When one door opens….

It’s been an extremely long day training and you’ve just arrived home for some much needed rest. As you approach your front door, something just doesn’t seem right.  You know that you didn’t leave your door open, and some things in the front room appear to be out of place. The first thing you think about is the training you’ve had regarding defensive situations, and your muscle memory takes charge.  You immediately grab your pistol from the holster, conduct a quick press check, and begin to execute the plan you’ve practiced so many times.

Sul Position

Considerably the most difficult part of this type of defensive situation would be how you deal with managing doorways.  This facet of the defensive situation has a myriad of variables that surround it.  Does this door open in or out?  What side is the hinges of the door on?  How much navigable space lies inside of this doorway?  All of these variables and more must be managed if this situation is to be survived.  Unfortunately, these types of situations never occur in a vacuum, so responsible armed citizens should ensure that their training allows them to seamlessly integrate this plan with the plans created to clear a hallway (before door actions), as well as plans created to clear rooms (after door actions).

Being able to keep this plan consistent for all situations in which doorways need to be managed is paramount.  Remember guys…..when we train to manage doorways, don’t let your thought process stop at a piece of wood (or metal) with hinges and a handle.  Keep the scope of thought wide enough to give attention to the spaces in front of and behind the doorway.

Although your plan to manage doorways will be germane to the situation that you are in and to your preference of procedure, we at PSA have a couple of tips to help you develop your plan.

  1.  For doors that open into the room to be cleared, always start on the knob side of the door.  Ensure that the door is unlocked, and push it open as much as possible.  In this case you want to open it forcefully enough to be able to see and hear the door meet resistance (something that causes the door to stop).  If you’re lucky you will hear the knob hit the opposing wall (a good indication that no-one is behind the door).  Swiftly and deliberately back away and begin to “cut the pie” in order to start clearing the room.
  2. For doors that open out (toward you) start on the handle side of the door.  Ensure that it is unlocked, open it and swing the door open as much as possible.  Swiftly and deliberately back away and begin to “cut the pie” in order to start clearing the room.
  3. As you clear the room, be sure to not over-expose any elbows, legs and feet, or other body parts.  As you enter the room to be cleared, make sure that at every point of “cutting the pie” the first thing to become visible is the muzzle of the firearm and your dominant eye.  The smaller the area exposed the better.

One last tip to successfully managing doorways, is to make sure that your muzzle is always pointed forward and ready for action.  The unknown will always present wrinkles to the plan, and having that muzzle up and close to optimal firing position will bode well for you.

***  If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.  

We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!!  We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates!  We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!!  We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!

And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!


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