The Ultimate 3 Gun Home Defense Kit
If you heard a biker gang outside right now, or you could see the zombies cresting the hill and heading your way, or if the emergency broadcast was all that greeted you and the world was dead outside, what three guns would you rely on?
Actually if it’s zombies, break out the Creedmoor 6.5 first and pop them at 1000 yards. They’re slow, but the biker gang is different.
Three is reasonable, because any more than that and you can’t really carry them and the ammo.
I’m talking three lightweight guns that could reasonably make up a kit. They have to do different jobs and common sense tells me one should be a shotgun.
So we’re going to have a:
- AR Pistol
Here’s the rub, you need to go big or go home with the shotgun.
Either opt for one of the tactical monsters I covered recently and live with the fact that this new tech might give you a feed issue, or don’t bother with a shotgun at all. Your main weapon is far more capable than a 6 or 7 shot gun and 300 BLK is better than buckshot for the most part.
If your shotgun isn’t amazing, then just swap it for more magazines instead and rely solely on your AR-15 pistol to get the job done. It will…
The only way the shotgun can stay relevant is to be a monster. So that’s what you’ve got here…
Here is my current dream 3-gun kit for home defense. What’s in your dream set-up?
1. Sig Sauer Rattler
- Price: $2,299.99
- Caliber: AAC 300 Blackout
- Length: 19.3 inch
- Weight: 5.1lb
This is more or less military firepower, minus the full auto function. You don’t quite get a stock either, as that would turn it into an SBR, but the tactical brace works amazingly well.
It’s a pistol that spits out some of the most heavyweight ammunition you can pack into a magazine and it’s so compact and lightweight that it means you can carry other guns.
The Sig Sauer Rattler is arguably the best skirmish gun that fits the US regulations. Fit a red dot to it and you have a seriously potent weapon for home defense.
A lot of people fit suppressors, too, which might just save your eardrums if you have to respond to a bump in the night.
The Rattler really is as dangerous as the snake that gave its name to the cause and if you haven’t got one, then you kinda need one.
According to this Sig Sauer video, it’s customers might be on secret missions in Central America, but you can enjoy the Rattler’s unique skills at the range too.
Budget Assault Pistol Options
You can get the same impact with a much cheaper, assault pistol.
This one from ZEV Technologies is super lightweight and costs just $1163.75 with an 8.6″ barrel and a folding stock. You can order that in 5.56 NATO or 300BLK. It’s half the price, it’s probably not that far behind the Rattler, if at all, and you get the ZEV Technologies seal of approval.
The company makes some of the tightest custom Glocks in the world. Now you can buy their AR-15 pistols like this one and I’m not going to lie, I want it pretty badly.
This is the best value gun we can find right now. There are cheaper, much cheaper, but this is a gun that we think offers stunning value. The folding brace is almost a stock, but isn’t, the gun is super light and it’s basically a street legal SBR right out the box. This is a gun that you could rely on.
CZ Scorpion is the Low Budget Choice
Could you handle 9mm as your last line of defense? If that’s what you have right now, or you have family and you think a 9mm could pay off, then the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 is a gun that pretty much anybody in the family can handle.
It is kinda pretty in its own way, but this is really just an SMG-style semi-automatic pistol that you can buy right now for around $850. Private security teams love it, 9mm should always be available and it’s a great back-up gun for when SHTF too.
2. Mossberg 590M
- Price: $499.99
- Caliber: 12 Gauge
- Length: 39.5 inch
- Weight: 7.75lb
- Capacity: 20+1
This is where this list of three whole guns gets controversial.
There is an issue with the mag-fed shotguns and it tends to be that cartridges squash and fail to feed. That causes a lot of problems with these supposedly high-tech and high-capacity shotguns.
These new mags are a big step forward, though, and the capacity on this Mossberg is so utterly massive that I’m prepared to gamble on its reliability.
It’s new, so we can’t be sure, but the general feeling is that Mossberg has finally cracked it with mag fed shotguns. It’s time to embrace them and give these new guns a chance.
What you have then is a 20-shot shotgun, which is worth having on your team when SHTF. That’s optional, and maybe pushing it to be honest. You might be safer running 10-round mags, then you can just drop and replace one if you get a feed issue.
10-round mags also give you the option to go with slugs, buckshot and different types of ammunition for different circumstances. The amount of slugs alone now is absolutely insane. Have a look for yourself…
Cheap 12 Gauge Shotgun Slugs at Brownells.
One that caught my eye, that should resist any kind of settling in the mag, are these vicious beauties from Fiocchi. They cost about $1 each and they turn your shotgun into a very serious weapon indeed. They’re on the way, so I’ll let you know!
You could have two spare mags and you’ve got 60 shotgun shells to go with your assault pistol’s BLK firepower. And you can load up with heavyweight buckshot as the main option, but have a number of wholly different back-up mags loaded with the right kind of slugs.
This makes the shotgun worth carrying again.
Budget Home Defense Shotgun Option
If you don’t want to trust the mag-fed shotguns, or the more extravagant Tavor TS-12, then you’re limited to a standard Mossberg 590 Tactical, or a Benelli M4.
They are just so limited in terms of the number of shells, and the amount of weight they add to the whole kit, that I might be tempted to leave the shotgun entirely if you’re going that route.
But there are some seriously high-capacity shotguns out there and you should check out these posts if you’re into 12 gauge.
- 17 of the best mag fed shotguns for sale in 2020.
- 19 Semi-auto tactical shotguns.
- 23 High capacity shotguns, semi auto and pump action.
3. Sig Sauer P320 Compact
- Price: $499.99
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 15+1
- Barrel: 3.9 inch
The more time I spend with the P320 Compact, the more I think this could be the one gun you need. It’s 7.2″ and just 1.6lb, so it’s a viable CCW and you can make it work as an EDC, it has a great capacity, the trigger is fantastic and it feels like home.
That’s important when you’re in a high-stress situation and we have to assume this one would be. The P320 just feels better, sharper and just higher resolution than any Glock I have ever handled. But it also feels super familiar and comfortable.
Try a Sig, You Might Ditch Your Glock
So it has taken over as the chief sidearm for my money and if you haven’t tried one yet then you really should. The Sig P320 could genuinely change your world and I struggle to remember living without it. Dark times…
Get a 10-round mag if your State commands it. Otherwise this is a 15+1 pistol that is just right on the money. It’s good at everything.
What is the Best 9mm Carry Pistol
The Sig P320 is a great handgun, but the 9mm carry pistol market is a battlefield and the goalposts keep moving. So we have these constantly update posts to show you some more options.
My home defense setup is similar. I have a PA-15 with a simple red dot sight and I dropped a 3-pound trigger into it. It’s pretty much factory, with the exception of the red dot, trigger and forward vertical grip.
My shotgun is an old Winchester 1300 Defender with no modifications whatsoever; it still looks exactly like it did when I bought it new in 1998. I’ve never felt the need to change anything about it. My shotgun was, is and always will be my “Oh, Shit!” gun. It’s a superb weapon just the way it is and I’ve had it for years. It was my primary for a while, and it would be what I’d have if I could have no other firearm.
My pistol is a Glock 21 that has also not been modified. I dropped it on concrete once and had to replace the sights, but the replacement sights are only factory sights. It’s a Gen 3 that I’ve had for about a decade and a half.
My AR is identical to my old service rifle (M4), except it has a slightly longer barrel (16 inches as opposed to the M4’s 14 inches) and a lighter trigger pull (about 6 pounds, as opposed to the M4’s 10 pounds). It doesn’t have the “Burst” setting, but that’s no big deal. I was in the Army for 8 years and deployed to Iraq 3 times as an infantryman and I’ve seen more than my fair share of firefights. That being said, I’ve never used burst anywhere but on a range and have only ever seen it used in a firefight a couple of times. It is, for all practical purposes, identical to my old service rifle in the way it’s built and even used.
My shotgun is my preferred tool for home defense. Always has been. Always will be. Shotguns are devastating at close range, giving me the best chance of putting an intruder down with one shot. Very few people are able to get back up after being shot with a shotgun even once, and I’ve never heard of anyone taking two rounds of buckshot and getting back up. My folks were EMTs and my mother was an ER nurse. I talked to a lot of people who worked in emergency medicine and they agreed that shotgun wounds were the worst. It being in the Deep South, they understood when I told them I’d be using a shotgun for home defense. In a way, it makes their job easier, since all they would have to do is declare him dead.
As far as my pistol is concerned, I go with Clint Smith’s advice and would use it only to fight my way back to my long gun(s). I’m not a fan of handguns. At all. You end up sacrificing power, accuracy and a lot of range (compared to a rifle, anyway) for portability and concealability. I’ve considered getting a Ruger 57, so I’d have a pistol that could at least defeat soft body armor and have at or near the same capacity as a rifle. With the proliferation of civilian-owned body armor, a .45 ACP might not cut it anymore.