Gun Range Owner uses Suppressed Automatic Rifle to Defend Self, Business

Photo courtesy Matt Wasmundt

USA –- ( – On Friday, November 15, 2020, Matt Wasmundt was tired after a long day of class in his indoor area just off Highway 29, three miles west of Wausau, Wisconsin. The Zingers and Flingers distribution area is near the geographic center of the state. There were nearly a hundred students. Class would resume the next morning. Deer season would start a week later. Many hunters would come within range to zero their rifles.

The facility has a class three license. You do a brisk business selling mufflers / silencers.

Instead of putting all guns down, Matt took a break and then returned to the large indoor range / retail store to spend the night. He blocked the long, dirty driveway. He locked the doors and began to relax.

Zingers and Flingers from Highway 29 on Google Maps, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten.

A crash alerted him. It was 10:52 p.m. He grabbed a short-barreled automatic rifle from the Patriot Ordinance Factory with a silencer and took cover behind the counter. The intruders had broken the side glass next to the outer doors and, according to the surveillance video, were in the anteroom in two seconds. The glass on the inner wall was laminated. It was harder. It took them eight seconds to break the laminated glass with the stones brought in from the outside.

Matt was ready.

He fired a suppressed four-shot round into the upper left corner of the doors. It had the desired effect. An intruder sped from the scene. The other fell to the ground. Matt held it there, then activated the secondary alarm system to get the sheriff’s deputies. The intruder on the ground sped out and took off.

A third suspect was waiting in a car outside the acreage. The sheriff’s MPs arrested her before she left the scene. Issac D. Tomek was arrested a quarter of a mile away. He had run away from the getaway vehicle and not towards it.

It took another day to get Brock a. Rhode, whose identity was known shortly after the first two were arrested. Security video exists from the entire event. From

An investigation found that Issac D. Tomek and Brock A. Rhode had forcibly broken into the store by breaking windows. The business owner was in his back office and heard the excitement. He armed himself and responded to entering the store where he was confronted by the suspects. He fired several cartridges with his rifle and the suspects fled.

The Patriot Ordnance Factory rifles are based on the AR15 platform. This was chambered in .223.

The AR15 platform is an excellent defense weapon, whether at home, in a company or as part of a spontaneously organized militia in the event of a riot.

A suppressor protects the user from being blinded by flash of the muzzle or being stunned by the muzzle flash of a center fire rifle cartridge, especially indoors.

The event makes it clear how effective a fully automated burst can be in stopping aggression.

A local man who knows Matt, Jonny Petree, wrote this in the comments section of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page:

I think those were warning shots. The owner is an excellent shooter.

Matt used his skills so that killing wasn’t necessary.

I have passed this stretch of Highway 29 from time to time. Next time I’m in Wisconsin, I might be able to stop by and see the facility. It is not easy to maintain a large indoor area surrounded by the thousands of acres of public and private land that exists in the heart of Wisconsin.

Matt built the facility over five years ago. He has to do something right.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten was a peace officer, a military officer, served on the University of Wisconsin’s pistol team for four years, and was first certified as a firearms safety instructor in 1973. He taught the concealed carry course in Arizona for fifteen years until the Constitution’s goal of carry was achieved. He holds degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and has retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in research, development, testing and evaluation in the army.

Dean Weingarten

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