and I had to choose between a semi-auto pistol and a revolver. The revolvers are simple, extremely reliable, and very accurate. They are probably overall more reliable than semi-auto guns, but the magazine capacity was what made the difference here. Semi-auto guns can hold and shoot more ammo and reload more quickly than revolvers. Again, in stressful times, probably at night when you can’t see as well, you aren’t going to be shooting 1” groups as you would be at the range. You want as many rounds as you can have.


In the realm of defense handguns, features like the double-action mechanism play a crucial role. The Glock 21, a quintessential defense handgun, offers a double-action trigger, enhancing safety and readiness – essential attributes for a firearm in a high-stress home invasion scenario.

Comparing Calibers: 45 ACP vs. 40 S&W

While the .45 ACP caliber of the Glock 21 is ideal for home defense due to its stopping power, it’s worth comparing it with the 40 S&W. The 40 S&W caliber, known for its balance of power and capacity, is another popular choice in home defense handguns. However, for close-range effectiveness and reliability, the .45 ACP stands out, especially in the context of the Glock 21’s design.


1. What is the Best Gun for Home Defense?

  • Answer: The ideal gun for home defense depends on individual preferences and specific home defense needs. While the Glock 21, a .45 ACP caliber semi-automatic pistol, is highly recommended for its reliability and ease of use, other options like shotgun models may also be suitable. The key factors to consider are the firearm’s ease of handling, reliability, stopping power, and the user’s comfort and familiarity with the weapon.

2. What Pistol Caliber is Best for Home Defense?

  • Answer: The .45 ACP caliber is often preferred for home defense due to its stopping power and manageable recoil, making it effective for close-range protection. However, some may opt for the 9mm or the 40 S&W calibers, balancing stopping power with higher ammunition capacity. Ultimately, the best caliber is one that the user can handle confidently and accurately under stress.

3. What is the Safest Weapon for Home Defense?

  • Answer: The safest weapon for home defense balances efficacy in a defensive situation with safety features to prevent accidents. Firearms like the Glock 21, known for their built-in safety mechanisms and reliability, are often recommended. It’s essential to have a weapon that the user is trained to use safely, ensuring it is secure from unauthorized access while being readily accessible in an emergency.

4. What Pistol Do Navy SEALs Use?

  • Answer: The Sig Sauer P226 and Glock 19 are two pistols commonly used by Navy SEALs. These firearms are chosen for their reliability, durability, and performance under challenging conditions. The Sig Sauer P226, known for its accuracy and dependability, has been a long-time favorite, while the Glock 19 is appreciated for its compact size and versatility.

Best Handgun for Home Defense

The bottom line is that the Glock 21 emerges as the optimal choice for home defense. With its large frame capable of holding up to 13 potent .45 ACP rounds, swift reload capability, and the guarantee of performance when it matters most, the Glock 21 exemplifies the ideal home defense handgun. Its no-fuss approach to safety and reliability, in contrast to the complexities of other calibers or handgun types, solidifies its standing as a top choice for protecting your home.

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