900 yard golf ball shoot? What are your opinions?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by goodgrouper, May 23, 2005.

  1. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    THis weekend Brian B, 7mmrhb, and myself went to our annual explosive shoot in Elsinore, Utah called the Kimberly Kaboom. It is an 8 hour event in which you pay 2 dollars per shot to take a crack at targets at 900 yards. The targets are 2" muffler pipes stuffed with an explosive solid that is taped to the pipe thus creating a little ball that is the same size as a golf ball. The pipe is then bolted to the top of a standard 3 foot garden stake and is angled to be straight with line of sight to the benches and is then painted flourescent orange and has a flag attached to it. There is no backer, and no steel plate behind the target. The hillside is about 40 yards behind the suspended target.

    You pay 2 dollars per shot and you get to take only 2 shots during your turn and then you move to the back of the line and wait for everyone else in line to shoot their 2 shots.

    No rangefinders allowed.

    Does anyone see a problem with this?

    I see several. First, the target is less than 1/4 MOA in size for a 900 yard distance. Not even the most accurate gun and shooter in the world can keep 1/4 moa across 9 football fields.

    Second, the target is "housed" in a protective pipe which is angled at zero degrees so it does not follow the curve of the trajectory at that range. Even the flattest bullets in the world are coming down on such an angle at that range that they physically could not and would not enter the pipe unless the bullet entered the very top lip of the pipe which in reality would give you not the intended 2" target, but more like a 3/4" target! That is actually less than 1/9th MOA for 900 yards!

    The third thing wrong with this shoot is the backstop. If the target is suspended 3 feet above the ground and the closest possible impact point is 40 yards behind the target, it makes it almost impossible to tell where you missed. From the bench, every shot looked to be 3 feet low or more, when in fact, the angle of the drop may have actually put the bullet 6" above the target as it passed.

    All three of these problems stacked so heavily against all the shooters that there was never a hit. I would venture to say that there was easily 500 bullets launched downrange by everything from my 6br improved to a 50 bmg and nothing connected. Several shooters including myself were holding about 2-5 inch groups at that range and none could just move the groups over to the target and that was because we didn't know where we were missing! Vapor trails were almost non-existing, and when there were traces, they were so close to the target that it blurred the image as it went by so you couldn't give a correction report for anyone.

    We have been to this shoot every spring for 3 years now, but this was the first time that there was no backstop as the target was moved from 850 to 900 yards. I actually hit the golf ball two years ago and Brian hit it last year, but we will both freely admit that there was just some plain good luck involved in both of those hits. We also had a better idea of where we were missing because of the better backstop. THis time, it was really almost impossible in my opinion.

    After the shoot, we were frustrated enough about losing hundreds of dollars that we made some suggestions to the organizers of the event(whom are not long range shooters at all). I suggested putting up a 12" square metal gong immediately behind the target so we could make needed corrections. I also suggested making the target realistically larger so it would at least be 1/3 moa (3"). Then we also suggested that the pipe be angled at about 15 degrees to allow the bullet to enter the pipe and detonate. All these suggestions were agreed upon as needed improvements at the time, but I believe that the organizers will over time forget about them and just keep doing what they are doing.

    That is why I made this post. I would really appreciate it if you other fellows "in the ballistic fraternity" wouldn't mind leaving a post with your thoughts on this shoot so that I can show them to the organizers of the event. That way, they could take other opinions of this and maybe it will reinforce my suggestions. Any opinions on the matter will be greatly appreciated.

    BTW, if anyone is going to be in the Richfield area of Utah in the first part of November, there will be another shoot and hopefully, new changes will be instigated then. Please drop by and shoot if you can!
    Thanks-goodgrouper


    Here are some pics of the shoot:
    This is a view of the targets with the naked eye. The white dots at the bottom of the hill are 2 foot by 2 foot cardboard signs with the target number on them. The stakes were just to the left of the signs.
    [​IMG]


    Here are some local spectators out to watch the BOOMS that never were! The benches were under the tents.
    [​IMG]


    Here is the great shooting 6mm-284 "boat anchor" and the little purple turtle 6br improved which both shot 3-4" groups that day, but were not good enough obviously.
    [​IMG]




    The 6.5-.284 and the swift also were employed this day to no avail.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

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    The way that was run seems like a waste of time. If I were to go to one of these events, I want to see lots of explosions!!!! Maybe they need to look at the Boomershoot for some ideas. They would probably attract more people if they set it up different as well (doesn't look like many people are participating in your picture).
     

  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    GG,

    Yes this sounds like nothing but pure luck to get a hit, and even at that obviously there was not much of that going around.

    I have been to the Dynamite shoot in Missoula MT and they put a 1/2 stock of Dynamite in a regular coffee can and paint it orange and set them out at various ranges out to near 1000 yards.

    I did not shoot as I was just there on a weekend trip and heard about it but I do not believe you could use range finders on that shoot either. Plus there were several different ranges at a mucher target.

    Only thing is that there were several occasions that the targets were hit with smaller caliber rifles, .224. 6mms, 6.5 and never set off the explosives. The 7mms were about 50-50 on setting off the charge but the big 30s, 338s and 50s set them off with any type of hit to the cans.

    Was fun to watch but really made me wish I had packed the Kahn in the truck. They shot most of the day and there were several hits every hour. Especially once guys started figuring out the ranges.

    Also went to a local shoot down near Billings MT where a local 50 cal group was disposing of out of regualtion propane tanks at ranges from 1000 to a mile.

    The tanks were pained bright white and set out in the middle of a plowed field that must have been 50 square miles. IT was huge, there was nothing as far as you could see with even the 60x spotters.

    Again I did not shoot as this was another unplanned thing.

    It was quickly learned that a lead cored bullet like the 750 gr A-Max would seldom ignite the tanks that were filled half full.

    Mild steel core AP rounds would set the tanks off at times but only the API or tracers would set them off all the time. The only problem was that these tend to be less then accurate at this range so hits were sparse but when the did land home they were pretty impressive.

    One guy had a supply of the new Raufoss rounds and they shot very well. He the longest hit and explosion at a bit over 1600 yards. There were no hits at a mile on the 5 gallon tanks but to be fair the mirage was severe and it looked like a little white bubble floating out in the distance.

    Later,

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  4. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    GG you should have used the MOAG and left the small stuff at home. J/K /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif To me it sounds like someone wanted to make a lot of money and not have to use their explosive target. I have heard of people shooting Golf balls at 800 yards but I am sure they were using a range finder and had a back stop to see if they missed. The shoot you were at does really not sound fun at all. Sure it is fun to have a challenge but at least a reasonable one.
     
  5. dbhostler

    dbhostler Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a Carny shoot to me, a real money maker. Did they have a snake charmer, or maybe a bearded lady? Maybe I can set something up like that here. Bet they would draw a larger crowd if they offered $100 for every hit. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    db
     
  6. 7Rumloader

    7Rumloader Well-Known Member

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    Sounds nearly impossible to get a hit under those conditions GG. Angleing the pipe will help but maybe a larger target is in order like the coffee can Kirby was talking about and some varying distances with a good backstop to check misses by. Then maybe break it down to a couple of classes for the closer targets. Like under 500 yards was factory rifle only and then past 500 was shoot what you brought. Just a few suggestions.
     
  7. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Excellent responses guys and thank you.
    Keep 'em coming! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  8. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    I've been to the Boomershoot on years when it worked well... last year I think there was some last minute changes to the mix... lots of hit but no boom... bad idea. Hope Joe got it straightened out for this year.

    Are you *sure* the organizers don't know anything about long range shooting... if they've been running this for a couple years, seeing what kind of gear people haul out for this kind of event... I'm thinking they probably know dang well what they are about, and it sounds like it's about making money (500 shots @ $2 each... $1000 take, and they don't have to replace hardly any targets), and not much else if hits are that far and few btwn, not making sure people get something in return for their money and want to come back again the next year. Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic, but this sounds awful fishy to me.

    YMMV,

    Monte
     
  9. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    Well, we had to teach them about the angle the bullet is coming down at at that range (they were kinda shocked to learn that the bullet wasn't still flying flat at 900 yards) and we also had to teach them about MOA. We explained that a suspended 2" target at 900 yards with no backer is the equivalent MOA target of hanging an Advil tablet with monofilament at 100 yards with no paper behind it to see where you missed.

    They also learned that the most accurate guns in the world shoot between .1-.3" aggregates at 100 yards so when you expect that kind of accuracy at 9 times that distance, it really just becomes an element of dumb luck if the dynamite is hit.

    Anyways, I am going to print off a copy of this thread and email it to the organizers and see if we can't get a few things changed for the better for the November shoot. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  10. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    Well... I still say it sounds odd that these folks have been running a long range shoot of this nature, w/ tiny targets at that range in unusual setups (sounds like hit probability even before this last one was pretty dismal) have *no idea* about basic ballistics, or that *no one* has mentioned this to them before. Like I said, I'm a bit on the pessimistic side, but they could be entirely innocent. Either way, I hope you get them lined out /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif