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What Did I Learn This Year?

What Did I Learn This Year?

So, what new insights did I gain and what ideas have I cast aside in 2018?

  • Shotguns are darn good for self-defense in the home
    Like, really, really good, especially when loaded up with Federal Flite Control Buckshot. You can put all nine pellets of 00 Flite Control buckshot into the head of a target that’s 15 yards away. This means that at most distances inside your home, you’re going to ruin a bad guy’s day in one shot, without worrying too much about stray rounds headed downrange. Downside to a shotgun? It’s loud, which is where a suppressed AR or pistol comes in handy.
  • .22LR may not be the best self-defense round out there, but it works
    Penetration into the cranial-ocular cavity or thoracic cavity is penetration into the cranial-ocular cavity or thoracic cavity. The left ventricle doesn’t care if it’s torn apart by a 40 grain .22 round or a 220 grain .45 round: It’s going to stop working either way.
  • Pepper / OC Spray is darn handy to have
    I used to poo-poo OC spray as something that women carry when they can’t carry a gun, but I’ve turned around 180° on that line of thinking.  Pepper spray gives you more options between harsh words and a gun, and that’s a darn good idea indeed. Because they solve a lot more problems than a gun does, and the legal consequences of using pepper spray are a lot less severe than the legal consequences of using a gun, they might actually turn out to be more necessary than a gun is if you’re planning on living an armed and safe lifestyle.
  • Weapon-mounted lights are useful… in the right situation
    Let me put this as plainly as I can: If your dedicated home defense gun doesn’t have light on it, you’re doing it wrong. If there is one time when you absolutely positively HAVE to know that your gun is pointed at a bad guy and not at an innocent bystander, it’s in your home. “Oh, but adding and using a light on your gun will give your position away!” I hear you say.
    News flash: If there are no lights on in your home and there is a bad guy inside your home, he is probably headed towards the master bedroom because he knows the things he wants the most (cash, drugs, jewelry, guns) are located there. Let him know he made a grievous error in the victim selection process by shining all the lumens you have into his eyes.

So those are mine. What are yours?

This Post Has 14 Comments
  1. Always in need of professional insight and wisdom. I’m 66 and not as skilled as I would prefer.
    Had multiple surgeries and replacements…. but will defend my family and the innocent.
    Thank you for your insight. God Bless

  2. If putting a light on a bad guy causes said bad guy to quit the premises I real good with that. Same with racking the 870. If that sound makes the bad guy quit then I’m good. Because after the light and the rack it gets real intense real fast.

  3. Lots of lumens, strobed, can cause momentary disorentation of the person strobed; behind the strobe (where the good guy ought to be) is okay. This gives you a little more time to assess the situation, ensure the bad guy isn’t really part of the family, and place your red (or green, if you prefer) on the target. With luck, it also convinces the bad guy to break and run. Strobes are wonderful, especially with lots and lots of lumens.

    1. If you have to use any firearm in your home, chances are that drywall work will be necessary.

  4. I liked what you said about lights as a defense tool. Look around and you’ll find that some have a well-thought-out set of modes. Mine, and the unfortunately discontinued Thorfire TK15S, has a great set. You can probably find the equivalent.

    The moonlight mode is perfect for getting about the house or the woods without destroying your night vision and with an 18650 battery, will work for 150 hours, enough to outlast almost any disaster. Other modes run into hundreds of lumens, enough to light up your entire backyard. Long-press the mode button, and becomes a bike light, displaying medium to light the road ahead and briefly flashing high to alert cars.

    But the best feature is the strobe mode. In any other mode, two quick presses will cause it to flash on high at that blinding and disorienting rate you mention. You can turn away, avoiding the blinding. The bad guy will get it directly in his eyes, leaving him with almost no vision, much less night vision. Whether you run or fight, you now have the advantage.

    If burglars are a worry, you might have an electrician wire a light switch in your master bedroom that turns on spotlights facing both directions at every corner of your house. That’ll make them to move on quickly.

  5. In addition to OC, in terms of home defense: an A:B:C Dry-Chem fire extinguisher is worthwhile to have in each bedroom, obviously for fire emergencies. But if one resides in a jurisdiction of unfriendliness to the Second Amendment (lookin’ at you, NYC), a face-full of Dry-Chem will pretty much stop any intruder almost instantly. There are those rare Individuals on whom OC has no effect.

  6. I’m part of the Instalanche.

    Excellent list. I’ll only add one more: Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCCs.)

    A 9mm out of a 16″ barrel will hit like a .357 out of a 6 incher. Plus, you can shoot a pistol caliber out of a long gun indoors and have some hope for your hearing. (A suppressor would be far superior, but…) A 9mm PCC will kick little more than a 22LR. They’re compact and easy to move with. Most importantly, people flat-out shoot better with a long gun over a handgun. Add a thirty-three round Glock Happy Stick magazine, and you’ve got a powerful package with little need to reload. I’m confident if I have a carbine in my hands, I WILL win the Battle of the Bedroom.

    My personal prescription is the Ruger PCC 9. I’ve dolled it up with a Primary Arms Holosun 503G ACSS (seriously good kit, check it out), a single-point sling, extended mag release, and a Streamlight light and laser.

    I believe it is a good working solution to house/ yard/ neighborhood self-defense needs.

  7. If you carry and shoot right handed, cross draw holsters.

    A local nut banging cars with a sledge hammer prompted me to check accessibility of my holstered weapon while driving. I found that with a winter coat on and a seat belt there was just no way to draw in a timely fashion.

    Holstering the weapon on my left side worked fine.

  8. This year I began clipping a super bright flashlight, similar to the one pictured, to the bill of a ballcap, as part of my middle of the night items to grab. The Thorfire light uses a rechargeable 14500 \ 750mAh battery for maximum lumens, and is compatible with standard AA.

  9. 00 buckshot has serious over penetration through multiple interior walls. Drywall will cause an nice increase in spread so you can cover a lot of the area of a room at the far end of the house where your kids are hiding. #4 buckshot is going to be better for inside a house.
    A light on a gun is good if the batteries haven’t leaked. Lithium cells are good, never alkali cells in a seldom used light. A small handheld flashlight for everyday carry is more useful and you can use it anywhere without pointing a gun at someone. A larger one by the bedside is also great.

  10. Welcome, everyone coming here from Active Self Protection. John is a good friend and great voice for armed self-protection.

    Stick around. Maybe we’ll both learn something…

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