Defending Your Home
Security lights, upgraded locks, valuables put away and alarm system installed you’ve made your home a hard target. Although these steps deter and slow break-ins they don’t stop them. According to the FBI more than 4,300 burglaries happened per day in 2015 (FBI, 2017). This alarming statistic was actually a reduction from previous years. Unfortunately, we must be prepared to defend ourselves and our loved ones within our homes.
Having a plan that is clearly understood by all members of the family is crucial. What that plan is and how it is formed depends partially on the tools you plan to use. Handgun, Shotgun, Carbine, or pistol-caliber carbines (PCC), they each have their merits and drawbacks. This article does not cover all angles, but is meant to help initiate thoughts and consideration when making your choice.
Handgun: The smallest and most portable of the options. Handguns are the least-powerful option; a compromise we make for portability and concealability. Handguns are easy to control and store. Unlike selecting a handgun for daily carry a house gun doesn’t need to be small. Full-sized handguns offer more capacity and easier controllability. Maneuverability is also an advantage with a handgun though the shorter sight radius can reduce accuracy.
Shotgun: Shotguns offer the largest selection of ammunition choices and reliable models can be purchased for less than other options. The very nature of scatterguns that makes it easy to hit a target with devastating force also makes it possible to have projectiles miss the target and head elsewhere in the house. Length hampers maneuverability and magazine capacity is limited.
Carbine: High-power and high capacity is an attraction to carbines, but that same power can easily mean over-penetrating hits and misses that can rip through walls and harm loved-ones in another room or even neighbors. Liability is a huge risk with carbine use.
Pistol-Caliber Carbines: The resurgence of the pistol-caliber carbine has been with many good reasons. PCCs offer the control and capacity of a standard carbine, but in a handgun caliber which generally costs less to practice with than a standard carbine. With a pistol caliber, such as 9mm or .45acp, ammunition variety goes up along with controllability while recoil goes down.
Whatever your choice of tool, the paramount variable is ammunition selection. With luck, you won’t have to fire a single round in self-defense, but if you do it needs to be reliable and safe. Practice with ammunition similar in performance to your defensive ammunition and practice often.
“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel and blog on the side. Visit Graham on.