ACCESSORIES AND HANDGUN SET UP:
I think it is very i mportant, if you choose to use a pistol, for home defense to mount tritium sights, Red Dot optics that allow you to acquire an effective alignment in low light / no light conditions.
In my opinion, the second essential accessory of your handgun for this type of application should be the “weapon flashlight”. Essential to be able to discriminate and distinguish an intruder from a family member in low light conditions, to assess whether it is an armed or unarmed subject, essential for a ‘possible scan of the environment or if you need to go for “house cleaning” and useful in order to create a reactive delay in our opponent through the “flash” effect. choose to use a pistol, for home defense to mount tritium sights, Red Dot optics that allow you to acquire an effective alignment in low light / no light conditions.
Where and if the use of suppressors is allowed, it could help a lot in this type of application, it can prevent the ” flash-bang” effect on us, it cuts out the the direct acoustic shock and the muzzle flash, it reduces the noise of any shots which being enormous auditory stressors, they would immediately trigger an acute phase of stress (stress stroke) in our family members, generating on them in this way, unpredictable and irrational reactions and the consequent “chaotic condition” which is one of the worst case scenario we may face .
Another accessory that you can evaluate are the various pistol exoskeletons, aware of the fact that you are thus transitioning the manipulation from PISTOL to SMG with the pros and cons of this, certainly for a less experienced handgun shooters , the use of the exoskeleton with the right accessories it could be more suitable.
THE “12 GAUGE SHOTGUN”
Depending on the conditions we will have, this could be the most suitable platform for home defense both for an expert and prepared subject, but even more so, for an unprepared subject who would find enormous difficulties in the use of the handgun generating an exponential increase in the risk of possible collateral damages.
What makes this platform particularly suitable for home defense are 2 main aspects :
1) The vast typology of ammunition that we can use and the consequent possibility of creating the “perfect load sequence” based on our environmental ballistic needs and in some cases also based on the attinence with local selfdefense laws .
2) The lower application requirements in terms of technical skills and experience with the platform which are needed to the “shooter” compared to absolutely higher technical skills and experience which are required on the use of handgun in home defense application.
The ammunition available to the civilian market are extremely varied and range from less-lethal rubber, plastic, rock salt exc exc , to the birdshot usually identified by a number ( the larger the number, the smaller the pellets, this also means larger numbers have more pellets per shell ) , up to the buckshot with different number and sizes and finally arriving to different type of Slugs.
The interesting and extremely effective thing is that we can prepare a sequence of loads following an incremental use of the force, depending on the level of threat we have to face or the ballistic morphology of our environment.
Anyway one of the most common mistakes of people who use shotguns is the fact that they do not know the essential aspects of the defensive manipulation of this platform or more often they didn’t have mastered those properly .
The use of the shotgun is basically quite simple but the loading systems, the ammo management, and emergencies are not and they require a solid work of training.
The 3 main manipulation dynamics with a shotgun are:
a) the management of the magazine or tubolar magazine
b) the ejection port management ( Emergency loads )
c) the management of the type of ammo in real time
I know that to many of you in the US this will seem absurd, but in many countries where the laws of selfdefense are very restrictive or where judges offer often greater protection to the criminal than to the honest citizen, to have a firearm that allows you in a single sequence of cartridges to go from a less-lethal level to a lethal one, could be a huge advantage.
Obviously the evaluation of the conditions and the management of the type of ammunition always depend on our technical preparation, our experience, the conditions of the moment and the starting requirements.
Regarding the type of ammunition to use, with this platform we face the same problems as we face with the other platforms, which are the over penetration ( collateral penetration ) and the rebound.
Again i recommend you carefully evaluating the characteristics of the ballistic morphology of your environment, especially the ZONE 3, and to choose the proper type of ammo.
The technical characteristics that make this platform unique is precisely the fact that you can change the ballistic characteristics and the level of force applied from one load to another, from one shot to another .
The first thing I would add to the “shotty” is a good sling, preferably 2 points sling
I would then move on to a valid “weapon-flashligh” with solid attacks, because the platform has a lot of stress and the risk is that it detaches at the wrong time.
I would complete with a valid RED DOT, but it is not essential.
As shown in the photo, I would apply a velcro strip as a side loader pad to which I would then apply my “load sequences” in the base of my needs ( as in the pictures )
I find this system more functional and practical than the classic rigid polymer loader pad.
Be careful how you attach or how you glue the velcro pad to the platform because the risk is that it will come off often, always check it before the use .
Personally i prefer short barrel and in general a compact platform
BIRDSHOT vs BUCKSHOT
This is a delicate question to be analyzed, because as always we have pros and cons on both sides, what in my opinion could make the difference in our choice, is the match of the characteristic of this type of ammo compared to the ballistic environment of our home and our experience with firearms.
BIRDSHOT: wider surface of impact ( bigger saturation ), less energy on the impact, less penetration, insignificant rebound risk, insignificant risk of a ballistic collateral.
Depending on the length of the barrel and on the size of the pellets in short distance the birdshot could have also a good stopping power, keeping close to zero the risk of a collateral penetration, penetration trough barriers or rebound.
Using consistent Birdshot in terms of size of pellets, i think it could be probably the best compromise between efficiency, consistency, stopping power and penetration control, basically zeroing the major risks like the over penetration ( Collateral Penetration ), rebound or external collateral damages .
WARNING : birdshot doesn’t allow a selective and accurate shot
BUCKSHOT: bigger size of pellets, less pellets for each shell, higher energy on the impact, higher penetration, smaller surface of impact ( less saturation, obviously depending also on barrel length )
Buckshot are more powerful and they have higher stopping power at major distances than the birdshot have, they generate an higher hydrostatic shock and they transfer major energy at the impact, but in short distances we could have higher risk of over penetration, penetration through barriers and rebound.
Buckshot could be a very good solution for some environmental conditions, but in my opinion their use it requires major experience and competence on side of the shooter than the use of birdshot .
WARNING : buckshot doesn’t allow a selective and accurate shot
RIFLE / CARBINE
The rifle/CARBINE is a platform that I consider extreme in this type of application, the use of which can only make sense in very particular conditions, in which we are, for example, exposed to the risk of a confrontation in large outdoor spaces (case of FARM, RANCH or very isolated houses with large external perimeters ) or in the case of areas where there are criminal dynamics which involve aggression, robberies, home invasion by groups or heavily armed gangs.
For example, if we think to use some common rifle platforms in 556 NATO or 223Rem caliber, we should consider also that we are talking about highly hypersonic calibers which in small indoor spaces ( like bedrooms, hallways exc exc ) they could go beyond generating the simple acoustic shock, they can create real injuries to the eardrums if we do not wear ears protection.
The 300AAC/300BLK might be a good alternative solution better if combined with a good suppressor ( where the civilians are allowed to use suppressors ).
The problem of ballistic collateral, the over penetration and the rebound related with the caliber, the bullet’s speed, the high energy, the ballistic range of this kind of Firearms, makes them quite extreme in the Home defence application.
RIFLE SET UP
In case you need to use a rifle as a home defense platform, the use of the sling is essential ( personally i prefer 2 points sling ), to this I would add a serious weapon-flashlight and a Red Dot or a variable Optic System according to the needs of the application and the environmental morphology.
I would pair the optic system or the red dot with a pair of tritium sights just in case of emergency.
Where permitted by law, I would definitely employ a suppressor.
Personally I would prefer a short barrel length.
Home defense is not something that we can think of managing when we have an intruder inside our home, home defense is a lifestyle, a discipline is planning and strategy.
It will not be enough that we train with our firearm at the shooting range, we will also have to work on the defensive strategy together with each member of the family, the more we will mentally and practically prepare them for a possible critical event, the better, more effective and faster theirs reaction will be.
Remember one last thing, you can adopt for your house all kind of security devices or technologies, making it impenetrable, but remember that every day you and your family will have to go out and in from there, and you could become their key to access.
Stay Safe, love you all !!!