View Full Version : Blanks for defense

April 20, 2006, 11:27 PM
I know of a guy who has already had his home broken into while he was armed. He had a 9MM and fired one round at them, which scared the would-be robbers back out the window. He told me he didn't like the idea that he might have had to kill them, and was glad about the warning shot scaring them away. He now carries one magazine in the weapon, that is loaded with blanks and a reload that is Hollowpoints. Personally I believe that this is not an intelligent move, since after the blanks don't scare off a determinedd attacker, he would have to drop the mag and rechamber a live round which will cost him time and possibly his life. What does anyone else think about this?

April 20, 2006, 11:33 PM
The only time I would use blanks for self defense is if I were shooting grenades at them with my Yugo SKS. Our house rule was, is, and always will be, that you don't draw unless you are prepared to stop a threat using all possible force, which may or may not result in the death of another human being and that if you don't feel you could do that, you shouldn't use a gun for home defense.

April 21, 2006, 12:03 AM
this is the most ignorant question i have ever heard. get rid of your weapons now. put up a sign that says open house and move out.

your in it to win it or your gonna get screwed. if he couldn't stomach killing to protect his family what the hell does he have one for. a blank for home defence. im sorry but why would you even consider. hell im all for step loading a shot gun but you dont want your first shot to be a blank. it will probably hut you just before you get killed you wish you had a real bullet in your starter pistol.

im with you and dont think this is an intelligent move. it is bad enough to have to reload in a gun fight. but to have to cause some pcp runnin junkie figured out he really is superman cause your friend shot him several times and he didnt die. now you have to reload under stress which is bad enough.

April 21, 2006, 12:53 AM
I won't say that's "ignorant" like my fellow keyboard warriors here. It's easy to pass judgment when you're sitting with your belly hanging over your boxers, bathed in the bluish light of your computer screen.

I could envision maybe the first ROUND in a magazine being a blank, but definitely not the whole magazine. That way if the perp's coming straight for you you could take two shots real fast and at least get him with one. Plus if your wife gets ahold of it after finding out you've been sleeping with the help, you can pretend her first (blank) shot did the trick. ;)

But realistically probably not. I would have no qualms about killing a man (or woman!) I found in my house. At least that's what I think -- when the chips are down I might feel different.

April 21, 2006, 01:54 AM

April 21, 2006, 02:02 AM
first shot blank ?

Why not ? if it is your intention to fire one in the air to let them know whos boss, why pay for home repairs ?

On the other hand, what if that blank didnt cycle the gun ?

anyway, I think a good dog is for the guy who dont like to shoot people in the home.

Dog, alarm system, good locks, automatic lights with bedroom alarm, all the security stuff is necessary, after all, a gun will do you no good if you are asleep.

April 21, 2006, 02:26 AM
I'd have to agree with that. There are so many ways to protect yourself besides a gun -- if you're not going to use it for its intended purpose (expelling a bullet real fast at someone), why not spend the money on something else?

April 21, 2006, 05:13 AM
this is ignorant the same way it is ignorant for someone to ask why you could possibly need an ak 47. or hunters dont need shotguns that hold 20 rounds or no one can possibly hunt with an ak47 or why do you possibly need magazines with a capacity to hold more than ten rounds.

oh wait that is for the guy who is shooting blanks. it is quicker to empty and reload that way.

blanks have but 3 purposes in life. to start races to fire grenades and to practice. the last being only half true as many automatics need a real round to cycle the action properly.

as for my gut it took years of disability to get it this way.

there are no dumb questions but there are ignorant. ignorant means total lack of knowledge as in you know so little you dont even know how utterly deranged that is .

kinda like why did the police shoot him 27 times. well all 7 officers felt in fear of their life or a fellow officers life when he pointed his weapon at him so they all decided indecently to stop that threat at the same time.

or why didn't they just try to shoot him in the leg or shoot the gun out of his hand. well that might work but you would be here screaming foul when the officer under stress missed that small target and kill a little old lade 2 blocks away.

or well you get the picture. ignorant is complete and total lack of knowledge on the subject. i am not addressing our poster here has he isn't ignorant as he stated it was a dumb idea.

there are just somethings in life that should click in your brain. in this case the lack of such basic knowledge would preclude the friend using a weapon for defence. as posted he should get a dog and alarm bars for the windows a cell phone for police and a living will for him and his family for when he gets his or their ass handed to them.

ok folks this is my opinion and we all know the saying. this said i cant smell ars thru the computer so i would love to hear yours.

April 21, 2006, 06:22 AM
Without any berating, NO.

Be very careful about what your friend says about this to convince you otherwise, if he tries.

He might tell you not to worry, there's plenty of time. That is probably how he saw it. Adrenaline makes it seem that way. There is NOT time to play around.

Also, doing that could get perversely twisted into legal trouble. If you weren't in fear for your life enough to shoot real bullets, why did you take your gun out at all?

April 21, 2006, 06:23 AM
He has to come into the real world . NO warning shots and NO blanks. He may have lucked out this time but under other circumstances he'd be dead. Especially when he meets a criminal who is high on drugs and alcohol and is a psychopath !!! BTW that also goes for those who think that racking a slide of a pump action shotgun is going to scare a BG.:rolleyes:

April 21, 2006, 06:38 AM
Bad idea. (1) he may only get one shot to save his life. (2) If his blank doesn't do the trick he then has to drop the mag, find and insert the mag loaded with live rounds, cycle the slide then reaquire the target. I hope he has the time and steady nerves for all that. OTOH, it's his life, if he wants to just yell "BANG" to scare them it won't affect me either. BTW, blanks won't cycle the slide.

April 21, 2006, 06:58 AM
No blanks. Use of blanks indicate a lack of resolve to use lethal force if needed which is a mindset issue.

If one's mindset isn't right, then a gun is the wrong tool. Guns aren't used to bluff and scare. They are used to stop a physical threat.

April 21, 2006, 07:37 AM
Terrible idea. Before you even purchase a handgun ,you should determine whether you are WILLING to use it to defend yourself. If the answer is no ,then don't get it. If you are hoping the appearance and noise will be enough to frighten the BG away ,then all's you've accomplished is to provide the BG a means to kill you. In 10 years as a criminal Investigator ,I can tell you the BG's all have one thing in common ,given the right circumstances ,they are all willing. YMMV Regards 18DAI.

April 21, 2006, 07:51 AM
If you're not willing to use deadly force, then you shouldn't be carrying a gun. Blanks can (and have) killed at very close range.

April 21, 2006, 07:57 AM
I forgot to add. I have taken some training, though probably not as much as I should have.

But I did take one course that was 4 hours of dealing with equipment problems during a gunfight. One such problem was running out of ammunition. Your friend should take that kind of course or go to a range and try to do a magazine change. Here's how, after making sure the range doesn't have an objection to your doing this.

Move the target rack as far away from you as it will go, typically 75 feet or so. Then switch the switch to start it back toward you. Immediately drop an empty magazine from your gun and retrieve another from wherever you are keeping it and insert it. Then rack the slide to be ready again. The instant you have done that, turn off the switch. Maybe have your friend do the switching for you.

If the target rack hasn't already smacked into the stop at your end, look how far it made it in that time. The result is going to be very eye-opening.

You might be able to change magazines in a gunfight after you've hit the attacker with some real rounds and slowed him a little if he's still coming at you. But you are very unlikely to have time to do that if he isn't hurt at all.

April 21, 2006, 08:38 AM
won't say that's "ignorant" like my fellow keyboard warriors here. It's easy to pass judgment when you're sitting with your belly hanging over your boxers, bathed in the bluish light of your computer screen.

I could envision maybe the first ROUND in a magazine being a blank, but definitely not the whole magazine. That way if the perp's coming straight for you you could take two shots real fast and at least get him with one.

I will say ignorant! Almost as bad is this portion "That way if the perp's coming straight for you you could take two shots real fast and at least get him with one". Shows a complete lack of knowledge of tactics and of the difficulty in hitting a moving target under stress. It also fails to take into consideration the blanks notorious reputation for not cycling actions and the handguns ineffectiveness in stopping someone, especially with a single hit.

My mother once told me that she would shoot the bad guy/home intruder in the leg because she didn't want to kill anybody. Needless to say it was our last practice session. She refused to understand the severity of the situation if she needed to use a gun and refused to change her willingness to shoot to stop (and thus possibly kill the bad guy). Dad and I told her to just submit and pray. We felt that she would only arm an intruder who was unarmed given her unwillingness to kill if needed.

April 21, 2006, 08:41 AM
Firing a gun is considered in most, if not all states, to be the use of deadly force, regardless of whether you miss or are firing blanks. Having blanks suggests he didn't think that the situation really merited the use of deadly defensive force, and he's going to be second-guessed six ways from Sunday by the police and prosecutors about his judgement and justification for using deadly force.

April 21, 2006, 09:04 AM
i actually spit coffee all over my screen when i read this. then my nose started bleeding and my bowles let lose.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 21, 2006, 09:11 AM
Just as an historical note, a gun book I have mentions that Netherlands police used to carry revolvers with a load ordered something like this:

1. Blank
2. Cork Bullets
3. Tear Gas Round
4. Regular rounds

BTW - is carrying a blank different from the crowd who states they will come to the top of the stairs or out of the bed room racking their shotgun deliberatedly to scare the BG? :D

That's compared to folks who keep it unchambered but rack as soon as they pick it up.

April 21, 2006, 09:24 AM
1. Blank
2. Cork Bullets
3. Tear Gas Round
4. Regular rounds

Something tells me not to do something like this for personal defense. Police go to trouble. They have backup and a little more control than the homeowner does in the middle of the night.

They have liability issues. We have them too. But this sequence was probably determined by a committee in a conference room with a LOT of emphasis on liability and on how the police come upon deadly situations.

The rest of us come upon them by surprise (if not, then it's pretty much not self-defense). By the time you get to your first regular round that hits, you might be dead.

April 21, 2006, 09:34 AM
It is an ignorant question. Ignorant not being a slam though, simply meaning he doesn't know (look it up) and has some reservation to taking human life, which is good and makes it a good question.

To answer the question...No it's a bad idea.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 21, 2006, 09:45 AM
It is basically a force continuum question. It is not really stupid.

One might easily pose the question as:

If I come across someone in my house and I have my gun at the ready - should I challenge them and order them not to move as I have a gun or just shoot them immediately?

The technical aspect of a gun that is not immediately available to use as a lethal weapon is a naive question but that of trying to deal with a situation without immediate use of deadly force is not.

April 21, 2006, 10:07 AM
That's very true, but the main point is that you shouldn't pull the trigger unless you're ready to immediately use deadly force. You are not required to pull the trigger when confronting an attacker.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 21, 2006, 10:32 AM
Yep, and this guy just wants to figure out, naively, a good way to attempt an initial nonlethal interaction.

In many houses, we have panic alarm buttons that sound very loud and unpleasant sirens, etc. Upon hearing, break in - press the button.

I agree that I'm not deploying a weapon with blanks. In a Steve Moses class, we did a scenario where one did come across the break in. What to do! It is easy to say just shoot them. But should you challenge?

What if the dudes don't follow commands? Not attack you but just stroll to the door? The best one is when one of the burglars decided that he would take a leak on your living room couch while you were yelling tough guy crap at them.

Not to hjiack the thread but the tactical issue of a challenge to a burglar vs. immediate gun fire vs. hunkering down in the safe room, etc. is not an unknown conversation in self-defense circles.

I had two guy semi-comply and one guy slowly walk towards me, saying he didn't speak English and with a smile. So do you shoot him?

I did after a warning.

April 21, 2006, 10:35 AM
He now carries one magazine in the weapon, that is loaded with blanks

....and how will his 9mm cycle??

Also, there is great merit in not only brandishing a weapon at a threat, there is merit in painting him with a laser, racking a weapon and in 'particular' situations a warning/missed shot.

Been there, done that.

April 21, 2006, 10:49 AM
Isn't drawing down on the guy warning enough? Even if he no speaks de english he'll be warned. for a second or so at least.

Had you drawn your weapon already when he approached you?

Glenn E. Meyer
April 21, 2006, 11:10 AM
Yep, in the exercise, you entered your living room and find three guys. I had drawn and challenged. Two complied and one walked towards me slowly smiling and saying he didn't speak English.

The instructors are seeing if you could think on your feet and respond when the opponent doesn't act in a cliched fashion to your manliness. :D

After a couple of challenges, I shot him. I might have backed out of the living room and fled but I chose not to. Backing up is bad.

It was kind of a slow-mo Tueller drill. Makes you think.

April 21, 2006, 11:40 AM
Rather than a blank serving as a warning (also serving as a complete disregard for the K.I.S.S. principle); if you really want to warn an intruder in hopes of avoiding a deadly encounter, why not simply call out and advise that you will defend your home and family with deadly force if they do not cease, desist and leave immediately? Probably not a bad idea to mention the cops are on their way (which they should be).

At least this way you've in no way compromised your ability to defend your home and family (i.e., by employing useless blanks), and at the same time you can rest easy knowing you've tried your hardest to scare the intruder away so that you don't have *possibly* to end his/her life.

Being discovered will most likely scare a majority of intruders away -- my opinion, not fact. It is also not something I'm willing to gamble on, so I find it best to have a firearm ready to defend if this does not work. Having a firearm only capable of making noise, does not fit the "defend" criteria.

Nothing wrong with trying to avoid killing people; it's a refreshing point of view, actually... but there is something wrong with accepting a disadvantage or otherwise compromising your ability to defend, in order to avoid killing someone. All is fair in love and war. If someone brings war to your doorstep, you must be prepared to battle. If someone brings you love, well, then load your blanks and celebrate.

April 21, 2006, 11:46 AM
I think I might opt for a short stick. I hope I never have to kill anyone, but if it comes down to kill or be killed, I'll be the one walking away.

April 21, 2006, 11:52 AM
Other thing that might work are pointing a pen at them and screaming <KABOO-OM>, barking to immitate a rotweiler, and using a mime axe.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

April 21, 2006, 12:33 PM
If you haven't yet received enough opinions, I'll offer mine: extremely naive, ignorant, and potentially deadly idea/practice.

April 21, 2006, 12:34 PM
The best one is when one of the burglars decided that he would take a leak on your living room couch while you were yelling tough guy crap at them.

Not to hijack the thread, but I have to wonder what the response is for that one... lol :confused:

Anyways, I think it's pretty much unanimous that blanks for self defense is not the best of ideas.

Capt. Charlie
April 21, 2006, 12:43 PM
Anyways, I think it's pretty much unanimous that blanks for self defense is not the best of ideas.

Question asked and answered, with far too much use of the word "ignorant".