Sunday, August 21, 2011

All You Need to Know About Home Defense

From Blogson Shakey Pete:
The pump shotgun is too big to handle in the house. I know we tell civilians to fort up the whole family in one room, defend that room and wait for the local police. That is a great idea except we hear a noise? Is it the dog? Is it one of the kids going to pee? Is it your daughter's no good boyfriend sneaking over, again? Sure, call 911 every time you hear a noise. Umm, no. What works is to grab your good bright flashlight, tuck your handgun just behind your back, in your strong hand, and check it out.

You do not want a rifle or shotgun then, how do you handle a two handed gun and light switches, kids and dogs all at once? So, the first thing you need is a good flashlight and then a handgun. If you don't get a good flashlight, don't bother with a gun.

What gun? I will go against common wisdom here. Unless you shoot for sport I say choose a revolver. Autoloaders have advantages for police and military. Revolvers have other advantages. Put a loaded revolver in your bedside table and thirty years later it will still fire those corroded-green shells. An auto? Probably not. Naturally I'd like you to practice a lot but most folks won't. Truth is, skill doesn't matter all that much. If a citizen gets into a gunfight it's going to be really close. What really counts is willingness. Gunfights happen within the width of a car or the length of a car. The width of a room, the length of a room. Once a citizen learns to hit a target at the range of the biggest room in her house, she's good enough.

For advice on the right gun, go read the rest. And for heaven's sake do NOT be shy about asking Pete for firearms advice, because A) he loves to give it, and B) I can guarantee it'll at least be sensible.

As for the right flashlight, I'll plug this cheap, bright, long-battery-life model. It even comes with free batteries that (and I tested this), will keep the thing lit up for at least 12 straight hours.

I bought 7 of 'em (to qualify for free shipping) and scattered 'em about the house.


  1. You have the right idea if integrating the gun into a larger home defense plan and getting the gun that best fits the plan.

    LED light for home defense? You must be joking. Nothing beats a Surefire 6v light. A super bright light can cover distance and disorient your intruder at close range.

    Ditto that ammo needs to be maintained. Even soldiers learn this the hard way. Many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan don't use their weapons at all and they carry the same 15 or 30 round magazine everywhere they go for their whole 1 year tour without ever unloading it to clean the dust out.

  2. Not joking about the light. It's got 9 LED's in it. It will cover any distance inside your house, and getting this thing shined in your eyes is VERY disorienting. Don't let the size fool you, it's not some rinky-dink keychain flashlight.

    Also WAY beats the crap out of a 1-bulb MagLite, too. I did the side-by-side.

    Anyway, this post isn't really about the BEST methods of home defense, it's about bare minimum for folks who don't like to think about it, but want an option besides 911.

  3. For flashlight, I prefer a LED headlamp, it keeps both hands free, and it's 8 bulbs are bright.

    I don't have the money for a gun, so I keep a number of battle ready swords and knives (more aptly called daggers) hidden throughout my residence.

  4. I normally recommend dogs as your first line in home defense.

  5. Ditto on the dogs. You don't need a Rottweiler, a noisy ankle-biter makes a great early-warning system, enough time to grab your Smith or Ruger.

    But the one thing to remember - usually even the wrong gun is better than no gun at all.

  6. >>>The pump shotgun is too big to handle in the house

    Instead of a smaller gun, get a bigger house.