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4.1 out of 5 stars
Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart
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199 of 209 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
My husband and I are preparing..... preparing for a natural disaster, or other "event." We literally read this book from cover-to-cover and took notes the whole way through. Who knew there are inexpensive, practical, uncomplicated ways to protect your home/emergency supplies from looters? My husband and I both have read several book about emergency supplies, food storage, etc. But, this book is vital in that it details how to protect those very supplies! Each of us came away so many no-nonsense ways to protect our home. As I drive into our driveway, I have a new outlook on our property.....would a looter be able to hear our generator from here? Would our mowed lawn indicate presence of a well fed, warm family behind our front door? This book details how to disguise/protect and generally defend the preparations you have made. There are details for urban and rural etc. so everyone benefits from the concepts and practical advice. Certainly the discussions of weapons/ammo etc. are worth a positive review according to my husband. I have to admit...I left that for him to absorb, and as a wife, I focused on the matter-of-fact ways to discourage looters and home invasions. This book has changed my way of thinking about what to do after my emergency checklist has been completed. You will write in the margins of this book!
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125 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
"Holding Your Ground" is a well written, generally clear, straight-forward, and useful survey of a primarily defensive/passive strategies and techniques that could well save your life, if things should all fall apart; a formerly unthinkable scenario that is, in my opinion, becoming less "unthinkable" by the day. Moreover, many of the steps "Joe Nobody" recommends could be relatively easily accomplished and are not very expensive.

Written from an obvious military prospective, this book covers many fundamental considerations, starting with not only a systematic survey of the strengths and weaknesses of the place to be defended, but also with an honest appraisal of the attitudes potential defenders would bring to this dire situation i.e. at its most basic level, could you pick up a gun and shoot someone who was intent on robbing or killing you and yours. It then proceeds to very systematically outline various defensive strategies, techniques, and in the smaller offensive section, to list a few of the types of weapons and the basic equipment that would help you to "hold your ground."

I particularly liked his ideas for "hiding in plain sight," camouflaging your location and/or making it appear to be burnt out, abandoned, and/or already looted, and several creative ideas for using camouflage netting inside a structure, including hanging it across windows and tightly covering doors with it to make any attempted entry by attackers much more difficult, thus giving defenders much more time to react.

There are many very clear drawings/illustrations that help to show what he is trying to teach but, unfortunately, on the other hand, the pictures used in this work are almost uniformly out of focus and muddy--making it very hard to even see what he is attempting to illustrate.

A minor criticism is that several times in this book the author refers to the "red arrows" that are supposed to be in illustrations, when the whole book is printed in black and white only i.e. no red or any other color arrows.

I highly recommend this book to get you thinking very defensively and thinking in ways and about things that you probably do not currently think about. Our days of living off the surpluses created by past generations, of peace and plenty, and a hazy disconnect from reality, look like they are coming to an end folks, and perhaps a very abrupt one. So, time to "listen up" and prepare, to be the ant and not the grasshopper.

Finally, the author often writes that there are many military manuals or other publications that give more detailed information on this or that subject which he is just outlining. One thing that I believe would have greatly increased the usefulness of this book would have been a select bibliography of several of the key military manuals and other publications that he was referring to.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book made me reevaluate how I look at my home and I WISH I had read it BEFORE my home was renovated.

A planned bedroom move at the front of the house to the back of the house is still on but after reading this book, the new windows at the front of the house will no longer be large white casement windows. Instead, they will be two rows of NARROW HIGH DARK windows running across the front which OPEN IN (so people outside cannot tell the windows are open from the outside) to let in ventilation/breeze but are also too small and high for someone to climb in. On the house plans, they look quite modern and leave a lot of wall space in the new living room area which is great. I plan to build a bookcase against that wall seen in a magazine that is also a ladder but doesn't look like one so if someone wants to look outside, go for it. I found venting round windows (any size I want or color or heat/cold value, whatever) on a Chinese website and I was thinking of buying a few very small round peep hole windows which open by turning(They don't open inside or outside) but actually spin open so half the window is venting when open so people can look out.

I had french doors put in before I read this book and they are being removed now. Too easy to break into and in storms, to easy to blow in.

The checklist is great also. Worth the cost of the book by itself.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
The author here has a very good command of the subject matter and he approaches the "issues" which an individual might face in a very realistic fashion. Thought provoking. I am a former member of a very busy major city SWAT team and so much of what I read in this subject area is much too strongly influenced by common perceptions and television drama which are inaccurate and unfortunately can get some well intentioned (and even well prepared) person killed--typically at the hands of someone not so well intentioned. You may need to be prepared to make quick decisions in situations most of you have never faced, this book provides real world guidance for what to do before you have to make those decisions and how to realistically analyze those situations when they arise. If bad things happen in society and you have to resort to a firearm to defend yourself and your family against an armed attacker somebody is most likely going to end up slowly and painfully dying--accept this and you increase the chances that you or your family member won't be the one on the ground gasping and feeling their life slip away. Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst!
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88 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The author leads the reader thru a variety of different defensive circumstances--urban neighborhood, farm, lowrise apt, highrise apt. I thought the advice given was fairly accurate on tactical defense, until I came to the part about weapons. The Author recommends a .308 cal.(7.62x51) rifle, a "POF PX308" (never heard of it) "with a 16 in. barrel. It is death incarnate at 900 meters and it will stop almost any non-armored vehicle within 200 meters." Hmm. I don't think so. Maybe if you hit it in the engine it might stop a car or truck at 200 meters, but don't count on it. Further, a 16 inch barrel is not that accurate, over 250 meters, even with a scope. That is why they make longer barreled rifles. the 16 in. is good up to 300 meters, if that.

The author lost me on his credibility at that point. The author also recommends a Barrett .50 cal rifle. Okay if you can afford the $4000 for one (scope is more)and $5+ per round, and you want to hit targets at one mile. His other advice leads me to believe that he is really not that familiar with firearms and based his writing on what someone told him. The reader should talk around their choices with other knowledgeable folks before buying.

My recommendations would be (per family of 3 or 4) a .308 Remington or Savage bolt action, ($500), Upper shelf scope ($400+), a 12 ga pump shotgun (Rem 870 or Mossberg), and two semi-auto pistols (same, with about 20 mags) in .40S&W or .45Auto caliber. Of course lots and lots of ammo for each, to use in defense, hunting, and barter. An AR-15 style carbine (here is the 16 in bbl) would be an add-on after the above. The selections given by the author generally price the average family out of the market.

The author failed to note that an Army rifle (M-16) uses the same parts as an AR-15, yes, but some in the fire control area are illegal for civilians to have, and must be very careful which parts they have to avoid prosecution by the BATFE. On page 149, item 7, I think the author has mistaken the AK with the AR-15. The AK will do what he says, but not the AR-15, which must be kept squeaky clean to be reliable. To read up on gunware, get a copy of "Boston's Gun Bible."

As mentioned elsewhere, the book is the less for typos, spelling, and other poor proof-reading. the author should have had a professional proofer review it and used better graphics (apparently originally in color, but not in the book) that looked cheap and was hard to comprehend.

All in all, the book is not bad on basic defensive tactics as far as it goes, but could have been better organized with better advice. There are better books out there.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
First of all, this is a book on home defense - literally defending your home or bug-out location. It does NOT focus on a typical "home invasion" criminal act like most home defense books.

Second, the author states up front that nothing he recommends should damage or decrease the property value of your house. This is great, since 99.99% of modern homes are not designed or constructed for defense.

In this book, drawn in part from military manuals on defensive tactics, the author talks about what steps you should consider and possibly implement in order to make your house, "compound" or bug out location defensible from small scale attacks. He gives fairly equal coverage to both overt and covert ways to make your place safer and protect your people and assets. Most importantly, he does not stress turning your place into a fortress, unless that's what you're intending. In that case, this may not be the right book for you.

Odds are that when you finish this book and assess your own situation, you'll find that without major changes your current abode is most likely indefensible. However, by following some of the tips the author gives, you can improve your situation significantly. If nothing else, you'll at least have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and be better able to decide if you could bug-in or must bug-out.

Lastly, if you're looking for a good piece of property to purchase for a bug-out location, this book can help you decide which features are present and what, if anything, you can do to make the situation more to your liking before your commit to a purchase.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking to make their home more secure in a disater situation without turning it into a walled fortress.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Many of the ideas in this book are a cut above anything else out there. Inventive, functional, and affordable.

The included bug-in/bug-out decision assistance worksheet is a brilliant idea.

Well done Joe Nobody !
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I've been a Preppie - OK half a Preppie - for some time now.
Living in South Africa, our conditions, the make-up of the potential raiders including their possible weapons and mode of attack, differs somewhat from what you are to encounter in the 'States.
Nevertheless, I found the basic theory sound, and most of the tactics very applicable with minor adaptions to suit our local circumstances.
What I did like a lot, was the thorough explanations given for doing things in a certain way.
Initially I expected to see some more info on other matters like food, and other things to be stocked, but then there are half a zillion good books and sites that cover that part of the SHTF scenario.
All in all a very thought provoking book that make you see your defense plans in a different light.
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36 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Decent info on preparing, defending and evaluating your "after event" location, but the chapter on weapons should be skipped. In fact the authors suggests such if the reader has any working knowledge of firearms. Bad though for novices reading this chapter. The weapons suggested are based on the AR15, M4, M16 family(even the POF in .308 is AR based and unproven in combat). Although the AR family of rifles has been around 60 years, they require diligent preventative maintenance (cannot go thousands of rounds without cleaning as the author suggests!)Very bad for a post event enviroment where PM may be impracticable.
He disses the Springfield Armory rifles that are in .308 which have a combat proven track record, only touches on the FNFAL, AK 47 and doesn't mention the HK 91 (PTR 91) family of weapons.
These .30 cal types are far superior in versatility and reliabilty. What good is a light weight weapon that has availble spart parts if it breaksdown or malfs in a critical situation?
Shot them all. Buy Boston's Gun Bible for an extensive evaluation of all these Boston's Gun Biblerifles--you will not pick an AR type rifle.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have 10 years of military service, and this book taught me that I knew NOTHING about security. If law enforcement cannot protect you, what will you do? This book helped me put together a strategic plan that I've applied to a number of "what-if" scenarios. Three specific things I took from it were:
1) If the author was a marauder, and wanted to test the inhabitants of a home, he would use a rifle from long-range and not risk a direct assault. Most people would evacuate immediately. I would have,too!! But not now.
2) An orderly retreat can be a good thing. If outnumbered 5-to-1, realize that you can't protect your family if you are dead. I had been determined to "bug-in," but have since set up escape routes and a supply cache.
3) Sandbags. I have protective gear, but I had NO idea about the power of a humble sandbag.

The author had many other excellent points, but I was somewhat aware of them before I read the book. Even if you consider yourself an expert in home defense, this guy will teach you something. Get it, man !!
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