Are Pistols Right for Me? Home / Pistol 101 / Are Pistols Right for Me?

Are Pistols Right for Me?

Image of Bryan Hill, Founder of Pistol Wizard Bryan Hill / March 10 2021

Self-defense is a natural right.

Pepper spray and tasers are handy for stopping moderate threats, but against an imminent threat of grievous bodily harm or death, the fastest, most reliable way to end it is deadly force.

Guns are the most effective means of deadly force for self-defense.

There are 2 main types:
  1. Long guns need 2 hands to use, and are powerful.
    Long Guns

  2. Pistols need only 1 hand, but are weak compared to long guns.
    Long Guns
So why pistols?

Home Defense

Home invasions give only seconds to react.
Warning: Graphic content
It took 7 seconds for the invader to break down the door and begin his horrible assault. It's often even faster than that.

Long guns are ideal for their power, but have a few problems:
  • A home defense weapon must be ready to use within a few seconds.
  • Long guns must be left loaded and unsecured to be ready.
  • If you have children in the home, they could cause a tragic accident.
  • If you secure long guns in a safe, accessing them can take 15 seconds or more. Unless you harden your doors and windows, you'll only have 5-10 seconds.
Pistols can be stored in quick-access safes, which protect your children while also being fast enough to access and defend your home.

Pistols can be comfortably carried on your person at home, in a concealed or duty holster. This offers the fastest response against a home invasion.

Concealed Carry

Concealed Carry
Even the most compact long guns are impractical to carry concealed across a variety of wardrobes. A pistol is your only option for daily carry.

Duty Carry

Duty Carry
For soldiers, a long gun is great. But soldiers operate as part of a team of 5 or more.

Police and security often patrol in a vehicle, alone. They often have to apprehend criminals, alone. They have to use the minimum force necessary. Often this means pepper spray, unarmed skills, or tasers. A long gun gets in the way of all of that.

For police and security, a pistol is most practical for most situations. A long gun is often kept in a vehicle for the rare times it's needed.


Backwoods Defense
If you're in bear country, a pistol is your best defense. Bear spray isn't nearly as effective as some might have you believe.

Pistol Types

There are a few main types of pistols, each for different tasks. Whether it's home defense, concealed carry, duty carry, or hiking, pistols are a practical compromise between convenience and effectiveness. Different pistol types specialize in each niche:
  • Full-size Steel Pistols for Home Defense
  • Compact and Pocket Pistols for Concealed Carry
  • Full-size and Compact Polymer Pistols for Duty Carry
  • Full-size 10mm Pistols for Backwoods Defense
Unsure of the right type for you?
Why pistols? For home defense, concealed carry, duty carry, or bear defense, they're often your best bet. Find out why.

Pistol Quiz
Take our quiz and get a recommendation based on your needs. We'll check what you need a pistol for, how you'll carry it, and what you need most from a pistol.

Related Articles


Are you happy with this page?