Defend the castle!

Recently, police have been involved in what looks like murder in the course of home invasion and murder with intimidation of witnesses and press. At this rate, I expect the distinction between the ordinary Ordnungspolizei and Einsatzgruppen to become insignificant.

As the experience with Minneapolis home invaders indicates, birdshot is not sufficient against armored opponents. At least two good hits were scored by the defender with minimal effect. The perpetrators were decorated by the police department even though they wrongdoing and settled the case at the cost to the taxpayers of over $600K. At least in this case the victims were not injured.

Jose Guerena’s example suggests also that holding fire is the wrong thing to do if attacked by either freelance or government thugs. A lawful person who has no cause to expect a police raid is more likely to face regular criminals impersonating police than uniformed criminals representing themselves. In any case, return fire at least spoils the aim of the invaders. Just kneeling before the intruders while they take aim or kill your pets is not the way to go.

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26 Responses to Defend the castle!

  1. Carl says:

    This is something that I think about from time to tome – How to defend your family from a mistaken SWAT or Police raid. I would imagine the first line of defense is fortifying your front door, so it can not be easily rammed in. This would give you a few seconds to gather your family in a safe room. But what strategy would one use to defend against multiple armored personnel? A strategy that won’t get you killed??? Can anyone point me to discussions about this? I feel this may have been talked about elsewhere.


    • Oleg Volk says:

      There are no guarantees and most houses have other weak points besides the door, such as windows or even walls. Rifles give you some chance against armor and most teams will retreat if they take multiple casualties. Ideally, other agencies secure the scene and you get a day in court. Less ideally, your efforts cost them a few soldiers and put their actions in the spotlight.

      “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . .”

      Unlike the typical Soviet residents, we have modern firearms. Even the will to use them won’t lack as regular or uniformed home invaders look alike in the fog of war. The key is preparation necessary to fight with minimal warning. Even if invaders succeed in most cases, the few setbacks would matter in the long run. Rogue police agencies aren’t all that numerous relative to the general population and their personnel is just as vulnerable as other civilians when off duty.

      With luck, the decent cops would clear their own house by firing or mulching the bad apples. Without luck, we’ll be looking at a long dirty war.

  2. Random thought:

    It’s amazing what a substantial door and frame can do to frustrate people that don’t need to be coming through it. I believe there are even municipalities that have laws now making verboten to harden the entry points of a residence, doubly so if it is discovered by employees of the state during the course of their forcing an entry.

    • Cramer says:

      Somehow, I doubt a fortified door would make much difference to a swarm of swat bullets… unless it’s “bunker” door and you’re standing almost against it.

      In my house, the only actual cover would be to climb *inside* the fireplace. But it’s only one layer of brick and wouldn’t stand up to substantial gun fire. There’s one cast iron bathtube, but it’s upstairs in the center of the house — odds of getting to it without getting hit: low. Presumablly, I’d be at or near the front door, so the best cover would be to dive into the wash room behind the washer — that’s put the most metal between me and them, but if they’re firing in that direction… well, two words “gas. line.” (old style water heater has a pilot.)

      • Mark Matis says:

        Not very likely. If the Oathbreakers are not overthrown within a matter of weeks, our Chinese and our Russian friends will be glad to offer their assistance to the Oathbreakers in subduing the “terrorists”. There are enough Perfumed Princes and Princesses in the military to enable them, and the ports of New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, and MANY others would welcome them with open arms. And let me assure you that the Chinese and the Russians will have NO concerns about committing “war crimes.”

  3. Wire says:

    Fortifying my home in case of mistaken SWAT raid has been on my mind as well. While they’re allowed to use military force, it’s a pity I can’t just mine the area and place claymores and trip wires aplenty.

    As far as passive resistance goes, bollards that don’t look too out of place to prevent ramming by vehicles / armored entry. A door that doesn’t break when battering rams or breaching shotguns are applied (I’m really hoping they don’t carry C4 or det cord with them, because that’d be expensive to defend against).

    Windows with roll down steel shutters concealed on the inside, maybe behind a nice fabric valance (not bullet proof, but they do stop tear gas grenades and people who aim to use the window as an entry point).

    What would be nice, but may not be feasible, would be walls with enough space to line it with sandbags thick enough to stop anything short of a .50 cal. Maybe remove the interior drywall, sandbag it, run some conduit for wiring, then drywall over it and hopefully not loose more than a few inches from the thicker wall.

    Oh, and of course, a panic room style vault with a non-obvious exit somewhere far off from the main building.

    A man’s home is his castle, and I am thoroughly tired of the extraordinarily unlikely but still possible scenario where I am at the mercy of armed invaders wearing any banner. Legitimate warrant, fine, but until they put away their guns, not risking my life for a trumped-up paramilitary unit’s ego gone rabid.

  4. Odysseus says:

    Something like Jamb Armor might give you a few seconds to react against a home invasion. Losing the element of surprise might also cause non-governmental home invaders pause and chose another victim. I’d hope for everybody’s sake that “official” home invades would have the sense to realize that surprise is lost, then pull back, surround the residence, and read the warrant over the loudspeaker(this would have been the smarter thing to do in the first place).

  5. Camtec says:

    Der Fuehrer would approve of such police tactics

  6. Weston says:

    I have read story after story where this has happened, and after some thought here is my take.

    You cannot know before identification that the guys busting your front door in are police. All you know is that someone is taking an aggressive action against you. So if you assume they are police and they are not, you are likely dead.

    If you assume they are not police until you ID them, you’d better hope you can a) Id them before they see your gun, and b) drop your gun before they see your gun. Otherwise you’re swiss cheese.

    Given all that, it seems that if your #1 goal is to survive the encounter, which in defense it is, you must approach the situation with the information you have available at the beginning: that there is an intruder in your home willing to take violent force to gain entry. Bring a rifle, and defend your castle. If it turns out that SWAT got the wrong address, well, you’ll get a day in court. But if you wait and dither, they won’t, and you’ll be dead.

  7. Pingback: The Latest From Oleg Volk: Sometimes, The Underdog Wins | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  8. Sickofit says:

    My response was to stockpile surplus,steel-cored ammo in .30-06,8mm Mauser,and 7.62x54R.Since threat level IV armor and hard plates are rated to stop them-I got a kinetic bullet puller and am currently working on loads using the pulled steel-cored AP bullets in more powerful cartridges-8mm Mauser in 8mm Rem.Mag. and .30-06 in .300 Win.Mag.
    I also got my own own body armor.

  9. Chalupa says:

    Femoral arteries in the legs are usually not well protected by body armor. Someone can bleed out in just a couple of minutes due to well placed buckshot, it also makes it harder to aim if you are on your back….just saying…

  10. Elmer Fudd says:

    “Best defense – no be there.” (Mr. Miyagi in ‘Karate Kid part 2’)

    1. Do not live at any location that is ‘registered’ to your name via land records, phone records, utility bills, mailing lists, etc. Not easy, but not impossible, either.

    2. 50 dollar IR ‘hunter cam’ sets mounted at access points down the street if possible, wired to your house/PC. Depends on terrain. Maybe you need to move to a more defensible location? YMMV.

    3. Fencing – Brick wall, wrought iron, chain-link, etc. An outside perimeter fence (with motion detectors linked to alarms, either silent and inside the house or loud and bright and obnoxious outside. Your choice. Barbed wire on top, maybe?

    4. Inside the fencing, ground-level wire strung haphazardly to slow down unwanted pedestrians, with lots of weeds grown up covering them. Maybe a ‘moat’ of some sort? Thorn bushes, poison ivy, stinging nettles, thick hedges, rose bushes, etc.

    5. Dogs in yard. These are alarm systems, and also work as deterrants to the run of the mill thug crack head criminal type. Also tend to deter meter readers and census workers.

    6. Funnel all access to the house through one or two avenues using creative landscaping and porch/deck design. Can’t get near the windows without being on the porch/deck etc. And the deck is accessed via a lockable door of some kind with more motion detector/lights/alarms etc.

    7. Hardened windows, walls, and doors (obvious).

    8. Cameras and speakerphones/intercoms.

    Thus, by the time anyone is on your porch at your door ready to flashbang and smash their way in, you should have a)been alerted to the intrusion, b)identified the threat if any, and c)engaged in a safer course of action including calling 911 and beginning an immediate upload of security camera footage to several mirror websites for later use (if necessary).

    Probably wouldn’t cost much more than trying to create a Fortress from the walls in. Seems to make more sense to buy yourself as much time as possible by keeping DISTANCE at a maximum.

    If it’s a doorcrashing DOE party looking for unpaid student loans, you can all be neatly sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee for the CO when they finally make it inside and everyone smiles and waves and says ‘no comment’ while the attorney of record watches and listens via webcam conference.

    Neat, huh?

    Again, YMMV.


    • Wire says:

      A lot of that is not viable. Sure, don’t be there. But mistakes happen in most sorts of neighborhoods save the upscale gated community types.

      Cameras deployed around the neighborhood to serve as advance warning is a fabulous idea. Implementation and respecting the privacy of other residents a bit thorny but not impossible.

      An exterior perimeter like a brick wall surrounding the property would be a good start.

      Actively hostile landscaping not very family friendly, but arranging things to funnel any unwanted personnel is a good idea, heavy concrete planters, etc.

      Dogs just get shot by anyone halfway serious, which would include a SWAT team. Good for burglars without guns, but if I knew a SWAT team was coming, I wouldn’t send out a dog to die for no reasonable return.

      Security footage that can be set to upload streaming to an off-site server at the push of a button also a very good idea.

      • Elmer Fudd says:

        About the dogs – it is ASSUMED the dogs are going to give their life alerting their master that the Black Riders are at the gates. As I said, the dogs are an ALARM system primarily, and a deterrent to Census workers and the run of the mill crack-head who might dare to wander onto your property. I never suggested that dogs should be used for ‘combating’ an armed invader directly, nor would I think of the dog in the yard for security purposes as ‘not expendable’ when it comes to saving my family.

        Dog is man’s best friend because dog works for man.

        That is why goldfish and boas and birds are NOT man’s best friend, but are merely the kids’ or the wife’s “neat pet”/conversation piece.


        As for cameras and the neighbor’s privacy… the camera’s aren’t tuned into their back yards, but down the road, eyeballing anything coming into the hood.

        This probably would only work in a rural area, but then again anyone living in an urban area nowadays has other considerations to worry about…

        • Jimmy the Saint says:

          @19: “But what strategy would one use to defend against multiple armored personnel? A strategy that won’t get you killed???”

          A deadfall, either swinging down, or dropping – heavy spiked plate would be best. Think Vietcong.

        • Jimmy the Saint says:

          Crud..that didn’t work so well.

          If you live in a rural area – get geese. Loud, mean, and territorial. If you live in an urban setting, get cockatiels. Very sensitive to disturbances at night, scream loudly, and, if bonded closely with an owner, have been known to attack anything threatening them.

  11. Why wait for them to come to your door? Why not lie in wait at their door?

    • Wire says:

      Because assaulting people sworn to upheld the law because they *might* do something to you just makes a worse criminal than they would be. At least they set out *trying* to do what they believe to be the right thing.

      Also, if you could find the doors of criminals and lie in wait, you would be Batman, not a normal human being. For the rest of humanity, that’s not something that works.

  12. DSU01 says:

    Let them come, then silently note either names (if on uniforms) or facial characteristics. Will we suffer indignities? Sure, but repay them in kind later at a time of our choosing. They cant stay awake all the time. Get the idea?

    Feasible or too much Hollywood in that idea? I have seriously wondered about this over the last few years. It is about the only way I can see you have a chance of getting them to understand they are not our lord and master. It works during occupations in wartime, why not now?

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Ninjas don’t wear name tags, they wear face masks. At that point, everyone wearing the same uniform becomes a target and you have a war on your hands, similar to how much of the rest of the Third World does. No guarantee that you live through the initial encounter by being meek, either.

      • Oleg Volk says:

        Also, when some shadowy foes force entry, you have no idea if they want to arrest you and collect evidence or to merely kill you and rape your family. Freelance thugs also shout “Police, open up!” as a ruse, so that’s not a reliable indicator.

  13. Mike says:

    Both The Art of War and The Five Rings state that YOU should choose the battlefield, force the opponent to fight on YOUR terms.

    Dead Soldiers cost nothing, and for every job opening their are thousands of applicants.

    Equipment costs money, money is a finite resource, if equipment continually gets destroyed……how long before there is no money to replace it?

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