A Home Invasion Drill

A Home Invasion Drill

A Home Invasion Drill

One of the many gun magazines I subscribe to is Combat Handguns. Each month they have a section titled “It Happened to Me” where a person tells the story of how having a firearm saved their life.

This month’s story is about a woman who was home alone at night with her children because her husband worked a late shift. She heard a noise coming from downstairs and she grabbed her Glock and went to the top of the stairs.

At the bottom of the stairs was a man with a knife who proceeded to charge up the stairs toward her. She fired six rounds at the intruder and ended up killing him. She later found out the man had a prior criminal history of burglary and rape.

Needless to say, this proves once again why it’s so important to have a firearm for self-defense. Just imagine what horrible things could have happened to this woman and her children if she hadn’t been prepared for a home invasion.

But it’s also a good reminder that we should practice a simple home invasion drill so that we know we are able to accurately fire towards the bottom of the stairs. What I mean is, for my own home defense plan I am going to go to the top of the stairs with my Glock 19 that has a Viridian C5L laser/light combination on it.

Obviously, if an intruder charges up my stairs threatening to kill me I need to be able to fire down the stairs and stop them. In my house, this is rather simple to do because I have a straight staircase. But I still dry fire down the stairs to practice doing this. (I only do this dry fire practice when nobody else is in the home.) I also practice using one of the walls at the top of the stairs as concealment and leaning out and firing down the stairs, ensuring I expose as little of my body as possible.

To make dry firing down the stairs a little more exciting, I also use the LaserLyte Plinking Cans. This is a new product from LaserLyte and it comes with three cans that are about half the size of a soda can. When you fire the laser training gun at the cans (and hit the target on the can) the cans tip over.

What I do with these cans is to set them on a chair at the bottom of my stairs. I then practice leaning out from the top of the stairs and seeing how quickly I can tip over each can.

Like I mentioned a minute ago, this makes dry fire more interesting and I get immediate feedback on whether I’ve hit the target or not.

If you haven’t practiced dry firing from the top of your stairs to the bottom or practiced the same thing while using cover I encourage you to do it this week.

Obviously, you don’t want the first time you’ve ever tried this to be when some maniac is charging you with a knife. Also, don’t forget to try this both during the day and at night while using your flashlight, whether it’s a hand held light or a weapon mounted light.

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  • Steve W

    One thing we did when I played in paintball tournaments was to set up a mirror to practice snap shooting. That’s where you come out from behind a bunker (cover) and put some paint down field. At home with no air or paint you can analyze how much a target your letting yourself become as you come out. We saved the accuracy for on field practices, but it wasn’t uncommon to work throughout the weak on your form using that mirror. Making yourself a small target can save your life in real life.

    • Don

      The snap shooting drills have helped me as well. The hours I spent offhand shooting out of the Dorito have been very valuable in my home defence drills. My defensive position places the brick fireplace betweem me and the rest of the house, but requires me to shoot left handed to keep my cover

  • echambliss1

    Well, done lady ! Keep up the good work.

  • MSG L

    Well, being that 100% of home invasions are in the Home, this is an excellent idea. I was a trainer for a large Engineer unit when I was in the Army and we deployed quite a bit. One of the classes I taught was to the Dependent wives on Home Safety. We inventoried the available weapons, did walk throughs in the home, and laid out a defensive plan for the family.
    “On the job training” is not as effective as having a plan and the tools to defend yourself.

  • SilentBob AtPulse


    I enjoyed the article, it was well written and you are giving some solid tips.

    I would like to add that one can gain even greater benefits from their training by adding more realism in order to gain more practical experience; if you can safely incorporate a type of DYI home Reality Based Training or “RBT” (a.k.a. “force on force”) into your training at home.

    Home RBT is extremely beneficial for the same reasons you mention above (getting to know your home turf better), and basically evolves first coming up with training goals and objectives (like improving your use of
    cover) and applying those fundamentals under progressively more difficult “stressors” in the scenarios.

    It is important to note that the RBT be focused realistic and winnable scenarios, that all participants treat
    each scenario with all seriousness, that the role players (the aggressor/s) are taught to
    (initially) stick to a tight script in order to achieve the training

    Proper “sanitizing” of the training area, of the trainers, and the trainees, as well as an established set of “safety rituals” are paramount in avoiding injury or death from falls, or accidental shootings should a live firearm be introduced into the training area.

    Death from RBT greatly mitigated if safety procedures are followed religiously, and should be given the same gravity as you should when you sanitize your dry practice area prior to dry practice.

    Kind regards,

    – Ron

  • KWMerican

    Our home invasion drill was put to the test (real life) only 36 hours after a rehearsal. It saved my 16 yr-old son’s life. (The police were amazed that so much happened so quickly and a young boy prevailed over a hardened violent criminal…to which I credit doing a couple drills).

    However, our drill lacked one thing (as does any other drill I’ve read about). When simulating firing on the Bad Guy, we only “FIRE” one time. We do what we practice. Sounds silly, but here’s what happened with my boy.

    Bad guy (I mean a REALLY bad guy) chased my boy down to a room where he was trapped. Boy had 25+1 rounds in a Ruger 10/22 rifle, but when the BG entered with his pistol half raised, the boy only fired ONE shot…just like we rehearsed.

    It wasn’t until a second later that the boy realized “Oh! I have more shots”, and on then attempted follow-up(s). However, the BG was already retreating and was out of sight. Luckily, that one shot was a perfect 10-ring shot through the heart and the BG was down and dead after only 7 steps.

    Moral of my story…say “BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG” during a drill, not just a single “BANG” or “click”.

  • Jumpinjarhead

    Great post. As a defensive firearms trainer I commend you for developing a plan for defense of your home. A few additional points–I recommend you describe your dry “firing” as dry “practice–this is more than just semantics as it helps instill mental and muscle memory as to which you are actually doing at any given time. Also, I recommend you use a temporary aimpoint (post-it note for instance) in your stairwell that you put up and take down every time your dry practice so as to also build in the right mindset and muscle memory as to the only times you are dry practicing (to avoid the all too often “just one more time” dry practice after you are all loaded up for the day and happen to be passing the spot where you dry practice.

    Wearing my hat as an attorney as well, I also urge you to further refine your home defensive (I emphasize that word) plan to avoid anything that would give an overzealous prosecutor (or bereaved family of the perp in a civil suit) an argument (and often that is all it takes to get you into a courtroom) that you actively sought out the intruder before shooting him or her (without knowing the layout of your house etc. you may well have already done this in choosing the stairs as your “fatal funnel.”

    It is extremely helpful in defending these cases to be able to prove you retreated as far as you could safely do so in your home (I know, I know–many states like mine here in GA have ” stand your ground” laws but this is cold comfort if you get prosecuted or sued civilly since just the ordeal even if ultimately exonerated can ruin you in just about every way imaginable).

    For this reason, I urge people to prepare (and as you also so wisely do, practice) a plan that involves having family members rally if possibler in a “safe” room (e.g., one with only one interior entry point and ideally no windows) that also offers at least concealment (and ideally also cover) for them there as well as a supported firing position that allows you to engage the attacker in the fatal funnel of the doorway in a manner that has the highest probability of firing accurate stopping (not killing–you need to be able to testify honestly that your intent, even if you actually killed the attacker, was to “just” to stop the attack).

    The only exception to this plan would be a situation where the perp somehow gets between you or a family member and the safe room. In such a situation you obviously must act decisively where you are–not ideal but your only real alternative.

    Also, when I have referred to the perp or attacker I mean someone who has given you reason(s) (that you can adequately articulate ultimately to a jury) to believe you or your loved ones are in imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death. This does not include a burglar who is stealing your plasma TV while you and your family are in the (relative to the situation) safety of your safe room or other area where the burglar has shown no intention of going. I hear many people say in any scenario where an intruder is in their house they would actually fire on them regardless of the circumstances. Again, from a practical legal perspective this is folly, even as I said above if you are in a “stand your ground” jurisdiction.