…with the ‘criminal mischief’ happening more regularly, Ben needed to make some changes to his defensive options.
Ben walked into the massive sports and outdoors store and looked around. He walked toward the hunting section and found the game cameras. He picked one up that had a high resolution camera in it with night capability. It was motion activated and would do still or video capture. The thing would even e-mail him whatever images it took. That was cool…he grabbed three of them, then moved to the gun counter.
On the rack, they had an AR-10 rifle. The AR-10 is like the AR-15 but it was chambered in the .308 Winchester cartridge. You could just swap the upper receivers out and have your normal AR-15 .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO cartridge option. The .308 cartridge has an effective range about 200-300 yards further than the .223/5.56mm. He opted for the flat topped model that allowed for a variety of mounting options. He bought two rifles and also purchased a .223/5.56mm upper receiver for each…also with the flat top rail configuration.
He then moved towards the ammunition shelves. He was looking for two types of ammunition. One type is for when the rifle is being used in the defensive role. This cartridge needs to have a good expansion upon impact to maximize the effectiveness of each hit…but it still needs to have ballistic accuracy that ammunition used in target shooting is known to have. He chose a polymer tipped round that will fly like a full metal jacket round would until impact. The polymer tip will disintegrate upon impact allowing the cavity behind it to expand.
Next he moved to the target ammunition. The before mentioned defensive ammunition is not cheap, usually to the tune of more than a dollar per round. Therefore you would not practice with 500 rounds of that. You get cheaper stuff to practice with. Usually a full metal jacket type round is used for target shooting. These types of ammunition are not optimal for a defensive role because they are designed to punch a hole and keep going. A lot of times, one of these can be dug out of the dirt behind your paper target and it will not be deformed much at all.
When shooting, a responsible shooter is always aware of his backstop, or what’s behind his target, before he squeezes the trigger. You do not want your bullet to go through your target and go on to put a hole in something else you do not intend to put a hole in.
He put a few hundred round of defensive ammunition and about a thousand rounds of target ammunition for each caliber in his cart in a mix of .308 Winchester and 5.56mm NATO.
Ben went to the area where they kept the optics. He found a nice spotting scope with laser range finder. He grabbed a set of flip-up iron sights for each upper receiver. He also picked out two 1-4x power scopes for the 5.56mm uppers and two 2-7x power scopes for the .308 uppers.
After finding extra magazines and the other little odds and ends associated with the maintenance and care of the rifles, he took all of his purchases back home.
The first thing he set out to do once he got home was to put out the game cameras. He mounted them about fifteen feet up on the sides of a few trees, pointing them in the direction of the known places Al and his buddies like to frequent. After entering his phone number into the cameras so they could text him the images, he left them to do their work whenever that may be.
He unpacked the rifles, the sights, the spotting scope and the rifle scopes. He mated the scopes to their upper receivers and mounted the flip-up sights. The sights could be used with the scope mounted. He gave both rifles a good cleaning and inspection and found them to be serviceable. The triggers were a little tight but that was to be expected on new guns. Besides, lighter triggers could be installed later.
Now it was time to zero the rifles. You can’t just take a gun out of the box and not dial it in. It just doesn’t work that way. Ben used the spotting scope to gauge the distances to known areas where Al and his buddies liked to shoot from. The farthest area was around 500 yards from the barn. He zeroed the .308 scopes to 500 yards using about ten rounds each.
The closest area that was often used was ranged at about 200 yards from the barn. He zeroed the .556mm scopes to 250 yards and the sights to 100 yards. He zeroed the sights on these to 200 yards.
During all of this, he was instructing his sons on the rifles so that either one of them could be effective with them if the were needed. They all practiced at the various distances until they were confident.
The left one rifle configured in .308 and one in 5.56mm and left them accessible in case they were needed. If a need arose for the .308, the other one could be configured alike in a matter of seconds while the first was being used and vice versa. They trained in their responses in various scenarios and were as prepared as they could be given the situation.
One day the shooting started. Ben looked at his phone and saw pictures that had been sent by one of his cameras showing three men carrying rifles.
Al and his buddies were in the tree line shooting at various things around the house and barn. One of Ben’s sons looked through the spotting scope and ranged them at about 400 yards. Ben picked up the rifle chambered in .308 and laid it across the sandbags on the table and looked through the scope as he thumbed the selector switch to fire. About that time, he saw a muzzle flash followed closely by a bullet hitting the side of the side of the barn, then he heard the gunshot. He lined the crosshairs up on where the muzzle flash was. He was squeezing the trigger when he saw another muzzle flash…then his rifle recoiled into his shoulder…