A Good Day

Today, I had my first opportunity to shoot beyond 100 yards at the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center.  A first class range!  I’ll dab a bit more on my experience on a later date.

Behind the berms marking targets.

Here I am at 1000 yards.  Yes, I did manage to make it out that far.  Hell, I didn’t think I was going to make it past 500 yards.

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Categories: Firearms, Guns


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20 Comments on “A Good Day”

  1. April 6, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    Congratulations! Eager to hear the details.

    My first time beyond 100 was at Boomershoot 2005. The boomers are from roughly 400 to 700 yards.

    If you had fun and are interested in doing more, the Random Nuclear Strikes contingent has two of the sold-out shooting positions at Boomershoot 2008, and if you wanted to be shooter #2 on one of them, I’d be happy to have you (translation: I don’t have a spotter).

  2. April 7, 2008 at 3:20 am #

    Sunday, April 25-27th?

  3. April 8, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Yup. We’ll be there shooting the Friday and Saturday prior to the actual Sunday Boomershoot, as well — Maj. Gene Econ, sniper instructor, puts on a clinic on those days that’s already full — but he also allows “free fire” shooters with Boomershoot slots to shoot as well — just without the instruction. Both Phil and I have been to his clinic before a couple times, so we have the false notion that we don’t need any more instruction. We’ll be shooting “free fire” with another Dave, a fellow from Michigan who’s shot with us before.

    The nice thing about shooting at steel (and the occasional boomer Joe puts out for testing) on the Friday and Saturday — aside from more shooting at distance — is that you get to zero in your equipment at the various ranges, and also try to get better at calling wind, which is always a factor. So you don’t go into the “big day” without some on-site practice. It makes a big difference!

    Also, there are a total of 30 – 40 people on the hill on Friday/Saturday, as opposed to 200+ on Boomershoot Day.

    You can see my post from this past Saturday about how I’m getting there — you’re welcome to ride along or caravan if you wanted — but I could also pick you up at Lewiston airport if you wanted to fly in.

    Cost would be about $50-$75 (I forget) for the “shooter #2” position, and another $25-$50 per day for “free fire” (check the Boomershoot site).

    I’m guessing you have a 1000-yard rifle, but if you don’t we’ll have plenty of hardware and ammo between us. I’m bringing a bunch of pistols and could bring my left-handed rifles if you wanted to use ’em — I’m strictly a pistol guy this year.

  4. April 8, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    I have a Remington 788 with a 20″ barrel. Not exactly a 1000 yard rifle. I was holding over after 500 yards with a Nikon scope that I bought for general purposes. I was still making hits on a 6’x6′ target with XM762D – not fantastic, but I certainly gained a new respect for premium match grade ammunition. I’ll have to mull it over to see if I can ditch work that weekend and recover for class on Monday. I’ll likely have to skip it, unfortunately.

  5. April 8, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    Holding over isn’t a bad thing — if you think about it carefully and have the right reticle, it can be stunningly precise. I have the Burris Ballistic Plex on my .308 pistols and it worked great at 600 yards and beyond. Not much is as gratifying as splitting a bullet on an angle-iron at 660 while holding up for elevation and off for wind at the same time!

    If you were holding over because your scope ran out of elevation, ditch your rings and replace ’em with Burris Signature Rings (about $40). Their polymer inserts not only eliminate the need for lapping and any possibility of scope “kink,” but also let you pop in 5, 10, 15, 20, or more minutes of angle without removing your base to shim (I have the “armorer’s kit” of inserts, so I can send you all the inserts you need). Gene told me about ’em, of course.

    My first rifle and first Boomershoot rifle is a Sako 591 in .308 with 20″ barrel, and it did just fine with Signature rings and a 8-32×44 Burris Signature scope.

    FWIW, as of February 12 there were apparently four slots left in Gene Econ’s clinic. At $70 per day it’s some of the most unbelievably inexpensive training you’ll find anywhere — Gene trains military snipers for a living, and his crew are usually snipers old or young with very recent experiences to illuminate their lessons.

  6. April 8, 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    Oh yeah, Boomers are 4×4 and 6×6 — inches — square. If my experience is any guide, by the end of your first day you’d be at that level of precision at 385 yards at least, and be making head shots on man-sized steel silhouettes at 600+ by the end of the second day.

    What caliber is your Remington?

  7. April 8, 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    I didn’t run out of elevation, it was suggested to keep my scope at 100 yards since I don’t have turrets and the clicking mechanism in my Nikon may not be consistent when switching to and from zero.

    So the entire exercise, I was using the ballistic reticle up to 500 yards shooting at about 10-15 inches, then held over after that compensating for wind. The only thing that kept me on the line was knowing that my target a man sized target (Only two people were pulled off after running out of elevation). I had drop data with me that day, so I was at least able to guess how far the bullet was going to fall.

    The Remington is a .308. I’ll need to look at different ammunition options later down the line while I look at another platform to build on. Nonetheless, the ugly boomstick surprised me. I’m glad I didn’t sell it when I wanted to.

    If I were to go, I might drive/caravan out and fly back since I need to be back before you need to. However, Delta Airlines is the only place that’s selling tickets that day – all before 5pm. I might not make it to Boomershoot, but I think I can make it to the clinic…

  8. April 8, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    Cool! You should email Gene Econ right away to be sure you can still get a clinic spot.

    I’m guessing you’d need to rent a car for the drive out, and leave it at the Lewiston airport when you return?

    Another option might be to fly roundtrip to Boise and back (more options), renting a car in Boise and driving up to Orofino. I did that in 2005. The drive is spectacular, by the way.

  9. April 8, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    Also, I have a bunch of Black Hills “red box” 168- and 175-grain moly-coated factory loads in .308. (It’s the only .308 load I’ve ever shot.) If you go and want to try a “match load” I’d be happy to share.

  10. April 8, 2008 at 9:37 pm #

    Also, on clinic days there are generally a bunch of boomers placed at the 385-yard line in the afternoons for us to shoot at, so you would still get to blow stuff up even if you were driving back to Boise on the “big day.”

  11. April 8, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    Stoney Point makes aftermarket “drop-on” clickable turrets — they might have some for your Nikon.

  12. April 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    Okay, shutting up now. I get excited where Boomershoot’s concerned.

  13. April 8, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    I can tell!

    I wish I had planned for this ahead of time. I simply forgot about it since you posted about Boomershoot almost a year ago.

    I might fly into Spokane, WA instead since it’s actually a little closer. Are you camping on the grounds?

  14. April 8, 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    Nope, we’re staying at Trib’s Place. If you were to show up, I don’t think there’d be any problem accomodating you. The breakfasts are not to be missed. Dave’s son slept on a cot in the lodge room (the room in the pic at http://www.softgreenglow.com/wp/?p=3729) last year. We could flip for the cot.

    People do camp on the site, and there’s a roach coach that makes decent breakfasts and lunches that always shows up. But I think you’d like Trib’s much better.

  15. April 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm #

    If I am going to show, the floor will do just fine.

    I’m going to call the airport in just a bit to look at their firearm policies. You’ve really given me no room to make excuses. =)

  16. April 9, 2008 at 12:03 am #

    It’s not the airport that you need to check with, it’s the individual carrier.

    The drill at all airports and with all carriers is as follows:

    No electronic check-in — you have to go through the human check-in line. Immediately upon reaching the counter you state “I need to declare an unloaded firearm, please.” Watch as the ticket agent goes white with terror. Paitently wait while she gets her supervisor. Open the case for the supervisor and show him the gun’s unloaded. Fill out the orange tag with your name and place it in the case. Close and lock the case and hand it to the supervisor, who will walk it over to TSA. Watch as TSA opens the case and examines the firearm again, then closes and locks it and sends it down the baggage chute. Feeling lighter, go board your plane.

    Some carriers will have different rules on how much ammo you can take — it’s eleven pounds, according to TSA, but one carrier might interpret that as eleven pounds total, while another says it’s eleven pounds per checked bag. There are other minor things as well, so be sure to ask the carrier.

  17. April 9, 2008 at 1:20 am #

    Damnit. I was just reminded that it’s not work that I needed to skip – it’s a wedding…

    Curse RSVPs!! I was even getting my stuff together too…

  18. April 9, 2008 at 3:09 am #

    Ah, well. There’s always next year. Just beware the shooting positions keep selling out earlier and earlier each year…..


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