Changes in 2004
Compared to 2003 there will be 80% more targets, 335% the explosive weight, about 15% easier to hit, with an average of 200% of the explosive charge.
The shooting line has been moved back about 20 to 25 yards from the line used in previous events. Long distance shooting was one of the more important items in the participant survey we did. This will extend the distance to right at 700 yards. The nearest targets will be almost 375 yards. The target sizes at the 350 to 375 target area will be increased to compensate for the increased distance.
There are no plans to provide designated targets for each shooting position as has been the case for all previous boomershoots. These took up an inordinate amount of time and were not rated as particularly important in our survey.
The aseptic containers and milk cartons we used for targets in the past are being done away with. The new targets are much more durable and are much better able to take bullet and rock fragments without being torn apart. Edge hits are also much better tolerated than before. This should take care of the problem with targets that dumped their contents and left you an empty shell to shoot at. These targets are 1/8" thick solid cardboard tube with white plastic end caps. These will present a white circle "bulls-eye" to the shooter. The 4" target is shown below. This will be the smallest target used at the boomershoot this year. There will be 6" and 8" diameter targets of a similar type of construction as well.
There will be two portable toilets this time. One will be wheelchair accessible.
With the changes in the range we will be able to accommodate more shooting positions. Perhaps as many as 60.
The price has gone up again. All the modifications to the range have to be paid for. The cost of some of the chemicals has gone up. The average size of the targets and the number of them has gone WAY up. The additional toilet is increasing our expenses as well.
The range has undergone some "terraforming". We scraped off the top of the "grass knoll" and made a flat topped "berm" to shoot from. There are additional berms to stop bullets at the tree line and the 700 yard target area. See the pictures below for details. Click on the pictures to view the high resolution images.
Snuffy (the black dog) and Jeff agreed to take time from their search and rescue training to pose for the picture and give some appreciation of the scale of the new berm.
Lowell Huffman (and "Old Yellar" -- an 1941 Caterpillar D4 with a dozer blade) did most of the earth moving. Gary Huffman contributed some time with a different tractor and a chisel plow to break up the hard sod. Joe Huffman also put in some time on "Old Yellar". The old explosive magazine is almost not visible on the right side of the picture above. The tree on the left will be removed if we have time and appropriate weather. The 'berm' in the middle of the field at about 285 yards is now gone. The nearest targets will be at the "tree line" shown in the picture above. Many of the targets at this range will be the one quart/liter targets. The exact target distribution has not been finalized yet and will depend on whether the new explosives magazine is completed in time or not.
The white stuff on the soil is lime to reduce the PH of the soil and keep the lead from leaching away and contaminating the water runoff.
Lowell Huffman (on the left and the land owner) and Ry Jones (right) helped on the construction. Doug Huffman (not pictured) probably has put the most effort into new magazine so far. This new magazine will allow us to store about 40 times the explosives of the previous one. This will allow us to use more and bigger targets than ever before.
The new magazine will be filled to capacity to hold the targets for two days of shooting.