Shooting Range Assclowns – How I Could Have Died

Yesterday morning was so nice, I thought I would go to the range for a few hours. I packed one of my AR-15s and my three Glocks up and headed out on the 45 minute drive.

Being a weekday morning there was only one old guy and me.  He actually had 4 AR-15s there with him (and nothing else) which was surprising to me considering he was probably in his 70s.  We talked for a bit about our rifles and accessories, and how he was having problems maintaining zero on some piece of crap eBay carry handle scope mount he had recently purchased.

After shooting for a while, we were both down range checking our targets and 3 guys around my age (late 20s) showed up.  My immediate thought was *cool, some guys to shoot with.. maybe we can get a friendly competition going or something* like I’ve done with some guys I’ve met there in the past. Anyways, i’m walking back towards the benches straight up the middle of the range and I see one of the young guys unpacking some of his stuff, at this point i’m about 25 yards away.  He proceeds to pull a Remington 700 SPS Tactical (See picture below) out of a case, set it on the middle bench right infront of me (I’m about 10 yards away at this point)…  This assclown has his hands all over the gun and starts quickly working the bolt back and forth 3-4 times while it’s pointed directly at my chest.

W T F?

I duck out to the side as this is happening and in an irritated voice say to him “You couldn’t have waited 5 seconds to do that?” and shake my head. No apology or anything, he immediately goes into tough guy mode and says something to his other friend about how I gave him shit… then the 3rd friend asks what happened and I see them shaking their head in disgust at me.  With a fresh target taped up, I decided to leave at that point and head over the handgun range where my chance of getting shot would be zero.

Here was his rifle; the Remington 700 SPS Tactical.  I didn’t notice if it was .223 or .308, but at 10 yards if an negligent discharge (ND) were to have occurred, needless to say no matter which caliber it was, my last breath would have likely contained pieces of my heart, lung, and ribcage.

For those that don’t know.. the most popular meaning of the term assclown according to Urban Dictionary is:

Sounds pretty accurate.

Do you guys have any similar stories to share?

44 COMMENTS

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Dave July 13, 2010 at 04:05 am

My story is no less horrific.

I went to the Game Lands handgun range a few years back, and I’d shot a few strings when these two guys show up, set their stuff up, so far so good. They seemed nice enough, leaving me little reason to expect what came not 15 minutes later.

So I’m finishing up a string, and I hear BLAM! I think to myself that these guys are firing a mighty heavy caliber, and sure enough, there they were with a Glock 20. I see them fiddling with it, and I ask if there’s anything I can do to help. Well, they were firing handloads, pretty hot at that, and apparently they were loading it into ballooned brass that they hadn’t resized so the extractor couldn’t get a bite on the rim and the case was stuck. After a while of monkeying with it they get the bright idea to ram the case out from the muzzle end with a screwdriver. Right there on the range. They muzzle swept me, of course, but that’s not the worst of it. Not even remotely.

So they finally get the case out, reinsert the magazine, and chamber another handloaded round. This time the guy pulls the trigger and it goes CLICK. Yeah, these rounds were all kinds of messed up. So they rack the slide again, and as before it wouldn’t budge. But here’s where it gets good.

They put their heads together and decide that the appropriate course of action is for one of them to hold the weapon with the breech open while the other hits the primer with the aforementioned screwdriver. As my jaw hits the ground I consider that this might not be the best place for me to be at that moment in time so I immediately (and quickly) pack my stuff up. On the way to my car I suggest to them that they might not want to do what they’re planning. And what do you imagine they said to me?

Are you ready for this?

“Don’t worry about us, we’re cops.”

I got in my car and left just as fast as I could without saying another word.

Did they blow themselves and the gun to kingdom come? I never heard anything about it, so I doubt it very much. Perhaps they were overcome with a sense of self-preservation along the way and decided it was a bad idea. One can only hope so. But I have never, ever seen anything like that before or since, and I hope it stays that way.

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Bryan S July 13, 2010 at 11:26 am

Cops, 9 times out of 10, know the least about firearms and proper firearms safety.

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Dan July 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm

heard that, and I have a few friends who are cops to confirm lol

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Moi July 13, 2010 at 07:17 pm

Yea, I know three people personally that have had ND’s (no human injury, but some property damage) All three were police officers.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:00 am

Holy, that is unbelievable!

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NM505 July 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Wow!! I was at Calibers in Albuquerque shooting my glock 23. I was starting my second string when this young man enters the lane next to me. He looked “gangsta”, baggy pants, jersey, shaved head… and was getting ready to fire a S&W sigma that He had just purchased. He was accompanied by his girlfriend. He puts his target out to about 7 yards, loads the pistol, inverts the gun so it is horizontal, classic gangsta style, and starts to squeeze off as fast as possible. I was shocked…! 13 rounds later his target only showed one hit on the bottom left side of the target. Having just placed a new target, I put mine equal to his and fired 10 .40 caliber rounds into the face of my target in a rapid fire sequence. I was expecting the “gangsta” to follow suit, maybe try to mimic my grip…at the very least a rudimentary cup and saucer grip…Nope! 13 more rounds down range gangsta style. I was stunned. I took a break and watched the other shooters practice. The gangsta squeezed off all 50 rounds, grabbed his target which had 4 holes and walked out smiling…The funny thing, during the whole encounter, gangstas girlfriend looked so embarrassed….!! As having lots of friends in law enforcement I am glad that alot of Albuquerque’s criminal element, or potential criminal element, lacks fundamental shooting skills. Cheers Mike!!! Wonderful blog you run!!!

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Admin (Mike) July 22, 2010 at 04:18 pm

Hahah the classic sideways shooting of the gangsta… I wonder how many of them stop doing that after the visit a range and have an experience similar to the one you witnessed?

Glad you like the blog, thanks a lot for following it.

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Chirol July 13, 2010 at 06:27 am

I’ve had something similar. While shooting skeet once, I was 3rd in line or so and a group of people in their early 20s joined us. It was immediately clear some had never shot skeet before and others just once or twice. We say our hellos and I go back to watching the shooter. Out of the corner of my eye I realize that the guy behind me is loading his shotgun. I quickly told him not to and he complied and apologized but jeez. Dont load until on the firing line.

I’ve also had a bunch of people just start walking onto the field in teh middle of others shooting, but at least they would have screwed themselves, not me.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:11 am

It’s amazing that accidents don’t happen more often with people doing dumb stuff like that with guns.

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Aaron Spuler July 13, 2010 at 09:55 am

My similar experience was when I was at the range qualifying for my CHL. We’d completed the classroom portion but had not yet performed the live fire exercises. We had some time for practice at the range. Some early 20’s dorks in all black (way to be smart at an outdoor range, in the 100° heat in the middle of the Texas summer guys) walked up to shoot in the stall next to me. They weren’t there for the CHL course, thankfully. They looked like they’d only fired guns in video games before.

So they go and post up a target, and load up some ammunition. I’m not sure the type of handgun they were using. It wasn’t a pistol, I’m thinking a Glock but not 100% sure. The smaller of the two fires off an entire magazine. Doesn’t even have a single hit on the paper target. It’s not like they were shooting at a target 100 yards away or anything, no sir. They were shooting at the 7 yard line. 21 feet. On a full man sized silhouette target. There were some hits on the backing around the paper, and a few hits on the 4×4 posts holding the target board up. Then the taller one gets his turn, and believe it or not, he’s an even worse shot. No hits on the paper at all. This guy’s hitting the 4×4 posts and the dirt. Not the dirt of the berm behind the target. The dirt at the base of the target.

After their first magazine each they manage to get some lucky hits on the paper, but none on the silhouette at all. Funny thing was, they seemed extraordinarily pleased with their performance.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:14 am

Brutal.. those guys definitely fall somewhere into this list

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Pd July 13, 2010 at 10:37 am

Jeff Cooper’s probably somersaulting in his grave.

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Bryan S July 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

Dont know about your range, but on my club’s range, the rule is there is NO handling what-so-ever of firearms when the range is clear. No picking up, no packing out, no nothing.

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bigpen15 July 14, 2010 at 02:13 pm

..that’s how my range is….Range is cold..range is hot. Barrels ALWAYS point down range…range master is god. Zero tolerance for mistakes.

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bigpen15 July 14, 2010 at 02:14 pm

LMFAO!!

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tacotwofer July 14, 2010 at 02:14 pm

wow..graphic! But true…

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:18 am

Yea my range has all those rules too, but since there is rarely authority there lost of people choose not to follow the rules… pretty crappy for guys like me that don’t want to get hurt.

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Dan July 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Come on really? I wonder how they would’ve liked it if you worked the action of your AR pointed right at them. Assclowns indeed my friend.

and why does Chrome underline Assclown as a misspelled word? It’s obviously in the urban dictionary so it should be recognized as a legitimate word right?? I mean COME ON!

There are some real dumbasses at the range. I saw this one couple about my age (mid twenties) come in, never shot or even held a gun in their lives and they asked to shoot the S&W 500. I think just about everyone in the shop at the time just dropped what they were doing and just stared at em with the, “WTF” and “NO” look. haha it was classic.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:22 am

hahah yea chrome needs to get with the program and add Assclown!

hahah S&W 500 for a first shot on a pistol … classic.

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bigpen15 July 13, 2010 at 02:25 pm

…what a fucking cocksucker…..

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Bryan S. July 14, 2010 at 06:33 am

Classy, what an argument!

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bigpen15 July 14, 2010 at 02:11 pm

oh jeez!!! I’m sorry Bryan S. Oh the dastardly youth wielding a Remy heavy barrel in such fashion..Oh the humanity, threatening our dear blog owner. Such a travesty…!! I’m glad the owner of this fine blog was not hurt…but they are a bunch of cocksuckers…I’m sorry Bryan S…do you like penis?

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A guy July 13, 2010 at 07:45 pm

I’ve got a little story thats kinda similar.

When I was on a rifle range shooting some target .22 LR’s, a few little kids walked in with there parents to have a fun day on the range and shoot some guns. The smallest of the kids actually displayed very good trigger discipline, and he was a decent shot too. However, the parents were not even remotely as good as their children.

The mom, with a rented .22 rifle, took the …booth (I guess).. next to me. I was shooting an Anshutz target rifle at the time, trying to earn my NRA Expert patch. So, I finished off my fourth target, cleared my chamber, and put my rifle in the rest. Then, I started spotting for the mom who was shooting. When she was finished, I bent down to help pick up the spent casings. (Note: She had already put down the weapon by now). A few seconds later, she picked the rifle back up, and I said “Excuse, me,–” at this point, she had spun around, her weapon tracking… She pointed it right at my face said “Sorry?”. I immediately grabbed the barrel and moved it away from my face, and then proceeded to torque the weapon free from her hands.

I’m pretty sure she realized what she did and started with the rapid fire apologies right now, but I was too busy checking the chamber to listen. I pulled back the bolt, and sure enough, I saw brass. As this point I was thinking something along the lines of “Holy Shit”, but I calmed down when I realized that it was a spent casing.

Still, if that had been loaded, and she pulled the trigger, I would have been a dead man. After that, I put the gun down, and went and got the range master (Who I happen to be very good friends with). I explained what happened to him, and sure enough, she was off the range forever.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:28 am

wow.. that’s just scary, spent casing or not. Glad to hear they booted her

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Linoge July 13, 2010 at 07:57 pm

I have to admit, you were about three orders of magnitude more polite to those halfwitted morons than I ever would have been… And, yeah, just about every range I have been to where you have to go down and collect your targets has a hard-and-fast NO TOUCHIE rule when someone is forward of the firing line. Sounds like you might need to bring it up.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:34 am

Yea I almost flew off the handle, but I figured since nothing actually happened, rather than get into a fist fight or something with the “tough guy” cause his ego was bruised from getting yelled at I thought it was better just to walk away.

As long as there is no resident safety guy always at the range I can’t see a majority of people following the rules… unless they put up cameras or something. Even fake cameras I bet would curb a lot of the stupidity.

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KB July 14, 2010 at 07:14 am

I never shoot at public ranges anymore, and this is why. Last time I was at my local state game land’s range I felt as though I could be shot at any moment. Guys were shooting 2 pistols at once (cross-armed?) and sideways like their favorite rappers. The same guys NEVER took their fingers off the trigger, even when they were pointing the muzzle at anyone who happened to be around. I joined a private gun club and haven’t looked back, the facilities are far superior to any nearby public ranges, and if anyone ever pulled this kind of thing there, they’d be out on their ass in moments.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:37 am

Yea a private club would be nice. These uncontrolled environments are just disasters waiting to happen.

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Sean OH July 14, 2010 at 07:59 am

I actually enjoy shooting at a local state park now that the range has imeplemented a simple solution to assclowns, they have a rope setup 10 feet behind the benches. When “cease fire” is called so folks can go down range and check/swap targets, anyone not going down range has to go stand behind the rope. Nobody walks down range until everyone else is behind the rope. Those two rules have resulted in what was formerly a very scary range now being a nice place to shoot. The rangemaster told me he paid for the rope and stantions out of his own pocket since the park didnt want to spend any more money on the range. Before that I always kept an eye on the firing line while downrange b/c some ijut would be fondling his “insert gun of the week here” like it was gonna love him back.
I dream of one day owning some property out in the country like what I grew up on (a 500 acre farm) and not hvaing to go to the range anymore…..

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:38 am

That rope idea is damn good… as long as people follow it.

Owning a bunch of property out in the country is my dream too.

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Michael July 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I have two. One that involved me,and another that involves a friend, both at the same public DNR range.

This is range used mostly by old folks target shooters, but is freqented by 20-something punks and other ilk. One the day I was there a group of about 4 or 5 with their girlfriends in tow were up there with a shotgun, even thought skeet isn’t allowed. Anyhow, it didn’t take long for them to piss of the shooters there, with shooting the cover awning and tossing a clay pigon into the same awing. We all quickly told them to stop and for their safety and ours leave before the Park rangers were called.

On the day with my buddy, a group of hispanics were up there,with what he describe as a group buy on an AK,and they didn’t obviously know what they were doing. He didn’t even unpack, just went back to the car,and left for an hour. Then came back when they left. They were shooting everything from the target stands to the 3 feet infront of them.

Gotta be careful at those DNR ranges, you never know what you might walk up on.

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tacotwofer July 14, 2010 at 04:14 pm

Why did you have to mention that he was Hispanic…? are you trying to imply something? Would have stated “Anglo-Saxons” “Caucasians” “Germanic’s” “Gauls” “colored folk”? Oh..are the Hispanics invading your gun range…?

I was at the range yesterday and this portly Germanic looking man was trying his new S&W M&P. I tell you what that Germanic man sure knew how to shoot!! There was also this colored man, shooting a Garand. Tell you what, that 30-06 is an impressive round…There was a Mexican there, probably illegal..because you know all Mexicans/Hispanics/basques in this country are illegal…shooting a brand new Bushy ACR..lord knows magpul sure knows how to design firearms…

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:40 am

Ugh.. I hate when people shoot the target stands. That is a huge problem here too… so much I’m almost considering making my own and bringing them along.

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Evil Josh July 14, 2010 at 04:04 pm

I hate hearing about stuff like this happening.. It is a damned shame that people don’t treat firearms with due respect sometimes.

I also have been swept with loaded and unloaded weapons. In the military and out, it doesn’t matter. There is always someone that looks at firearms as toys. I would say you handled it markedly better than I have in the past.

Constant vigilance, the same that you would have if you were in a shady part of town, is what state I try to be in while at the range. Just because you feel like the other hobbyists aren’t a threat like a mugger, you still have to watch them like a hawk. Even when I was younger and into airsoft and paintball, I was the token asshole that would be quick to get on someone about muzzle and trigger discipline.

I have to say though, I am just happy that you were able to write the article, Mike. It could have gone south quick.

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Admin (Mike) July 16, 2010 at 03:42 am

Thanks. Yea I agree, the constant vigilance is a must when you are around things that can kill you!

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Skip July 15, 2010 at 03:29 am

@ taco
Aw, did someone hurt your widdle feelings?
Your card is wearing out.

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tacotwofer July 15, 2010 at 05:07 pm

Card? what card…I hope you don’t mean “green card” because that would hurt my widdle feelings…My ancestors conquered New Mexico 500 years ago under the Spanish crown. We never had green cards…when NM became a state the Spanish families assimilated into the fabric of American society without much of a problem…I hope you didn’t mean green card…Spaniards built the southwest and laid the foundation for American society in this part of the world. Most of the Spaniards that settled were basques, Catholics and crypto Jews who were fleeing the Inquisition…

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John Farrier July 16, 2010 at 01:24 pm

I’m a n00b when it comes to guns, so this is the only story I have to share.

At the range that I frequent, there are often tactical handgun competitions on Saturday mornings. I was on the rifle range with my .22. A ceasefire was called, so I immediately ejected the magazine and the unspent round, and racked the rifle. But the competitors decided that the ceasefire didn’t apply to them, and kept on blazing away.

There was no real danger, but a ceasefire means a ceasefire, dammit.

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Admin (Mike) July 22, 2010 at 03:19 pm

Yea that’s annoying considering the ceasefire could have been called for some major safety reasons.. not just cause someone wanted to go down range to check a target.

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demontjoie July 18, 2010 at 03:53 pm

I had a somewhat humorous encounter with a group of doofuses (doofi?) out at an indoor range in San Leandro, CA some years back.

I was shooting a 1911 in 45ACP (the only truly civilized caliber for this gun) — just having a nice old day and punching -pantsed asians (sorry Taco, but their ethnicity is germane to the story — no offense intended) rolled in with an apparent group-buy of a 9mm plastic-pistol.

I kept shooting slow & steady wile they set-up and began to blast. After a bit, I noticed that they weren’t putting any holes in the paper (man-sized silhouette). But every time they shot, I noticed they were kicking-up sand ~5-7 yards downrange. Each time they shot, they would yabber amongst themselves — I dunno what language it was, but none of it was English. I suggested that they might want to shoot from a rest (which were available) — but they looked at me like I was speaking Swahili and ignored me.

Eventually, I became merciful (or malicious — I dunno which for sure) and decided to help them out. I squeezed one off and put a hole right in the center of the chest of their target.

THEY WERE ECSTATIC! They cranked back the target, took it down, and took turns yabbering about it and admiring it like it was the Mona Lisa. I thought for sure that they would figure-out pretty quickly that somebody was messing with them, due to the obvious size difference between a 45 hole and a 9mm hole.

But then I realized that THEY HAD NEVER BEFORE SEEN A 9MM HOLE, so they had no frame of reference. LOL!!!

I left a few minutes later after they had blown a hole in an overhead fluorescent light fixture.

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Admin (Mike) July 22, 2010 at 03:21 pm

LOL doofi, that’s an awesome term.. i’ll have to use it.

But then I realized that THEY HAD NEVER BEFORE SEEN A 9MM HOLE, so they had no frame of reference.

LOL that’s awesome.

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Rick November 24, 2010 at 09:13 am

There is a lot of eight year old mentality going around-and standing up for safety is just one more thing “they” don’t understand. They are only “eight.” After confronting life threatening bad behavior at my range (kids loading gun and pointing it at my direction as the cease fire light was flashing two feet from their table) guess who got talked to about his “bad demeanor”? ME!

That’s right, the kids did NOT appreciate being talked to in THAT tone of voice. Apparently their mommy tells them everything they do including their poopie is “golden.” And they had never been corrected for bad behavoior before and didn’t like it.

Great, isn’t it? After a bunch of episodes like that our rangemaster put a red “hotline” phone in so that rather than argue with these children we can simply pick up the phone and have them thrown off the range. It remains to be seen how well this will work, but sounds good to me.

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Admin (Mike) November 24, 2010 at 02:56 pm

That hotline phone is a great idea. It will be interesting to see how that works out, because unless there are also video cameras at the range i’m sure there will be a lot of denial by the offending party who had a call placed about them.

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MAC21500 April 8, 2011 at 04:29 pm

My father told me a few good stories;
One was while he was working on his car in North Carolina many years back.
He was under the car and happened to hear several pops. got out from under the car, happened again, then a few bullets landed near him so he dove back under the car. Came out again and saw two kids with .22s shooting at birds in a tree about a hundred yards away. They got a damn stern talking to by him.
Two other incidents involved people shooting at or around him while he was setting up targets downrange. In one instance, he told the individuals to cease fire, and that he was downrange. they snickered and fired again. He fired back at this point; they nearly shat themselves hearing a couple hot .357 hand loads come their way and proceeded to apologize profusely and leave.
The other instance, he never saw the assclown that took a shot at him.

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