Recently Harris Publications was invited to attend Home Defense 101, a one-day course hosted by Praetorian Enterprises International, located in Keystone Heights, Florida. The eight-student class was taught by NRA-certified instructors Alan Rizzo, a current Special Forces sergeant major, and Martin Borum, a former U.S. Marine sergeant.

We began with classroom instruction that included examining state firearm laws; evaluating how to make your home safer (including how to pick and use a safe room) and how to develop a better situational awareness; discussing basic firearm safety; and choosing the right firearm for your needs. To provide a graphic aid that would show the penetration abilities of various loads, the instructors shot an assortment of ammunition through examples of interior walls. The bullets and shotgun loads easily penetrated both sides of a typical interior wall, and the shotgun loads (even birdshot) did not develop a spread larger than a hand-span at distances typical for a home’s interior. So much for spray and pray! This demonstrated that accuracy and the judicious use of firearms were essential to preventing unacceptable over-penetration, This served as the basis for the remainder of the course.

Students practiced clearing interior structures at the training facility and then did the same using live fire at the range. Starting with daylight and lit conditions, students practiced clearing as a husband-and-wife team moving to a safe room or crossing a split-plan dwelling to retrieve children. The class then tried these exercises in the dark, so the use of handheld and weapon-mounted lights and flashlights was practiced.

The class finished at the local range, where targets were set up in a 360-degree shooting range. Students practiced the techniques using live fire against realistic targets while in a controlled environment. (Most of the students were completely unfamiliar with firearms, and one had never fired a weapon before.) With Alan and Marty’s instruction, the class was quickly moving and shooting accurately, placing hits only on the targets specified and maintaining muzzle discipline. The class practiced with the instructors, who provided close supervision and post-shooting critiques until each student was comfortable with his or her performance.

Overall the course was useful and informative, showing the complexities of using firearms to defend your home. That led to more questions than hard answers, causing much discussion among the students as to what actions would work best in different situations. For more information on Praetorian’s Home Defense course, please visit

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Recently Harris Publications was invited to attend Home Defense 101, a one-day course hosted…