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Old August 14, 2014, 04:44 PM   #26
serf 'rett
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Thought I might be kicking the hornet nest. Since the nest is stirred up, I’ll shamble forth with other opinions.

First important point - in my mind, there is a dividing line between tactics when you don’t know if someone is in your house and when you know for certain they are inside
.
Pax’s remarks are prefaced by her statement “When a criminal breaks into your home…;” therefore, the good advice she gives is directly tied to the known presence of an intruder(s). In seems the golden rules are hunker down, stay put and call the law, but is that the advice applicable to all situations? As stated in my first post,
Quote:
...It wouldn't be too smart to go back to bed if there was an intruder inside...
I used the word “if” on purpose. “If” is not the same as pax’s “when”. It is an unknown versus a known. When the night comes that the intruders are ripping, snorting and having a party in the front of the house, the golden rule is good; arm up, set up, send wife to bathroom to make the call.

However, the opening post was concerning an unknown noise. That is where I would diverge from the norm. A couple of times in the past year, both of us were awakened by loud noise (which was tree limb dropping on the house in one case and a dish falling out of place due to the earth’s rotation in the other, but these were unknowns at the time).

Our house has a great setup for static defense for the two of us. Small pane windows set at least five feet above ground level. Master bedroom, in rear, can only be reached by traversing common hallway. Rooms feeding into the hallway have pocket doors, which are closed and chocked with wood wedges at night. Entry through one of those doors is possible, but would create significant noise. Tiled bathroom is hide hole for wife.

Even with this layout. I am not about to call the law on the basis of a single noise. After picking up the bedside weapon, we’re going into quiet mode to see if there are any additional unknown sounds. Check the clock and lay still for 15 to 20 minutes listening. After I feel confident there is no intruder, I will do a search so we can get back to the business of sleeping.

Why not call the law first thing? Might work out good if the intruder is only after property; however, I don’t want to reveal my/our location to anyone prowling around inside the house. Same theory applies to racking a shotgun or chambering an AR round, which gives away my position.

Then let’s assume there is no intruder and never was and I have called the station. Now the law will have to break into my home through solid wood, dead bolted doors while I hunker down in the rear (and hope an overly amped up enforcement officer doesn’t let off any rounds)

Third lovey thought is this – call the law and they get there quick enough to trap the intruder(s) inside. Dicey for sure!

My tactics – I’m going quiet, waiting and will only move to room clearing when I feel confident the room is already clear. Will have to give some thought to the tennis ball thing mentioned elsewhere.
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Old August 14, 2014, 06:43 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derbel mcdillet
A boogeyman breaks into your house, ignores verbal challenges and warnings that you're armed and police are on the way, and hides in the shadows just to ambush and shoot you and get away before police arrive because - why?

You're in your bedroom or safe room and the verbal challenge you holler provides only a general indication of your location.
This thread is about investigating an unusual noise. You don't know that a bad guy is in the house, you just heard a thump or bump that you didn't recognize.

Do you really shout a verbal warning, then call the cops and hunker down in your safe room every time you hear a slightly unusual sound?

Bet the cops LOVE you!!
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Old August 14, 2014, 06:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
Posted by 45_auto: Do you really shout a verbal warning, then call the cops and hunker down in your safe room every time you hear a slightly unusual sound?
Of course not. Spend some time with the links in Post 12. The answer to your question has been beaten to death in the past few years.
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Old August 14, 2014, 07:01 PM   #29
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You did just fine. A little concern for something out of the ordinary is not unusual, as long as you didn't draw and point a gun at someone you don't intend to shoot.
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Old August 14, 2014, 07:30 PM   #30
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Of course not. Spend some time with the links in Post 12. The answer to your question has been beaten to death in the past few years.
Appears that the "Official Internet Answer" is always hunker down and call the cops if you hear a strange sound.

No big deal if someone is beating down your door or yelling and smashing in your window.

However, in the real world, if I hear a "bump" from the kitchen (icemaker hung up? dishes shifted in the dishwasher?), I don't know anyone who doesn't go look without calling the cops.

Maybe I just need to meet more "Internet Experts"!
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Old August 14, 2014, 08:34 PM   #31
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I live in a studio apartment with about 1000 sq. ft. and you can bet if I hear a strange sound at night the SKS is going to come into action and deal with any threat.

That is, if there is one.
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Old August 14, 2014, 09:18 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_auto
...However, in the real world, if I hear a "bump" from the kitchen (icemaker hung up? dishes shifted in the dishwasher?), I don't know anyone who doesn't go look without calling the cops...
Do what you've got to do. But there is an overarching, inescapable reality:

If you go exploring when you think there might be a bad guy, and there is, he has a significant advantage. And there's an excellent chance things won't end well for you. (And if you're sure it was the ice-maker, why'd you take your gun?)

That is reality. Deal with it as you see fit.
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Old August 15, 2014, 12:26 AM   #33
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Many people criticize the "racking" of a pump shotgun as giving away your position. I still can't help thinking that the sound of a shotgun being loaded is going to be somewhat of a deterrent to a prowler or intruder; After all, you have announced (so to speak) your intent to shoot the person if you encounter him/her, so why wouldn't that person beat a hasty retreat. (Of course, this theory wouldn't apply to someone on PCP, crack, meth, heroin, etc., so I could see the fallacy in that case.)

Anyway, I'd like to hear your points of view on that issue.
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Old August 15, 2014, 04:07 AM   #34
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Some years ago in S Fl I was sleeping and woke up to several people making noise outside my bedroom window.
I yelled out I was armed,ect.
It sounded like a stampede they moved so fast to get out of there.
I never got out of bed
Can't imagine announcing your intentions to someone in your house, spoken from a position of relative safety could hurt.
There will always be Murphy's Law however.
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Old August 15, 2014, 10:00 AM   #35
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Quote:
I still can't help thinking that the sound of a shotgun being loaded is going to be somewhat of a deterrent to a prowler or intruder
Seems to me the goal is to end the threat, whether perceived (determine what's going on first) or known (you know there is an intruder), without actually shooting someone?

So looking into noises puts an expedient end to a perceived threat, assuming you don't put yourself in greater danger if it turns out there is an intruder - depends on the situation I guess, how sure you are it's just the ice maker or the cat, how careful you are exploring, etc.

Locking yourself in a safe room and calling the cops is a threat mitigation, but doesn't end the ordeal any time soon, and could have bad consequences whether or not there actually is an intruder.

Racking a shotgun may well drive an intruder to run, if not then you still have huge advantages (you know the layout of your home, he does not). If there is no intruder, no harm done.

Laying quietly in an ambush until you have a clean opportunity to shoot the intruder might maximize the advantage, but also prolongs the ordeal and results in a shooting and possibly a dead person, which misses part of the goal. And if there is no intruder, you'll be laying there on-edge for a long time before you eventually fall back to exploring. On the other hand, if you know there is an intruder and he is coming looking for you, this might be the best option because it will come down to you vs. him.

Just seems to me it's not very cut-and-dry, and there's probably no single "best" strategy.
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Old August 15, 2014, 10:54 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffK
....assuming you don't put yourself in greater danger if it turns out there is an intruder - depends on the situation I guess, how sure you are it's just the ice maker or the cat, how careful you are exploring, etc....
Please understand clearly the if there is an intruder there is no way to "go exploring" carefully enough so that he will not have a significant advantage. The ensconced adversary always has the advantage. Whoever is waiting for whom always has the advantage.
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Old August 15, 2014, 11:23 AM   #37
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Quote:
...depends on the situation I guess, how sure you are it's just the ice maker or the cat, how careful you are exploring, etc.
Should anyone choose to question the expert advice that has been provided here and in the links provided, Smith I suggest the following.

Find two other persons and three Airsoft guns. Pay the other two every time they shoot you.

Have at it. Go exploring. Try it several times.

Let us know the results.
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Old August 15, 2014, 05:45 PM   #38
45_auto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank ettin
Do what you've got to do. But there is an overarching, inescapable reality:

If you go exploring when you think there might be a bad guy, and there is, he has a significant advantage. And there's an excellent chance things won't end well for you. (And if you're sure it was the ice-maker, why'd you take your gun?)

That is reality. Deal with it as you see fit.
Here's another overarching inescapable reality:

If you hunker down and call the cops every single time that you hear a small noise that you can't readily explain, it won't be very long before it takes a VERY long time for the cops to get there. Something to do with some old fable about "crying wolf" if I remember correctly.

I was a deputy sheriff for 8 years. Our 911 dispatchers had a small number of "regular" callers who were nothing but a nuisance, although you have to check them out every time anyway. As I said earlier, once you qualify for the "nuisance" category don't be surprised when your police response times increase dramatically.

Up to you to decide how much responsibility for your family that you can handle yourself, and when you call for help. Everyone has to make their own decision.

That is reality. Deal with it as you see fit.
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Old August 15, 2014, 06:29 PM   #39
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Quote:
Posted by 45_auto: If you hunker down and call the cops every single time that you hear a small noise that you can't readily explain,...
Why would anyone think that Frank is recommending that?

Quote:
As I said earlier, once you qualify for the "nuisance" category...
And my response at the time was to read the links in Post #12.

Quote:
Up to you to decide how much responsibility for your family that you can handle yourself, and when you call for help. Everyone has to make their own decision.
Yep, and the informed decision maker will not traipse around with gun in hand looking for an invader.
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Old August 15, 2014, 08:27 PM   #40
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Should anyone choose to question the expert advice that has been provided here and in the links provided, Smith I suggest the following.

Find two other persons and three Airsoft guns. Pay the other two every time they shoot you.

Have at it. Go exploring. Try it several times.
Not relevant, but could be fun. I guess you did not read my post, nor provide an alternative except "hunker down and call the cops", but that's fine.
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Old August 15, 2014, 08:37 PM   #41
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Quote:
Posted by JeffK: I guess you did not read my post, nor provide an alternative except "hunker down and call the cops", but that's fine.
I read you post and Frank's reply.

For alternatives, see Post 12.
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Old August 15, 2014, 08:43 PM   #42
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A deputy in VA shot his daughter sneaking back into the house at 3am
Yesterday.
If he had held behind cover and concealment and called out a challenge-
Ugh, grounded is better than hospitalized in serious condition.
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Old August 16, 2014, 10:03 AM   #43
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Well, getting away from the bickering on tactics and back to the intent of the thread, I have a story.

I live alone, most of the time I am the only one in the house at night. My 2-story townhouse is set up in a way that the best defensive position is at the top of the stairs just outside my bedroom door. From this position I can see the front door. And with no lights on upstairs and a small nightlight positioned on the far wall of the living room downstairs, I can see movement/shadows of anything moving downstairs.

So one night last winter, I am sleeping soundly when I am awoken by a couple of "bangs" downstairs. I sit up in bed and listen...only to hear another dull thump and what truly sounds like a window being slid open. The adrenaline kicks up a notch and I roll over to retrieve my GP100 and flashlight from the nightstand and creep out of the bedroom and peek down the stairway.
I stay there, tense and listening for what seems like 10 minutes (was probably 5-10 seconds) when I hear another like clunk right at the bottom of the stairs, but can see no shadow of anything moving in the living room.
Just as I am about to yell a verbal challenge, I see something fall to the floor at the foot of the stairs.

It's a hockey stick!!!

I had played hockey the day before and put my skates, duffle bag in the living room and leaned my stick against the wall.
I deduced that the first "bang" I heard was one of my skates falling off the top of my duffle onto the tile floor. The next dull thump and "window opening" sound was the stick sliding along the wall, and finally falling to the ground at the bottom of the stairs for me to see.
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Old August 16, 2014, 01:37 PM   #44
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The problem with investigating every bump in the night is if there ever is a bad guy you've given up every tactical advantage, probably are making more noise that he is while moving through the house because he will hear your bump and naturally freeze to set up ambush.

Everyone has a different comfort level for bumps in the night. I'm one of those that naturally want to investigate so a while back I you tubed house clearing techniques... my consensus was even the swat and seal teams don't want to do it and I certainly am not going to. I challenge anyone who is not a professional to study proper house clearing methods before thinking they are qualified to clear their own house. Its pretty much the worst thing you can choose to do. I changed my tactic to sitting up in bed and just listening and its pretty simple. If its a natural noise (ice maker, house settling) you'll fall asleep again before it ever happens again. If its a bad guy you will hear him again and you simply barricade and call the police (see post 12).

As far as being "that guy" its better to be that guy than dead guy. If you find yourself always calling the cops for things that are harmless then you need to learn from that and adjust your mindset and program your mind to learn the noises that are naturally harmless.
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Old August 16, 2014, 05:39 PM   #45
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Thanks everyone for the input. I realize that if you hear someone/something in the middle of the night the book says set up Fort Knox in the bedroom and call the police. But then again the book only gets you a win in ideal situations(or in this case, less than ideal situations)I just didn't feel like my situation required a door broken in and the parents freaked out (not really gun people). When i had gotten home, the door was still locked, hadn't seen any signs of forced entry, and everything seemed to be normal besides the music/talking. Unless I am sure there is something seriously wrong, I am the type of person that will always go investigate the bump in the night because otherwise I won't be able to just fall back asleep. Whether this is wrong or right in your opinion it is just how I am. I also know I could have handled my situation better but you know how it is in the heat of the moment. That is why I plan on getting more training in order to handle future situations with more competency. Anyways thanks for all the responses, and i enjoyed reading the other stories/advice you guys/girls had to offer.
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Old August 18, 2014, 07:20 PM   #46
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Frankly I think that your title was bad. Pulling your gun in your house and not having to fire is a great ending. But it's not really funny. That could only be funny if Barney Fife did it.
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Old August 20, 2014, 08:44 AM   #47
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My house clearing adventure

A number of years ago, when I was stupider and less experienced, I actually tried to respond to a noise in the night. At the time, we lived next to the unfinished Route 476 in a house with a long driveway leading to a 1-block cul-de-sac street. I was wakened by a noise from downstairs.

I checked on my boys - both of whom were fast asleep in their rooms. Then I was hit by a wave of idiocy. I grabbed my trusty 12 ga., and instead of just holding at the top of the stairs and calling 911, I decided to investigate. With flashlight in left hand (but off) and shotgun with a round in the chamber and safety off in the right hand, I crept barefoot down the stairs. I looked into office, living room, dining room, family room and kitchen - nothing. I hear a muffled banging coming from the basement.

Adrenaline and macho idiocy set to high, I crept down the basement steps. The noise was coming from the garage. Dilemma - I have a shotgun in my right hand, flashlight in my left, and no third hand to open the door to the garage. So, I put the flashlight down, use my left hand to throw open the door to the garage and quickly turn on the garage light while yelling "FREEZE!" which the raccoon that had knocked over three trash cans did before hissing at me and running out through the outside garage door that I had forgotten to close before going to bed.

As I sat on the steps letting the adrenaline dump fade away, three things went through my mind:
1) Close the garage door when I get home, not before I go to bed.
2) If I had fired, how would I explain shooting out my car's headlights to the insurance company.
3) I am a total idiot for trying to clear the house. My original plan was to round up the boys, put them in the bedroom with my wife, and cover the stairs with the shotgun. From now on, that's what I'll do.

Luckily, I never had a repeat scare like that. My boys have long since grown up and gone out on their own, but the lesson remains learned. It was a cheap lesson at that.
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Old August 21, 2014, 11:59 AM   #48
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Racoons can sure be pesky little devils.
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Old August 21, 2014, 07:46 PM   #49
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1. I'm amazed at the number of people who want to rationalize why they "need" to clear a house by themselves. Good advice to the contrary has been posted and really should be adopted.

2. I'm surprised that no one asked why the OP has a "carry gun" and a "range gun." For those of us whose last name isn't Miculek, Leatham or Enos, your carry gun should be your "range gun."

Just my $.02 worth.
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Old August 21, 2014, 10:14 PM   #50
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There are LOTS of different scenario's and trying to make a rule that fits them all is nonsense. Guidelines are good and going through the motions are very valuable.

I have “cleared” my house, actually several places, more than once over the years. I only had one encounter with a bad guy.

The bad guy was trying to undo the door chain on the door into my apartment. I had moved in 2 days prior and since they would not change the locks, I put the chain on.

I was falling asleep when I heard the chain rattle. Getting up and looking down the hallway I could see his hand working at the chain. I racked the slide on my Browning 9mm to chamber a round – and he heard that. Next thing is the sound of running feet.
I didn't expect him to hear me racking the slide, I was just getting ready.
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