Via email from Chet (and I think someone else Tweeted about it but I can’t remember who) we have this story:
Federal authorities on Monday cracked down on the use of exploding targets popular in the shooting community but blamed for seven recent wildfires in the Rocky Mountain region.
U.S. Attorney John Walsh and Forest Service regional forester Dan Jiron issued a prohibition on unpermitted explosives in 22 million acres of forest and grassland in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Violators face fines of $5,000 and up to six months in prison.
The Forest Service likely will impose a nationwide ban within a year. Meanwhile, other regional foresters are expected to issue similar prohibitions.
My experience is that it’s tough to ignite things with an exploding target. But these guys were able to do it and have the video to prove it. Ry and I worked on and off for over a year trying to ignite gasoline. It it was only by putting Titanium or Magnesium shavings in Boomerite were we able to get fairly frequent ignition. The type of targets these guys were using is different than Boomerite. These targets are made with flash powder and rapidly burn more than detonate.
About one out of every two or three thousand Boomerite targets will ignite rather than detonate. We don’t know why this is. We think it might happen when there is an edge hit. In any case we schedule Boomershoot to be sometime other than fire season because of the risk of fire. Even then we have had numerous fires.
The bottom line is that I understand the concern about exploding targets in the forests during fire season. It’s not very wise to take that sort of risk.
Chet asked if this change in regulation would impact Boomershoot. The answer is, “It might.” But probably not in the way most people might think it would.
Boomershoot is held on private property, not public lands, so prohibitions against exploding targets on public lands isn’t going to be a problem for us. The way it might change things is if it more people attend Boomershoot to get their “fix” of shooting exploding targets that they previously satisfied by buying their own targets and shooting them on public lands.