Boomershoot 2018 slot up for auction

Boomershoot 2018 is coming up fast (the weekend of April 21st and 22nd). There are still a number of great positions available.

And there is a very special position available via auction here. This position was donated by Boomershoot to Hamlin Robinson school for them to auction for fundraising. Additional details are at the link above and here:

1) Hamlin Robinson is a Seattle-based K-8 specialty school for kids with dyslexia and language development issues.

2) The package is just for the main Boomershoot day, but it is ideal for newbies or long distance travelers, as the package includes assistance and spotting from Ryan and I, even loaning bolt rifles if we have to.

3) If the winners sign up for events/training on Friday and Saturday, Ryan and I will still assist and lend equipment.

4) I have extra reservations at the Helgeson so the auction winners don’t need to worry about finding accommodation.

Attend Boomershoot, get free coaching and loaner equipment and help a worthy cause at the same time. It’s a win for everyone.

Quote of the day—Jeff Cooper

Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal weapons. The possession of a good rifle, as well as the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the monarch of all he surveys. It realizes the ancient dream of the Jovian thunderbolt, and as such it is the embodiment of personal power. For this reason it exercises a curious influence over the minds of most men, and in its best examples it constitutes an object of affection unmatched by any other inanimate object.

Jeff Cooper
The Art of the Rifle Page 1.
[A “monarch of all he surveys” must cause a tremendous amount of anger in the authoritarian and collectivist. The possession of, and skill to use, a rifle makes an individual something much more than a peasant to be controlled. It gives them an opportunity to protect themselves, their loved ones, their property, and to have a say in their own destiny. This is part of Why Boomershoot.

Furthermore, the existence of Boomershoot gives people justification to acquire a rifle and skills to realize “the ancient dream of the Jovian thunderbolt”.—Joe]

Rifle for sale

I’m not looking for a rifle like this, but maybe someone else is. Boomershoot is coming up very soon!

From Richard:


I have been following your blog, The View from North Central Idaho for some time.  Getting to Boomershoot is definitely on my bucket list!

I wanted to make you aware of an interesting rifle being sold by a friend of mine.

For Sale from original user:
Accuracy International Sniper Rifle in .308
Field tested in the sandbox
Includes original logbook with photos of test results.  Must sign a non-disclosure to receive the logbook.
Certificate of Authenticity from Craft International.
Asking $12,000.00

The user convinced AI to buyback the rifle from his unit and then sell it to him.

Please contact me if you or anyone you know has a serious interest.

If you are interested send me an email and I’ll forward it on.

Detonating Boomerite with a pistol

We have long known that Boomerite detonates at lower velocities if the bullet has a flatter tip. But we have never had reliable detonation with a pistol. As I reported a few days ago I made up some 145 grain loads for my .40 S&W gun. I bought the bullets 10 to 15 years ago just for this but I it wasn’t until now that I finally got around to loading them for Boomerite testing. With a near maximum load I get just over 1400 fps at the muzzle. The truncated cone bullets have a pretty wide flat area:


I visited Boomershoot last weekend and among other things I mixed up a batch of Boomerite and tested the hot 145 grain loads. With the weather being a little cold, 34 F, I expected I would have to be pretty close to get detonation. And maybe I wouldn’t be able to get detonation at any safe distance. I put on my flak jacket, eye protection, ear protection, and got back 15 yards. This should be a target velocity of about 1330 fps. I squeezed off a shot—BOOM! Okay, that worked.

How about 25 yards? That would result in about 1280 fps at the target. Another squeeze yielded another earth shaking boom from a seven inch target. Okay then. It’s good enough.

This means I can use my handgun for Boomershoot cleanup if I want to.

Rounds in the last month & yearly report

This month I finished reloading all the .45 ACP bullets I had—1507 of them.

In .40 S&W I reloaded 502 rounds of 180 grain TCFM (I presume this means Truncated Cone Full Metal jacket) Zero Bullets. These are a little cheaper than the Montana Gold bullets I usually use and I decided to try them. They seem accurate enough and reloaded just fine, but until I had one in my hand I forgot one of the reasons I was using the JHP Montana Gold bullets. The JHP’s do not have exposed lead in the base which means there is less lead put into the air when I’m shooting.

Also in .40 S&W, I reloaded 270 rounds of truncated cone, 145 grain, Master Blaster (the company went out of business years ago but I still have the sample I purchased from probably 10 or 15 years ago) polymer coated lead bullets. These are hot loads with a muzzle velocity of nearly 1390 fps. The intent is to be able to detonate Boomershoot targets from my handgun. I’ll have to be close, perhaps as close as 15 yards, but I think they might work.

I reloaded 296 rounds of .223 Remington. These were all SS109 bullets. Last year, among other things I did in preparation for a Clinton presidency, I purchased a large number of these bullets. They are taking up space on my shelf of bullets and I had many pounds of powder for them on another shelf. It’s time to reduce my inventory of components. I expect the next month few months will be spent reloading .223.

Combined that is 2575 rounds I reloaded in the last month.

2017 was a very good year in terms of reloading. I reloaded over 23,000 rounds. Nearly 21,000 rounds were in .40 S&W.

My life history of hand reloading ammunition by caliber, month, and year:

223 Remington Rounds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 160 0 0 0 0 0 0 140 20 0 0 0 0
1999 1777 0 0 181 578 25 0 0 0 0 140 653 200
2000 43 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 43 0 0 0
2001 47 0 0 0 47 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 397 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 140 257 0 0
2017 296 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 296
Total 2720
30.06 Rounds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1997 180 0 0 40 20 79 41 0 0 0 0 0 0
1998 150 0 0 0 80 0 0 0 0 0 40 0 30
1999 90 20 70 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 47 0 0 0 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
2016 76 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 76 0 0 0
2017 213 0 0 0 0 0 0 65 148 0 0 0 0
Total 756
300WIN Rounds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1999 250 0 0 0 0 0 151 60 0 0 39 0 0
2000 460 50 120 142 0 57 0 0 0 0 20 60 11
2001 382 25 0 0 185 15 20 0 73 0 0 0 64
2013 499 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 100 399
Total 1591
40SW Rounds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1997 31 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 31
1998 11537 570 258 718 1850 1812 1710 402 0 0 1200 900 2117
1999 2795 0 894 0 299 693 506 0 0 0 0 0 403
2000 3187 795 0 0 0 0 1095 400 396 0 501 0 0
2001 2295 0 300 497 300 0 0 1198 0 0 0 0 0
2002 898 0 0 0 0 0 0 198 0 200 300 0 200
2003 602 0 300 302 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004 1345 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 300 600 445 0
2005 1059 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 659 400 0 0
2006 1000 0 0 0 0 400 0 0 0 0 200 400 0
2007 1136 0 0 0 0 0 0 118 518 300 200 0 0
2008 2398 0 300 0 0 0 0 900 399 0 200 0 599
2009 1702 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 102 300 900 400
2010 1400 0 0 0 0 100 200 700 0 200 0 200 0
2011 2300 300 0 400 100 0 500 500 200 0 0 0 300
2012 399 0 200 0 199 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014 530 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 530
2015 7012 1699 1630 1137 0 0 0 547 200 400 100 200 1099
2016 17792 2197 700 1462 837 1899 1999 1000 1500 1000 1700 1500 1998
2017 20840 3300 975 525 200 1899 3700 2048 2644 2063 1015 1699 772
Total 80258
45ACP Rounds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2017 2007 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 500 1507
Total 2007
9MM Rounds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996 11274 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10944 141 189
1997 7374 300 0 0 1190 640 65 0 100 1088 804 1060 2127
2015 2993 0 1066 1927 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 21641
Yearly and
Monthly Totals
Year Rounds Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996 11274 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10944 141 189
1997 7585 300 0 40 1210 719 106 0 100 1088 804 1060 2158
1998 11847 570 258 718 1930 1812 1710 542 20 0 1240 900 2147
1999 4912 20 964 181 877 718 657 60 0 0 179 653 603
2000 3690 845 120 142 0 57 1095 400 396 43 521 60 11
2001 2724 25 300 497 532 15 20 1198 73 0 0 0 64
2002 898 0 0 0 0 0 0 198 0 200 300 0 200
2003 649 0 300 302 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
2004 1345 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 300 600 445 0
2005 1059 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 659 400 0 0
2006 1000 0 0 0 0 400 0 0 0 0 200 400 0
2007 1136 0 0 0 0 0 0 118 518 300 200 0 0
2008 2398 0 300 0 0 0 0 900 399 0 200 0 599
2009 1702 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 102 300 900 400
2010 1400 0 0 0 0 100 200 700 0 200 0 200 0
2011 2300 300 0 400 100 0 500 500 200 0 0 0 300
2012 399 0 200 0 199 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 499 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 100 399
2014 530 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 530
2015 10005 1699 2696 3064 0 0 0 547 200 400 100 200 1099
2016 18265 2197 700 1462 837 1899 1999 1000 1500 1216 1957 1500 1998
2017 23356 3300 975 525 200 1899 3700 2113 2792 2063 1015 2199 2575
Grand Totals 108973 9256 6813 7331 5903 7619 9987 8276 6198 6571 18960 8787 13272

Because the case preparation required to reload for rifles takes more time than pistol I doubt I will produce nearly as many rounds in 2018 as I did in 2017. But still, it should be enough to give the anti-gun people severe stomach cramps and/or high blood pressure.

Boomershoot Winter Wonderland

Last week I posted some pictures of Kim’s and my adventure at Boomershoot earlier this month. I also posted a link to Kim’s video of our drive from the Boomershoot Taj Mahal to the tree line. Here is the dash cam video of the same drive:

I love the trees loaded down with snow and the dark ominous clouds.

Boomershoot Christmas presents

Daughter Kim and her husband Jacob gave Barb and I Boomershoot Christmas presents!

Customized range officer vests:



From Daughter Xenia and her husband John gave me a rear shooting rest bag:


From Barb’s daughter Maddy I got an earmuff and hearing protection carry bag:


It’s protection for my ear protection.

Among other things Santa put 200 rounds of ammunition in Barb’s stocking (it’s a good thing it is a sturdy stocking!). She says, “It’s the good stuff!”

It’s going to be a white Boomershoot Christmas

When Kim and I were at the Boomershoot site last week there was some snow on the ground and occasionally in the air. We plowed some snow with my vehicle as we wandered around doing various things. We replaced the battery for the solar powered lights at the Taj Mahal, inspected the repaired driveway into the shooting area, removed snow blocking the weather station aerometer, removed snow from solar panels, and removed one of the webcams for the Boomershoot Live web page. The road webcam was just mounted temporarily with wire and I don’t think I have enough solar input to handle two webcams during the middle of winter. I removed the road cam until next spring and will have a permanent mount made by then.

Pictures below the fold.

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Crayon Boomerite

About a month ago daughter Kim sent me a video of someone successfully making colored smoke bombs using “oil crayon”. I couldn’t find the type of crayons I think they were using in the video but I did find some cheap bulk crayons on Amazon and ordered them:


We know that if we put several pounds of colored powder on top of an exploding target it will disperse the powder into the air and give some color to the explosion. But it would be nice if the explosive itself also resulted in colored smoke. I also ordered some colored corn starch powder from Amazon which I thought also might be worth a try:

Last Saturday, December 16th, we melted the crayons in an electric skillet.


Then added the ammonium nitrate.


Then we mixed in the other ingredients to make Boomerite.


We also made a batch of Boomerite with a cup of the colored corn starch powder mixed in.


We then took the targets out for testing. None of the targets resulted in any colored smoke.

I knew the additional ingredients would make detonation harder so I used 50 grain VMAX ammo in a .223 rifle with a 24 inch barrel to get the best velocity and expansion for a better chance of detonation. All the targets hit with these bullets, from 20 yards away, detonated. The velocity at the target was probably just over 3300 fps.

Hitting them with slower FMJ bullets, as fast as 3200 fps, just punched holes in the target. A slower expanding bullet once resulted in a small pop which destroyed the target.


Although we didn’t get any colored smoke we did manage to blast away quite a bit of the little berm we were shooting into. In the picture below the small mound of dirt the target is sitting on use to extend parallel to the target across where the crater is now.


Thanksgiving discount for Boomershoot

I’m offering a discount on most Boomershoot events for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and decided to just make it the entire Thanksgiving weekend. Starting at Thanksgiving morning, November 23rd, at 12:00 AM Pacific Standard time until midnight Monday November 27th, there is a 20% discount on the High Intensity, Personal Fireball, and Long Range events.

The discount is only valid for entries which are placed during that time. Go to the Boomershoot Entry web site and use the code “BLACK FRIDAY” during the sign up process.

Here are some videos to give you a clue as to what you are getting a chance to participate in:

Sign up as soon as you can to get the best choice of the remaining shooting positions.

Boomershoot driveway status

As I mentioned a few days ago I’m having work done on the Boomershoot driveway. I visited the site this last weekend and am pleased with the progress being made.

The first picture is the view from the road.


This second image is a close up of the location where the potholes and big rocks were at in the bottom of the small draw:


There is still some more work to be done but the main concerns have been corrected. The Boomershoot experience just got a little better.

Update: Here are some “before pictures”:

April 21, 2017

April 24, 2016

Boomershoot gender reveal test

A Boomershoot couple requested a gender reveal event with a explosion.
The first idea was a colored fireball but I pushed in the direction of a
bag of colored powder. They agreed this would be acceptable and shipped me
five pounds of pink and five pounds of blue cornstarch powder to test. With both bags
in the box I put it on top of two exploding targets. This is the result.

The test was considered a success.

Boomershoot driveway improvement

As I mentioned at the Boomershoot dinner this year I contacted someone to fix the driveway into the parking area. I told him it wasn’t urgent and as long as it was finished before the roads got too soft in the fall (the county puts load limits on the roads that would have prevent him from hauling the 200+ tons of gravel to Boomershoot). I suggested sometime in September would be the latest that would assure it would get done before it got too wet.

In early September I started bugging him. I was less than happy with the (lack of) response and commitment over the following weeks and had essentially given up on him. Last week he finally called and said he was still going to do it.

Today, via my web cam (see here), I can see work being done:P17111311501510P17111312255510

For the last several years I have been making improvements to safety and target production facilities. This will be the biggest improvement specific to the participant experience I have made in many years. I’m glad it is finally getting done.

Taj Mahal maintenance

In addition to attending the USPSA match in Idaho last weekend I did some maintenance on the Taj Mahal. When I was there on July 1st and 2nd there was a mouse nest inside the storage magazine:


I removed it and cleaned the rest of the shed so when the ATF inspector arrived four weeks later it was clean and tidy:


The inspection went fine even though there are a lot of Yellow Jackets and nests inside the shed.

The mice have a been a problem for years and have done a lot of damage. A couple weeks ago when I was walking through Home Depot with Barb I saw the spray foam insulation. I bought three cans and figured this will keep the mice out. I probably should have bought the version with a bitter additive which is specifically intended to keep pests out. But I didn’t know it existed and didn’t find out about it until I went looking on Amazon when writing this blog post.

So…. Saturday morning I moved almost everything out of the shed to get better access. As I removed stuff we had stored there I got better and better access to all the Yellow Jacket nests. I also had a spray which is supposed to kill flying insects and is non-toxic to humans and pets. I didn’t read the fine print before buying it and found out that for large stinging insects to use something a little different and still have the non-toxic feature. The spray I used would kill maybe one out of 20 Yellow Jackets. Maybe a third would go down it they were hit hard enough but then they would appear to rub it off for a minute or so then fly away. The rest just flew away with no apparent ill effects. But at least as I sprayed the nests and the area they left. I removed something like seven to ten nests and swept the floor and the area of the shed where the cracks were.



After clean up:



After applying the expanding foam insulation:




It’s not the neatest job, by far, but it is functional. The splatters on the roof are from when the spray foam insulation guys insulated the magazine two years ago.

At the base of the door to the magazine I put down a bead of the insulation, put a plastic garbage bag over it, then closed the door on it such that it would expand to fill the gap at the bottom of the door where the mice had to be getting in.

After it dried I opened the door, removed the plastic bag and we now have a near perfect seal at the bottom of the door.


I’m certain this will block the mice from the magazine and I think I have them blocked from the shed as well. The Yellow Jackets can probably still find a way in around the shed door but their access is severely limited compared to what it was.

I threw away some stuff and rearranged the remainder for access in the order we remove it for Boomershoot:


We have some hope

Dianne Feinstein made herself an enemy of gun owners for decades (see also here, here, here, here, here, and here). It has been clear she will never be voted out of office. She will only stop being a threat when she retires or dies. Now we have some hope it will happen relatively soon:

Feinstein — who at 84 is the oldest U.S. senator — also left politicos wondering whether she plans to run for reelection next year.

Although Feinstein was a motivator for me to create Boomershoot. So, I suppose she does have that going for her.

ATF on employee possessors of explosives

I also ran across this in the updated ATF bulletin, Safety and Security Information for Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees:

Please Note: An employee possessor must be an employee of the licensee or permittee.  Volunteers are not employees.

I need to look into this some more to verify. It sounds as if the ATF doesn’t have a requirement for Boomershoot volunteer staff to do the paperwork to be an “Employee Possessor”.

That would be really nice.

ATF on binary explosives

I recently received an email from the ATF saying one of their bulletins, Safety and Security Information for Federal Explosives Licensees and Permittees, has been updated. Of particular interest was what they say about binary explosives (such as Tannerite):

ATF would like to remind those who manufacture, distribute, import, use, or store binary explosives of the vital importance of security safeguards for these materials. After a binary explosive is mixed, it is, by definition, an explosive and must be transported, used, and stored as an explosive. Whether the explosive materials are in the process of manufacture, in storage, or in use, we urge everyone to take all necessary measures to safeguard explosive materials and prevent them from falling into the hands of those who may use them in criminal or terrorist acts. We encourage all persons involved with binary explosives to report any suspicious behavior or unusual activity surrounding these materials to ATF and to local law enforcement authorities. Suspicious behavior may include a customer attempting to purchase large quantities of binary explosive materials while knowing little about the product. Unlike regulated explosives materials, ATF does not require persons to report the theft of precursor or binary explosive components. However, we request that everyone voluntarily report any theft or loss of these chemical explosive precursors to the local law enforcement authority and to the USBDC.

A Federal explosives license is required to manufacture (mix) binary explosives for sale, distribution, or your own business use. Also, users of binary explosives must comply with their state and local explosives regulations regarding binary explosives and their use.

Just common sense advice. We can help avoid attempts at oppressive regulation if we watch out for bad guys ourselves.

ATF inspection

My ATF license to manufacture high explosives must be renewed every three years. This was one of those years.

I had to take a day of vacation to meet them because they aren’t allowed to work on weekends.*

Barb and I drove to our motel in Pullman on Thursday night with Heidi (the new ATF “investigator”—it used to be “inspector”) scheduled to meet us at our hotel to do the paperwork side of things at 9:00 AM. She didn’t show up then and she didn’t contact me to let me know. I was a little annoyed and that probably showed in my tweets about it.

She showed up about 9:40 and said when she went to checkout of her motel that morning her government issued credit card wouldn’t work. She had to call “the government” to get things straightened out. Okay, that’s a pretty good excuse.

We went through the checklist of things that mostly didn’t apply to me and then lead her out through the back roads of Idaho to the Boomershoot site where she did about a 10 or 15 minute inspection, took pictures, and said everything looked good. She still needed to go through my records to make sure I had never put more than the maximum allowed 18,000 pounds of explosives in the magazine at one time. Considering that I don’t think we have made that much explosives in the last seven years and the magazine is full with about 2,000 pounds I’m pretty sure that her arithmetic is going to give me a passing grade with that. The only thing I didn’t get right was that I was supposed to send them a signed plot map even though it hasn’t changed in years and it’s on the Boomershoot website. I’ll print out a copy, sign it, scan it, and then email it to her and I will have three more years of being blessed by the ATF.

We also talked about our kids some, the farm land around us, what crops are grown there, the Indian Reservation, all about Boomershoot (she thought it sounded awesome), and how beautiful it is in this part of the country. So much better than Florida where it is so flat and even Spokane where she lives now.

One effect of the license renewal is that all the explosive handlers for Boomershoot have to send me new Employee Possessor forms for me to forward on to the ATF. Everyone that was ATF approved is now not approved (except Barb and I who have already taken care of it).

The bottom line is that it is all system go for Boomershoot 2018. Sign up here.

* While chatting with her doing the inspection I found out that Heidi rescheduled her day off from work to next week in response to my requested day to do the inspection. This allowed me do the inspection on the same weekend as Kim’s wedding and saved me nearly 700 miles of driving round-trip to Idaho on different weekends for the inspection and wedding. Thank you Heidi!

Wedding present

Guess what I gave Kim (daughter, and target production manager for Boomershoot) for her wedding present (she and Jacob are now married):

20170728_081832 (002)
Photo by Barb.

It’s not just any rifle:


I put a new stock, hunting scope, sling, and a bipod on it, but it’s the same rifle Kim, Jaime, and I took to the Blanchard Blast in 1996 and 1997. The Blanchard Blast was our inspiration for Boomershoot.

I also gave her 150 rounds of 30.06 ammo which was loaded to .308 Winchester velocities. She wants to go hunting and didn’t have a rifle for that. Now she does. And it’s in the same caliber as Jacob’s hunting rifle.

Update: Here is a picture of them shortly after saying “I do.”