A Personal Experience

If I may, I would like to share a personal success in deescalation…

I was at my mother’s home, and legally fine to fire my AR-300Blk on her property…BUT, because I did, I was wrongly accused of not using a proper backstop (I was), and sailing rounds past guys’ heads in a hay field about 200 yds downrange.

The reasons I knew they did NOT hear bullets whizzing past their heads were:

  1. I was indeed using a good backstop
  2. I knew there could be people beyond my backstop, and I triangulated the shot from the height of my barrel, the declination of it, and the distance, so that any rounds which could in a million years pass my target would strike dirt at 18 yards behind the target, and there was zero in that dirt to cause a ricochet…

So, I am putting my AR away, and I see through the windows of the house that there is someone at my mother’s front door…naturally, since she is a widow alone there, I went to investigate. The person turned out to be three persons, claiming I had been whizzing rounds past their heads while they were bailing hay which, again, was an impossibility. I can calculate a shot to a mile, so I think calculating one to 50 yards is easy enough (I later verified my calculations - spot on).

I get to the door, and these guys are loud, rude, etc., and this is at the front door of my 79 yo mom’s house. Not ok. I understood they thought they’d heard bullets, and having personally had them whir past my own head, I understand how sounds can play tricks on one’s perceptive capabilities…but in any case, I’m at her front door, facing her neighbor, with a man at each side of him, and him hurling hateful, loud words towards us. It was quickly obvious he only wanted a fight. Since I had a pistol on my belt and one in my pocket, I did not wish to get into even a verbal altercation with these clowns cause a prosecutor could turn it around into me being aggressive while armed and next thing, I’m being arraigned for armed assault or something.

What did I do?

  1. I explained my qualifications and calculations. They didn’t care.
  2. I told them they were on private property acting like a$$es and needed to leave, which 1 did immediately and the other 2 did in short order
  3. I went and got my stuff put into my vehicle, made sure Mom was tucked into her home, and backed out since they had called the township sheriff and I know half those dudes and how slow it is to respond there…heck, I graduated with half that department and the county court.

Whilst leaving, 1 guy was using his phone to record me on video, and asks me “you’re leaving? We called the sheriff and you’re leaving?”
I replied, “I think the sheriffs would want me to deescalate this situation, and every time you guys open your mouths with foul language, it does the opposite, so the sheriff can call me if he wishes.” And I offered to give my number - they did not take it.

I got a call from the responding officer about 1.5 hours later, and he and I had a nice chat about how the place I picked for my targets was a good spot, and that to “appease the neighbor,” I may want to put some railroad ties and sand behind the backstop I already had, but that it was a great looking setup I already had, etc. etc. (agreed that neighbor was just being disagreeable, my setup was fine).

Now, all that said, I decided that, because I do NOT wish to cause my mother’s blood pressure to rise, or deal with her persnickety neighbors again, I simply will not shoot there again. There’s an indoor range 5 mins from my house, takes 14 to her’s + setup.

Point? I could have been the type to claim 3 guys were threatening, etc., and pulled, if not fired on them. That would have no doubt landed me in jail where I would remain now for the screw up.
Yes, I was rather angry. BUT, was lethal force required from me? Nope, nobody presented a threat of imminent severe bodily harm or death, so in my state of Ohio, drawing a gun, even if just to coax them off the property, would have been a serious mistake, so I did not.

That said, had any one of them physically attacked me, it would have been a polar opposite decision - 3 against me, on my family’s property? Disparity of force, plus I have a medical device that physical attacks could quickly cause to kill me by medicine overdose…but, nobody attacked physically. They indeed angered me, but, we who are RESPONSIBLY armed realize that anger is not just cause to use lethal force now don’t we?!!

I hope and pray my USCCA brothers/sisters at arms would not have decided on lethal force, and I appreciate the training the USCCA encouraged me to get on my own that caused me to not be a dumb redneck on tv that evening…

Peace & Blessings,


Sorry, not trying to be a dick…but I nearly stroked out at “I knew there could be people beyond my backstop”.

Never shot a .300 AAC, but I’m guessing it’s max. effective range is a bit more than 200 yards. Math is great for the angle of the dangle, and fancy slope dope…but I don’t think it can account for Farmer John roaming around an open hay field behind target(s), and it certainly doesn’t account for operator head space and timing.

I’m curious as to what your set up is like that you’d be comfortable with this. Can you expand on what you are considering “proper backstop”, “good backstop”, and “great looking setup”?

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My experience was a little different. But before I go into that, if he would of been polite and just asked you to be a good neighbor and to coordinate with him, and just not shoot while he was putting up hay: would you of respected that? In most places you only get 2 or 3 cuttings and in some places/years you’re lucky to get one. Point being that haying is only a few days of the whole year.

Ok. My story. The neighbors place is about a quarter mile and down hill. One day I hear shooting and from the sound of it I can just tell that it isnt pointed the other way. So me being me, I grab a couple boxes of ammo and I go pay them a visit.

Hey what ya shooting? A 40, sweet! Hey I got my 9, you mind if pop a couple off with you guys? Then while setting up… OHHHH, hey did you guys notice that rock pile about 20 yards behind the paper (there was no backstop and they were just expecting that a ricochet was something that didn’t exist)? You know a bullet could bounce off of that go right into my house, or dog, or wife? Please dont shoot my dog!!! Ohhhh we would never do that!!! That’s really good. What do you say we move about 30 feet this way just to be safe.

We shoot a couple of boxes. I coach the kid on grip, teach him about trigger reset, and let 'em know they are welcome to come over and shoot with me whenever they hear me.

The good news is I’ve never heard that ‘pointed my way percussion tone’ from their direction since. The bad news is I’ve never heard any percussion sounds from that way since.


Sure, my backstop was a standard stacked woodpile, to which I had added 3 foot of wood to the top, so logs stacked 7 foot high and 15 ft wide. No way on earth a 300Blk is going to penetrate a minimum of 16" of solid wood, and no way I’m shooting 15 foot to left or right, or 3 ft over that target without it being intentional, and I certainly wouldn’t intentionally aim upward over the backstop. If I’d thought there was a chance in hades a round would ever go past that, I’d never have squeezed the trigger, and even the sheriff said it was fine, the only way to beef it up being to put yet more stuff behind it, as if my 300blk has magical abilities. He agreed the backstop i had setup, which he inspected, was fine, but that yeh, adding railroad ties and dirt behind it would perhaps shut the neighbor up about it.
The sheriff actually sounded a bit jealous of my setup TBH.


Yep, had they behaved as adults, and I estimate the guy yelling, no more than 18 inches from me, is 65, so behaving as an adult should be possible, then my reactions and initial eval of what I was dealing with would’ve been different. For that matter, he and his wife have my mother’s home phone number, and could have called it to discuss their issue, rather than 3 guys ranging from about 40 - 65 showing up at the front door acting like complete a-holes.
The one thing I was thinking during this, that I would have NEVER said, was that they sure weren’t behaving like people who didn’t want shot.
I simply told my mother that I will not shoot a firearm up there again. If anything, I’ll use a crossbow for whitetail, but given my own physical condition, right now I’m looking to sell the deer blind I bought at Cabela’s last year, never have even gotten out of the pack, or used. Paid 299 for that sucker and now it doesn’t appear that I’ll be hunting whitetail ever because of physical disability issues. I could kill one, but then would be unable to field dress and move the carcass, etc., etc. So, I put it up on a neighborhood online group thing for 175, but nobody around me are hunters I don’t think. If it wasn’t so dang big, I’d put it on ebay but shipping would be a huge cost. Anyway, whatever, I’ll shoot at public ranges and forget hunting. Can’t have it all.

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Sounds like a horrible experience but I’m glad you’re here with us. Or should I say I’m glad you’re alive with us


Thankya Sir :slight_smile:


Glad you are safe, and your decisions can be agreed with. People will find a scapegoat…you…because maybe the baler had malfunctions, or temp of the day was too hot to bale. Any excuse to cause a frakus. Or they were jealous as they had to work.

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Thanks @SKIdaho I’m grateful in large part to the USCCA articles, videos, etc., that caused me to take extra classes on lethal force in my state. This organization’s “responsibly armed” repetitions have greatly aided me in being so.

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