View Full Version : Vests as part of home defense plan...

January 7, 2008, 09:56 AM
Everyone spends their money on guns. Wondering how many have first bullet proof vests, second pepper spray, ear protection, etc. ready and close?

January 7, 2008, 10:17 AM
Everyone spends their money on guns

But coach always told me that a strong offense is the best defense... :cool:

Personally haven't spend the cash for a vest. The only time I feel a civilian would need a vest is during a Katrina type situation, where normal people are thrust into practical war zones. I don't think I'd have time to don a vest during a potential home invasion. And the risk of being in a SHTF scenario during daily life is relatively low, so I don't see the point of wearing the vest as part of every day dress.

For the others:

With the mace, I'm too worried about being attacked on a windy day and ending up with a face full of it myself rather than putting it on the BG.

If I have time to properly fit a pair of ear plugs before an engagement, then I probably had time to retreat with me and mine. When Mr. BG comes up wanting my wallet or girlfriend's womanly features, I doubt he'll give me time to protect our hearing.

I don't deal with tasers either, since the data I've read based on real world deployment suggests a lack of consistency.

Mama invested in my key item for self/home defense: she put a good head on my shoulders. :D

January 7, 2008, 10:25 AM
Everyone spends their money on guns. Wondering how many have first bullet proof vests, second pepper spray, ear protection, etc. ready and close?

If I need all that for home defense, I'm packing up and finding a new home.


January 7, 2008, 11:02 AM
I would be afraid of having to explain that in the aftermath of a defense event. If I had time to put on a vest, and the foresight to have one, why didn't I just leave?

January 7, 2008, 04:57 PM
Hi, Dr. S, an interesting question. I have several vests, but I'm a career LEO also. I dont keep a vest in the house, but usually have one in my vehicles, especially mypersonal pick-up, along with a raid jacket or marked t shirt to id myself. I try to always ready for bad happenings, or if needed to assist another LEO. I travel I-65 in Alabama a lot, and always watch out for Troopers, etc that have vehicles stopped along the interstate.

For home protection, or even street protection, Mas Ayoob once wrote an article about a vest that fits into a "fanny-pacK" type application, worn around the waist and crammed into the front pocket. The vest can be pulled out and a strap fits over your head to secure it...seems it had a "POLICE" emblem on it.

Might be a little bulky, I've never seen one. BUT...certainly worth a look, if you think you might need it.

Mas hangs out here occasionaly, maybe he'll weigh in!

I'm always interested in the posters here and other forums where the poster says he carries a main sd gun, a back-up, two knives, a cell phone, a whistle and mace, a stun-gun and four extra magazines...then "NO", I never consider body-armor. Oh, well.

I always enjoy your posts, BTW. I'd love to meet you and some of those you've mentioned, such as Lee Jurras, et al.

January 7, 2008, 05:30 PM
when funds allow I would love to get an IBA with SAPI plates just to have but it's not in the plan.

January 7, 2008, 05:46 PM
I'm not going outside or to bed with the idea that I'm going to a dangerous place. If I thought there would be danger, I wouldn't go. My firearms are a "just in case" deal. Hence, I'd only need a vest if the survivalist's dreams come true. If one fell in my lap, I'd keep it.
Ear protection; basically the same deal - If I thought I'd need them, I wouldn't go.
OC spray; Sometimes.

Double Naught Spy
January 7, 2008, 05:50 PM
I would be afraid of having to explain that in the aftermath of a defense event. If I had time to put on a vest, and the foresight to have one, why didn't I just leave?

Great, another person more worried about a possible aftermath and dealing with the cops than actually worried about the life or death situation of protecting themselves and their families. I wasn't aware of there being any laws anywhere in CONUS that said if you had time to prepare that you should just leave. I cannot fathom how having an item that is so purely defensive (they only stop incoming rounds) would be so much concern, but having a gun that would or could project force on another isn't. After all, if you have time to grab a gun and shoot a home invader, don't you have time to leave?

Where you live, are you allowed to make use of available cover, or do you not do that as well because if you have that sort of time, you have time to leave? Do you get to grab a flashlight, or is that considered too much preparation as well?

I am guessing that because of the prepared/leave issue, you don't check bumps in the night, or if you do, you do it without anything other than just a firearm. Would that be correct?

Contrary to popular myth, the first rule of a gun fight is not to have a gun, but to survive the fight. Survival and protection of life should be all that truly matters. Worry more about that than the issue of answering questions in the aftermath. If you fail the first part, you may not be alive to answer questions in the aftermath.

We have two vests. They have been used primarily for checking bumps in the night.

January 7, 2008, 07:16 PM
Always amazed that even if you get the right answers, you may end up with a different thought then when you went in.

Next to my bed is the vest, double plates, supposed to be good against 357, electronic boosted hearing protection, and, prior to this post, inadequate light. I've never been a light on the gun type, so now, instead of a kel-lite, I've got a 10 million candle search light by the bed, as well. This gives me blinding light, without having it on my gun.

Now, since I have to drive into part of East Oakland tonight, I'm giving serious thought to the vest. I originally asked for it for the high school I'd been working in.
One day, after lunch, I came back to what appeared to be two students, one who was supposed to be in my class, having a gropping session with what appeared to be another gang affiliated student. I WAS WRONG. Since the girl failed to enter class, or say anything, I had been instructed by the principal to lock the door, and, since they do tardy sweeps, the students not in class get trash detention. Turned out the guy was not a student, had come in from off campus, and that explained why he was totally ignoring my instructions. I also, in retrospect, suspect he was drunk, or high, judging by his actions.

A bit later I talked to the girl, and asked her why she was tardy, and hadn't followed my instructions. Turns out she can barely speak English, and was too scared to say anything at the time. I'm usually pretty good at picking stuff up, but, when you have 35 high school students in a room, and you are at the door, turn away, or go outside for a second, and things disappear, or bad things can happen.

I had security come up, escort her down to the principals office, and, try and see if we could identify the guy, if he was a student. She came back to class, and, couldn't find the guys picture. It then dawned on my it was an outsider, maybe from another high school, or drop out.

I said all that, because if I had confronted him, I might very well have been in a situation that I would not like. Also, I was faced with my duty to protect the girl, if I'd known the guy was gropping her against her will.

Another scenario is if I break up the stuff, or get into it with the guy, he might well be back, with some of his friends, with weapons. Then what do you do? The vest might turn a knife, 9mm, 380 or 22, pretty easily.

So, I guess tonight I'll see if I can dress baggy enough to hide it, and see how comfortable it is driving for an hour...

By the way, my work takes me into Richmond and Oakland, and some other not so nice areas on a regular basis. Nothing I can do about it at the present...

January 7, 2008, 07:27 PM
i am not that paranoid that i need a BP vest in my house.

January 7, 2008, 07:27 PM
Once I set the claymores around the perimeter for the night I just go to bed. No need for a vest.

January 7, 2008, 07:38 PM
Being prepared for bad situations is well just smart. I try to avoid going into bad areas whenever possible but occassionally you just have to.

My boss bought my first vest so that I was better protected when answering alarm calls to his pawnshops in the middle of the night. He bought me another when the first one expired (I kept the old one because they tend to work well past the exp date). Every now and then I wear it to work. Usually when pawnshops make the news by being robbed and the robbers are still at large.

If I thought there would be danger, I wouldn't go.

Unfortunately I just don't have this luxury 100 percent.

January 7, 2008, 11:03 PM
Claymores... Not a bad idea! I wonder if i can get some WP grenades as well. that would be a nice touch! My wife put the hex on my flame thrower idea. I think that would be the best weapon for HD that ever was!

January 7, 2008, 11:04 PM
She did however let me string a little concertina wire around the perimiter. I had some beer cans hung on it but the neighbors complained about the noise on a windy night. I think they are the ones who are coming to shoot me at night.

January 8, 2008, 08:56 AM
Almost wore it last night. Had a vivid reminder of stuff that can happen. Watched a couple cars pulling on the freeway, and someone couldn't get in, rush hour, so they slammed on their brakes. Rather spectacular bang, with lots of metal flying when the cell phone user plowed into the stopped car...

I need something thicker for under the vest. Gets REAL scratchy with the standard carry vest, or, it could just need washing. It has two kevlar plates, on front and back, for a total of 4. Would be better if I was about 20 pounds lighter. Makes me look rather round.

January 8, 2008, 10:18 AM
I have a vest, but it's in no way part of my home defense plan... it's mainly for safety at the range, or the occassional trip to a bad neighborhood (I prefer to simply avoid the bad neighborhoods if at all possible). Given the layout and size of my dwelling, I just can't see grabbing a vest a feasable option for confronting intruders. Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't grab it if I had a chance ;)

I would be afraid of having to explain that in the aftermath of a defense event. If I had time to put on a vest, and the foresight to have one, why didn't I just leave?

I can't speak for you, but for me the answer is simple: the law allows me to stay and defend my home without any obligation to retreat. Besides, if I'm in my bedroom when somebody breaks in, I have no realistic avenue of escape.

45Marlin carbine
January 8, 2008, 10:38 AM
interesting post and good point. I have none of the mentioned accessorys but have been tinkering with sheet metal 'shield' idea, made with a forearm strap and a hand loop. something along the lines the riot squads carry but no head protection made from 16 ga. mild steel. will turn anything but magnum handgun rounds at any distance at all and buckshot(easy on shot) with a half-moon cut-out for forearm to protrude w/handgun.

January 8, 2008, 03:33 PM
I live in a steel house, no need for body armour.

Claymores? I use "bouncing betties" :) way more effective and a lot scarier, you should see their faces when they start popping up :) acme sells them with the little sign that pops out and reads "Boom" :)

I have 5 dogs, anyone comes within 100 yards they let me know. Dont get many visitors late at night where I live tho.

January 8, 2008, 06:01 PM
In my home? seasoning spray and kevlar?

If you are in my home illegally, I am not gonna ask you what's up, I'm not going to try to season you (pepper spray)... I'm not gonna give you a chance to shoot first...

The SECOND I identify you as a threat, as in not welcome!, I'm gonna play the trombone for you... (pump and fire Remington 870 Marine Magnum) it is my right, and my duty to my family (and myself!)... and I'm gonna shoot until I have sufficiently stopped the threat!

Mas Ayoob
January 9, 2008, 01:39 AM
I keep a vest near the bed for the same reason I keep a gun near the bed: the possibility of an armed invader entering my home.

The history of these things is, the bullets go in both directions. It only makes sense.

January 9, 2008, 06:25 AM
Vests are a waste of finite resources (IE, Money). I wouldn't fool with them. I have a hard enough time carrying my concealed carry pistol, what makes you think the average concerned citizen will don a vest? It will wind up being left at home, probably stuck in a closet corner.

The best defensive bet besides firearms, is a good safe room, probably your bedroom. A nice heavy door with a deadbolt. Strike plates that have been solidly anchored with at least 2 inch screws (Next time your home, pull the screws from your bedroom doors' strike plate, I bet dollars to donuts, that they're quarter to half inch screws. If anyone kicks your door, those screws will fail, and your door will be compromised. Rip those suckers out and replace them with longer screws.) A phone or cellphone in said room, (To call the cops with,) and some decent artillery waiting in close proximity.

Pepper spray... that might make a nice addition in areas where placing a gun may put within reach of small children, (a childs' room, favorite play room. Etc) Of course, once the kids grow up enough to know how to properly respect guns, that pepper spray would be replaced by fire arms.

Finally, you back this up with good perimeter and in depth security. Check your exterior doors and door frames, your locks, windows, exterior lighting and cover, (Don't give the bad guys any extra cover or concealment for when thier trying to sneak up.) and outbuildings. (Life ain't going to be easy if they can break into your shed and get their paws on B&E goodies like ladders, powertools, etc and so forth.)

January 9, 2008, 06:39 AM
I keep a vest near the bed for the same reason I keep a gun near the bed: the possibility of an armed invader entering my home.

The history of these things is, the bullets go in both directions. It only makes sense.

Sounds about right. It can't hurt.

Edward Nigma
January 9, 2008, 07:00 AM
I have some of this stuff:


The wind as mentioned is a concern with this stuff though. Even though it does shoot about 10 feet it can blow back. On the day I tested it on a tree I got just a tiny bit of it back into my throat. Just an extremely small amount. It burned and choked me far more than any Mexican food I've ever eaten. I hate to think what it would do to the eyes, and I can't see anyone doing much after it hitting them, regardless of comments condemning pepper sprays.

The amount that blew back on me was just some drizzle and it really stung.

January 9, 2008, 08:00 AM
I have one but wouldn't have time to throw it on in case of a intruder. Just enough time for adrenaline and fear to throw me running to dresser droor for my 38snubbie:cool:

January 9, 2008, 08:13 AM
I own body armor (with Class IV rifle plates), but I acknowledge that I might not have time to put it on if my home were invaded, anyway. That's not exactly why I bought it in any case.

I believe each citizen should own the best armor he can afford as part of his duty to protect the Constitution against its domestic enemies (i.e., in the event of government tyranny). This is, after all, the purpose of the Second Amendment.

Incidentally, I think any manufacturer or distributor that refuses to sell body armor to Joe Citizen when there's no legal prohibition should have all their other products boycotted. Why do business with someone who believes your life (and freedom) is worth less than that of a cop or soldier?

January 9, 2008, 09:04 AM
+1 Steelcore, you hit the nail on the head. That is my purpose for my vest, even though I may never use it.

Mr Clauds
January 10, 2008, 05:32 AM
Hey guys

Thought i'd throw my 2 cents in...

I'm going to be getting one of these:

Easy to throw on, can be worn easily in public etc...
There are also concealible BPV's somewhere on the site...

In a gun fight in my country, it's always against at least 3 armed criminals who have planned and organised (we don't have junkies breaking into houses), the crime stats are close to third world contries, though we have enough economic stability to be classifed as 1st world country !?...

Here, it's a normal occurance to get robbed, hi jacked, mugged etc, and usually with aggrevating circumstances. A BPV is a wise thing indeed :)

Thanks all for a great forum, I just hope to input as much as I have learnt :)

January 10, 2008, 11:19 AM
Welcome aboard, sure is an expensive vest but nice though.

January 10, 2008, 11:38 AM
Never would consider it for HD! I am likely to emerge from my "cave" buck naked or maybe wearing skivvies if it ain't to hot when I go defensive. My first thought is the obvious... "WHO THE HELL..." second is grab gun. Since it is already sporting one in the chamber I just have to locate than identify intruder as an intruder than I can ELIMINATE the threat while wifey poo call the cleanup crew in blue... While return fire is possible I highly doubt the BG will get the first shot and with gobs of lead headed in his direction at a high rate of speed he likely won't be the straightest shooter. BTW legal ramifications are not a concern.

January 10, 2008, 11:18 PM
Hi Mas

Still looking forward to going shooting at Chabot with you, if I can ever get a day off, or, I know your coming out.

I also keep electronic hearing, and, my 500 Max linebaugh, .475 Linebaugh FA 83 as primary weapons, with a 1911 as backup.

I know, and understand your position, but, at my age, I want the fireball from the giant cloud of H110, or 4227, that Hornady uses in their 400 grain HP loading. Figure for those weird bumps in the night, that's the way to go.

Oh yes, the 45 Kimber, with 45 super in it, 230 grains at 1100 fps.

Most common carry is pepper spray.

January 13, 2008, 04:43 PM
I think a vest would be a great addition to your defensive playbook if you can afford it. Is it paranoid just to be prepaired? Most situations it probably would not come into play, but it sure would be nice for that 1 in a million scenario where you need it. If I had the money, I'd have one in a flat second.

Saying you don't need a vest, is the same as saying you are overly paranoid for having more than one gun, too much ammo, ect, ect....

January 14, 2008, 02:24 AM
Wondering how many have first bullet proof vests, second pepper spray, ear protection, etc. ready and close?

Yeah, I've got pepper spray nearby in a kitchen drawer, and hearing protection upstairs in my shooting kit. Plenty of knives and flashlights, too.

As far as wearing a Kevlar vest around the house, no thanks. That's one step too far for me.