The concepts applied to setting up a law enforcement duty belt are extremely useful in setting up a duty belt for home defense. Home defense requires you to respond to a threat in your own home quickly, legally and responsibly to protect your loved ones on little or no notice.
Defensive tools are just one of the many important factors required to protect your family and should be a complement, not a cornerstone, of any responsible home defense/preparation philosophy. Other issues like truck/vehicle preparation, water storage and emergency food supplies are also important and are covered in those hyperlinks.
Our approach is a bit unconventional, but hear us out. We think you might find it useful in setting up your own duty belt for home defense based on police duty belt best practices. This is the Home Defense Shorts Concept. The Home Defense Shorts Concept is not originally mine. It is the brainchild of my buddy Joe from SKD Tactical. About 18 months ago, Joe and I were having a conversation at my home here in Virginia about protecting our loved ones. At the time, Joe was a new Dad and I was engaged to the woman who is now my beautiful and talented wife. We went through all the various options: ARs, Suppressed ARs, Shotguns, Pistols, Tasers, Expandable Batons, Bean Bag Shotguns, pepper spray. If it was a defensive tool that could be legally purchased and owned in the United States, then it came up in our discussion and we vetted it. Short story long, we came full circle back to the trusty Night Stand Gun. Traditionally, this is a pistol.
The why behind the pistol could be a full philosophy article unto itself, but the short answer is safety, training, reps, maneuverability, and the fact that we were pretty sure we could build this thing from the spare parts in our holster bin (if you’re reading this, you have a holster bin).
Once we settled on the pistol as the best home defense option, our conversation moved to: what do we really need and how do we carry it? We concluded we needed five things to support that pistol: holster, illumination, reloads, restraints, and medical. We needed to carry them in a format that was suitable for a “bump in the night” situation when we are all typically in sleep wear (read skivvies). A battle belt or gun belt seemed like the natural way to carry these items, but they can be a choking hazard in a defensive tactics/ground fighting situation and not anchored to something like duty pants.
We eliminated pants on the grounds that they were just too much to deal with given that you are in your house and need to be tailored to exactly the right length for safe wear while barefoot. A plate carrier is, well, a bit much for this situation (at least for those of us who acknowledge we live in the real world and not a tv show). That left shorts: cut to the right length they can hold a gun belt, prevent the gun belt from becoming a choking hazard used against you and are quick to deploy. We had our solution.
While the Home Defense Shorts Concept was not my brainchild, this interpretation of the idea is something I’ve come up with on my own since that conversation based on my own training, experience, build, preferences, house, spouse training and experiments.
I started with an old pair of now discontinued REI Hiking Shorts. (I don’t recall the name). I know I’m going to catch some heat for using an REI product to hold a gun belt, but I don’t care. These shorts are great since they are four way stretch, fit perfectly and are cut so they don’t get caught on my knees. They also accommodate this HSGI COBRA 1.5" Rigger Belt, which is also perfect for the job.
The COBRA Buckle is key because it allows me to put the rig on right away without the need to zip and button the shorts should I need that type of speed. Moving to the back we have a custom Kydex light bearing holster built by our friends at We Plead The 2nd. Next, I mounted a North American Rescue CAT Tourniquet using a Condition Gray SRC1 strap.
My pistol of choice is always my trusty Glock 19 Gen IV with Streamlight TLR-1S. This gun is 100% dedicated to my Home Defense Shorts because I shoot it well and I trust it. Glocks truly are perfection, in my humble opinion.
I carried a Glock 22 on duty for nearly eight years and I wouldn't trust the safety of my family to anything else. Moving to the back of the rig we have a little Trauma Kit that my department issued us and I never used (thank goodness). It is just the absolute basics. Remember, we are in our own homes, not on the streets.
Restraints are up next. I chose handcuffs because I’ve been trained in how to use them properly, I have hundreds of reps with them and I trust them. While I have some experience with Flex Cuffs, I was never in the military, so I don’t have nearly the number of reps with Flex Cuffs that I do with hard cuffs. They are riding in an old handcuff pouch that I had laying around and never used because I preferred the model we were issued with our Sam Browns that had the cover flap on it.
Last, but certainly not least are the two spare mags loaded with Speer Gold Dot riding in a simple twin mag paddle holster.
So there you have it: the Home Defense Shorts Concept. I hope this was informative for you, helps you think about your needs in building out your own home defense rig and at least gets the conversation going about how to best protect your family in a safe, legal and responsible manner.
We’d love to hear what your home defense/nightstand setup is in the comments below! We are all about sharing knowledge because knowledge is empowering and helps us be the best version of ourselves while helping others in the process. Thanks again for watching everyone. StayFrosty!