We are not your sons and daughters, whom you must protect and defend. We are your sword and your shield. We are men and women who volunteer to place our lives on the line so you do not have to. We do not decide when or where we will be sent. We go. You are our advocates, not our parents.

I, as a soldier, am personally insulted when debate about war becomes not about policy, but about deaths, because it implies that my service is at best uninformed or ill-conceived, and at worst valueless.

I know my life is in the hands of others because I choose for it to be that way. I am not your daughter, a child who must be guided. I have made my choice and pledge my honor to it. I will thank you to remember that because we serve our nation, none of us dies in vain, regardless of the cause; end of debate.

Sarah Albrycht – Letter from a Soldier in Afghanistan

Via Dr. Sanity


I’ve got dust in my eyes . . .


Man, it’s nice to have reliable broadband service again! (And a solid night’s sleep!)

Let’s start off my (excessively long) 2009 Boomershoot report with a video: The Anvil Launch!

As noted previously, my shooting partner and I departed Tucson on Wednesday morning about 06:30 and didn’t stop until we got North of Boise, ID Salt Lake City, UT. We left bright and early Thursday, and arrived in Orofino a little after 4:00PM – too late to join the other Gunbloggers up at the range, but we did manage to find the local Ponderosa restaurant (not the chain, an independent) for dinner at 18:00 that evening for an informal get-together. I met Ry Jones, Earl Dungey of Just the Library Keeper, Alan of Snarky Bytes, Matthew of Triggerfinger, the original South Park Pundit (now blogging at Ballistic-Deanimation. I got to see Derek of The Packing Rat, George of Rivrdog, David of Random Nuclear Strikes, and Bonnie of Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease again, too, and (of course) Joe Huffman, our host. I know I met more bloggers than that, but my memory is faulty.

Friday we slept in, and at Joe’s invitation we moseyed on up to the range about lunch time. Gene Econ was running the first day of the long-range clinic, so we stopped over at the lunch wagon and got a burger & fries, and when everybody else broke for lunch, we headed up to the Taj Mahal where the Boomerite gets made. We met an interesting couple riding a Ural motorcycle with a sidecar (2WD!) that drew a lot of comments all weekend long.

When we first met I asked him what he did for a living. “I lie” was his reply, to which my response was “Oh! You’re a journalist!” I was right. Turns out that he’s Jack Lewis, freelance writer and frequent contributor to Motorcycle magazine, and his passenger is his wife and photographer. My shooting partner is a rider, and works for the University of Arizona doing esoteric technical stuff supporting the local observatories, so he had a lot to talk about with them about – bikes, riding and photography! Anyway, shooting partner and I spent the rest of the afternoon helping out a little, folding cardboard boxes and helping clean up, but where there was a break about three in the afternoon, we headed on down the hill.

We decided it would be a really good idea to get our rifles zeroed for the shoot on Sunday, so we went back Saturday morning, got signed in for “field fire” and set up our shooting position – #74:

That little blue half-tent was our windbreak and sunshade. Not quite big enough, but it sufficed. The temperature was in the low 40’s, and the wind was just a bit brisk, too, so we layered up and took a look at the range itself:

We were on the end of a little hillock. The treeline you see in the middle distance is the 375-yard berm. The bottom of the hill way out there in the distance?

Yes, 606 yards, by my rangefinder. The top of the hill measured 717 yards. On Saturday, steel targets were scattered all the way from the base up to the top. We sighted in on one at about 640 yards. I hit it with both the Remington 700 and the long-range pistol, so I figured I was ready for Sunday. There is something . . . rewarding about repeatedly smacking a 4″ steel target that far off in a stiff breeze.

Late in the afternoon the crew set up some Boomers at the 375 yard line for the precision rifle clinic people to shoot, and then those of us who were shooting “field fire” got a crack at them. My shooting partner got a couple, and then offered me his 7mm Magnum to take some shots. My response? “Oh hell yes!” That done, we packed up our rifles, left our shelter and bench set up, and headed back into Orofino to get ready for the evening’s banquet.

There was an excellent turnout for the dinner, lots of prizes raffled off, and Joe raised $1,085 for Soldier’s Angels plus an anonymous donor gave an additional $300 to be passed on. I didn’t win a thing, and neither did my shooting partner. Bummer. But Alan won the best prize there. (The 50% off a Nightforce scope was #2. I dropped the better part of $60 trying to win that, but wasn’t even close in that competition.)

Joe had all of the blogger/livejournalist attendees stand up and introduce themselves, and there were many. Hopefully he’ll post a complete list some time. I got in a couple of wisecracks, myself.

Sunday was the Big Day, and turnout was good. I’d estimate that there were 175 or so shooters and at least another 50-75 spectators. I saw four empty spots, which surprised me, but I guess given the economy some people just couldn’t make it. Bonnie actually had to head back home Sunday morning, so she didn’t get to shoot on the big day, plus somehow she broke her nose on Saturday (I’m still waiting to hear how that happened.)

Alan has a very good picture of what the side of the hillside looked like populated with Boomers. Firing commenced about 10:00, and there was much Sturm und Drang. With my partner spotting for me, it took me nine shots before I got my first Boomer at about 615 yards, but I rapidly got eight more – at one point three-in-a-row, which has major ego-boosting powers, let me tell you! The call of “TARGET DOWN!” is very cool, followed immediately by a distance-delayed “BOOOOM!” We switched and I spotted for him for a while. I think I was a lousy spotter, because he burned a lot of .30-06 ammo to not much effect for a while. He ended up dropping to the 375 yard berm and finally scored a hit. He concluded that the next time he comes (this was his second trip) he’ll have better equipment. At the least, better optics. I switched to the pistol and put about 40 rounds downrange, but only managed to score one 7″ boomer at about 640 yards. (Scared a few, but only just.) Still, that’s not bad for my first attempt at really looooong range handgunning.

We broke for lunch about noon, so I took my camera and walked the firing line to see what the others had brought.


There were a couple of “minimalists,” like this guy who brought a sniper KAR-98 Swedish Mauser M41B:

and a scoped Mosin

I have a feeling that picking out tiny little 7″ squares at 600+ yards with WWII-era sniper optics was a challenge.

Of course, David brought his long-range pistols:

Lots of people had better sun and wind protection than we did:

These guys had HEAT!

But there was some serious high-dollar hardware on site:

Lots of high-dollar optics for the spotters were in evidence.

I definitely need to upgrade to a better spotting scope/tripod. What I’ve got is fine for seeing bullet holes in paper at 100 yards, but it’s not so much for trying to see bullet “trace” on its way out to 600 yards.

But THESE guys:

I was tempted to ask if those things were self-propelled, too.

Anyway, the weather weenies were wrong (again) and the winds were lighter on Sunday than they had been on Saturday, so it seemed warmer. It didn’t rain or snow, and the shooting was excellent. All in all, it was a great trip – but one I don’t think I’ll be doing next year. Over the week I put 2990 miles on my truck, the overwhelming majority in four long days behind the wheel. I need a shooting friend who’s a member of AOPA. There’s a nice airstrip right next to Orofino. It’s got to be better than 50 hours of windshield time.

But I was grinning the whole way home . . .

Another Public Educator Teaches “Critical Thinking”

Another Public Educator Teaches “Critical Thinking”

Speechless about covers it. Sebastian has the video of Cam Edwards interviewing a New York High School HISTORY TEACHER about the gun control bills that teacher is pushing er, encouraging his students to travel to Albany to support.

Yes, our opponents are that bigoted, ignorant, misinformed, obstinate, and dishonest. “Look who’s teaching,” indeed. I wonder if Mr. Esposito is a member of MEChA.



Everything’s unloaded, my shooting partner is on his way to his own domicile, and I’m wiped out. Just over 12 hours on the road today. Coming back through Nevada was not noticeably quicker than going through Utah. We saved maybe an hour.

Regular blogging resumes tomorrow.

Travel Report

Travel Report

Reporting in from Ely, Nevada, 19:26PDT. On the road about 13 hours today, not sure how many miles, but a bunch. Staying at the local Motel 6 which has Wi-Fi ($2.99 extra) but it at least appears to be more reliable than the Konkolville Motel’s service. Tired, hungry. Gonna get something to eat, go to bed, and hit the road bright and early tomorrow in hopes of getting home at a reasonable hour.

Man, I’m glad I took the rest of this week off!

Extended Boomershoot report with pictures and video probably Wednesday. And stay tuned for the final installment in the James Kelly saga later in the week.

Quick Post

Quick Post

9:35PM Tired. Shooting pretty much all day today – cold, windy, fantastic. Boomershoot is tomorrow. Might snow on us a bit. Hotel Wi-fi is unreliable. Sorry for the lack of posts. Can’t upload photos, either. Lots of bloggers here! LOTS of good shooters with LOTS of nice hardware.

I’m going to BED. L8R.

Quote of the Day

This time from the Geek with a .45:

In about 5 billion years, Sol, our star, will enter its red giant phase, and engulf the orbit of the earth. After this event, the universe will continue for at least 10100 years. Well prior to that, Earth’s atmosphere will boil away. Earth will be entirely, 100% destroyed, down to the last molecule, taking humanity with it.

The only way to avoid that fate is to attain star faring capability and get off this rock.

I submit therefore, that while stewardship of our resources is a laudable and necessary thing, that ultimately, our planet is 100% expendable, down to the very last molecule towards the goal of our ultimate escape.

Humanity needs exactly two game changing things: a compact, self contained, potent clean energy source along the lines of the fictional ZPM, and a star drive.

Such items will be the product of freedom, prosperity, and the material application of the intellect of man, and won’t be dropped out of the sky as a result of granola munching Gaia worship.

Nature is pleased to eat us, or kill us in any of a number of lingering, nasty, painful ways.

I say we give the bitch the middle finger and blow this joint. Can I get an “AMEN!”?

How Cool is THIS

How Cool is THIS?

There’s lots of coverage of the first day of Boomershoot by those who were able to attend, but this is the single most badass post of the group: Moment of Detonation. Ry Jones caught a boomer at the instant it began to detonate! You can see the bullet hole in the target box just before, as Joe Huffman put it, “it is reduced to its molecular components.”

Other reports come from Trigger Finger, SnarkyBytes, and another post by Joe

Oh Thank Jeebus, We’re Here

Oh Thank Jeebus, We’re Here!

Just checked in to the Konkolville Motel right at 17:00. Twenty-five hours and a bit over 1400 miles of windshield time getting here. We stopped at a Motel 6 last night about 9:30PM PDT just North of Salt Lake City, and left this morning at 07:00. I’m not looking forward to the return trip. No pictures or anything as of yet to post. I need some rest and some antihistamines. I’ve got no plans for tomorrow or Saturday with the exception of the big dinner Joe’s got planned. Oh, and getting caught up after two days off the web. I’m suffering from withdrawal.

Man am I glad to be off the road.

As I Head Off for Boomershoot . . .

As I Head Off for Boomershoot . . .

Something for you to think about, from Billy Beck:

All the political initiative now is with the forces of Amsoc. Where the so-called conservatives have fought generations of piece-meal rear-guard action against the integral resolution of socialism to corrode its worst enemy — the practical and living ideal of freedom: America — out of existence, and as they have done so as effects of disintegrated philosophy, the socialists are assuming the commanding heights in full political battle gear.

It is important to understand that this can only and inevitably mean physical battle gear, right in front of your eyes, right here in America. The spirit of this place that was not born of the slave’s obeisance will require this government to bare its fangs. I still believe that. The ways in which and the singular souls from Americans select their values are not yet so beaten to any alien molds so well that they will peaceably stand for the conformations that this government will eventually require and demand — not “ask”.

Do read the whole thing. Oh, and this:

A Thought For Your Day

“Officers of the police or revenue easily adapt themselves to any form of government.”

(Edward Gibbon, “The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire”, Vol. I, ch. 3, footnote 20, p. 59)

Also from Billy.

I’ll be on the road the next couple of days, but if at all possible, I’ll be posting at least a little something in the evenings.