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What Is The Best Caliber For Home Defense?

Family is essential, and you will do anything to protect them. With home invasions and burglaries on the rise, defending your home against unscrupulous people is a must. Stats have shown that there has been a marked increase in gun ownership since the start of 2020. This means that several new gun owners may not know much about guns. In this article, we seek to unravel which caliber is the best for home defense.

What Is The Best Caliber For Home Defense?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. There are many great options, but the essential thing to note here is that you need to be very comfortable with your firearm before anything. So even if you have the best in terms of home defense caliber and you are not comfortable with it, you may end up making some mistakes when you need to use your firearm.

Top Five Calibers For Home Defense

  • 9mm

This is a favorite, trusted caliber, and will get the job done, whether you wish to scare off home invaders or stop them in their tracks. With the bonus of cheaper ammunition, you can get more practice hours and become more comfortable with your firearm. The 9mm has some advantages over the others in terms of penetration as it does severe tissue damage. The 9mm also has more capacity as you can fit more 9mm cartridges into the machine.

  • 40 cal

This is also a good caliber that is capable of doing some pretty good damage. Though it may not carry as much cartridge-wise as the 9mm, it gets the job done.

  • 12 gauge

For people who like shotguns, this is a great choice. It is perfect for home defense because it does not easily penetrate drywall and reduces the risk of accidental collateral damage. For this reason, you can even use it as a scattergun if you have the proper ammunition.

  • 380

This is an excellent choice if you want to conceal it as it fits into easy-to-handle and lightweight pistols. You can surprise a home invader with it as it can fit into your pocket.

  • 357 Mag

For those who are a bit old-fashioned, the 357 mag is a handy revolver. It offers some versatility as you have the option of using three different types of ammo from the same gun. It is reliable and ready to go. All you need to do is aim and squeeze.


For most people, their main concern when it comes to firearms is stopping power. Stopping power refers to how much damage a single shot can do. With these five home defense calibers outlined in this article, you can do a significant amount of damage. However, the other thing you need to consider is the recoil. As mentioned earlier, if you are not comfortable or used to your choice of firearm for home defense, you may be doing a great disservice to yourself and your family.


Indeed, the faster a bullet is, the more damage it can do. This is backed by science as studies indicate that an increased rotational velocity causes more severe tissue damage when a bullet impacts the body. Speed is essential when dealing with a home invasion, so that means a faster bullet might do the trick. When you closely check the stats on speed, the 9 mm has quite the advantage over the others regarding penetration and tissue damage.


Though in a best-case scenario, you want a home invasion to end with a couple of warning shots quickly, it often does not end that way. In a situation that the home invader trades shots with you, you do not want to run out of ammo before they do. So the capacity of your firearm comes into question. A Glock 17 will comfortably hold 17 rounds of 9mm ammo but may hold less for other calibers.


Another thing to consider is the combined weight of the firearm when it is fully loaded. The weight will affect recoil, which will, in turn, impact your aim. This is one reason why it is advisable to familiarize yourself with your choice of firearm for home defense.

Remember always to keep your firearm locked away in a safe place where the children cannot access it to prevent casualties. It is also advisable to keep your gun loaded but with safety if it is securely locked away to prevent trying to load it during a home invasion.

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