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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    162

    Default How can I best defend my particular home?

    To explain, my housing situation is somewhere between 'townhouse' and 'apartment. I have a condo on the second story of a building with eight units and two foyers for each of the four-unit blocks. There are four garages downstairs, and a central front door to the entry hall that you can buzz people into like an apartment. Up the flight of steps, there's my front door facing my neighbor's front door. Living room and kitchen face a courtyard with some identical buildings in the near distance, master bedroom on the other side face the street.

    The front door enters into the living room, there is a short hallway between the living room and master bedroom with bathroom, second bedroom, and laundry room along its sides. Effectively, the bedroom doorway faces a narrow stretch going all the way to the patio doors going to the courtyard. This is the firing line. Range: A mere fifty feet from the front wall of my bedroom, to the rear wall facing the courtyard. I am not positive the yardage, the buildings past the courtyard are close enough to read license plates. Beyond some trees, there is literally a soccer field and playground. As you can see, I am a bit worried about my target backdrop.

    Facing the bedroom door: To my right, is a mirrored unit sharing the wall behind my closets. Behind my guest room to the left, is another living unit. Underneath me, is an identical condo with a ninety four year old living in it. Effectively, I want to be firing lengthwise-only, towards the courtyard. I may as well be living in a square range, it's that tight. Any rounds going through the doorway, if they go straight ahead, face two glass patio doors. There's not even drywall to slow anything now.

    Initial security: Quiet neighborhood, mostly elderly retirees and Eastern European relatives who are staying with them and learning the language. Entry hall exterior door is solid, cheaper old locks you can bypass with effort. My personal front door: Solid, metal lining, looking to reinforce the jam and a better lock. Wi-fi based security system I put some work into with lights coming on, siren, etc. All the boring steps to have a safer home? Covered, this is now the tail end of planning. If the front door gets forced open when armed, siren, all lights go on.

    Cover/concealment: Bedroom door is the cheap hollow door with the button-press privacy lock. That may change, nothing remarkable. However, the wall behind it has a stocked bookcase...Squeezing behind its narrow end puts a 7x3 solid mass behind my torso and the doorway. Realistic? Feasible? I work in public relations, hence asking experts. The bed is a steel platform you can crawl under, but as much as I love my eight inches of memory foam and my Amazon duvet, it's pure concealment. One of my windows opens to a slightly walkable roof ledge, that you can hang-drop onto the ground pretty easily if the gutters stay attached. That's my fire escape plan.

    Tool options: Right now, I have a tuned-up Glock 17 and a Surefire on the nightstand. NPE style trigger holster, static corded. May get an extended magazine for its nightstand use, Speer Gold Dot. I do own a passable full-size AR, but have no knowledge on how to adapt it for indoor use especially with home barely 15 yards long and an exterior glass wall. Have never held or fired a shotgun in my life, honesty sucks.

    If you were living where I am, and had to think of an absolute worst-case plan to keep in mind before you go back to living your life normally...What options could I be thinking of and using?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    In a positive state of mind
    Posts
    3,780
    My only suggestions would be use frangible ammo or move to a single family (detached) home. There are reasons why I won't ever live in a condo and what you describe is one of them.

  3. #3
    12 or 20 gauge Tac14 or Shockwave w/ 00, #1 or #4 buckshot.

    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    9,973
    It's always hard to visualize a structure through a description so let me see if I can give you some pointers.

    Your structure is your castle, and with any castle you have to start with defense. You will be familiar with the layout more than anyone else in the world so use that to your advantage. When someone breaks into your structure the biggest advantage you can give yourself is time. Create obstacles that will slow anyone down that comes into your home, try to avoid straight lanes of travel from your front door to your bedroom. Make sure they have to go around furniture or through doors to get to you as this will buy you precious seconds to get armed and get your wits about you before the fight happens.

    I'll put up some more later as I have time.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols

    #thinkinginviolence
    #tactisexual

    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Exiled in Texas
    Posts
    7,096
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Nichols View Post
    Create obstacles that will slow anyone down that comes into your home, try to avoid straight lanes of travel from your front door to your bedroom.
    this will buy you precious seconds
    I second this.

    I think you are worrying way too much about your neighbors. In NYC, the most congested, densely-populated city in the U.S., the police manage to hit their target 9% of the time. That means that 91% of their shots go flying off into the local environment. But how many stories do you hear of NYC police shooting random passersby? Virtually none. Yes, you should be aware of your backstop. But the fear that your stray bullet is going to kill some girl scout who is preparing meals for the homeless in the condo next door is very overplayed. The Ayoobian fear-mongers love to amplify those worries, but that is because they sell fear. The statistical likelihood of you shooting a neighbor while defending yourself from a home invader is so statistically low that it really doesn't warrant significant consideration.

    The cover-versus-concealment issues for yourself are more valid. Posting up behind a bookshelf makes sense. Door jambs are made of at least a pair of doubled-up 2x4s, and sometimes more, so you get a little bit of cover there. If you really wanted to go full commando, you could have someone cut a 24x78" sheet of AR500 steel for you (3/8" will stop pretty much anything shy of .50 BMG) and prop it up against the wall in the position where you want to post up and shoot from. It would weigh a ton and cost a few hundred bucks. And good luck explaining it to any visiting lady friends. But if you really want cover, that'll do it. Most people, though, would just settle for the strategically-positioned bookshelf.

    You've already got the first line of equipment: the pistol. That's the gun that will be with you. It can be carried around the house. It can be stuffed under a pillow or placed on a nightstand. It's the gun that you will grab first in virtually every possible situation. Consider the possibility of staging loaded magazines around the house. The guys who rotate between different platforms can't do this. But if you shoot the same type of gun all the time (Glock 9mm, etc.) then you can strategically place spare magazines in various locations: the kitchen, the bathroom, next to the sofa, anywhere that makes sense.

    After that, you look at a long gun. Whether it's a rifle or shotgun, it's the second line. You grab it if you've got time, but you won't always have time. Don't overthink the penetration issues. If you like the AR, then go with the AR; don't shift to a shotgun out of a concern for the neighbors.

    My disclaimer and/or admission of bias: I'm a fairly selfish guy with no kids. In the event of a nighttime invasion, my wife has her own pistol and shotgun. Once I grab whatever I've got, I can rest easy knowing that she is behind me and anyone in front of me is a target. If I had kids in the next room, I would give more thought to the penetration issues. But your original post implies that you likewise don't have to worry about any immediately adjacent family. Neighbors go way down on the priority list.
    Virtute et Armis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Exiled in Texas
    Posts
    7,096
    Other things to consider:

    Solidify your front door and lock. At the least, replace the standard strikeplate screws with longer (2.5-3") screws. It would be better to upgrade the strikeplate to a high-security model--thicker metal, longer jamb coverage, and more points through which to drive screws.

    Have a peephole and cover. It's possible for someone to use a magnifier to look through a peephole and see what's inside. I don't worry too much about that, but I do worry about someone seeing that pinpoint of light go dark and knowing that I am behind the door. If you place a small cover over the peephole, and only remove it when you have your eye up to it, then you don't give away your position.

    Skip the peephole and go with a Ring doorbell or similar. You can see people without having to go to the door.

    Cut the lights. If you have a way to cut power to the whole dwelling from your bedroom (or wherever you would fight from) then you can add a small layer of difficulty for any intruder. You know where your furniture is located; they probably don't. They may have flashlights, but they may not. And navigating with flashlights is still harder than navigating with an overhead light.

    Add lights. Set up a super bright flood light on your upper deck, with a motion detector that doesn't alert to people on the ground below. If anyone scales your deck, they'll get a dose of daylight. Hopefully you can filter out birds.
    Virtute et Armis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wild Wonderful WV!!
    Posts
    1,285
    When I was in an apartment I chose a 12 gauge pump loaded with something other than buck. Itís been a longtime ago, but it was likely a turkey load or something along those lines. Something that should work in a small apartment, but not as likely to get through to my neighbors.

    ĎChanging locks and strengthening the door is always early on when Iím in a new house! (Windows right after doors!) I generally get at least one lock per door changed before sleeping in the house. Hurricane screens might be my next option when I do my next window setup.

    If you own this property your opinions are better. The area doesnít sound very bad, but a camera aimed down the stairs/viewing you front door might be handy. Iíve use a spot/convex mirrors to eliminate blind spots, but a camera is likely better with todayís technology.

    Setting a decorative security grill between the front door and the bedroom is likely overkill in your case, but a solid bedroom door with good locks might not be!

    Decorative wall hangings could easily be designed to stop common rounds and you can decorate so you have cover where needed! For me prepping the house also includes paying attention to how the light and shadows play as you move through the house or what shadows and movement can be seen by someone outside the house!

    SD
    Si vis pacem, para bellum!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    9,973
    The tactics and preparation are far more important than the hardware. Think first.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols

    #thinkinginviolence
    #tactisexual

    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    117
    How secure is your wifi? Most systems can be hacked giving the hacker access to your domain.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Rural suburb of southern California
    Posts
    1,589
    I'd rob you in the garage and leave you in the trunk of your car.
    Dave Sauer
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    "The path which leads to truth is littered with the bodies of the ignorant." --Musashi

    Onward & Upward!

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