View Full Version : Home Defense Strategy

April 3, 2008, 12:59 AM
What kind of home defense system/strategy do you have set up?
How do you "child proof"/idiot proof the systems for those (adolescent or adult) who have an inherent ability to get themselves and others hurt?

I dealt with some issues a while back where I got a little paranoid and started doing the whole pistol under the pillow thing, but I'm looking for a better all around firearm defense setup.

Also, I keep a light on my glock 22 (a streamlight TLR-1....great light....check out www.lapolicegear.com. Mine was pretty cheap and the price has gone down). What are the common opinions about lights vs lasers or lights in conjunction with night sights (wondering if my setup is flawed or if I've actually got a good tactical rig).

chris in va
April 3, 2008, 03:20 AM
By no means am I an 'expert', but I like to keep things simple. Decent xenon flashlight and handgun on my nightstand (no kids in the house). Sometimes I'll leave the Saiga x39 next to the bed as well. It used to be the shotgun but my friend realized it was too complicated to operate for her liking. I'd like to get a Saiga 12 or 20 at some point.

An instructor pointed out a couple things. If 911 is called and you state an intruder is in the house, keep a house key tied to a glow stick. Throw it out the window when the cops arrive, notifying the operator you'll be doing so. Also try and stay in one room, don't go 'investigating' unless the kids are upstairs in a separate room.

Many people will agree that keeping a handgun under a pillow is not the best idea. You'd be surprised how much we move during sleep.

April 3, 2008, 09:02 AM
To paraphrase one of the smartest people I know (hi Marty!), if your home environment is so dangerous that you need the split-second reaction time of having a gun under your pillow, it's time to beef up your home security so you have more time to react.

Better locks, better doors, bars in the windows or wood dowels in the tracks, thorny plants under the windows, exterior lighting. Do the stuff that buys you time so you can relax a bit at home.

My personal solution for after dark (which may or may not apply to you) is to lock the front door and the bedroom door, then place the firearm in an unlocked lock box in my room. The gun is usually lying on top of (or placed within) a fanny pack which also has a flashlight, a spare magazine, and my cell phone in it. The fanny pack can be put on over a robe if necessary.
If the kids need me in the night, I lock the case before I open the locked bedroom door. Pretty straightforward.

Other than that, the gun is on my hip when I'm dressed. That's where it is safest and best under my control, that's where I know the little darlings aren't getting to it, that's where I know an intruder cannot get between me and my weapon, and that's where I know the kids' clueless friends will never find it.

YMMV of course!


April 3, 2008, 09:44 AM
This is what I do...


All of my regular exterior lights are on timers or photo sensors so they are always on at night. This summer I plan on installing motion sensor flood lights too.

I keep all the landscaping trimmed around the windows so there is no concealment for an intruder while he tries to break in through a window.

I have steel exterior doors with peepholes, deadbolts, and 3" screws for the hinges and strike plates. The same applies to the door to my garage (except the peephole).

I have an alarm system and a loud dog.


I keep a pistol in a gun vault bolted to my nightstand for quick access. My bedroom door is about 6" away from the stairway, so if the alarm goes off I can grab my pistol and surefire and get to the top of the stairs very quickly. My bedroom doorway is perpendicular to the stairs, so I can peep my head out the door and look down the stairs from concealment. There is also a half wall the entire length of the stairs, so I can also use that for concealment if I need to get a better look. My only goal at this point is to keep anyone from getting up those stairs and I definitely have the tactical advantage.

I also use Masterlock deadbolts that allow you to disable the tumbler so even people with a key can't unlock them. This prevents any friends/family with keys from coming in at night and creating a situation where an accident could occur. I purchased mine at Target, they are an incredibly clever idea.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 3, 2008, 10:38 AM
Do people really put guns under the pillow? I'm too restless a sleeper for that.

I'm like Kathy - gun and mags in an unlocked box near the bed with a flashlight. In fact, we have backup guns and flashlights.

Alarms, lights, etc.

For zombies and if time, the AR and Eotech and then the nuclear self-destruct device from SG-1.

April 3, 2008, 10:49 AM
All of my regular exterior lights are on timers or photo sensors so they are always on at night.

I personally don’t like lights on outside the house all night long. And I would not appreciate my neighbor’s property being lit up like an auto mall either.

Despite their issues, I think the motion sensor lights are better than just leaving the whole property lit up all night, because when they come on, then there’s something to investigate.

April 3, 2008, 10:56 AM
I personally don’t like lights on outside the house all night long. And I would not appreciate my neighbor’s property being lit up like an auto mall either.

Notice I said "regular exterior lights" not HID floodlights.

In our neighborhood, we only have a couple street lights. So each house has lamps on each side of the garage that utilize photo sensors. We are required by our neighborhood covenants to have those lights on all night.

I simply added timers to my front and back porch lights.

Not exactly an auto mall.

April 3, 2008, 11:56 AM
We are required by our neighborhood covenants to have those lights on all night.

Mandated light pollution! Nice!

Not exactly an auto mall.

I didn't mean to imply that your place looks like one.

I like the dark.... as most grimsters do.:)

April 3, 2008, 02:48 PM
.... is where their thresholds are set.

My parents have motion detector lights at their place. Possums, cats, the family dog all set them off.

That's great if you just want the lights to come on. OTOH, it conditions everybody to ignore the lights. "Ah, just the possum/raccoon/cat/dog/bogeyman...."

I don't know how to change their settings, or I would do so.



April 3, 2008, 03:23 PM
My parents have motion detector lights at their place. Possums, cats, the family dog all set them off.

That's great if you just want the lights to come on. OTOH, it conditions everybody to ignore the lights. "Ah, just the possum/raccoon/cat/dog/bogeyman...."

I don't know how to change their settings, or I would do so.

my parents have the same problem with their motion lights. after i got the ladder set up, i figured out that the lights they had were not adjustable.

these lights are off and on all night, even the wind sets them off. but they are using them more for convenience then security.

April 4, 2008, 10:37 AM
Number one, I have good vantage point of the most likely entryway for an intruder. My room is on the back of the house and I can see the back deck from my bedroom window. After that, I can see the intruder come into view to any of the other rooms from my bedroom door cracked open.

In addition to all that, I leave my Kel-Tec PF-9 on the dresser and my S&W 638 on the shelf next to my wallet which I carry everyday. The cell phone is right next to that too. I feel safe.

April 4, 2008, 11:44 AM
No kids in my house; dogs outside, that'll alert me to an intruder. Large light and small Glock near my bed. Bedroom door to outside never locked.

Colt Delta Elite
April 11, 2008, 04:16 AM
I like the dark.... as most grimsters do.

And as most criminals do.

I wish our neighborhood would turn on MORE lights at night.
Interesting tidbit.....
One street we drive down to get to our street is always very dark at night. My wife & I always are regularly commenting that none of the houses have lighting or even turn a porch light on.
Our neighborhood has a H.O. association that puts out a quarterly newsletter that contains all the criminal activity that has been reported to the police. The 'dark' street ALWAYS has 3-4 times the number of problems as reported by any other street in the neighborhood.

Both my neighbors have 'street light' type sodium vapor lights in their back yards, and I am very glad that they do. Sure, some of it can filter into my windows..... but that's what blinds and curtains are for!

No homeowner has the funds to turn their residence lighting into a car dealership parking lot. Yet if they did you can be sure burglers would take their business elsewhere.

April 11, 2008, 08:31 AM

April 11, 2008, 11:51 AM
An instructor pointed out a couple things. If 911 is called and you state an intruder is in the house, keep a house key tied to a glow stick.

That's not a bad idea, and I understand where it would be advantageous for the police to come in thru the front or back door, but in lieu of that (say you are not in a room where you could toss a key out into the yard) - can't the police just come in thru the same "hole" that the bad guys did when they broke into your house?

(Holy run-on sentence Batman!) :)

April 11, 2008, 11:59 AM
I can't use the glow-stick trick anyway since I disable the locks at night. So the police wouldn't be able to open it with a key anyway. They can break it down, I'll pay for the replacement.

April 11, 2008, 05:49 PM
big dog outside.

little(loud) dog inside.

bunch of loud neighbor dogs.:mad:

loaded 92 with SF X300 and night sights,in a quick access safe,next to the bed...AR if things got really hairy(:eek:zombies,looters,rogue biker gang,Chinese troops,etc).

i plan to do a little more(motion lights etc),but thats the current security system.

April 11, 2008, 08:26 PM
When it comes to security, locks are huge, if you have Kwikset they are the easiest to pick and every time you use your key it makes it easier to pick that lock. The best to go with is a master lock because They have toy (false) cylinders in them. They are shaped differently so they don't get push up evenly when using a "raking" technique. Just keep that in mind.

April 12, 2008, 05:47 PM
At my place I am fairly satisfied we have a good home defence strategy.

All the windows are positioned so that if one was broken chances are we would know about it... Not to mention the fact we have two main doors with two locks on each plus magnet alarms that alert us when the door is opened I remain confident that we would be woken up in a home invasion...

So then five us, most of us armed will confront the burglar. I know for a fact when burglars hear voices or [A lot] of movement they will freak out under fear of being caught...

As for locks most crooks cant pick locks what so ever. I don't know why but only the criminals you never hear about pick locks. Also lock picking is mainly done on empty houses. It is an art and unless you leave your house for long periods of time you shouldn't need to worry about locks..

Dogs as an alarm...

It is a bit ghetto. I mean if the dog actually alerts you than that is all very well but one has to be aware that the dog serving him could be killed by a burglar.

It is a rare occurrence to say the least but it has happened. A few years ago in the UK where I am, a family had their two guard dogs abducted and dumped in a field. The dogs came back so the criminals took the dogs away and shot them in woodland...

Also there are a lot of lazy dogs and one would need to make sure that the dog wasn't a lazy one...

April 12, 2008, 07:10 PM
IMHO,other than normal locks on doors and windows having a well trained dog is one of the best security systems. dog will probably not stop a very persistent intruder from doing you harm but he may buy you the time you need to save your life.

Harley User
April 12, 2008, 08:23 PM
I thought about this last night while in bed. 1st thing that popped into my head was my willie was free. I'm thinking shorts or something. hate to be in a stand off with my buddy hangin out there. ohh and as for my hand gun in my night stand with 2 clips. i have 2 dogs for early warning

April 12, 2008, 10:31 PM
As for lock picking, the average time for students learning to pick locks is about 2-8 minutes. They don't even have to actually pick it, they can rake the tumblers. So don't think someone can't do it in the middle of the night with you there. Of course a breaker bar also will push the frame wide enough to open the door without waking anyone.

April 12, 2008, 10:59 PM
Buying time with a German Shepherd and a Black Labrador. Both are trained to come unhinged at someone knocking at the door. Large breed dogs, in my opinion, are incredibly useful defensive weapons.

The woman uses a Beretta M9 and I've been partial to my Ruger P90.

I also have a Mossberg M590A1 in case I've got a real party coming through a window or door.

The pistols are on a night stand in the bedroom. The mossberg is laying in a corner of the bedroom. The dogs are with us at all times.

In case one of the pistols screws up I have a ruger p94 in a safe.

April 12, 2008, 11:16 PM
Part of my strategy is not to tell strangers about my strategy. That is as much as I'm allowed to post.

April 13, 2008, 04:46 PM
The nearest light source to my residence is app 800 ft, . . . the next is 1600 ft.

Any light outside is from a bg or a lost hunter (live next to big hunting area).

We have lights which can be turned on, . . . but only by inside person.

1911 on the night stand with spare mag, . . . mag light above head board, . . . AR and 12ga in the room, both loaded, . . . light sleeping wife.

Also have well camoflaged motion detector(s) which give an audible alert to movement that is deer sized or bigger.

All occupants have firearm weaponry at their disposal, . . . know how to use it, . . . and would not be afraid to use it. Our plan, if "invaded" is to go to lock down, . . . call LEO, . . . sit tight, . . . let them do their job. Secondary plan is call for ambulance should bg breach the lock down. Somebody is going to be seriously hurt, . . . and I don't plan on it being myself or one of my family.

It's not a perfect plan, . . . none are, . . . and I am seriously looking into adding at least one GS canine, . . . if I can just find the "right" one.

May God bless,

April 13, 2008, 05:28 PM
I thought about this last night while in bed. 1st thing that popped into my head was my willie was free. I'm thinking shorts or something. hate to be in a stand off with my buddy hangin out there.

:D Glad I'm not the only one who has given serious consideration to what it would be like to fight nekked. :eek: Hahahah. Now that everyone has *that* pleasant image in their heads...

Colt Delta Elite
April 16, 2008, 10:42 AM
Harley User: I think there was a movie about you.... Free Willie.
Had no idea it was an autobiography. Glad I never went to see it. :D

April 16, 2008, 01:57 PM
If you plant Holly bushes around your house infront of you windows you do not have to worry about how big they get. When a bad guy tries to get near the window they will not like holly bushes. They are natures barbwire.

Hoss 48
April 16, 2008, 03:53 PM
For night and even daytime for a quick shot a laser is great. Just put the red dot at center mass. I wouldnt put the gun under my pillow. there are alot of cheap safes you can purchase, some small enough to put under the endtable by your bed, and they have a push button combination. The safes are capable of being mounted to the wall or floor if you have a high bed.

April 16, 2008, 09:54 PM
I'm more concerned about home security for when I am not at home. e..

I recently heard a story about how the crooks broke into a garage through the small outside door. Once inside, they had access to the homeowner's tools (from his unlocked tool box) They cut a small entry 'hole' in the door leading from the garage into the house. This kept the door closed and thereby not activating the alarm. They stole his stuff undetected and left.

The main point is lock up everything and layer your security; contact and motion sensor alarm systems. I'm also going to install an internet enabled camera system..

River Rat 1969
April 17, 2008, 07:47 AM
I like the reply by kmoffitt, and agree. Having said that, think about these bits of information: dogs can be poisoned before the bad guys arrive. Most doors and windows on most homes came be kicked/rammed down by a determined bad guy.

I like lights outside that stay on. First, most thugs avoid areas that are lighted, and if they still come a calling, they are highly visible. If you look outside and see a light, or many lights out, you know trouble is on the way.

My situation is kind of odd, compared to most folks. We live at the point where three different counties converge. Our sheriff's department is clear across the county, and our little town has less than 400 people in it.........bottom line, almost zero police presence, with a thirty minute (or longer) typical response time. We're pretty much on our own.

Let me relate something that happened here several years ago. Those of you that are professional lawmen will probably rip me to pieces, but perhaps this post will help others think about their particular situation.

At the time, I worked nights, and on my night off, would keep the same schedule; i.e., stay up all night. Our house is the last house in the town limits, with a large field across the street, another field beside our house on one side, and a field behind our house. The house next to me was vacant at the time, so no neighbors there to help in a crisis.

At 2 AM we heard a car in our driveway lay on their horn...........a long, loud blast. I looked at my wife, and commented that nobody we know would pull a stunt like that, even knowing we would be awake. Self Defense Rule #1: always have at least one loaded weapon close at hand, at all times. We practice that rule. My wife picked up her handgun, and I put on my .45 (for backup) and grabbed a loaded Mossberg 590. I told my wife to stand beside the front door, where she would not get struck by it, if someone kicked it in. I went out the back door, and along the dark side of my house, to observe the two large American cars in my driveway, without being seen myself.

My particular situation had me on edge. My elderly In-Laws (ages 63 & 78) were sleeping in their camp trailer beside my garage, waiting for their new home to be completed. Neither of these people did I want to come outside. Our isolation made us an easy target. Our normally aggressive dog was on his death bed.......poisoned.

Mistake # 1: I had no light on my front porch, and the porch was lined with house plants belonging to my In-Laws, until they could get moved into their new home; consequently, I could not see my (unlighted) front door.
With a streetlight in my backyard, and the town streetlight in the front, I could stand in the dark behind a bush, and see inside the back lighted cars. The first vehicle was a dark large GM.......Buick? Oldsmobile? The back car was a white Cadillac. I counted five men in the front car, and six in the back.

In all of my "what if's" I had allowed for a car load of thugs at most.........not two car loads. As I was standing there concealed, many things were rushing through my mind; what if they all get out at once? As these thoughts are going through my head, another guy steps off my front porch. For about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, this #12 man had been checking the locks on our door. (Later on, my wife said he never rang the doorbell or knocked............just reconning the place.) When he stepped off the steps, in my gruffest voice, I said, "What do you want?"

The guy did not miss a beat. Rapidly closing the distance between us, he was saying "Sir, we're looking for the pool hall Sir". I leveled the 12 gauge at his head/throat area, and responded, "We don't have a pool hall in this town, and you need to leave now. He didn't argue, turned around, and in a very calm voice, told the driver in the lead vehicle, "He has a shotgun."
My only thoughts were to charge the lead vehicle, if all twelve guys started getting out, and unload the pump gun on the lead car, and hope the back car driver would panic and leave. Eight shots of 12 gauge buckshot for the front car, and 13 shots from my H&K .45 for the back car, with a extra reload for the pistol. That event scared me.
As they backed out of our driveway, they kept their lights out............and I could not read the license plate numbers. I went inside, and called the sheriff's department, explaining what had just happened, in case the thugs called them complaining about someone threatening them. The sheriff asked if we needed them to come out there? I told him no, not for us, but the two cars were heading into town, and those guys were up to no good. I never heard anything else, except reading where six guys in a white Caddy had been caught robbing a store in a nearby city. Same car as in my driveway? I don't know.

Now, I keep a vest with radio, light, extra ammo & H&K in a holster, and smoke flares. Hopefully this was just a once in a lifetime event and won't happen again. If it does, I plan to cut the back street light off, and pop smoke around the vehicles. I know my property better than any stranger, and figure that if they see the back light go out, and smoke starts boiling up around them, they will get buggered and leave. If not, then I have a better chance of eliminating them if they un-ass their vehicles.

Hope this makes everyone think.

April 18, 2008, 10:21 AM
This is for Harley User and the guys who responded to him.

Gentlemen, I'd like to draw your attention back to TFL's forum rules (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/faq.php?faq=rules_catecory#faq_forum_rules) for a moment. This one, in particular: 2) Language that would be inappropriate in the polite company of strangers is quite unwelcome here.

No, nobody cussed. But sometimes it's possible to forget that TFL is a mixed audience of "polite strangers." Although your own daughter might not read here, it is a sure bet that someone's 16-year-old daughter probably is. Although your own grandmother might be deceased, it's quite possible that someone's grandmother is reading these words right now.

This means that jokes which would be entirely appropriate in a group of guys standing face to face, really have no place here.

Almost let this go without a word, because any one of these little jokes is relatively minor. But decided to speak up because the cumulative effect on the board culture can become huge.

So next time, please think twice, post once. If you wouldn't say it in front of someone else's young daughter, someone's wife, someone's grandmother -- don't say it here.



April 18, 2008, 11:16 AM
does anyone use door wedges? i haven't purchased any, but seems like they'd be effective for at least slowing an intruder down (assuming he comes in through a door) and making a lot of noise. i've seen some that are just wedges and some that are electronic wedges that sound an alarm when they get pressed.

April 20, 2008, 10:16 AM
Best home defense
1) x-10 cordless motion chime, the chime will wake you up before the BG knows it and thats more time to make descion I have them at every exterior door with the chime at my bed
2) exterior motion lights so you can see intruder
3) 100lb dobie (red)
4) surface bolts at the top and bottom of doors, no kicking in on these doors sure to wake even the nieghbors up
5) 5" xd 45 ,lasermax, surfire mx6 mounted to head board
6)870 7 00buck surefire forgrip
7) wife also shooter good back up
8) AR loaded with2 30rd mags in gun wating in safe (wireless gives you time if needed)
9) keep a remote hanging for home alarm panic on head board so wife can ativate without going to panel(need to be wireless capadble system) also on car keychain so you can ativate in the driveway if need be

Sleep Tight

Sleep Tight

April 20, 2008, 03:47 PM
The overall plan is to get me and my wife into our daughther's room because from that position I can see anything coming down the hallway. I have a streamlight laser/light attached to my XD-45 w/185 grain silver tipped hollow points. I keep it in my closet thats next to my side of the bed. Easily accessible. I also keep my cell phone charged and on. Once we are together my wife or daughter can call the local police. Believe it or not my Pomiranian (dog) serves as our primary house alarm because (as we all know) dogs hearing is super sensitive. We also keep our back yard and parking area well lit. We've talked about this a number of times as a family so that we are on the same page. We think its a workable plan and we hope that we never have to use it.

April 22, 2008, 04:55 PM
Motion sensors w/ flood lights outside.
Usually leave other lights outside on at night.
Bushes/Trees/etc trimmed so you can easily see behind them.
120 pound Rottweiler is an inside dog.
Alarm system, all windows and doors covered.
*** At this point, most would simply go look for another house ***

When kids were small, I bought one of those one gun safes that you can unlock in the dark by finger buttons and I practiced using it in the dark.

Now they are all older and I keep my Benelli in closet, in addition to my pistol safe I still have.

April 22, 2008, 09:04 PM
I have dogs. 4 of them. anda shotgun in the closet, a .45 in the nightstand. Others in a safe. No reason to be a paranoid... If your environment is so bad, I suggest you move as I did.

April 24, 2008, 11:45 AM
I have adjustable motion lights on each side of the house that has an entry point. I test them regularly. I use door handle security bars and dowels in the windows. I have an inside G-shephard that hates everyone and goes Nutso when the door knob is jingled. My guns are locked up at night with the acception of my 12 gauge.
It sits behind my bedroom door but gets locked up during the day.
My kids are old enough I feel comfortable with it out at night.

April 24, 2008, 09:49 PM

Good post... and man I cannot imagine looking out a window and seeing two cars full of "unwanteds" and my place. fwiw i don't think they'll be back. I'm sure you made an impression on them.

April 25, 2008, 05:56 AM
1. when i get home i arm exterior doors. glass break is 24x7
2. shove security bar under the knob
3. keep my gun with me room to room
4. going to bed: arm motion
5. shove security bar under bedroom knob
6. i keep my .40 & .45 next to the bed - loaded & ready


May 10, 2008, 08:44 AM
Has anyone, particularly anyone in the country thought to use flare guns in case your ability to call for help is diminished. In other words if someone was to use a cell signal blocker and cut your power and or phone lines.

May 10, 2008, 09:10 AM
1. when i get home i arm exterior doors. glass break is 24x7
2. shove security bar under the knob
3. keep my gun with me room to room
4. going to bed: arm motion
5. shove security bar under bedroom knob
6. i keep my .40 & .45 next to the bed - loaded & ready

All I can say is wow! Like living in a maximum security prison. What is your proceedure for clearing the house if you want a midnite snack?

May 12, 2008, 04:25 PM
IMHO,other than normal locks on doors and windows having a well trained dog is one of the best security systems. dog will probably not stop a very persistent intruder from doing you harm but he may buy you the time you need to save your life.

Point taken but training Dogs for this type of thing is expensive...

And it could mean wasted money... You never know until you try it...


And it would take one shot from a pistol to disable a Dog, I would think...

As for lock picking, the average time for students learning to pick locks is about 2-8 minutes.

But the really well trained 'Lock Pickers' will be able to defeat Locks in seconds, and the ones that are not Locksmiths will generally have other knowledge such as that regarding Stealth and other methods of Burglary...

May 15, 2008, 12:27 PM
Attended a class on home defense ... we first went around the outside of the host's home, looking for access .. it was amazing how many things were wrong ... a big box allowing BG to reach the patio roof and then the second floor windows ... hedges allowing BG to hide while opening windows ... no lights .. no lock on back gate ... the man and his wife were stunned ... inside, their bedroom was at the back of the house, stairs to 2nd floor and kids rooms were near front door ... we figured if BG got in quietly, he'd be in the kids rooms long before the homeowner even knew there was a breakin ... after I got home, I looked at my house the same way ... bought locks for both back gates --5 -foot metal fencing ... replaced burnedout floods in motion sensor system ... and gave the dog a second helping of dinner ... no kids in my house, my 1911 and surefire, along with a fixed blade knife and my cell, are in my open night stand ...

May 16, 2008, 10:18 AM
Have AKSU beside me with 2 45round mags, and a few retired amry guards outside the house.

I guess it everything proof unless I am hit with more power then expected.

vox rationis
May 17, 2008, 11:30 AM

That's pretty cool. I would think that can be handy when staying at a dive hotel too.

May 18, 2008, 01:05 PM
Heres my .02 on my own home a few years ago:

Bulgarian Ak - 4 30 rd clips, 2 75 rd drums
Marlin 30-30
Ruger P95 & 89
4 Indoor living English Mastiifs w/ avg weight of 150 lbs.


Ruger P95 & 345
Moss 12 Gauge
2 English Mastiffs

May 18, 2008, 02:09 PM
I've got a pretty simple strategy a my place. From my bedroom door, I have a straight-on view of the side door to the house. My doorway is set back into like a mini-hallway, so that gives me concealment if something were coming in thru the front door of the house. For concealment from something that makes it thru the side door without being dropped, all I have to do is duck behind my dresser for cover.

Shotgun is under the edge of my bed, Mossberg 535 with 5 rounds of Winchester Super X #4 heavy load ready to go. Turkey choke is in the smoothbore barrel of the gun at all times unless I'm specifically going hunting for something that I would need to switch choke tubes, or switch to the slug barrel. I figure it's a good choice, as it throws a nasty tight pattern at 10 yards and in, and even up to 30 yards it's still very tight. I know this from test patterning the gun before turkey season this year.

I also keep my S&W M&P9 next to the door on the dresser. It's loaded with 17 rounds of Hornady TAP LE 124gr JHP.

Cell phone is on the dresser too.

I also have my chocolate lab that barks at ANYTHING she doesn't know when it comes around the house here.

Which is why the other night I was woke up by her barking like crazy, first thing I did was grab my M&P9 and the cell phone. Checked around the corner to the front door, looked to the side door, nothing. Then went to both doors to check. Nothing. Then I stepped out on the front porch to see a group of hoodlum looking kids(high school age punks) hanging out in front of the house next door. I asked what they were doing hanging out at like midnight. "We ain't doin nothin man!" I told them they need to leave or I was calling the cops. One started to walk towards me, so I put my hand onto my gun that I had tucked into the waistband of my shorts(I was sleeping and had a pair of basketball shorts on) and he stopped, walked back, and they left. I think he knew what was up. I never exposed the firearm, but I think they got the message that I wasn't there to play around.

Sad thing is, the kids around here aren't even done with school yet, and they're out til well after midnight during the week running around like a bunch of wanna-be thugs. I can't imagine what it's gonna be like once school is done for these kids.

Am I gonna have to deal with this crap on a regular basis? I hope not. I'll go crazy getting woke up all the time late at night when I have to work in the mornings.

May 24, 2008, 04:04 AM
These are all excellent posts, from informative and humorous to cut to the chase and serious. :) Maybe it's just the demographic that's posting on this thread, but only a few have mentioned family members and their plans of action as well.

I’ve been a lead instructor at local self-defense and martial art schools for the some time now. Beyond techniques, family action plans are what I began developing as a means of defense and safety outside of the physical aspect. Not necessarily for firearm trained parents, but the concepts could be easily applied to those who do possess the knowledge and wish to implement that in their action plan.

Now please be warned… This is my school of thought, and I’m sure many will disagree and try and rip my post to shreds. But this is what I have developed given my experience, preference, environment and the abilities of those who had to learn to utilize this. In fact this is still a work in progress, as no 2 situations might ever be alike. But as with any learning… Something is better than nothing, and having a good plan with bad variables could possibly be more successful than just “wingin it.” It’s taken us just over a year discussing, planning and practicing with family and neighbors in developing this to what I feel is a “confident level.”

While my tac training and pie cutting are great for me, myself and I, our number one priority has always been our family when it came to implementing a plan. While we don't have kids of our own just yet, our nieces and nephews, 8-12 years old sleep over so often (4-6 nights a week), they have their own rooms setup as though they live there, and hence, had to be trained on this.

I keep a G23 nearby with a Crimson trace and a blow horn (I’ll explain later) in my nightstand. While I understand prevention is key (lights, gates, venus fly traps outside the window ;)), once the front door is kicked down, imminent contact is what I plan for. I wouldn’t want to engage if I wasn’t sure my family was in a safer place than here and now. The last thing I want is for my curious young family members to wander out because they heard something. But keep in mind, this isn’t investigating “noises” at 3am, but rather, the thought of someone is without a doubt, definitely in the house to do harm.

From the time the kids could understand the notion of safety, they were taught in fire-frill fashion how to maneuver throughout every square foot of every room of the house in complete darkness. They could lock/unlock every mechanism-front/back door locks, sliding glass, windows you name it….literally blindfolded in complete darkness. No, not mystical ninja-like, but freakishly well, to the point where it’s truly their second nature. They will not run to our bedroom door and risk making contact themselves. They will exit their bedroom window with no lights that might indicate their presence. The 2 or 3 kids staying with us at the time all have confidence that each other knows what to do, and that going back inside to find them is not necessary. If they cannot escape for any reason, they know to lock themselves in the closet from the inside and wait silently until help arrives, and not leave to look for auntie or uncle.

How do they know to start this Mission Impossible/SWAT scene? The wife has speed dialed “9” (911) on her cell as she exits our window, air horn in hand. The kids are cued to get the heck out if they’re ever awakened by this deafening noise from the wife outside their windows, which prompts me to open our door to locate the subject. There, she clearly sees the kids are exiting/not exiting from the windows and meet under the light post across the street while I remain inside and engage.

The wife and kids meet, and then split to pre-arranged homes to bang on doors and wake the neighbors, who already know why unsupervised children from my home are at their doorstep. My wife can explain to her original dispatcher that there is at least 1 intruder and 1 firearm held by a man of my description, and that there are no other occupants, or “x” kids hiding in the closets of this and that bedroom. While at the same time, dispatch receives multiple calls advising roughly the same information.

There are numerous what-if variables that can be screamed at me about this plan, which totally throw it completely out the window. While other hurdles you may face might force only a part or some parts of the plan not to work or be unreasonable:

- But I live in a 2-story house/apt/condo and my kids aren’t jumping out of windows
- What about multiple BG’s inside and outside, don’t want wifey to run into them
- My windows don’t open too easily
- A blow horn telling me the kids are leaving also kills my element of surprise
- My kids are too young not physically capable of performing or learning this
- My neighbors are 2 miles down the street and 10 acres away…and they’re idiots!:p
- etc etc etc

Like I said, there are a-z variables that make my plan useless to many, as well as some basic ideas which might be ideal. But the points of the plan are to separate my family from the possible danger within the home and contact LEO’s with the known basics of the situation. The wife and kids could hunker down, or they could run. Again, preferences based on your own experience and environment.

However, I am truly happy to report that they performed excellently 4 months ago, when an intruder was seemingly in our midst. All of the above went as planned when my brother in law arrived into town. Wifey gave him a key loooong ago before this safety plan began. He flew in after midnight and decided to let himself in to crash on the couch, and of course didn’t want to wake us…should’ve tried harder. His luggage hit the ground and he flung himself on the couch outside our bedroom. I handed her the horn and the phone and um…put my PJ’s on. She made it out the window and I was waiting for the cue as planned.... seemed like forever though! She sounded the horn and I cut the pie to find Donny in his boxers on my sofa with a priceless look on his face and a red dot reflecting off his nipple ring:barf:. I was so pumped, and PO’ed, that it was him, I forgot about the whole “other” activity going on. I must’ve given Donny a piece of my mind for at least 5 minutes, when I noticed blue lights reflecting from my chandelier…”Oh crap.”

I cleared the weapon and locked the slide back and put it on the dining room table. My brother and I opened up the front door with our hands up…in boxers and pj’s, of course. Undoubtedly, they were filming an episode of “Cops” at the time, J/K! But one of the officers kindly thanked the wife and me for taking the time and effort to teach the young an action plan like this. She said that many times, it’s just luck sometimes that kids aren’t looking down the barrel of daddy’s shotgun in situations like these. I apologized to her for not going out fast enough to update the false alarm. But it was a great learning tool for all of us.

There were and still are countless hours of games and fun drills we have to implement for the kids, but having good learners and patient teachers are an absolute plus. I highly recommend developing a plan of your own based on your views. Me? I’ve still got a lot of practice to do with the kids while I can keep up their interest in this thing. But I’m sure it’s something that sets a pretty good foundation when they decide on their own families.


June 11, 2008, 07:32 AM
the best home defense is the one you don't have to use.

Where I haven't had teh situation to actually haveto pull the trigger, I have had to confront a couple guys with my dad's M9. I was living with him at the time and he and my step mom were away for the week. I had taken his pistol and kept it on my headboard for that week. Well, this loud BANG aroused me from my sleep. Two guys had kicked in my door, deadbolt and all, adn I live in an apartment. After this incident, the neighbors came down to see if I was okay. The first thing they went for was the computer. Well not in my book. I snuck out there, thankfully their whispers to themselves covered the fact that my ankles crack like no other when I just wake up. I'm two yards behind them while they're still doing what they're doing and I rack the slide as loudly and as violently as I could. They both froze. "Turn around," I told them. "Let me see your faces."

Wouldn't you know, they're two of the hoodlums around the area which I witnessed stealing a DVD player out of another house. I told them to move over to the couch, which they did, at first. One of them started moving towards the door, and I told him, "Sit your A** down now or I'll make your friend carry you to the couch." He sat down as I side-stepped my way to the phone. Dialed 911, told them what had happened and that I was holding them until the police arrived, and I also made sure to tell them what I was wearing. The LEO comes, and walks into the door with his Glock drawn, and lets out a single laugh. He sees me in my skivvies holding a pair of crooks in my living room. He calls for back up, and all four of us have a nice little chat about why the kids did it. Since the officer was there, I did the kids the littlest favor and broke the pistol's aim at their faces. We had one of them crying in under 15 seconds. :cool:

Stated before, I don't know if I would've shot, but when you get the kids as scared S***less as I had, I don't think you'd need to shoot.

June 11, 2008, 02:00 PM
Nothing elaborate here....

Floodlights outside are on at night.
Doors are locked pretty much all the time.
Magnetic alarms on all windows and outside doors.
And I'm surrounded by nosey neighbors who apparently don't require sleep since they're up all hours of the night!!! :mad:

June 11, 2008, 05:04 PM

Your gun set-up sounds fine. Since you are the one who will be shooting it, how do you feel about the setup? Also, get some range time in with the light attached to the rails. I remember not liking my setup with the light, so I took it off. Practice clearing your house a couple of times with your rig. Defending your home with a gun under extreme stress is alot more easy when you have an idea of how you will move through your house.

So practice moving from room to room in the daylight and in complete darkness.

Hope this helps.

D Tuey

Bob Lee Swagger
June 26, 2008, 07:25 PM
In your experience, which is a more difficult situation: smaller homes, or larger homes?

My residence is quite large, including it's own indoor swimming pool, so I am not certain I can effectively "sweep" the place if need be.

Edit: Also, how much do a good pair of night vision goggles run for?

July 11, 2008, 03:07 PM
I bought a MasterLock Security bar today ... thanks for the tip!

July 11, 2008, 10:57 PM
Well Mr Swagger,

Nite vision goggles can be pricey for good ones. I always believe in the K.I.S.S. principle. That becomes another gadget you have to fiddle with in the middle of the night. Another thing that "Mr Murphy" can mess with and now your well made plan is "Kerplunk Kerfueyyy". I like the idea of a hand held light or a rail mounted light but I believe you should get instruction on how to use it properly and effectively. Practice practice practice...

But wait your Bob Lee Swagger.... all you need is a rubber band and a paper clip and you can take him out at 100 yards with it

Just kidding

Good Luck

July 12, 2008, 10:11 AM
Night vision goggles that are any good are Gen 3 or better and run in the 2k+ range.

The use of night vision goggles in a static position for surveillance is a reasonable idea. The use of NVGs as a means to search out a threat is bad mojo for most. They require extensive training to use effectively.

Want to find out how difficult they are to use in a dynamic situation? Go get a pair of regular binoculars and try to walk around while using them. Try to walk up a set of stairs and you will find out how limiting they are. NVGs take away your depth perception. Try covering your dominate eye and then try to do a little slap boxing with a friend. You will find that you are at a great disadvantage.

A far better idea is to equip the rooms in your house with ambient lighting. IE night lights. Having ambient light allows you to see the BG and you still have the advantage of knowing the layout of your house. This in no way is advocating the use of clearing techniques. Unless you have a well trained team with you it is a bad idea to search and clear a house even if you are a SEAL. Ambush is very hard to defend against and it is a tactic that the BGs and the good ones use to great effect. Unless the situation calls for immediate action to protect someone who is defenseless forget the "commando" room clearing crap. It may just get you killed.

Yes, the super tacticool lights can temporarily blind the BG. What happens if the BG has a buddy that you didn't see? I am sure we all can generate a mental picture of the outcome. Using a light to search a room is a beacon. May as well have a shoot/stab/bludgeon me sign on your back, IMO.

These things are only opinion, take them for what they are.

Thankfully most criminals are mostly dumb crooks. There are some that are professionals and very adept at what they do.

A favorite saying in the military is that "No plan remains intact upon contact." There is wisdom in those words. Having no plan is a plan to fail. Having a plan that needs adjusting on the fly is not as bad. Include alternate courses of action if and when the situation dictates. Fast thinking is an asset in the "tactical" tool box. As always keep it simple.

July 13, 2008, 10:14 AM
I keep mine simple for the time being. Loaded 9mm w/2 b/u mags on nightstand.
8 shot Winchester 1300 loaded with BB shot behind bedroom door.
Cell phone and maglight on nightstand. Motion sensor lights outside, wireless motion sensor chimes, one in front of house, one in rear.
Hinges on front and rear doors secured with 3" screws. On the jamb side, throw away striker plates that come with locksets and replace with a 1/8 flat bar 6 ft long and secured to jamb with 3" screws.
Windows at ground level have almost clear window film (tint) applied. Instead of glass breaking and falling out with one hit, it will take multiple hits to bust it thru..... more noise= more time for me to react.

July 13, 2008, 11:41 AM
Dogs! They provide early warning and first strike capability before you even have your eyes open.

July 13, 2008, 10:16 PM
i have posted this before in other threads but here goes.My primary weapon is a mossberg 12 gauge pump with a rifled slug barrel and a backup s&w 686 357 strapped and holstered to a clip on belt.My wife has a 410 filled with slugs and a snubbie 357 for back up.I have 3 nightvision cameras outside and 3 nightvision cameras inside which can be seen on any tv in the house and all are equipped with audio.The first indoor camera is above my bedroom door facing at an angle down, the second indoor camera is above the door facing into the kitchen at the back of the house and the 3rd is facing up the stairs to the kids room(no sneaking in or out for our sons)I want and can to see the threat coming from either the back or front door.The cameras help us see whats on the other side of the door before we shoot.We also have 2-way radios with earpieces for my wife and i,and in the kids room we have baby monitors that get turned on every night.Oh by the way the cameras i use came from walmart and were only 78.99 a pair.
In my bedroom i keep 2 shotguns,2 handguns,2 cell phones,2 sets of keys,2 flashlights,2 radios and 1 hammer for breaking windows if escape is nessary.I hope the camera advise helps you all as much as it has me.2 month ago i was able to give the police a video we made of both our cars getting broken into at the same time.The b/gs were caught because they were on tape.Smile and say cheese:D:eek:

I also have a plan if the electric gets cut too.:cool: