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If your house is broken into, and you are threatened:

"At distances less than 21ft, or the size of an average room, point your pistol at your attacker and begin shooting. Do not stop unless your attacker has shifted position and you must adjust your aim to compensate, or until your pistol is empty."

This is the only advice I give to people who keep pistols for home defense but do not practice, or practice enough, with them.

The idea is that, if the victim is overrun, the pistol will be empty and not be capable of being used the victim. The other is that the noise is deafening in an enclosed space and the victim is shooting a person. The noise and chaos is used to keep the victim's mind off of what is happening.

Maybe my reasons for this statement are wrong, but I believe the statement stands on its own accord.

Any comments? Agree, disagree, would you modify it?

Josh <><
 

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Having studied this matter for a long....long time, I emphatically agree!

To be sure, most of the time these things work out (afterall according to Lott and Kleck somewhere between 90 and 95% of encounters end without a shot being fired) but that is no guarantee that you will not be one of the minority who actually have to shoot for your life.

Handguns are notoriously ineffective even when shot well, most folks don't shoot that well under stress. It takes only about 1.5 seconds for any normal adult to cover 21 feet....just how many accurate hits can you deliver in 1.5 seconds...including reaction time?

Even if you do achieve what is considered a good "center mass" hit (don't get me started on that) it is really unreasonable to expect a determined attacker to be incapacitated for at least 5 to 15 seconds.

To be forewarned is to be for armed....get really good at marksmanship, gunhandling and tactics before it comes to you!

Best regards,
Jim
 

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Hello. I agree. Being able to get the vital hits quickly and without hesitation once the point of no return is crossed is essential.

The decision needs to be made beforehand in my view and the actual physical skills from practice, second nature.

Best.
 

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Given that both of you are in the same room, this can mean several things.

1. They have breached your safe room.

2. You were trying to get everyone to the safe room and the encounter occurs.

3. It is a surprise encounter.

That being the case and there is a clear and present danger (reasonable person doctrine), then shoot till down or dry, allowing for target movement.

The time for thought is before and after, not during the encounter and by that I mean, that one should not be dithering about shooting and the possible ramifications, but getting it done.

Practice, train and talk to others of like mind and above all be honest with yourself.

Your family/loved ones will appreciate your forethought.

Regards, Mueller
 
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Well here is how i see it IF i was being threatened i would place two shots at center mass and IF that didn't stop them the next one will go in their head..if i cant drop them, then maybe its time for me to die...
 
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I generally agree and want to add that you need a definite mind-set that if the pistol is in your hand, you are prepared to fire it. I suppose I'm talking more about a holstered pistol rather than one in a nightstand, but having carried for duty, I think I developed the pretty good mindset that if I drew the pistol, it's because I'm really prepared to use it. You draw, you fire, no thinking, no decision making. Pulling the pistol from a drawer though, to investigate a noise in your house requires different thinking. Dangerous stuff.
 
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Well here is how i see it IF i was being threatened i would place two shots at center mass and IF that didn't stop them the next one will go in their head..if i cant drop them, then maybe its time for me to die...
I'm afraid your second "if" contains hidden loss of time, that may make the difference between surviving and death. No one's mind is capable to continuously fire as quickly as possible (considering some broad pointing at target) and to identify the result of previous shots in any finer way than simple distinction "he still goes" vs. "he has fallen" in the same time, so you will either do this or that. Doing "that" (identifying) means you will fire less shots, which may be the reason you will loose your fight and your life.
 
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Having had an intruder in my home I can tell you getting the drop on him is worth it's weight in gold. So is having a S&W .32-20 handejector revolver.
 
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I would add, Never stop fighting. I don't care if your pistol is empty. Pick up a lamp. Gouge his eyes out. Do something! Never give up and never stop fighting.
 
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Josh,

For the uninitiated I agree with your statement, wholeheartedly. If we are realistic about being in the 21 foot scenario then by the time the victim reacts there's a good chance it will be at contact distance...we're getting in the land of pyric victories here.

Dennis Tuller did a superb job of quantifying this years ago.

This is an excellent reason to own a big dog. Not a yapper, but one who will issue a challenge to anyone BEFORE they get into your safe areas. Really there are to many "what if's in the situation.

For the ensconsed defender there is the shotgun. Your choice. In close the pistol is more manueverable/the shotgun more powerful.

Of course, by this time the perp is probably having to deal with 90 lbs of German Shephed, hanging off his testicles, and may be distracted... ;)

Shoot fast, shoot first, shoot often.

Wes

P.S. In this scenario I vote for two shots center mass and one delivered to the cranial region...and then keep shooting, if possible.
 

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Dido Wes,

And when the LEO's arrive, I hope they find me with my telephone in my one hand, my weapon in my other.

I constantly tell people that the most effective weapon in the event of a break-in is the telephone. Calling the LE authorities is a "force multiplyer".

A good dog, regardless of breed, is a good obstacle to any would-be assailant.

A shotgun is my first choice over a handgun in any senario.

We have recently had a rash of home break-in's where I live and we have been victimized by B&E auto by the same perp. We don't have a dog...yet, but I've kept the Mossberg stoked and ready to roll.

Great thoughts,

Chris
 

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I have seen this from two perspectives, with one being perhaps a touch unusual.

One perspective is as an LEO (now semi retired) and from that perspective I have to say, the Dog is great, I would prefer the big dog as mentioned but even the little "alarm" dogs give you a heads up and the heads up is what makes a huge difference.

The phone is also necessary but in many situations it is merely a secondary tool. In our county you will be lucky if we show up at your door within 45 minutes - too much county too few officers.

Which brings me to my other experience which was as an adolecent and I was more an observer. We lived in the suburbs of a big city. A small riot (like about 50 or 60 folks) began forming out in our neighborhood street with the home owners meeting with the rioters. The police were called and they actually showed up an hour later (they had their hands full also).

The rioters threatened to loot then burn the houses. My dad and the next door neighbor (an ex Marine who made every island invasion in WWII) retrieved their weapons (ours was a 1911 and a .30 Carbine the neigbors was a 1911 and a Browning auto 5 ) and informed them that yes, they might loot and burn but the first 30 or so of them would not live to enjoy the event...they saw the wisdom of this and dispersed long before the police arrived.

I higly recommend a book, if it is still in print, titled Strong on Defense by Sanford Strong. Not much about guns but a lot about attitude and being prepared to do the deed.

Onward,
Jim
 
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Jim makes a good point. Police intervention is few a far away. Especially if you live in rural areas like me. My entire incident was done and over in 45seconds. Hardly time to even give the operator your name. In my opinion, don't waste time going for the phone until you secure your home and the lives in it.
 
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There's so much being said about which firearm, ammo, etc selection should one use or look at. But the thing that should be first and foremost is mind set.

You should know........backwards, forwards, up, & down what your local law contains about deadly force. Then question yourself about taking a life.........no ........really question yourself. I'm not talking about the macho garb........"Oh ya, if someone comes into my house, I'm going to blast the sucker into the next life" There's a big differense between talking about it, and putting it into play.

Then just like dry fire practice, go thru possible scenarios in your head. Prepare yourself.........over & over & over etc.

Because you don't want to have to question yourself if you can shoot at that moment or not, when the threat is unfolding right in front of you. You want that questioned answered way before then. You hesitate, you die.
 

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IF i was being threatened i would place two shots at center mass and IF that didn't stop them the next one will go in their head..
The heck with two shots center mass...if I am carrying a round that is a 90+% one shot stop, I am shooting him five times center mass (if not fifteen times) so I have a 450% chance of stopping him. Oh yeah,like if you're attacked in your home,between the stress and panic a head shot is that easy. More like a head miss...
 
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I would like to add my vote to the shotgun group. Preferably a 12ga pump with a wide open choke and a barrel at absolute minimum length.
Rationale: When its dark and you hear a pump action slide work you know what it is, even if you never heard that sound before. You also fully understand the implications and realize that the guy doesnt have to aim well to do significant damage to you.
 

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I agree to just go to firing at a bg inside your house will show that you are not going to be a pushover. Most BGs want easy targets and the target that is willing to send hot lead thier way is not an easy target. So more then likely anyone in thier right mind will be trying to get out of dodge after the first shoots.

I was lucky to convince my wife to go to the range and teach here how to operate my handgun and I told my wife something similar. If she every has to pull my handgun out to defend herself /our children then to fire 2 or 3 shots at a time at the BG and even if she misses they will think twice about what they are doing.
 

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I guess I'm one of those people who has no intention of going out to confront anyone who I think has broken into my home, especially at night. I plan to determine that all the "good guys" are accounted for, then I'll fort up and call for reinforcements on my cell phone. (Landlines can be cut, or the extension simply taken off the hook.) I or my wife are going to tell them who/where/what , how many "good guys" are in the house, where they're located, as good a description as I can give them. I intend to let them know where I am and the fact that I am armed. I then intend to let whoever is out there have whatever they want unless they come toward the fort. I have decided the hallway is the killing ground. Turn one way you can live. Turn the other, someone is going to get shot at, at least.

When the reinforcements arrive, I will let them know who I am. I will come out with my hands in the air and no weapon, when I am convinced that help has arrived.
It would be a shame to be shot by a well intentioned LEO who saw a "man with a gun" advancing toward him.

I have nothing in this world that is worth having to live the rest of my life knowing I had killed someone over, except my life, the life of my wife, and my friends. Anything else, they can have if they want it that bad.
 

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I must confess to being a person who does not practice as much as I would like and also as a person who does not have the amount of training I would like. So, I have pretty much adopted the "Shoot until empty or target is down" philosophy for home defense. I have obtained reasonable accuracy at the ranges described here(under 21ft), to know that I will most likely place 80 to 90% of my rounds into a man sized target.

I have however carefully planned out and practiced my plans for home invasion(cover, fields of fire, escape routes, telephone access, navigation of the home after threat has been recognized). Next to my bed is a loaded 9mm handgun, a flashlight, a cell phone, a large folding knife and a 28" aluminum baseball bat. My philosophy is similar to what someone else said, once the gun is empty keep fighting! If the target is still moving after 8, 9, or 10 center of mass hits, then I plan on continuing the fight until the threat or myself ceases. Fortunately, I believe I have the upper hand of being armed, prepared and practiced in the situation.

The mindset you adopt for home defense is key in my opinion. I long ago decided my family and I would not be victims of a crime, particularly one as personal as home invasion. You must be prepared, able, and ready to confront a threat, particularly within your home, and you must prepare yourself to WIN that confrontation, as to lose is to lose more than a simple competition. Remember this too, if you're not safe in your home and you're not prepared to defend yourself in your HOME, where are you safe and prepared to defend yourself at?

-Rob
 
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