Author Topic: Defense within the Home  (Read 3984 times)


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Defense within the Home
« on: February 22, 2011, 11:03:59 AM »
Room Clearing
In the event of a break-in, Home invasion ect... the best action to take is to get the family into one room & take up a good defensive position. Call 911 & give your address (may need directions if in the country) & let them know you are also armed & will remain stationary until the police identify themselves saying that the house has been cleared. Keeping your keys in your bedroom serves a few useful purposes. One being you could set off the car alarm for a distraction & may cause the intruder(s) to flee. Another reason is the police will need to get in if all doors are locked. Tossing the keys if from a second story or higher window at night risks them getting lost in the bushes. Knot them in a white sock or anything very visible at night.

What constitutes a good defensive position?

Using or creating a funnel.

The best funnel is a stairway that has at least one wall. It doesn't matter how well trained the attackers or the defender is; The one at the top of the stairs has the advantage. Stay upstairs.

The second best is a hallway. Positioning yourself at the end of a hallway laying prone or in a squat position you have the initiative. Lighting up the entrance part of the hall also give you a split seconds difference. Lying prone is best in that it's habit to look at about shoulder to heads height when one enters a new surrounding.

Third is a bedroom with an out (windows & chain ladder). Doorways are funnels & barricade the door. In this scenario stay clear of the door completely in the event the intruder(s) fire through the door or try to shoot out the lock & hinges.

In all three scenarios stay off-center. a.k.a. to one side or the other. Just off a wall but not against as bullets tend to follow walls. The middle is the first place a person focuses on & that split second could mean everything. Above all else let the attackers come to you. This keeps you at a tactical advantage until Police arrive.

How we think a scenario like this would play out may not be how it does. In today’s age of technology whatever is invented there is something created to prevent it. Cell-phone jammers sadly are available to the public via the ‘net for around $200.00. Combine that with cutting the outside power & phone lines & a family could be completely on their own.

I write this not for the Charles Bronson types but for those with families who may find themselves in the situation where the intruders are between themselves & their loved ones. Structure clearing with a team uses Violence of Action, superior firepower, tactics & equipment to get the job done. The most important equipment being Kevlar to stop bullets that are bound to come your way & flash bang grenades to stun/distract the enemy in danger areas. With this said it is the most dangerous environment one could find themselves in. One man/woman clearing their own home is downright suicidal.

There are a few One Man clearing techniques that could make the difference between life & death. This is not a start-to-finish writing but rather techniques for common threat areas. For those with Military/LEO experience I am writing this in Layman’s terms so please, no need to point out wrong terminology. Keeping it simple.

What constitutes a “Threat Area”.

Common threat areas are Stairs, doorways, corners & hallways almost in that order. These are used to set up defensive positions so they are a threat the intruder(s) may use against you.

First & foremost is using the “Three Eye Principle”. Your muzzle must always be pointing where you are looking. 1)Eyes, 2)Front-sight, 3)Threat area. Getting caught looking at a threat area where your muzzle is not also pointing towards could cost you your life.

“Pieing” or “Slicing” the room. This is a term used to access a threat area (Stairs, doorways, corners, hallways) before entering. Visualize a slice of pie. Before entering the threat area one needs to break the room into sections. Scan a little at a time. Once you’ve scanned or pied one part, roll out to the side to scan the new slice. Lean out without stepping out. Don’t proceed with your feet, elbows or weapon. This gives a “target indicator”. It supplies a target for intruder(s) to shot as well as the possibility to have your weapon taken from you or at least partially controlled.

When opening a door position yourself at the door to get the largest pie as soon as you swing the door open. If you see hinges the door opens towards you. No hinges is away from you. In the U.S. interior doors almost always open in or away from you. Doors are either center-fed or corner-fed meaning that it opens to the center of a room or the corner. Center-fed door require you to enter more blindly as in order the pie the rest of the room one must first enter. Corner-fed doors allow one to see more of the pie when opened. Check through the crack in the door to confirm no one is behind it. Once you feel it’s safe to proceed get through the doorway (fatal funnel) & off to one side to complete your search. Never turn your back to a section that has not been cleared such as closets, around furniture, showers ect. Above all things proceed slowly & with caution. Violence of Action (Hitting hard & fast) is for teams not one man clearing as the tactics are very different. Move in slow deliberate movements.

Corners are Threat areas. When approaching a corner stay as far away from it as possible. The reason being that they are prime areas to have weapons taken away. The rule of thumb is if at arms length the muzzle can touch the opposing wall you are to close. Hall width my dictate that that is impossible. This is where a pistol/revolver can be better than a shotgun/rifle. The Pistol can be pulled up tight against yourself to shorten that distance & can be fired from that position. Pie off as much as you can see around. If approaching with a long-gun it is best to enter such areas with the muzzle pointing down. Pointing it up or straight ahead & someone may gain control of it.

Use “Target Indicators” to help where you can not see. Target indicators can be Reflections, Movement, Sound, Shadows, to name a few. These work for & against you. You may be able to use reflections on opposing walls to see around corners. A mirror is best but motion inside the room may be seen on a glass picture frame, window reflection ect… If an area has you concerned use of distracters can give a second or so advantage. Throwing anything hard & fast against the opposing wall inside a threat area may cause the intruder(s) to look away momentarily allowing you to enter & gain control. Keys, coins, anything that will make a loud crack or thud against the wall away from your entry may help.

Concealment vs. Cover.

Concealment hides one from view.
Cover Stops/deflects bullets.

Interior walls & doors are generally only concealment. This works against you more than for you. Being that this is written to get to a loved one who is pinned down or hostage, positive target identification is paramount. It could be that family member hiding behind that door/wall.

Hallways are to be initially sliced as a room. When advancing down a hallway stay to one side or the other. People look towards the center first sides second. One silhouettes themselves less against a wall as well.

Stairs. One man stair clearing from the bottom up is a death trap. Stairs are a hallway with unsure footing & numerous planes of attack from the top. There are horizontal & vertical threat areas being taken at the same time on stairwells on as many as five points of attack. No matter how well trained one is, when there is someone at the top with a firearm the advantage always goes to the one up top. Before progressing make sure 360 degrees above you is secured (if can be seen) before taking your first step. Slice of all planes one step at a time always pointing the muzzle to the areas one could grab us or open fire on us. At the same time a quick rolling of the head running quick scans of the overhead. With a two man team the second should be progressing backwards up the stairs watching the overhead landing while the other is slicing the corners. If someone is up there & opens fire I would fire back as I ran back down the stairs fast.

Points to Remember:

-Your muzzle must always be pointing where you are looking; Eye, Front sight, Threat area.

-Pie or slice the threat area by leaning or rolling out to scan without stepping out thereby exposing ones leg, elbow or muzzle.

-Maintain as much distance as possible around corners.

-Move in slow deliberate movements. There is no reset button.

I truly hope no one ever find themselves needing to apply these techniques.

Your friendly neighborhood Roadracer.



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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 02:10:38 PM »
The first advice is the best advice.  I'd never try to clear a home alone.  When I was in the academy they had us run a drill clearing a workshop (much less complicated than a home) with one partner.  I didn't make it ten steps in before I got centerpunched in the forehead with a paintball (that was a real nice red spot for a week ::) ).  That was all I needed to learn that without diversionary tactics (read: flashbangs) and a well trained team, you're at a tremendous disadvantage trying to make entry into an occupied structure.

Offline soupbone

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 06:35:53 PM »
I agree with endurance. Your only responsibility at this point is to your family. Anything else, including your house, can be replaced. You or another family member cannot be replaced. Understanding tactics is important, but only for planning purposes. Because you know how to clear a room, doesn't mean you should do it. BTW, endurance, I only got 6 steps into the room before I caught a cotton ball. (back then, we used primer powered cotton balls)

One thing you may want to consider is to put decent locks on all of your bedroom doors. Anything you can do to slow down complicate and confuse an intruder works greatly in your favor. And your teenagers will love you for it. Time is his worst enemy and your best friend. If you have interior doors on your first floor, put locks on them also. They don't have to be super-strong high security, just enough to make the bad guy stop and say  :wtf:. For half a minute while he figures it out. And maybe decide your house isn't worth it.

Protect your family, stay in position, keep your finger off the trigger until your target is positively identified, and call for help.


Offline CR Williams

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2011, 12:28:39 PM »
It's a funny thing now: I had an article about defending the home rejected once, one of the reasons being my recommendation of the Third Eye to the reader. By the time the phone call was over, I'm thinking that I had the editor convinced that I was both unsafe and over-aggressive about how I did things. :o

Anyway: One thing I would suggest that I don't see covered much, which is--make sure you practice moving backwards in and through your house. This comes into play in early moments when you are covering your family's movement to the safe room, when you have to move out and then back to the safe area for any reason (example: out of your bedroom to collect a child from theirs), or when retreating under pressure (not necessarily gunfire, but hostile movement) in the event of an attack under way. Your eyes will be forward toward the area of the threat or potential threat, so you need to get comfortable with this before it has to be done under stress and in the dark. Things to consider: Slide the feet as you step so that you encounter obstacles with less chance of tripping; take smaller shuffling steps for the same reason; be confident with shooting one-handed so that the other hand is free to guide others or to guide yourself through the house and around things; more attention to staying in balance to that hitting something with your foot is less likely to trip you.

Offline JerseyVince

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 12:59:32 PM »
One thing to add to the list for people unfamilar or unsure is to get 2 not 1 "TWO" quality flashlights that never repeat never leave the bedroom unless the home is burning, lifted by a twister or your using it to sweep the house. Surefire/streamlight many other quality names  Either CR123 or AA's (use Lithium AA's only for long term storage and they will always work) Compact and bright LED 100 lumen minimum (80 if its a Surefire led). A Surefire 6P or G2 is a great choice and can be found under $50 now online

Use the D LED Maglite around the house for general use and power outages they are great for that

+1 for all you guys great thread

Offline pac1911

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 05:28:27 PM »
Great topic, and pretty good first post.  Very wide in scope and I won't address it all, but I will comment a touch.

To say that you should never clear your house because it is suicide is an overly generalized statement.  I have two children and in a home invasion I will be required to collect them and take them to a safe location.  I will clear the home on my way to the children and to their safe location.

The description given in the first part of the OP does not describe holing up in a safe room.  Instead it describes setting up a hasty ambush.  That is the way to do it. Shape your battle field, draw them into a kill zone and then destroy them.  My family is in a safe room with a final ambush point.  It is my job to make sure the dirt bags nap before they ever get near the safe room.

Finally weapon choice is important.  I subscribe to the concept Ayoob talked about with regards to comparing the weapons to the tools of the military.  My handgun is my hunting tool.  It is the infantry.  When I have to go out and get my kids, I will use my handgun to probe and engage as it allows for efficient one handed operation.  Tough to run a rifle or shotgun with a kid in your arms.

My rifle is waiting for me at my ambush point.  It is the artillery, we wait together for the Sh1tbags to walk into the kill zone.

I need to go for now.  This is a very broad topic and deserves a lot of attention.

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 06:58:00 PM »
This is not the sort of thing you are going to learn by reading. I don't have any real arguments with the OP, that's pretty much what I learned at Thunder Ranch 15 years ago. I've done quite a bit of 'clearing', answering alarm calls, and they are NO FUN.

The advantage goes to the person that is sitting and waiting. Do some airsoft if you doubt me.

There are many good schools that teach this stuff. If this is something you think you might need one day, attend one or three.

Offline pac1911

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 08:35:57 PM »

The advantage goes to the person that is sitting and waiting. Do some airsoft if you doubt me.


Offline tween

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2011, 05:52:55 AM »
very VERY few invaders will remain after you fire one shot into the floor or other safe "catch' zone and tell them to leave your home.So all this "ambush" stuff is just fantasy, really. If you shoot somebody, expect to drop $50,000 staying out of prison and also not loosing all you have to a civil suit. Just ask OJ if it is possible to be criminally innocent and still lose everything to a suit about the same incident1

Offline cheryl1

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2011, 10:21:06 AM »
Police response time to my house when we were robbed was 34 minutes. My husband was 20 miles away in a semi-truck and he beat them there. Knowing how to defend my home is a must for me.

Offline pac1911

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Re: Defense within the Home
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2011, 01:23:12 PM »
very VERY few invaders will remain after you fire one shot into the floor or other safe "catch' zone and tell them to leave your home.So all this "ambush" stuff is just fantasy, really. If you shoot somebody, expect to drop $50,000 staying out of prison and also not loosing all you have to a civil suit. Just ask OJ if it is possible to be criminally innocent and still lose everything to a suit about the same incident1

I'll be happy to remain in "fantasy land."  Warning shots are an inherently bad idea.  And i will be happy to endure all 4 phases of the battle including civil litigation if it means I continue to breath.  Obviously you are free to make your own choice in this matter.