Staff started arriving at 7:00 AM to mount the reactive targets on the wood stakes we had driven into the ground Thursday and last night. By 8:30 we had completed that job and the opening fireball target, designed by Barron Barnett, was complete by 9:30.
There are a dozen pieces of 10 foot long rebar stuck in the ground around the target. On each piece of rebar are two road flares. The flare are to ignite the gasoline. The placement of the rebar was determined from viewing the video of previous fireballs. We have learned that placement is critical to getting good ignition of the gasoline.
The opening fireball target was detonated by 9:57:
Notice the last frame of the video. The sand platform was only reduced to about the same level as the surrounding ground. It worked wonderfully, resulting in almost no crater.
I think we have this fireball creation dialed in. There was no question about ignition of this fireball. We is suspect the good ignition was the reason it was the hottest, by far, of any fireball we have ever produced. Notice the photographer leaving the area as the fireball climbs into the air? His left arm received a minor burn from the radiant heat.
It was wonderful weather for the long range shooting. With almost no wind, hundreds of targets disappeared in minutes. The rate of target detonation approached that of a high intensity event.
One experienced Boomershooter told me he got six boomers with eight shots, all of which were over 650 yards away. The entire upper area of the hill was emptied of boomers within just a few minutes.
People loved all the steel. The big USPSA silhouette targets range like bells. You could easily hear the most distant one even though it was 700 yards away. One Boomershooter told me, “It sounds like I’m at church!” Yup, this is The Church of Guns and Explosives.
Without any wind the targets were so easy to hit that of the nearly 700 hundred targets available only 15 were still undetonated by lunch time. The only target we found that definitely had a sold hit without detonation was hit by a .22 caliber bullet at about 650 yards. It’s just too much to expect for the .223 cartridge to deliver the velocity required at that range.
With the near perfect detonations and the good wind we learned a new lesson. Watch the weather forecast and adjust the number of targets accordingly. We needed far more targets for a day like today.
We let the participants shoot at the steel another hour after lunch before we packed things up and everyone went home. Barb and I were headed down the hill to Orofino by 5:00 PM.
It was an awesome Boomershoot.
Update: More fireball videos.