How to Be Safe at Home Through the Use of Firearms

Home defense is a broad topic with firearms being a small caveat of an all encompassing plan. Here I will layout the necessary steps you need to consider before and after you choose to protect your home using firearms. It's the worst thing imaginable. Waking up in the middle of the night to glass breaking or footsteps outside your door. We've all thought about what we would do. Now let's discuss what you should do.


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    Mitigate the risk. Asking what firearm is the best for home defense is not where anyone should begin. There are three words you need to implant into memory for any and all situations in this life: Mitigate The Risk.
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    Start with the outward appearances of your home. Shrubbery, close proximity fencing, and other general blind zones will make you a target. Big shiny toys in your yard you use to make your neighbors jealous are also big draws. While an intruder knows he can't hook up to the Bayliner and tow it down the road, it's a pretty good indication that the marriage gods have been appeased with sacrifices of jewelry kept inside. If you're in a war with your neighbor to outdo one another, let him win. You'll end up ahead in the long run.
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    Know what your weak spots are. It may have 10 locks on it, but it will inevitably be in a blind zone and nothing short of installing cameras or cutting your neighbor's tree down so he can see it will fix the situation. Here an intruder can spend all day testing and perfecting his entry if he so chooses. The best solution here is to give a friendly heads up as to what waits inside whether it be an XXXL dog crate or a pan of policed brass. The threat of personal injury is just as effective implied as it is spoken.
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    Be sure you have the right type of firearms. We've avoided confrontation as much as possible and have done our best to Mitigate The Risk. The first and foremost weapon of choice for home defense is the 12ga pump shotgun. The versatility, availability, and low user learning curve make this the ultimate choice. You can even get pepper spray rounds for it. The icing on the cake however is the intimidation factor. Few things available to the public will elicit as strong a reaction from an intruder as the sound of a shell being chambered in a pump action shotgun.
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    Have the right type of ammo. Most people will tell you that 00 buckshot is the cure all. While it is devastating, there are a few flaws with this philosophy. First we're dealing with indoors and common walls that in places are nothing but two sheets of sheetrock. Inside a house full of family, 00 just runs too huge a risk.
    • Target loads are perfect for this. Far less penetration and can still send a message. They are insanely cheap, can be bought in bulk by the 100's, and loading up target -> buckshot sets up a protocol. If you make it to the buckshot before the situation is resolved, then you know you did everything you could. For this, there are an assortment of home defense rounds with low powder charges to help reduce wall penetration.
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    Know your house and know how to clear it the right way. This is more important than almost everything else. This only applies should an intruder be between you and a safe exit. Removing yourself from the situation entirely should always be the first course of action. Again, Mitigate The Risk.
    • Knowing the layout and terrain in a tactical sense improves your odds exponentially. Staying low and hugging walls will give you extra milliseconds should you be noticed. An intruder's first movement to a noise or peripheral glimpse is going to be to where he expects you to be. If you can make sure to not be in that place, should the intruder be armed he will have to search, recognize, and adjust his aim.
    • Pick a path where everything your eyes look at for the first time is directly in front of you and narrow a field of vision as possible.
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    Be aware of potential hiding spots. Stairwells if you find yourself at the top of one are by far the best places to hide in wait. Many battles in history have been won by holding the high ground alone. Avoid going from the bottom of stairs to the top at all cost. If you must do this, stay low and out of sight until you can put your back against the wall and stand straight up quickly aiming and searching the landing for targets.
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    Don't be a hero. As soon as you know everyone in your family has made it out, leave immediately and get everyone to a safe location.


  • Never keep a shotgun loaded. If a round needs to be chambered quietly, it can be done with care. Most of the time you want to alert the intruder of what you have and give them a chance to run away.
  • Know your firearm. Practice until you know every little quirk and function.


  • Always know what is behind the wall past your intended target.
  • The tips above only pertain where firearms are permitted by law.
  • The tips listed above are meant as a very last recourse and should only be considered when you are unable to remove yourself and your family from the home.
  • Always use proper safety protocol when handling and storing firearms. Keep out of reach of children!

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Categories: Self Defense