"We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box." - Congressman Larry McDonald M.D.
(1 April, 1935 - 1 Sept., 1983)


God Save The Republic

20 September 2010

Structural Security

In my particular situation, the purchase of a survival retreat in the hills of Montana (or elsewhere) is out of the realm of possibles. I'm relatively sure that's true for the majority of us, so we have little or no option but to dig in and remain in place, to face and defend from whatever evil our way may come. Whether we may be the possible random victim of a home invasion or defenders of the stronghold during a societal collapse, the most important question we must address is; just how strong is our stronghold and what optimum benefit will it provide us.

What good is buying massive quantities of bandages, beans and bullets when the structural integrity of your location is of little more than stick and frame construction, incapable of stopping a .22 caliber bullet or a highly motivated "zombie" with a chainsaw? But then, a lot of homes are built for eye appeal above all else.

Most folks feel safe and secure behind the walls of their basic stick and frame homes. They don't realize that those exterior walls consist of, at best, a half inch thick sheet of drywall, a layer of insulation, a quarter inch thick sheet of plywood or particleboard sheathing and wood, vinyl or older style aluminum siding. With the exception of 2" x 4" wood framing, (the stick part of stick and frame) that's spaced about every 16" apart, there is absolutely nothing that's solid enough to stop an incoming bullet, and the sticks won't hold up to a chainsaw.

An upgrade to the basic stick frame construction is brick. However, in most modern day construction, brick is nothing more than a substitute for the wood, vinyl or aluminum siding material. It is a facade that has no load bearing value incorporated into the structure. Brick will stop most pistol and rifle bullets and wreck havoc on chainsaw chains but, a few solid blows from a sledgehammer or a ram and the mortar joints / bricks will fail, leaving the weakness of the underlying sheathing and drywall constructed wall exposed.

Another structural nightmare, from a security standpoint, are windows. And that's because they have no security value whatsoever. Multiply that statement by two if the window in question is a sliding "patio" style door. And on the subject of doors; where an inflatable "love doll" might be a little better than self pleasuring for some folks, most standard doors and door frames are just a little better than having a wide open three foot by seven foot hole in the wall. Watching an episode or two of any entry team (cops / s.w.a.t) themed reality show and you'll see just how much protection "fortified" windows and doors provide neighborhood drug lords. Usually, when "pulls" (chains attached to vehicles) are used to breach barred windows or doors, frames and parts of walls are torn away from the structure as well.

Feeling vulnerable yet? For what it's worth, quite a few castles, and their residents, fell to their highly motivated attackers in the "days of old." Structural security is, in the end, a false sense of security. For every security measure you can implement, someone has already come up with half a dozen countermeasures. If they want in bad enough, they WILL get in. The best you can hope for from your fortifications is to slow them down. But to what benefit for you?

Let this information sink in a bit.

To be continued



  1. Excellent start to a series, Mike.

    I think everyone has to know that a determined foe is getting in, and the more you know about the techniques they'll use the better off you'll be. You need to delay them and discourage them as much as possible, so that maybe they'll try an easier target. But if it's 2 or 3 months post collapse, and your place is the only one that smells like food, you're getting visitors!

    There's really only one good answer to this (IMO) and it involves the words "belt fed". Maybe add the word "many" in front of that.

  2. I have a small but perfectly formed nordic pine and cedar log cabin. With "almost" a 360 view from the top floor. Within the confines of my 1 acre section, there is little to offer cover that my shotgun wouldn't take care of.
    I'm feeling confident about taking small arms fire and handling the Zombies. Bring it! (heh)

  3. ...if they want in,as said they'll get in...i've rearranged furniture to allow additional time delays...the human animal can move sumthin' like 18' per sec during dynamic entry,unless they gotta jump a couch/crash over some glass laden end tables etc...a second and a half can be the diff...structurally,i'm good(damn windows tho)early twenties built cyprus lumber craftsmans home,80% true dimensional lumber(i have restorations in place of about 20% maybe?)...what a damn nightmare that is,please dont ask me how big a 2x4 is(?)
    .30 cal/12 gauge would punch thru,but nuthin' smaller,anyway,sorry to ramble,lookin' forward to the continuance...

  4. Engaging the foe from the inside of your home, is at best, suicidal. If the wolf is on your front porch......well, you figure it out.

    If you are to engage the foe, it should be, must be, prior to your front door. Early warning devices, OP/LP, barricades that not only stop, but move folks in the direction that you want them to go, fighting positions, etc.

    You cannot go this thing alone. No matter where you live, whether it be in the city, suburbs, country, large or small town, you MUST align yourselves with like minded folks.
    And you must be dedicated with the idea and purpose of watching each other's backs.

    'nuff for now,