Most preppers are concerned with being able to defend their family, their property and their lives. However the thought of self-defense may actually be putting you at a disadvantage if you’re faced with a deadly threat.

Lets look at the definition:

Defend – “Resist an attack made on (someone or something); protect from harm or danger” Google definition.

And this definition goes along with the mindset of what defense actually is. When we think of defending ourselves against a threat we aren’t meeting that threat with the strongest resistance possible.

Blocking and shielding against an attack is alright and has its place. If someone is only coming at you with fists and don’t know how to fight with them then defending yourself may be fairly easy. But if you’re being attacked by someone with deadly resolve you may want to consider changing your mindset.

In a case like this, especially involving the use of firearms it may be time to switch to thinking “counter-attack”.

Logically a firearm isn’t something that you defend yourself with. Its purpose is to attack, or counter-attack putting down a threat quickly.

Being in the mindset and constantly thinking about defending yourself may keep you from taking quick decisive action when you find yourself in a fight. Defensive tactics will cause hesitation, which usually puts you at a severe disadvantage.

When guns are involved you are in a fight, there is no other way to think about it. And the one with the best skills, firearm and resolve will win the battle.

How do we change our mindset?

The best way to get out of the “defensive” mindset is to get proper training from professionals. This training needs to focus on fighting with a firearm and not marksmanship. You do need marksmanship skills and if you haven’t developed those yet, do it right away. Before you get the fighting training you have to know how to shoot accurately.

If you have a group of people that will be with you to protect your assets then you need to get group training. This will teach you how to work together to repel any threat.

Don’t think like a rifleman.

Many shooters talk all about their accuracy and distance shooting abilities. When it comes to fighting with a firearm this isn’t going to save you. You need to learn how to take available shots when you have them. You won’t be able to take your time and plan every shot to perfection. Your fighting style needs to be more “guerrilla” like.

What’s the best “fighting” firearm?


While some may say the shotgun is the best all around gun, I tend to disagree. I do keep one at home for self-defense purposes because it’s great in close quarters and can do a lot of damage. It’s also a point and go weapon. But it has to many limitations to be the best fighting weapon.

First the shotgun is great up close. But it has a very limited range and most shotguns don’t hold as many rounds as you may need.


A pistol is great to conceal on your body and is a great self-defense weapon. The pistol’s big advantage is its ability to be carried easily and drawn quickly.

I’ll pick a double stack magazine pistol over a shotgun for fighting because I can have more rounds in a compact package. To be effective with a pistol in a fight you need a lot of training. It’s easy to forget the intricacies of proper pistol shooting in a high stress situation.


If I need to fight this is the type of firearm I’ll be using. I’m not talking about a deer rifle, or a long-range sniper set up. We’re talking short barrel carbines. This is the most flexible platform for fighting with a firearm.

You can go from body mass shots to accurate shots with hardly any adjustment. I can also quickly go from long shots to close up shots and barely loose a beat.

You can get great knock down power and high capacity magazines to extend your ability to lay down fire without reloading as often.

A lot of experts agree that a carbine rifle is the best option for a fighting weapon.

What carbine is best?

Everyone has their preference but I’ll stick with the AR-15 semi auto carbine. I wanted a little more knock down power than the .223 even though it’s a great round so I went with an AR in 7.62 x 39. This is the same round as the AK 47, which is also a great fighting carbine.

Other options are carbines in pistol calibers, the Ruger ranch rifle (mini 14), Springfield M1A and a whole host of other “tactical” semi-auto rifles. This category of rifle is under attack by the government but they are getting more affordable due to failing national gun control schemes.

There are more options than ever, pick the one that fits you best and that you feel the most comfortable with.

Regardless of whether you choose to fight with a rifle, pistol or shotgun the most important part is changing your self-defense mindset to a counter-attack state of mind.

This will give you the best chance of survival; just remember to get good training!

If you have experience with this, or even disagree with me please comment below and we’ll get the conversation started

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Self Defense Vs. Counter Attack Photo by: Penny Mathews