WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Home Invasion Dry-Fire Practice 

Ohio is a “stand-your-ground” state when it comes to being threatened with physical harm in your home. That means you do not have to retreat if an intruder enters your house and threatens you or someone in your family. This law is referred to as the “Castle Doctrine.” You must believe that the force was necessary to prevent injury, loss, or risk to life or safety. Do you ever train for a home invasion? I contacted trainer Andrew Blubaugh for some dry fire training ideas for a home invasion. 

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Andrew is currently a full-time police officer with more than 25 years of military, private security and law enforcement experience. He owns APEX Shooting and Tactics based in northeast Ohio, where he conducts numerous types of classes: firearms, tactical skills, medical/trauma, active killer and FASTER Saves Lives

Andrew Blubaugh
Andrew Blubaugh

When training to protect yourself in your home, consider that there’s a good chance the invasion may occur at night when it’s dark. Also, just like we would use cover or concealment, so might the bad guy. Andrew suggested creating the following scenarios to train for a home invasion. 

Gear for dry fire

What You’ll Need:

  • Blue gun, SIRT pistol or unloaded firearm
  • Human or humanoid target
  • Weapon-mounted light or handheld flashlight
  • Tape that’s safe for walls

Safety First: If using a real firearm, confirm it is empty by removing the magazine and locking the slide to the rear. Then, visually and physically verify the gun is unloaded. Next, make sure there is no ammunition in the room. 

Home intruder - 2

As mentioned above, the bad guy will likely use cover or concealment to protect himself. Usually, when practicing on the range, we shoot targets that have a person or humanoid facing straight on. For this practice, fold the target in half to mimic a person using concealment. 

Home intruder target

Next, tape the target to a wall at the height where you think an intruder might be. Some possible ideas:

  • Entering your bedroom
  • At the top of your stairs
  • Inside your front door
Cerino home intruder
Michelle using her Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy for dry fire practice.

Now, practice hitting the target in the center mass of what you can see. Move to the different areas of your home where you may need to engage the intruder. Consider sitting in a chair, on the couch, at the kitchen sink, or in bed. Use any cover or concealment you find. Think about where other people may be in your home. 

Home invasion red dot

Practice during the day first, when there is enough light to identify the target. Play it though in your mind, make it as real as possible. Yell, scream, call 911 after when tactically feasible.  

Home intruder - 1

Next, practice for a low-light home invasion. Run the same drills in the early evening and at night. 

Andrew suggests paying close attention to the following when using your weapon-mounted or handheld light in your house:

  • Shine the light on an intruder peeking out from a wall. Did you also blind or illuminate yourself in the process?  
  • What shadows appear when you move around the house with your light? 
Flash light intruder

If you’re new to using a flashlight, you may want to read a previous article, “My Favorite Flashlight Technique for Low Light Shooting.” 

Practice engaging these targets until you feel comfortable with the different positions and angles you may need to end the attack. Your home is your castle, and you may not be able to get out during a home invasion. Preparing yourself for such a situation with dry fire is the first step. Next month, we’ll take it to the range. 

Learn more about Springfield Armory’s Prodigy here.

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, entered the firearms industry in 2011 when Cerino Training Group was established. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as owner of Pervenio LLC. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.


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