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Old 12-12-2016, 11:11 AM
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Default "Giving Away Your Position"

There have been several threads where the topic of "Giving Away Your Position" by racking a shot gun slide has been mentioned. Not wanting to drift those threads, I thought I would start a new one on that subject.


Faced with unexplained noises in the house, one would have to determine if these sounds were caused by an intruder. The question is, at what point would you be more or less forced to "give away your position?"


One would assume that morally and ethically, (not to mention legally) a home owner can't just start blazing away when he thinks he determines the source of the sounds. This is especially true if there are multiple residents of the domicile.


I am assuming that no one here would want to shoot his neighbor who happened to come home drunk, lost his keys, and mistakes your house for his and comes in through a window. Or even shoot some 14 year old who made a really bad decision about how to pick up some easy money and would surrender immediately if confronted.


But then, if you employ a flashlight, doesn't that "give away your position?" If you give verbal commands / warnings, turn on lights, even the act of dialing 911, same question.


I look forward to thoughtful answers on this one.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:20 AM
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Identify your target. A motion activated night light placed out of the way would do it. A street light shining through a window is enough to identify a target.. In Minnesota, you have to fall back, even leave the property, if you can do so safely.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:29 AM
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My battle plan facing a potential threat in the home that has not yet proven itself threatening is to get the best gun(s) available and take cover with a maximum field of fire, and call the police. If the act of calling triggers the threat, then I have my answer.
I'm not going to pursue or clear the house.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:46 AM
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Default Home Defense Tactics

Home Defense. Miscellaneous thoughts.

The above thread, which I initiated earlier this year, talks at length about home defense tactics.

Regarding your very valid concern, my feeling is that 99.9% of intruders would prefer not to have a confrontation with a home occupant. Once they become aware that you're awake, they must make an instant judgment call: is he just up and about or is he aware of my presence?

Is the intruder merely trying to steal valuables or is it your wife's or lover's X-boyfriend or husband determined to exact revenge and who also may be suicidal? My feeling is, even in your home, if you can scare off an intruder without actually discharging a firearm, you have accomplished your purpose.

My personal preference is to use a firearm that doesn't require a sound signature to deploy. If you do not thoroughly understand home defense tactics, it's easier to disarm someone of a long gun than a handgun when poor tactics are employed.

As for lighting, I would want the light to momentarily incapacitate the intruder. My feeling is that there should always be sufficient ambient light in other parts of the home that will allow you to discern a family member from an intruder without resorting to a flashlight, especially one that's gun mounted. Plans for an armed defense of your home require that all aspects of your tactics be scrutinized to stack all the cards in your favor and to minimize mistaking a family member for an intruder, especially if there are adult children still living with you and who come and go at all hours.

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Old 12-12-2016, 12:00 PM
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For starters, if you pull the ol' rack-the-shotgun move from an upstairs bedroom with an attacker on the ground floor, he now has the option to fire up through the floor at you, while you still don't have a good picture of where he is.

In a ranch-style, he can also choose to move outside and flank your position, firing through an exterior window.

And at the very least, he now has a very good idea of what room he can expect trouble from.

If he's clever, he also now knows what style of weapon you're armed with. If he's smart, he understands its limitations. He can consider how best to proceed before engaging, while you will be forced to respond on-the-spot. You always want to maintain as much initiative as possible.

Using a flashlight certainly reveals your position, but it also offers a huge advantage if employed correctly. If you wait to turn on the light until your attacker comes into view, a sudden bright light will temporarily blind him. You may be slightly dazed as well, but nowhere near as badly, and you'll be ready for it. Even if he has a firearm of his own, he'll be taking shots in the dark.

Placement of the light is key. You want to ensure that there's no way he can get behind the beam, as it creates a well of darkness. For instance, if I shined a light straight through an open doorway, and then stood against the wall in a "slicing the pie"-type position facing the direction of my attacker, the doorway and wall outside the door would be brightly-lit. However, the hall that I was looking down outside the door would seem extra-dark to me, as my eyes would be adjusted to the beam. It's very likely that the attacker would see me before I saw him.

You might also choose to deploy the light remotely. For instance, if you're fairly certain that the attacker knows what room you're in, and knows that you're aware of his presence, you can place the flashlight several feet away, aimed at the corner he'll be approaching from. With a bright-enough light, you'll still be very hard to see, and his natural inclination will be to presume that you're behind the light source, and act (or aim) accordingly.

Verbal warnings should only be issued at the point of contact. By that time, the fight has more or less begun in a home-defense scenario. Note, however, that if you have the element of surprise, a loud, strongly-worded command and sudden bright light can discourage further attack and create compliance. It naturally triggers a fear response. Police, corrections officers, and even the military use this tactic all the time. Ever wonder why they shout and move fast all the time? Turns out criminals, recalcitrant prisoners, and terrorists aren't immune to surprise and fright.

Contact should be delayed as long as possible. Hopefully, you've already dialed 9-1-1. Delaying contact gives them time to arrive. Even if there's going to be a gunfight, do you want to have that fight with reinforcements 10 minutes away, or 2 minutes away?

That said, cover the areas that need to be covered. If you've got to control a hallway to prevent attackers from accessing your kid's bedoom, don't cede that ground in the name of delaying a fight.

Personally--and this area doesn't get enough attention in SD writings, I'd be interested in reading more--I don't plan on having a long conversation if I call 9-1-1. I'd hit the basics:

--Address
--Problem (how many attackers?)
--Directions to the house
--Key identifying features of your house ("I'm on the right side of Poplar Drive if you're coming from Main street. It's the one with the white mailbox and the huge oak tree, there's a red pickup in the driveway.")
--"I'm armed"
--Describe what you're wearing ("I'm wearing a white tank-top and leopard-print thong")
--What room of the house you're in ("I'm in the upstairs bedroom, to the right down the hall")

And then--"Sorry, I can't talk anymore, I'm going to put the phone down on the floor. Please don't try to call for me, I'm trying to stay hidden." Leaving the line open creates an auditory record, useful for reconstructing your hopefully sound decisions.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dougb1946 View Post
In Minnesota, you have to fall back, even leave the property, if you can do so safely.
I know it is the law in your state, but the idea of having a duty to retreat in your own home, is so foreign to me and really kind of unbelievable.

Here in OKlahoma, it isn't that way, and its not that uncommon for residents to defend their homestead with lethal force and walk away from the situtation with very little legal aftermath.

That is not to say that these kinds of shootings are not scrutinized, by both law enforcement and prosecutors, they are. As they well should be.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:52 PM
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If we're stalking intruders through the home there's already been a massive physical security fail. If you put the effort there it's quite unlikely you'll have to worry about giving away your position.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:01 PM
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A dog solves all these concerns.

Let's you know when something is wrong.

Lets the BG know you know.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:16 PM
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I have developed a plan to deal with the suggested threat and others. Part of my plan is to keep my tactics to myself and my wife...
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:26 PM
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If one lives alone, or in the same bedroom with his wife if he is married, and if his children's bedrooms are in the same part of the house and can be defended in common from one strong position, he has the ideal situation for self defense. The same applies if someone is able to build a safe room where everyone can retreat to. Staying in your bed room/safe room during the night, or defending a good room from a static position is the best, tactically and legally. Not only is it the best of all defense situations, choosing cover, cleared field of fire, "death funnel", not giving away your position, it also gives the ability make noise and shout verbal commands without direct risk.

From your static position away from the action, you can make noise and perhaps give away your general area of the house, but not give away your exact position in case the intruder wants to go all the way. You can make sure he knows someone is in the house, that people are alerted, and depending on the situation, might here your verbal commands and threats to leave. This will allow you to verbally warn and chase off an intruder from a safe position without danger or direct confrontation. If you give off your general location, so be it; if the intruder ignores your commands, accepts the risk of attacking defenders in the house, and comes AFTER you, it speaks well of your legal position. He may know you and yours might be in your bedroom, saferoom, or strategic location or hallway, but he won't know exactly where. When he kicks down the door or rushes to attack you, you still have the advantage.

Huge second on the ambient lighting. Not only is it good for general safety when people are roaming the house in the dark, a well lit house may appear occupied, and offers you the best lighting situation for self defense. You can see things in your house if you have to investigate without a flashlight in most scenarios, and without having to give away your exact location. Better visuals of the situation makes it safer for everyone when you can see things and people more carefully, easier to tell who it is from general lighting than the poor visual offered by a flashlight in the dark.

Flashlights are useful and sometimes the best choice, but its also good to remember that their ability to disorientate only works when you shine it in people's faces head on, and indeed, from the flank, does not do any good to you, and may only give away your exact position to an intruder who wants to commit violence. Indeed, some burglaries do turn into shoot outs when intruders don't just get spooked and run, and being flanked in your house while trying to clear it single handedly is a bad position, even worse if your flashlight illuminates you and gives the panicked attacker the first shot.

In any case, the safest legal and tactical choice is to attempt to take up a defensive position, warn, and if the attacker comes to you, blaze away. Giving away your general position with verbal commands and gun racking might be alright, but giving away your exact position at the moment of an in house battle is foolish.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:30 PM
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I have developed a plan to deal with the suggested threat and others. Part of my plan is to keep my tactics to myself and my wife...
DITTO!

BG's use of technology is at an all time high.
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:13 PM
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Me too. But my plan does not involve leaving my family and chasing BG's through the house. It does involve calling 911.
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:41 PM
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I follow the "never telegraph your moves", "keep to cover" and "never have an empty chamber" school of thought.

But, that's just me.
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:50 PM
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I've answered my share of 'alarm" calls....


Cleared houses and business I have never been in, before that call.


I think I'm good to go to clear my own house.


Hell boys, somebody's got to lead the way!!!




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Old 12-12-2016, 06:54 PM
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Every house is different. That's the first issue. You live in a big home with second or third stories, thousands of square feet, etc., you have a lot to consider. You live in a small home, 1000 square feet or less, you have different considerations. Same with apartments/condominiums/townhomes/trailers. Each has a different set of considerations.

In a small home, one level, one field of fire, your options are fairly limited. If you have a larger home with an upstairs balcony you can play "Scarface" and "let me introduce you to my little friend". But at no time can you blaze away without being sure of your target.

Most states these days do not have duty to retreat laws, they have stand your ground laws and castle doctrine laws. That still doesn't allow for instant gunfire. If you are disturbed whilst sleeping, or even when you are watching TV, you need to have a plan of action that covers those contingencies.

Giving away your position is not wise in most cases. Racking a shotgun basically gives you away and does not ordinarily dissuade a dedicated home invader - it just gives him motivation to attack. Clint Smith teaches that you use your handgun to fight your way to your long gun and I subscribe to that as well. I totally disapprove of rifles for home defense, anyway, but that's a YMMV thing. My home defense shotguns can be reached but my home defense handguns are my first line of defense because they can be reached more easily.

I will only give away my position at the moment I order a home invader to the floor but if the perp has a weapon I might commence firing without a warning but I HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT THE WEAPON. You just cannot go around killing miscreants irresponsibly.

The shotguns are in closets. Retrieving them makes noise. I will only open a closet if nobody is yet inside the house but I hear them coming, or my dogs do. The handguns are at hand. So that's how I define the equation and I live in a small house, not one of those big ones that require more planning.
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:55 PM
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My reply is not a what I might do. I can give first person info on this. My home was broken into in 1975 by 2 men and a woman. We , my wife, daughter and I were home. This was about 3 A.M. on a Friday night. They came in through a locked back porch door, through the kitchen, down a hall to my daughter's bedroom door. Her door was always locked with a door chain to the hall. Her bedroom attached ours. I heard a BUMP sat up and looked into her room and she was sitting straight up in her bed. The half shepard half collie that slept by her bed was hunched down and growling at the door caught on the chain lock. This sequence took all of 5 seconds. I rolled out of the bed, told my wife to call the police {pre 911 days}, and grabbed a Stevens 311 loaded with 00. When I went through my daughter's bedroom she passed me going to her Mother. I opened the door to the sound of breaking glass where 2 of the 3 had torn a full glass storm door down making there escape. I caught the 3rd and oldest man. The police came and by noon they had the other 2. The chain lock door that we had taken so many laughs from friends about, saved the day by giving us the few seconds we needed to get going. My daughter was 6 and able to quickly do exactly what we had planned for..IN ADVANCE. If you do not have a plan, you are doomed. You cannot cover ever possible problem, but the basics will get you through. I have trained with Ken Hackathorn 3 times, he is the real deal. His tactics are not based on theory, he has seen the elephant, and killed him! His thought on racking a shotgun were simple, you are telling a career criminal..Shoot Me Now! I don't have to wonder what I will do if my house is broken into. It has been and I am still here. I could have easily shot the home invader, and gotten off. Partly because times were different then. But I was justified. There was no reason to shoot him, he got rid of his weapon QUICKLY and gave up. Please remember the Triad of Safety...be aware..have a plan..have a weapon. The one thing in this group you can do without is the weapon! We do many things here just so people can experience them, that way when it happens it isn't a complete surprise. Shoot from doors, from windows, from moving cars, behind furniture, under cars, under beds. Above all do not get caught cold without a plan. Remember, PANICK is a reasonable reaction to a problem with no forethought solution. Carry every step..shoot every day.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:45 PM
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I live alone in an apartment with a steel door (door frame is also steel, as is the internal structure of the building) and narrow vertical windows. A security light outside my door gives ambient light even with room-darkening drapes.

I have a small dog who makes a hell of a noise if someone even knocks on the door.

There is almost always a gun and flashlight in reach. I make exceptions for the shower and the terlit.

I live in a castle doctrine state.

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Old 12-13-2016, 09:48 AM
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I took a force on force scenario training class a few years ago. The instructor of the course was also a Sgt. with a local PD. The last scenario he presented was to "specifically" demonstrate the importance of having a flashlight handy at bedside, and what we *couldn't * do without one.

With the shades drawn on the shooting house and all lights turned off, he placed dark sunglasses on us (under our protective headgear because we were using simunition) and told us to go lay down in the bed. He then caused a "bump in the night sound" in the living room and told us to follow the training we had been given to deal with the situation - minus any light. Long story short, when I finished my turn he said I'd done very well....except - "You forgot to issue your commands".

I didn't forget...I just don't believe in using them! There are no children living in my house and thus there is no one to "collect and get to safety" in the event of a break in. The only other person with authority to be in my house is my wife, and she's right beside me. Nite lights are strategically placed throughout the house and I am aware of the potential blind-spots.

My warnings are non-verbal. They come in the form of a locked and hardened door, a closed and locked window, a well-lit exterior, and other *not to be disclosed* means of securing me and mine. So I've done my part. Should a drunk neighbor or misguided youth make a decision that causes them to disregard those non-verbal warnings and come into my house, well, too bad for THEM.

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Originally Posted by Lee's Landing Billy View Post
My reply is not a what I might do. I can give first person info on this. My home was broken into in 1975 by 2 men and a woman. We , my wife, daughter and I were home. This was about 3 A.M. on a Friday night. They came in through a locked back porch door, through the kitchen, down a hall to my daughter's bedroom door. Her door was always locked with a door chain to the hall. Her bedroom attached ours. I heard a BUMP sat up and looked into her room and she was sitting straight up in her bed. The half shepard half collie that slept by her bed was hunched down and growling at the door caught on the chain lock. This sequence took all of 5 seconds. I rolled out of the bed, told my wife to call the police {pre 911 days}, and grabbed a Stevens 311 loaded with 00. When I went through my daughter's bedroom she passed me going to her Mother. I opened the door to the sound of breaking glass where 2 of the 3 had torn a full glass storm door down making there escape. I caught the 3rd and oldest man. The police came and by noon they had the other 2. The chain lock door that we had taken so many laughs from friends about, saved the day by giving us the few seconds we needed to get going. My daughter was 6 and able to quickly do exactly what we had planned for..IN ADVANCE. If you do not have a plan, you are doomed. You cannot cover ever possible problem, but the basics will get you through. I have trained with Ken Hackathorn 3 times, he is the real deal. His tactics are not based on theory, he has seen the elephant, and killed him! His thought on racking a shotgun were simple, you are telling a career criminal..Shoot Me Now! I don't have to wonder what I will do if my house is broken into. It has been and I am still here. I could have easily shot the home invader, and gotten off. Partly because times were different then. But I was justified. There was no reason to shoot him, he got rid of his weapon QUICKLY and gave up. Please remember the Triad of Safety...be aware..have a plan..have a weapon. The one thing in this group you can do without is the weapon! We do many things here just so people can experience them, that way when it happens it isn't a complete surprise. Shoot from doors, from windows, from moving cars, behind furniture, under cars, under beds. Above all do not get caught cold without a plan. Remember, PANICK is a reasonable reaction to a problem with no forethought solution. Carry every step..shoot every day.
Thanks for sharing your story. I hope the owners of the next home that trio breaks into are as well prepared.
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:08 AM
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In Minnesota, you have to fall back, even leave the property, if you can do so safely.
That is not entirely accurate. You have no duty to retreat in your own residence in Minnesota. Obviously, you can't execute an intruder like that guy in Little Falls did either.


State v. Carothers (1999): No duty to retreat in home;
State v. Bard (2002): No duty to retreat in home is retroactive.
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Old 12-13-2016, 10:23 AM
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That is not entirely accurate. You have no duty to retreat in your own residence in Minnesota.
I'm glad to hear that.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:45 AM
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Home defense shotgun should be cocked and locked.

Shotguns have notoriously low magazine capacity. Giving up say 20% of that capacity so you can make some noise doesn't work for me. The click of the safety coming off could scare them just as much.

Racking the slide is a gross motor skill. In deep stress, there is a good chance you will do it wrong.
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:08 PM
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I am assuming that no one here would want to shoot his neighbor who happened to come home drunk, lost his keys, and mistakes your house for his and comes in through a window. Or even shoot some 14 year old who made a really bad decision about how to pick up some easy money and would surrender immediately if confronted.
What makes you assume a drunk neighbor, or a 14 year old boy, is not a treat to your life?

The drunk neighbor, might be thinking you're having an affair with his wife, and intends to kill you. As for 14 year olds. A young age does not make them harmless, or innocent. They kill people almost every day in our country.

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Old 12-13-2016, 03:09 PM
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I am assuming that no one here would want to shoot his neighbor who happened to come home drunk, lost his keys, and mistakes your house for his and comes in through a window. Or even shoot some 14 year old who made a really bad decision about how to pick up some easy money and would surrender immediately if confronted.
What makes you assume a drunk neighbor, or a 14 year old boy, is not a treat to your life?

The drunk neighbor, might be thinking you're having an affair with his wife, and intends to kill you. As for 14 year olds. A young age does not make them harmless, or innocent. Young people kill others in our country quite often.

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Old 12-13-2016, 03:37 PM
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There should be no possibility for an intruder to be scared off by the sound of you racking your weapon since it should already be chambered long before an intruder is ever close enough to hear it.

With the use of quality doors, windows, locks, motion alarms and lights, you can pretty much make your home nearly impossible to enter without you being alerted. I think it ethical and legally prudent to avoid shooting someone if there is anyway around it. You must positively identify the possible threat, so using lighting to some degree is necessary if it's dark and give verbal warnings when appropriate, which is almost always since 911 can hear and is recording the incident. The specific tactics that would be most effective largely depend on the specific scenario, layout of your home as well as time of day the break-in occurs. There is no one size fits all plan.
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:14 PM
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My 12ga is already fully loaded and on safety. No need to rack anything. I would also have a revolver on body too. We have castle doctrine here, so people need to think long and hard before breaking into homes.

I am a firm supporter of a 'watch dog'. I have a 90lb German Shepherd. Nothing gets within 20yds of my house without her knowledge. I don't think anyone would be stupid enough to break in when she is giving her 'ferocious' bark. If they did, she would react, and any aggression towards her gives me cause.

Hopefully, most of us will never have to worry about this.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:23 PM
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:01 PM
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What makes you assume a drunk neighbor, or a 14 year old boy, is not a treat to your life?

The drunk neighbor, might be thinking you're having an affair with his wife, and intends to kill you. As for 14 year olds. A young age does not make them harmless, or innocent. Young people kill others in our country quite often.

Assume nothing, trust no one!
My point was that no one here would want to shoot someone who wasn't a threat. How to determine "shoot / don't shoot" is an important topic which deserves a thread all its own.


I was hoping this thread would have a narrow focus on when or even if you would ever "give your position away."


I guess people will talk about what they want to talk about. Some responses go into great detail on every aspect of home defense. One gentleman even responded that he will not discuss the topic! I guess I can count myself lucky that the thread hasn't devolved into a debate over the effectiveness of bird shot!


For the record, I don't advocate racking a shotgun slide. It comes a little too close to the mindset of "I'll just scare 'em with my gun" which I think might be the worst mindset you could possibly have.


But my question for this thread is, don't you at some point have to give away your position? If so, why is racking the slide any worse than shouting a warning, or anything else?


There used to be an old guy at a gun store I frequented who had a rather extreme position on this. He stated that the first thing any intruder in his house would see would be the bright light of the muzzle flash! That's what he said, not what I would ever advise. Speaking for myself, I would want to exhaust every other option before I pulled the trigger.


Case in point:
On the news not long ago was a story about a kid getting killed. It seems a teenaged girl who lived at home with her parents snuck her boyfriend into her room for a nocturnal visitation. At some point in the wee hours of the morning, boyfriend decided he'd better sneak back home before his parents missed him, so he slipped out into the hallway and started for the door. Apparently the man of the house heard footsteps in the hall and grabbed a gun. Not recognizing the "intruder" the father tragically shot and killed the unarmed teenager. I don't know all the circumstances, but I am willing to bet the man wishes he would have held fire until he was certain that the "intruder" was indeed a threat.


Hopefully, you all get my point. I wanted the thread to focus on having to, one way or another, give away your position BEFORE you shoot if you absolutely had to. But I'm not a killjoy. If people here just want to argue about birdshot, or anything else, go ahead.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:09 PM
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There's no substitute for good physical security, solid doors with dead bolt, striker fastened to framing, unbreakable windows, locked and motion activated lighting. If they make it in after that, the advantage is mine, I know the layout in the dark, the intruder has no idea where I am and will be waiting with a fully loaded Louisville Slugger.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:35 PM
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:04 PM
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But my question for this thread is, don't you at some point have to give away your position? If so, why is racking the slide any worse than shouting a warning, or anything else?
In the situation you described, where an intruder has already silently entered and is out of sight, our HD guns are all chambered so flipping a safety is all the noise from that end of things. Then a whispered call to 911 is the end of it, and hope the law shows up to clear the house before there's a confrontation.

There's nothing out there but unoccupied bedrooms and bathrooms, so I'm not doing battle unless the threat approaches and is imminent. A warning goes to anyone who appears and is clearly not holding a weapon (nightlights throughout the house).

BTW, that's my husbands plan, and I agree with it.

If the noise is from an intruder that has not yet entered, then the scenario is the same except a warning gets shouted to try and stop the intrusion.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:32 PM
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People who have frequented this board for a long time, or home defense in general, have almost certainly come across Ayoob's "Don't Answer The Door", and there are valuable lessons to take away from that. I'll use that to reinforce my previous post and idea, you should be heard but not seen. Direct confrontation can cause an otherwise non violent intruder to resort to fight or flight mode, and maybe fight instead of flight, all at close quarters. The aggressive or violent intruder may be given an edge by you directly showing yourself. Also, coming up on a non intruder, half asleep at night, close quarters and with real adrenaline and a loaded gun, is a dangerous situation at the very least.

Again, it all comes down to your very own situation and place. But, cover is cover, deflade and not being noticed can be of advantage. And in some circumstances, waiting is the best alternative. If you wait in the shadows and see the person is wearing a ski mask and carrying a weapon of any sort, perhaps shooting from the shadow can be justified and correct. There is the possibility that if the intruder is brandishing a firearm, ambush is the most ethical choice, if someone is to get the first shot, let it be you. Direct confrontation can make it violent and spiral out of control, showing your position may only take away your edge.

When Cortez conquered Tenochtitlan, he left one out of the five causeways open so that the Aztecs could retreat. Chasing an intruder away with verbal threats, mere presence, the idea the police are called, ect., may be anti climactic, but could be very effective. Let the man panic, but give him no one to fight, and he probably resort to flight, and if you don't cut off his entrance, he might just leave without a fight. And, as I've said, if he instead turns aggressive and comes deeper into the home, or at you, he wasn't going to be reasoned with anyhow.

Showing yourself and confrontation might get the guy to surrender, might help him make his choice to flee, but it could also cause a fight if you box him, and could give you the disadvantage if he was going to fight from the get go. Give away your general position, never give up your direct position.
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Old 12-14-2016, 02:48 PM
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But my question for this thread is, don't you at some point have to give away your position? If so, why is racking the slide any worse than shouting a warning, or anything else?
Every time this topic comes up I say the same thing; every time you rack the slide on a shotgun (or any gun [except a Glock because Glocks never fail] ) you risk a mechanical failure.

That alone should be enough reason not to do it
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:03 PM
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If you have your home built, as I did, you can have an extra switch installed in the master bedroom that controls all the lights in the "common areas" such as the living/dining/kitchen/hall/pantry/laundry room/garage/outside. We have the typical "light/ceiling fan" double switch next to the master bedroom door. Next to it with a separate plate is the "master light switch." If the alarm and/or the dog (60 pound Lab mix) alert me, I arm myself, wake my wife (if she isn't already), direct her to call 9-1-1 on her cell phone and stay on the line. (She arms herself, too!) Then I flip the "magic switch" and every light in the house (almost) comes on! I'm in the process of installing an intercom that allows me to alert the other bedrooms (if we have guests) and warn intruders that they are about to meet Ben (the Lab mix) and me and/or their maker if they aren't gone when the doors open.

Yeah, it cost me a bit extra to have the lights connected to the extra switch with an override (if the light is already on it stays on), but we think it was worth it. There may be wireless switches that allow you to do the same thing.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:22 PM
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How about having home motion sensors and your doorbell set up to play a loud recording of a shotgun being "racked". That should send everyone from bill collectors to burglars packing!
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:10 AM
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There's no need for me to jack a round into the chamber of my home defense shotgun when something goes bump in the night, there's one already there.
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Old 12-15-2016, 08:58 AM
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I give my position away by turning on my light which is a position I am ready to fire if the intruder is a danger.

Racking a shotgun tells the intruder where I am before I ever know who it is, where they are, and whether or not they are an intruder.

Racking a shotgun as a "scare tactic" is pretty foolish IMO
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:34 AM
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Regarding your very valid concern, my feeling is that 99.9% of intruders would prefer not to have a confrontation with a home occupant.
If so, then they should stay out of my house.

Having no children or other occupants (besides my wife) at my house, ANYONE that has worked their way through the doors/windows etc... is regarded as a threat and will be treated as such.

There is no *free peek* inside so they can potentially return at a later date - this time WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE INTERIOR LAYOUT, or a confirmation that the owner "won't shoot if they try to run out".
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:06 AM
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Home defense shotgun should be cocked and locked.

Shotguns have notoriously low magazine capacity. Giving up say 20% of that capacity so you can make some noise doesn't work for me. The click of the safety coming off could scare them just as much.

Racking the slide is a gross motor skill. In deep stress, there is a good chance you will do it wrong.

My shotgun has an 8-round capacity, which I don't consider "low," especially when it comes to the amount of firepower it generates at close range using #4 shot. Furthermore, in a SHTF situation involving stress, repeated studies have shown that gross motor skills are much easier to perform than fine motor skills involving finger manipulation and coordination (opreating safeties, making magazine exchanges, pulling a trigger, etc.)

Bottom Line: Use whatever home defense system works best for you. That means drilling to build confidence and muscle memory with your chosen means of defense. If you use a tactical flashlight, whether in hand or firearm mounted, the best use is for a split second illumination to blind and disorient a subject, while you quickly identify the threat assessment. Never maintain a static position with an illuminated flashlight, unless you want to draw fire. The tactical use of a flashlight is meant to be a quick illumination, followed by an immediate movement to a physically different location without using illumination.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:24 AM
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I haven't upset any drug cartel lately nor have I been sleeping with the neighbor's wife... so the notion that an intruder being alerted that I'm home via me cursing as I stub my toe jumping out of bed will then have an edge in his determined mission to seek a confrontation or gun battle because he now "knows my position" seems unlikely. To the contrary, my guess is that an intruder in my home once alerted someone is home will more likely result in fleeing.

But hey, no one can predict the future. You could remain silent taking a covered position in the bedroom. When the unarmed unaware teen who is the son of your church buddy living down the street opens the bedroom door to find a jewelry box and you panic with a 12ga shot that drops the teen dead on the floor... you win.... well maybe not so much.

Thing is.... you can play a thousand different scenarios and have a different outcome each time. No one knows.

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Old 12-15-2016, 11:25 AM
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:38 AM
Lee's Landing Billy Lee's Landing Billy is offline
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Have a plan...you may have to change it on the fly, but have a plan. My invasion happened before working folks had home alarms. There were no cell phones, hell, there wasn't even a 911 system in place in our town in the 70s. We had a plan, my daughter followed it perfectly, my wife followed it perfectly, my dog and I did what we did. I have wondered how different it would have been without the simple chain lock on her door. Man, we took a lot of grief from our friends about locking ourselves in the bedrooms. Afterwards a lot of them did the same. So for us, no alarms, no cell phones, no 911 system. We prepared as best we could and had a plan. My how times have changed! So have our plans. We practice them often.
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:51 PM
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Why not just flash the intruder with a red laser?? I guarantee you everyone knows what that little red light means. Plus it doesn't have to be attached to a gun. Hand held laser pointer gets the point across.

I know this has worked with suspicious vehicles at my house, slowly driving by or stopped. A quick flash across the windshield and they hit the road. FYI I live on a back country road, no reason for idiots to be stopped in front of the house. Especially out of state vans.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:29 PM
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If so, then they should stay out of my house.

Having no children or other occupants (besides my wife) at my house, ANYONE that has worked their way through the doors/windows etc... is regarded as a threat and will be treated as such.

There is no *free peek* inside so they can potentially return at a later date - this time WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE INTERIOR LAYOUT, or a confirmation that the owner "won't shoot if they try to run out".
My doors are always locked securely, even when home (small house). If someone breaks in not caring whether someone is home or not, they are a legitimate threat to my life. There are no young'uns living here, and no one enters without knocking. It does not matter what an intruder's intent is, or weather they are armed or not. There is no questionnaire they complete, before breaking in, and I am not going to ask them. Can not tell whether they are armed or not, by shining a lite on em. Surprise is the biggest advantage I have, and will not give up that particular advantage.

If I was living with young'uns or with others coming home at all hours, it would be an entirely different situation.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:40 AM
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People who have frequented this board for a long time, or home defense in general, have almost certainly come across Ayoob's "Don't Answer The Door", and there are valuable lessons to take away from that. I'll use that to reinforce my previous post and idea, you should be heard but not seen.
I have seen Ayoobs video "Don't answer the door", and his advice therein was spot on. What I'd like to hear is your reasoning behind the comment that I should be "heard but not seen"? Specifically, why is it necessary for me to be heard?
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:51 PM
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My warnings are non-verbal. They come in the form of a locked and hardened door, a closed and locked window, a well-lit exterior, and other *not to be disclosed* means of securing me and mine. So I've done my part. Should a drunk neighbor or misguided youth make a decision that causes them to disregard those non-verbal warnings and come into my house, well, too bad for THEM.
Are you saying you would indiscriminately fire upon any intruder in your home?
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:03 PM
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There is a saying in the hood, so I was told, "CLICK CLACK JUMP BACK". That sound might have a BG going back out the door but since most BG aren't to bright or on drugs it might not.
Personally first notice of something about to go wrong, like a door being messed with, is the time to be ready with a shotgun or any gun for that matter.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:10 PM
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Are you saying you would indiscriminately fire upon any intruder in your home?
An intruder in my home will be fired upon.

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Why not just flash the intruder with a red laser?? I guarantee you everyone knows what that little red light means. Plus it doesn't have to be attached to a gun. Hand held laser pointer gets the point across.

I know this has worked with suspicious vehicles at my house, slowly driving by or stopped. A quick flash across the windshield and they hit the road. FYI I live on a back country road, no reason for idiots to be stopped in front of the house. Especially out of state vans.
A suspicious car passing slowly by is not the same thing as someone intruding INTO your home. Therefore, the response should not be the same.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:19 PM
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There are many possible scenarios where someone could technically be an intruder in your home, but not be a threat. It could be a Police Officer, firefighter or paramedic who has the wrong address or was given wrong information. I've seen such things happen first hand. Maybe it's a autistic child who snuck out of their home or wandered off and is confused and breaks into your home for a harmless reason not truly understanding what they are doing. I remember reading about case were a little boy with autism snuck out of his house and broke into a McDonald's. He didn't understand that he had done something wrong.

If someone believes that identifying threats and making shoot or no-shoot decisions somehow puts them at risk, then they need professional instruction to understand tactics. Most of it is actually common sense, but sometimes people need to be taught. If their brain cannot process the relevant information quickly enough to make proper split-second decisions and they choose to default to simply shoot any intruder, perhaps they should consider not owning a firearm.

To fire indiscriminately upon an intruder without visual identification and positively determining they are indeed an actual threat is horribly irresponsible. I cringe to think such people own firearms.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:35 PM
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Police officers, medics and firefighters do not break into law abiding homes through locked doors, without announcing themselves. You can not know an unknown individuals intent. Fortunately our laws have been put in place to recognize this. Firearms are not intended to be "warning" devises. Would politely suggest those that think they are, should consider investing in some non lethal alternative.

You can not tell if someone is armed by looking at them, and if they are close enough to see in a house, they are close enough to attack, while you are attempting to discriminate their intent.

Nothing indiscriminate about it, it is directed at people willing to break into your home without caring whether you are home or not. This action in and of itself indicates they are a danger.

Last edited by zeke; 12-17-2016 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
There are many possible scenarios where someone could technically be an intruder in your home, but not be a threat. It could be a Police Officer, firefighter or paramedic who has the wrong address or was given wrong information. I've seen such things happen first hand. Maybe it's a autistic child who snuck out of their home or wandered off and is confused and breaks into your home for a harmless reason not truly understanding what they are doing. I remember reading about case were a little boy with autism snuck out of his house and broke into a McDonald's. He didn't understand that he had done something wrong.

If someone believes that identifying threats and making shoot or no-shoot decisions somehow puts them at risk, then they need professional instruction to understand tactics. Most of it is actually common sense, but sometimes people need to be taught. If their brain cannot process the relevant information quickly enough to make proper split-second decisions and they choose to default to simply shoot any intruder, perhaps they should consider not owning a firearm.

To fire indiscriminately upon an intruder without visual identification and positively determining they are indeed an actual threat is horribly irresponsible. I cringe to think such people own firearms.
Police, firefighters or paramedics don't break into homes in the middle of the night where I live, and quite frankly I've never heard of it happening anyplace else either. They usually use some means of at least *trying* to notify the resident that they are there, and the purpose of their need for entry before making such an intrusion.

I have seen enough examples of people who had the "poor misguided teen" from down the street break in only to be scared away by the homeowners appearance with a firearm, and then return several days later because he knew where he could steal a gun for future use, and the drunk neighbor who broke into the wrong house - thinking it was his (my neighbors would have to be VERY LOST to make such a mistake). I am well aware of what could be a "reasonably realistic" scenario for someone being inside my home uninvited...and you have presented none of them. You define "threat" as you see fit for your household and I will do the same for mine. What you cringe at is of no concern to me.
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