Best Air Pistols for Home Defense

  • Written By Eric Crouch on June 19, 2020
    Last Updated: January 31, 2021

So, you are looking for an air pistol to have around the house for home defense? In this article, we will go over what exactly you want to look for in a home defense air pistol while outlining a few of our favorites that are sure to scare away any potential intruders.

What is an Air Pistol?

An air pistol is an air weapon that fires its ammunition using compressed air, mechanical system, or compressed gas. Air pistols can come with a range of charge styles from spring-powered, gas-piston, Co2, and PCP (pre-charged pneumatic). They differ from their rifle variants in size and shape, with the main differing factor being their barrel length.

Air pistols can be used for a range of purposes. They can make great target shooters for serious practice and competition between friends and they are fun to have around the house for some causal backyard plinking. Whatever your intended use, it is possible to find an air pistol to suit it.

You can find pistols that are suited for hunting as a sidearm, accurate target shooting, casual backyard plinking, and replica guns for collectors. They can all serve well as home defense weapons and offer a loud shot with a realistic appearance that will scare away even the most determined of intruders.

Are Air Pistols Worthwhile for Home Defense?

Air pistols aren’t going to seriously injure an unwanted guest in your home, but some look realistic enough to be seen as a regular firearm, which can sometimes be enough to send an intruder running out the door. Whether you want a realistic replica with a loud shot purely for home defense or a gun for target practice and backyard use that can double up as a home defense weapon, an air pistol can be a great place to look.

If you don’t want a powder-burning pistol in the house or the law in your country or state prohibits it, then an air pistol is the perfect compromise. Some air pistols can provide a loud bang when fired which sounds similar to a powder-burner and they come in a range of designs that will look threatening enough to scare away anyone that isn’t welcome on your property.

There are many air pistols available on the market that look and sound great however if it is power that you are looking for finding something to suit your needs can be difficult. If you want something that hits hard just in case you have to make that last resort shot on an intruder, then you want to be confident that your home defense pistol is going to make an impact.

Although a powder-burning firearm is the only option to stop an intruder in their tracks. There are a few powerful target shooters and hunting pistols out there that have enough power to take down game and we have listed one of the best in this article. A pellet fired from a powerful air pistol will hurt but not stop someone that is determined to get to you, so be aware of this.

What Makes a Good Home Defense Air Pistol?

Ideally, a pistol for home defense should never be used therefore you want something that is going to scare away an intruder as soon as they see it or hear it. With this in mind, you want a realistic air weapon that could pass off as a regular firearm. Something that looks the part and has a high noise output when fired are two desirable factors that every home defense air pistol should have.

If you are worried that you will need to make the shot and send someone running from your property, then you will probably want some power too. If this is the case then you want to combine power, looks, and noise output in a gun that is useable, easily cocked, and easily loaded. A compact pistol that you can keep near you while you sleep is also a bonus and is another factor we have considered when selecting our favorite home defense air pistols.

On a serious note, an air pistol is never going to stop a home intruder if they are determined to come at you with force. What they are good for is the scare factor and the idea of having an air pistol in your home for defense is simply for a way to get someone off of your property without injuring them. If you are genuinely concerned that someone will hurt you or your family if they break into your home, then your best bet is to purchase a proper firearm. A 9mm pistol will stop a criminal in their tracks whereas an air pistol will not.

Reviews of Our Favorite Air Pistols for Home Defense

In this section, we have listed four of our favorite home defense air pistols that pack a punch, make a whole lot of noise, and look the part. The looks and sounds that these guns make will be enough to scare off most intruders that are looking to steal the things that you worked hard for.

Best in Power: The Benjamin Marauder PCP Air Pistol

  • High-powered
  • Great accuracy
  • 8 shot magazine
  • Removable stock for more stability
  • 2-stage match trigger
  • Ability to add a scope
  • Slightly bigger than other pistols (18 inches)
  • Will need to be charged from a scuba tank or high-pressure hand pump
  • No open sights


The Benjamin Marauder is a PCP air pistol that is the most durable and high-performing in its class. If you are looking for an effective hunting pistol that is accurate and powerful then this is the pistol for you. It has the looks, noise, and power to be effective as a home defense pistol while offering the accuracy and performance that you can enjoy when you aren’t protecting your home.

This pistol is a PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) in .22 caliber. Being a PCP air gun does mean you will have to charge the tank using a separate scuba tank or high-pressure hand pump. The tank can take up to 2900PSI and can shoot pellets at a velocity of 700FPS with 15Ft/Lbs of muzzle energy. It is safe to say the Benjamin Marauder air pistol has plenty of power to scare off intruders, control a pest issue, and take down game humanely while hunting.

This air pistol is bolt action and features a magazine with a capacity large enough to hold eight .22-caliber pellets. Unlike some other pistols, the magazine on this gun is easy to load, reliable, and unlikely to jam. The Marauder in its rifle and pistol variations are highly regarded and loved by many. It is the perfect weapon for home defense and serves as a great all-rounder for pest control, target shooting, and hunting as well.

Best Big Bore Defense Air Pistol: The Tippmann TiPX Marker Pistol

  • Extremely accurate
  • Mag fed 8-paintball cartridges
  • Lightweight and sleek
  • Velocity adjustment capabilities
  • Comes with extra mags and holster
  • 2-year warranty from Tippmann
  • Co2 canisters only last for 3 magazines
  • Small magazines


The Tippmann TipX Marker Pistol is a bit of a black sheep on our list. It is more of a paintball gun than an air pistol, but we could not help but place it here as it is one of the best home defense pistols to use air to propel its projectile.

This gun fires paintballs which can be an excellent marker for an escaping thief but the reason we have placed this on here is for its capabilities to shoot special ammunition. Depending on where exactly you live in the world, you may be able to acquire .68 caliber pepper balls. These paintball sized rounds can be fired from the Tippmann TipX and release pepper spray when they make impact with the target.

This is a magazine-fed paintball marker pistol that uses 12-gram Co2 canisters as a charge source. You will get around 16 shots from one canister and a magazine can be filled with eight .68-caliber paint or pepper balls. This pistol has the capability to shoot its ammunition up to 150 feet while holding enough power to “pop” on impact.

The Co2 canister and its ammunition can be stored inside the gun for long periods of time because until the trigger is pulled the seal of the Co2 canister will not be broken. This is another huge plus if you want to store your gun safely while leaving it ready to cock and fire if the time comes to defend your livelihood.

The TipX is our favorite air pistol for both self-defense and home defense, even if it doesn’t exactly fit the description with regards to air pistols. We highly recommend this pistol, especially if you can acquire some pepper balls as ammunition.

Best On a Budget: The Gamo P-27 Air Pistol

  • Loud fire
  • Realistic looks
  • Semi-automatic Co2 Powered pistol
  • Weaver rail underneath the barrel for the addition of torch or laser
  • Fixed open sights
  • Quite a heavy trigger
  • Flimsy magazines
  • Lacks power


The Gamo P-27 Air Pistol is great for backyard plinking and casual target shooting. It has a loud shot that is powered by using Co2 as its charge source however its power is lacking, as with most pistols of this design. This pistol may sting an intruder, but it certainly won’t stop them in their tracks.

The Gamo P-27 is more for the scare factor than anything as it has a realistic design that looks similar to a powder-burning firearm. If a shot needs to be fired the sound may just be enough to scare away anyone that enters your property but relying on it as a means of protection is not wise.

The P-27 shoots metal BBs and .177 pellets and features a rotary BB and pellet magazine that will hold 16 rounds, eight on one side and eight on the other for fast reversible reloading. The magazine is simple to load and reliable with many users reporting smooth transition and jam-free use, mag after mag.

It features fixed open sights that function well and allow the preciseness of this pistol to shine through in a functional and easy to use way. You will get more accuracy using pellets rather than BBs as ammunition but both work well at close range.

Overall, the Gamo P-27 is an accurate pistol that is lacking in power. It makes up for its low power with realistic styling and a loud shot. It may not be the best home defense pistol in regard to power however it may give you the edge with its realistic looks and sound.

Best for a Loud Shot: Gamo PT-85 Blowback Air Pistol

  • Realistic looking air pistol
  • Realistic heavy blowback action
  • Loud shooting
  • Easily visible white dot open sights
  • High-quality metal design that feels heavy in the hand
  • Accurate at close range
  • Lacks power
  • Sights are not adjustable


The Gamo PT-85 is an air pistol that similar to the P-27 is Co2 powered and is lacking in power. This gun wins, once again, on realism. This is a blowback air pistol that fires realistically and has the loudest shot within its class. The blowback system forces its heavy casing back and forth across the body of the gun creating a loud noise and a realistic action.

This PT-85 is extremely well-made and feels heavy in the hand. It is enjoyable to use and you almost get the feeling that you are firing a 9mm in your hand. The accuracy of this gun is brilliant, and it makes a fantastic target shooter however the power is lacking compared to the first two pistols on our list.

If you are looking for a realistic-looking blowback action gun that sounds and feels real, then the Gamo PT-85 is the best choice for you. You won’t be taking down any game or injuring any intruders, but you will own a realistic air pistol that can pass as a real firearm. This gives you the edge if you ever need to scare unwelcome guests off your property.


If you are looking for an air pistol for home defense, you have three options. A high powered hunting/target shooting pistol, a realistic air pistol that looks similar to a powder-burning firearm, or a big-bore paintball pistol that has the ability to fire pepper balls as ammunition.

If you are looking for something that can take down an intrude, a proper firearm is your best bet, however, if you want something that will scare away an intruder then an air pistol will be fine. Always be aware of the laws in your country and state and consider what you need for home defense before deciding on the best choice for you.

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