Friday, June 02, 2006

I went to the firing range today...

I went to the firing range today with two of my three best friends, James and Doug. James has an older brother (Jeff) who is a Federal agent living in San Francisco; their old man came too.

We went up to "Mile Corner" Guns and Gallery, Incorporated. This range is at the corner of SR 8 and SR 327 in Garrett, Indiana.

I do not go to the firing range very often. I tend to go about once a year and practice with a target that is a silhouette of a man (or woman). I have a Sig P229 of the 40 caliber variety. It is equipped with combat night sights.

This is currently the only gun I own. I bought it back in July of 1998 in Missouri. I bought it when I was afraid Bill Clinton and The Republican House was going to pass some laws that would make it harder for law abiding Americans to own handguns.

I have my handgun for one reason and one reason only. If someone breaks into my house and wants to harm my family I want to be able to kill them. Period.

There was some good news. I always fire one box "for effect." I generally shoot at a range of at least 30 feet and today I managed to put 48 of 50 rounds solidly into the torso area...

It was a good afternoon...

Mike Sylvester


Andrew Kaduk said...


Two things:

1. Aim for the head, not the torso. Even though Indiana has a "stand and fire" type provision in our code now, it's still illegal to shoot someone you don't intend to kill, and nothing says "dead MF" quite like a clean head shot.

2. What's the likelyhood you're gonna have to pick someone off from 30' in your home? My personal protection firearm doesn't even have a sight. It's accurate from about 2' to 7' which seems like plenty to me for defending my home from an intruder...

I'm just curious about #2...not busting your balls or anything.

Robert Enders said...

1. Only when you have a target that for some reason is sitting perfectly still should you aim for the head. In ANY self defence situation you are aiming at a moving target. It is better to aim for the heart, miss, and hit his lung than to aim for his brain, miss, and hit his ear. Even if he has a bullet proof vest on, getting shot in the chest will incapicitate a person. On the other hand, just getting grazed will probably not improve the situation.

The law does not impose a penelty if a person fires in self defence and the attacker doesn't die. In fact, if the attacker is incapacitated but still has a pulse, I'd advice against finishing him off.

That law seems to be geared towards preventing defendants from saying "I didn't mean to kill him" in court. As far as I am concerned, if you fire a gun at someone and they die, it's intentional.

2. You might see the guy in the front yard. Again, try aiming at an 8" target at 30' at night if you still think head shots are the way to go.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand...How many people actually need to kill someone in their homes. I understand you ran for NACS School Board (and thus live in Northwest Allen County). Isn't the fact that you live in the SAFEST portion of the county enough of a safety factor to protect your family?

I know my arguement will never change your mind. But I have yet to see a homicide in the suburbs of Allen County. Those who live in this area are protected by the Sheriff's department (located IN this area, on Lima Road) and an excellent patrol from Fort Wayne Police, as this is an area requested by officers to patrol because of its safety.

I might understand the need to carry a gun in Compton or Watts in LA or the urban areas of Chicago, but in Northwest Allen County Corn Country? If you dont hunt with it,to an outside observer of the facts mentioned above you might seem a little paranoid.

Tim Zank said...

Dear Anonymous,

Rest assured there have been homicides in the suburbs, not in huge numbers, but it happens.

Did it ever occur to you, one of the reasons it does happen so infrequently might just be because a lot of suburban/rural homeowners own guns and we know how to use them?

Newsflash: The bad guys aren't stupid, they usually pick an unarmed easy target.

Sucks to be you

bobett said...

What a great day to have some fun!

It's been a while since, I've practiced at a firing range. It's
a great skill, sport and requires
practice. But like anything, knowledge,awareness and practise... is good.

It's too bad rilfeling (target shooting) is not offered as an extra curricular activity at our
high schools. I took it at Culver Academy in the late 70's as a co-ed and turned out just fine.

By the way, ADT Security has a great service and can get to your door in about 3 minutes if anyone is really worried about home invasion. But it's even better
to know how to defend yourself in
an ememgency or if you need to survive, (like hunting to eat).

Just thought i'd mention the sport
of paintballing. It's a great
adrenalin rush and helps focus on shooting accuracy! It's Fun & teaches your kids many diverse skills.

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I think that you are most likely right. In my house I have a 20' hallway that leads into my bedroom. The odds are 20 feet is the FARTHEST I would ever fire. Most likely it would be 5 - 10 feet.

I do not find it challenging to shoot targets that are 10 or even 20 feet away... So I use 30 feet.

Anonymous said,

You have an interesting point. I actually do feel safe up here. I really bought the gun back when I thought Clinton was going to take handguns away from us with the help of The Republicans in Congress in the nineties.

One of the other people running for NACS Board has a concealed carry permit and sometimes carries his handgun.

I do not think owning ONE handgun, fifty rounds of ammunition, and firing it once a year could be considered paranoid by anyone... Could it?


Tim brings up a great point. Most criminals (NOT ALL) are looking for an easy target and not a fight. Back in my navy days I was in New York City down around 42nd street (Do not ask what we were doing, there is a reason we were accosted, we were in the wrong part of town) with two of my navy buddies. Five young hoods tried to intimidate us and rob us in broad daylight. When they found out that we were not going to give them anything they moved on and I am sure looked for easier marks...

I truly believe that if we all took care of ourselves, our families, and our neighbors, violent crime would be diminished.

Mike Sylvester

Jeff Pruitt said...

Putting your life into the hands of a statistical argument is not wise IMO.

"Gee, I live in the suburbs, why is this guy breaking into my house? Doesn't he know I live in a nice neighborhood and the police station is right down the road. I sure wish I had a gun right now but statistically who woulda thunk it?"

Anonymous said...

Dear Tim "Paranoid" Frank,
I am ashamed you believe that homeowners posessions of guns deterr the bad guys, which is an unbelievably ambiguous term which could mean all sorts of things. Are you referring to terrorists? Gangstas? the Mafia? the Commies? the Nazi's? The neocons? It is only because of this vague, unsubstantiated paranoia that gun ownership thrives on.

Because you are so paranoid, IT TRULY SUCKS TO BE YOU.

Robert Enders said...

Quite frankly Anonymous, sometimes local politician receive threats. Especially ones who advocate change. If Harney Milk had a gun, he'd be alive today.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

I've gotton death threats from people who read my web site.

Also, the right to defend one's home and family is God given (or an inherent human right for you atheists).

And anon, didn't Indiana just have a horrific multiple homicide from a home invasion?
I'll bet those folks would have given anything for a firearm at the end.
Nice of you to want to deny them that, especially when the results are obvious.

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

We will be shooting (heh, a lot!) at the Midwest Blogmeeet.

You are more than welcome to attend, MIke. And any other bloggers/shooters, if you so desire.

Hope to see you there.

Tim Zank said...


Normally, I wouldn't bother to argue a point with someone who doesn't even have the stones to identify themselves, but in your case I'll make an exception.

Call me paranoid if you like, but those of us that have had an experience on the receiving end of crime are entitled to be a little more paranoid.

Having a cocked, loaded sawed off shotgun stuck in my face and in my neck while having my cash register emptied and my customers robbed of their wedding rings and wallets gives me a more unique perspective than the average person. (I don't miss Ft Wayne much at all)

May God help the poor bastard that breaks into my home or seeks to harm my family. No lawyers or court rooms necessary, just the coroner.

Mike Kole said...

Anonymous- Ever heard these?

"Better safe than sorry".
"A pund of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

Says it all.

Andrew Kaduk said...


If you're at the range firing from distances of 30' you are already practicing outside the parameters of a home-invasion scenario, so you might as well aim for the head...because you have actually crossed over into the category of "sport shooter" or "recreational shooter" instead of "personal protection." I understand your points about "shoot to kill" vs. "shoot to mame," but unfortunately, criminals who live through a firefight with a homeowner who's home they burglarized or otherwise transgressed upon have been known to actually sue the gun-wielding homeowner...and win. A personal-protection scenario does not have to be illegal to win the criminal big bucks in civil court.

Lord help me if I can't hit an assailant in the head from 5' away!

As for your second point, why would someone 30' away from my house be an imminent threat unless they were firing rounds into my home? I don't think it's legal to shoot a prowler unless you are confident that he is armed or if he is literally threatening your life. I think you'd have a hard time proving your life was in jeopardy if you shot a prowler that was checking out your parked car or trying to steal your riding mower from an outbuilding or something like that.

Robert Enders said...

Andy, you don't have to go inside a house to be a mortal threat to the occupants. You can fling Molotov cocktails from the street at a house. Now, I don't know any gunowners that sit around thinking up every possible or potential scernario in which a firearm might have to be used. But its just good sense that if you own a gun, you might as well be proficient at its use at its maximum range.

Anonymous- Are you so paranoid that you won't give out your name? We all believe in the First Amendment. We believe that you have the right to post almost anything you want, even anonymously. Only Mike and Google have the right to censor you on this forum, and Mike never deletes a comment solely on the basis of whether or not he agrees with it.

Are you worried that someone you know might read what you have typed here?

Andrew Kaduk said...


I believe I covered that when I said "why would someone 30' away from my house be an imminent threat unless they were firing rounds into my home?"

Robert Enders said...

Hitting a paper target and hitting a human being are two different things. We should go out to the paint ball range some time. I still think that with a moving target you are better off aiming for the body.

Mike Kole said...

Paintball is a great idea! Who's in?

bobett said...

Mike Kole,

"Paintball is a great idea! Who's in?"

You gotta it going on. My boys & I against.. or with you.
Oh Yes...

Want to have the best time and work on "All your skills"

Fire Away....remember like any's takes time, practise
and can be expensive

We love it, so bring it on all!

Anonymous said...

Great site lots of usefull infomation here.

Sam said...

If someone can shoot accurately from 30 feet, then hitting an intruder at 5 feet should be no problem. I don't understand why you people are looking for the smallest little things to point out as wrong. The idea is to be safe and effective with a gun. if I have a 99.9 percent chance of never having to deal with an intruder (due to location or whatever), there is still that 0.01 percent that I will. Why would I allow that small chance to linger when I can substantially lower the chances of being a victim, at no cost? It makes no sense NOT to protect myself.

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