Little rocks from big rocks and explosives

The complete collection of pictures for this adventure is here.  Below is just a sample.

I got up about 6:00 this morning, took Xenia to her drivers ed class by 7:00 and was on my way to the farm.  A little after 10:00 I had all my gear gathered up from the Taj Mahal and met my brothers at the house.  We went to a field they had been removing rocks from for several days.  There were two rocks that couldn’t be dug out with the equipment they had.  Below is rock number one from the “back side”:

Rock number one from the “front side”:

The rock appeared to be directly connected to the earth’s crust.  It also poked just above the surface of the dirt (prior to their digging with the back hoe and cat).  We put one of my improvised shaped charges on top of it and got back 93 yards to shoot it.  Here is a picture of the charge all ready for detonation by rifle fire:

The results were disappointing.  It removed a small “cap” off the right side and showed just a hint of a crack basically down the middle.  But not enough to brag about much.  We hit it again in the same spot with the same type of charge.  The crack got a little wider.  We tried a different approach.  A “water hammer”:

The detonating target for my rifle is on top.  In the middle is about two pounds of HE in a thin rectangle.  On the bottom is about two pounds of water in a thin rectangle.  The thought was that the HE would accelerate the water into the crack and force it open further.  The results were, again, disappointing:

We came back after lunch with more explosives and tried two milk jugs (about 10 pounds of HE) with rocks and water around the sides to help confine the charge.  This yielded a significant break in the top side of the rock which we easily exploited with a large bar:

We put about five pounds of HE under this rock and another five pounds on top of that but still in the crack.  Around that we packed dirt and water jugs:

This pulverized it:

We went on to Rock two.  Having learned our lesson we packed about 20 pounds of HE in the side of it next to the bedrock and put dirt and water jugs all around it.  It took four of the 4″ square detonator targets stacked on top of each other to reach a height we could see it from our shooting position:

I’ve never set off a 20 pound boomer before.  In fact the 10 pound boomers a little earlier were a new record for me.  We got back what seemed to be a reasonable distance which according to the laser range finder was 127 yards.  I fired and clods of dirt (sure glad we didn’t put rocks around it!) landed behind us and off to the side of us.  It had the desired effect on the rock however:

Video was taken as well.  I’ll get that digitized and up before long.


2 thoughts on “Little rocks from big rocks and explosives

  1. I’d like to see/hear/feel a 20-pounder at Boomershoot ’06, but I suspect the cost of replacing all the windows in the the Tyler and neighbor houses would be prohibitive.

  2. I think I can have the video up today. With the boomer in a hole and then under the dirt and water jugs it was muted quite a bit from what you might expect.

    If we did a 20 pounder at Boomershoot 2006 it would be the last Boomershoot. I really prefer to stay on the good side of the neighbors and continue putting on the events.

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