- Best Weapon for Self-Defense
- May you legally carry the weapon?
- May the weapon be deployed quickly?
- May the weapon be used effectively?
- Are you capable of using the weapon effectively?
- Will the weapon’s effect be fast enough?
- Will you have the will to use the weapon?
- What if the attacker takes the weapon?
- Knives as self-defense weapons
- Firearms as self-defense weapons
- Best firearms for self-defense
- Best firearms for home defense
- All Pages
Most self-defense weapons are only useful in preventing an attacker from continuing the attack but they will probably not stop the initial attack. If an attacker is charging you, no weapon is likely to stop the charge so, unless you have some way to avoid the charge, the attacker will probably knock you down. Therefore, whatever weapon you use must be easily deployable and capable of being used after the initial attack. Avoiding the initial attack is better than trying to overcome it. If you avoid it, you are uninjured and able to deploy and use your weapon. If you try overcoming the initial attack, you may be unable to deploy the weapon and may be injured, and thus unable to deploy the weapon.
Think about range. For many weapons, such as knifes, if you are close enough to reach the attacker, then the attacker is close enough to reach you. At close range, anything you use better work the first time because you probably won’t get a second chance.
If you use a weapon, you will be held to a higher standard than someone in the same circumstances without a weapon. Just by having the weapon, you are saying you have reason to expect an attack and that you are willing to use the weapon to prevent or stop the attack. This means you have thought about what you would do if attacked. Therefore, since you have planned for an attack, if you mistakenly use more force than necessary or you harm some innocent bystander, you will be held more accountable than someone without a weapon.
May you legally carry the weapon?
No weapon is effective unless you have it with you and not all weapons are legal for you to carry, or they may have limitations on where or how they may be carried. A .44 magnum revolver is highly intimidating and very effective but it is too bulky to carry with you in all situations. Even in states that permit concealed carry, you are limited as to where you can carry, and, in many situations, it is not in your best interests to carry, such as to a business meeting.
While smaller firearms may not be as effective as larger ones, they are better for continuous carry since they are easily concealed and easier to carry. This means they will usually be there when you need them, whereas bigger weapons may not always with you. The same holds true for knives and any other weapon. For any weapon to be an effective self-defense weapon it must be legal for you to carry, you must be proficient with it, and you must have it with you at all times.
May the weapon be deployed quickly?
For a weapon to be effective, you must be able to deploy it quickly. If a weapon cannot be deployed easily, such as with a folding knife, then it would not be very effective for self-defense. Some say, “Any weapon is better than none at all,” but this is not necessarily true. It is better to have your hands and attention free to use for self-defense than it is to have them tied up fumbling to get a weapon deployed.
May the weapon be used effectively?
For a weapon to be effective for self-defense, it must be able to be used effectively in most situations and it must be able to deter or stop an attacker. While a firearm may be effective in stopping an attacker, it may not be used effectively in a crowded room since you may injure or kill innocent bystanders. A bullet will keep going and continue to be dangerous until it strikes something that stops it. You have more precise control of a knife and it will usually not injure bystanders.
Are you capable of using the weapon effectively?
No weapon is effective unless you can use it effectively. To use a weapon effectively, you most train regularly in using it effectively. Target shooting at a range is good for perfecting your weapon handling and shooting skills, but for self-defense you need to practice practical or combat shooting. To use a knife effectively, you must train in knife self-defense methods.
Anyone may learn to use learn to use a weapon under ordinary conditions; however, using them effectively while under attack or when being shot at is a different story. Shooting at someone who is shooting at you is different than you just shooting at someone. Whatever weapon you use, you must have confidence in it being effective, or it will not be effective.
Will the weapon’s effect be fast enough to stop an attacker before he or she kills you?
If a person is angry enough to attack you, then the person’s adrenaline level will be high and his or her body will be geared up to fight. This means the attacker’s body will be slower to react to pain and it’s reaction will be lessened. One shot or one stab may not have enough effect to stop the attacker from killing or seriously injuring you. In fact, it may even increase the person’s anger level and strength, thus making to easier for him or her to kill or seriously injure you.
Will you have the will to use the weapon?
Having weapon and being able to use it effectively is different than having the will to use it. Knowing how to use a knife is different than actually having to thrust it into a person. The slightest hesitation on your part could mean the difference between your life and death. Along with developing the skills needed to use a weapon, you must also develop the willingness to use it when the time comes, and the willingness to face the consequences of having used it, such as criminal charges or lawsuits, collateral damage, or emotional problems for the rest of your life.
What if the attacker gains control of the weapon?
Even if the attacker does not have a weapon, if you have a weapon, then a weapon is available to the attacker. If the attacker gains control of the weapon, then it will probably be used against you. Therefore, you must know how to protect your weapon and how to defend against it if the attacker takes it and uses it against you.
Knives as self-defense weapons
Fighting knifes are difficult and dangerous to use; it is easy to cut yourself while using them. The effects of their use are messy; there will be a lot of shredded clothing, blood, and gory wounds. The aftermath of their use will be revolting. To the public eye, you will be viewed negatively even if you were justified in your actions. This may be a problem if you face a jury.
Choosing the best knife is even more a personal choice than choosing the best firearm. There are so many types and sizes of knives that the best one for you is usually the one you are most comfortable carrying and using. Some basic characteristic of a good self-defense knife are:
- Legal to carry.
- Easily deployed.
- Easily concealed.
- Quality steel blade.
- Strong, stiff construction.
- For a folding knife, it must have a blade lock.
- Easy to hold ambidextrous grip.
- Tang is desired.
- Single or double-edged blade.
- Blade that is long enough to penetrate to vital organs, 6 or 7 inches.
Firearms as self-defense weapons
Even with all the negative publicity firearms receive, they are easy to use and, although they may cause collateral damage due to increased range and penetration, they leave clean little holes on clothing and bodies, sometimes with little visible blood. The aftermath of their use is much less revolting than that of knifes.
Considerations for a home defense firearm
- Effectiveness. The weapon must be capable of stopping the threat, which is primarily a matter of caliber and ammunition. The larger the caliber, the more powder, and the more spread of the bullet, the more stopping power of the firearm.
- Penetration. The complement to effectiveness is penetration. Walls don’t stop bullets; innocent bystanders in adjacent rooms and adjacent houses can be wounded or even killed by a bullet fired in self-defense. Caliber and ammunition selection can mitigate this risk, but the bottom line is never discharge a firearm at a target unless you are willing to kill anyone that is behind that target.
- Ammo Capacity. The weapon should hold ample ammunition, because under stressful situations even skilled shooters require more than one shot to hit the target. Some aggressors require more than one shot to neutralize, and reloading may not be an option.
- Reliability. The weapon must work first time and every time the trigger is pulled.
- Cost. Greater effectiveness and reliability may cost more but there is always a middle ground that provides everything you need at a reasonable cost.
Best firearms for self defense
The only choice is a handgun. The ones with highest caliber and the most rounds is always the best choice. When selecting a handgun, along with stopping power, you should consider ease of carry, ease of concealment, ease of deployment, and ease of use. Some handguns are expensive, some are cheap. Stay away from the cheap ones and, unless money is no problem, you should avoid the expensive ones. There are many reliable, reasonably priced handguns that would be highly effective for self-defense.
Best firearms for home defense
You don’t need to conceal a home defense firearm so a long gun is best. They are easy to point and shoot, you don’t need a permit to purchase one, and they are more intimidating.
- 12 Gauge Pump Shotguns. They look and sound intimidating, are familiar to everyone, are easy to purchase and use, are very effective at stopping attackers even with a poorly placed shot, and they have limited penetration of walls.
- .223 / 5.56mm Carbines. These are the often maligned AR-15 “assault” rifles, the civilian (semi-auto) versions of the M16 family of weapons. While they may look intimidating, they are just a semi-auto rifles; one trigger pull, one shot. A major problem with them is over penetration. Since the round is so powerful, you may kill the attacker and everyone behind the attacker. Frangible ammunition, such as the Hornady TAP, helps prevent over penetration. These bullets begin to yaw, turn, and fragment upon impacting any medium other than air, which significantly reduces their penetration.
Must used firearms for home defense
- Handguns. While one of the least overall effective firearms for home protection, their small size and accessibility to the beginner have made them the most popular home defense weapon used today. Handguns are easy to learn, cheap to practice with, and store easily in a nightstand. Since pistol caliber projectiles do not create the type of damage that instantly incapacitates an aggressor, the key is to place as many rounds as you can on the target. Quality ammo and a clean weapon are critical to reliable handgun operation.
This best weapon for self-defense is the one you have available to you when you need it. Therefore, you need to be proficient at using anything around you as a weapon.