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The "80/20" philosophy of self defense, your thoughts?

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
I think that I prepare my self defense using a sort of 80/20 rule (or 95/5 rule if you wish to exercise more caution). Lemme 'splain...

In general planning for anything, many organizations and people use the 80/20 rule. That is, you work towards 80% success but don't try to close that final gap, because "fixing" that final 20% will cost you another 80% effort (or money, or resources, or whatever). Now the proportion can be adjusted to 95/5 if you wish, but the principle remains the same.

So... for self defense, let's say at home... I'm a "lowly apartment dweller" and therefore my area of defense is pretty limited -- a nice 1br apartment with one principal means of entry -- the front door. Plus the area immediately outside the door, the common area of my small 8-unit complex. And I suppose, the area where my car's parked just a few feet beyond the door.

Therefore, I prepare for defense related to some thug(s) busting in my door one night late, and so I keep my XD .45 Tactical (13+1 CorBon +P) in a small zipper case by my recliner, where I simply reach down and I've got the gun. Likewise bedside, my 1911 (8+1 the same ammo) is within reach.

And I don't have, say, an AR for backup, a "fallback" zone simply because there isn't one. All the action will occur just inside my front door, win or lose. I won't have time to retreat even if I wanted, as I'm using a walker or cane. So I consider that front door my "80%" area and I've taken efforts to prepare for this.

Or, I could, of course, work out an ornate second-stage fallback strategy, such as keeping more guns active and ready, things like that. But this I put into that 20% zone, requiring 80% more effort.

Naturally, this situational preparation is just for my (and girlfriend's) individual circumstances. If I were more mobile, if I had a big house to protect, or possibly a farm or estate, things would be different. But the 80/20 principle would be the same.

It's a bit like the sigline that I think alphasig used, forget who the original was, about keeping a couple extra packs of toilet paper vs. a warehouse full, something like that. The 80-20 rule.

So for general discussion, what are your "sensible" (80% or 95%) preparations? Or do you disagree with the concept?

What preparations do you consider "reasonable" and which perhaps would be going overboard?
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Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,635 Senior Member
    zipper case is probably too slow
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    zipper case is probably too slow

    Only if it's all zipped up. My wife keeps her 19 and speed loader just under the bed in an unzipped case.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    When I lived in an apartment...

    Handgun at my side or readily accessible when awake. No rule against CCWing when you're in your house, and not unless you stay within arm's length of where the firearm is (not the chair, the firearm itself) you've put yourself more behind the curve. As NN says, the zipper case is probably too slow. Also, the thing can move and be out of proper orientation for you to get it. With a holster, it's always in the same place.

    I then had a fall-back room with other preparations. If my cell phone's not in my pocket, it's in the fall-back room.

    Oddly, that's carried over to my house. And it was the philosophy I had before that when I lived out in the boonies in a mobile home.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,931 Senior Member
    I'm not sure what % I'm at I'd like to think about 90% My 1st. line of defense would be my dogs, Bodie the Husky and Lottie the BIG Mastiff will let ya know if anyone's around, they sleep in the bedroom, door closed with us, .44 spc. on the nightstand .45 acp in the drawer, and .41 mag on the wife's nightstand. During the day the .44 is always with me.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    zipper case is probably too slow

    Well, the pistols just rest inside the case, top is unzipped. As I said, all I've gotta do is reach down and grab the gun.

    What alternative do you recommend? That I hold the gun in my hand all the time? Makes touch typing tricky, occasional discharges, y'know.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Well, the pistols just rest inside the case, top is unzipped. As I said, all I've gotta do is reach down and grab the gun.

    What alternative do you recommend? That I hold the gun in my hand all the time? Makes touch typing tricky, occasional discharges, y'know.
    Well, they make these keen things called "holsters" that one could keep said handgun in and then attach that to your pants or shorts via a nifty mechanism called a "clip" or a "belt." Not sure if they make one that'll work with Depends, but you never know... Maybe you could use a little pocket holster for your J-frame, I believe it is, Smith and Wesson. You know, to keep in your pocket when you're puttering around away from the recliner...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Hey Sam, how about bream's carry philosophy? Sounds like the way to go. Especially if you've got the walker or cain, might not get to one of the static gun locations fast enough.

    Besides the dwelling, how about back and forth to the car? That may be the more likely threat no? Do you carry outside the home?

    Okay... bream says holster. But this implies that I'm wearing a belt. I usually wear old Levi's cutoffs or some baggy gym shorts, elastic waist. And a holster while I'm sitting down in a deep-dish recliner? It would be very difficult to draw the weapon because my arm would be wedged into the chair and there'd be almost no room to draw the gun. With the pistol in an open zipper case, as I said, I only need to reach down and grip it.

    Yes I do carry outside the home. I didn't detail ALL the aspects of self defense carry however. I only focused on the specifics of being at home as part of illustrating the 80-20 philosophy.

    My point being is that I can certainly minimize the "risk factor" by, say, holding the pistol pointed at the door all the time, on target, finger on the trigger. That would be a LOT faster and more reliable than the zipper bag. Which would of course change the percent from the 80% to a higher value.

    I could make the factor, oh, 97% if I carried the pistol in one hand all the time, pointed at the door and ready to fire, right? But... now I hope you guys understand the subject matter of my thread:

    It is NOT to ask about specific self defense preparation techniques, such as what type of holster to wear in bed.

    It IS to ask what sort of actions for self defense preparation are "sensible" (within the 80% rule, maybe) as opposed to always being trigger-ready (the 98% aspect).

    Make sense?
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,768 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    What alternative do you recommend?

    A sword cane......you really need a sword cane....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    A sword cane......you really need a sword cane....

    My mother inadvertently bought one of those canes at a flea market once. She discovered it the night before she was to fly. Could have been hard to explain to the TSA.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    So how many take a gun into the bathroom?

    How about while showering?
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,152 Senior Member
    Gotta say I don't readily agree with the concept.

    There was a several year period in my early 20's that was heavily involved with practical martial arts. When you've studied intently on how to break down parts of a human body with nothing more than parts of your own to use as your weapons, you start seeing offensive and defensive applications to darn near every inanimate object you come across. If you see the entire world as a weapon, you don't have to dwell so hard on setting yourself up with something specific.

    Just lying here on the couch, slightly past arm's reach, I've got a TV remote and all manner of other things I can throw, a dinner plate I can break over a head or instantly turn into sharp pointy things, pens and pencils I can stab with, a couple of thick reference books that can block pointy things, a bottle of Windex I could spritz in someone's eyes, the power cables off this laptop that can entangle (or, with the power supply, flail), a chocolate bar to offer if they look hungry, and a large cat who I have come to take for granted to be in the way, which I can work around but an enemy will not expect. When all else fails, I've got the large blanket to hide under.

    As the saying goes, no plan of action survives first contact with the enemy. Better to have tools and the ability to adapt, which saves you from a case of "I didn't think it would be like THIS" vapor lock.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Well, they make these keen things called "holsters" that one could keep said handgun in and then attach that to your pants or shorts via a nifty mechanism called a "clip" or a "belt." Not sure if they make one that'll work with Depends, but you never know... Maybe you could use a little pocket holster for your J-frame, I believe it is, Smith and Wesson. You know, to keep in your pocket when you're puttering around away from the recliner...
    But how would I do that when I am sitting here nekkid typing on the forum like I always do?
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    But how would I do that when I am sitting here nekkid talking about my junk on the forum like I always do?


    :up:
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    But how would I do that when I am sitting here nekkid typing on the forum like I always do?
    Then you could keep the firearm next to you. Or, put a small kydex holster on your laptop so your firearm is with your 'puter while you're nekkid...
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Sam, I think you have a good plan that works fer You considering your health-mobility issues and age. Remember it will be your butt and no one else s on the line if the :fan:

    And all the advice on how others do it on here is good for them and their circumstances and what level of preparedness they are willing to live with.

    I don't see any right or wrong way to do it and if you accept the 80% rule over a more aggressive or 'At the ready' level, that's fine. I just hope and pray you will never regret the 20% compromise and those with higher % will never have to use any of it.

    An old Army slogan was "Strength Through Readiness" meaning be ready individually and equipment wise to strike and hope you never have to use it, but if you ever do an enemy will pay dearly and just them knowing you are capable will deter a lot of them.

    We are all individuals on here with different idys on about everything, especially SD/HD and guns in general.

    I say do what's right for you. Don't get too complacent though, we all need to reevaluate our own situations and equipment from time to time and make adjustments/changes as necessary.

    Do I want to walk around in my abode with a gun strapped on all the time, heck no, but I like having one within arms length or not more than a few paces from me about anywhere in the house.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    My self defense strategy fluctuates continuously, probably because I perceive my lifestyle to be low threat. That's a guess that could bite me sometime, I realize. But I do know within a reasonable certainty what I am capable of sticking with on a permanent basis and this is what I 'shoot for.'


    I have handguns and shotguns that I can access at home and I always take a .45 or .357 with me for day-to-day local vehicle usage, more for trips. I carry frequently, but not always, because I'm not out at night much. I don't practice enough to be as comfortable as I want to be, when carrying concealed all the time.

    I intend to modify this by practicing more, but just haven't gotten around to it, yet.
  • JeeperJeeper Senior Member Posts: 2,954 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Do I want to walk around in my abode with a gun strapped on all the time, heck no, but I like having one within arms length or not more than a few paces from me about anywhere in the house.

    It's not so much that I *want* to, but I do. If I'm in the shower, it's nearby.... otherwise, it's on me or within arms reach everywhere it's legal.

    Luis
    Wielding the Hammer of Thor first requires you to lift and carry the Hammer of Thor. - Bigslug
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,543 Senior Member
    I keep a sidearm on me or nearby when downstairs. Upstairs, I have multiple options available. Including, but not limited to, a shotgun in my 'last stand' position. I practice as much as I can, which is to say about what Bisley said; not enough to be as comfortable as I want to be, but more than your average guy.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    I'm not sure what % I'm at I'd like to think about 90% My 1st. line of defense would be my dogs, Bodie the Husky and Lottie the BIG Mastiff will let ya know if anyone's around, they sleep in the bedroom, door closed with us, .44 spc. on the nightstand .45 acp in the drawer, and .41 mag on the wife's nightstand. During the day the .44 is always with me.

    JAY

    This sounds pretty good. Having dogs helps, even small ones can give the alarm. Of course, with our cats, should burglars or robbers break in, their response would be "Hey, keep the noise down, will ya? And next time, bring some crunchy treats!"
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    All-purpose alarm and first responder is the dashing Juliet, Queen of Dogs, Goddess of The Hunt & Companion To The Heroes. The Hounds of Hell tuck their tails in submission. Golden Food and Water Bowls await her in Valhalla, where she will frolic with Unicorns & Feast on the Bones of Dragons.

    I'm usually at one of 4 places in my home - my desk, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. Each hides a handgun, either in a drawer or cabinet. I'm almost never more than arm's length or two seconds away from a loaded firearm. Oh look! I'm at my desk right now, and lo & behold, there's a Webley MK. VI right here in the drawer. My gun safe is in the master bedroom closet, and there are several loaded long arms therein to choose from if time and circumstances allow.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Well, they make these keen things called "holsters" that one could keep said handgun in and then attach that to your pants or shorts via a nifty mechanism called a "clip" or a "belt." Not sure if they make one that'll work with Depends, but you never know... Maybe you could use a little pocket holster for your J-frame, I believe it is, Smith and Wesson. You know, to keep in your pocket when you're puttering around away from the recliner...

    Dude, thanks for the advice, but if I were to clip anything to my shorts, they'd go down around the ankles. Frightening the neighbors or terrifying the girlfriend isn't on the menu. ha ha

    Still, point being, my deep dish recliner would make a holster pretty hard to access, like wearing same in a car w. deep bucket seats. Crossdraw holster maybe, but essentially, reaching for a pistol aside my chair that sits butt up in an open case is very likely just as easy and quick to grab as a holster would be, especially since I've practiced same.

    As far as being away from the recliner, that's part of the 20% preparation that I sort of have skipped. You gotta first understand that I'm not much of a putterer anyway. I'm either in the shower, bed, chair, or en route. So I'm, yes, out of access for some times. And that's what I ascribe to the "80/20" rule that I'm generally talking about.

    My only alternate is to indeed have a belt and holster, transfer the pistol to my holster when I get up to take a whiz (no Depends, ha ha) or keep a .357 snubby for example in that holster all the time, regardless of where I am in the apartment. That would reduce my liability from 80/20 to, say, 90/10.

    My point being, however, this would be a lot of extra effort and cost right now -- decent holster and belt, practice with new small gun, not to mention purchasing the gun in the first place.

    Let me speak to a parallel example: I have pretty good car insurance, comprehensive and "collusion" and uninsured motorist (a must w. 30% of drivers uninsured and likely unlicensed and of course illegals anyway). I also have a decent renter's insurance, w. pretty good theft replacement and so on. That constitutes my "80%" effort. But what I do NOT have is, for example, meteorite insurance on my car. Could a meteorite hit? Yes it could. Could someone try to bust in my front door when I'm taking a leak? Yes.

    My point is that I try to exercise "reasonable" preparation but I certainly admit that I'm not 99% prepared. What I'm asking is for some info on how others with, maybe, a farm or estate or large home to protect, how they prepare but also how they don't "buy a warehouse full of toilet paper" either.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    All-purpose alarm and first responder is the dashing Juliet, Queen of Dogs, Goddess of The Hunt & Companion To The Heroes. The Hounds of Hell tuck their tails in submission. Golden Food and Water Bowls await her in Valhalla, where she will frolic with Unicorns & Feast on the Bones of Dragons.

    I'm usually at one of 4 places in my home - my desk, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom. Each hides a handgun, either in a drawer or cabinet. I'm almost never more than arm's length or two seconds away from a loaded firearm. Oh look! I'm at my desk right now, and lo & behold, there's a Webley MK. VI right here in the drawer. My gun safe is in the master bedroom closet, and there are several loaded long arms therein to choose from if time and circumstances allow.

    Wow, horse! You waxed all poetic as hell in that first paragraph! Dog should be proud of you.

    Second para: This I think parallels me. You guys gotta understand, our apartment isn't huge, a nice comfy 1br and big closets but that's it. In central Houston where we live, compact is the key, and although our place isn't large, it's superbly set up, central air, gas central heat, brick exterior (better insulation), excellent appliances, etc.

    So, think cozy but not spacious. And as a result, my "sitty-a-shun" (as my Dad would joke) is roughly parallel to horse, except that I've got 2 duty stations, recliner and bed. Period. So I'm armed at these 2 places just as horse is armed at his 4. Honest, I am really pretty safe, I think.

    As for access to my car, yes, I'm usually armed (always at night) when going between apartment and car. Understand that the apartment has an 8ft security fence surrouding, with plenty of night security lights. I literally step 15 feet from my front door to where the Great White sits, just outside the gate in a covered spot, also well lit.

    And yes, I understand that the time of getting in and out of a vehicle is a top hazard moment, when most muggings and carjackings occur. So yes, I'm extra vigilant and have a .357 mag surprise for that up close and personal moment, for sure.

    On occasion, a rumbling motorbike or noisy truck passing will set off my car alarm. It will cycle and go silent. But if it starts to cycle a 2nd time, I'm at the door, XD in hand, and all I have to do is glance out the window next to the door or the peephole to ensure nobody's immediately outside, then I'm looking out the door to my car. And yeah, I'm a damn good close-range shot.

    For the scope of the situation, here's a photo of my car taken literally from my front door -- you can see that's it's spittin' distance, also note the security fence:

    apt02.jpg
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,014 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    and a large cat who I have come to take for granted to be in the way, which I can work around but an enemy will not expect.

    Have you ever tried to defend against a thrown cat? Somehow they end up with somewhere between 16 and 22 vicious, sharp, high-speed buzzsaws that sprout out in flight. You WILL get cut if someone throws a cat at you.

    Sam, I am with Bream. Modify your dress to carry the gun in a holster. Wear a belt with your Daisy Dukes, and get sweats that have beltloops. If not, then get an airweight snubbie that can ride in a pocket. The best gun in a fight is the one you have with you.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Sam, I thought you had posted you had a J-frame or a Kel-Tec at one time or another. Was I mistaken?

    A buddy made me the best darn offer on the KelTec so it's sold. I'm now thinking about getting a small Ruger .380 or .40, and in the interim I've got a snubby .357 hammerless, nice little gun.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Have you ever tried to defend against a thrown cat? Somehow they end up with somewhere between 16 and 22 vicious, sharp, high-speed buzzsaws that sprout out in flight. You WILL get cut if someone throws a cat at you.

    Sam, I am with Bream. Modify your dress to carry the gun in a holster. Wear a belt with your Daisy Dukes, and get sweats that have beltloops. If not, then get an airweight snubbie that can ride in a pocket. The best gun in a fight is the one you have with you.

    My cats wouldn't scratch a person ever. They'd instead curl up and beg for petting and a snack.

    I cannot reach into my pocket easily when sitting. In bed I've got a duvet or whatever over me. I do I do I do (promise!) have my XD in quick and easy reach by just reaching over and grabbing it. It's accessible just as quickly as if in a holster.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    But how would I do that when I am sitting here nekkid typing on the forum like I always do?

    Remember, guys, I'm the one who wears baggy gym shorts. I never said nuttin' 'bout nekkid. It was Jerm started it (although bigslug probably asked him to).
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    etc etc
    Do I want to walk around in my abode with a gun strapped on all the time, heck no, but I like having one within arms length or not more than a few paces from me about anywhere in the house.

    Well, then, big, we're both in approximately the same environment. I do have a pistol within reach almost all the time. I don't have a gun in the bathroom where I can get it while in the shower, so yeah I'm easy pickin' then.

    I suppose that I balance my preparations not based on being in the army and having a military opponent who can attack you with a large force.

    I judge my situation instead on what a thug would think, seeing small apartments and thinking that there's not a lot of good stuff here, instead going 1/2 block to this fancy 3-story townhouse w. big picture winders and a Lexus or Beemer parked in front.

    What I'm trying to get across is that I'm small potatoes and thugs risk their lives when they break into a place in cities like Houston these days -- too many citizens are armed. So if they take that risk, they take the risk for a high end gain, jewelry and cash and a fancy car to steal.

    I suppose I could walk around, pistol in hand, hiding behind the door jamb to the bedroom and peering suspiciously to ensure that there aren't any ninjas in the living room. And I suppose I could insure my car against meteorite damage.

    But considering the potential risks, I think I'm suitably prepared. When I said "80/20" I wasn't speaking specifically about 20% unprepared. The real "risk percent" is probably closer to 90% prepared. But to be ready ALL the time I'd really have to be holding a pistol in my hand while I type 1-handed or eat quickly or only take sponge baths because hey, ya can't be holding a gun while in the shower.

    But I ain't gonna do that. Nor take out meteorite insurance.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Hey, in the Army they taught us to only remove only one boot at a time to change socks in case we had to crap and git in a hurry!
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • hawk18hawk18 Senior Member Posts: 742 Senior Member
    Good thread, good advise.

    It just illustrates that we're all in different situations. I'm lucky enough to live in a small town, on a quiet residential streeet and feel that my 80% is probably easier to achieve than some. However, I also have four grandchildren that live within a couple of miles of here and planting multiple loaded and ready firearms throughout the house isn't an option. Carrying on my person is the only daytime option. How I do it varies with the season and how I'm dressed.

    The off-person weapons cache works well for some. But, if the home invasion druggie rings your doorbell, and gives you five seconds to get out of your recliner before he kicks your door down, you probably should have taken it with you. Don't worry, the neighbors will get used to you opening the door with a 45 in your hand. The egg lady across the street hasn't dropped any lately. She just has a nervous giggle now.

    Night-time is a different story and sleeping with a holster on sucks.

    Hawk
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