Selecting a Handgun for Protection

Selecting a handgun for protection

The culture of this country is in a unique nexus. We have lost the ability to do the simple things that were considered to be the norm, just a few generations ago. More and more we see issues that years ago would have been settled with the loosening of teeth concluded with the blast of gunfire. Criminals have become sociopaths and have no problem killing your entire family for something as simple as a flat screen television or even a video game, so here we are. It’s no longer acceptable to have a Topper by the kitchen door, it will not suffice but it’s still better than nothing. So, as a reasonable adult you have made the decision to plan for the protection of your family.

There are a lot of options available for the person looking to equip themselves. There are shotguns, long guns, and handguns. This article is based on what I believe to be the most versatile defensive tool that can be owned, the handgun.


Unlike many of my contemporaries, I will address the elephant in the room. Currently there are 43.1 million Americans living in poverty. You must first determine your defensive budget before you consider what to buy, you should know how you’re going to buy it. Budget determines if your gun will be used or new. It will determine its type and caliber.  It’s the reason why you will fondle a HK, Sig or a Springfield and go home with a Sccy, Hi-point, or a Taurus. You should never have to decide between your utilities and your defensive weapon. I also consider that the absolute worst advice for any potential firearms purchaser is to save up your money to get a certain brand of gun, first rule of gun fighting have a gun.

New or used

Once you have determined how much you can spend without damaging your household finances, now we will look at what that money will buy. I’m no different than anyone else when it comes to guns, I like mine new. However, I have experienced times when my options have been either getting a used higher quality pistol or getting a new lesser quality pistol. There are tons of used guns on the market that can be had for reasonable prices, if your ego will allow. There is also a strong surplus market in this country. It might not be the latest gee whiz gun on the market but it has been thoroughly tested by some nations military and can be depended on to protect you as well as it did their military.

Type of action

There are only two basic actions to consider and they are revolver or semi-auto, there are sub categories to each. In determining which to choose you must first consider your purpose for it. If you are going to carry concealed or use it for home defense it will reference the size of the handgun. If you will only have one gun and it will be used for multiple purposes, this will also be a consideration. You should look at things such as your health or the abilities of members in your family, do they or you have the hand strength to manipulate a slide if not the revolver may be best for you.


Handgun ballistics at best are a compromise and any gun you will select will be deficient in kinetic energy compared to a carbine or shotgun. With that being said, any caliber firearm can be used effectively as a defensive weapon. The larger the caliber you can effectively use will always be best, but if you can’t hit with it what’s the point. 9mm/.38 are the most popular calibers in this country, not because they are the most effective but because they are the best compromise. I’ve been smiling at the falling in popularity of .40 pistols because it has created a tremendous opportunity for those in the market for a cheap pistol. .40 pistols can be purchased for bargain basement prices because some nimrod gun writers determined the caliber is dead. Feed any gun with excellent quality ammunition and it will get the job done if you do your part.


This is the least important criteria for selecting a firearm. Any firearm that meets your budget, is chambered in a decent caliber and most importantly is reliable will work. No matter what other experts may espouse you are the ultimate judge of what is suitable for your needs, unless they are buying.  I believe that choosing a pistol is just as intimate as choosing a mate. Handle the gun. See how it feels in your hand and then shoot it, if at all possible, then base your choice on the results. It would be disheartening to select a gun based on someone else’s opinion only to get it to the range and find out that you sacrificed your lights to purchase a 600.00 albatross.

Final thoughts

Selecting a defensive firearm is one of the important choices you will ever make.  It has the possibility of determining if you or your family will live or die in a crisis situation. No decision as important as this should be made solely on anyone else’s opinion. Logically, you should use the criteria I listed above and then do your research. YouTube has been an invaluable tool for researching potential purchase, so use it for as long as it is around. Go to a local range and rent some guns and shoot them. If you are able to get your weapon at a reasonable cost, spend the difference in training. Having a weapon is only the first stage of preparation. Train as if your life depends on it because it does. Until next time prepare, perceive and protect.

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