Rapid response time is critical in a home invasion or burglary situation. People buy guns for “home defense” but never consider how fast something like this may occur. See this article for some info on how home invasion burglaries unfold: How a Burglar Robs Your Home in 8 min. Proper defensive gun, gear selection and set up is essential to being ready for a situation like this.


Integrate rapid home defense options into your generalized home defense plan like what I outline here:

Safe At Home


Rapid Response Goals & Requirements

  1. Rapid access to defensive firearms  – Where is the gun safe? Can it be accessed and a firearm loaded in under 90 seconds? Is there a firearm available on each level home?
  2. Access to ammunition for all defensive firearms; pistol, shotgun, carbine. You may not get to choose which gun you grab. Consider having multiple ammunition types available with response gear. You may use one firearm to fight to another. A family member may be armed with a different gun. Having multiple ammunition types on body allows greater versatility.
  3. Immediate access to support gear – medical, edged tool, illumination, communications
  4. Possible protection from gunfire from threats
  5. Cost efficient as possible



There are abundant opinions regarding whats the best firearm for home defense. Some say carbine, some say shotgun while others say handgun. Here are a few considerations when selecting a home defense firearm:

  1. As mentioned above, can you rapidly get it out and ready to go during a stressful situation?
  2. How good are you with it? If you shoot your pistol extremely well and don’t like the shotgun then the pistol may be your best choice. Don’t let some “expert” tell you whats best for you. Accuracy and being comfortable operating a specific firearm matters, especially when in and around loved ones. Pick a firearm you can shoot and run well.
  3. Can you shoot and run that gun in the light and the dark?
  4. Can other family members run the gun you’ve chosen? You may be hurt, sick or still drunk from the graduation party you attended earlier that night. It may not be you defending the home. While you prefer the shotgun your 12y.o. daughter has only shot the carbine. Home defense may fall on your shoulders but don’t do a disservice to loved ones by discounting the possibility of them helping.


Rapid Home Defense Options

Staging a firearm that can be accessed quickly is essential. Do all responsible family members know where it is and have a key or code? Can everyone in the home shoot that particular firearm?


Support Gear Options

Will the firearm be all you need? Having support gear set up to meet various rapid access needs isn’t a bad addition to the overall home defense plan. The role of various support gear may include:

  • Ammunition for pistol, carbine or shotgun available no matter which firearm you grab
  • Illumination tool – for power outages, darkened areas or simply to enhance vision, more light = more info
  • Tourniquet & Medical Supplies
  • An edged tool
  • Communications – an old cell phone provides a means to contact authorities no matter where you are in the home
  • Possible ballistic protection




The go-bag is often considered an away from home option. It works just as well for home defense. A simple bag with shoulder strap can carry all required support gear. Hung on a door knob or placed near a defensive firearm it can easily be thrown over the shoulder on the move. The go bag is an affordable, versatile and effective support gear option.


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Go Bag

A simple bag with shoulder strap is a fast and affordable support gear option.


CRAB – Civilian Ready Access Belt

The CRAB is an offshoot of the popular “battle belt” concept. A modular quick on and off gun belt carrying extra ammunition for a specific firearm or multiple firearms, a light, a knife, medical gear and more. A belt set up with a cobra buckle can be rapidly accessed from under a bed and snapped on no matter what else you are wearing. The CRAB is an excellent rapid response option however the components can add up in cost.

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Modular Load Bearing Vests

Chest mounted rigs are a bit “tactical” for most civilians but it’s hard to argue with their effectiveness. This Specter Gear Carrier with VTG ballistic plates is extremely lightweight and versatile. It’s modularity allows a number of different attachment options depending on your home defense plans and available firearms. The side buckles on a carrier like this allow the user to throw it over the head, grab a firearm and go.


This option provides desired support gear and a level of ballistic protection the other options do not. However, this added protection drives cost upward. What is your life or those of your family worth?


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Lightweight and compact with protection, ammunition and other support gear


Throw the carrier over head during rapid response


Carrier seen above includes:

Victory Tactical Gear – Special Pistol Threat Plates 

Specter PriMAC Mag Pouch

PFC TQ Tri-Fold

Specter Universal Pistol Mag Pouch

Specter Modular Plate Carrier – Not Available – Check the  Tactical Tailor Modular Carrier

Raven Concealment ModuLoader Shotgun Shell Carrier and Panel


Rapid Home Defense Options

This SOE Gear Micro Shotgun Rig is another excellent rapid response option

The  S.O.E. 12ga Micro Chest Rig  stored under a bed can be grabbed and thrown overhead. This particular model is set up for a shotgun. It has a large front pouch where pistol ammunition, a light, medical gear and other items can be stored. While it doesn’t offer any ballistic protection it is quite affordable.




Most civilian defensive gun usage takes place outside of the home. That doesn’t mean you get a pass on preparing for a home defense situation. Having good locks and an alarm system are a good start. Developing a home defense plan is even better. Setting up defensive firearms and support gear for fast access can go a long way when that thing you thought would never happen, happens.




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