There were a couple incidents at Boomershoot this year. Three to be exact.
The first event had the immediate potential forever to end Boomershoot if we hadn’t been so lucky. It was partially our fault, however one would think that the people who come to this event wouldn’t be so stupid. Well, wish in one hand, crap in the other, see which one fills up first.
Incident the first:
While putting up targets on the hill side we had missed a full crate of 7 inch targets that did not get put up. The crate was off to the side, not very far from the actual targets. For those who don’t know, a 7 inch target is about 2lbs to 2.5lbs of explosive, and there’s 12 targets to a crate.
8lbs of explosive has blown out windows in the house near the event.
8lbs has knocked stuff off the walls.
8lbs has cost Joe money in having to repair damage.
We don’t blow that much anymore except in areas where it will not be a problem and safe. 24lbs however I don’t think there is enough distance or hills to prevent damage. Immediately after discovering the crate we called a cease fire. Joe went and retrieved the crate and tossed it behind a berm. It wasn’t until lunch time I discovered that Boomershoot almost ended early and for good. In the picture above you can see a box was wounded. That wasn’t even the worst hit.
You can see an exit wound in the box towards the middle there. Sorry for the bad angle, I could barely see the screen and was shooting blind.
You can see an exit wound there as well. One of the bullets actually came in between two 7 inch targets and then exited out the center on the opposite side. We escaped quite literally by the hair on our chinny chin chin.
So please, if you come to Boomershoot, limit yourself to the single targets and steel. Do not shoot at anything crate shaped, if we catch you, you will not be coming back. Also on that note, don’t shoot at things like the wind flags or the stakes used for the caution tape. The caution tape stakes weren’t up this year but people just love to shoot at anything on the hill side, even stuff that isn’t actually a target. Hence why Joe has to tell people to not shoot at the trees. This isn’t tree shoot, it’s Boomershoot. If you didn’t bring enough gun for the boomers, go after the steel, unless you brought a 50. Then you just need to get better because you don’t have an excuse.
The easiest way to think about it is this, does shooting X actually seem like a good idea? If you’re not sure, ask. Seriously I am very happy that guy asked about the targets in front of Ry’s position. Yes I was a bit curt stating if you do, we will not allow you back. Then explaining that you’d be shooting towards the road which is bad, very bad.
There were a few that started to try and justify the people shooting at the crates saying they may not have been able to tell. I saw it with my 8 power scope and could tell it was a crate. Not to mention the following:
- All the targets are 1 MOA or smaller.
- A crate is obviously much bigger than any other target.
- Ranging a crate would put it closer than the actual range, enough it should raise flags.
Did we leave it up there, yes. Should we have left it up there, no. Should people have shot at it, no. Could they figure it out, yes. If you want Boomershoot to continue, you can’t try and justify stupidity.
Incident the Second:
Now we get into why this post is title the way it is.
For those who are unfamiliar or have never been to Boomershoot, cease fires are a regular occurrence. There is a road that runs next to the firing range and we have to call a cease fire for traffic. We have a spotter car on the road letting us know when traffic is traveling on the road. As previously mentioned we also have ceasefires for range issues
We have had a parachutist come down in the middle of the range. We have also had the field start on fire after blowing up a toilet. It is important that everyone listen to the range commands, issued by air horn. It only takes one incident to end it all and I know it. I used to laugh about this post from Joe, I don’t laugh anymore and thoroughly understand it from the other side. Not to mention the fact that I am now in a position that during a cease fire I could be very well headed down range. People I know could be very likely headed down range. It takes on a very high level of seriousness.
This is something I really enjoy and love. I love it so much that I take extra time off and volunteer to help Joe with manufacture, setup, clean up, and any other tasks that come up. As an FYI last year other than Joe I know we were the last to leave. This year we weren’t quite dead last but everyone else was heading to their vehicles at the same time. The staff invest a lot of time and effort in making this event fun, enjoyable, and safe.
That’s why when I hear a gun shot during a cease fire everyone for about 20 positions around me hears me promptly yelling. As to further prove what we heard they smacked a boomer too.
This wasn’t just minorly after the cease fire. The cease fire is called. I sit up in my position turn around and start conversing with my Father In Law who is acting as my spotter. After about 15 seconds of silence we hear, *bang*……*booom!*. It was immediately followed by my wife tearing off in that direction down the line and me yelling the following while getting up and starting to walk down the line.
Cease FIRE Cease FIRE!!!!
Who Fired That Shot!!!
*silence while I get out of my position*
*silence still as I start walking the line*
Who the FUCK fired that shot!!!!
Silence as I walk down the line, people are pointing to their right. I yell again, this time peeved because Janelle has already hit the end of the line and no one has bothered to fess up. Seriously, fess up to her that way you can salvage yourself as being honest.
I continue asking positions, most just point as I arrive. I had a couple positions give me direction information that conflicted. Multiple positions does not help me narrow down the culprit. Like I have one position pointing left while the one on each side says go right. Some pointed to the very end of the line, that would have been the RNS guys but there’s a problem. They have a radio. They know about a ceasefire before the air horns. I have a suspicion on who it was but that’s not enough for me to come down on someone.
At this point there’s not much that can be done and we don’t even know why it happened. I know it was in-between Bill Waites and the RNS crew. Needless to say dumping a round down range during a cease fire is a great way to make me into someone most people wouldn’t want to associate with.
Would they have been done shooting for the day, yeah. I didn’t pull that trigger, they did. It’s like a DQ at a USPSA match. Honesty might have caused me to call up Joe and let him make the final call, but making me hunt you down I can guarantee that would have been the end of your day. The fact the hill and the line fell silent should have been clue. With 76 positions it is a rare event that the whole line is quite for more than a few seconds, much less 15.
Seriously, most people love me. I’m actually very nice and get along with most anyone. However that said, I can become scary in the crack of a rifle. Please, leave the beast in his cage and don’t taunt him.
Incident the Third:
You would think as word got around of the first discharge during a ceasefire people would be more careful. I guess since it was towards the end of the day someone was careless. A cease fire was called, there was a car half way down the road when a shot goes off. There was no excuse, the Horn blow should have been obvious from their position in the low lands.
At the time 3 of us (as pictured above) are talking as the shot occurs and Ben just say’s “I got it.” He start’s going from tent to tent and people point. Eventually he arrives at a position and he’s there for the next 15 minutes. I think he found them. They didn’t shoot anymore.
Side Bar Stupidity via Ry:
So just prior to Incident the Third, I went ahead and walked down to talk to Ry while taking a break. Evidently he did have someone on his end of the line he was having to keep his eye on all day. Issues involving being unfamiliar with the rifle they were using and general lackadaisicalness regarding safety. The shining example I sadly didn’t get a picture of.
But imagine if you will, you needed to adjust the muzzle break on your detachable magazine fed H&K. What would be the first thing you would do before adjusting said weapon?
Remove the magazine, unload and show clear right?
This individual just tilts it up, and starts cranking down on his muzzle break. That’s step one for him. By the time Ry sees it and tells me he’s done. Ry at this point was getting tired of talking with the individual.
Which begs the question. Why are some people safety conscious while other’s just throw caution to the wind. How dumb are some people? ESS was at the shoot, demoing product. Their booth was set up behind Shelly Rae and 30 Cal Gal. One of the positions to the left of them one of the shooters didn’t want to wear safety glasses. I repeat, there was a shooter that refused to wear eye protection, and he was next to the ESS booth who offered to let him try a set. He was setting off controlled explosions next to his face and didn’t want eye protection.
I’ve seen kabooms, I don’t shoot without eye protection*. I only have one set of eyes and as of right now they’re priceless.
If you want to hang out with me, go shooting with me, or otherwise retain me in my mild manner and easy to get along with state, please don’t do any of the above. I’m at Boomershoot to have fun. Incidents like the above do not equal fun to me. They’re stressful and sap the fun right out of the event. Safety is a culture and ultimately everyone is responsible for it. As we tell everyone, anyone can call a cease fire.
*Normally and not intentionally. I forgot once and it’s on video. See if you can find it.
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.