Many people own weapons for the purpose of protecting their home. However, how many people actually have a plan for what to do if they ever have to use them?
While it is a scary thought, thinking about some home defense basics is worthwhile. Having your weapons is great. Having a plan increases your ability to protect yourself with them.
In this article, we will go over some basic home defense tactics. I have written previously about how I like to have weapons spread out throughout my house. While I realize that not everyone agrees with this thought process, the tactics will be similar.
As long as you have a weapon that is easily accessible, your home can be defended. How you do that is up to you, whether you have guns throughout your house, or if you are always armed on your person. However, for home defense, I cannot understate the importance of having a shotgun. In my opinion, this really is the most important home defense weapon.
Before getting into the tactics, we are going to assume that you have all of the non-weapon home defense measures in place. Examples could include motion sensor floodlights, deadbolt locks, and a security system. As we all know, these aren’t always enough, but they are a necessary start.
Let’s get into the tactics.
I know what you’re thinking. This is not what you want to do in the event your house is being broken into.
While many people don’t want to hear this, it is the safest answer. If you can safely get out of your house or barricade yourself in a room (armed, of course), that will be your safest bet. Arm yourself first, but if you can safely get out, I would recommend doing that. Get away or get out, call the police, and be prepared.
However, in many situations, this isn’t possible. Maybe you’ve got kids upstairs, the intruder knows you are home, or you aren’t going to be able to get out of the house. Whatever the case may be, there is a good chance you may have to engage the intruder.
When it comes to engaging the target, speed is the most important factor. Speed of acquiring the target, speed of engaging the target, and speed of re-engaging the target are all very important things to consider.
To increase your speed acquiring a target, there really is only one thing to do. Practice, practice, practice.
Go to the range and practice aiming down your sights and acquiring targets. Move your body around and move the target around. You don’t even have to go to the range. Do dry runs in your house or backyard, as long as you are certain the weapon is cleared.
Engaging the Target
It may seem simple. Aim and shoot. But, consider the fact that your life will be threatened and your adrenaline will be pumping. Do you think it might be possible to accidentally leave the safety on, or make a similar mistake?
This can be improved with practice, as well. Run through it as much as possible; it will eventually become muscle memory.
Part of this could be taking the target by surprise. Anything that can give you a speed advantage should be considered. In a situation like this, being controlled but fast will keep you alive.
Now, keep in mind that you may have to re-engage a target that will likely be moving. Improving the speed at which you can do this also comes from practice. Practice acquiring targets, engaging the target, and cycling the weapon, if necessary. It is hard to replicate shooting a moving target, but the more time you have spent looking down your sights, the easier it will be.
Obviously, it would be ideal to engage an intruder in a plate carrier and Kevlar helmet. However, this isn’t always possible, so what other ways are there to protect yourself and those around you?
As most people who are familiar with weapons and ballistics are aware, there really isn’t much true cover inside a house. There are very few things that will actually stop a bullet in your house. However, concealing part of your body will give the intruder less to return fire at. If part of your body is concealed by a wall or something similar, this will make you much safer.
Another way to make yourself safer is to change the position from where you’re shooting. Taking a knee makes less of your body exposed, and makes it more difficult for an intruder to potentially return fire.
So, if you are able to quickly acquire and engage a target while part of your body is concealed, you will do a good bit in improving your safety.
However, where is that bullet going? Like we talked about before, there isn’t much in your house that will stop a bullet. So, while you are going over some potential courses of action, be sure to take into account exactly what and where you are shooting. Think about whether or not people may actually be behind the target you’re shooting at. This is the exact kind of thing that you would not think about in the moment. However, having somewhat of a plan will help.
Some people swear up and down by their weapon accessories. I think that they can sometimes be helpful, but many people rely too heavily on them.
Weapon accessories can help you, but they cannot replace practice. Practice using your weapons. Use the accessories as accessories rather than necessities.
However, with that said, there are two accessories that I think are very helpful in a situation like this. A quality sight can make it much easier to acquire a target. A red dot style sight that you can shoot with both of your eyes open can give your weapon point and shoot ease of use, which could be extremely useful in the middle of the night or when your adrenaline is pumping.
The other accessory that I think would be helpful is a bright flashlight. While being directly in front of your target is certainly less than ideal, a very bright flashlight can buy you some extra time. It could disorient your target, and give you enough time to acquire and engage the target.
One Final Tactic to Consider
If for any reason you have to clear a room in your house, there is one basic tactic to check out. Look up the “slicing the pie” tactic on YouTube. It is easier to see it in a video than read it in words. However, it is a simple tactic that can help you to clear a room if you need and will keep you safe.
What other home defense tactics have you been taught? Be sure and leave a comment below!