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Old September 3, 2005, 03:18 PM   #1
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Preparing for the worst

Beyond basic proficiency with your weapon of choice, what training can you do to prepare for home defense? I know there's no way to simulate the emotions or duplicate all possible conditions, but is there anything you can do to better prepare?
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Old September 3, 2005, 04:13 PM   #2
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A friend of mine that used to ride the trains with Truman showed me

Some tricks
1. With a blank gun, have several people walk in a circle around you about 10 feet out, all talking and yelling. One of those people also have a blank gun and your in the middle blindfolded. as they walk in a circle after a little time the person with the blank gun fires and every one stopes talking and moving.
Your job in the middle is to point your gun at where the sound came from and fire your blank gun at the sound.
You then remove your bliind fold and see how good you did.
2. For the person shooting, using a revolver load the gun for them, and load it leaving 1 or 2 chambers empty. It will show you there trigger ability when the fire on an empty chamber. Teach them a lot when they see them selves jerk the trigger.
3. At around 15 feet have the person shooting stand toward the target with there gun in both hands pointed at the ground 3 feet in front if them. They must also look at the same point on the ground. Standing behind them with a whissle blow it. They have one second and only one second to aquire the target, lift the gun and fire. only center body mass hits count.
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Old September 3, 2005, 06:36 PM   #3
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Be advised that "blanks" can be lethal--more than one person has a granite monument testifying to that fact. Also doing this type of drill without strict supervision with a weapon capable of firing live ammo, IMO is a very bad idea.

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Old September 3, 2005, 06:57 PM   #4
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JATerpack, . . .

1. IF you are proficient with your weapon, . . . AND IF you, your spouse, and the children have all worked out a family plan to deal with a night time b&e, . . . AND IF you meticulously place your weapon, your light, your cell phone, and your spouse's weapon in such a place that you are ready when the b&e happens, . . . you have done your part.

All of that is a lot of planning, coordinating, and understanding. No one can walk you thru it without being in your house, . . . but you can. Get it done.

2. When the above is done, . . . make up your mind that you are going to do one of two possible things (remember this is plan # 1): defend your family by sitting put and awaiting the bg to come to you OR (this should be plan # 2) you are going to try to find and somehow neutralize the threat.

Do the practice on this with a fully unloaded weapon, . . . or with a squirt gun or an airsoft gun. Get a friend to come over when it is only you and him (or her) and let them assume the part of bg, . . . let em get in, . . . then go find them. You will find out real quick why this is not the primary plan. Clearing a house, . . . even your own, . . . is risky at best, . . . and virtually impossible for only one person. It's kinda like being your own attorney, . . . no law against it, . . . but it usually works out for the other guy.

3. When you get that all mastered, . . . then play the bg scenario where you return home to find the front door (or another of your choice) kicked in. Make it real, . . . again use a friend and air soft guns, etc.

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Old September 3, 2005, 10:51 PM   #5
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The answer lies in your question. If you are asking, you are thinking about it. There is a little thing called senario mental role play. I am constantly thinking about what if, and how I would react to each different situation. Going over it again, and again until you are mentally wore out at the end of the day helps to make it second nature.

One other thing to remember "when things get bad, and it looks like you are going to lose, you gotta get mean. Just plum mad dog mean, because if you give up, you neither win nor lose. You only die."
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Old September 4, 2005, 10:20 AM   #6
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Practice reloading your weapons rapidly from your magazine pouches, Practice switching from your pistol to your rifle and vice versa Practice rapidly engaging multiple targets.
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Old September 5, 2005, 10:34 PM   #7
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Put yourself in the bad guy's place....what would you do if you broke into someone's house. Try to think like they would, and remember there is more than likely MORE THAN ONE and they probably have some sort of plan worked out ahead of time to deal with YOU in the event of a confrontation. I have a friend of mine that actually had an encounter with a burglar in the middle of the night. Looking back at it he realized the intruder was probably alerted when his snoring stopped.
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Old March 18, 2006, 04:57 PM   #8
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Chances are you're house wasn't chosen at random. If you have kids, most likely one BG will try do deal with the adults while the other deals with the kids. It's a great deal for them, even if you're armed chances are you're kids aren't and you've just gotten yourself into a hostage situation. I'm not much for relying on security systems and the police but at least if you have one and it's monitored (yes alot can happen in the time it takes the police to show up) even if the BG's hang around the police will eventually show up. Pretty much leaves your BG's to a smash and grab if that. I consider my security system a redundant backup. It eliminates my need to worry about calling 911 and allows me to place more focus on defense.
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Old March 22, 2006, 11:46 AM   #9
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Your best weapon is your BRAIN! Common sense, situational awareness and total concentration all come in quite handy if you're confronted with some sort of life or death moment. Hesitation CAN get you killed!

Become as proficient as possible with your firearm. Know what it is capable of doing, and be confident with its capabilities by shooting as often as possible.

I set up a training range quite often, and add a few things other than merely shooting at fixed targets. I have to explain, however, that I don't shoot at "formal" ranges....I go out to remote spots that have good back-stops, and will allow a very wide field of safety.

One of the best is a combination of physical exertion BEFORE and AFTER shooting, followed by more shooting. I usually run full-out for 100 yards to get to the shooting position, then fire at target boards placed at 3-, 7- and 25-yard distances. Sometimes, I will vary the amount of rounds per target, so that the exercise doesn't become a "routine". Quite often, I'll throw in a "combat" reload during the course of fire. After that first shooting sequence is done, it's down and a minimum of 20 push-ups before moving to shooting position #2. Mentally, I'm picturing multiple suspects in front of me, not target boards. I work on bullet placement, but often do "timed" exercises for what it may be worth. It's good to have an additional shooter watching your shooting sequences, and to have an informal critique of it. If you have several shooters, it can be used as a "friendly" competition of sorts.

I've also used moving targets in the past....a pulley system that utilizes gravity for the movement of the target. The higher the top post is, the faster the movement of the target board.
Oh, and make sure if you do a pulley system that your target is WELL below the pulley, so that it won't be damaged. Again, you need a good back-stop AND a wide field of safe shooting range.

The last time I set up the pulley target, there was a total of 9 shooters. The target was a piece of 3/4" plywood, cut into a 12" circle, and nailed to a 1"x2" piece of wood that held the target about 16" below the pulley. The firing line was set at approximately 20' from where the target would glide from left-to-right. Each shooter was to fire a maximum of 6 rounds at the target during their turn. If a hit was recorded, the hole would be patched with masking tape. Strange as it may sound, but there were 4 shooters up before that target was hit for the first time! As the shooting progressed, most of the shooters were able to hit 3-out-of-6 on the target, but only 2 of the shooters were able to hit 6-out-of-6. By the way, the speed of the moving target was roughly about the same as a fast jog, not a full-out run. Fortunately, the pulley system wasn't hit, so it's still ready for more the next time! Total cost: About $1 for the hardware store pulley, and the rope probably cost a total of $2 or $3. The target and the 1"x2" board that held it were "scrap" pieces. The top post was a tall tree, and the bottom post was a 6' long piece of steel rebar that was pounded into the ground for a height of about 3' above ground level. Oh, I almost forgot! I pounded a steel "eye hook" into the tree, fastened a piece of string onto the pulley, through the "eye hook", and trailed the string back to the firing line. The target could be safely re-set by pulling the string until the pulley moved to the top post, then you'd let go of the string to allow the target to glide down the rope. Less than $6 for everything, but a LOT of fun and GREAT practise!
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Old March 22, 2006, 12:29 PM   #10
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Play hide'n'seek with your kids in a dark house. Here's the rules:
  • The kids are each armed with a rubber band or a rubber band gun.
  • Kids can hide anywhere they can fit in the rooms adjacent to your front door. (After you've done this a few times, they can hide anywhere in the house.)
  • The house lights are all off. (Later, you can play the game with variations in the lighting. But start in full dark.)
  • You are "it." You must come out of your master bedroom and find all the kids before they can shoot you. (You can use a flashlight or not -- depending on what you think you would 'really' do.)
  • If a kid sees you first, he can shoot you with his rubber band. Even if his shot misses, you lose because he saw you first. Real bad guys have guns that shoot more than one round.
  • If you spot a kid, you call him out of his hiding place and have him sit somewhere safe while you find whoever is still hiding.
  • The round is over when all the kids have come out. But play more than one round, and keep track of the number of times you "die" and the places you did so.

Sounds kinda childish, doesn't it? What it does is give you a deep appreciation for the number of places in your home that an attacker could hide. It gives you a visceral understanding of the pluses and minuses of your own floor plan and how defensible your house is. It teaches you which way to look when you come out of your bedroom door, too.

Finally, this game helps you understand why "clearing a house" is a game for fools and why the smartest and best thing to do if you think there's an intruder is to hunker down somewhere safe and let them come to you.

Kathy Jackson
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Old March 22, 2006, 02:26 PM   #11
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Be advised that "blanks" can be lethal

A prime example is Bruce one thought a blank could's only a blank......yeah right.

Prepare and practice as often as possible...lock all doors and windows and set something in a position where there is no way to get between them and you/yours without noise.
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Old March 22, 2006, 02:37 PM   #12
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motion sensors on the outside of your home that are liked to your alarm, and make an audible beep when motion is detected.

at least you will get a head start on locking and loading.
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Old March 22, 2006, 02:49 PM   #13
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As much as I like to prepare for the 'ultimate' home invasion, I raelize that there are an infinite number of scenarios that could arise. What if two BGs, what if 5...what if they have automatics...what if they enter from multiple on and so forth.

Basically, I just try to stay proficient at the range and keep my firearms in good working order. I constantly drill my wife on what to do in case of emergency (essentially, take phone, take spare firearm, take mag light, hide in tub, call 911, don't come out till I say). I do practice loading and finding my firearm in complete darkness. But alot of it just revolves around having a good action plan in case something happens.
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Old March 22, 2006, 03:47 PM   #14
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On the professional note, people do teach courses about home defense and team tactics for the family.

I like the rubber band fire fight with the kids.

One needs a good FOF course to get a touch of the experience PAX mentions about how it isn't like the movies.
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Old March 22, 2006, 06:00 PM   #15
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While we're mostly concerned with defensive training and planning here, don't forget to plan for other possible consequences as well. Are you trained in first aid and CPR if a family member is injured, perhaps shot? If gunfire starts a fire, would you know how to combat it once the intruder is neutralized? Do you have the equipment on hand to do either?

When planning for home defense, don't get so bogged down with weapon tactics, that you forget to look at the whole picture .
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Old March 22, 2006, 06:20 PM   #16
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Anthony2, That was Brandon Lee, Bruce's son. The blank didn't kill him from what I heard. Someone loaded some dummy cartridges but left one with a live prime. The primer pushed the projectile just far enough into the barrel that the cylinder still functioned. When the scene called for the gun to be fired the blank pushed the projectile stuck in the barrel just as if it had been a real bullet. A blank will kill for sure but Lee was killed by lead.

Jaterpack, Get some tactical training either through one of the schools or books and video's. Practice what you learned and apply what will work best for your scenario. If you can afford FoF training get it if not shoot some competitions IDPA, IPSC, whatever causes you to feel rushed or pressured..
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Old March 22, 2006, 09:03 PM   #17
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I stand corrected...It was Brandon Lee...

Mistakes...let us know we're not as perfect as we think...
"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."-Voltaire

"Baaa or Freedom!" - Ted Nugent

"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." - Ghandi

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Old March 23, 2006, 02:03 PM   #18
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Low light familiarity

Navigate your house with either low light, or no light conditions.

I meditate in the dark, and when my SO is sleeping try not to disturb her, especially if I am going out for a glass of water in middle of the night or to go to the bathroom.

Become familiar with furniture and other objects so that you can navigate in the dark. Meanwhile badguy has to either walk around with a flashlight or turn on the lights, giving you a big tactical advantage.

Also learn where all the creaky stair steps, or wooden boards are in your house. That way - you will have an idea where the BGs are.

Another trick - is to spread random objects all over your floor and not clean them up. This will make the BG trip as they approach you - giving you time to unload your 12 guage in self-defense.
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Old March 23, 2006, 02:11 PM   #19
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Get an alarm system with a keypad in the bedroom also. If entry is made (alarm sounds off) I simply look at the keypad for which zone is breached.
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