Not a Tango, nothing to see here

May 2, 2011

Boomershoot after action report

Filed under: 2A, Bacon, guns, rights — antitango @ 9:36 pm

I got back from Boomershoot today.  More on the return trip and fallout here.  I went to help out Joe Huffman and his crew mix up some explosives, set them up, etc.

Before I go anywhere with this post…

I have to thank Joe Huffman’s brother Doug and his wife for allowing us to use their lawn as a campsite and graciously offering their restroom, including their hot shower for our use.  The dogs they warned us about are about as dangerous as the Easter bunny (Just an ordinary rabbit!) and everybody was incredibly hospitable!

That and I give to you, BOOMERSHOOT!  Hit ‘More’ to read on…

It’s fun.  That’s why we win!

Day 1

We arrived on Wednesday night.  Got the tent set up and got hungry.  Went to ride into Orofino to get some grub.  Since we drove by the Boomershoot site to see how it was and get our bearings, our location wasn’t in the most awesome site to get directions.  It said to go down “Old Ahsahka Grade” and it virtually drops you into Orofino.  Well, the Old Ahsahka Grade is a road 1 lane wide, several miles long, and it HAS NO GUARDRAIL! We didn’t realize that at first and we didn’t realize there was a 300 foot cliff off the side.  It was pitch black out and we didn’t realize we were that close to DEATH.

Once we got back, it started to rain.  We got into our sleeping bags, listen to the rain POUR down, and then got woke up in the middle of the night when huge gales of wind buffeted the tent.  Felt like the outer shell was going to blow away.  In the morning, we realized it was hooked into the tent itself, so that wasn’t going to happen, but we didn’t know that at the time.  Temperature?  Cold…

Day 2.

Thursday, up at 9am.  We met some the folks: Joe Huffman, MinuteCouple, Joe’s son-in-law Caleb, and Tim.  We mixed the Boomerite (ANFO + a bunch of stuff I won’t list), packaged it, and put it back into the high capacity clip (The Magazine).  We also bagged a ton of lime in small baggies.  This is distributed onto the ground when the Boomers explode.  The lime helps keep the lead from getting into the water table.  That night, we were invited to a dinner at the Ponderosa in Orofino.  There we met Ry Jones, David, Dave, and Phil from Random Nuclear Strikes, Scott, and Joe’s wife Barb.  After seeing Barb around Joe, I can only say that I hope my wife always treats me the way she does Joe.  Seems to be a lucky man!

That night, even colder!  Fortunately, not as much wind.  I had an emergency bottle in case it was TOO cold to leave the tent, but couldn’t bring myself to use it.

Day 3.

Friday. Up at 9am, more mixing of explosives.  Got to meet more people.  Didn’t do a whole lot outside of that until we went to be Range Officers for the High Intensity round.  Man, that is the best thing ever…  watching fully grown men, probably with grandkids, jumping up and down with a huge grin on their faces like little kids on Christmas.  Click to embiggen!  See the guy in the interesting camo on the left?  Never seen someone happier than he was!  AND he was grinning even though it was about 25 degrees and blowing horizontal snow during the entire event!

We closed out the day by driving to Orofino and eating some pizza which ended up being the most epic pizza I’ve ever tasted.  Was probably because I was starving and exhausted!

Day 4.

Saturday.  The night was WARM, calm, and dry.  Couldn’t have asked for a better night for camping!  Rifle clinic again and high intensity during the day.  I wasn’t up on the firing line for that.  This day was pretty uneventful.  Lots more explosives mixing.  Got to meet Caleb’s wife and Joe’s daughter Kim.  Wonderfully smart woman to work with.  Been told she’s mixed more explosives than anybody else by a LONG shot.  As fast as she was mixing, I believe it!  Met the Minutewoman’s Dad who has a prosthetic leg who we are trying to convince to get a new prosthesis made from an AR upper.  It will happen!  Saturday night is the night of the official Boomershoot dinner.  Lots of raffles for items.  50% of proceeds went to Soldier’s Angels, who I endorse 100%.  They perform a vital function for the medical recovery of wounded service members coming back from war.  There were shooting benches, a Nightforce scope worth $1700, small items like gloves and knives.  Even some seemingly random items like M&M dispensers.  The dinner was fantastic.  Steak with mushrooms cooked in what tasted like red wine, mashed potatoes, salad, and fruits.

Day 5.

The main event!  First, the night was again perfect.  Little chilly, but I didn’t expect it to be 73 and shady.  Let’s start with the fireball!

Next to Ry are 4 7″ boomers flanked and stacked with a total of 7.5 gallons of gasoline.  Yes, they are standing above that with a dozen or so lit road flares.  “WTF” was my thought as well!

I took the time to create an animated .gif of it.  Awesome!

And this is the aftermath.

The first round of Boomershoot main event starts up and I spot for Rolf Nelson.  He had a .308 and a .223.  The .308 seemed to have an issue.  He was hitting everywhere around targets, but few were being hit.  Since he was hitting with .223 spot on almost every single shot, I do not believe there was an issue with the .308 rifle itself.  BIG problem with the 7″ boomers.  They weren’t exploding!  I think it was an issue with the lime and it leaving only about 1″ of boomerite to hit with the bullet instead of a thicker explosive.  Not sure, that’s more for Joe to figure out since that’s his area.

Lunch had us eating BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and chatting it up with the RNS guys.  I got to shoot Sgt. Bierkle’s revolver.  Even with its age, that is a great piece of machinery.  Made in 1917 and it feels as solid as you’d expect brand new.  Awesome job, S&W.

Second half of the day was led off by some canons firing bowling balls and anvil chucking.  Huge explosions, loud bangs, and enormous chunks of steel being hurtled through the air.  What more could you ask for?

When all was said and done, my brother and I waved goodbye to Boomershoot, picked up Dave on the way out, and headed for home.  We dropped off my brother in Spokane and continued on through to Utah swapping driving a few times to catch a few winks.

More to come later!  It’s late and I need sleep.



  1. One of these years I am going to stop saying “one of these years”…

    Hell of a drive, though.

    Looks like y’all had an awesome time, despite the weather :).

    Comment by Linoge — May 3, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

  2. Man, you really need to. It’s such a ball. (I’ve overused the ‘blast’ pun already today!)

    Comment by antitango — May 3, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

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