The Very Fundamentals of Hallway Defense


The Very Fundamentals of Hallway Defense

John J. Woods
Magnolia Outdoor Communications


Hallways can be a scary thing. Hallways can be very complicated spaces to defend or clear. It is highly recommended that you seek out a professional shooting course to receive proper hands on training for this one. Even so, here are some of the basics to consider.

Wherever you are right now or whatever you are doing, get up and walk around the interior spaces of your home, or worksite. Walk all the hallways that you might have to utilize to hide out or escape within that dwelling. Make a full assessment of all the obstacles and challenges of trying to defend yourself from the end of a hallway or off hallway room. What if those spaces were already invaded, and you had to clear them?

Generally speaking in terms of traditional building construction layouts hallways present three basic formats or shapes. These are the “L” turns, the “T” at a hall doorway, and the “4-Way” intersections. Each presents its own difficulties and challenges to defend or clear.

The main difficulty if you are forced to advance down a hallway to inspect it for security or infiltration is having to not only work forward down the hall with situational awareness, but also to remain aware of any threats behind you that might literally pop up.

If you are using a handgun for interior work, then the firearm should be kept at a high ready position, where the gun can be held close, but even fired from that position. If using a shotgun or a rifle, then keep it close but forward with the muzzle down slightly so as not to obstruct any forward vision as you move ahead down the hall.

As you go down a hallway always present the smallest profile as possible. This reduces your exposure to any threat down the hallway. If there is a closed door, ease it open only enough to scan all corners with a strong flashlight using care to position your gun’s muzzle appropriately. Ease to “Ls” and 4-Ways carefully. This is easier said than done of course.

If you have retreated to the end of a hall or off hall room, then barricade the door as in an active shooter scenario. Ideally pick a room in advance that has an escape route, safe window exit or secondary doorway. Hunker down and wait for help. Phone out if you can. Hallways are tricky. That is why training in such scenarios is paramount.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1969250204

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

Read More