So you just purchased your first pistol and you plan on using it for a home defense pistol. Great! I think that’s an awesome idea. You can be able to maneuver a bit more easier around the home with a pistol than say a shotgun and rifle. But what products do you need for your pistol that will give you an edge in the event you had to use it? Here is a comprehensive list of our Top 5 Products for your pistol.
First and foremost, this list will be geared towards the semi-auto pistol. It seems like that is the most common style pistol being purchased for home defense relatively over the past say 10 years.
All pistols will come with sights. Don’t get me wrong they work great. But something to think about when it comes to sights is the ability to see them in the night. Our recommendation is getting some sort of night sights. There are many different styles out on the market today, and honestly they all will work just fine. We recommend the following sights due to the ability to see them at night easily and during the day time.
- TruGlo TFX Pro
- Trijicon HD Night Sights
- XS Sights
One thing to remember when it comes to night sights, that not every pistol manufacturer will have aftermarket sights available. Some manufacturers have “house brand” sights, for example Sig Sauer offers their own brand of night sights for their line of pistols. Just something to consider when looking for that perfect sight.
After purchasing your night sights, make sure to have a competent gunsmith install your sights and to make sure it’s bore-sighted in correctly.
High Capacity Magazines
When it comes to magazines, it all depends on your state statutes. For the commie states, it’s a bit rough, and I honestly feel really sorry for you guys. Those restrictions are absolutely unconstitutional, in my opinion. Luckily, I live in NC and we do not have a restriction on magazine capacity. With the new administration in the White House, all this may change for everyone. But I digress. Having a high capacity magazine offers a bit more of an edge when it comes to defense. Having more rounds to eliminate multiple threats offers peace of mind and gives you a fighting change if outnumbered.
Again high capacity magazines, I guess, are being considered a luxury item in today’s United States. Most pistol manufactures offer pistols that accommodate 12-17 round magazines. One thing that will dictate round count is what caliber of pistol you have. The larger 45ACP, 40S&W, and 357SIG offers a lower round count for high capacity magazines due to the size of the bullet, usually 10-15 rounds. For 9mm and 380ACP, the round count can be a bit higher, usually in the 15-21 round ballpark. Even the 5.7x28mm and 22 Magnum can offer quite a lot of bullets, upwards to 20-30 rounds depending on the pistol. I know what you’re thinking…some magazines out there will hold 30-33 rounds, lets say for the popular Glock platform. Yes this is true, but for practicality, those extreme extended magazines really don’t do the job well and often can jam up.
When it comes to manufactures of magazines, this can spark a big debate. Some manufacturers are better than others. This is again relative to your pistol. If you have a big name brand pistol (Glock, Sig Sauer, H&K, Springfield Armory, Smith and Wesson, CZ, etc), then finding factory high capacity magazines will not be a problem at all. But some of the common manufactures of aftermarket magazines include Magpul, ProMag, Mec-Gar, Gun Pro, HexMag and KCI.
My advice when it comes to magazines, try and stick with the original equipment/manufacturer magazines. You know they will work properly and will fit perfectly. The aftermarket manufacturers can have some problems with seating and may produce feeding issues.
More than likely, you have been perusing YouTube and came across videos that showcase shooters having a pistol light. I’m sure you have thought about it and wonder if it’s practical or not. Well in my opinion, it is important. Having some sort of flashlight mounted to your weapon makes seeing things a bit easier when it’s completely dark. When things go bump in the night, you want to make sure you are ready, but at the same time, you want to make sure that you see your threat.
There are a wide variety of aftermarket flashlight companies that make pistol flashlights. Yes some are better than others and yes some are cheap Chinese garbage. A good quality pistol flashlight ranges from $90-$270, with the average cost being around $135. Here are some of our top choices when it comes to flashlights.
- Streamlight TLR-1 HL
- Streamlight TLR-6
- Streamlight TLR-7A
- Surefire X300U A/B
- Olight PL-2 Valkyrie
- Olight PL-Mini
- Olight PL-Mini 2
- Inforce APLc
When purchasing a flashlight, remember that just because you have a pistol may not mean that these flashlights fit your pistol model. Trial and error may be needed to find the right light for you. Also, when purchasing a light, make sure to look at the holster options for your pistol and flashlight combo.
One thing we can’t stress enough is purchasing your pistol mounted flashlight from a reputable dealer. There are knock-off’s floating around on the internet and you may be fooled. There are plenty of these examples that can be found on YouTube showing you the difference.
The big ammunition debate has been going on for quite sometime. A lot of debates deals with caliber, usually which caliber is best for defense with 45ACP, 40S&W, 357SIG, 9mm, and 380ACP being at the forefront for calibers. So let’s just say that for the sake of this article, we’re going to lump our favorite defense ammunition that is available in multiple calibers, okay? Sound good?
When it comes to ammunition, one that to remember is you do not want round nose or target ammunition as your defense rounds. You want to make sure you have some sort of Hollow Point ammunition because it will mushroom upon impact. Remember, if you discharge your weapon, you are liable and responsible for that bullet, where ever it ends up at. At the time of this article, ammunition prices have sky-rocketed due to COVID and the general public going into a panic buy, drying up the ammunition market.
With that being said, finding ammunition that is affordable at the moment is like finding unicorns in La-La Land. The cost of 9mm ammunition is climbing to the almost $1.00/rd mark at the time of this article for regular target ammunition…steel cased at that. For defense rounds, don’t be surprised to see the prices be almost $1.50-$2/round soon. Here are top brands of ammunition we like:
- Hornady Critical Defense
- Hornady Critical Duty
- Speer Gold Dot
- Federal HST
- Sig Sauer Elite Performance V-Crown
- Remington Golden Saber
- Winchester PDX1 Defense
When it comes to home defense, having a plan goes a long way, especially if you have multiple occupants that live in the dwelling. Unfortunately, there is evil that lives amongst us that have no boundaries, especially if they are desperate. In today’s world, drugs and money are typically the main sources when it comes to why someone steals, robs, or kills someone.
Having a set plan will save you a lot of time and will give you peace of mind knowing that your family or roommates are in a central location in the home and are protected, while you defend your steed. I know this may seem a bit out there, but the truth is, we need to have these conversations with our loved ones. Just like a fire plan, it makes perfect sense. Although we wish we never have to implement it, but muscle memory goes a long way when the stress comes. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Having a plan is very important. and they knew it back in the 1700’s.
Training with your pistol will make you more proficient with it, period. Having that muscle memory and situational awareness goes a long way and you will naturally go into autopilot if the stress arrives. There are plenty of courses that are offered through reputable business out there and even some classes can be found on the NRA website. Practice makes perfect. Knowing what to do if your pistol suddenly jams, loading the magazine under-stress, making sure to look at the whole picture and being aware of your surroundings. This all plays into your training.
Being one with your pistol and being comfortable with your pistol goes a long way when you need it. You don’t want to sit there and fire it for the first time if your life depended on it. Remember to try and retreat first and not go looking for trouble. Getting Law Enforcement en-route to you is always top priority. Let dispatch know what you are wearing, if you are defending yourself, so Law Enforcement can identify you quickly and appropriately.
Now, I know this list was geared towards semi-auto pistols, but what about the revolver fans out there? Some end users prefer a revolver over a semi-auto pistol due to the simplicity of revolvers. The idea of pointing and shooting goes a long way instead of having to insert a magazine and rack the slide back. For our revolver fans out there, we recommend these three (3) following items:
- Night Sights
- Bigger/Comfy Grip
- Speed Loaders
Most revolvers only have a blade front sight. Having a tritium front sight makes target acquisition faster and a bit easier. We recommend XS Sights for most revolvers. For grips, most revolvers come with a small grip and it is somewhat comfortable. We recommend the Hogue Brand for grips for aftermarket comfy grips, since they tend to have a wide variety of gun manufacturers covered. And for speed loaders, only having 5 or 6 shots may get the job done the first go round, but having that extra bit of ammunition may save your life. Being proficient with loading your revolver quickly and safely takes time and practice. We recommend the HKS brand for speed loaders. They offer a wide range of 5, 6, 7, and 8 shot speed loaders for majority of manufacturers.
Again, this list isn’t the “end-all, be-all” list when it comes to the Top 5 Products of your Defense Pistol. This is just what we think is important to have. Above anything else, training with your pistol is the utmost important thing we can’t stress enough. Training and planning will go a long way in potentially saving your life. Some honorable mentions for our list include:
- Hearing Protection
- Lock Box/Storage Box
- Holsters (IWB, AIWB, OWB)
At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure you are prepared. This list may vary from yours, and that’s okay. There are other items you could put on your pistol but this article is geared towards the new shooter that just purchased their first defensive pistol. If you think we missed the mark, comment below on what you guys and gals think is the most important Top 5 Products for your Home Defense Pistol.
As always, ya’ll be good and be safe!