Americans buy firearms for a variety of reasons, but possibly the biggest reason for most people is for defense: to protect themselves from criminals. So, for that purpose, many people purchase a concealable pistol that they can carry on a daily basis.
If your primary reason for buying a firearm is for home defense, and not daily carry, though, is a concealable pistol what you need to buy? One writer has some very definite thoughts on exactly this subject. Robert Campbell writes,
In home defense, preventing loss of life is a primary concern, but limiting liability is also important. Proficiency is the primary defining criteria in a defensive encounter. You must obtain quality instruction. This training must be followed by practice and repetition. Get the right gun and the right training. Whatever your situation, I will state with certainty that the best firearm for home defense isn’t a handgun. The difference is night and day in effectiveness. A handgun is a reactive instrument we may carry concealed when away from home, ready to address an unforeseen attack.
Campbell mentions that a shotgun can be a good choice for home defense, but he has one particular recommendation in mind. Campbell continues:
After a survey of the last few years in training and most of the beginning shooters I know well, I think that the 9mm carbine is an ideal home-defense firearm. There is a great deal of fun and recreation in these firearms. This makes for frequent practice sessions. Just the same, the seriousness of home defense isn’t a place I like to compromise. The pistol caliber carbine — probably a Ruger PCC — would be my first choice. The handgun just isn’t in the running.
Campbell’s recommendation makes a lot of sense. A firearm that is fun to shoot is going to be used for practice more often which will naturally lead to more proficiency with the weapon. Also, the greater accuracy of the longer-barreled firearm can help to avoid any stray shots which a pistol is more likely to experience.
So, if your primary reason for purchasing a firearm is for home defense (not everyday carry), then, a concealable pistol may not be the best choice for you. Instead, you may want to keep what Campbell says in mind and consider a pistol caliber carbine.