Carbine vs. Pistol for Home Defense

One of the big questions that gun owners have on home defense is whether to use a pistol or a carbine like an AR, AK, or lever-action.

This is a big topic, but I’m going to boil down some of the big advantages of pistols and carbines…

Advantages for pistols:

  1. Easier to have on your person, in a bedside gun safe, or in secure single-gun, quick access safes.
  2. Cheaper for the gun and for the safe.
  3. In many parts of the country, it’s cheaper and easier to do live fire training with a pistol.

Advantages of carbines:

  1. Easier for newer shooters to learn and make hits with at in-home distances
  2. Ability to sight along the barrel and still make solid hits with less training than with a pistol
  3. Easier to retain in a scuffle because of 2 hands and because of slings.
  4. More effective as a striking tool.
  5. Fewer hits required to stop a threat.
  6. It’s easier for a newer shooter to find the dot on a carbine with a red dot than on a pistol with a red dot.
  7. It is easier to find grip-activated light/laser options for a carbine that require little to no thought to operate.
  8. Because of having multiple points of contact (at least the shoulder, hand, and support hand and preferably your cheek and a sling), it’s easier to hit man-sized targets at in-house distances with a bad trigger press–a trigger press that is bad enough to turn a perfect sight picture into a miss with a pistol.
  9. Ironically, fast, light carbine ammo will penetrate FEWER layers of sheetrock than defensive pistol ammo…even frangibles.
  10. In most areas, an AR has more ammo capacity…even though you probably won’t need it.
  11. Easier to make fast, accurate follow-up shots with a carbine.

If you always carry and always put your pistol in the same spot before bed (mine goes in my bark-in-the-night, next-to-the-bed battle belt), you might respond easily with both a pistol and carbine.  We have moose, coyote, mountain lions, and wolves that our dogs alert us to fairly frequently in the middle of the night.  My immediate action is to grab my belt/pistol, and THEN grab the carbine if I think it’s necessary, put on my tactical flip flops and NODs, and check things out.  In other words, if something happens fast, I’m responding with a pistol.  If I’ve got a few more seconds, I’m grabbing a carbine.

So, there’s a pretty strong argument for having a carbine as a home defense weapon, but how do you train to use it in a home environment where loved ones are present in the house and neighbors may be close by?

What can you do TO your house to make it less likely that you’re selected for attack and that you’re less likely to need to use it?

How dangerous

What are the most common mistakes that happen during home defense situations and how do you avoid them?

Just how dangerous is it to use military, law enforcement, and competition tactics in a civilian home defense situation? (this is HUGE)

What are the most common gun malfunctions that happen during home invasions and what can you do ahead of time to prevent them and how can you fight through them when seconds count?

We’ve got the answers to all of those questions >HERE< and if you own a carbine for potential home defense, you are going to want to check it out today.

We’ve all seen how quickly our cities can go from relatively calm and civil to burning and rioting…and none of the bad actors who burned and rioted in the past have gone away.  They’ve just regrouped and are waiting for their next opportunity to cause havoc.

This isn’t the kind of training that you want to wait until the 11th hour to get…you want to get it NOW and start letting it percolate in your brain, and start building the skills so that they can compound over time.

Like I said…check it out now by clicking >HERE<  You’ll be glad you did.

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1 Comment

  • Grumpy 49

    Reply Reply March 5, 2022

    I like reading opinions on handgun versus carbine versus shotgun for home defense. Most important issue should be which one do you know how to use? Almost as important – Which one do you feel comfortable using?

    However, everyone should also be aware of how the local DA looks at self defense. A .223/5.56 hollow point round is possibly the best home defense cartridge, and a 5.56 (AR) carbine is one of the easiest firearms for anyone to use. But, if the local LEOs use cartridge XXX in model YYY firearm, then that should also be a serious factor in what you use. I did find that the local Police Chief carries a full sized 1911, in .45 ACP.

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