Chances are—since you’re reading these words—you’ve already reached out for that bargain. You’re holding a magazine where writers and editors have pulled together the most pertinent, fail-proof know-how and gear you need to thwart human predators—home invaders, muggers, lunatics! You won’t be a victim! In the pages ahead, you will learn exact skills and precautions to keep you safe at home, on the streets, even in remote countryside. You will see the hardware you need described and tested by the most respected experts in the personal and home defense field. Their advice will save you time and money as they direct you to finding and using the hardware that’s right for you, your home and lifestyle.

The skills we demonstrate range from bare-knuckle fighting moves to using whatever tool you can get your hands on—flashlight, cane, anything handy. We test weapons from palm-sized derringers to firepower-flaming shotguns. There’s also a complete Personal & Home Defense Gun Buyer’s Guide for 2013, with all the specs on handguns, shotguns, rifles and less-lethal weapons.

Some hard-hitting thoughts on guns for personal defense are getting wide dissemination over the internet these days from an essay called, “The Gun Is Civilization,” which says, in part, “The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year-old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year-old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunken guys with baseball bats…I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid.” That excellent quote comes from Marko Kloss on his blog.

Whether you’ve only started thinking about personal protection firearms, or want to add a backup or two, you’ll find no-nonsense, pertinent advice here. “Concealed Carry 101” shows you how to start packing and staying alive—and out of jail! In “Self Defense Current Events,” you’ll see true stories and headlines from events that show the importance of remaining vigilant. The legal aspects of using lethal force to defend yourself and home are varied, twisted, constantly under judicial and media scrutiny, and require your utmost attention.

If you feel you need a handgun for personal and home defense—a “nightstand” weapon or one for concealed carry—check out “Pocket-Sized Daily Doubles.” The simple double-barreled Bond Arms guns are perfect for everyday carry and newcomers to shooting. You can step up to “deep-carry” firepower with “Dressed to the 9s,” a look at 9mm semiautos that stay out of sight until you need them. Handguns and tactics that make your car a fortress against carjackings are spotlighted in “Your Carjack Counterattack.”

For tips on using your personal-protection pistol, we take you to the renowned experts at the Gunsite Academy. In “Pocket Pistol Reality Check,” you’ll take a big step toward being ready when your life’s at stake.

We rev up the defensive firepower with shotguns and carbines that spell bad news for home invaders. “Home Defense Shotguns” covers 12-gauge master blasters, while “Trick Out Your 20” shows that versatile gauge as a viable weapon. If a carbine might be more to your liking for home defense, don’t miss “Carbines For Your Castle,” covering low-recoil .45 ACP rifles. In addition to all these, “Bug-Out Blasts” is a firearms roundup for your doomsday kit or survival in the backcountry.

Two-fisted weapons come into play in defending yourself in close-quarters combat, and you’ll get up-close and personal lessons right here. We have seven features on subjects ranging from using unusual weapons like the Zap Cane, to using flashlights for defense, to close-quarters combat moves with your hands and arms, including blade-busting strategies for knife attacks. You can learn how you can bolster home security with “A Sensible Safe Room” without wrecking the family budget.

Your guns will also serve you a lot better with our firearms maintenance tips, and we’ll show you better ways to store them with cases and safes, too. For additional hands-on training, we point you to the best defense and firearms training courses in the country with a complete roundup.

You may never arrive home in the oh-so-dark and discover a shadowy figure lurking outside your garage or home. You may never wake in a sweat in the middle of the night to the sound of glass breaking, doors squeaking open. But what if you do?
We like to think we’ve helped you answer that question.

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Chances are—since you’re reading these words—you’ve already reached out for that bargain. You’re holding…