[VIDEO] Best beginner home defense gun: shotgun, AR-15, or pistol?


Do you have a gun for home defense?

I see you nodding your head “yes”

(actually, I can’t see you as you read this on the internet I’m not the NSA/CIA …)


But maybe you like guns and shooting them …

What’s the BEST home defense gun for a beginner though? That’s what we’ll tackle today. Check it out:

What Do YOU Think Is The BEST Home Defense Gun? Pistol, AR-15, or Shotgun?

I like this video from John Lovell, where he goes through and “rates” each type of gun in multiple categories, then weighs them out.

Check it out and see if you agree with his conclusion for the BEST home defense gun for beginners:

What Do You Think?

As I’ve written before, I agree with John’s choice of the AR-15 for beginners as I’ve covered extensively in my article “Why I Plan To Switch From A Shotgun To AR-15 For Home Defense

But what about you?

Do you agree or disagree?

(Forgive me for being sexist and assuming here) If you were not home and your wife was all alone and had to grab a pistol, shotgun or AR-15, which one do you want her to grab?

Leave your answer in the comments!

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Caleb Lee is the #1 best-selling author of "Concealed Carry 101" and founder of PreparedGunOwners.com. He is a civilian (no law enforcement or military experience) who shares information about self-defense and becoming more self-reliant. He's a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo, NRA Certified Basic Pistol & Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor, Concealed Carry Academy Instructor certified & also a graduate of the Rangermaster firearms instructor course. He's also the author of numerous online courses including the UndergroundAssaultRifle.com course.


  1. shot gun or rifle is always better, but the one you have next to you is the best. as far as someone else in the house, any of them as long as they have practiced and shot what they are using. without experience any can be a detriment. they all are better then a sharp stick.

  2. A revolver is the best defense gun for someone who does not use a gun regularly. A shotgun would be too traumatic once it was fired once, and it might knock a woman on her butt. An AR-15 is too bulky and complicated. A semi-auto pistol is too complicated and most casual users would not know if it was loaded or not, unloaded but chambered or not, or whether the safety was on or not.

    • This isn’t a problem if you always keep a round in the chamber & the safety off which is the way I keep my .45, but I also don’t have any small kids at home.

    • Totally agree. Got a revolver for my wife who has upper hand and wrist problems and so she has difficulty with the slide of a pistol, clearing an AR, or pumping a shotgun.

  3. Concealment (safety away from children) is an important factor, if you have to lock a rifle, shotgun or AR up everyday for safety reasons, you are going to get sloppy on one side or the other of this equation. The gun will either be available to those you don’t want to have it (children) or it will not be readily available (to you or your wife) should you need it. A hand gun, with the current available hand gun vaults, that have the ability to be accessed with a code, in the dark, or, some may even have fingerprint readers on them, you can solve both these issues, protect the child and easy access when needed. With that said, a hand gun will be my choice and yes my wife is competent with the one I use. The best option is the option that is available when needed, others may not face the same issues with children.

  4. the best self defense gun for home protection is the one that you have at hand, be it rifle, shotgun or pistol. I have a shotgun with buck and ball, and a 9mm pistol close by. It all depends on which one I can grab first.

  5. I have plenty of other less lethal options, a few on my person at all times,but I also have rifles , shotguns, and a pistol at home. No kids in my home, and whatever doesn’t need to be out at the moment as far as firearms is locked up

  6. Obviously the one you have at hand, but for me it’s a revolver – point and pull the trigger (since you don’t have to conceal it). And each one has a speedloader or moonclip or speedstrip kept next to it. Seems like we have more than one – because you never know where you’ll be when you need it.

  7. I’m old school. I still think a pump action 12 gauge shotgun (non-bird shot, non-slug ammo, non-armor piercing [for the penetration issues you cited], 2-3″ 1-2 oz) is pretty effective for home defense. It is true that one has to be prepared for the recoil which will follow from practice/training.

    Winchester used to make a reasonably priced 12 gauge, pump action. I don’t know if they still do.

  8. No kids in the house, so I don’t have to play keep away. There is always a revolver by the bed and a shotgun handy. That said, I agree with the host the AR in .223 is the best for a beginner. No recoil, easy to aim, the only downside is they’re damn loud in a closed space like a house! Of course they all are, but the concussive blast from an AR rattles my brain without hearing protection.

  9. Personally, I will use what is at hand. An AR-15 short barrel is a perfect option in that it’s speed is reduced somewhat by shorter barrel so it won’t have over-penetration and go through walls and is easy to handle and maneuver. I like the Keltec due to reliability and low recoil and accurate for home defense and you certainly have ammo capacity at 30. Kind of torned between revolver and semi-automatic pistol. Revolver is accurate and feed issues are non existent but in my case I am limited to six shots (probably all I would need). Shotgun I great if only dealing with single intruder and maybe two. I love double-barrel in terms of reliability and making a quick second shot. All will be loud in closed quarters so you will have ringing ears unless you have a habit of always wearing ear protection at home which I doubt is the case for almost everyone. I felt the presentation by John was pretty good considering his weighting factors but like he said, your particular situation may sway your choice.

  10. The one under the pillow. Will be first riot gun second, I saw that she was trained with both, saw that 12 GA was a bit much, Wife now has her own 20 GA. Riot gun holds 8 00 buck .78 0z slug , 00 buck ect.

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