I’ll lay out how my home defense (HD) carbine is setup, the condition it is kept in and how I expect to employ it. Hopefully it will answer your other questions too. My current HD blaster is a 10.3” 416 upper on an SR15 lower. The upper has an Aimpoint T1, SF 200 lumen Scout light, DBAL I2 and a direct thread Gemtech Trek T suppressor. The lower has an A5 receiver extension, B5 Systems Sopmod Bravo stock, KAC two stage trigger and Lancer magwell with a Magpul MS3 padded sling. It is staged with my Team Wendy carbon bump helmet, PVS14s and a Surefire IR helmet light. As a fan of all the lumens, I choose the 200 lumen Scout because (1) it was what I had in the parts box, (2) it was compatible with the dual tape switch I have that integrates with the MFAL and (3) I expect to fight under no light conditions for as long as I can and the 200 lumens will work for my needs in that context. When I have the extra money it will be replaced with a brighter light.
Ammunition is the Barnes 70grn TSX loading from Asym Precision, magazines are G3 PMAGs loaded with 30 rounds each. In addition to my bump helmet, I have a Unity Clutch belt with a comp’d and RMR’d G19, two pistol mags with 124+p HST, a spare carbine magazine, Surefire Fury hand held and a small trauma kit. Under the clock at random times in the middle of the night, I can jock up in just under 30 seconds, less if I skip the NODs. I have a house alarm system and two small dogs who are very aggressive barkers when they sense someone unauthorized in their yard. I stage everything on a small stool sitting next to my side of the bed, setup so I can don the belt, sling up the carbine and mount the helmet, in that order.
The carbine is kept in what is commonly referred to as “patrol ready”; bolt forward on an empty chamber, on safe, dust cover closed with a 30 round magazine inserted under the closed bolt. The sling is banded to the stock so I only need to give it a solid tug and it’s free to use. The equipment on my carbine or used in conjunction was selected to fill specific roles. The optic stays on until it’s scheduled battery change, the MFAL has a visible green laser, the light and laser controls are integrated on the tape switch for ease of use, the suppressor is self explanatory, the A5 system smoother out the recoil impulse to aid in shot to shot recovery and the magwell is big and hard to miss.
With that out of the way, what do I consider to be essential skills and procedures to employing my HD carbine ? Stance, sight picture and alignment, trigger control, recoil control, emotional control on my part, light use and discipline, and target discrimination. Really everything that goes into running a carbine optimally inside of a CQB engagement. Recoil control I’ll address in a future post as it deserves more space than I’d devote to it here. The fundamentals don’t really change, although their application and importance may. Depending on the target profile, distance and surroundings, etc., I can afford to be sloppy on any or all of them, depending. I need to be prepared to burn it down on a dude at 5m with multiple rounds or make a low percentage shot on threat holding my wife or one of my children hostage at 18m, that farthest distance inside my house.
The three I consider the most important are emotional control, target discrimination, and light use / discipline. Since I plan on fighting in a no light environment, should I be forced to use light, I’d expect it to be under exigent circumstances for PID in the event my NODs go down or an unexpected light source comes into play. The other role would be to deny space to my adversary once I’ve recovered all my people as I await an LE response to keep him away from my family. The two I consider most critical are target discrimination and emotional control.
Target discrimination is fairly self explanatory, but I will say this. Under the stress of hunting someone inside a structure, if you aren’t paying attention to the world around you, you’re going to shoot something you don’t intend to. So, that means no third eye principle, the eyes should move roughly 15 degrees ahead of the muzzle as you scan for targets. The manual safety stays engaged until your eyes are connected to the sighting system and you’ve made the conscious decision to shoot. We do not hunt people inside structures or anywhere else, with a disengaged manual safety. If your weapon choice doesn’t allow you positive control over the safety at all times, pick another weapon or train until you can easily manipulate it. To do otherwise is negligent, in my opinion. I’ve seen more than one high speed, legit assaulter type shot in training because someone didn’t have the safety engaged. If we can make that mistake, then you can too.
Emotional control is the other big one. You will be hunting an adversary, or waiting for him to come to you inside your house, with your family inside it. FISHing (fighting in somebodies house) an incredibly stressful event, made even more so with the addition of the most valuable things in your life on the line should you fail. Speaking for myself, I’m going to flipping furious that someone dared to come inside my house and threaten my family. I know I need to temper that anger and not let it dictate my actions and responses. If this is your first gunfight those emotional responses and urges will be even worse, including fear. You need to be able to recognize that they exist and set them aside until the killing is done. You can be mad, scared, whatever once it’s over. Until then you need to be focused on the tasks at hand; killing, incapacitating or driving your adversary away from your family and house.
Now to the environment. It will either be a violent home invasion attempt during daylight hours while I’m home, or someone attempting to sneak into my house in the wee hours of the day. If I’m awake, the carbine will be near wherever I’m at inside the house ( or backyard if I’m out there ) along with my Roland in my CCW holster. My wife knows to retreat to our daughters bedroom and post up until the fights over, whether or not I win. At night, she’ll do the same thing. Her room is next to mine so it shouldn’t be an issue accessing. From there, it’ll all depend on how the fight develops and what happens.