Top Home Defense Weapon Accessories or Add-Ons

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Opinion: Gunsmith, Michael Ware gives us his rundown of the top home defense weapon features you should consider with your weapon choice.

Home Defense Gun Hidden Under Pillow iStock-GummyBone-937150766
Top Home Defense Weapon Accessories or Add-Ons, IMG iStock-GummyBone

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- I build and customize a lot of home defense weapons. Most are firearms, but I’ve been commissioned for just about every kind of small arm you can think of. I have a lot of people that come in wanting the down and dirty list of things I recommend they buy for that ‘bedside defender'. Many customers leave shocked that I’m not a ‘gear snob’ like so many out there.

Sure, I have my favorites, just as anyone does. But, what works for me may not work for you, and there are quantifiable reasons why in most cases.

I’m simply not an “all or none” guy in this genre of life. That said, there are some everyday things that are essential to carefully consider when you make your buying choices or you’re adding and/or modifying a weapon specifically for home defense.

If there is one universal truth when it comes to a home defense weapon, it would be this: Make sure you’re well practiced with your home defense choice.

With no small irony, many people are least practiced with their home defense choice when compared to the others in their collections. If I’ve had one customer come through my shop and tell me he carries a G19 daily and leaves an 870 by the bed for home defense, I’ll bet I’ve had a thousand. I immediately ask them how much they practice and how many classes they’ve been through with their trusty G19. Some even surprise the heck out of me and rattle of beautiful twisting tales of being on their third extractor because they’ve shot their midsize 9mm so much. Then I ask the follow-up question, “And how many scattergun courses have you taken? Especially those with a curriculum including low light scenarios? None? How often do you take that same 12ga to the range and run the heck out of it with those punishing 3 ½” 00 buck loads you have it loaded with by the bed?” Crickets…

Night sights

Meprolight Self-Illuminated Night Sights, IMG Meprolight
Meprolight Self-Illuminated Night Sights, IMG Meprolight

Think about it a bit. If you’re going to use a home defense weapon, it will be indoors, within close quarters more than likely, and probably dark. Night sights are something many people install. Trijicon, Meprolight, XS Sight Systems, Ameriglo, and others are in our shop routinely.

Defense Light

Streamlight TL Racker-50
Streamlight TL Racker-50

This parlays into one of the critical components I like to have people consider on a home defense rig – a light. There are legitimate arguments you can make for a weapon-mounted light and also a handheld light. I’m less worried about those choices, as they are individual preferences than the idea someone has no light at all. The other consideration is what kind of light in terms of brightness, focus, and intensity.

If I lived in a big sprawling open ranch in Montana and I might give chase or retreat outside into nature, a powerful light starts to make sense.

If you’re like most of America, your quarters are a bit closer, and I’d just about bet dimes to cold dog turds your hallway outside your bedroom is white or very light color. Thus, an ultra-bright light may zap your night vision and end up being too much. I’ve seen home defense shotguns mounted on weapons with scotch tape over the lenses to diffuse the light a tad and tame it a bit. You might have to try a few configurations to see what works best for you. Surefire, Streamlight, Inforce, Cloud Defense LLC, and First Light USA are among the many great options available.

Snag Free And Simple

Another key feature is a weapon that is snag free and simple to use. If somebody has made their way into your home at 3:15 am, you’re going to be groggy with poor vision. Your heart rate will increase, and your natural dexterity will diminish in most cases. You don’t help yourself by choosing a complicated weapon, or you’ll be in trouble potentially. You know those huge tactical latches on the charging handles of AR-15s? Yeah, no. When you have a long-barreled AR out in a field of prairie dogs, and you’ve got the Hubbel Telescope mounted atop it for a scope, you benefit from a handle that sticks out there far enough you can use it easily. A home defense carbine with a latch that sticks out way too far is a liability you should be reconsidering. It’ll catch on all kinds of things and hem you up or slow you down.

Spare Mags or Speed Loaders

Speed Strips vs. Speedloaders
Speed Strips vs. Speedloaders

If you’re running a handgun, do you have a reload? Do you need a reload? Where are you going to put it? I know some people who have waited for a sale and bought a simple khaki hunting vest and hung it on the inside of their bedroom door or back door of the home. The vest has loaded gun magazines, a spare flashlight, a cordless phone in some cases, a knife, and things of that nature. They grab their gun, slip on the vest, and they’re ready even if they’re naked as a jaybird. I also know a guy that keeps a tomahawk strapped on his, but that’s a story for another day. (related read, Speed Strips vs. Speedloaders )

Weapon Sling

WMD Guns SlingStock
WMD Guns SlingStock

If you’re running something like a shotgun or carbine, you might consider a sling. There are plenty of times when you might want to check a door handle, pick up something, or use another hand, possibly both, and I don’t want you to be separated from your defense tool. Too few people use slings these days. Think this one over. MAGPUL, V-Tac, Blackhawk, WMD Guns and many others offer great sling choices, and MAGPUL, Grovtec, GG&G, Troy, and Midwest Industries have plenty of accessories and mounting hardware.
Get yourself a reliable and simple weapon that lends itself to problem-free function. Then add the right accessories for you and practice!


Michael Ware
Michael Ware

About Michael Ware:

Michael is a Christian husband and father to two children. He owns and operates Controlled Chaos Arms, a premier custom weapons shop in the Midwest. He serves as Chairman of the board of Directors at the Iowa Firearms Coalition. The pursuit of truth drives him in research and his writing.

Michael enjoys shooting, hunting, and fishing throughout the Midwest and Rockies. An avid outdoorsman and tireless supporter of all Second Amendment virtues, he can be found in his gun shop, in a tree stand with his kids, or on Capitol Hill lobbying in support of Freedom and Liberty at any given time.

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WhormdStWayneXaun LocDoszapDeplorable Bill Recent comment authors
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Whormd
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Whormd

Useful review. A sling and night sights are definitely must-haves.

StWayne
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StWayne

Yep. My .308 has a sling, a Hubble-sized scope (3-9×40) equipped with a mount that allows you to chose either scope or iron sight simply by reorienting you head, along with a spare ammo carrier that wraps around the stock. Because it’s being used for home defense, it has a blinding strobe light on it if needed, and uses supercharged hollow point ammo that does over 3400 FPS, delivering more than 2,800 FPE at the muzzle, and still over 2,000 FPE at 600 yards. For comparison, my supercharged +P+ hollow point 9mm rounds only do 1175 FPS at the muzzle,… Read more »

Xaun Loc
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Xaun Loc

If you are foolish enough to be part of the majority of gun owners who think they should go investigate that noise they heard in the night, then the first accessory for your home defense should be a pair of shoes… No, not for the gun, for your feet. No matter how well you think you know your own home, there are simply too many things to step on or stub your toe against when walking around in the dark and trying to be on the lookout for an intruder. Shoes are less essential if you have the discipline to… Read more »

Doszap
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Doszap

I disagree with anything except a smallish white light,hand held, and with Blinding strobe feature.NO LASERS or fixed lights except maybe on a shotgun.
All they do is allow the perp/perps to KNOW where you are.
Pre-plan for family members,(Have bathtubs,safest place to be) Get them clear,hunkered down and wait for whoever broke into your dwelling, this way you have at least concealment and the chance to get the FIRST SHOT/S OFF.
To even better your odds,buy a 30″x48″ 1″ thick plexiglass plate and affix some sort of handle to get behind(this offers more than concealment)

Deplorable Bill
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Deplorable Bill

For home defense hand guns I think a laser and a light are good tools to have. Better/night sights are always a good idea. Extra magazines/speed loaders/ammo are a good idea. For home defense rifles the same thing; lasers and lights and extra magazines with ammo and a single point sling. For home defense shot guns again a laser and light along with a single point sling. Single point slings give you the ability to use both hands while keeping your long arm close and secure. Lasers come in three varieties; red, green and infra red. Most of us can… Read more »

Xaun Loc
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Xaun Loc

Anyone concerned about a laser giving away their position either has a very cheap laser with just an on/off switch or has spent too much time watching bad TV movies where the bad guys (always in bunches carrying submachine guns) have those constant-on lasers that they keep waving around to let the good guys know they are coming.