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Old January 13, 2009, 11:41 PM   #1
Hawaiian Eye
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Home on the Range

During a home defense incident what ranges would you expect to engage a BG and how would you confirm then aim, and what would be your preferred type of sight. Also, what are good ways to practice? The reason I ask is that is seems distances between the defender and the offender in a house are quite close. Given the time to locate, identify, decide whether to shoot all occurs in seconds or fractions (sometimes very small fractions) of a second. So, what works for you? And, how do you plan to do it, or have done it?

If I'm in my saferoom the maximum range is 6 feet with my family positioned safely to the side of me and behind cover (that would place just myself and my adversary in line of fire from each other) optimally with the BG backlit and my family and I in little or no light. Anyone comming in the door is a BG unless the 911 dispatcher has told my wife a police officer is in the house. If the BG is creeping in, it's an easy shot. I imagine I could get a good sight picture using the BG's silhouette possibly with standard or night sights. But, if the BG is making a rush I don't think I could find the time to use my sights effectively or even to find a laser dot. I'm probably wrong and it's all just a matter of trainning and practice.

In my small house while moving to the saferoom or retrieving a family member from another part of the house, the longest distance between me (skimming along the far side of the hallway entrance leading to the bedrooms) and where a BG might be is 26 feet (although he'd be scrunched up and exposed in a corner of my livingroom - highly unlikely) or 16 feet away climbing through the window over my kitchen sink. More practically the maximum distance will be inside 10 to 16 feet. I've gone from my bedroom to the kids' bedroom (the safe room) with my hands in the high ready position and I'm still trying to get a feel for what would work. Night lights are located in the livingroom, kitchen, and bathrooms.

I was thinking about giving the kids airsoft guns and positioning themselves in various places around the house and seeing if I could get to the safe room without getting shot, but I believe my wife would frown on that. So, I'm now considering super soaker type water guns for everyone and having the kids wearing placards saying either "BG" or "It's me Dad!" so I can practice IDing a target before committing to neutralizing it. I may even put a video up on YouTube recording the results. I'll probably be the one who's soaking wet with my kids laughing near by. The yelling will be coming from my wife concerning why the carpet's all wet and why the hallway wall is soaked . I'm still not sure as to the best type of sight for me in this situation, but it should be water proof .
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Old January 14, 2009, 12:37 AM   #2
cjw3cma
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A Good Read

And to answer your (main) question, from 20/25ft. in is my zone and it's what I practice when not plinking. I believe anyone in my residence without my permission is a BG and I am prepared to defend. I have walked my house for what I consider optimum defensive positions and have "routes" prepared (hey - I spent 50+ years in Southern California and experienced a few real good rumblers so I was doing this before I owned a gun - so the transition to an armed defense was a bit easier). If I am defending my property I am already prepared to follow through if need be. But it's a call made at that moment based on the best decision making conclusions you can make in a few seconds - if more than one.
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Old January 14, 2009, 04:04 AM   #3
evan1293
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Quote:
During a home defense incident what ranges would you expect to engage a BG and how would you confirm then aim, and what would be your preferred type of sight. Also, what are good ways to practice? The reason I ask is that is seems distances between the defender and the offender in a house are quite close. Given the time to locate, identify, decide whether to shoot all occurs in seconds or fractions (sometimes very small fractions) of a second. So, what works for you? And, how do you plan to do it, or have done it?
With in ranges typically found in a house (contact to 25' or so) weapon retention becomes critical. At 6', a threat can easily disarm you or at least put up a good fight with you over your own weapon. I've had the privalage of training with some good folks here in CT doing force on force exercises. What I found was that my typical shooting-range "stances" went out the window, when the situation became a dynamic one. On the range, most people shoot at targets that are positioned directly in front of them. They usually place these targets 10, 15, or 25 yards down range. Statistics show gun fights happen, often times, much closer, and in one's home, an altercation is almost a gaurantee to be a close quarters one. Rather than having targets always in front of us, in our homes and on the streets threats can occur from all kinds of odd angles. Because of this, I've started working with the CAR system of shooting and have found it to work well in close-quarter type environments. The CAR system is explained well on the www.sabretactical.com website as well as www.ipdsystems.com. Basically its a collapsed weaver stance that brings the gun in close to the operator's body. It works off a bladed stance or an officer's interview stance which is a proven stance for stability. Because its collapsed it allows the operator to move more effectively in tight areas, while maintaining superior weapon retention over traditional range stances.

There are various methods of sighting with this shooting system, all of which depend on the distance of the engagment. At contact to about 5', a body index alignment is utilized. A little further out, the gun is brought up into the line of sight and the eye maintains its focus on the threat. At around 5-10 yards the front sight is used, being lined up with the eye opposite to the firing hand (right hand-left eye; left hand-right eye).

This system works well for me and has proven to be quite effective in force on force.

Last edited by evan1293; January 14, 2009 at 04:15 AM.
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Old January 14, 2009, 09:08 AM   #4
Hawaiian Eye
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Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately the public range where I live grants live fire under 25 yards to action shooting clubs only. Other than that you've got a choice of 25 and 50 yard target positions on the pistol course. Great for bullseye shooting but less than practical for practicing at home defense distances. So, I am hoping to join one of those clubs and hope for some pre/post match shooting time to practice close quarter shooting.

The CAR system looks very promising, but probably requires a good deal of formal training. I'll have to find out if there are any local instructors and see what training the budget will allow.
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Old January 14, 2009, 10:40 AM   #5
Keltyke
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Other than that you've got a choice of 25 and 50 yard target positions on the pistol course.
Practice at that distance and 25' will be easy.

My max "able to shoot" distance is 35', my minimum is 12'. I won't let the BG get too close before taking him out. I won't "clear the house" - that's for professionals. I'll bunker down and wait for him to come to me. Surprise, BG! No one but my wife and I should be in my house so anyone else is an intruder. Several years ago, our Sheriff made a statement. He said that if someone enters your house, you may assume they're there to harm you, not to just burgle - act accordingly. SC has the Castle Doctrine law, too.
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Old January 14, 2009, 12:52 PM   #6
troy_mclure
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my house is a fairly open floor plan with 1 hallway that leads to the 3 bedrooms. i have 2 roommates so i must ID the person before shooting, that is why ive got lights on all my guns.
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Old January 14, 2009, 12:56 PM   #7
ZeSpectre
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The best sight for a home defense situation is a laser. Period.
(Now I just wish I could afford a couple for different pistols and one for the shotgun).
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Old January 15, 2009, 12:06 AM   #8
Dwight55
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At HD distances, . . . a long gun can be more hindrance than help, . . .

And a laser sight is a "dead" giveaway as to where the bullets may come from.

The best "plan" is to hole up and call the mounties.

Barring that, . . . plan # 2 to make the BG come to you, . . . get him in a shooting alley or funnel of death, . . . and take him down. Most quality handguns will suffice in the normal hallway, . . . stairway, . . . bedroom doorway, . . . and we are not talking much over 7 to 15 feet.

Additionally, . . . have the area back lit if possible, . . . it outlines the BG so you know what/where to shoot.

Be on the floor, . . . behind the bed, . . . behind a chest of drawers, . . . leave only enough of you out to be able to do the shooting. ID your target, . . . and make your decision.

May God bless,
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Old January 15, 2009, 12:43 AM   #9
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I have mapped out my home, and the longest shot here is 40', and thats from the back hallway to the furthest reaches of my living room. I do have night lights that illuminate certain parts of my home as to create a shadow effect so that I can see where and if anyone is in my home. I mostly practice at distances ranging from 6-40', because these are the minimum and maximum. Unfortuantely, I dont practice the 'safe room' method of home defense because I do have children, and I will check up on them if I hear something in my home. Its hard to round up the family if the situation calls for it, because they are all in seperate bedrooms, but usually dont even wake up if something occurs. Thankfully, 100% of the times I have checked on strange noises, it has been the cats or dogs messing around with something.

I usually dont get home until around 0230 anyways, so my family is home alone for most of the night, but my wife is usually sleeping on the couch when i do get home, but is always armed, whether it be with the vicious Chiweenie, the very 'intimidating' Chocolate Lab, or the fully loaded 9mm by her side. But I can honestly say, the 9mm has a bite that doesnt compare to its bark.
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Old January 15, 2009, 12:44 AM   #10
troy_mclure
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And a laser sight is a "dead" giveaway as to where the bullets may come from.
i dont know how that would work unless you are shining it in their eyes. not many people look down at their chests as they are walking around.
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Old January 15, 2009, 11:36 AM   #11
ZeSpectre
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And a laser sight is a "dead" giveaway as to where the bullets may come from.
Not if you use the laser sight properly.
Besides I'd think that the BOOM and FLASH from the gun would be a bigger indicator.

Then again you can always go with "plan D" (as in "Release the DOGS <evil laughter>)
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Old January 15, 2009, 10:58 PM   #12
TripIII
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Hmmm

Any set of sights will work at 5-25' if you are practiced and have good basic shooting skills. Night sites are good. A flashlight might help if you are in a situation where it is difficult to identify the target otherwise.

Unless I catch them coming in, I plan to wait for the target to come to me while dialing 911. Would not give up my position with racking of slides, pumping of shotguns or flashing of beams. The most important thing is to be prepared/determined to do what needs to be done...first.
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