What Caliber Is Best For Home Defense? [Video]


Home defense. It’s one of the most important things to most gun owners. Even if that wasn’t the primary reason that you bought a firearm (maybe you grew up hunting or got into the sport side of shooting at a young age), it’s pretty certain that you keep firearms prepared so that you can defend yourself and your family in your home should someone break in.

So, it’s almost certain that you’ve wondered about what caliber of ammunition that you should use for home defense. After all, you want to make sure that you have the stopping power to stop a threat, but you also want to be sure that you aren’t going to endangering anyone else in your home (or in neighboring apartments or homes, depending on your living situation). What caliber should you pick?

Should you go with a .40 with its stopping power due to its mass? Or maybe you want the higher velocity but lower mass of 9mm. Then again, you could go with the even lower mass of a .380. What should you choose?


Fortunately, someone took the time to test different calibers being shot against dry wall (which is what the walls in most homes in the U.S. are made out of) to see the effect that each caliber had on dry wall. Would dry wall stop some calibers but not others? If it stops some calibers, then, certainly, those calibers could be safer for home defense because they wouldn’t pass through walls to hit innocent parties. You can watch the video below to see the results.

If you watched the video, you know the answer, but if you didn’t take the time to watch all sixteen minutes, you can skip to 13:38 to hear the summation which is: All of them will pass through dry wall when aimed at dry wall.

In other words, no caliber is “safe” for home defense, so, you had better be sure that every time you squeeze that trigger, you are on target to only hit the threat to stop the threat. Because every shot that you miss could injure someone else, and, as the person pulling the trigger, you are responsible for every bullet that comes out of your gun.



  1. Has anyone done same testing with materials making up the outside of a house, e.g. window glass, brick, hardiplank, etc.?

  2. The best caliber is one the YOU can use for defense. You must be able to place the bullet ON the assailant(s) to STOP their attack without threatening others. None of this wounding crap, shoot to END the attack.

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