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Matt Landfair Discusses Weapons For Home Defense

May 30th, 2015

We’d like to welcome Matt Landfair, Veteran Police officer and firearms/tactics instructor and founder of It’s not the kind of thing you’d generally see on SSD, but we thought it was worth a share.

The ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones at home is of paramount importance. With this in mind it is best to understand the options available to maximize your effectiveness if you need to use deadly force in defense of yourself and your family while at home.

Before delving into weapons, it is important to understand the need to have a plan already established and practiced before you need to use it. If you hear that bump in the night, or you hear an obvious entry into your home or hear people that don’t belong – do you call 911, bunker down with a weapon and lock yourself in? Do you arm yourself and investigate? If family members (specifically children) are in other rooms, can you communicate with them or reach them without putting yourself or them in potential danger?

Whether you bunker down or investigate you need the ability to identify potential threats. Optimally we all have night vision goggles with infrared lasers mounted to our weapons so we don’t give away our positions, but not many have that luxury. For the rest of us normal people, we need light. That light can be activated by a wall switch, a handheld flashlight, or a weapon mounted light. Don’t depend on any one option of these. Have backups in place because you might not be able to reach a switch, power might be out, batteries might be dead in the flashlight, etc.

Half of our life (roughly) is in the dark. Sure we might be asleep during most of that darkness, but we know it isn’t scary. We also know the layout of our homes, minus the Legos and toys on the floor that reposition themselves frequently. We know where people would be during the day or in the middle of the night. This knowledge helps us as the protector of our family.

We still need to act safely in defense of our home and loved ones when we handle weapons.

An unloaded weapon is of no use in this situation, treat it accordingly. If you are afraid of handling loaded weapons, or you prefer to keep the chamber unloaded during your investigation of the potential intruder, you should not be responding to anything with firearms. Please get professional training as soon as possible to help you become more comfortable with a loaded weapon.
Never point your firearm at anything you are not willing to kill/destroy/pay for – this also applies to people on the other side of walls. Point the weapon at the bad guy, not an innocent or your kids/spouse.

Always be sure of your target including thing in front and behind it. This is an important aspect of the rules. You need to be able to identify the intruder is a threat and not your child who got up for a glass of water, or your teen who is trying to sneak back into/out of the house late at night. This is where light is important. Again, we know the layout of our homes, we know where people might be, take that into consideration if you need to fire indoors. Be aware of the X, Y, and Z axis of where your projectiles might go.

Triggers are not touched until you are on target and you have made the conscious decision to fire. At this point you have positively identified this is a threat using light and you will press the trigger to stop the threat OR you have positively identified the person not to be a threat – you do not touch the trigger.


This is not a wall you want rounds entering.

Now that the safety rules are out of the way, you need to go through each rule while you do a walkthrough of your response to an intruder within your home. This is the time to think about those walls that can’t be a backstop to your weapon’s fire. Know the longest open distance within your home. This is a distance that you should be able to engage targets and achieve intended accurate hits. Does your flashlight or weapon light illuminate that far end of the house sufficiently to determine if there is a threat – would you be able to see what is in their hands? If you are using a shotgun, do you know what type of pattern will be produced with the shotgun shells you use for home defense at that distance? Don’t only train for this distance; the ability to shoot further and closer are important. Don’t set yourself up for failure by assuming there will only be one intruder or home invasions only occur at night.

I mentioned the need for training. To maximize your effectiveness and efficiency with your task as home defender, you need training. You need training with the weapon you are going to use. Truly this is unavoidable, but it is also rewarding and enjoyable. Instruction from a professional is the responsible step as a firearm user.

Now is the time for the information that can either educate or upset people. If you find you are upset by any of this information please assess it, check it, and go test it. People who are emotionally attached to this stuff have a difficult time accepting fact.

There are three possible factors that stop the bad guy- psychological (giving up – which we have no control over), bleed out (which does not immediately stop the fight), and a shot to the brain (instant stoppage). Those are the only ways to stop the bad guy- no kinetic or hydrostatic or magic. I forgot to mention, warning shots do not stop the bad guys – don’t do it.

Our weapon choices are really limited to three main categories: pistol, shotguns, and carbines/rifles.

Pistols can provide excellent maneuverability, decent capacity, but are the worst performers of the three. Modern ballistic ammunition designs provide wound channels that are indistinguishable between 9mm, .40, and .45 acp. I will repeat that – Modern pistol ammunition design places 9mm, .40, and .45 acp all roughly within the same performance of each other. With that in mind- 9mm allows for greater capacity (gun dependent) and less recoil which means getting back on target for faster follow up shots.

Modern effective defensive pistol ammunition provides a combination of penetration and expansion while retaining mass; that combination with shot placement provides the desired results though narrow permanent wound channels. If pistol ammo is without mass to begin with or the bullet comes apart causing a smaller main projectile the penetration suffers. Frangible ammunition also falls within this category as less effective. Very light and fast pistol ammunition has been introduced many times to the market and it still does not replace modern defensive/duty hollow point ammunition. If you are wondering what specific ammunition to use, contact your local police department and find out what they issue. Ballistically handgun projectiles tend to travel through multiple residential walls fairly easily, causing them to be dangerous for use indoors for other people on the other side of those walls.

Shotguns are a favorite for many for home defense. The size of a shotgun does not stop it from being able to be used, but some configurations with longer barrels cause issues in confined spaces. Shotguns can have a slower follow up shot compared to the other two options as well as a limited capacity and very slow reloading. Unfortunately shotguns are a more complicated weapon to use under stress without training compared to the other two options. They are not a simple point and shoot weapon – you still need to use the sights. The sound of just racking a shotgun will not stop a determined attacker – don’t do it. Murphy’s Law says you will face the determined attacker.

Ammunition choices for shotguns provide many options. Duty ammunition fired at a single attacker can be devastating causing wider permanent wound channels (depending on distance to target). Bird shot is a bad idea due to lack of penetration – it will not stop a determined attacker just like the pistol ammo without mass. There are studies that place #4 shot all the way to slugs as effective to stop an attacker. Ammunition deemed to be effective to stop determined assailants also has the danger of penetrating multiple residential walls making it a less than optimal choice for home defense.

For this next section, I am going to use a 16” AR15 as the example for carbines. Depending on where you live, you can have reliable magazines from X capacity to Magpul’s new D60 (I said reliable). Being semiautomatic no additional actions are needed to fire once it is loaded and the safety is switched off. AR15’s have lower recoil than other weapons which allows for faster follow up shots. The design of the weapon allows for easy use within confined areas as well as increased accuracy. AR15’s are the best option for use against multiple assailants.

Depending on your choice of ammunition, you can have that combination of sufficient penetration and permanent wound channels on aggressors without excessive over penetrating residential walls like pistols and shotguns will do if you miss. That training will reduce the chance of you missing by the way.


So here is the score:

Pistols are smallest, have less death power and more penetration of walls.

Shotguns can be devastating on a single target with duty ammunition; they are slow with limited capacity and can penetrate walls.

Carbines have most capacity, most accurate, most stable shooting platform (less recoil), provide desired ballistic results, less penetration than other options with walls.

No matter what you choose, go with a proven option. Don’t settle on junk when your family may depend on you and the performance of that weapon. Store your weapons so they are accessible to you without being a danger to those that shouldn’t have access. Get training. Don’t buy another gun – get better with what you have. Follow those firearms rules as outlined – be sure of your target, identify the target is indeed a threat.

This article was originally published on and reprinted with permission from Matt who retains the Copyright to his work.

Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

May 30th, 2015

I get asked on a regular basis what acceptable accuracy is in a handgun or carbine. My experience has taught me the answer to this is simple; whatever accuracy is required to engage a threat target with a headshot at your effective range. However before we go any farther always remember the Vickers Rule of Gunfight Accuracy; under conditions of stress the best a shooter can hope to achieve is 50% of the inherent accuracy of the weapon/ammo he is shooting at that time.

What this means is your weapon-ammo needs to shoot a group (5 shots min – 10 is better) of 2.5 inches or less at your effective range. This equates to a 5 inch group under stress (at best) which is a head shot. What is effective range? For the average shooter its 15 yds with a pistol and 50 yds with a carbine (AR style). A skilled shooter is typically 25yds with a pistol and 100 yds with a carbine. I’ve been shooting and teaching for awhile now and this approach has stood the test of time. Hope this helps.

-Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV


Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical is a retired US Army 1st SFOD-Delta combat veteran with years of experience in the firearms industry as a combat marksmanship instructor and industry consultant. In recent years he has hosted tactical firearms related TV shows on the Sportsman Channel with the latest being TacTV of which Bravo Company is a presenting sponsor. Larry Vickers special operations background is one of the most unique in the industry today; he has been directly or indirectly involved in the some of the most significant special operations missions of the last quarter century. During Operation Just Cause he participated in Operation Acid Gambit – the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison in Panama City, Panama. As a tactics and marksmanship instructor on active duty he helped train special operations personnel that later captured Saddam Hussein and eliminated his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. In addition he was directly involved in the design and development of the HK416 for Tier One SOF use which was used by Naval Special Warfare personnel to kill Osama Bin Laden. Larry Vickers has developed various small arms accessories with the most notable being his signature sling manufactured by Blue Force Gear and Glock accessories made by Tangodown. In addition he has maintained strong relationships with premium companies within the tactical firearms industry such as BCM, Aimpoint, Black Hills Ammunition, Wilson Combat and Schmidt & Bender.

Larry Vickers travels the country conducting combat marksmanship classes for law abiding civilians, law enforcement and military and has partnered with Alias Training to coordinate classes to best meet the needs of the students attending the class.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer us some words of wisdom.

LBX Tactical Introduces Caiman Camo Combat Uniform

May 30th, 2015


LBX Tactical has released a combat uniform featuring the Caiman camouflage from the LBX Region Pack first seen at SHOT Show 2014. This is the second camouflage from the Pack to be released with a commercial uniform; the first was Inland Taipan, released earlier this year in January.


The uniform consists of a combat shirt with a jersey knit center body and 65/35 PolyCotton ripstop sleeves, and a combat pant made of 65/35 PolyCotton ripstop. Look forward to products featuring the remaining two camouflages in the LBX Region Pack, Mantis and Snow Raptor, in the coming months.

Extreme Outfitters – New Power Traveller Products Coming Soon

May 29th, 2015

Extreme Outfitters - Power Traveller

XTech Tactical Has Expanded The ATG Line To Include The SCAR Platform

May 29th, 2015


Mesa, AZ (May 2015) – XTech Tactical™, an up and coming firearms accessories company, has expanded their offering of the patent pending ATG™ to include the FN Scar® platform.

The Adjustable Tactical Grip allows the operator to easily change to any one of three angles based on their preference and mission objectives.


The FN Scar® is a platform well-known for its ability to adapt to the user’s mission objectives. This platform paired with the ATG™ significantly increases the modularity and usability of the system.

In addition, the company has added a custom die cut rubberized grip tape to enhance the texture of the grip. All FN Scar® grips purchased from XTech Tactical™ directly will initially include the grip tape pre-installed and custom mounting hardware. MSRP is $29.99 available in Black and FDE.


The grip tape will be available pre-installed on the AR15/M4 variant for $24.99 MSRP and individually for $9.99 MSRP.

Stay tuned for more releases from XTech Tactical™!

Robeson Arms – Free Shipping Promotion

May 29th, 2015

Robeson Arms

Robeson Arms is currently having a free shipping promotion on all orders over $50. They sell popular brands including Magpul, CRKT, EOTech, Gerber, Streamlight, and much more. All shipping goes out priority mail. The offer ends June 3rd.

Operator Band – Live Fire Edition from RE Factor Tactical

May 29th, 2015

RE Factor is now offering a version of their popular Operator Band that integrates a line of Live Fire line running down the middle, which is a great fire starting material.


-12′ of 550 Paracord
-12″ of Live Fire Paracord
-30′ of 80lb Test Spider Wire Fishing Line
-Fishing Hook
-18″ of 45lb test Eagle Claw Snare Wire
-P51 Can Opener
-Flint Fire Starter
-Hidden Handcuff Key Buckle
-Suunto Clipper Compass (OPTIONAL)

Assembled in the USA. See the site for color and sizing options.

Tactical Distributors Introduces Limited Edition SOL TRACKS V8 Headphones in MultiCam

May 29th, 2015

TD is excited to announce our collaboration between Crye Precision, Multicam and Sol Republic to bring you this limited edition headphone. These SOL REPUBLIC Tracks V8 On-Ear Headphones feature an exclusive MultiCam FlexTech™ headband.


-Exclusive MultiCam headband is a collaboration between Tactical Distributors, SOL REPUBLIC, and Crye Precision
-V8 HD Sound Engines deliver deep base thumps and soaring distinct highs
-Virtually indestructible FlexTech™ headbands
-Inline microphone and volume control (for Apple devices)
-SonicSoft™ on-ear speaker pads
-Interchangeable headbands
-1,000 day warranty on Headbands, 1-year warranty on Sound Engines and cables

Get yours at

Haley Strategic – MP2 Magazine Pouch Insert

May 29th, 2015


The HSP MP2 is an injection molded insert which adds retention capability to any open top nylon pockets, foregoing the need for bungie cord or a top flap.


The click-in design allows users to insert magazines bullets front or bullets back, which allows for a smooth draw without impacting the ability to quickly retain partial magazines, in the case of a tactical reload. The MP2 is compatible with magazines of various calibers, including 5.56, 7.62x39mm, 5.45, and .308. Additionally, the MP2 allows for users to store 5.56 magazines in .308-sized pockets.


The MP2 was build specifically for the D3CR and D3CR-H, however it will also work with nylon magazine carriers from a variety of manufacturers, including Mayflower Research & Consulting, Velocity Systems, LBT, FirstSpear, and more. Designed and manufactured in the USA, MP2 inserts are available now, exclusively in Disruptive Grey.

Lancer Systems – Notice of Possible L5AWM Compatibility Issue

May 29th, 2015

We just received this note from Lancer Systems.

May 29, 2015

To Our Customers:

If you recently purchased an L5AWM magazine, it may contain a non-conforming follower. The non-conforming followers, which were manufactured below the allowable limit of tolerance, could fail to lock the bolt back after the last round has been fired in a small percentage of rifle platforms.

I sincerely apologize that you may have received anything less than a 100% reliable Lancer product. If you purchased a L5AWM magazine with a follower date code of March 2015 (3/15), we will send you a replacement follower free of charge. You can check your follower’s date code to verify the manufacture date. See procedure for determining the date code and assembly on our website. Replacements will be processed via email. Please email Lancer directly for a replacement at and include the following information: Retailer, Date of purchase, Quantity of followers that need replaced, and your shipping address. For additional questions, please call 610.973.2644.

The reliability of our L5AWMs, and every product we engineer and manufacture, is our absolute highest priority. We’ve corrected this manufacturing issue and have taken specific steps to ensure our followers always meet the highest standards so our customers can continue to fully trust their Lancer magazines.

If you have questions about our L5AWM magazines, or any Lancer product, please contact us; we’re listening. We want to know how we can improve and bring you the best, most reliable weapons and components available.


Bill Meiklejohn
President, Lancer Systems