Sir Edward Cooke once wrote, “A man’s home is his castle.”
Part of owning a castle meant being able to defend it, and today is no different. Instead of catapults and crossbows, firearms are the tools used in modern “castle” defense. Before learning how to defend your castle, you need to pick a weapon first.
Civilian firearms can be divided into three rough categories:
Glock 17 Gen 5
If you want a battle-tested, reliable weapon for home defense, look no further than the Glock 17. Used for law enforcement, military, self-defense, and competitive shooting, this gun can do it all. With an impressive seventeen round magazine, you won’t have to worry about running out of ammunition in a life or death situation. The Glock 17 boasts a 4.48-inch barrel, longer than the average concealed carry pistol. (Generally, a longer barrel equals greater accuracy.) The Glock 17 is accurate to ranges beyond what would be necessary for a home defense scenario. At the same time, the barrel isn’t so long that it becomes hard to handle. In short, the Glock 17 is an excellent, battle-tested weapon.
If you want a Glock with a little more punch, try out the Glock 32. In the 1990s, Sig Sauer designed a new bullet—the .357 Sig. The round was designed to avoid jamming issues, while being more powerful than a standard 9mm bullet. The Glock 32 was designed to fire these more reliable and powerful rounds. While Glocks are renowned for their reliability, the Glock 32 is even more reliable than other Glocks due to the special ammunition it uses. With a thirteen round magazine, the Glock 32 has a generous magazine capacity while packing a bigger punch than your average 9mm. So if you need to stop an intruder in your house, you can’t go wrong with the powerful Glock 32.
The Glock 34 was designed for competition shooting. As such, it features blisteringly fast muzzle velocity, and shoot-the-ears-off-a-gnat accuracy. Equipped with a 5.31-inch barrel, the Glock 34 boasts the longest sight radius and the highest muzzle velocity of any Glock. A long sight radius makes it easy to line up an accurate shot. A high muzzle velocity is important for certain defensive ammunition (like hollow-point bullets). The Glock 34 comes standard with a seventeen round magazine. A cutout on the gun allows an owner to easily mount optics. Furthermore, the large size of Glock 34 reduces recoil, making it less “snappy” when fired. With that said, the Glock 34 is more than enough for your home defense needs.
The “Goldilocks” of handguns, there’s almost nothing that the Glock 19 can’t do. Simple, effective, and easy to use, the rugged Glock 19 has been a favorite of gun owners for years. With more than five generations of the Glock 19 released, you’ll be able to find the version that fits you best. Different gun owners prefer different generations, but most will recommend either the Gen 4 or Gen 5. (Click here for a full review of the Gen 4). The Glock 19 comes (new) with three 15 round magazines. If the gun doesn’t fit your hand, you can change out “backstraps” on the grip to enlarge or shrink the grip to fit your hand size. The Glock 19’s long grip means you’ll be able to control the recoil on this gun with ease. The Glock 19 boasts impressive accuracy while not breaking the bank. This is a fantastic gun, especially for new shooters who may not be sure which features they’re looking for. The Glock 19 does it all well.
The Glock 19x is a variation of the Glock 19 created to replace the Beretta 92 as the U.S. military’s sidearm. As such, Glock designed the 19x for tactical, close-range shooting. The 19x comes equipped with a 4-inch barrel that is easy to draw and use in confined spaces. While not as accurate at distance as the Glock 34, the 19x is optimized for close range, tactical engagements. With a seventeen round magazine, the19x has enough ammunition to handle a home defense situation without needing to reload. The 19x comes standard with steel night sights. These night sights make it very easy to line up a shot even in low-light situations. Designed for the military, this handgun is perfect for home defense.
Each gun on the list has its advantages and disadvantages. So pick one based on your need and give it a try. But what if you’re still unsure? Many gun stores will allow you to rent a gun and shoot it to find which one is best for you. So load up and get ready to protect your castle!
Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared in large publications like The Armory Life, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog. This was first published in the National Interest and is being republished with kind permission.