Book Review: Protecting your Homestead: Using a Rifle to Defend Life on your Property by Grant Cunningham

In over two years of writing on this blog, it has occurred to me, that I have not done any book reviews thus far outside of a single article I did in which I recommended what I consider to be the top works on self-defense that everyone should read.  Well, considering the fact that you could fill a library with the amount of books I have read on self-defense topics alone, I thought it is time I start doing a brief review on some of them.

I just finished reading Protecting Your Homestead by Grant Cunningham.  This is the fourth book I have read by Grant, and all four books were excellent, I may review some of his other books if I have time to do so.  Since this is the book fresh on my mind I will start here:

I like Grant Cunningham’s work because he tends to live and operate in reality instead of fantasy tactical band camp.  For any of you who are preppers, read his book Prepping for Life.  It is the best book on practical prepping I have encountered.  Anyway, concerning this book, Grant tackles to topic of using a rifle to defend life on your own property, in particular a rural environment like a homestead or ranch.  In referencing the defense of life, Grant refers to not only human life, but livestock.  Protecting livestock from predators is something that I am well familiar with, having grown up on a farm myself.  In this capacity the rifle is very much just another farm tool.

This book tackles to topic of the defensive rifle in a civilian context and it does so in an incredibly realistic and applicable manner.  As citizens our primary defensive firearm remains the handgun.  A rifle, if it is used at all, will be deployed from a place of storage, as Grant covers in detail.  Outside of active military personnel, or perhaps certain specialty law enforcement groups, the handgun is the weapon that is readily available and most likely to be used.  For all of the preppers who actually seem to be hoping for a “collapse” I can tell you that, realistically, even under those conditions you will not walk around with a rifle on.  If a rifle is used it will be retrieved from a location of storage and deployed for a specific threat that has immerged, be it human or animal.  Grant’s overall dissection of this reality is excellent.

Grant goes into significant detail on the different weapon choices for this application and the various accessories that can be utilized.  He also spends time discussing where and how to stage a perimeter defense gun.  This discussion is particularly helpful, as a rifle that will be used for not only defense of the home, but of the property around the home, needs to be stored somewhere that is secure, but accessible.  Grant details the many considerations in how to store the rifle, and how to access and transport it to the location where it will be used.  He makes an excellent point concerning when to chamber the gun, as the rapid and panicked deployment of a chambered rifle can pose some dangers.

One point that Grant makes, and he admits that it will stir controversy, is the detriments of having a sling on a rifle that is stored for rapid emergency deployment, even suggesting that a perimeter defense rifle does not need a sling.  I absolutely agree with his assessment that the sling can pose issues, such as snagging on items while you retrieve and move with the gun, but I will say that I keep slings on all of my rifles.  I secure the sling by using rubber bands, a method that Grant actually offers and details as a means of securing a sling.  While I am certainly keeping the slings on my rifles, I think this book tackles the downsides to slings better than anything else I have read regarding the issue, and these points should be considered regardless of whether you keep a sling on the gun or opt to not use one.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for anyone who lives in a rural environment and relies on a rifle for defense, or even for the suburban dweller that keeps a rifle for home defense.  This is one of the best works on the use of the defensive rifle in the civilian world, and it is a very realistic approach. Two thumbs up.

You can get your copy of this excellent book here.

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