Boomershoot 2013

By most accounts Boomershoot 2013 was good. Two people even came up to me afterward and told me, “This was the best one ever.”

From and staff/organizational standpoint that was certainly true. Everything occurred on time or perhaps only a few minutes late. The targets were produced in record time. The targets were deployed in record time. The clean up on Sunday night was completed in record time. The Saturday dinner and raffle went exceptionally smooth as well.

I give credit to all the staff who showed up early or on time, knew what to do, and worked long hours.

There were some disappointments from the participant side.

The targets for the high intensity events had a very low detonation rate. My guess is that fewer than half detonated. The air should have been filled with so much water vapor that people would have difficulty seeing the targets.


The detonation rate for the main event was better but still below what we have come to expect.

The low detonation rate was at least 90% responsible for the disappointing fireball this year.

We have more tests to do but the best hypothesis so far is that the heat guns used to do the shrink wrapping of the targets overheated the ethylene glycol in the Boomerite and evaporated a significant portion of it. Our tests were done in the winter and a lot of our target production was done when it was very warm in the shipping container.

The weather wasn’t bad. It could have been better though. On Sunday the winds were high enough that some people reported 10+ feet of windage was required for .223 calibers at the tree line 380 yards away. It’s crazy to expect to get hits on a 4” square target when you put on that much windage.


On the good side, at noon we moved about 150 or 200 7” targets from the distant hillside to the tree line. The original targets at the tree line were 3” and 4” square. The addition of 7” square targets was very popular with the shooters and there was a great deal of excitement as the targets detonated in rapid succession. The difference between hitting 2 MOA and 1 MOA targets is huge.


As usual there were interesting people and equipment at Boomershoot:






Most of the staff left about 5:45 PM. Daughter Kim and Jacob left sometime after 6:00 PM. I puttered around Mecca putting things away, taking down the tent, and packing stuff into my vehicle for the return trip to the Seattle area the next day. I left via the tree line at the Boomershoot site and spread the remaining coals from the trash fires to cool. I left at almost exactly 8:00 PM. It was still light out which was a first. There have been times, like last year, when I did not leave until after 11:00 PM.



11 thoughts on “Boomershoot 2013

  1. As always, Boomershoot was exceptional. I noted a decidedly less frenetic atmosphere this year, much more relaxed and easy going. I can’t believe anyone needed 10 feet of windage at 375 yards, though. That’s crazy. Thats 30+ MOA! I need less than 4 MOA at 400 yards with a 10 MPH wind. That would indicate 70 MPH winds. Even with 55 grain FMJ’s at only 2800 FPS, it would be 50-60 MPH winds. That sounds to me like someone has scope issues, because we never saw anywhere close to those winds.

    Your staff was excellent, as always! Congrats on another successful Boomershoot and thanks for all your help with everything!

  2. Bill,
    I was the one with 10+ feet of drift. Ben was taking shots at a steel target in the treeline, and the bullets were impacting to the left of the bushes in the brown ground behind the targets. I just sighted this rifle in the day before (or maybe Friday night, it all runs together) and had no troubles spanking steel gongs at the tree line.

    I gave up at that point. I am willing to own that the scope may have issues, or I may have issues, or maybe I was getting baffle strikes – I didn’t examine my can for impacts.

  3. Since you zeroed the day or two before, it could only be a scope issue or baffle strikes, nothing else makes sense, because we just didn’t have that kind of wind.

    I doubt it was you. The results point to mechanical, not shooter, issues.

  4. Clean-up was MUCH better this year. Last year it was getting to the point of being work that wasn’t fun, and was getting almost tiresome to shoot boomers. I didn’t leave until after sundown, and a drive home that night was out of the question. This year, I was able to boogie straight out from there in time to take sunset shots on the way home in WA, and got home almost exactly at midnight, in spite of the snowstorm in the pass starting to hit. A higher percentage of boomers going off would be nice, and selling more of my Boomershoot patches would have been good, but other than that, I thought it was GREAT. Decent weather, lots of good people (as always), plenty of help, hit the 700 yard steel with my 223, hit a boomer with my hunting loads in 6.5 x 55 in an old Ruger M77, got a few good pictures.
    Another good year.

  5. Rolf,

    I think we can handle selling patches at the clinic and check in for Fieldfire if you decide to do it again. I was sending people to find you on Saturday and Sunday, but I know it was hard for them to do that. Since I dont have to collect money for that anymore, we can probably help out.

    • I was thinking of asking Joe if we could just add it to the standard entry form, with a check box or three for “yes, I want a patch / rockers” with a couple of basic variations, and hand them out at registration. Then I’d only need to do a few sales for drop-ins, etc.

      • I bounced having meal tickets at signup off Joe – pay an extra $10 or $15 bucks for breakfast and lunch.

  6. well shit, wouldn’t you know it, one side of my endcap was greenish, the other black. I didn’t even try taking the can off and shooting.

      • It wasn’t loose… but I will be looking at stuff. I’m going to clean up the endcap and see if any of the metal moved. this is the same rig I’ve shot for years with no issues.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable as usual. Setting the boomer on fire at the top of the hill was better than an explosion. 🙂

    Wish the vertical tube at 525 yards had blown up instead of fizzling.

    If I may suggest something: I think you could go light on the number of targets in the middle section of the hill. Targets at the bottom and the top keep us entertained and can be restocked at lunch if needed. Maybe sprinkle some novelty targets such as the 2″ tubes in the middle of the hill?

    Thanks again for your hard work and dedication.

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