When it comes to home defense, the best, the absolute best, weapon for defense against a home invasion is a compact semi-automatic rifle with certain, particular features.
Despite what Hollywood would have
you believe, criminals often continue to function after being shot,
often after being shot several times. "The dead man's ten seconds" is a
phenomenon well and long known (the phrase comes from the Civil War).
The criminal may be effectively dead from the first shot, but they still
have the ability to do a great deal of harm before they're stopped. Thus, it may take multiple shots to stop
them. Maybe they'll spend their entire "dead man's ten seconds" staring
down at the hole in their chest." Maybe it's easy for you to bet other
people's lives that that's how it will go down but maybe instead they'll
use that ten seconds to hurt or kill the homeowner unless distracted
by, oh, other holes being put in their body from repeat shots until they
We have repeated reports of people in military theaters shooting an individual multiple times and having them continue to fight.
that's not even counting that robberies are often committed by more
than one person. Again, local news reports suggest that the majority of
home invasions involve multiple attackers.
Now, maybe in the
"average" it's over after only a couple of shots. But one can drown in a
stream that "averages" 6 inches deep if one happens to step in a hole
that's 8' deep (the rest of the stream only being 4" or so, so the
"average" comes to 6"). But multiple attackers requiring multiple shots
each to put down is one of the scenarios as "civilian" may face, and
this without a partner, without backup on call, with just what they can
grab ready to hand.
In high stress and fear situations human
beings have certain common issues. One is that fine motor skills go to
hell. Simply working the action of a rifle or handgun can become a thing
of fumbling when one is in fear for ones life (a necessary condition of
use of lethal force in all jurisdictions in the US). Much better a simple action of "aim, pull trigger, aim, pull trigger". Thus, semi-automatic.
an attack comes, you can't be sure that everyone in your household is
all together. You may, for example, have to go get the kids. This
doesn't involve hunting the "bad guys." I don't recommend that at all.
Get your family together and defend them if the bad guys come to you,
but "get your family together" may require some moving around. Now, when
you're moving around, you may have to do things like open doors or work
light switches. Or maybe (it's dark, say, and this occurred after
everyone was in bed) you need one hand free to hold a flashlight. Maybe
you have a light mounted on your rifle but, well, you're looking for
your kids. It would be good to have a light you can shine on things without
pointing your gun at them, don't you think? A "pistol grip" simply
makes it easier to handle and keep control of the rifle in such
circumstances. Also, a more "compact" design is easier to maneuver down
hallways, through doors, and the like.
The attack happens at
night? When you fire the muzzle flash blooms in front of you,
temporarily blinding you. Who knows what can happen in the couple of
seconds it takes your eyesight to recover. A flash suppressor/hider
doesn't actually suppress or hide the flash. It diverts it to the side
where it interferes less with your vision allowing you to keep eyes on
target allowing you to assess whether the attacker had been stopped or
if you need to keep shooting, and if you do need to keep shooting you
can aim rather than fire blindly (literally) and trust to luck.
A rifle is easier to aim accurately than any handgun. A centerfire rifle has more stopping power than any handgun.
maybe you're not the one to hand to grab the rifle. Maybe it's your
wife who's smaller than you. Or maybe you sometimes use the rifle out
in the cold while wearing heavy, thick clothing and sometimes when its
warmer so you don't have so much heavy clothes on. A stock that can be
adjusted for length helps size the rifle for easy, comfortable, accurate shooting.
note what I've just described: a compact rifle with a pistol grip,
"large" capacity magazine (actually "standard" capacity since that's
what these rifles are designed for), flash hider, adjustable stock, and
possibly a rail to which a light can be attached. While there's no
"shoulder thing that goes up" (Carolyn McCarthy can never be
sufficiently mocked for that) what I've just described is an "assault
weapon" per the media and folk like the Brady Campaign.
happens to describe the best tool for defending your family against one
of the between 4 and 40 thousand home invasions that occur every year.
How many of those 4 to 40 thousand families, many with children, are you willing to sacrifice?