Boomershoot private party

Some people from work followed me back to Idaho on Friday night.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the Breakfast Club in Moscow with Tim, Barron, and Janelle.

Hiep and Priyanka walking into the restaurant. Photo by Sharath.

We drove to the Boomershoot site and I told them the history, told lots of stories and gave them a tour. They found some .50 BMG bullets and seemed quite thrilled. The picture below is from on top of the berm where the 700 yard targets are placed looking back at the hay field to the shooting line.

Janelle, Barron, Tim (just barely visible behind the grass), Hiep, Sharath, and Priyanka.

I gave them a safety briefing on the chemicals (which consists mostly of telling them not to eat, drink, or snort anything) I had the people from Microsoft weigh the chemicals and my staff mix the explosives and package it into targets:

Sharath, Priyanka, Hiep.

Janelle, Tim (barely visible–he doesn’t want his picture taken because cameras will steal your soul), and Barron.

We ate lunch then placed the targets in front of the large berm at the tree line.

Sharath, Priyanka, and Hiep putting stakes in the ground for the targets.

One of the targets had something special on it (see also here).

I gave safety and basic firearm instructions while Tim, Barron, and Janelle placed the targets on the stakes. Sharath had never shot a gun before. Hiep had only shot one once and that was after he had three years of military instruction in Vietnam. Priyanka shot a gun for the first time last September and then in March took her parents (visiting from India) to the range on her own and taught them to shoot.

Targets ready for engagement. Photo by Sharath.

We then got back a few feet and let the visitors shoot the targets. There were many smiles and much exaltation.

Joe and Hiep. Photo by Sharath.

Hiep once told me he didn’t think private citizens should possess firearms. Only the police and the military should have access. I should ask if he still thinks that.

Boomershoot is a tool for teaching people from all over the world the joys of guns and explosives–the joy of freedom.


11 thoughts on “Boomershoot private party

  1. Joe, just an FYI, you spelled Barron’s name wrong throughout the entire post. It ends in “on” not “en”. I can tell you are most likely getting tired as you spelled his name correctly in the quote of the day.

    We are working on the video, it should be up by tomorrow or Wednesday. We have two hours worth of video to go through and we had to fix a codec problem in the movie maker program.

    Janelle B.

  2. A great post and story…but an obvious fabrication, as in the photo I see only one white male with a gut! (Spoken with all due respect from a white man who needs to work out more!)

    Women, and non-whites HATE guns. Ubu52 told me so! ; ]

  3. Janelle,

    Fixed. Thanks. Sorry about that.

    Yeah. I was really tired. I spent 8 hours on the road the night before and had to get up earler for a meeting with a new intern I am going to be advising. Then the day went long because it was video night with son James…

  4. The area where you’re mixing explosives looks remarkably like the area where the cafe is selling donuts… Just sayin’

  5. anon,

    Similar canopy, but they are 40 miles distant from each other.

    I generally don’t bring my chemistry set into town.


    Thanks for the update on the video. I’m looking forward to it.

  6. I still think that this looks like fun, but I have a couple of questions for you.

    Didn’t you set up these same boxes 600′ away for the real Boomershoot? How far away were you from the boxes this time? Also, isn’t that grass a fire hazard?

  7. The closest 7″ targets at the real Boomershoot are about 600 yards away. These were about 10 yards away. At this range these new shooters had about the same difficulty (as measured in hit/miss ratios) as shooters do at the real event.

    The cut hay is a fire hazard and because of that we did not attempt a fireball target. The explosives and normal explosions are not much of a fire hazard as long as there are not spilled chemicals that remain in the sun and open air for hours.

  8. New shooters are really bad, eh? I would have thought that some of them would have been really good. It’s a “point and aim” sport like bowling and darts and I’d imagine that some of them are pretty good right out of the box.

    Actually, now that I think about it — what separates a good shooter from a great shooter is weapon control. The better you can control your weapon (of choice) the better shooter you are. Same thing as bowling and darts.


  9. New shooters are much slower at taking accurate shots. With a pistol they may take 10 seconds per shot to achieve the same accuracy that I can achieve in 0.75 seconds per shot. They are unable, at any speed (short of days of practice), to match my accuracy if I take 1.0 seconds per shot.

    With a rifle at close range it is similar. I gave my students targets of appropriate size and at an appropriate range such that their abilities would be stretched just a little.

    At long range there is a whole new set of skills needed. The drop from gravity and the wind drift of the bullet dominate the problem set. When the shooter doesn’t have the skills to aim correctly, hold the gun steady, and pull the trigger without moving the gun adding additional problems for them to solve simultaneously will result in a day of frustration. Had I put them at 375 yards away with a scoped rifle they would have taken 20 to 30 shots per hit (I know, I have tried it with new shooters before) and been discouraged and frustrated. A good long range shooter with the same gun and those same targets would have taken only one shot per target and soon gotten bored.

    In fact with that same iron sighted gun my students were having moderate difficulty hitting seven inch targets at 10 yards while kneeling or using the trunk of the car as a rest I have hit (with perhaps one out three shots) eight inch steel plates at 300 yards while standing (much more difficult than kneeling). Some of the shooters could not have held the gun horizontal for more than a few seconds while standing. Let alone been able to hit the seven inch target 10 yards away.

    It is important to give students challenges they can meet, not show them how inadequate they are. If/when they interested and ready I will take them back out and give them long range targets.

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