AAR: 2 Vets Arms Home Defense Course

2VA8-Home Defense Course on the drive to Houston

Brad Walker recently attended the inaugural 2 Vets Arms Home Defense Course. Though 2 Vets Arms is primarily (and justly) well-known for their side-charging rifles, they provide instruction as well.  (Note – that’s a shot of their rifles in the back seat of the truck driving down to teach the class). Now, Brad is a training whore much like the rest of us, but in this particular case he had an added reason for wanting to attend the class (though no reason whatsoever for acting giddy as a schoolgirl when Dean Brandly invited him to do so). Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail he sent us:

Last fall, my family and I had returned home one Saturday afternoon from a movie. I was the first to the front door, unlocked both locks and walked inside. From my front door, I have a clear view to my back door…which was wide open. I immediately walked back outside, explained to my wife what was going on and told her to keep the kids in the van. Without hesitation, I walked back to the front door, drew my pistol from concealment and began clearing my house. It was nerve-racking to say the least. I had thought about how I would do this, but never actually went through the motions in case I had to do it for real. Well, now I was in right in the middle of it. I cleared each room and closet and called the “all clear” to my family. My verdict was that one of us didn’t shut the back door all the way and the wind may’ve blown it open. Nothing was touched or taken or disturbed, but needless to say, my heart was racing. From that day forward, I developed a plan. Brad Walker

2 Vets Arms Home Defense Course

by: Brad Walker

About a month ago, I was invited down to Houston to attend the first run of 2 Vets Arms’ Home Defense Course. For a number of reasons, I jumped at the chance.

2VA1-Home Defense Course

Range Time

We began the morning with a safety brief, orientation and introductions from the group of skilled instructors running the course.

2VA2-Home Defense Course

Once we moved out to the range, we were given a chance to verify zero on our rifles before the class began and were then put on the line. I was running my Texas Custom Guns TCG-15. We were split into groups of two as we would be working in close proximity to each other. The 2VA instructors didn’t want us veering into each other’s workspace or getting ahead of the group’s firing line. Dean, Randall and Allen all assisted in rifle drills from shooting and moving to box drills to breaking contact to shooting from cover. They taught a wide variety of techniques that would aid in the second half of the day’s events.

2VA4-Home Defense Course2VA5-Home Defense Course

Scenario Shoot House

We broke for lunch and returned for the afternoon session in their shoot house. The house that we used was a full-sized, 3 bedroom brick home that they are renovating into the range’s clubhouse and training facility. We were offered a wide range of air-operated or laser training weapons [from ARs to shotguns to pistols] for training inside the house. Every student ran through a different scenario within the house. We were told not to divulge any information about our specific scenario until every student had completed the training so that no one could gain advantage.

My scenario was given to me like this, “You come home to your door kicked in.”

Now let me expand on this situation for a second. In a real-world scenario such as the one mentioned above, it will be up to the individual to determine whether he is confident and competent enough to clear his own house for an intruder, or simply to call the police. There are those who might argue the prudent thing would be to just stay out of the house, call the police and let them search the house. I wouldn’t necessarily handle it that way, but that’s just me. You decide what you would do.

I entered the house and cleared each room as I passed through or by it. In the bedroom at the end of the hall through the cracked door, I could see a foot on the bed. I bumped the door open with my foot to find a man [Randall] asleep/passed out in the room. I shouted at him in an attempt to wake him, but he was obviously incoherent. I nudged his foot with mine while trying to maintain a safe distance in case he was startled and attacked. I then moved back and notionally called the police as I kept an eye on the hallway because I hadn’t yet been able to clear the rest of the house. Having done this type of thing before, I was comfortable and confident in my techniques and procedures, but it always gets the old ticker thumping. The instructors and I then conducted a quick After Action Review (AAR) on my scenario and the next student was called in.

When all of the students had run through their respective scenarios, we had a group AAR and discussed sustainable training points and improvements that could be added in the future.

2VA6-Home Defense Course

Overall this was a great course. The instructors were patient, knowledgeable and were clear in their intent and expectations for the students. The students ranged from novice shooters to experienced military members and the instructors were able to find a good balance between both ends of the spectrum. I was able to take home quite a few new tools to put into my tool kit and train my family on a few new techniques we have since implemented in our own home. If you get a chance in the future to attend the next iteration of 2 Vets Arms’ Home Defense Courses, do yourself a favor and enroll. You won’t regret it.

Thanks to the whole 2 Vets Arms team for having me down and allowing me to train and learn with you.

Stay up to date on the latest from 2 Vets Arms by logging on to their website at www.2vetsarms.com.

If you’re interested in their rifles (and you should be) here are a couple of looks:

2VA-Rifle2VA Billet Side Charged Upper with nickel boron bcg

About the Author

The Mad Duo
Richard Kilgore and Jake Call enjoy something of a celebrity status among action figures and 1/1 scale trigger-pullers alike. They are world renowned for their wit, objectivity, keen tactical insight and utter lack of exaggeration or hyperbole. They leverage tens of thousands of hours of training and operational experience to the betterment of all mankind (and shooters). When not saving helpless school children from terrorists, rescuing damsels in distress and removing insurgents from the gene pool, they write, blog and support single dancing moms one dollar bill at a time. This provides much needed wisdom and perspective to the vast community of trigger-pullers that so desperately hungers for it. You can reach them at BreachBangClear.com or FaceBook.com/MadDuo if you're not a SISSY.
  • Craig

    It is good to see vets with rifles. With all the efforts to disarm our honored citizen soldiers, it is good to see the most qualified with their tools in hand.

  • ajspades

    Isn’t it generally advised to NOT clear a room/building by yourself?

  • LW454

    If I have my family in the car, and I see the door kicked in. I’m taking my family away from a potential threat, not entering and clearing by my lonesome. It accomplishes nothing. You’ve left your family without you and vulnerable to threat. If there are multiple potential attackers in the house, the potential negative outcomes are numerous. The only potentially positive outcome is you protected your stuff??

    • Brad Walker

      Like I said in the article, each individual should develop the situation and evaluate his/her own skillset before making that decision. By all means, if you aren’t comfortable conducting a controlled sweep of your home, stay in the car and call the police. Hopefully they arrive to an empty house like I did.

      • lw454

        all due respect, but it has nothing to do with my competency to clear a house alone.

        You are one man. You can only take action in one sphere here: Your family or your home.

        You are making a choice to leave your family to go and clear your house (aka your stuff).

        Whether you are proficient to actually clear a house on your own, you’ve made a bad tactical and strategic choice.

        Unless you’re going to make a case that your stuff/house takes precedence over your family.

        Not trying to pick an internet fight but it’s faulty decision making and trying to turn it into a discussion about competency is a red herring.

  • Martin Wade

    I have had to clear a house before and it is absolutely terrifying even with police and MP training.
    I sent my former wife down the street and told her I would come get her when the house was clear.
    Everything worked out well and we all walked away in one piece. I would not recommend it for someone without a police or military background, and definitely not if you don’t have firearms training.

  • Maximus

    Totally below-the-bar for the article, but does anyone know what pack is shown in the first photo?

    To contribute, I’ll echo the comments about not clearing the house alone. You’re taking a no-risk situation and turning it risky.

    • Skinny Sasquatch by Fight and Flight Tactical. Not officially released yet.