View Full Version : What is an ACTUAL Home Defense Situation Like?

July 18, 2002, 07:11 PM
As an older crabby-type guy who somehow managed to spend a little time in the USMCR in the early 60's but never saw combat, I've tried to gear up for adequate home defense in downtown Chicago. (no, it is not allowed to have a .50 BMG mounted on my deck.)

I've tried to imagine all of the awful scenarios that might go down and prep for them, but am concerned that my lack of actual stressful combat has made me overlook something. As I posted on another thread, I've only done ARTIFICIAL stress shooting.

It's just me and the wife, no kids, in a 7-story condo that is one block from the public housing Cabrini Green Projects. Our bedroom has sliding glass doors that open onto our private roof deck which is accessible by anyone coming out of any 7th floor unit and walking around the building roof deck. The sliders are alarmed so we'll hear any opening but we are six feet from the sliders when that happens.

Gear-wise I've settled on a Mossberg 500 pump 12 ga 18 inch bbl which I keep within arm's reach under the bed.

I've read almost every post on this forum and others and don't recall anyone ever describing a real home defense event. Would any of you who have actual home defense experiences be willing to describe them? I know that may be uncomfortable, but I would appreciate learning from your experience.


July 18, 2002, 07:40 PM
Hey, my old neighborhood! Lived at Dearborn and Elm during grad skul. Get over to Spike's Rat Bar where the girls dance on the bar?

Here you go: it's dark, you are WIDE awake, you can hear and see better, and I am very, very scared. On the floor with shotgun in boxers and T-shirt (I think at least the boxers were black and thus tactical).

July 18, 2002, 07:58 PM
Of course (slapping forehead with palm)... why didn't I think of tactical boxers?

Yeah, the wife and I stopped into Spikes a couple of times... I gotta say, it's not the same when the wife's along.

In your scenario... so... what happened? I hope the answer is "nothing", but... ?


July 18, 2002, 08:08 PM
Of course (slapping forehead with palm)... why didn't I think of tactical boxers?

Yeah, the wife and I stopped into Spikes a couple of times... I gotta say, it's not the same when the wife's along.

In your scenario... so... what happened? I hope the answer is "nothing", but... ?


July 18, 2002, 09:03 PM
Lots of yelling and shouting. Barbarians through the first layer of wire but little did they know KSFreeman has steel doors (now repainted thanks to endless remodel job--new thread, when, if ever, will KSF finish remodeling?), lots of guns and lots of skuling. Crowbar defeated. Po-po arrive. BGs retreat.

During my LEO daze, misguided yutes in search of vengence upon our fav poster. Geez--the judge was the one who sentenced their buddy, I just persuaded 12 to go along with me.

Each situation is different. Read a lot more than have actually participated in.:D

Dave McC
July 19, 2002, 03:26 AM
Venice Ca, 5 Westminster Ave, ca 1972. I was recovering from the madness of South East Asia by immersing myself in the madness of South Ca. My tiny apt was at the end of a hall, right next to the fire escape.

It was 0 dark 30 and my two cats woke me up, I could tell they were upset. After a moment of bleariness, I realized there were scraping noises coming from my bathroom. a quick glance in showed two shapes on the fire escape trying to jimmy open the window. It was nailed as well as locked shut.

Retrieving my 870 from the closet, I opened my other window, and racked hard. The last foot of bbl went out through the curtains and pointed at the two socio-economically disadvantaged minority group members. I was behind what little cover there was and told them to leave or die. I may also have said something about their mothers.

They didn't seem to mind the drop of 15 feet or so to the alley. I safed the 870, made double sure everything was locked tight, smoked a cigarette and eventually got back to sleep.

Al Thompson
July 19, 2002, 06:41 AM
Bruce, every event is different. I've had one encounter in daylight and one at night. Both times everything seemed brighter and faster than than usual. Never fired a shot and neither event happened exactly as I planned, but I had a plan that I could adapt to the situation.

There is a wealth of information in the archives. Use the search button and some imagination - lots to read!

Billy Sparks
July 19, 2002, 06:55 AM
I do not have a HD situation to share just a observation. How are you storing the shotgun? The reason I asked is that when I first got a weapon for home defense I put it in the bedside table. At least twice I woke up standing beside the bed holding the gun. The dream was so realistic I get the gun and then wokeup. I now keep the home defense pistols in a lock box in the closet. Before we go to bed my wife or I (usually her) opens the box so that all we have to do is reach in. It also allows me to keep a weapon secured at all times in the bedroom and I don't have to worry about the grandkids finding it.

July 19, 2002, 09:18 AM
I keep my 12 gauge in the closet with the magazine full, the chamber empty, and the trigger lock on, with the key hidden close to me. The reason for that is so that I don't end up with the barrel of my gun aimed at me if I surprise an intruder.


July 19, 2002, 03:11 PM
I haven't been involved in an HD situation since I've become a gun owner. There was a situation when I was a kid, but I was too young to remember it now. I've asked the same question you have many times and I always get the same advice from people who have been involved in that scenario in the before. Never underestimate the sound that woke you up! You may try to write it off as a common night time noise. Most people sleep through a verity of wind related and settling sounds without waking up. So, if was odd enough to get your attention, don't disregard it. But hey, what do I know.

July 20, 2002, 06:49 PM
From what I read in the papers here in Miami, most home defense situations are over in moments, and almost always to the disadvantage of the home owner.

Keeping your gun unloaded, shells in a drawer, key in another drawer might keep a kid from finding it , but it will get you killed in real life.

My stuff is by the bed, I am a light sleeper, and I have three Scotties that don't sleep at all at night.

July 20, 2002, 10:09 PM
Thanks to all for the good input. My shotgun is handy and ready to go with one pump... If I could just train my "watch cats" to bark, I'd be as comfortable as those of you who have dogs... actually, I really miss having a Beagle or a Springer Spaniel like I did in the olden days. Oh well, city living.

July 21, 2002, 12:51 AM
First of all - I don't know - never been there thank goodness.

What I will assume - regardless of how many things you prepare for - it will happen differently.

I guess the old stand bys -

"A room" that is easily defensible, have your cell phone, flashlight, ammo, water, be ready to hole up for a bit, second weapon for your wife.

My feeling is if you get an early warning you'll be lucky - best have a weapon at the ready nearest you. Having participated in some indoor clearing excersises in the dark - no way in hell am I gonna clear my own house if I really belive that someone is in my home.

ps - I thought they demo'ed Cabrini Green a year or two ago?

Chuck Dye
July 21, 2002, 01:23 AM
Dawn of my last morning in San Diego. The U-Haul was loaded and all that remained in the apartment was me, the handgun, a change of clothes, and the matress that will be dropped at the dump on the way out of town. I woke to the sound of the window over my bed sliding open. When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was a bare foot coming at my face. I rolled out of bed, scooping up the pistol. As I racked slide, the burglar landed on the bed. I explained that there was nothing there worth being shot for. The teenaged WFJ rewarded me by voiding her bladder through her jeans, soaking the bed. She then did a very neat back roll out the window and fled the jurisdiction. Sure glad I was going to dump the matress anyway.

July 21, 2002, 06:06 AM
Huck's report reminds me of that of a friend, who was aroused by a noise in the night.

With pistol in hand, he moved from his bedroom to a hallway window just in time to find an intruder poking his head in through the window. My friend put the muzzle of his gun to the temple of the would-be invader and said, "Come on in you SOB and I'll blow your brains out."

The frightened fellow dropped to the ground and ran away.