Sunday, May 10, 2009

Boomershoot - Ponderings and People

Ponderings One:

I'm really starting to think I want a new scope. I can't even remember what my current scope is, off the top of my head, and I'm not about to go wake Lisa to get it out and look. It's part of a combo that came with my Tikka T3 Lite back when Lisa got the rifle for my birthday.

It's a basic, lightweight hunting rifle, with a basic, simple 3-9x scope.

The rifle rocks (especially against the shoulder) - Tikka guarantees sub-MOA out of the box, and mine is easily 1/4 to 1/3 that.

But I'm thinking I want a scope with finger-adjustable turrets, markings to determine at least mechanical zero, if not what current windage & elevation are, and reticle markings showing additional holdover and windage holds on the crosshairs.

Is there a scope like that? Preferably with max magnification around 12x or so? Or am I now talking about a mil-dot scope? Scopes aren't something I've studied much; I'd appreciate some input.

Rivrdog had a scope with a range-compensating reticle - that's kind of the beginning of what I'd like.

Ponderings Two:

I did ok, IMO, hitting Boomers - this was my first Boomershoot, and my first time shooting at targets more than 200 yards away. I repeat - Gene Econ and his staff are incredible; I learned LOTS from them, and was, in short order, able to hit small targets at 380-625 yards with a crosswind. Additionally, Gene, Bill, and George are all good spotters - I couldn't hit those targets without spotters calling me in.

I got several hits from 380 to (estimated)625 yards - but only set off one large boomer at 380 at the end of the rifle clinic.

Now, here's my pondering - any readers (especially Joe Huffman) please feel free to weigh in on this.

Back when I was testing my rifle at relatively short ranges (200 yards max), I found several 150gr to 180gr ballistic-tipped bullets to be the most consistently accurate (ie, smallest groups off a solid benchrest). So that's what I was shooting at Boomershoot (actually, they were all 180gr ballistic-tipped, the 150gr pills no longer being available as loaded cartridges). What I'm wondering, is if the plastic ballistic tips (basically, pointy plastic tips on hollowpoint bullets) might have been allowing my shots to "drill through" the boomers, without really doing much energy transfer? As I understand it, kinetic energy is what sets off boomers - if a round "drills through" and carries most of its kinetic energy out with it, due to an extremely aerodynamic shape, could that be what caused the failures to get "booms"?

Just some random pondering - I know I got good, solid hits on many boomers that didn't "boom", and .308 180gr should have had enough energy to do the job - definately at the tree line, and I'd expect probably at the base of the hill, but I had almost completely uniform failures, which makes me wonder about my ammo, and those ballistic tips.


Well, this lighting's not ideal, but this is my shot of Joe Huffman doing the initial briefing - long story short, stay safe. Unfortunately, for some people, that short story needs to be made long, thus Joe standing on the berm with a loudspeaker.

This is my camping-, shooting-, and allaroundgood- buddy Rivrdog, with his .243 set to start blowing boomers regularly.

I don't know if Rivrdog and the eponymous Dad would have disliked each other or been best friends - very different life experiences, but very similar life outlooks. If I were a betting man, I'd bet they'd spend night after night drinking and talking until all hours.

Mike was Rivrdog's neighbor down on the far right end of the line. Mike's apparently an accomplished benchrester; his equipment and skill impressed me. Somewhat of an understated fellow...

Last one for tonight is the one that made me laugh out loud the best at Boomershoot - Josh, of Ballistic Deanimation, had gotten NEARLY dialed in on one of the "dingleberries" 'way out past Fort Mudge - in other words, the mobile targets at 700 yards. This was VERY late in the day Sunday, nearing time for the end of shooting, and a cease-fire was called. Josh BOUNCED up off his shooting stool, with round in hand, and started yelling, "NO! NO! ONE MORE, PLEASE, JUST THIS ONE!" holding up the round he had ALMOST gotten into his rifle's chamber. Turned out that cease-fire was just a vehicle going by, and that "Just One More" turned out to be about a box before he got what Ry called an "Asshole Target".

I've got a few more things to post about Boomershoot, but again, I'm pretty much out of gas for tonight... and I suspect I'm going to have to edit this post to get things to line up right.

More later :)

[EDIT] Yep, I had a few edits to do to fix fonts and pictures. Blogspot is SOOOOO easy to use... unless you mean to actually use it.

Grrr... sometimes I think hand-coding HTML would be easier... come to think of it, I DO THAT, AND IT IS EASIER. Feel free to take a few hours enjoying the stories there - that's one of my best friends, and somebody I hope to get to Boomershoot the next time I get to go :)


Blogger bwaites said...


I'm assuming you mean Nosler Ballistic Tips when you state "BT"s.

I shoot them out of my 6.5 Grendel, which has a little less energy at 380 AND a smaller frontal area, and they detonate boomers just fine.

I have a theory about boomers that don't detonate, (and it is NOTHING more than theory, and Joe may blow it up! But here goes...

The boomerite settles to the bottom of the box a little once they are up on the posts. The process may be accelerated a little by the surrounding boomers detonating and vibrating the package. Then someone shoots the top 1/4 of the package, or nicks an edge, or nicks the top, and the boomerite settles a little more. Then you shoot it in the top 1/3 or maybe even 1/2, and it doesn't detonate, then you nick an edge and the boomerite spills out, and it doesn't detonate.

Truthfully, I've never seen a "for sure", clean hit by a .308 or 6.5 that doesn't detonate the package. It may happen, but a clean hit in the bottom 2/3's always seems to detonate them, so long as they haven't been nicked a lot.

As I said, all conjecture, but maybe Joe will enlighten us more.

That all said, I'm 100% convinced it isn't the BT's not delivering the energy!

As for a scope...well, that's a million dollar question. (Or a $500 or a $1000, or a $1500 or a ....)

I spent 6 months before Boomershoot working on that before finally sucking it up and dropping more than I wanted to spend on a Nightforce Benchrest, the scope that Monte told me I really wanted before I spent 6 months researching it!

Now I don't plan on hunting, but 100% of the time at Boomershoot I spent at 20X or higher. (My Nightforce is the 12-42X model).

I did it last year with a 10X Nikon, and this year my success rate was much higher. The new rifle was part, but the scope was at least as big a part.

IT comes down to cost, cost, and cost. Along with weight, weight, weight, and size, size, and size.

For less than the NightForce you can get a Sightron III in 6-24x50 for $700-800. There are several Leupolds worth looking at in that group, also, along with the Nikon Monarch X 4-16x50.

The question is, "how much do you want to spend?". I spent a year working on finding the right rifle for Boomershoot, along with the right scope once I had found the right rifle for me. Plan now if you want to upgrade!

Good luck, feel free to email me for a phone number if you want to talk it out over the phone!

6:48 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home