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January 2, 2020

VIDEO: Home Defense Long Guns


By Shari LeGate, FMG Publications

When it comes to home defense firearms long guns are a solid solution that can meet the needs of a household or individual.

Home defense is something every homeowner thinks about and at some point the decision is made to purchase a firearm to protect their loved ones and property. Often, the homeowner is inexperienced with the types of home defense firearms available and will need guidance on which guns will best suit his needs. As a retailer in the firearms community, you have an opportunity to provide information, product and education. In return, a new, loyal customer can be created.

Training and Education

The best home defense firearm for a home owner’s peace-of-mind is one that is handled safely and competently, so no matter what type of firearm they ultimately choose, education and training are first and foremost.

Offer classes on home defense and encourage the homeowner and other responsible parties in the household to attend. Discuss possible scenarios they might face and the best way to handle each one.

There is no single shooting solution that can meet the needs of every household or individual and the only way to evaluate what’s best for your customers is to spend time discussing their situation and their comfort level.

Home Defense Firearms Options

While handguns are the go-to method for personal protection, rifles and shotguns tend to be the more common firearms used in protecting the home.

Large caliber rifles will stop the threat, but they could be too powerful, increasing the gamble of over-penetration. They can also be cumbersome in a tight environment, such as a hallway where maneuvering quickly in a defensive situation is needed.

The smaller pistol caliber carbines make it easier to move through close quarters and the chance of over-penetration is lessened. Suggest hollow point rounds such as .38 Special, .9mm or .45 ACP. And don’t forget to add in a powerful light and optic sights which are a necessity when searching and moving through a home.

Among long guns, the shotgun might be the best choice for home defense. The main difference between shotguns used for hunting and target sports and those used for home defense is barrel length, which ranges between 18.5 to 20 inches in length.

A pump-action or semi-automatic shotgun is preferred over a break-open shotgun as the latter will hold only two shotshells, while the pump or semi-auto can hold 3 – 5 rounds. Explain the difference between the actions to see which one your customer feels more comfortable with and if possible take them out to the range.

A 12 or 20 gauge both have enough stopping power for home defense. Suggest birdshot for the ammunition to reduce the risk of over-penetration. Explain the difference between a shotshell filled with bb’s spreading a wide pattern and a single projectile from a rifle or handgun. In a close-range situation’s, birdshot is effective ammunition and the risk of over-penetration is minimal.

Beyond the Firearm

When selling a firearm for home defense, there are many aspects for the homeowner to consider. Help your customer create a home defense plan, such as designating a safe room for the family to gather in until the threat is neutralized. Make sure the room is equipped with a strong lock, a flashlight and telephone to call the police.

Purchasing a gun for home defense is only the first step in firearm ownership and your customer is coming to you for help with that step.

For information on selling home defense long guns and much more, visit nssf.org/retailers.

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