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Franklin Schrout, pictured above, chose to invade one too many homes in his criminal career. It happend about 1:30 a.m. on Friday in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Schrout broke into the home of an 81-year-old man and his disabled sister, wearing all black and a skull mask.

Once inside, Schrout demanded money. The homeowner said he didn’t have any in the house. That was when Schrout and the 81-year-old started fighting.

On or in the man’s nightstand was a .22 caliber handgun, one the homeowner had never fired. It had been there for over 30 years. You have to assume the ammo was just as superannuated.


The 81-year-old was able to grab a .22-caliber gun during a struggle with Schrout and fired one shot, police said.

Schrout ran out of the house and the 81-year-old’s bedridden sister called 911, police said.

When police arrived at the home, they found Schrout dead outside.

The 81-year-old told police that he had never fired the gun before and that it had been sitting in his nightstand for 30 years. He also said he wished he had been stronger so that he could have fought off Schrout without having to shoot him.

A few more details from

The homeowner picked up a .22 caliber gun, which he had nearby and fired one round. It hit Schrout in the abdomen.

Lt. Kolencik told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “The [unidentified] homeowner advised [us] that he had the gun for over 30 years sitting on his nightstand and has never fired the weapon… and uses it today and it saved his life.”

So Schrout was struck once in the gut with a .22 round. It was probably a 40 grain bullet traveling about 800 feet per second.

The .22 caliber is consistently underrated by the un-informed. A great many people and large animals have been killed with the caliber. It wouldn’t be my first choice as a defensive handgun, but it’s far better than not having a gun at all.

Under the kind firearm storage laws in places such as San Francisco, the victim’s firearm in this case would have been stored illegally. If laws like that had been on the books in Pennsylvania, the homeowner either wouldn’t have had quick access to his gun or would now be facing criminal charges. Instead, he and his sister are safe and a career criminal has been retired. And so it goes.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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    • Naw, an H&R revolver. Or Iver Johnson or Hi-Standard.

      If you’re the kind of gun owner that buys a gun and doesn’t even test fire it, I’ve known more than one, then you need a revolver.

      I know a woman right now that has a .38 colt that her late husband bought 50+ years ago. Her husband fired a few shots out of the first and only box of shells he ever purchased for the gun and then it lives in the sock drawer for decades. Once a year I go and put fresh shells in the gun for her.

      • Unless they were contaminated by oil, the 50 year old ammunition from the first box would have worked just fine. I had no failures with 30 year old reloads.

        • Thousands of people regularly shoot World War II era surplus ammunition, I’ve shot plenty of old ammunition, as long as it stored properly it lasts for many many years.

      • I hope that you thought to clean the gun also, after sitting in a drawer for a year. New ammo won’t overcome deterioration of the metal…

  1. Small town crime. My mom was born in Allentown and I visited it many times as a youngster. Not the type of place you’d expect violent crime but violent crime happens everywhere.

    Hell, I lived in Houghton MI for many years. We had a freaking serial killer.

  2. “The .22 caliber is consistently underrated by the un-informed.”

    Well it was probably a contact-shot, so…yeah, ouch!

      • Agreed about the aorta wound. Since the intruder ran out of the house under his own power, this counts as a psychological stop rather than a physical one. Had he been on a drug like PCP or meth, he might have killed the homeowners before bleeding out.

    • Even when a non-contact shot, MD’s I’ve talked with about bullet wounds say that .22’s are horrific once they get inside the rib cage. They tend to bounce around, requiring the surgeons to move lots of your innards around to find all the holes and leaks.

      The one guy I know who got shot a point-blank (but not contact) range with a .22 handgun was a combat vet, thought if he could survive an AK-47, he could walk off a .22LR.

      He was on the table for hours and hours and hours when they got him to the ER. He had holes all over his guts and organs.

      • Not that anyone asked, but the common understanding of “point blank range” generally means “really close”. The term has an actual ballistic meaning: “Point-blank range is any distance over which the trajectory of a given projectile fired from a given weapon remains sufficiently flat that one can strike a target by firing at it directly. Point-blank range will vary by a weapon’s external ballistics characteristics and target chosen. A weapon with a flatter trajectory will permit a longer maximum point-blank range for a given target size, while a larger target will allow a longer point-blank range for a given weapon.[1]”

        “In popular usage, point-blank range has come to mean extremely close “can’t miss” range with a firearm, within four feet of its muzzle at moment of discharge yet not close enough to be a contact shot.[1]”
        – –

        • Actually, that is not quite correct. Since the sight of a gun is higher than the center of the bore, the bullet path must rise above the line connecting the sights to the target, and then fall back at the target. The point where the bullet first crosses that line is the point blank.

          For example, using a standard M-16 with the standard issue 55 gr. loading, sighted at 200 yards, point blank is 15 yards. This is useful to know, because if you are hitting accurately at 15 yards then you will be on the paper at 200 and you can refine your sighting in from there.

        • What you say is true about distance shooting. The definition declared that “point blank range” is the maximum distance a bullet will fly with a flat trajectory (whatever configuration of weapon you use…artillery does not generally suffer from front sight-to-bore relation). Two Identical targest placed at 100 feet from the muzzle, and 600 feet will index a bullet in the same place on the targets, if both targets are within the point blank range (flat trajectory) because the bullet will fly at the same distance above the ground until it reaches maximum point blank. So, your semi-auto rifle has a point at where the bullet will depart from a flat trajectory. If your rifle and ammunition will cause a bullet to fly absolutely flat from the muzzle to a point in space, but then elevate or declinate after that, the point of deviation is the maximum point blank, and shooting a target at a range anywhere less/shorter than that can be said to be a point blank shot.

          N’est-ce pas?

        • Forget the part about artillery. I was thinking indirect fire, which would not have a flat trajectory. My bad; rats.

  3. Looked up his name and found with google a top pick was:

    Franklin Schrout at

    As a victim of gun violence.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  4. Just what in the whole f’ world does wearing all black have to do with this? This is my second time seeing this.

  5. Once again, we have a senior citizen taking down a thug, and the shooter probably doesn’t own any 5.11 clothing, was using a .22 and probably has no clue what “operate” means, never mind his lack of “operating operationally.” No summers spent at $1200 +800 round training courses, no “perfection” in his handgun…

  6. Just a tool sitting in a drawer waiting to do the job. Took 30 years for work to show up, but he got ‘er done. Credit the old boy for rembering that he had it. Obviously, he was not a gun enthusiast and you don’t have to be to exercise your rights.

  7. All I could find on the bad guy was he had “an extensive criminal record”. I’m going to assume that means multiple felonies.

    For my part, any citizen who shoots and kills a criminal with multiple felonies that are violent or crimes against persons, if there are at least three such, while that criminal is in the process of committing yet another crime against said citizen, deserves a reward of $10k or 20% of the cost of a trial for that criminal had he lived, whichever is greater.

  8. Thugs look for ‘soft targets’ such as old people–Seems like a lot of ‘old people’ have recently ended a thugs career–Hope these good outcome stories keep coming


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