You Are the Target in a Home Invasion Scenario. Which Defensive Weapon Do You Reach For First?

What Weapon Do You Reach For First?

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I have a handgun out of sight in each of the three rooms in my house I'm most often in and when I'm awake and dressed I have one on my person inside or outdoors. Also a loaded Mossberg 500 12 gauge in the master bedroom.
I also have a German Shepard that would make life very unpleasant for anyone breaking in. Heck the ruckus she makes if someone rings the doorbell or knocks on the door has most folks ready to leave even if they have a legitimate reason to be here.
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What if you're at the other end of the house when they kick the door in?
For most people, if somebody kicks their door in, it's far more likely that it's the police mistakenly executing a no-knock warrant, than it is a criminal gang. In such a circumstance, the worst thing you can do is reach for a gun. That will probably get you killed.

To arm yourself, or not to arm yourself, is the critical question. The particular choice of weapon pales into insignificance.

Go back and read about the Kenyon Ballew raid in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1971. He was in the shower when the ATF agents broke down his door. He grabbed a black powder revolver, thinking that these were criminal housebreakers. He was shot, and paralyzed for life.

This was local to me. I got the story from both sides -- Ballew's from the NRA, and the ATF's from some of the agents who worked in my building (the IRS). From then on, I did some serious rethinking about using a gun for "home protection."
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First let me answer the OP's direct question. The gun I'm most likely to have within Arm's Reach at home is a Glock 26, so that's what I'm reaching for.

The odds of you being selected to have your door kicked in are probably lower than your odds of winning the Powerball.

I don't wear street clothes at home. I'm not going to wear street clothes at home. I am not walking around my house with a gun on my hip. I have decided to make the concession of keeping a can of OC spray in the pocket of my gym shorts.

My apartment is small I always sit in the same spot. There's an end table right next to my couch. Unless I'm moving around my Glock is within Arm's Reach.

Having said that, by the time they're kicking in your door you've already made a bunch of mistakes.

According to my reading most actual home invasions are targeted. Are you a criminal? Do you own a business that deals with a lot of cash? Are you an illegal alien (who would be very unlikely to go to the police if they were robbed) or part of a culture that generally doesn't use Banks? If you answered no to those questions your odds of being the target of a home invasion are almost Vanishing small.

Home Defense starts at the curb. I don't have a lot of bling in my home. I live in an apartment building that has a common dumpster. Nothing goes into our dumpster with our name or address on it. ETA I have walked out to my dumpster numerous times and found people going through the trash. I'm not saying that anyone is specifically data mining but never assume that somebody isn't checking out your garbage cans.

When I was working if we got any kind of bling at all I would take the box and the packing materials it came in with me to work and throw it away there. I remember throwing away some trash at FedEx one night and I looked in the dumpster to see if there were any cats or raccoons in it and one of my coworkers had apparently bought two Ruger LCPs and thrown the boxes in the dumpster at work, I guess Stupid Jean Baptiste wasn't as stupid as I thought he was.

We live on the second floor. We used to sleep with our windows open at night because we were on the second floor. Then I read an article by Claude Werner about a homeowner who woke up one night to a burglar who had climbed up the side of his house and gone in the second floor window.

Every night at bedtime I walk through the apartment and check all three windows and make sure that there are locked and that there is a physical bar in the window track so they can't be opened.

My door stays locked, if we're not going through it, the door is locked with a physical bar to stop it from opening.

I don't open the door for people I don't know. We have a ring doorbell and I can sit in my living room and tell you I don't want to buy any Girl Scout cookies without ever getting up.ETA Again, if you actually do show up at my door with Girl Scout cookies I'm buying the six boxes of the peanut butter cookies then and there.
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Yeah, there are lots of ways to reduce the chances of home invasion, but the question and poll is about firearms we would use first, so that's what I'm answering.

I selected handgun in the poll, but shotgun is a close second. Both are within close proximity to me.

- Taurus M66 357 Magnum (old model 6-shot) loaded with Federal 357 125GR Semi JHP #357B. Two HKS #10-A speed loaders in the drawer

- Remington 18" barrel 870 with 2-shot extension, 6+1 capacity. Loaded with Federal Premium Law Enforcement reduced recoil 00 Buck with Flitecontrol Wad #LE13200. 6 extra shells in a buttstock shell holder.

I have several other guns that aren't at the ready, but they can be simply by inserting a magazine.

My M66 revolver just works with nothing to fumble with. Pull the trigger and it goes bang. I'm well practiced with it. Same with my Remington 870. These weapons are reliable, and quick and easy to bring into threatening situation.

Something I've mentioned before in other threads is that statistics are all about the past. When someone kicks in your door it's all about the present... all about that moment and whether you're prepared or caught flat footed.

We live in troubling times. Criminals have become more desperate and brazen. Whether you'll be a target or not, who can say. But better to be prepared for the unlikely than to be a casualty.

I've done all sorts of target hardening to my home, but this thread is about guns we have as first choice, should one or more determined criminals find their way in anyway.
I live out in the country back in the middle of my 30 acres pretty unlikely I'll have a problem requiring me to use a gun on someone. However if someone does bring trouble to my home first I have to call the Sheriff's Dept. and then I'll be damned lucky if they get a deputy here within 20-30 minutes. Most likely whatever was going to happen will be over with one way or the other by the time law enforcement gets here.
Calling the cops - they take a long time. True but you can have systems in your house that call them with a press and launch a respone. Right by the bed if you want. Better to start them rolling ASAP.
If I AM the target ... I want a 12 ga. pump ... inside the house #4 or 00 Buckshot will be required .
Mine is loaded with 8 rounds of 00 buck and I recently aquired another mossberg 500 12 gauge that I may stash in the bedroom at the other end of the house from the master bedroom. If someone breaks in on me at night I sleep pretty light and not only that my GSD will have a fit and most likely have em on the floor chewing on them before I make it out of the bed.
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A lot of people haven’t thought this through. Most homes, even the McMansions are small enough that the intruders will be on top of you in a second or two once the home is breached. Stashing guns around the house is a very poor plan. Unless you are standing right next to where you have stashed one you have almost zero chance of arming yourself before you are overwhelmed.

This conversation shouldn’t be about which gun is best. The best gun is the one you are unconsciously competent with. Handgun, shotgun, AR platform……the only thing that matters is if you can use it effectively under stress. I recommend against a shotgun or an AR platform unless you are very well trained on it. I’ve seen way too many people fumble with unfamiliar weapons in class and at qualification shoots. A pump shotgun seems really simple to operate……until you have to do it under stress. Short stroking is probably the most common error with a pump gun. I’ve seen it in shotgun class, I’ve seen police officers who were extremely competent with their duty pistol fumble around with the shotgun during semi annual long gun qualification. The manual of arms for an AR or AK are also very different than for the pistol you carry every day. Unless you train with these weapons the way you train with your carry pistol you can’t be confident you will be able to use them effectively under stress.

Let’s not talk about ballistics, shot patterns and other gun forum things that are pretty much meaningless in a fight inside a dwelling. The only criteria that matter here is if you can use the weapon effectively under stress and if you can access it if needed.

Defense against the extremely rare home invasion is all about keeping them out long enough to mount an effective defense.
It could be a police no-knock raid at the wrong address. If they see you with a gun, they are likely to shoot you dead.
That is a home invasion! If they shoot me dead that means I didn't shoot them fast enough. As tragic as that would be, the police breaking down my door by accident with guns drawn is not my mistake.

Because people come barging into your home yelling that they are the police doesn't mean they are. Oh yeah, it can get complicated. Split second decision with lights in your eyes, people screaming at you to show them your hands. Would I comply? It all depends if I recognize officers I know, but if I know them they wouldn't be kicking in my door because my police friends know where I live.

So, if they're really the police they're not from around here. 😄
For most people, if somebody kicks their door in, it's far more likely that it's the police mistakenly executing a no-knock warrant, than it is a criminal gang. In such a circumstance, the worst thing you can do is reach for a gun. That will probably get you killed.
For most people it is far more likely that their door being breached is the police at the wrong address rather than criminals? :rofl:
Where is the data to support that?

So, the options are:
Get shot by the police because they are at the wrong house and I'm armed. I think that is very unlikely. If it happens it was my time, odds are on par with a Sharknado.
Not arm myself* and it is home invaders. Now the home invaders get to decide my fate. That is completely unacceptable. I'd rather be shot by the police on mistake.

*Unless I'm in the shower or bed, I'm armed. So, 16 out of 24 hours "reaching" for a gun would more accurately be called "drawing". (And it is a "decent" gun, not just "better than nothing")
Do I think I "need" to carry in my home? No, but I don't think I'll "need" it elsewhere either; in over 30 years of carry I never have. I am going to do it anyway.
A lot of people haven’t thought this through. Most homes, even the McMansions are small enough that the intruders will be on top of you in a second or two once the home is breached. Stashing guns around the house is a very poor plan. Unless you are standing right next to where you have stashed one you have almost zero chance of arming yourself before you are overwhelmed.

Jeff has it right. I've mentioned this before. An instructor said to try this. Get some fake guns, airsoft, etc. Stash them around your house as you would with your SD guns. Then go to 'bed', be on the couch, in the bathroom, the kitchen - your normal places. Have friends charge in (now you don't want them to break your door down) but see if you get to the hidden or stashed guns in time. Don't just sit on the gun, do normal stuff.

As far as who gets invaded - my LEO friends say most are targeted, usually vendettas or drug related - but there are other horrors like the CT family, the Mansons, etc. The odds are low - but actually firing a gun in a DGU is rare. But rare things are what we prepare for.
Interesting perspectives here. I won't say anyone is incorrect but I think there are different approaches. I view things from a risk management analysis. So you assess you home, situation, layout, firearms you own, state laws, etc, etc. You develop a plan that makes the most sense based on the most likely scenario. No one can plan for all contingencies and situations. My thinking is your defense (while asleep) should be right next to where you are sleeping and other guns placed in other places that could very well be beneficial but not laying out or easy to find. I also think if you have a security system then you do have time to respond unless it is a very targeted attack of busting through and window and them knowing exactly where the bedroom is located. And this is highly unlikely. Security systems vary - mine are 2 Scottish terriers. Good luck approaching my house thinking they won't detect you. My most likely scenario where I live is the aftermath of a major earthquake and people looking to take the essentials I planned for this event. I have things laid out but I cannot predict exactly how everything will unfold. You plan the best you can for the most likely scenarios with your known variables and hope you can respond accordingly.
If you're sitting on your couch or asleep in bed and the door gets blown off the hinges by armed criminals only luck is going to save you at that point whether you're armed or unarmed. The criminals have all the advantages of speed, surprise and violence of action on their side.

The only chance you have is a security system that gives you early warning and doors that are strong enough to buy you enough time to get your wits about you and draw/retrieve a weapon. You don't need a lot of time but if the door yields on the first blow and there's multiple armed assailants you aren't winning that fight if they're committed.
but there are other horrors like the CT family, the Mansons, etc.
I think it's worth pointing out that in both of those instances the murderers got in through an unlocked door.

Correction: the Tate murder they cut window screen to get into the house and the LaBianca murders text Watkins and Charles Manson entered through an unlocked back door
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This happens every day in America. So we have to have a plan to counteract it.

in this scenario it is one man or women against the invaders.

Please explain your choice.

Been CCWing for many decades and I do so even around the house.

When I was an LEO,back in the day as its called [ wheel guns only ] I had to search MANY properties alone & with a crew [ depending on manpower that day ].

And all we had back then [ 1982 ] was your revolver with 12 rounds on the belt ,and a flashlight [ NOT as good as the new stuff ].

So a home invasion would find me with a modern self defense pistol [ most like likely a Glock ]

At the ready,as that is my general CCW pistol.

IF there was an inkling of a threat and I had time,the safe would be open and a suitable long arm would be in hand.

12 ga shotty as 870 ish,or carbine in 7.62X39 or M1 carbine.
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