161 – Home Defense | Create The Advantage

Today we discuss concepts of home defense and home defense advantages. Broadly in this context, we’re referring to the “hearth and home” domicile perspective, i.e. where you live and sleeps and where your family lives and sleeps — it is not limited to such a place, however. A home (domicile) will usually be the location where the things you care about most are located. Although a home is not necessarily also a house, it is typically the most important structure or part of a structure, you might have to defend, and defense may be passive (i.e. keeping it secure while you’re away) or . Barring a work location and in some cases a vehicle, it is also likely the structure or location you’ll be spending the most time in. Prior consideration, planning ahead, and realistic-pragmatic preparation are always going to be the best home security systems you can invest in: though there’s no harm in “defense in depth” or layering!

Below is a breakdown of some of the topics covered in episode 161, Home Defense: Create the Advantage. The savvy listener will note that much of this is conceptual in nature – this means you can use such considerations in both your work environment and many travel environments (e.g. an Air B&B, recreational vehicle, hotel room, or even the relative’s house where you’re staying for the weekend.). 

  • 1:00 Home defense definition
  • 1:45 Factors to consider about home defense
  • 2:10 the layers of security
  • 3:40 areas of denial
  • 5:00 Varg’s experience
  • 9:11 coming up with a plan
  • 12:00 home advantage myth
  • 13:30 how to choose area of denial
  • 15:15 good cover options
  • 17:30 concealment vs cover
  • 19:00 gun choices for home defense
  • 20:00 handgun vs rifle
  • 22:00 shotguns
  • 27:00 avoiding accidents
  • 28:00 Have medical kits ready
  • 29:00 10 second execution

Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw

Co-Host: Varg Freeborn

Producer and Transcriptionist: Leah Ramsden

1:45 DS Asks, What are some of the factors that people need to think about when considering a home defense plan or a full home defense system? VF responds,

“I think that the classic layers of security model is pretty good and you don’t have to have all the technical jargon of the 3 ring security… you just have to understand that you need layers and that layers of security give you buffers.”

“Anything that buys you time is excellent for your external and outer layers of security. That’s going to give you that buffer to set up your plan which is where you begin to consider; what weapon, where you’re going to set up at, where you’re going to create your area of denial and make your stand at… all those types of things happen because you buy yourself the time with those external, outer layers of security.”

Home invasion in progress.
A home security camera caught footage of a suspect breaking into a home. Use of security cameras may add additional layers of protection.

8:05 DS Says, I have a ten-year-old son and my considerations would be different if it were just me and my wife or if it were just me alone– so what are some things people should be thinking about out there? VF responds,

“From all the training I’ve done and my personal experience, I think it’s best not to go looking for a fight, or to get sucked into a fight on someone else’s terms. That urge to go pick up your gun and go hunting is probably the worst idea. Especially when everything you love is behind you and you’re going venturing out into the house just aimlessly wandering around until you bump into a fight. That’s not a very good plan.”  

The better plan

“Pick the area you want to have the most advantage to have the fight at and then choose to have the fight there. Layouts are going to determine if it is possible for you to do this or not.The best possible option is to have an area of denial; this could be your bedroom and your kid’s bedroom…”

“If there’s missed rounds in that fight then there’s going to be missed shots from his end, and when there is, you don’t want to be standing right in front of your family.You need to set these areas up in a way that determines where the areas of fire are, where the missed rounds would go and also with enough space to keep them away from you and your loved ones and have that fight happen away from you.” –VF  

Myth Alert

“One of the myths we don’t want to slip into is that you’re at an automatic advantage because this is your house and you know the terrain. That’s a ridiculous line of thought. The reason I say this is because it’s not like your house is incredibly different than anyone else’s house. We all have our houses set up in a very similar way… It’s not that hard to navigate intuitively.” –VF  

Deciding on your area of denial

“First of all, you have to have everything you care about behind you… and you have to have your position set up in a way that puts you at an advantage in terms of visual before they have a visual. Try to use cover so that you can have muzzle and eyes on the other end of the hallway, or the opening where they’re likely to emerge from and you have time to positively identify them before they get a full picture of where you are.”

“…Then you have this space they can come through, but in order to come through it, they would have to come through your superior position of firepower. That would be incredibly overwhelming and difficult for them. In most cases you could discourage that fight from happening.”-VF  

19:00 DS You can’t have a discussion on the internet about home defense without talking about gun choice… what do you recommend to people? VF replies,

“You know, that a little bit of a personal matter, but as a recommendation, I start with the AR. It’s a very easy weapon to handle, and ballistically it works very well inside of structures, especially if you choose the right type of ammunition. It can lose a lot of its mass going through walls, it doesn’t have as much over-penetration, choosing the proper ammunition of course.” -VF

“A pistol can be very effective, but again it comes down to experience and how much you have trained with that. A pistol can be pointing at any direction at any time and if a situation gets chaotic, you have to know which direction that pistol is pointing.“-VF

“…it is much easier to be more accurate with a rifle, than it is with a handgun. But it’s also heavier, harder to grab that gun and employ it and carry my child at the same time… There a lot of things to think about there. But if you have a distinct lack of training with a handgun, the handgun may not be the best choice.” – DS   


22:00 DS says; “[I] Love me some shotguns, but unless you’re shooting non-lethal ammunition, or breaching doors, for me personally, the shotgun doesn’t have a place in my life anymore… If you’re using a shotgun, you need to go pattern [it] because you need to understand what that shotgun is doing at the distances you’ll be using it.”  

Identify your target

27:00 DS says, “There’s been so many cases throughout history where armed citizens have killed loved ones in their homes because they didn’t realize it was it was a loved one. I can’t think of a bigger nightmare, than me hurting a family member because I chose not to positively identify what I was going to put a bullet in. This is a grave responsibility, when you take a firearm in your hand, in the darkness at nighttime, with your family around, because you think you have an intruder in your house. You’ve got to know where very single family member is and where every single bullet is going.”

A weapon light should always be used in defensive situations if at all possible.
Whether you have a handheld EDC flashlight type “torch” or a weapon light (WML), ensuring you identify your target is always and absolutely essential.

Other Considerations  

28:00 DS recommends to Have your medical kits staged; 

“We have three locations all over the house with trauma kits. Having medical kits staged [for any minor injuries] and having phones [readily available] to call 911 is essential.”

29:00 VF says; “After analyzing a decent amount of home invasion tapes, it seems like from the first kick to the point of fully breached inside of the house, is ABOUT ten seconds… So having that [plan] together, understanding where your family needs to be [and] having them understand… It’s been rehearsed… everything is ready to go, the family is ready to go, everything is in place and then boom, you’re in position and now the fight can come to you and you’re absolutely ready.” –VF  

Gunmag Training's Chief Instructor Daniel Shaw is a retired US Marine Infantry Unit Leader with multiple combat tours and instructor titles.  Since retirement from the Marine Corps, Daniel teaches Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers weapons, tactics and use of force. Daniel takes his life of training and combat experience and develops as well as presents curriculum to help Law Enforcement, US Military and Responsible Armed Citizens prepare for a deadly force encounter.  When he isn't directing marketing for Gunmag Warehouse, Daniel travels the US teaching and training under Gunmag Training, and discusses all things hoplological and self-defense related on The MagLife Podcast.

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