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Old December 13, 2009, 11:25 AM   #1
boykinhntr
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New baby in the house. I need advice on home defense

My wife and I have been blessed with a beautiful new baby boy! Previously I get my .45 by the bed. However, my sons room is in the direct line of fire from my bedroom entrance. I believe that a .45 could penetrate the walls and enter his room. Soo, I have put the .45 up and opted for a shotgun. I have a 12 guage pump for me and my wife has a .410 Mossberg with a pistol grip forearm bc she can handle it better than a 12.

What home defense load would you guys recommend? I dont want buck shot bc they too could penetrate the walls. Right now I am using 3.5" #6s in the 12 and 3" #4s in the .410. I have also installed a very good alarm system.

I live in a very nice quiet neighborhood with very little crime. HOWEVER, my neighbor's son is broke and knocked up his girlfriend so they moved back in. I am positive he is selling dope out of the house. I contacted the police and they had no interest in persuing this. I have been told he is a meth addict wwhich scares the crap out of me bc these are the craziest most desperate people on earth. There is now trash over there at all hours of the night. I have expresed my concern to the neighbor and he assured me his kid is good. But I watch cars pull down the street with their lights off and honk. He will come out and get in the back seat for about 2 minutes and leave. This happens 10-15 times a day with different cars.

Anyway, I am looking for advice on how to best and safely protect my family. Meth heads will NOT hurt my family but I know they will try.
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Old December 13, 2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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Congratulatons! But!...

Quote:
...my sons room is in the direct line of fire from my bedroom entrance.
EEEOUCH!!!

Under NO circumstances do you want to fire ANYTHING, even a .22, in that direction! I applaud the fact that you're thinking tactics in advance, but it sounds like you're assuming that birdshot, or any smaller round, won't penetrate the average home's doors and walls. Not true!

I strongly suggest you browse this site.

I don't know the layout of your home, but you need to look for some serious alternatives if your present situation, should you have a break-in, leaves you no alternative but to shoot in your son's room's direction.
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Old December 13, 2009, 11:54 AM   #3
wally626
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See http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm

Unless you are using very light shot a drywall over frame wall will not stop a shotgun blast.

Two possible options move the kid or brick the interior of his wall.

If you have access to a range that allows testing you may be able to see if just a brick facade would work or if you need real brick. A steel plate could be placed under the wall board as well.
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Old December 13, 2009, 12:11 PM   #4
boykinhntr
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Thanks for the replies. I REALIZE I can't shoot in that direction with ANY gun. The layout of my house is hard to describe but there would be approximately 20ft and 2 walls btween my room and the baby's. I will NOT fire in that direction but I still need to limit my ammo to rounds that do not penetrate walks like a slug or .45 would. The layout has bothered me from day one. My wife thinks I am paranoid but I really think about these things. It is my job to protect. Moving the babys room is not an option.

It would be unlikely an intruder could make it up the stairs to my bedroom entrance. We have an alarm and a dog that hears EVERYTHING.

I just want to protect my family as well as I can. I do not want to go unarmed. I'm just looking for advice in case there are things I haven't considered.

Last edited by boykinhntr; December 13, 2009 at 12:14 PM. Reason: More info
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Old December 13, 2009, 12:34 PM   #5
jrothWA
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What have you done for the outside????

Consider motion-activated light for illuminating yard, back of garage,etc??

Entry doors should have separate motion activated lights and security pee-holes or the remote viewing camera with intercom.

Think of where you be and how to illuminate (blind) incoming people, while keeping you in the shadows.

Any outside light should be up where a ladder needs to change anything for maintenance and not allow casual handling.
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Old December 13, 2009, 12:45 PM   #6
boykinhntr
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We have a few motion lights but not enough in the back. That's a good idea!
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Old December 13, 2009, 01:01 PM   #7
chronic
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It seems like you have a pretty good situation there with your bedrooms upstairs and the bad guy needing to come upstairs to get you. I like the motion detector and dog idea. I live in the country and my house is not set up well for a self defense situation. I do have an alarm some 50 yards from my home at the entrance my property, that sounds an alarm in my home when it is set off. Sometimes I don't hear it but my trusty dog ALWAYS does. I have a Highway Patrolman and a backup 9-shot taurus 22 if the SHTF. I sure like to read about what everyone else is doing it gives me some ideas.
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Old December 13, 2009, 05:55 PM   #8
Dwight55
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Put a gate or a door at the bottom of the stairs.

They are a hassle, . . . they are aggravating, . . . but they keep unwanteds from coming up the stairs, . . . or at least slow them down.

The lock can be simple, . . . but needs to be such that if you don't know how to manipulate it, . . . you need to turn on a light, . . . that discourages most bg's. Hang several sleigh bells or cow bells or something to it, . . . unless he is from the NY mafia, . . . intent on doing you in, . . . he'll bust his rear end getting out when the bells start going off.

Security can often be very simple, . . . and very effective, . . . just first be creative.

You actually have one of the best scenarios possible when you sleep upstairs and the bg has to come up to get you. In the military we called stairways a kill zone, . . . because the guy with the high ground has all the advantage. And unless your house is really wierd in it's layout, . . . shooting downstairs should be OK even with a MaDuece.

May God bless,
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Old December 13, 2009, 07:33 PM   #9
jrothWA
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Forgot to ask, have you change locks ..

on entry doors to be or have in addition "Dead-bolts".

If no glass for easy breakage, use the key on outside and manual knob inside, but if any type glass, allowing hand or arm to reach lock then make it keyed both sides. Remove inside key and place in location for emergency egress.

You can also get door locks and dead-bolts keyed alike.
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Old December 13, 2009, 09:49 PM   #10
BobbyT
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Quote:
I will NOT fire in that direction but I still need to limit my ammo to rounds that do not penetrate walks like a slug or .45 would.
Sorry, but this just doesn't make sense. It's kind of like saying "I know I shouldn't drive a car at my kids, but I still need to limit my vehicles to cars that won't run kids over like a pickup or Suburban would."

Anything that will significantly penetrate a person will go through a wall. A rifle or slug might go through the whole house, but a bullet or some shot isn't going to penetrate an interior wall "less".
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Old December 13, 2009, 09:50 PM   #11
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A mish-mash of random thoughts, suggestions and questionable wisdom

Congratulations on your increasing family.

JrothWA has the right idea. Double keyed deadbolts are often recommended. If a burglar gets in a window, he can open the door from the inside for easier carrying out of your goods. If the door is keyed on the inside, he is forced to carry your goods out the window. On a similar note, the same folks suggest hanging your clothes in the closet with the direction of the hangars alternating. Makes it just a little harder for a burglar to empty your closet (to steal your clothes, or access a safe hidden there). On the other hand, firemen suggest having all hangars facing the same direction. Not the only time when fire safety and intruder security goals are in opposition.

If you have a double-keyed deadbolt, it is good to store a spare key nearby, easily accessed, impossible to find. Example, gouge a small depression in your sheetrock near the door handle. Put the key in it. Repair the gouge. Don't use the paper tape, though. You want to be able to dig it out with a fingernail. And you want to be able to find it in an unlit, smoke-filled entryway. Sandwich the key beween sheets of wax paper. You don't want anything gumming up the key's teeth.

Wally626's suggestion to "move the kid" does not necessarily require changing rooms. Just put the bassinette/crib in a safer location within the room. Maybe even on the far side of something with stopping power. A 1" sheet of plywood screwed to the back of a bureau will stop some pretty hefty shot.n Testing the stopping power of the barrier, whatever it is is a good idea and can be fun, too. (The guys on "Mythbuster" have a ball!)

There are sub-lethal 12 gauge rounds available, too, as well as things like Mace, Pepper Spray etc and Tasers are available to civilians now, too.

The dog is probably the single best security device in the world, ever. Also doubles as a foot-warmer (try THAT with a 12 gauge), exerciser, and your son will appreciate the companionship as he gets older. Dogs are also great teachers and teaching tools. (Babies see EVERYTHING and take in most of it.)

"My wife thinks I am paranoid but I really think about these things." Thinking about these things is reasonable. Thinking about these things to the exclusion of other necessary things is pathological and probably paranoid. Think about them as much as necessary. Make your decisions. Act on those decisions and then move on. Revisit this process when situations change. Your job is to protect, provide, teach, ...the list of fatherly duties goes on and on. Congratulations again. You will love it.

At the top of the staircase, if there is a space to put a bookcase or curio shelf, etc., put one where it can be easily toppled onto the stairs in front of or on top of an intruder. Bolt it to a wall so it cannot be toppled (even by a 75 lb toddler climbing on it). Arrange a latch mechanism so you or your wife can release it if necessary, but not accidentally. Hey, even a beach ball (or one of those big, inflated exercise balls) will slow someone in a closed-in hallway or stairway.

Aside from what you can to do secure the inside of your home, harden the outside, too, as you have already done, at least partially. Eliminate hiding places and covered zones of approach. Give yourself multiple perimeters. The outside skin of your home is one perimeter. There may be a definable, defensible perimeter in your yard. Certainly, your property line is definable. Burying an electrical wire as a "proximity detector" around your house is not much more expensive than the wire required for it. The electronics are not sophisticated (though they are beyond me). Google the phrase. Stray dogs will set it off, but small animals can be "tuned" out.

Unsolicited advice: Listen to your wife. Women are hard-wired to take good care of 1) their progeny 2) their man 3) their home. You will not find a better advisor than your wife and the mother of your children (with the possible exception of your parents - all four of them). If you know how to listen.

Good luck,

Lost Sheep

Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for what you get from the internet. Even this post. Maybe especially this post.

Do your own independent, confirming research when ANYONE gives you new facts on the web.

Also remember, even the idiotic stuff might have a kernel of truth buried in there somewhere.
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Old December 13, 2009, 10:02 PM   #12
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About the neighbors (both allies and potential threats)

Quote:
Originally Posted by boykinhntr
I live in a very nice quiet neighborhood with very little crime. HOWEVER, my neighbor's son is broke and knocked up his girlfriend so they moved back in. I am positive he is selling dope out of the house. I contacted the police and they had no interest in persuing this. I have been told he is a meth addict wwhich scares the crap out of me bc these are the craziest most desperate people on earth. There is now trash over there at all hours of the night. I have expresed my concern to the neighbor and he assured me his kid is good. But I watch cars pull down the street with their lights off and honk. He will come out and get in the back seat for about 2 minutes and leave. This happens 10-15 times a day with different cars.
Boykinhntr

Now, THAT is scary.

If he is selling, he may be cooking, too. If he is cooking, 99 44/100 sure everyone in the house knows it on some level (but the ability of parents to enter a denial state has to be seen to be believed). Cooking brings a plethora of dangers to the neighborhood.

If the police have no interest, maybe the local prosecutor would, and he/she is in a position to direct the police's attention. If not the prosecutor, the city assembly, city manager, Mayor, whoever is atop the executive administration of your town, city or whatever local government. County or State if no municipality. Find out who your elected representative(s) is(are) and make sure they know who you are. Be nice enough that they would come over to your house for a cup of coffee some evening. Show them videotape of the goings-on. (Taken sub-rosa, of course. I am not suggesting you become a detective of any kind.)

If you can, without bringing notice to yourself (yet), collect a list of license plate numbers, dates and times. See if any are regular repeats. Very regular repeats might be a supplier making deliveries.

If public officials still aren't interested, cull your local newspaper for a reporter who covers crime stories in a manner to your liking. Talk to that person. Alternatively, go down to the paper and have a sit-down (make an appointment-it's only polite) with the editor (city editor if there are subdivisions). If the paper is locally owned and the owner is approachable, introduce yourself and ask the owner to suggest who to talk to. Having that as an introduction adds a quantum of weight to whatever you say to the editor. Don't waste it, but don't beat him up with it, either. This is also tactical.

Does your neighborhood have a Neighborhood Watch program? Google the phrase.

Try not to attract attention to yourself. With a new family, there is no need to expose a high profile. But do get to know your other neighbors. They may be noticing the same things you are, but have not reached the conclusions you have, yet. They are your allies (hopefully). Make notes to yourself which ones are 1) unfavorable to your alarm 2) unconcerned ("sheeple" or perhaps in denial) 3) favorable to your alarm and 4) possible active allies in your campaign to keep your neighborhood clean and safe. If nothing else, property values are at stake. If he is cooking meth there, there is real danger of 1) explosion 2) fire 3) hazardous waste. After meth labs are discovered, the cleanup is something to behold. People is full haz-mat suits removing wallboard, insulation, flooring, sometimes entire structures. All bagged in plastic, too.

If you are downwind of a meth lab, your son is at risk. (OK, this may be alarmist.) Have you noticed any chemical smells?

Ask your local pharmacies if they have a program watching for large quantity buys of Sudafed (one of the ingredients of Methamphetamines). If this kid or his girlfriend are buying large quantities, they are cooking. If not at home, somewhere else. But their baby is definitely at risk for being poisoned.

This issue goes way beyond physical security of your home, so maybe does not belong in this forum by strict interpretation. But I thought it important enough to post, and apologize later, if necessary. The question does blur the lines between Tactics, Strategy and Policy.

This post does suggest you enlist your neighbors into your wider circle of defended perimeters.

Lost Sheep

As always, use your judgement. I have no idea of the details of your situation. Feel free to ignore, adapt or modify my advice as it fits your situation and your strengths, assets, liabilities, etc.
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Old December 13, 2009, 10:17 PM   #13
jad0110
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Well, at least your home isn't has hairy as my previous residence.

I lived in a 2 story house with the master bedroom downstairs and the baby's room upstairs.

Worse, to get upstairs I had to go down a short hallway, but instead of the hallway ending at our bedroom door, the hallway was actually divided by the door; so I had about 6 feet of straight hallway on either side of the door. The hallway was about 42" wide; not much room to "slice the pie". After going down that short hallway, it opened up into a kitchen and dining room on the left, a directly ahead and to the right. Making it even more frightening, the living room was a 2 story open arrangement with a balcony directly above the hallway exiting from the bedroom, with an open starewell running up to it.

So basically after coming down a narrow hallway, it opened up into an open area with multiple locations to take fire from: the kitchen, dining room, living room adn the starewell and balcony from up above. That layout always scared the living crap out of me.

My house now is a one story, and though my son's room is on the opposite side of the house, it is a straight, very open path to his room. If the crap does hit the fan, his room becomes our safe room. Firing in that direction is not an option, unless I can get down low and fire upwards at an intruder at a high angle at very close range.

So in addition to being aware of where you son is located, your best bet is precise shot placement. Anything that will penetrate deeply enough into a drugged up assailant will also penetrate many interior, and perhaps the exterior walls as well. I say drugged up assailant, because what you describe are the tell tale signs of drug dealing happening right next door. Keep calling the cops, and keep a record of each time you do so. Maybe even send them a letter with a return receipt request.

God forbid something bad happens, you will have a paper trail showing your concern, and that you took proactive, non violent measures to try to address the problem.

In the end, I decided on buckshot for my 12 gauge. My specific load patterns 4" at 15 yards, so at typical ranges in my house it should be half that. After giving a lot of thought, I decided that I wanted my 12 gauge loaded such that with proper placement, a single fight stopping hit is as close to a 100% chance as possible with a small arm. If I have to pull the trigger, I want to do so as few a times as possible.

I certainly respect you position on sticking to birdshot; just be sure you pattern a bunch of different loads and select the one with the tightest groups.

Last edited by jad0110; December 13, 2009 at 10:25 PM.
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Old December 13, 2009, 10:25 PM   #14
boykinhntr
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Lost Sheep,

thanks for taking the time to respond. My neighborhood is not a place where this type of activity would normally occur. I think some neighbors are trying to avoid the situation bc the father has always been a very good neighbor.

There is a neighborhood watch and I have not met with them yet. It is something I plan on doing. I am pretty sure he is selling but I have no idea what. He doesn't fit the typical meth head profile but a lot of the trash that shows up over there does.

There are absolutely a lot of repeat customers over there. One 300z always parks 2 houses down with the lights off. The kid will get in the car and smoke a cig in the backseat then go back inside. He dies this 10times a day with various cars. What else could he be doing?!
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Old December 13, 2009, 10:54 PM   #15
oneounceload
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Quote:
Right now I am using 3.5" #6s in the 12
....3-1/2 inch? no need for that. Brand new baby and not in your room in a crib? That would help for a little while. So would a good dog, good locks, etc........
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Old December 13, 2009, 11:30 PM   #16
boykinhntr
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I'm a hunter and have a lot of different loads. Why not 3.5"? Just more pellets on target.

My baby is 12weeks old and sleeps in his crib. No longer in our room.
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Old December 14, 2009, 02:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
I contacted the police and they had no interest in persuing this.
Unacceptable. Just as with unacceptable customer service, you have to keep going up the food chain. Ask to speak to supervisors until you get a satisfactory response.

You likely have several law enforcement agencies that could have jurisdiction in investigating a complaint like this. You have local police (town/city), the sheriff's office, state police and the feds. If you get super frustrated, try the state police and/or the feds. Even if they're not willing to step in, they tend to be much more highly educated and experienced than the life-hating dip at the local PD complaint desk. They may be able to give you good advice in how to get the local cops' attention.

I like the community approach the best, though. If your neighbor doesn't see the light coming from you, maybe he'll take a hint when two or three other folks mention the problem to him. If that doesn't work, you go to him as a group. This will send a stronger message than a cruiser patrolling your street.

And as one of the resident TFL journalists, do not hassle your local newspaper, especially if you're trying to keep a low profile. I'm a public safety reporter and the only way I'd be interested is if you continue to have problems getting police to respond and it's as obvious as you say it is. At that point, though, your name is going in the paper along with a pretty good description of where you live.
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Old December 14, 2009, 03:34 AM   #18
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+1 on the baby gates, and you already have a dog

deadbolts and motion lights, as many deterrents as possible, plus obstacles to keep an intruder on the first floor

... all better tactics than a caliber downgrade


as for the meth dealer next door ... thought about videotaping the activity?

you can provide that to the Vice Squad, Sheriff's Dept, as well as the local DEA and FBI ... of course, let them each know you've given it to the other

don't leave out the dealer's pappy

the more the merrier

the problem will get handled
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:25 PM   #19
Lee Lapin
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Congratulations on the new addition to the family!

It seems to me you're looking for a hardware solution to what is really a software problem. What you need IMHO is a well thought out, well practiced home defense plan, not some special boolits.

With both bedrooms upstairs- IF there is no other way to get upstairs- your defensive situation is actually quite good. But you and your wife need to work out not only a home defense plan, but a basic set of family emergency plans in the event something goes wrong. Your odds of having a fire, or bad weather, or the like are probably higher than getting involved with a 'hot' burglary/home invasion.

Your emergency plans should have as many aspects in common as possible, to simplify things. Job One is securing the baby, no matter what is happening. In the event of a fire, you need to work out who does what, and practice (fire drills) so those roles are ingrained as habit.

In the event of an intrusion, your job is to interpose yourself and your firearm between your family and the most likely avenue of approach of any threat. Your wife's job is to get physical control of the baby and get herself and the baby secure behind cover, and contact 9-1-1 to get help on the way. Cover in this case is something that may have to be constructed, if the architecture of the house and its furnishings do not provide it. Your communication plan should include a cell phone upstairs, in the event the intruders cut your phone line in preparation for their entry. Unlikely, yes- but it does happen and should be planned for.

I don't know if you've ever heard of TF160 or the 160th SOAR. They're a rotary wing special operations aviation unit based at Ft. Campbell, TN. I mention them because of their unit motto- "Death waits in the dark." That's a good approach to doing what you need to do as well. The area of your home you're defending needs to be in the dark, the areas where intruders might be should be lit well enough for you to see them. There are several ways to do this. Remote control lighting is one option. There's no need to rewire the house- the X-10 protocol components you might want to consider just plug into existing outlets. You can turn on table lamps or overhead lights with pushbottons from anywhere in the house. See http://www.x10.com/security/security_lighting.html for more details on this system, I've used X-10 modules for many years now, and they work.

I mentioned that intruders might pull your phone line- it's possible they might cut off your electricity as well, before entering. If that's the case, your normal lighting won't work. You might consider installing power failure lights that come on when power goes off, or using battery powered motion activated lights at strategic places inside you home. There are some models of plug-in night lights that have a power failure mode, those might be helpful as well.

OK, you get waked up to the sounds of an intrusion in progress in the middle of the night, your wife goes across the hall with the phone and her gun to secure the baby and get the cavalry on the way. Meanwhile you occupy your pre-selected defensive position covering the top of the stairs from the best cover you can manage, proned out on the floor if possible to reduce your own silhouette and to require anyone climbing the stairs to get their eyes above the level of the top step before you can be seen.

All this puts you in a strong defensive position. You're in the dark, they're in the light. You have the high ground, they have to come up to get to you. Anything that shows above the level of the top step is yours for the taking. And help is on the way.

You might not want to do exactly what I've outlined, but i hope it gives you some ideas. All this is based on an NRA class called Personal Protection In The Home. Take a look at http://www.nrainstructors.org/CourseCatalog.aspx for more on the class, and a locator that will let you see if it's being taught near you. If not, you can get the classroom portion on DVD- see http://materials.nrahq.org/go/produc...tid=ES%2026840 . The NRA sells the textbook also- see http://www.nrastore.com/nra/Product....uctid=PB+01781 .

I've maundered on here long enough, so I will close this, but there are a lot of other details I've not covered here. I hope you'll look into the PPITH class, or get the book and DVD if you can't manage the class. As has been mentioned, hardening your home to make it unattractive to burglars and difficult for them to get into if they decide to try is of paramount importance. All that is a whole 'nother post, though. There is plenty of info on the web about hardening your home.

But the main thing is to follow the Boy Scout motto- Be Prepared. You never know what might happen, or when, or under what circumstances, but it pays to think through the things you can imagine are realistic possibilities- and plan what you would do if it happened. Note I said realistic possibilities 8^)- no need to go overboard.

Best wishes, and Stay Safe,

lpl (once upon a time, an NRA certified PPITH instructor)
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:32 PM   #20
Kyo
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get a dog, move the kid
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Old December 14, 2009, 08:38 PM   #21
oneounceload
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Quote:
Why not 3.5"? Just more pellets on target.
Fire one- in a dark room without hearing protection- then ask why not....

At typical HD/BR distances, it really isn't necessary to have a howitzer in the house

JMO
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Old December 14, 2009, 09:45 PM   #22
boykinhntr
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I have a dog and it has been mentioned several times in this thread. I also me mentioned moving my son is not an option.
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Old December 14, 2009, 09:49 PM   #23
boykinhntr
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3.5" shells produce the same noise and flash as a 3". I shoot cases of each every year. The 3.5" simply puts more pellets on target. I also have shot boxes of them inside a pit blind which is worse than inside. It's not really an issue.
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Old December 14, 2009, 10:55 PM   #24
Kyo
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look man in all honesty you have to come to terms with some things.
1. you need proof for cops to get interested. this means setting up security cameras to catch the action you accuse others of.
2. your kid for now at least, can't be in that room if you feel the way you feel and if you are very sure you are going to fire rounds off in that direction. either move the kid, or don't shoot in that direction- which you can't possible guarantee will happen anyway.
3. i go to the dollar store, and get these magnetic alarms. they cost a buck each. http://cgi.ebay.com/Wireless-Window-...item3a55a2f2d5
look just like this. put some on your front door. back door, windows, whatever. the battery won't run out even after a few months, trust me i know.
4. go have a talk with the owners of the place. share your concerns and such.
5. have your dog trained. the dog is the best alarm. they know when people are coming sometimes 50 if not 100 feet away
__________________
1. The gun is always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you are ready to shoot.
4. Be be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
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Old December 15, 2009, 12:48 PM   #25
mongo523
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Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 6
OK, now things are muddled up for me because of this thread! My layout is similar to the OP's, all three bedrooms are in the upstairs of a split level. Therefor, shooting in the direction of my bedroom's doorway puts one of my kid's rooms in the line of fire. Up until reading the boxoftruth site, I felt confident in my choice of a Mossy 20ga loaded with number 6 or 7 shot. I had thought I read somewhere that this wouldn't penetrate two layers of drywall in significant amounts, yet should be bad enough medicine to the bad guy in need of a lead injection. I think that no.4 Buck shot is the biggest size in 20ga., but I could be wrong. So... should I at least swap out the birdshot for 4 buck, or start researching into Glazers for my .45acp?

edited to add: OK, did some research into Glasers... guess I'll stick with JHP's for the .45acp and hyperawareness of the backstop. Still interested in all y'all's opinions on 20ga. though...

Last edited by mongo523; December 15, 2009 at 01:26 PM.
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