Firearms for Home Defense

The blog post “Firearms for Home Defense” by Jameson Lopp covers considerations for selecting, training with, and storing firearms for home defense.

It discusses avoiding overpenetration, using appropriate firearms and ammunition, incorporating flashlights and sights, and the importance of firearm training.

It also highlights the necessity of quick-access safes and offers specific firearm recommendations like the Kel-Tec KSG shotgun and Kriss Vector pistol.

For detailed information, you can read the full post here.


Jameson Lopp lives in North Carolina. He refused to move to California because he couldn’t bring his gun collection in 2014. That was a dealbreaker. One of many on the left coast.


I’m not sure why there is, or should be, any question about firearm usage in self defense. The old adage, “God created man, Sam Colt made them equal.” has never been seriously disputed. All you need to do is consider a “fight” between the average male (180 lbs) vs the average female (110 lbs). Disparity of force makes this an unfair fight; some equalizer is clearly necessary.

IF there is any dispute, it is between “train” and “not train”. Unfortunately the split seems to fall between those who train advocating training, and those who don’t advocating not training. Self defense is a somewhat nuanced area, and being familiar with the numerous loopholes and pro’s and con’s of using a weapon would seem to unbalance the equation towards training. Yet no where near half of those who have a firearm for self defense are even aware of the multitude of things that have to cross your mind before you choose to use a firearm in defense of yourself or others. Sometimes the situations are pretty clear-cut; often not. Knowledge can make the difference.

First and foremost, you need a certain level of skill in using a firearm. Handguns are, by far, the most difficult to learn to handle properly - one reason there are numerous “gunfights” on record with a multitude of shots but no hits. Handguns have a multitude of degrees of freedom in their deployment that make technique important. They are also the least powerful of the firearm groups, an obvious fact else militaries would be solely armed with pistols. The fact that rifles are the dominant firearm in any military says all you need to know about lethality. Handguns are common because they are portable and easy to access. If you KNOW you are going to a gunfight, OTOH, bring a long gun - any long gun. The much maligned EBR (Evil Black Rifle) fires a moderate range cartridge known for its low recoil and generally small size. Yet Rittenhouse dispatched three large assailants with 4 shots - two dead, one never going to use the arm he held a pistol in, well again.

Second, you have to have a willingness to use the weapon against another human. This is not nearly as obvious as one might think. A LTC Grossman has an outstanding book called On Killing that clearly shows that the majority of people have a hesitatin on using a weapon - of any kind - in lethal defense of their lives. “A species doesn’t (usually) kill itself”, to quote him. So IF you decide you are going to have a firearm for self defense, you need to train in a certain way to help insure that if/when the moment comes, you are prepared to not be another victim and instead defend yourself vigorously - and effectively. Training - there’s that word again.

The rest of the considerations are minor in nature - type of weapon, penetration of ammunition, characteristics of firing the weapon, loss (momentary) of orientation in a gunfight (usually due to focus and noise/temporary deafness).

Lastly one must always remember that the human body can absorb an incredible amount of damage and continue to, especially, fight. A shot THROUGH the heart - can leave the assilant with 6-10 seconds of conscious fight left. THAT, folks, is an eternity in a gunfight. Consider that back when I competed in IPSC I could shoot something called an El Presidente (double tap 3 separate targets, reload a mag, and repeat double tap three more targets) in 4.1 seconds. So technically I could be shot through the heart and still kill 6 people - before I dropped dead. I am dead; I just don’t know it.

Post script: Know the law. You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill; know the law so you’re hard to convict (legend od Andrew Branca, self defense expert lawyer).


These are nowhere near the official rules, and may not be suitable for home defence [1]. On the other hand they get some of the mindset right.

edit: added USAF and Army.

United States Marine Corps Rules for Gunfighting


  1. Your number one option for Personal Security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

  2. In a potentially dangerous situation be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

  3. Be polite. Be professional. But be prepared to kill everyone who appears dangerous.

  4. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.

  5. Have a plan.

  6. Have a back-up plan, because the first plan won’t work.

  7. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

  8. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.


  1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a “4.”

  2. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun (a shotgun or rifle) and friend with a long gun. (Semi-automatics are preferable.)

  3. Use a gun that works every time. “All skill is in vain when an Angel pisses in the flintlock of your musket.”

  4. Weapon accuracy is relative: most combat shooting will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the firearm.

  5. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.


  1. Never, under any circumstances, drop your guard.

  2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Your life is expensive.

  3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

  4. If your shooting stance is good, you’re probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

  5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.) [2]

  6. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and moving to a better position.

  7. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.

  8. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

  9. Always load tactically, and threat-scan 360 degrees.

  10. In situations where you can see or confront your adversaries, watch their hands. Hands kill. (Remember: In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.)


  1. Someday, it’s possible, someone may kill you with your own gun, but he should have to beat you to death with it because it’s empty.

APPENDIX: Navy Rules for Gunfighting

  1. Go to sea.

  2. Shell the hell out of them.

  3. Send in the Marines.

  4. Drink coffee.

US Air Force Rules for Gunfighting

  1. Kiss the wife goodbye .

  2. Fly to target area, drop bombs, fly back.

  3. Grill some burgers and drink beer.

US Army Rules for Gunfighting

  1. See USMC Rules for Gunfighting.

  2. Add 30 days.

  3. Hope the Marines already destroyed all meaningful resistance.

[1] The State of California appears to believe home defence is immoral/racist. CA residents may have to make harder choices.

[2] In home defence or other civilian defence situation, moving towards the target my be a better bet to ensure hits without collateral damage.


I have seen such fights on TV many times. Yes, it is a very unfair fight - for the male. Any blonde-haired woman of a certain age can outrun any fit young black male and beat him to the ground without even taking her high heels off or getting her make-up smudged. TV would not lie to us, would it?


See, Gavin! You posted this in the wrong thread - it should be in the “jokes” thread. “TV would not lie to us, would it?” I almost fell off my chair laughing at that. It’s like “Democrats don’t lie”. Hell, both of those institutions lie reflexively. It is in their inherent nature.

But keep up the good work. A good laugh a day is very therapeutic. Har! Har! Pirate days!