Best Handgun For Home Defense

Ruger 38


The Ruger 38 line brings forward a long-used caliber of handgun. Available as both a revolver and a semi-automatic the 38 has been used for many years throughout the US law enforcement community. It really wasnt until the 1990’s that other calibers became more prevalent in duty weapons. Because of the wide-spread use of body armor and more powerful handguns many agencies really had little choice but to use a more powerful weapon.


The 38 is still a very capable weapon especially for the use of home defense. Most burglars don’t roll around in bullet proof vest. Ive watched a lot of “Cops” and I don’t think I have seen even one burglar arrested with body armor of any kind! So a hit to the torso from a .38 is going to do life threatening damage and well placed shot is going to be fatal. 


Of course, to make every shot count you are going to need practice. .38 caliber cartridges are relatively cheap because of the numbers of these handguns in circulation today. Ruger has long been trusted and has grown a brand around their quality workmanship and gun smithing. The guns they have already made and continue to make have extremely long lifespans with proper care. 


There are several revolvers currently manufactured by Ruger and available in the 38 line-up. Those .38’s are listed below with their specifications.



Ruger GP-100 - Chambered with various calibers the GP-100 offers two models of the 38 special. Available with  3 or 4 inch barrels this Ruger 38 is also available with a polished stainless steel finish or a blue steel finish.


Weight - 36 - 38 ounces depending on barrel length

Length - 

Barrel Length - 3 and 4 inches

Height - 

Round Capacity - 6 shot

Effective Range - 55 - 110 yards

Type - Double Action Revolver  



Ruger SP-101 - This Ruger 38 Special +P revolver is a small frame version of the Ruger GP-100 . Offered spurred or spurless on a polished stainless steel frame.


Weight - 25 - 27 ounces

Length - 7.13 inches / 7.84 inches

Barrel Length - 2 1/4 inches and 3 1/16 inches

Round Capacity - 5 shot

Effective Range - 33 to 55 yards

Type - Double Action Revolver 


Ruger LCR (Lightweight Compact Revolver) - Designed as a compact hammerless revolver the LCR is almost 50% lighter than the Ruger SP-101. 


Weight - 13.5 ounces

Length - 6.5 inches

Width - 1.283

Barrel Length - 1.875 inches

Height - 4.5 inches

Round Capacity - 5 shot

Effective Range -

Type - Compact Double Action Revolver 




It’s also worth noting that the 38 is a common weapon being used by close contact personal security details who work in crowded public areas. Obviously they use many layers but they have to be careful and precise about where they place their shots. The 38 commonly stops in its target if it is hit. A resulting stray shot could still contact and hurt someone innocent but it wont carry through walls or floors so the “kill zone” is relatively small. If you live in an apartment building or duplex these are things you should consider as well.