Range construction is complete

The range proper is complete. I have some grass to plant and a few other niceties to finish up but it is entirely functional now.

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The shooting box is at 15 yards.

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This is from about 35 yards.

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The pavers protect the washed river rock and drain tile directly underneath from dirt.

I need to get some target stands for USPSA paper and steel targets and a full set of Steel Challenge targets. That probably won’t happen until next year.

Minor range update

Barb hasn’t had a chance to visit my gun range and made comment the size being somewhat small. I parked my car in it and put some targets in the berm for scale so she could get a better idea of the scale:

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She has revised her view of the size.

The tile inside the range and more gravel was installed yesterday and the washed river rock was put over the tile today.

Today I made two trips into town to pick up some concrete pavers to cover the gravel over the tile to prevent the dirt from plugging up the gravel and tile line. As the dirt from the berm starts to cross the paver line I will “rehabilitated” the berm.

The range still needs some more gravel but that should be completed tomorrow. Then it will be done!

I now need to invite Mike B. over. I told him about my project last winter and I promised to invite him over when it was done.

Update: The picture below is from across the road looking up range at the retaining wall for the berm. This is the reason for higher blocks on the left side than the right:

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Large trucks would be visible from the range if the extra blocks were not present.

The castle wall

Yesterday someone pointed out the walls for my current home project look a lot like castle walls. He was correct. And from certain angles this is especially true:

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I expect the project to be completed by the end of next week or the beginning of the following week. When it is done I’ll supply more pictures.

Range construction details

Sebastian asked about the details of the base for the ecology blocks on the walls around my range. Here are some pictures and additional information.

The ground this time of year is really hard. It took a large dozer and a heavy excavator to get down to, essentially level. The range has a 1% grade down range to the target berm. A mini excavator was used to dig the footings about another six to eight inches deeper and three feet wide. This was filled with four inches of compacted and wetted, 3/4” with fines, gravel which was carefully (it took two people about two days complete this stage) made level. This deliberately did not match the 1% grade. Being level allowed for the back wall to be straight and have interlocking corners.

This first picture is looking down range from near the up range end of what will be the right wall.

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This is the compactor in use along the left wall:

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A four inch drain tile was put just inside the back wall (as seen on the right in the picture below) which exits under the right wall in the foreground:

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Another drain tile, parallel to the first, will be placed 15 feet from the back wall and will catch drainage before it reaches the target berm. This will connect to the first drain tile with a Y a few feet outside the range.

The floor of the range will be covered with four inches of compacted, 3/4” with fines, gravel.

In a class of his own

Last weekend I participated* in the USPSA Area 1 Championship. As expected, Christian Sailer won.

One of the people in my squad, Steve, runs major matches in Montana and does range officer work for other major matches. He told stories of running Christian through stages.

Christian sees the stages differently than other people. He even sees them differently than other Grand Master shooters. When Steve runs Christian on a stage he doesn’t bother to follow him. He asks, “Where are you going to end up?” He then runs to the destination (as soon as it is safe to do so) and meets Christian in time to capture the last shot on the timer.

A specific example given was a stage where there were two targets visible between two barricades. Other Grand Masters would pause and fire the four shots, two per target, then continue on to the next targets. Christian ran by at full speed, “Bang, bang, bang, bang!” This resulted in four A-Zone hits.

As Steve pointed out, Christian is in a class of his own. Here are the results of the top ten people in the match from last weekend and from looking at the Match Points and Match Percentage you can clearly see this:

Place Name Class Div Match Pts Match %
1 Sailer, Christian G O 1460.8107 100.0000 %
2 Michel, Max G CO 1310.4572 89.7075 %
3 Ramberg, Tim G PCC 1275.3206 87.3022 %
4 Williams, Justine G PCC 1243.8811 85.1501 %
5 Conaway, Brennan G O 1229.281 84.1506 %
6 Tan, Loke G O 1228.1294 84.0718 %
7 Liu, Eric G O 1214.7476 83.1557 %
8 Chang, Jun G O 1209.7619 82.8144 %
9 Coley, Shane G L 1209.0808 82.7678 %
10 Steiner, Eric M O 1202.3446 82.3067 %

Notice how the people below him are grouped fairly tightly. There is no one within 10% of Christian.

I had hoped to watch him shoot a stage or two but he was shooting on the exact opposite times I was at the match. Here is the video of most of the stages:


* I came in 41 out of 58 in Limited Division and second out of seven in my age/division category. I had not shot an USPSA match since December of 2019. And with COVID keeping me out of the office I did not have the normal lunchtime access to the range for practice.

In another week or so I will have my private gun range and much better access to range conditions suitable for this type of practice: I’m going to be taking practice much more seriously:

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Primers on the shelf

Barb and I were in Lynden Washington this weekend doing some hiking in the area. On Saturday afternoon we visited Just Desserts, Lynden Dutch Bakery and gorged on sweet stuff. Just a couple doors away was Dave’s Sports Shop. I wanted to do a little browsing and with Barb reporting a sugar buzz we went in.

Much to my surprise they had primers for sale. Customers were limited to two hundred primers per household so making a hundred mile drive for them isn’t going be be all that worthwhile::

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And the prices were higher than I wanted to pay. The last time I bought primers, 7/21/2017, I paid $3.00/100. These were $12.95/100:

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20210605_164134I did a little bit of measurement and calculating. At an average of 3.46 grains per CCI Small Rifle Primer those 100 primers weigh 0.7208 Troy Ounces. So at $12.95/100 plus the 8.7% sales tax the the primers are priced at $19.53/Troy-Ounce.

The current price of silver is $27.91/Troy-Ounce, so they are priced at 70% of their weight in silver.

Too much holster time

It’s been at least a couple months since I went to the range. Yesterday I remedied that. This was what my gun looked like when I pulled it out of the holster:

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As I carry it every day, I knew it was going to be covered with lint.

It still functioned just fine but that was way too much holster time without being cleaned.

Boomershoot target production

Wednesday afternoon Tim, TJay (mostly) and I began folding boxes for the targets. The boxes come as flat pieces of cardboard cut and formed in all the right places to be easily folded into a box. Here is what things looked yesterday morning:

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That is perhaps half of the boxes. Kim, Jacob, and I folded more boxes this morning. Others folded still more boxes during the day.

This was the target production crew this afternoon:

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This was the result by 5:00 PM:

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I think there were three more crates of targets I added after this. With the addition of those additional crates there are over 830 targets with nearly 1600 pounds of explosives.

And this doesn’t count the nearly 700 targets already consumed yesterday and today. Boomershoot is, literally, a ton of fun.

Boomershoot 2021 apparel, mugs, etc.

The Boomershoot 2021 shirts, mugs, water bottle, drinking glass, etc. are now available for sale here.

Even if you can’t be there as a participant or even a spectator you can have a mug to remind you to prepare for next year and advertise to your friends who will want to join you next year when you partake in one of the greatest shooting adventures in the world.

Here is the image used:

BoomershootShirt2021

Don’t you just have to have a picture of Brandon realizing he was too close?

Boomershoot 2021 – sign up soon!

Boomershoot 2021 is a go. But will you be there?

The last day for entry is April 23rd, this is six weeks away. But the Precision Rifle Clinic and Field Fire registration closes at midnight on March 31st. That is just two and a half weeks from now!

After having so many restrictions for the last year it’s time to get out and makes some noise with the rest of us!

Sign up soon so you don’t miss out:

Case dryer

I recently purchased a Lyman Cyclone Case Dryer from Midway USA. I’m very pleased with it. I have been using a dehumidifier and homemade draining and drying rack for years. But it was frequently a bottleneck in my process. It was noisy and made the room hot. Lyman dryer will hold up to 1000 .223 cases and far more pistol cases and have them dry in less than three hours. Typically it’s about one to two hours but with a bunch of .50 BMG brass I sort of stumbled across* it took closer to three hours.

It also takes up far less space in my armory.

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* I might buy a .50 BMG someday and then I’ll have the brass to reload for it, right?

The Brass Exchange

Has anyone done business with The Brass Exchange recently? That is where I used to get used brass for reloading .40 S&W and 30.06.

On September 28th, 2020 I ordered 1000 pieces of .40 S&W brass and received a confirmation of order email. My credit card was charged the same day.

As this was in the middle of the massive buying frenzy I didn’t expect it to arrive for a few weeks. But the weeks went by and I didn’t receive the order nor did I receive a tracking number.

I tried to contact them to find out the status of my order. The email bounced:

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

      Subject:    Missing order.
       Sent:    12/21/2020 7:22 PM

The following recipient(s) cannot be reached:

      ‘thebrassexchange@gmail.com.’ on 12/21/2020 7:22 PM
             Server error: ‘550 <thebrassexchange@gmail.com.> invalid address ‘thebrassexchange@gmail.com.”

Phone calls were not answered.

I contacted my bank about the failure to receive the product I had paid for. They investigated for a month then told me:

Dispute Number: 19289113
Date Posted:  9/28/2020
Merchant Name: THE BRASS EXCHANGE
Amount of Transaction: 107.10
Status:   Credit is Permanent

We are pleased to let you know that the temporary credit we posted to your account for 107.10 on 12/24/2020 is now permanent.

Your dispute is now closed.

The Brass Exchange web site is still up and they claim they have product in stock. But I’m not willing to risk an order, and suggest others don’t either, unless there is reason to believe they are shipping the products ordered.

Quote of the day—Powerwagon

Went to Boomershoot … with my son. He shot my .223 with my ballistic tip prairie dog loads while I shot a .243 also with ballistic tip bullets. What an amazing time. The .223 was killing the 375 yard targets while the .243 was in the thick of it at 600 to 700 yards. The next year, it was my son and me along with three of my brothers. The year after that, we added my son’s wife and my wife. What a fantastic family experience. It is really difficult to put into words the exhilaration that comes with successfully hitting those targets but is it ever fun!

Powerwagon
February 2, 2021
Comment to From a first time Boomershooter
[There are bunch of things about Boomershoot that have to be experienced to be appreciated.

Yesterday Keith mentioned:

700 yards is so far that you can bring your eyes up from your scope, see the detonation, and let out a holler of joy before the sound reaches you.

When you are shooting a paper target you don’t fully appreciate the time of flight involved. A spotter with a good spotting scope and watching the trace has a clue. But most people don’t have that experience either. And still the whole, pull the trigger, lift up your head, then see the column of dust and smoke erupt from the ground and then wait nearly two seconds to hear and feel the explosion is something quite different and remarkable.

Time of flight for a 700 yard target with a .308 Winchester shooting a 168 grain bullet is about 1.1 seconds. The sound arrives back at the shooter after another 1.93 seconds. From trigger pull to sound is a full three seconds.

Another thing which must be experienced is the thump to your chest. You feel the explosions as much or more than you hear it. Windows rattle and buildings shake miles away.

That’s for the one and two pound targets 375 to 700 yards away. I’ll let you imagine, if you can, what the 35 pound charge used to lift 30 gallons of gasoline into the air is like from 30 yards away:

Boomershoot 2019 Fireball from Joe Huffman on Vimeo.

Or, you could experience it for yourself.—Joe]

Gun humor

Via email from Rolf (and Sneedus Feedus):

Garand458Winchester

Various loadings:

Bullet

Muzzle Velocity

Power Factor

300 gr (19 g)
HP

2,606 ft/s
(794 m/s)

782

350 gr (23 g)
RN

2,557 ft/s
(779 m/s)

895

400 gr (26 g)
FN

2,468 ft/s
(752 m/s)

987

500 gr (32 g)
RN

2,192 ft/s
(668 m/s)

1096

For comparison a fairly typical .300 Winchester Magnum load would be a 190 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2900 fps for a Power Factor of 551. Or compare it to a .308 Winchester with a 168 grain bullet at 2650 fps with a PF of 445.

The semi-auto action of the Garand would help a little but I couldn’t see myself shooting that except under duress.