Apartment Defense

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by JayBoogs, Feb 19, 2012.

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  1. JayBoogs

    JayBoogs Member

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    I have always been a very observant person. My dad always taught me and brother to pay attention to our surrounding. He instilled general thoughts of situational awareness which I hold onto everyday.

    My wife and I are on the cusp of a good neighborhood and a decent neighborhood; my building is pretty safe & my apt itself is safe. The area has gotten much better with alot of redevelopments. My apt is on an Upper floor, HM doors with HM frames w/ two deadbolts (no kicking in). AND can't forget a bunch of retirees that makes for a calm building and a dozen look outs watching what's going on (haha). I feel as though I am generally ready if a break-in attempt were to occur, though in my area they are extremely rare. My original idea of getting a pistol was really a 50/50 split for target shooting & enjoyment and HD.

    Current Situation: There have been some wandering homeless and extra activity in the neighborhood lately. They tend to stay on the periphery of the neighborhood but I am still aware of everything. I really just don't want to get that feeling of helplessness in protecting my pregnant wife.

    I know many have mention going to a firearm as a last resort which I agree to, but what happens when you are in small apartment? An alarm or a dog does nothing for you if your front door is >25 ft from your bed. It would take some effort to get to my door in general. How should do you prepare & react? If someone tried to break in the front door, what then?

    In my apt, and this theoretical circumstance, I have to assume "he/she/they" means harm and have to defend the threat to my family as needed. I have no doubt my older neighbors would have 911 on speed dial immediately and a local police couple (female is an officer and male is Detective for the city) live upstairs. Nevertheless I'd still have to react to the problem at hand. Ideas, comments, strategies?
     
  2. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Seems pretty simple to me: Someone kicks in your door and comes at you, you perforate him.

    It sounds like your abode is about as secure as it can be (you probably don't have the right to make any structural modifications in an apt. anyway). The only thing you might add is a simple door alarm, in case the BG manages to quietly pick the locks instead of bashing his way in.
     
  3. Loic

    Loic Member

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    The dog barking (talking about mid size dog, not chiwawa...) when the wanna be intruder is by your front door will make him go somewhere else and leave your door alone. People are afraid of dogs.
    If he still comes in, just empty what ever you have on hand.

    Sent from my EVO 3D using Tapatalk
     
  4. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Even if you are in a home, if an intruder breaks in with the intent of doing you and/or your family harm, he will get to you before the first responding officer arrives whether you have a dog or not.

    In order to defend yourself, your wife, and your future child, you must do what is necessary, and that means neutralize the threat.

    Once you understand that (which you do), you can move into how best to employ your firearm in defense. It is best (if possible) to find a way to make a firing lane where an overpenetrating round will not endanger innocent tenants in other apartments. Only you can figure that part out, because none of us have seen your apartment complex.


    If someone were to break into your front door, you need to be able to access your defensive weapon quickly. After that, you need to find a way to position yourself so that your wife is out of the most obvious line of fire (the one you are expecting). In my HD plan, the objective is to position myself in an area of good cover with a good ambush position, but also in a position that if the BG takes shots at me then my mother and little brother are not in the line of fire.

    This will be much more difficult to accomplish because of the lack of time you have to react and move, but it is definitely worth a thought.
     
  5. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    See if this class is available near you by checking at http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx .

    Name : NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course

    Short Description : Teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to the safe and efficient use of a handgun for protection of self and family, and to provide information on the law-abiding individual’s right to self-defense.
    More Details: This is an eight-hour course. Students should expect to shoot approximately 100 rounds of ammunition. Students will learn basic defensive shooting skills, strategies for home safety and responding to a violent confrontation, firearms and the law, how to choose a handgun for self-defense, and continued opportunities for skill development. Students will receive the NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection In The Home handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification booklet, and course completion certificate.(Lesson Plan, revised 08/11)

    NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home course is for law-abiding adult citizens, as defined by applicable federal, state, or local law, and experienced shooters (shooters able to show mastery of the basic skills of safe gun handling, shooting a group, zeroing the firearm, and cleaning the firearm) to maximize what can be learned from this course. Proof of shooting experience can be one of the following: NRA Basic Pistol Course Certificate, NRA FIRST Steps Course Certificate, NRA pistol competitive shooting qualification card, military DD 214 with pistol qualification, or passing the Pre-Course Assessment.
    =================================

    If not, see http://www.nrablog.com/post/2009/02/27/NRA-Basics-of-Personal-Protection-In-the-Home.aspx and consider ordering the text for the class at http://www.nrastore.com/nrastore/ProductDetail.aspx?p=PB+01781&ct=e . Or you could get the DVD of the classroom portion of the class at http://materials.nrahq.org/go/product.aspx?productid=ES%2026840 .
     
  6. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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    If you are concerned with the risk to tenants in adjacent apartments, look into frangible ammunition.
     
  7. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    Do you live in NYC?
    If so your gun options--even a long gun--are very limited.
    But--it sounds as if you made a good choice in apartments--mainly picking one on the upper floors.
     
  8. JayBoogs

    JayBoogs Member

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    Yes I feel as if I do have secure place. And your right, despite my owning my apt, I cannot do anything structurally.. just aesthetics. I have thought of a door alarm and with my child on the way, this will be a must.

    Despite the small benefit of the barking dog, my bldg is against pets. A few other residence have cats but I have not seen any dogs here. I should be ok tho.

    I see your point. I have thought about the overpenetrating. I have the Hornady TAP & Critical Defense ammo. Due to the age of my bldg, I have the benefit of full plaster walls & wood studs rather than thinner sheetrock gypsum board walls. (I haven't seen any reports on drywall vs plaster but I am searching). The corridor is CMU also. I know the angles that benefit me as far as coverage.

    Thank you Lee. I will look into the classes you mentioned.

    Thanks for the heads up. This may be a better option with my current living situation but I fear they may lack the stopping power due to it's fragmenting. What about the "Glaser Safety Slug"? I will do my own research when I get a chance.

    No thankfully I am not in NYC, but outside there in Westchester County. We are allowed "long guns" without a license. I have my pistol license already. Long guns are definitely something I'd like to have in the future, but in my current residence, it wouldn't be used for defense. Impractical in my tight quarters and overpenetration would be rampant if used. AND yes, I was against all apts on 1st or 2nd FLs.
     
  9. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Most frangibles behave like FMJ in soft tissue. It's when they hit something hard that they turn to dust.

    Certain rifle and shotgun loads are actually less likely to penetrate residential barriers than handgun ammo.

    Honestly, in your situation, I'd be using a 12 gauge with #4 buck loads. Still plenty to get the job done, but the smaller #4 pellets shed velocity very quickly as they pass through barriers.
     
  10. Ringolevio

    Ringolevio Member

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    Everything is a trade-off. While an upper-floor apartment may be a better bet against B&E, it is not a better bet against fire.
     
  11. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    Unless sufficiently armed an intruder is highly unlikely to get by a good dog. Sleeping 25 feet from the front door doesn't change this either. Two dogs are better as in the dark they are extremely hard for anybody to deal with even if armed.
     
  12. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Everyone does not own attack dogs. There are not many dogs that would do more than try to bark an intruder to death. If this is the case then the intruder doesn't necessarily have to deal with them, he just has to move past them or toss them a steak.

    Remember I said (and you quoted) that the intruder was "intent on doing you/or your family harm". By this I mean there is very little short of lethal force that would stop him. The only thing a dog can do to deter someone like this would be to physically attack the intruder, barking would not do anything except give the OP advance notice of the intruder's presence (which is a reason to have a dog, even if it hides while it barks).

    And sleeping <25 ft from the door does change this, it actually changes a lot of things. It means that the intruder has less ground to cover before he reaches the OP and his wife, and the OP has less time to react to the intrusion.

    Also being in an apartment means the BG has less rooms to search before he finds you; again, even less time to react.
     
  13. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    I'm not reffering to dogs that just bark. There are numerous dogs outside of the traditional "attack dog" category which can be relied on to defend a home against an intruder without the liabilities associated with breeds like pits, chows and rots. A pair will also be much more likely to attack and to do so with more vigor. Most dogs will be not distracted by a steak when in fight mode. Dogs that display high levels of confidence and are 60 lbs and above will generally suit this purpose. Obviously dogs are not right for everybody but the right dog(s) can be extremely effective defenders. Unfortunately many apartments limit allowable dogs to a certain size although few apartments probably actually enforce this.

    Realistically though a random intruder coming into a home, ecspecially in an apartment complex, with the primary goal of harming the occupants is probably extremely rare.
     
  14. Loic

    Loic Member

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    I don't agree with you, you don't need an "attack" dog , dogs will defend their castle and will bite if somebody is coming in at night. During the day while you are awake they'll mostly bark ans leave the rest up to you. Dog will bite you while they are in the car, again, their castle.
    And again, I don't see a bulgar coming thru a door when he hear that on the other side a med/large dog is barking/growling.
     
  15. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    No, I completely agree with you. My purpose of stating the possibility of an intruder with the intent to cause harm was just as a possibility, even though it is extremely rare. My point also was, that if the attacker had that goal, he would not have a problem with having to shoot a dog if it got in the way (but the right dog can give any intruder a run for their money).

    When I said "attack dog", I in no way meant to imply one breed or another, I simply meant a dog that would defend by attacking.

    The problem with him living in an apartment is, as you said, most complexes have size limits. Many also have restrictions against "violent" breeds (but the OP wouldn't want one with a child on the way anyways)

    And Loic, not all dogs will defend their "castle" by biting, even at night. Just as when choosing the best firearm to defend your home, there is a right dog to defend your home. Some just work better than others.
     
  16. Earlsbud

    Earlsbud Member

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    I prefer Magsafe to Glazer for a frangible but both are fine.
     
  17. JayBoogs

    JayBoogs Member

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    Duly noted. I will look into a shotgun as another defense firearm. I've already been wanting one anyway.

    This was a factor in me purchasing my place. We're only on 5th FL and only 4floors down to the rear of the bldg. Trust I am proactive with regards to fire safety and prevention in and around apt & bldg.

    This is true but I don't have dogs, bldg doesn't allow pets, plus a pregnant wife and new child is no time for a new dog to train. And there's space constraints too.. I see what you and ALLAROUNDHUNTER are saying but just not an option right now.

    Very true but see my above comments ::shrugs shoulders::

    Well said.

    Ok thanks!
     
  18. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    Maybe some of this was mentioned, but there are some pretty cool devices that you can get that might give you some of the extra time that you need.

    Below you have three items, door bar and two door hasps. I would get them all, but certainly the door bar for the main door and for the master bedroom.

    http://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-265DCCSEN-Dual-Function-Security/dp/B0002YUX8I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329923640&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/National-Hardware-V800-Sliding-2-Inch/dp/B000CSI7OG/ref=sr_1_19?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1329923685&sr=1-19

    http://www.amazon.com/National-Hardware-V804-Security-Nickel/dp/B001RUEWUQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1329923719&sr=1-2

    Regarding the firearm(s), if you are worried about penetration there is plenty of frangable ammo on the market and of course bird shot for shotguns. While it is not the most effective, there is no question that it is effective, especially at the ranges that you are talking about.

    You can also get these other items:

    Stand alone motion alarm I have purchased these in the past at radio shack and have a few that are new in box that I plan to use if I lose power (hurricane, etc...).

    http://www.amazon.com/Strobe-Motion-Alarm-Remote-Warning/dp/B001KU3JR0/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1329924303&sr=8-20

    They also have window / door alarms of the same stripe

    http://www.amazon.com/Door-Window-Entry-Alarm-RL-9805/dp/B000UE80SU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329924287&sr=8-1

    Peephole viewer

    http://www.amazon.com/Cannon-Security-Products-DDV-S-01-Peephole/dp/B005LSS1D4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1329923934&sr=8-5

    security camera systems

    http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-UDW20055-Wireless-Surveillance-cameras/dp/B002KFZSKA/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&qid=1329923982&sr=8-27

    http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-UDW10003-Wireless-Surveillance-Portable/dp/B002KFZSJQ/ref=sr_1_45?ie=UTF8&qid=1329924001&sr=8-45

    It might not be amiss to get a logitech pan and tilt camera in your living room or some other camera that you can attach to your smartphone. They have some that have privacy buttons that you can turn on and the signal will quit broadcasting for awhile. Anyway, it is just an idea so that you could see what is happening in the main room / living room if someone did somehow manage to get in the apartment. The other devices would serve to buy time / wake you up / give you intel so that you could respond with your firearm, God forbid, if it came to that.
     
  19. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Folks,

    The OP has said that dogs are not in the picture right now. Therefore dogs and their strengths and weaknesses are OT for this thread.

    Let's stick to other suggestions please...
     
  20. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Step one: Commit to using lethal force (eg a gun) to defend your life and your SO if you are facing lethal criminals and/or break ins. You need to understand there are evil people out there who will do unthinkable things to other humans and animals for practically no reason at all (eg the few dollars in your wallet). In my profession, and just because I read and watch shows that discuss this, I've seen and read about absolute horrific criminal acts done by deranged and despareate people. Don't be a victim.

    Step two: Move to a free state.

    Step three: Move out of apartments and move into a house. Home prices are lower than they've been in several decades, and interest rates are the lowest in my lifetime.
     
  21. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

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    No dogs allowed eh?
    Get a door alarm that also plays the sound of a barking doberman. 2 birds with one stone.

    In all seriousness:
    I actually currently live in a tiny apartment in a pretty "bad" neighborhood. Anything less than 15 feet and I'll probably just rely on my Judo. Beyond that (or if Judo otherwise doesn't seem to be an option), I have some cheap steel plates (which I shot tested) set up down my likely avenues of fire.
    Honestly though, living in a bad neighborhood means you obviously have nothing of value, so I'm not really worried about home invasions as much as I am worried about the shootouts that have occasionally happened around here.
     
  22. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Other than in generalities, I don't know New York state law on self-defense. My suspicion is that the safety of crime victims is very much a subordinate consideration.

    Here in Ohio, the presumption is that someone who unlawfully enters an inhabited dwelling, especially in a forcible way, means to do harm. I have ZERO duty to do ANYTHING that would cause me to incur any additional danger.

    That means that I don't have any duty to run, leave my home, negotiate, beg for my life or anything of the sort. Kick in my door, break a window and climb in or anything of the sort and you're getting shot. The odds are overwhelming that I will never be charged with anything, and neither you nor your survivors can collect a penny in damages.

    Know YOUR state laws regarding self-defense.
     
  23. PowerG

    PowerG Member

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    I would focus some attention on the door, as in backing out a couple of the screws holding the door frame in place, and see how long they are. Replacing short screws with 3" (or longer) will greatly increase the security of the door. If you match up the appearance of the screw heads nobody would ever know but you.
     
  24. JayBoogs

    JayBoogs Member

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    Step one:
    Well understood. Then again I live and work in and around NYC.. well aware of the deranged. We get it all here.

    Step two:
    FAR easier said than done. My profession is in Architecture and is very closely affected by the Construction industry. Construction has slowed and in some states is practically nonexistent. I have an extremely good job and other than moving out of the USA all together, my only other thriving options would be other large urban cities (or thereabout) which would have there own firearm restrictions. Moving is not realistic at this point; not wanting to commute from PA (probably the closest "free" state) and maintain my current job.

    Step three:
    This is subjective and extremely bias toward those financially stable enough to purchase a home. Plus you are not aware of my locale nor the median average income which affects home buying not to mention our current economy. Put it like this.. If you want a pair of sneakers and have $40 and a pair of $200 jordans are half price, despite the huge discount your still $60 short. It just wouldn't matter. The issue with purchasing a home nowadays is selling your current residence. It's a buyers market, not a sellers. I'd have to sell 1st, before buying which may complicate the issue further.
    Nevertheless, I am not afraid of my neighborhood. It is not dangerous to say the least. Moving would be somewhat drastic. In time I would like an actual house just not at the current time. The point of this thread was to hear realistic options for further securing my current residence and the like.


    Yeah, your definitely in a more dangerous neighborhood than I reside in.

    Good to know. I have read up on the state differences. I will continue my research about NYS and its self defense laws.

    Very good idea. Only thing, with wood door and wood frame, this would greatly increase the strength of the door allowing a stronger hold on to the frame if kicked or bombarded. With my scenario, I have a hollow metal door and frame which is stronger to begin with. Also doors with a full mortise hinge (which I have), the strength acts doubly when the door is closed. I will check the length of the screws though, this is a simple addition.
     
  25. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    You could harden your bedroom door as well to buy yourself a bit more time or baracade yourself in better.

    There are a number of inexpensive door alarms (not a whole system) you could attach on the order of $20 to $50 that are quite loud to alert you and others that something is going on.

    If you have an outside light, leave it on.

    You can rearrange the furniture so that it isn't a direct shot from your front door to your bedroom buying you some time.

    Maybe you could leave a worn dog bowl or water dish outside so it looks like you have a dog.

    Depending on your window arrangements, maybe you can set up a video baby monitor so from inside you can see outside to your front door and keep the monitor in the bedroom.

    At the end of the day, you might need to defend yourself. Get training for both you and your wife. Any firearm that is good for self defense will penetrate considerable sheetrock including frangibles. Go look up boxotruth.com and they have lots of penetration tests to proove it.
     
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