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       Guns & Gears -- 12

 

 

 

 

Guns Magazine -- 12

 

 

 

 

 

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Considerations for

Home Defense

by Adam Celaya

Even kindergartners are taught what to do in a fire, but as adults how much thought have we given to the possibility of an armed intruder?

 

One of the most frightening things I could ever think about having to do would be firing a weapon in the same house where my children were sleeping. But as frightening as that possibility is, it is something any of us could be faced with. Bottom line---to a criminal, breaking into our homes is just an elaborate shopping spree. Of course, in the dark itís hard to tell the difference between a killer and a thief.  Are they there for your VCR, or something else?

A functional handgun that is stored unloaded in a locked case is a gun that is not earning its keep.  Home invasions are the rage and you could find yourself somewhere besides the bedroom when intruders come. This antique hutch makes a great place to park a Unique M17.

My wife has been known to roll her eyes when I walk her through emergency defensive plans or explain a change. Of course, if there were a fire in the house, even my five-year-old knows to get out of the house and meet at the mailbox. Our world being what it is, the odds of your being burglarized are actually greater than any threat of fire. Everyone has a smoke alarm in their house, so why shouldnít we also have some type of defensive plan worked out in advance.

The biggest factors to a home defense plan are communication, architecture, access to weapons, and the number of residents living in and around your home or apartment.

Most importantly (and you have all heard this before from half a dozen gun-writers) you have to have a phone, preferably a cordless model, in your bedroom. Just as a radio is a policemanísTHIS IS HOME ENTERTAINMENT 3 / VARIOUS THIS IS HOME ENTERTAINMENT 3 / VARIOUS lifeline, so is the phone. Sure, a smart criminal can cut the lines, but the really smart ones stay away when youíre home. Optimally, this is where one spouse would man the phone while the other maintains armed security.  I would also provide a second weapon for your spouse.

 When it comes to hosting a gunfight in your own home, cover is everything.  Unfortunately almost nothing in your home is bullet proof.  In the bedroom, a waterbed would be your best cover.  Regular mattresses may not provide great cover, but if you get your people down under them they will be out of the primary line of fire.

The layout of your home can be the difference between your being able to stay put in a bedroom or having to expose yourself in order to defend others in neighboring rooms. I Go Boating -- 6 recently moved from a home where the bedrooms were clustered at the end of the hall. If I were to take up a position at the bedroom door to determine if I was indeed being burglarized, my avenue of fire would be centered on one of the childrenís rooms. In addition, I would have almost no warning of an approaching burglar. On the other hand, the new house has a linear type hallway with the master bedroom at the far end. From my doorway I would be able to safely cover the entire hallway and monitor traffic around the other doorways. Different floor plans require different planning. One solution to best suit either house design is to position nightlights to cast an intruderís shadow or silhouette them when they enter your defensive corridor.

Architecture may dictate your defensive tactics.  The linear hallway (left) allows for a simple doorway defense that blocks a trespasser from entering the children's rooms.  The cluster hallway (right) gives poor avenues of defense and places one of the bedrooms in the line of fire. Click for full view.

Without a weapon there is no defense, only easy pickings for whatever predator wandered into your house. However, keeping loaded guns around presents a double-edged sword. Your primary concern here is to make the weapons readily available to you but inaccessible to both children and burglars.pict001.jpg (43725 bytes)

Trigger locking devices, bedside safes, stash compartments and hidden guns are all part of a good defensive plan. Personally my belief is that any modern handgun that is unloaded and put away is just not earning its keep. Of my guns, half are collectable, the others shooters. Most of the latter group are located throughout the house in strategic positions. On high shelves, in the car, on book cases, and even one in our fallback position. I knew one gun collector who had a wall covered with old guns. Smack in the middle of them all was a loaded 1860 Army replica. Like the purloined letter, he concealed a defensive weapon in plain sight..

A fine example of a poor man's gun-safe. The fine old firearms are visible, much as any piece of art would be, yet they are held in place by a 1/2" rubberized steel cable that is strung through the cabinet itself.  These rifles are rested muzzle down to keep the oil from soaking into the stocks.  The muzzles rest on strips cut from mouse pads. click photo for full view.

I realize that this may seem a little paranoid to some, but for me itís somewhat of a family tradition having been raised in a DEA family. As it was, one of my childhood memories was of a family friend from another government agency was kidnapped. When they found him a year later, his remains were so badlyGreat Specials From PlanetOutdoors.com damaged that he had to be identified by his teeth and a Skillcraft US Government pen. Another friend of my fatherís that was kidnapped and tortured, Kiki Camarena, received slightly more press. As children we were never taught to treat all guns as if loaded, in our house they WERE loaded.  This subtle point has been emphasized by Jeff Cooper for a number of years.  

Many pistols such as this S&W 4506 in .45 ACP are equipped with a magazine disconnect safety that disables the weapon when the magazine is removed.  Many self proclaimed gun-gurus have assailed the idea, but it has its merits too.  In a struggle for weapons retention, the weapon can be kept from being used against you by dropping the magazine and kicking it away from you.  Your fight now becomes a matter of hand-to-hand---which is always preferable to hand-to-gun (when it's your hand and their gun...)  

Who lives with you makes a lot of difference. In the case of my parents who live by themselves in an extremely remote area, their emergency plan has no inclusion for police, neighbors, or children (or witnesses for that matter). Because of this, they load their bedroom guns with full-house loads. At the other end of the spectrum, I can count on my kids to wake up screaming as soon as the first rounds go off Children can be expected to leave their beds and run crying to Mommy or Daddy. Because of this, I would be absolutely intent on being as opportunistic as possible in taking a shot. Allowing an intruder to draw me into a protracted gunfight would be the last thing I would want.  

Keeping the family gun in the closet is good, but do not hesitate to go beyond that.  A really great way to consolidate the equipment you would need to counter a home invasion is to maintain a full duty belt or fanny pack equipped with weapon, spare magazines, flashlight, restraint devices, non-lethal devices, and even a cell phone. 

Everybody seems to have a different opinion on this, but were I to use a shotgun, I would prefer a twelve gauge loaded with number six shot if I lived in the city. Most pros prefer number four, but I have found six to be devastating at ranges under ten yards, and dispersing by fifteen yards. These dimensions best suit most of the houses in which I have lived. Actually, were I to choose an optimum home defense gun I would tend to strongly lean towards a H&K USP45 with tritium sights, a Tac-Light, and loaded with Glaser Blue Tip safety slugs. While it might be slightly bulky, as a house gun it would spend most of its life on a shelf where weight and volume are irrelevant.

Always remember that most walls in your house are only concealment, not cover.  As seen above, these simulated wallboard tests show that penetration through 2 layers of sheetrock and the 2x4 wall stud was possible all the way down to a .32.  Visible on these water jugs, the exiting bullets were still sufficiently powerful enough to be fatal. click photo for full view

Lastly, get a dog. It does not have to be a two hundred pound Rottweiler that resembles your mother-in-law, just something that barks. Having known a few burglars, several have told me that they just move on to the next house once they hear barking. The idea stands to reason once you realize that burglars areOdyssey II Travel Pack<br><span class=tempSale>Solstice Sale! Was $169.00</span> people who have no problem with cashing in on things that you spent years to pay for. These are people who want to work one night of the week and party the other six. Most will take the path of least resistance. Anything that makes them go out of their way, dog, obvious alarm system, motion-sensitive lights, will deter the largest percentage of criminals. The mere presence of these factors can be advantageous to you both as a deterrent, and as mitigating circumstances in any civil or criminal proceedings that follow a justified shooting. Your ability to show that despite all of these elements, the intruder continued his criminal course of action, could prove to a grand jury that you went that extra mile to avoid an armed confrontation.     

  

Camping Life -- 6

Camping Life 

Family camping information including vacation and weekend destinations, equipment reviews and buyers` guides for tent campers and owners of truck campers and pop-up trailers. Only $2.50 per issue. That is 37% off.


 

 

 

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