In Other News…

…I’ve got 1,000 .223 cases and 1,200 Hornady 75 grain HPBT Match bullets on the way.  I’ve got 500 cases prepped and ready to go, and 250 projectiles already.  Primers and powder are on hand.

I’ve got a busy few weekends ahead.

Boomershoot AAR

So, four days of driving for two days of shooting.  Was it worth it?


This post will be pic heavy, so everything else is under the fold.

I left Tucson on Thursday a week ago at just after 5AM.  I drove all the way to Brigham City, UT before stopping for the night, about 825 miles and 12 hours, expecting to leave the next morning early and getting to Orofino with enough time to get to the site and set up before field fire on Saturday.  Obviously, that didn’t happen.  Drove through some very pretty country, though.

If I hadn’t been in a hurry, I’d have stopped and taken more pictures.  I got into Orofino late Friday afternoon, got some dinner and went to bed.

Saturday dawned wet.  I made it out to the site and got my position set up:

That’s mine, the one with the silver top and blue sides.  Much nicer than last time.  Here’s the interior view looking downrange:

When Field Fire started, I dragged out the AR and did some shooting on steel at the 385 yard berm, but it became apparent that my folding table was WAY too low for shooting off the bench.  Add to that the fact that my boots and socks were soaked through, the wind was blowing 10-15 miles per hour and the air temperature was about 50ºF, my feet were freezing.  Despite that, the AR was kicking ass.  A double swinger with 4″ square plates was no challenge at that range.  Still, I needed to do something about the table height, so I left about 11:30 and headed back to town.

A clean, dry pair of socks on my feet and a couple of garbage bags between them and my sopping boots, and I headed for the nearest auto parts store for some wiper blades for the truck.  Again, I wish I’d taken pictures.  The auto parts store was also the local gun shop!  Very cool.  After the new blades were installed, I went to the local construction supply and got some 1″ schedule 40 PVC cut for leg extensions for my table.  Back at the range, I found that the extensions were too long, but I found someone with a saw and got them cut down to fit.  I had just enough time to get the .300 Win Mag out and put four rounds downrange before cease-fire was called to set up boomers on the 385 yard berm.  The muzzle blast from my braked .300 did some interesting things to the water on the canopy, even with the muzzle a good 10″ outside.

Once they were ready to resume shooting, I got my spotter back and got dialed in for Sunday.  Before leaving Tucson I’d sighted the rifle at 500 meters (547 yards), but with the air temperature, altitude and humidity changes I needed to sight in again.  A steel torso target at 660 yards by my Leica laser rangefinder was my target.  I fired three sighters, holding high and right to compensate for the range and wind:

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After a quick scope adjustment, I held just high and right of the center black paint, a circle of about 6″.  This is a two-shot group:

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Yeah, that rifle/ammo combo shoots.  I was ready for Sunday.

I’d signed up for the “high intensity” shoot, cleaning up the 385 yard berm at the end of the afternoon, but I was too wet and cold and wimped out.  I headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

At dinner, I discovered that my spotter that day was our dinner speaker.  The topic of his speech was “paying back” by taking people shooting and inspiring in them the kind of enthusiasm that makes us drive 20 hours to go shoot exploding targets.  During dinner I met several people who thanked me for my work at this blog.  That’s kind of humbling (and ego boosting, to be honest).

Brian informed me that he’d only be able to spot for me in the morning, Sunday as he was going to have to leave in the early afternoon, but I had another volunteer, so I was covered.  I was back on the range in plenty of time to get set up and catch the opening fireball.  The range was well prepared for us:

And the fireball was too:

Per the description, it was 26 gallons of gasoline and 44 pounds of Boomerite.


Skip to 2:15 to catch the fireball without all the waiting. Pretty damned spectacular.

Then the shoot began.  At the bottom of the hill right at 600 yards was a steel popper that David Whitewolf had put his father’s cowboy hat on:

My very first round of Boomershoot 2016 hit the target just below and to the right in that picture, and blew the hat right off that popper.  I continued to shoot for the next hour or so, taking breaks to let the barrel cool, then switched off with my spotter to let him have some trigger time.  He had never shot at anything past a couple hundred yards, and was going to try the 385 yard berm, but I was having none of that!  “It’s sighted in for 650!  Shoot at the targets on the hillside!”  So he did.  Before he finished, he took three of the highest targets out there at 700 yards.  You should have seen the smile on his face.  “Pay it forward” indeed!

I took a break for lunch about 11:00 and walked the firing line.  Some people were much better prepared than I:

But there were some minimalists:

Turnout was pretty good:

After lunch David spotted for me for awhile as I worked through the rest of the .300WM ammo I brought. All in all, I fired about 150 rounds Sunday, and lost count of how many boomers I hit. I’m estimating about 24, with four or so failing to go off. Not bad, given the variable winds. We packed it in at about 4PM, and everybody tore down and put away. My arm ached a bit Sunday night, but no bruise!

I left Orofino Monday morning and headed for Ely, NV.

Snow. Who the hell ordered snow?

Tuesday morning dark and early I stepped out of my hotel room to see how much snow there was. A bit on the truck, but none on the ground:

Truck was NOT happy about starting, even though the temperature was only 37ºF. Need to check on that, but I got it going, and headed South. I stopped in Vegas for about an hour to tour Count’s Kustoms (Danny has some really nice cars!) and then headed on out.  I got home about 4PM Tuesday. I took my suitcase into the house, but left everything else for Wednesday, which I had also taken off.

Four days of driving, 2,750 miles and two tires for a day and a half of shooting.  Never even put a round through The Power Tool™.  But I had a great time.

Boomershoot Update

Made my last pre-Boomershoot trip to the range this morning.  Seems during my previous testing with the .300 Win Mag I managed to shoot my scope loose.  Red Loctite applied, torqued to spec, and I’m now dialed in at 500 meters.  Took the target AR and ran a magazine through it at 400 meters.  It’s ready to go.  Still need to load some .260 Remington for the Power Tool™.  I’ll have to sight that in on Saturday.  I think I’m going to use it on the 385 yard berm only, though.  Last time I scared a lot of targets with the pistol at 640 yards, but I think I only hit one.

I have someone sharing Position 26 with me now, so I’ve got a spotter and so does he.  I head out for Orofino on Thursday.  I’m planning to stop in Ogden, UT Thursday night, which should put me in Orofino on Friday afternoon.  I’m doing Field Fire and High Intensity on Saturday, and then the event itself on Sunday, departing Monday morning for the drive home.  Haven’t picked a route back yet.

I’ve got a 5’x7′ canopy and some tarp sidewalls to keep the wind and (probably) rain as much at bay as possible, and a half-inch plywood sheet for a ground surface to put my chair and table on.  Weather report says cool and probably rainy Saturday, cooler and maybe rainy Sunday.  Thankfully the wind is supposed to be 10 mph or less.

Boomershoot Update

So Boomershoot is right at a month away.  I’ve picked the load I’m going to be using in my .300 Win Mag, but I’ve still got some issues with the rifle itself to iron out – scope adjustments and Loctite, mostly.

I still need a spotter/co-shooter for Position 26.  I’ll be traveling from Tucson through Salt Lake City on April 21, arriving in Orofino, ID on the 22nd, departing on the 25th.  Anybody want to join me?

Blogshoot Update

Earlier posts about the 2016 Annual Central Arizona Blogshoot are here and here.

I’m bringing the thumpers this year.  The .45-70, the .458 SOCOM, my as-yet-unfired Mossberg 930JM with 1oz sabot slugs, and one of my No. 5 Mk I Jungle Carbines.  I’m also planning on bringing the 629 if I can get some .44 Mag loaded in time.

If you want to shoot any of the long guns, I recommend wearing something with a pad in the shoulder.  Weather promises to be cloudy, calm and cool after the storms move through Thursday and Friday.

My Reaction to Obama’s Gun Control Announcement

I’ve just about completed my inventory of reloading components.

I have a LOT of stuff I need to put together into functional ammunition, collected over the last few years while the picking’s been slim.  Powder, primer, cases and projectiles.  Just received 200 .300 Win Mag cases this afternoon, for instance.

I’m going to be busy for a while.

Blogshoot! (BUMPED with addendum)

The annual Central Arizona Blogshoot is scheduled for Sunday, January 10 – just two weeks away. As previously, it will be held at the Elsy Pearson Public Shooting Range just off Trekell Road and I-8, just West of I-10 near Casa Grande.  (Ignore the labeling on the map.  The one marked “Pinal County Public Shooting Range” is the one we’re at.  The other is the Casa Grande Trap and Skeet club.)

Same as last year, the range opens at 7:00AM. There are no rangemasters. There are no chairs – bring something to sit on. The firing line is covered and there are concrete shooting benches, however.

And the city has porta-potties out there on a permanent basis, so we don’t have to rent our own (but bring your own TP just in case.)

The rules are pretty simple:

No explosives, no .50BMG rifles, clean up after yourself, don’t be a dick.

The rifle range is 300 yards deep with the first berm at 200.  The mountains that form the ultimate backstop are another 300 yards out and farther.  The ground there is reinforced concrete disguised as sun-baked clay. Forget about any target stand that needs to stick into the ground, it ain’t happenin’. Steel and targets that don’t need taping are best. And the benches are funky-shaped. Regular camping chairs are marginal, stools are better. I bring a folding chair, a target stand made of 2″ PVC pipe, and my steel swingers. I also have some .22 rimfire rated rolling targets made of steel.

I recommend you bring:  water or other non-alcoholic beverages (no alcohol on the range), sunscreen, ear and eye protection.  Ladies, don’t wear anything low-cut or open-necked.  Yes, I’m sure it looks lovely, but you don’t want to catch hot brass down in there.  OPTIONAL:  Something to shoot with, and something to shoot AT.  If you’re a reader or a non-gun blogger interested in coming to a off-the-cuff funshoot, please come on down!  I imagine most of us will be bringing multiple firearms and lots of ammo, but if you don’t, well, I’m willing to let people shoot my stuff (with my ammo), and I’m willing to let them shoot at my targets.

Hope to see you there!

ADDENDUM:  It has been brought to my attention that exit 199 to I-8 off of  Westbound I-10 will be closed starting Monday, January 4.  So if you’re coming from the direction of Tucson, the recommendation is to exit at Jimmy Kerr (Exit 198, I believe) get back on I-10 Eastbound, then take Exit 199 to get on I-8 West.  Exit I-8 at Trekell Road.


I’m seriously considering attending Boomershoot 2016, which is April 22-24 this year.  Unfortunately DC, my shooting buddy, can’t make it this year.  I need somebody to share a slot with and to trade spotting duties.  I’d also like to trade off on driving and split the fuel costs.  It’s a two-day drive from Tucson to Orofino, ID.  I could pick somebody up in or near Phoenix or Salt Lake.

Anybody interested?