In NYC (well, the Bronx) Home Defense


February 8, 2003, 10:40 PM
I live in a relatively nice section of the Bronx (ie, not the South Bronx), but home defense has always been a concern of mine.
Unfortunately, I am held to the NYC laws regarding firearm possession, so shooting a home invader would get me in a lot of trouble (I think, but I wouldn't take chances). I don’t want to get a city license because of the draconian way they keep track of your arms, and if legislation to ban firearms in the city or elsewhere passes, I don’t want the city knocking on my door expecting me to turn stuff over. :cuss:
Lacking that option, I have a number of non-gun arms available to me (either already owned or easily obtainable), but which would be best for clearing out the house? (It is a old Victorian building with small rooms and lots of little bric-a-bracs on the walls that I would get disowned for breaking)

- Katana (one of those cheap, cheap cane swords, but it has a functional blade)
- USMC Kabar
- Swiss bayonet
- The thicker end of a pool cue (with a metal knob thing on the end)
- 4-D cell maglite
- Machete
- A really big recurve bow (not very practical indoors)
- Paintball gun (full auto and the works, I think it would be a really effective less than lethal weapon. But then again, knowing NYC, it is illegal)
- Roll of quarters :)

Also, from reading the posts on this board, things I don't have but could get:
- Estwing Rock Pick Hammer
- T-Ball Bat
- T-Ball Bat with a couple nails in it :evil:
- Some sort of cane
- Some sort of slap

I have no training whatsoever except for what I have read in various army field manuals, so I am looking for ease of use and the ability to take care of multiple invaders through the house in a timely fashion with no chance of backup or timely police arrival. It feels odd to say it, but invader survival is secondary to the effectiveness of the weapon. Any input would be helpful.



Just looking for a way out of the city...

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February 8, 2003, 10:54 PM
I'm a city boy too.........NYC.........Welcome...for now I'd go with the Machete.....just my opinion.....What is preventing you from getting your handgun or rifle/shotgun permit?.....a felony? if you don't mind me asking.....If not....Don't let the "draconian" laws stop you from right to bear arms

February 8, 2003, 11:06 PM
I've often thought that the Hanwei copy of a Viking bearded axe I recently bought would make an absolutely terrifying home defense weapon in the absence of pistols or shotguns...

February 8, 2003, 11:07 PM
In all fairness, it's not preventing me per-se, It's just that the SL8 I own lives at a friends house in westchester. But then again, it doesn't do me a heck of a lot of good out there.

And I've always wanted a battle axe of some kind... :D


February 8, 2003, 11:14 PM

February 8, 2003, 11:20 PM
That would definitely do the trick... where did you pick it up?


February 8, 2003, 11:31 PM
Find your nearest CAS Iberia ( retailer. :)

February 9, 2003, 01:01 AM
I really don't think an axe would be the way to go for home defense. They are large swinging weapons. Not good with ceilings and corridors. For home defense, I would think a short swinging weapon or a thrusting weapon would be better. More like an asp or hatchet.

February 9, 2003, 01:07 AM
The haft on this thing is only about as long as your arm; definitely a one-hander. Most like a limbing axe.

February 9, 2003, 01:08 AM

Only nice areas of Bronx left are Woodlawn, Riverdale, and the Country Club out near the Throggs Neck Bridge.

If it is not going to be a firearm then it must be the preferred self defense weapon of Bronxites from time immemorial...the Louisville Slugger. Suitable for keeping in car but remember to have a glove and ball there too as the police may want to know why you have a bat. Yes, they do inquire!

Also good are those small souvenir bats they sell at Yankee Stadium. Just about the size of a day stick and they pack a whallop!!

As always you must remember not to bring a bat to a gunfight! :D

February 9, 2003, 03:53 AM
First Line of Defense: a good sized can of Fox pepper spray. You can get the grizzly size if you have to.
Second Line of Defense: A really good stun gun or stun baton. In the West coast housing projects they use the stun gun when someone rattles your doorknob. This is dangerous because the intruder CANNOT let go of your doorknob while the electricity is flowing. You have to pulse it or you may kill the intruder.
Third Line of Defense: A good impact weapon -- I wouldn't buy anything too midieval looking.

February 9, 2003, 10:15 AM
Path had the best suggestion, the time honored baseball bat. You can go with the classic American hardwood, or one of the many aluminum versions used in softball. The t-ball model might be a good idea for small rooms and hallways!

Baron Holbach
February 9, 2003, 10:22 AM
If you are qualified, is it illegal to keep a shotgun in your own home in the Bronx?

February 9, 2003, 11:16 AM
If you go through the extensive licensing process, it would be legal to keep one here, but I am not clear on the rules of what you are allowed to do to a home invader and at what point. (Only when they are facing you with a weapon? with a gun? After they've already shot you?) There is a lot of criminal's rights stuff here to the point where the criminal has as many if not more rights than you.


February 9, 2003, 11:53 AM
If you're just concered with the way NY would view shooting an intruder than just don't use real rounds.

Get a shotgun and use bean-bag rounds. The Bad guy won't know what the gun is loaded with, so the intimidation factor is the same. It may well be lethal if you have to use it. If not it also makes a good impact weapon. And the newspapers wouldn't be so hard on you to boot. :D

deputy tom
February 9, 2003, 07:31 PM
If You absolutely can't have a Shotgun then buy a baseball- bat.tom.

Baba Louie
February 10, 2003, 08:32 PM
What about a load of good old fashioned "Rock Salt" in a 12 or 20 ga. round or two?

I suppose it could be lethal if they're up close on ya, but it would certainly leave a mark and it might kinda sting for a while at longer ranges if it happened to penetrate any of the epidermis.

As opposed to bean bag rounds I mean.

My dad's actually still got scars on his rear-end from being shot with some of the stuff back in the 40's (he and my uncle were just borrowing a couple of watermelons outside of Marshall MO at the time). At least thats the story my uncle tells (my dad doesn't think its too funny, but his brothers all crack up whenever they tell those stories and mom said dad has never denied it...LOL)

Anyway, it could be less-than-lethal :D


February 11, 2003, 01:02 PM
If you can have OC, then a large can of Fox brand, as suggested earlier. If you anticipate using it in small rooms, then get a respirator with full face coverage-you may have snough time to put it on. You can get models with different cannisters that screw on to the unit, and vary the cannisters depending on the chemical. Contact weapons require that you get in close, and if you can avoid that, all the better. If you want something that would look okay as a wall hanger and have some utility, look for an assengai-the short stabbing spear the Zulus use. I think some high quality replicas are available.

Joe Talmadge
February 11, 2003, 02:03 PM
I gotta say I'm still unable to get my arms around the premise. If you don't understand the rules of engagement, then go out and learn them. If the city comes to impound your gun, at least you had use of it until that time. I haven't seen even a remotely believeable reason yet to dismiss using what is by far your best equalizer. A firearm and training is the #1 choice, everything else is at best tied for last, IMO. For clearing out the house on your own, you're in grave danger with the firearm, you're in much worse danger with anything else.

Okay, off the soap box, just had to point that out. Okay, now if you're going to insist on going with a non-firearms solution, one question is, how big is your apartment? If you have room to swing a baseball bat or viking axe or 18" machete, great. Otherwise, I'd go with something smaller -- a 10"-12" fighting bowie for an edged weapon. A flashlight powerful enough to illuminate everything, and if you're lucky, also temporarily impair the badguy's vision, would be high on my list (e.g., Surefire M3, Tigerlight FBOP, Ultrastinger). I'd keep some pepper spray on me just in case.

Here's an interesting option: the 11" Tigerlight, which puts out around 350-400 lumens (i.e., it is mind-numbingly bright) also has OC in the endcap, and you can pick your choice (Fox, etc.). With this, you can have blindingly-bright light and OC together in one hand, edged weapon or blunt weapon in the other. This would be my choice were my judgement impaired enough to not go the firearms route (sorry, couldn't resist!) :)


Don Gwinn
February 11, 2003, 03:12 PM
I came in late, so I'm going to content myself with agreeing with Joe. If you don't know the rules on use of force where you live, your choice of weapon will make next-to-no-difference. If you couldn't have shot someone, for instance, many places will look askance at you whacking him in the head with a baseball bat. That's lethal force, too, you know. Bladed weapons are the same way. Pepper spray is a safer choice, but even it has pitfalls--at one time, it was illegal for private citizens to own or carry OC, Mace and stun guns in Illinois.

I also don't understand your fear of getting the permit. You don't own the guns right now. If you get the permit, and are someday forced to sell the guns by some new law, then you are back to where you are now, having lost nothing but some money and time. But you'll have had the protection and fun of the firearms from now until then.
If you get the permit and your guns are not someday banned, then you'll be MUCH better off. If you don't want to register your SL8, that's fine with me. If you have the permit for your other guns and leave the SL8 at your friend's house, you have the same access to it that you have now.

In other words, you have nothing to lose by getting the permit and a copy of your borough's laws on the use of force to defend your home. These will get you much farther than a baseball bat with nails in it and no knowledge of the law.

February 11, 2003, 05:21 PM
As soon as I could afford the $330 registration fee plus the $700-1000 for the firearm itself, I would apply for the license. Problem is, that would not be for at least 6 months, and then the license will not come through until at least 6 months after that. But, in a year I am going to be just about finished with school and going full time into the Coast Guard so I have no idea where I will end up living after that. This is just something for the meantime while it would be illegal for me to have a gun.


- BTW, thanks for all the input

Elmer Snerd
February 11, 2003, 06:10 PM
You might find some useful tidbits here:

Gary H
February 11, 2003, 06:18 PM
Large dog.

Joe Talmadge
February 11, 2003, 06:26 PM
Ah, okay. In case you're interested, Tigerlight is at Dan at Tactical Warehouse is trustworthy and usually has great sales. This light is well done, and even ignoring the fact that it contains a built-in OC system, this light compares favorably to rechargeables from Streamlight, Maglight, and Surefire. The fact that you have OC in the same hand as the light is a bonus, since it leaves your other hand free for another weapon or whatever.

Don Gwinn
February 13, 2003, 09:38 AM
$330? To register one gun for one year? :what:

Well, I begin to understand the problem . . . .

I second the large dog suggestion. A big dog, a good light, and a bat will take you far.

DT Guy
February 24, 2003, 10:17 PM
As far as learning the rules for using force against an intruder---a ball bat or Viking axe are both liable to inflict deadly wounds, meaning you are using deadly force when you strike someone with them. If you're not sure when you could justifiably shoot someone, you won't know when you could whack or cleave them, either.

Might be a little homework could clear that up.


February 24, 2003, 11:08 PM
As far as learning the rules for using force against an intruder---a ball bat or Viking axe are both liable to inflict deadly wounds, meaning you are using deadly force when you strike someone with them.The beauty of the baseball bat is the high probability that the jury morons will be baseball fans.

If you shoot the punk, they'll tell you what a shame it is that you have to get gang-raped in prison for using the animal force of a gun. But hey, the law's the law.

If you pulp the scumbag's head with a bat, they'll call you a hero for standing up to a guy with a gun or a knife while armed only with a :cuss:ing baseball bat.:barf:

Heaven forbid you end up in front of a jury, but if you do, try to figure out what players the slack-jawed-mouth-breathers in the jury worship. Then say stuff like "I saw him there with the pistol, but I figured that if I gave him a 'Mr. October' special, he'd go down like a sack a' potatoes." The imbeciles will probably give you a parade.:rolleyes: :scrutiny: :barf:

Baron Holbach
February 28, 2003, 02:21 PM
With NY's gun restrictions, I wonder if even air guns are permissible? How about some .177 pellet shooters at around 400 to 800 fps?

Gordy Wesen
February 28, 2003, 06:28 PM
I used to live in the Bronx...Woodlawn next to Yonkers. The best thing I ever did for home defence was to leave NY for the West.
However, if I was stuck in that rat hole again I'd carry 10% pepper spray outside. In the house I'd have a safe room. Many intruders first go to the kitchen for a knife so whats to say you didn't also go there for a first class meat cleaver? I really do not want to close on someone with a fish whacker. Maybe a hawk but the suddenness of a home invasion gives me pause, especially with out a gun. I think I would buy a working male Malenois and get used to the responsibility of having a dog. Why a Mal? Nobody really knows what the dog looks like a mutt. They will go from 0 to 60 on command without stimulation. A working GSD would be my second choice. I dearly love Rotts but they are prey dogs and aren't what they used to be.
Hey, go out and have an egg cream for me.:)

March 3, 2003, 11:43 AM
I have one of these that I once used as a backup to my firearms (more limited in my early post-college days). Is very effective as a stabbing/slashing/hacking weapon. Go w/ the short shaft for more manuverability in tight spaces. Check to see if legal first...

Kwan Dao (

Very wicked...:evil:

March 3, 2003, 02:57 PM
Air guns are illegal, ASPs are too, I think. Paintball guns are.

Paintball would actually be my first choice, I think. I have a full auto Tippmann, and when its loaded with proball paint (thickest shell, and the most painful paint in my experience) and I crank up the velocity, I can actually use it to kill crows and squirrels. Maybe that would be a good solution, aside from a baseball bat. It gives a good distance between me and the attacker, hurt the hell out of whoever gets hit 50+ times in the face with no mask, and it would be hard for a jury to think it was lethal force.


March 6, 2003, 12:20 AM
12 Gage Flare gun. Any boat store.

March 6, 2003, 12:33 AM
I imagine if you live in the Bronx that you probably live in a modestly sized place.

In my opinion, pepper is only good outside. Spraying pepper inside a small room will overwhelm you too.

Since a firearm is off-limits, A good strong Surefire light, large Bowie knife, and access to cell phone will probably solve most immediate problems.

Keep them all in your bedside table and make a habit to put your gear on quickly if alerted in the middle of the night.

I would suggest a nylon/kydex shoulder harness made to carry the knife under your weak arm, light, and some flex cuffs, and maybe a cell phone under your strong arm. That way if you wake up in the middle of the night in your skivvies you can throw the harness on and have all of your kit, or in a big hurry just grab it and go.
is the place to have a harness like this made.

Learn some rudimentary knife technique for the large blade, again Cold Steel has some excellent tapes on this subject.
You may want to consider a large, shiny bowie like a Cold Steel Trailmaster or something similar.

March 6, 2003, 01:06 AM
Full-auto paintball at close range would be a SERIOUS dissuading force for an attacker! Ow, ow, and ow again!

Bat would probably be my next choice. A fairly short and light bat, and learn the 9 attack angles, instead of just using baseball swings.

March 6, 2003, 01:40 PM
I would prefer a small 1 " dowel about 20" long.

Takes on a couple of aggressors much better than a bat. The bat may lead to swinging it as we were taught. In close, that may be detrimental to survival and effectively thwarting an attack where you may not have the room to manuever efficiently.

A kali or escrima stick works wonders when combined with a few hours of training. Holds off the knifers real well and if they have a gun when they intrude into your domicile none of the responses will be viable in all liklihood.

Mace/pepper spray in the house is not the best idea. As another posted, you'll be just as affected as the perp along with the responding officers who enter. From personal experience I can tell you the LE's would rather not have to deal with it indoors.

I would also be packing a knife with the stick while confronting the perp in my house. All the above would be suggestions for your particular set of circumstances.

I can carry, and do, so they will be shot in my situation most likely.


March 6, 2003, 07:10 PM
and if legislation to ban firearms in the city or elsewhere passes, I don’t want the city knocking on my door expecting me to turn stuff over. Emphasis mine How about you ask anyone who owned a registered 'assault weapon'. There is no IF.:cuss:

March 9, 2003, 10:38 PM
Ok, I took a bunch of the suggestions here and put together a little kit. In the pic, everything is spread out, but it all fits, with the exception of the tippmann, on an lbv belt. Sure its heavy, but it will get the job done.

2 D cell Maglite, to blind the intruder.
Fully automatic Tippmann with 220 round hopper, full auto kit, flatline barrel, 24oz CO2 tank, and 300 rounds of Proball paint in JT speed tubes. - at close range, this thing draws blood.
21" ASP Tactical Baton - smack smack
KABAR in Kydex sheath - I can shave with it.
Standard rusty-but-sharp machete.

I'm about ready to take on the mongolian hordes that await outside my door. :p

What will probably happen, if anything ever happens, is ill grab the machete and flashlight and leave the rest, but you never know.

Thank you all for the input.


March 11, 2003, 12:15 AM
I'd go for a good Zulu assegaai... I've seen these used in combat (and I mean real, blood-and-guts combat!), and they're absolutely deadly if you know how to use one. I've got one, and would unhesitatingly take on any knife- or baseball-bat-armed enemy if I had to (although I'd probably have emptied my Glock into him first! :D ).

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