Confetti, Non-Dairy Creamer, Charcoal, Steel, and Explosives

Joe, Ry, and I headed out to the Boomershoot site today to do some testing with Chalk Dispenser V3.0.  We had previously tested the chalk dispenser and it did quite well.  The main problems we found weren’t with the design, but with the material being dispensed.  This time we were going to try glitter, Mylar confetti.  At the last second we also added non-dairy creamer and match light charcoal.

In hindsight reviewing the pictures we should have taken a couple from up on the hill because up close it just doesn’t look the same.  From the previous testing though it looked as though we had bruised the hillside. 


As we got into the middle of the colored area, we noticed more evidence of the chalk problem we saw previously.  It had obviously clumped into small balls.


First we tested small charges of 50 grams.  While it did work, they were difficult to load requiring special preparation. 


That is 50 grams of the most fun intoxicant this side of the Rio Grande.  It is so little that it’s hard to place it in such a way to fill the hole to complete a visible target, but it still packs a punch.

Joe forgot the glitter, however we did have the confetti to try as well as the newly added charcoal. First up was the non diary creamer.  We had already done the one 50 gram test when this picture was taken.


The results were lacking in significant difference, it looked the same as without the creamer.


Second up was the confetti.



We packed it in there.  The results though were less than pleasing.  Do you see the confetti, we didn’t as it happened.


Next was the charcoal after that dismal failure.  We were actually hoping to get the charcoal dust to ignite, however these results were still fantastic.


It wasn’t good just once though.  It was repeatable!


And I caught the brass in the air on both of those pictures, how awesome is that!  We attempted another test that I didn’t get pictures of since I was shooting.  I some how got the Boomerite to start burning, with the charcoal above it.  I let Ry finish it off since it was his gun and I was frustrated to say the least.  Still no fireball though.  We wanted to get this thing to toss a fireball, how could we get it to toss a fireball.  We then started going through Joe’s truck looking for things that could be used.  We found a spray can of window deicer.  We put that on 100 grams of Boomerite with and we pulled the Boomerite through to make sure we would hit the Boomerite first, not the can.  We also had attached road flares to help with ignition.


Still no luck.  However we later had a discussion about the road flares and wondering what causes them to be extinguished.  The assumption was that the concussion would result in removing the heat and liquid material preventing the flare from continuing the burn.  It’s only the gases that burn, the burning melts the solid, which will then turn to gas, and burn.  We though maybe the concussion blew off the liquid and gasses killing the flare.  Both this picture and the following one would beg to differ though.



This brought an abrupt end to our testing.  We had done something very stupid without realizing it.  We placed a piece of metal between us and the explosive.  The pressures from the explosive split the welds along the top.


So what is a guy to do when you still have Boomerite left, and no target to test it in?

The answer is quite simple, put 4 pounds in the non dairy creamer bottle, put the target on top and launch it in the air.




The target can be repaired, but I would say it looks no where near like when we got itJoe already has video of the stuff that really matters.  I’ll work on editing the video tonight and tomorrow and see if I got anything worth while.  For now, enjoy the story board and pictures.

Update:Video is here.

Hey, That’s Me!

Right at the very beginning shooting the fireball.

I know that ugly bald bastard anywhere!

Found over at Joe’s place.

Chalk Dispenser 3.0 Testing

Joe, Ry, and I braved the cold yesterday to go out to the Boomershoot site and do some testing.

We did numerous different tests trying to get different information.  While we learned a lot, we also discovered that many ideas we had to try and learn the information weren’t going to work as expected.  We learned things we weren’t setting out to learn

Here’s the full test video along with pictures and different things we learned.

There were numerous video cameras and stills take by Ry.  I had only my single video camera and SLR with me, so I’m sure a video will probably be coming soon from Ry correcting everything I messed up in my video.

Joe was doing all the shooting, for those of you familiar with the area, we were actually shooting from the road into the side of the berm.  The snow was too deep to easily do the tests in the field.  Ry was out there the day before and got the van momentarily detained for 20 minutes.

We attempted to launch softballs to measure time of flight to estimate launch velocity, however the ball was thrashed beyond maintaining a reasonably consistency for experiments.  We attempted to add a buffer to lessen the shock, and initially we thought it worked, till we saw that it was just in a slightly larger piece than before.

We then instead decided to attempt to launch a golf ball.  The ones we were using were bright pink.  However we think we placed them into LEO to never be seen again.  The last launch we did with 3 golf balls was quite impressive with the resulting smoke ring.

We learned a lot yesterday and the three of us had a long discussion trying to figure out what we learned, as well as how to deal with the newest piece of information we discovered.  While searching for the initial golf ball Ry saw a small hole that looked as if it was from the golf ball.  He reaches in, has to punch through snow to get it and then pulls it out.  While I did not get a picture of that exact extraction, I did get pictures of a extraction Joe did to a similar hole.

Initially that chalk was a powder when placed on the dispenser.  The explosion however compacted it back into a block, and you can even make out the grooves from the plastic baggie.  When Joe first picked the piece up there was still plastic embedded in it, but it fell off.

The compaction of the chalk results in there not being as much color, further all you get is raining chunks.  I ended up staying over at his place chatting… MUCH longer than initially expected, however the wife did have an idea to add to the conversation worth experimenting with.  Instead of chalk, what about colored glitter?  As Joe said, that’s only something a Woman would think of.

Another interesting discovery is the fact that each time we would set of the target, it would pound the stakes about another 3/4 of an inch to an inch into the ground.  When we noticed this and measured the target top to the ground below the snow.

In this picture the top of the target is about 32 inches off the ground, note this is when we first started measuring, we have already set off a couple boomers.  At the end of the day this is what it was at:

The chalk dispenser appeared to survive this test with nothing more than flaking paint.  Between the design changes and operating only using 100 grams of Boomerite (half charge relative to the previous test) it appeared to function quite well.  Also with the addition of the 1/4 in AR500 on the front Ry is reasonably sure the front plate can be made thinner which would help shed some weight.  For more details on the AR500 testing see here, here and here.

Overall though it was an absolutely beautiful day out there yesterday.

Can you see the berm?  With that, here is your friendly reminder that Registration for Boomershoot opens this week.

Death to Pumkins

I have been meaning for a while to put up this post but never had the time to get around to it until today. Instead of cleaning the shop I wasted my time editing pictures, writing this post and working on some others, and chatting on GBC.

A couple years ago we blew up some pumpkins as relief for the election of fearless leader. After rolling through the store and being able to walk away with 400 lbs of pumpkins for about 20 cents a pound I sent an email to Joe.

The results were quite wonderful.

And lastly, as I always try to do, here’s the video:

Boomershoot Staff Cleanup 2010

I just finished uploading the 2010 Boomershoot staff cleanup video. It provides a few chuckles with different quips.

I didn’t get any video of the shoot down on the berm. We were in a rush because we did a special mini high-intensity event for Michael Bain and his film crew for The Shooting Gallery . I figured since they were filming it they’d probably get better footage anyway.

Private Boomershoot Party

Today I went out to the Boomershoot site to help Joe with a private party with some coworkers from Microsoft. We met up around 0800 at “The Breakfast Club” in Moscow. I had French toast which was extremely yummy, however what was totally awesome was the fact they had “Green Eggs and Ham”.

I would not eat green eggs and ham.

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

If you don’t get it, well you need to go read more Dr. Seuss. From there we drove out to the Boomershoot site. Joe stopped off for a couple quick history lessons like showing the grade school he went to growing up, as well as stopping by the farm he grew up on as we left.

The weather for the event today was downright miserable, the Explorer said it was 36 degrees out. I’m extremely happy it didn’t happen last weekend. Winds were about equal to Saturday for the PRC, what was bad is the fact that it was raining, sleeting, and snowing most of the time. Everything was so moist as a matter of fact a new possible issue with manufacturing was discovered. The PC in the high humidity had a tendency to re-clump while sifting. This created issues in getting correct measurements. We had about 7-8 crates of left over targets from last weekend. Joe attempted to detonate some of the targets which provided an extreme disappointment.

Lesson learned: they will not store for a week.

Janelle and Kim then proceeded to mix up targets for the private party. Only about 15 were mixed up, however while they mixed I burned. About 7-8 crates of targets were burned and I only lost the hair of the back of my left hand. That oxidizer lights up fast when it finally goes, and boy does it burn hot. After that we fully introduced Joe’s coworkers to the world of firearms and explosives. We pounded stakes, let the current squal pass, performed the saftey lecture and then got into it. I was going to destroy some harddrives for a friend however it appears I had left them at home. Another time do an Idaho Stress Test/data reduction method. For today it was going to be an extreme test as we were going to destroy them under the fireball as well.

The conditions continued to deteriorate; I was soaked through my Carhartts, inner layer, and base layer. What makes it worse was it was ice that was pelting us and quickly melting so it chilled to the bone.

Notice how my coat is glistening from being saturated.



Joe the ever vigilent instructor.

The productive results.

The happiness doesn’t fade either

The next shooter with Joe giving position instruction.

A successful hit.

As Joe says, people who complain are puritans.

Another happy customer. The white streaks are hail.

A smile attempting to hide.

Why Joe does it.

Proof that’s why Joe does it!

Satisfaction, He hit it… Finally. Where’s the grin, we assume just straight satisfaction!

After that everyone took a second boomer, some used my rifle instead, others used Joe’s. As a finale we attempted a fireball. Key word attempted. Unlike the blogger day the year before where we set the field on fire, it failed. It was too freaking wet and windy.

So after we finished up we then headed to the viewpoint overlooking Dworshak Dam. Joe gave us a short history lesson and thankfully we were able to stay out of the rain somewhat. After Dworshak we went to the Ponderosa for some dinner and conversation. Interestingly we discovered that Joe’s daughter, Kim, was married on the same day, same year, and same exact time as my wife and I. Amazing the little things you discover. Enjoy the pics from the dam.

Boomershoot 2010 Video and Report

Boomershoot 2010 was awesome and a lot of fun. I don’t know exactly why, but I ended up shooting the opening fireball for the shoot. Laurel from Politics Guns and Beer was there along with an entourage of help. I spent some time behind the rifle, but I spent more time educating and making sure others had a blast. And I’m glad to say, it appears they did have a great time.

The high intensity(video) shoots were fun as usual; feeling the boomers go off rattles your soul from head to toe always puts a smile on my face. The dinner though was a great social hour.

Oleg Volk

Oleg was there along with Laurel, Mike and Abigail.


As well as some friends from my days back in scouts. I told them I was going to put this pic online and I’m a man of my word. For those who don’t know, yes I’m an Eagle Scout and the reason I carry is to “Be Prepared.”

Mike, Andy, and Robert

We had a wonderful dinner which raised $2000 in raffle tickets. Half of which went straight to Soldiers’ Angels. The other half is put into a raffle lottery split into 10%, 10%, and 30%. David won the $600 which he then stated that he was going to make a $1000 donation to Soldiers’ Angels when he got home. Thank you David.

Overall it was yet another awesome year at Boomershoot, with a great reminder of how great the people are who participate. I hope to see you all again next year.


Friday High Intensity Video

Youtube has finished processing my uploaded video and my collaboration of the footage for the Friday High-Intensity is now up. Enjoy.

By the way, I’m working on a Boomershoot Video for 2010, but it appears it may just be 480p due to some unforeseen reason. Software is complaining and I can’t figure out why. I’ll work on uploading it in the morning.