Boomershoot 2010

The run up has officially begun. I’ve got Wednesday through next Tuesday off for pre-run up, PRC, and after event work and clean up. I will be in positions 54/55 this year. Any visiting bloggers are more than welcome to swing by. I’m more than happy to teach you how to snipe some boomers and help you put some rounds down range accurately. (Note: I’ll probably walk up and down the line for 45 minutes prior to lunch to look at other hardware and take video and pictures. After lunch I’ll be there the whole time.)

I’ve noticed from talking to some people they are extremely put off at the thought of shooting long distances. They somehow feel it is extremely different than shooting 100 yards. While yes it is different, and experience is a great help it’s not actually that different. Fundamentals never change, sight picture, breathing, squeezing the trigger, that’s all basic and standard. What is different is the amount of thinking ahead of the shot. Experienced shooters can easily do this mental preparation on their own; however what really makes it possible for any shooter connect to a target at long range is the spotter.

Whenever possible the more experienced shooter is actually the spotter, not the trigger man. Squeezing the trigger is simple and once mastered it becomes second nature. The spotter watches the trace, following the bullet to the point of impact. Here’s the basic order of operations and responsibilities of each during a shot.

Step Spotter Shooter
Target Acquisition Spotter locates a target and relays it to the shooter Shooter confirms the correct target with the spotter. The shooter also makes the correction to parallax for the new range.
Range Spotter estimates the range to target and proper elevation adjustment. Shooter confirms elevation change and dials the scope.
Wind Spotter estimates the wind and dope changes necessary Shooter confirms wind doping change and dials the scope.
Target Hold Spotter specifies the hold for the crosshairs on the target. Shooter hold in that position and waits for the fire when ready command.
Fire Spotter issues the fire command. As quickly as consistently possible the shooter puts the round down range.
Follow Trace Spotter follows the trace to impact. The shooter calls his shot. IE did it break where did the shot break on target? Was it on the hold or elsewhere?
Adjustment Spotter uses the shot call and actual impact to adjust the point of impact. Shooter confirms elevation and wind changes
Go to Target Hold


As you can see above, most of the work sits on the spotter not the shooter. If the shooter can shoot under a MOA at 100 yards, is confident in their ability, can count, and accurately call their shots. They can squeeze the trigger on a rifle and hit a target 700 yards away 7 inches in diameter. It all really rests on the spotter.

Calling shots for some is difficult; the key is maintaining concentration on the sight picture up to the break of the shot and remembering it.

I do it a little bit differently by concentrating on each aspect of a shot, breathing, trigger squeeze, sight picture, and thinking about what was not consistent about that last break. I know how a good shot feels to me, if it did not feel good I think about why it didn’t. I learned this technique while being taught competition rifle and pistol. My drills involved calling the shot without looking at the paper.

If for some reason you still feel uncomfortable, hit up the PRC with Gene. I have no qualms shooting at 700 yards now, but the first day on the line at a PRC I was nervous like the people I talk to now. Especially in that wind, I usually got calm winds when shooting, so I called it a baptism by fire. A lot of people feel the long range shot is magic. It isn’t, it is a spotter and the fundamentals of shooting. (Plus Modern Ballistics never hurt either.)

If you’re nervous about shooting at long distance, swing by my position and I’ll get you a boomer on the berm at minimum.

Video Mash Up now up

The video is now posted. For some reason the blog software published the item before I wanted it to be. If you checked the site due to an RSS, consider this a new ping. You can check out the video here.

Boomershoot 2009 Video Mash-up

As I finally was able to process the video for blogger day, I spent today doing the video for the event as a whole. I used the high intensity event as the main filler while showing all the different pieces of Boomershoot. Enjoy!

Awesomely Late Blogger Day Post

Now that my box is back up and running, CAPTCHAS enabled, and I have a minor break in things. I guess I’ll do a post on last year’s blogger day. This year I’m going to help with setup on Thursday and let my wife enjoy blogger day. She has an account here, and can blog, but she says she has nothing to write about. Hopefully I can change that.

It started off in the wee early hours of the morning, around 10am I do believe, when fearless leader arrived. Note, awesome video at bottom!

Joe then proceeded to give us a tour of the BoomerShoot site from the gun line. Giving us a background and history of how it started. From there we moved to our real meeting location for the day, the Taj, where a smile is put on everyone’s face like a kid on Christmas morning. “Why?” I hear you ask. Because we get the coolest stuff to unwrap and play with. Some even taste tested the ingredients. While I highly suggest you DON’T do this, in this case it was safe. If you want to know why, go to blogger day and find out for yourself!

Joe with smaller portions.

From there we then moved into the history of Boomerite. How a series of failures and different approaches to the problem finally resulted in the wonderful elation we then see in this video. He then discussed how it has evolved over the year. As it was a year ago, my memory is fuzzy due to the late hour, and it’s all up on his site, check out the details here.

The newest mixture is a mix of Ethelyne Glycol, Potassium Chlorate, and Ammonium Nitrate. There’s also a secret ingredient in there, but if I told you it wouldn’t be a secret now would it? One of the most important items learned however is the aversion to metals in the manufacturing process. The only instrument used that could have metal on metal contact while mixing is a Kitchen Aide mixer, which Joe is hunting for a plastic mixing attachment.

Pictured above is: Derek of The Packing Rat , Dave of RNS, and Allen of Snarky Bytes.

The reason for this aversion is because of the pressure that can be created between two pieces of metal. This pressure if it occurs at the wrong time could result in a less than pleasing result for those in the immediate vicinity. Because of this, metal bowl = plastic or wooden spoon, plastic scoops, things that will deform under low pressure are desired.

Joe explaining the history of the packaging for targets.

Coming up with an efficient target platform has been as much of a problem as finding a good mixture and efficient production method. All the targets have to be placed the morning of, plus holders put in place in preparation of the event. I went out and helped Joe with some experiments at a private party a couple weeks ago. Suffice it to say, you’ll find out what at Boomershoot. Or you can see pics after. Problems with targets have been with how to place them, currently stakes and rubber bands, type of packaging, and methods of packing. Big problem is to make sure not to squeeze the air out of the bag. If you do, it probably won’t detonate when hit.

Matthew of TriggerFinger mixing up his first batch of explosives.

After that, we all made our own set of targets, which we then laid out along the berm and blew up. I didn’t take pictures of that, as much as I took some video.

David of RNS

See you all this weekend!


Light Posting

Yes, posting has been light as of late. Numerous issues have plagued my pc, home, and life in general.

I think I finally have solved the hardware issue plaguing my PC, I’m working on installing a CAPTCHA on the site. Currently I have to approve all anonymous comments. It’s a pain in my ass.

This is a test to see if the software update was successful.

As there’s an Erupting Volcano in Iceland, here’s a pic my dad took while stationed there.