Home-Defense Spectrum

The Right Gun for the Right Mission
; .

If you live in a rural area, the reach and power of a rifle is often the best answer.

According to the FBI, there were around 7 million documented property crime offenses committed in the U.S. in 2019. This works out to around 20,000 crimes per day, and those are just the ones reported. In a nation of 209 million adults, it means there is a one in 30 chance each year you will become the victim of a property crime. Live more than 30 years and those numbers start to get real.

During the same year, there were around 1 million home invasions. Ours is a nation of 139 million homes, meaning each year there is a one in 139 chance somebody will break into your home looking for valuables, drugs or something worse. Combine all of it with the well-documented antics of anarchists behaving poorly and you have the chemical formula for robust private gun ownership.

I owe everything I ever accomplished indirectly to firearms. I am 6′ tall and weigh 168 lbs. In centuries past, some skinny guy like me would just be some big guy’s slave. However, thanks to firearms, folks who are not terribly physically imposing immediately attain respect. Guns are the ultimate social equalizers. If the woke social justice warriors in America weren’t such rank idiots, they would appreciate it. In this context, we thought it might be a fun exercise to explore just what the ideal robust defensive firearm suite might look like.


In Will’s quirky little world, guns are both recreation and livelihood.
But a select few stand ready to grab and go if life goes sideways.

Ballistic Philosophy

A proper toolbox carries an assortment of tools. After all, it is a challenge to turn a nut with a screwdriver or hammer a nail with a spirit level. As it relates to defensive weapons, one size really doesn’t fit all.

Your individual needs are initially driven by your zip code. A Wyoming rancher or Alaskan bush pilot has different security requirements than might a stockbroker in an urban space. However, the sordid events of the past year have shone a light on just how fragile our civilization really is.

The proof is in the numbers. As a nation of 328 million people, we went into 2020 with 400 million firearms. This number went up by another 40 million in 2020 alone. We bought another 2.2 million in January 2021. We can’t find the ammo to feed them all, but we are without a doubt the most heavily armed nation on the planet. When the threat becomes threatening, Americans metaphorically slap leather.


A well-balanced defensive firearms suite begins with a proper concealed
carry pistol. The SIG SAUER P365 XL is ripe for customization.

The Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP comes nicely accessorized right out of the box.

Ballistic Underpants

My defensive firearms philosophy orbits around a potential threat assessment, combined with the anticipated area of operations. At a baseline, it means a concealed carry gun anytime I’m outside the house. Think of it like underwear. You might wander about without it on occasion, but only fairly infrequently.

I split my time between a tricked-out SIG SAUER P365 and a Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP, depending upon which one is closest when I’m walking out the door. Both guns run the same, and each has a great deal to commend it. Both of my copies have identical manual safeties and plenty of cool-guy stuff. They both feel great, and I shoot about the same with them both.

The P365 is upgraded with a threaded barrel from True Precision, a custom frame from Gray Guns and a Trijicon RMRcc micro red dot. The Hellcat RDP comes standard with a threaded barrel and associated compensator, as well as a factory-installed HEX Wasp micro red dot. This gives me between 13 and 16 rounds onboard in a chassis that will group in a juice-can lid at 15 meters. You’d be hard-pressed to find fault with either.


The primary home-defense pistol needs to be night-capable, accurate
and dead-nuts reliable. This HK VP9 sports a SureFire X400 Ultra tactical
light as well as a Ryder 9 suppressor.

Across the Room

Most sensible armed Americans keep a gun on the bedside table. Dependent upon your family situation, this may mean something sitting in a drawer or it could be secured behind a cypher lock in a steel gun safe. My kids are all grown and gone, and we have yet to be graced with grandchildren, so these guns are kept handy. I have need of them maybe once every six months when something about the house or farm just isn’t right.

I have tried everything, and the primary home-defense pistol is a Heckler & Koch VP9 with a SureFire Ryder 9 sound suppressor and SureFire X400 Ultra combination tactical light/green laser designator. The market is awash in magnificent striker-fired high-capacity combat pistols. However, the VP9 likes me, and I like it.

Alongside the tricked-out VP9, I maintain a Ruger 57 with a Streamlight TLR-8 G light/laser combo. This crazy-weird gun holds 20 rounds onboard and feels great in the hand. The Ruger 57 also sports no recoil worthy of the term. It is my wife’s grab-and-go pistol. Though I have never met anyone who has actually been shot with the spunky little 5.7x38mm round, I suspect it
would suck.


The Springfield Armory SOCOM16 is a cut-down CQB version of their
venerable M1A rifle. This is just in case the zombies arrive in cars.

Near-Range Threats

When the dog won’t shut up in the middle of the night, I keep several options at arm’s reach. What I grab is driven by specific circumstances. The first is a SIG SAUER MPX pistol with a SIG red dot, Streamlight tactical light and Gemtech suppressor. The MPX has a collapsible pistol stabilizing brace. If the Biden administration follows through with its threat to outlaw all 4 million of those things, I guess I’ll have to rethink the situation.

My gas-piston driven MPX will cycle any 9mm ammunition I care to feed it and exhibits no recoil to speak of. It sports a Gemtech GM45 sound suppressor on a direct threat mount. Magazines pack 30 rounds, and the controls are standard M4 for positive habit transfer when rushed or terrified. Additionally, the modest weight and placid comportment mean my wife can manage the MPX as well.

Charged with some proper hollowpoints, the MPX will reliably cure what ails you at close ranges. The gun moves fast and is as reliable as the tide. It doesn’t make too much noise and projects ample downrange horsepower.


The Ruger 57 offers a pleasant slide-racking force and trivial
recoil along with a whopping 20-round magazine capacity.

The Streamlight TLR-8 G is immensely capable, remarkably
tiny and cute as a button. It will fit most anyplace.

The Service Carbine

Every able-bodied, law-abiding American should maintain an AR-15. If this were Willsworld (it’s not) we would issue one to everybody like they do in Switzerland. It makes you wonder how many of those million annual home invasions would still take place if the Bad Guys knew behind every front door in America was an American with a black rifle.

My favorite tactical carbine is a SIG Virtus MCX. The MCX is a piston-driven design with a full-length forearm. This makes it a bit heavier than some, but it’s as dependable as a mother’s love.

I keep a Streamlight illuminator on the forearm and a SIG TANGO6T optic on the top rail. The TANGO6T is an adjustable-power gunsight in active service atop U.S. Army Squad Designated Marksmen rifles as well as with U.S. Special Operations Forces. With the power screwed down to 1X and the Hellfire reticle ignited, the TANGO6T is an up-close red dot par excellence. Roll the power lever up to 6X and you can reach out to the practical limits of the cartridge.


This tricked-out Remington 700 rifle is for those times when the threats are
far enough removed as to not be overly threatening. As a result, there is little
real-world tactical application for this rifle. However, it will sincerely drop a
whitetail, and it reliably detonates Tannerite.

What If The Zombies Show Up Wearing Body Armor?

If I need a little more punch, there is the Springfield Armory SOCOM16 CQB. A chopped version of the 1950s-era M14 rifle, the SOCOM16 carries a Streamlight illuminator and comes from the factory with a Vortex Venom red dot. The gun feeds from 20-round box magazines and includes a Silent Legion sound suppressor.

This tricked-out SOCOM16 is indeed heavy, but it hits like a freight train downrange. The manual of arms differs substantially from our other long guns, and this is a concern in stressful situations. However, I assume if the tactical situation demands such rarefied iron, I’ll have time to think a bit about how to run the gun.

I also keep a heavy-barrel Remington 700 in .308 handy as well. The action rides in an Archangel polymer chassis and carries a nice Lucid optic. There is no conceivable circumstance wherein a responsibly armed American would ever use such a beast against a bipedal target. However, for Tannerite, whitetails or just to vent your frustrations on rotten fruit — 600 meters distant — little
is better.


The Mossberg 940 JM Pro is a rugged competition scattergun
inspired by the legendary shooter Jerry Miculek.

With 25 rounds in the sling it makes 35 total rounds onboard the JM Pro.
If this won’t solve your problems, you might need some new problems.

Utility Guns

The most practical weapons in the collection are my suppressed TacSol TSS Takedown .22 and the Mossberg 940 JM Pro competition 12-bore. The TSS Takedown is mouse-fart quiet with the proper ammo and shoots like a laser. It’s the grab-and-go piece for marauding water moccasins and homesteading squirrels.

The 940 JM Pro packs 9+1 rounds and was designed with input from shooting legend Jerry Miculek. This thing runs like a rabid elephant in a shopping mall. The action is supposedly good for 1,500 rounds between cleanings. Wow.

Sometimes you just need a shotgun. I installed a sling that carries 25 rounds. Combine it with the 10 already onboard and you have nearly a box and a half of ammo handy. My 940 JM Pro has been utterly reliable with everything I feed it


The most useful utility gun in the collection is this top-end suppressed
TacSol TSS Takedown rifle. The TSS is mouse-fart quiet and proof against
many to most farmyard pests.


By my count that’s nine guns, all told. Truth be known, nobody in America really needs this much on-call firepower. However, accumulating the collection was fun, and I really can’t think of any reasonable threat I can’t adequately address given this broad ballistic spectrum.

You’ll observe everything that will reasonably accept one sports a proper sound suppressor. I am a firm believer in sound suppressors for home-defense weapons. The transfer taxes and interminable waits are indeed onerous, but the range comfort in peacetime and ability to communicate in darker spaces make the hassle worthwhile.

Most folks would do fine with a single reliable 9mm handgun. However, for my world out here on a rural farm, I like being prepared for most anything. The exercise also gives me an excuse to buy guns. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

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