By Andrea Stump
TWAW Chapter leader 

The Well-Armed Woman: Home Invasions- Weapon Considerations


December 15, 2021 | View PDF

I’d like to wrap up my home invasion series by discussing weapons. While this article will focus on firearms, it is important to note that many things can be used as weapons for home defense, though some will be more effective than others.

Baseball bats are a good go-to option for those who do not feel comfortable having a firearm in the home.

A hotly debated topic among those in the firearm community is: what is the best home defense gun? The short answer is whatever gun you feel most comfortable with, but that would make for a short article. The longer answer requires some analysis of different factors including stopping power, accuracy, recoil, ammo capacity, and over-penetration. We’ll look at the three most common types of guns used for home defense: handguns, AR-15s, and shotguns.

Stopping power: I believe the shotgun wins this category, especially if 00 buck shot or slugs are used. The AR-15 would also provide a lot of stopping power based on its velocity. The handgun’s stopping power largely depends on the caliber of bullet. A .45 would be much more effective than a .22.

Accuracy: This depends largely on how practiced someone is in using their weapon, but generally speaking, it will be easiest to get shots on target with the shotgun due to the spray pattern of shot, followed by the AR-15, and lastly the handgun.

Recoil: This depends a lot on the caliber of bullet or shotgun load, but generally speaking the shotgun will have the most recoil while the AR-15 will have minimal recoil. A .22 handgun will have very little recoil while a .45 will have a significant amount. The amount of recoil is important to consider because it will affect your ability to be accurate with subsequent shots.

Ammo capacity: The AR-15 definitely wins this category, with the handgun coming in second. The shotgun is the most limited in capacity, especially depending on the type of action.

Over-penetration: Something very important to consider with home defense weapons is penetration (bullets going through bodies, walls, or other materials), especially if you live close to other neighbors, are in an apartment, or have lots of people living in your house. Over-penetration will largely depend on the type of round used (full metal jacket vs hollow point) and the caliber. This is probably the most debated factor out of all of them and I’m not sure I can give you a clear winner on this one.

The most important thing is that you are aware of what your weapon is capable of and do not shoot it in areas where you’re at risk of injuring others if the projectiles were to go past their intended target. Please note, even if you’re successful in hitting your target you may still have issues with over-penetration.

This was a very brief overview of some important considerations to think about when choosing a home defense firearm. Ultimately, the best gun will be the one you’re the most comfortable with. To find out more about home defense, personal safety, gun ownership, and other methods of self-defense, please join us for The Well Armed Women (TWAW) Sterling chapter meeting on December 18th from 9 am to 11 am at Logan County Shooting Sports complex, 12515 Highway 61/2nd Amendment Way off Highway 61 Sterling, CO. We will be meeting in the classroom for our annual gun cleaning workshop. Bring your cleaning supplies if you have some and the firearms you wish to clean but please leave all ammunition at home!

TWAW Shooting Chapters exists to educate and empower women in a safe and non-threatening environment for their effective and responsible self-defense with a firearm. Prospective members are welcome to attend their first meeting before joining. If you would like to become a member, you can join online at Women over 18 interested in learning more can contact Jennifer Everhart at [email protected] or visit TWAW Shooting Chapters, Inc. website at  You can also like us on Facebook @twawsterlingcolorado or stop by Boondocks Army Surplus at 324 N 4th Street in Sterling and pick up a flyer


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