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!


Boomershoot 2009

Last weekend was Boomershoot 2009. Best 5 day vacation I’ve had in a long time. I even grabbed a high def video camera just for it. The next couple days I’m going to slowly start posting stories and I’ll post video as I clean it up and edit it. Why must I edit it you ask, the full high-intensity video is a whopping 768 megs. The anvil and failed fire ball are 1.2 gigs. I do have a video of the successful fireball that we did on Thursday.

Pictures will also be posted slowly but surely as well. I have very limited internet currently. It’s on my laundry list of things to do, but at the top is finishing moving.

Here’s a pic from the anvil launch.

Anvil Shot

And here’s the fireball from Thursday.

It was 3 seconds of pure awesomeness followed by 20 minutes of firefighting. I wish I had my camera on a tripod and caught the whole episode. In hindsight it was fun I guess, at the time though it was a little scary. We had all forgotten about Joe’s post on Sunday.

Stress Relief, Death to pumpkins

I saw a post on Joe’s blog last night about heading out to the Boomershoot site for some pumpkin destruction.

I arrived just after one as was asked. Good timing evidently because he was just finishing up the explosives as the wife and I showed up.

We spent the next bit chatting, I met a coworker of Joe’s, Kris, and I proceeded to gut and dismember the pumpkins much like Hannibal Lecter would to feed a man his own brains.

We then crated up the poor little victims and moved them to their zone of destruction.

This was a pumpkin that was in dire need of destruction. It was molding and becoming extremely soft. Big enough however it required two to move.

Six pounds of HE however would deal with this quite well. Besides the two that were rotting on top, well that was just nasty when it covered my hand.

We then proceeded to their destruction, first my wife, ladies first and all…

Followed by Kris…

And finally, here’s the video of my shoot. Along with a pic. Joe said “Just the big one left, give me a count of two so I can get the whole thing.” Sweet!!!! So I get to shoot this mother! AWESOME, Thanks JOE!

And as a final closing statement, we found pumpkin chunks 71 yards away. It quite literally rained pumpkin. Wife got hit in the leg, nothing major, I danced to get out of the way. The final dance move was to the right.

We drove back through Orofino to eat at Ponderosa, and gassed up outside the Casino for a low $2.18 a gallon. Thanks for a mini vacation Joe, much, much appreciated.

Boomershoot 2008

For pre-finals stress relief I decided to pursue something that I have wanted to do for the longest time since I moved to Eastern Washington.

I went to Boomershoot and the precision rifle clinic. There’s some really nice pics inside!

Above is the opening to the shoot. Joe had to get close because he winged one of the jugs of gas and couldn’t get the boomer to detonate.

I learned a lot from the two days at the clinic, also got some reminders of things that I haven’t had to worry about shooting pistol lately. The only real comments I have to anyone interested in coming to Boomershoot is that you need a spotter. Shooting at targets 700 yards away, 4 or 7 inches across depending on the target is difficult if not impossible without one. For those who don’t know the math, that is 1 MOA at the largest. Without your spotter you will have no real consistent feedback of your impact. You’re not shooting at a paper target that will have a hole in it. If you’re lucky you might see a change in the dirt surrounding the target. I’m defiantly going back next year for both sections. I’m already working on what my goals are going to be. Friday was miserable for weather, but I look at it now like a baptism by fire. Shooting long distance in winds was never something I had really done. On Friday we had sleet and a win out of 3 O’clock between 7-12 MPH, with gusts to 20 MPH.

The anvil shoot after lunch was awesome. I had a nice sequence(site is down) of pics that shows the whole thing but I’m just going to post the most impressive ones here.

That thing flying up is a 75lbs anvil. And yes ACME is written across the side. Below on the is the anvil at its peak height. Estimates put the anvil at about 110 feet. Next is the impact with the nice spurt of dirt. At the very bottom is the hole left in the ground by the anvil. Yes it’s still in the hole.

I also got to have some other fun. There was a M1917 Browning water cooled machine gun. Not only was I able to take pictures of it…. They also let me shoot it.

After lunch they put up a low flow toilet, packed it with about 6 pounds of explosive, filled the bowl and tank with gas, put up some flares and the following videos were born! The second video can be found here.

The weather was quite nice after Friday. It was so nice in fact that I turned a bright red with a toughening of the skin on my nose. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this weekend was totally worth it. Please note the circle on my forehead for my hat, along with the coon eyes from my glasses.

Anyone who met me that weekend feel free to drop me a line. Large thanks to Eugene and the other clinic instructors. Your advice was quite helpful. See you all next year!