Playing in the dirt

Last Saturday (the 5th) I borrowed Dad’s bulldozer and went playing in the dirt at the Boomershoot range. The main objectives were to make the berm the shooters use a little bit wider and deeper.

We have 22 shooting positions on the berm and prior to 2009 I only allocated six feet per position. This was a little too crowded and since everyone else had at least eight feet I wanted to expand it enough to accommodate eight feet for everyone. I tried to do that last fall for Boomershoot 2009 but didn’t quite add enough space. There was only room for 7′ 6″ for everyone. I really should have taken my laser range finder with me. So this year I brought the laser range finder and added enough that I could give everyone an honest eight feet.

I extended the east end of the berm by about 20 feet:

I think I squared up the end a little bit after taking this picture so it didn’t slope quite so much at the very end.

The other problem was that some areas of the berm were not deep enough and people had problems sliding down off the back side of the berm. Here is a before picture:

Here is during my modifications:


For reference purposes the width of the tracks is about 6′ 8″.

The following is after I smoothed off the top of the berm. I smoothed out the area in front of the berm a little later.


Everyone should have about eight feet of depth as well as width on the top of the berm.

The secondary objectives were to fill in the hole I had made near the Taj Mahal checking for a leak in the water barrel. Here is what it looked like after I got done with it on Saturday:


I extended the parking area into the trees some to give some more shaded area.


I dug out and pushed some big rocks out of the grain field about 1/2 mile to the west on my way back to the house.


I got very dirty. The hat, eye and ear protection left some almost clean spots.


My Gun Blog 45 also got very dirty. No. I didn’t test it in this condition.

I didn’t think of it at the time but I really should have made a level spot for tents instead of the parking area near the Taj Mahal. If I have time I might go back and do that this fall some time.

6 thoughts on “Playing in the dirt

  1. Wow, thanks Joe! As some of the taller (I’m 6’3″) shooters, I know Monte Milanuk and I constantly fight the slide off the back of the berm. It’s not terrible on the days of the clinic, because there is extra room, but on Boomershoot it gets pretty tight side to side, also, I noticed!

    Heard anything about the video shot at Boomershoot?

  2. Yeah, I know. It was problem for a lot of shooters. It should be a lot better now. I can’t easily make the event much bigger but I can make it better. Let me know if you can think of anything else that should be improved.

    Nothing on the video. The last I heard from him was on June 4th when he said he had been very busy and had not had time to do anything with it yet.

  3. Joe, Boomershoot is so good as it is, including the precision rifle clinic, that I start looking forward to it the day after I get home!

    I think the shootout with Caleb on Saturday would be great, though!

    Can you add an onsite 5 star hotel and restaurant, also? πŸ™‚

  4. I had only a *tiny* bit of trouble sliding on the berm, shooting prone… nothing I couldn’t toe-nudge my way back into position from, but I appreciate the work still!

    Son Alex (2 years old) and I have been playing in dirt a lot also (big garden; down here in Texas we can grow some cold-hardy plants through the winter if we’re careful) – I’m working, he’s playing with the Tonka trucks I found that Dad saved from when I was little. We both get pretty dirty too, much to Momma’s chagrin.

    My Colt M1991A1 has wound up looking like your Gun Blog .45 more than once – but I did test in that condition. No failures. I mean, really… after a full day following a tiller, just because my sidearm’s dirty doesn’t mean an aggressive dog or snake (or worse) won’t show up while I’ve got a 2-year-old to look after, so I test fired a full magazine, and was pleased with the results. Cleaning’s definitely a PITA, though.

    Leveling some areas for tents/campers would be nice, but I’d put that on the “nice to do when I have spare time” list.

    I will be back to Boomershoot (with Alex!) just as soon as he’s able to follow directions about keeping his hard ears on and not going in front of “the hill”. Probably 2011 or 2012 πŸ™‚

  5. Bummer you didn’t run 100 rounds through the LDA filled with dust. I bet Para would love (or hate) to hear the results of that.

    Certainly would have helped alleviate some of my prejudice against Para-USA.

  6. Bill, we’ve thought about the hotel and restaurant but decided against it until we could do a Boomershoot every weekend. And for that we would need a much more remote location and a bigger draw.

    Aaron, the depth of the berm varied so you might have had a spot that was wider than others. In fact, weren’t you near the left end? I didn’t enhance that area because I thought it was probably good enough as it was.

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