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Palouse Practical Shooters 2003 Boomer Shoot

May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th

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Post Event Material

See also the pictures and video.

Eugene has written up his After Action Review (AAR).  Whether you attended the clinic or not, I think you will find this very informative.

The Lewiston Morning Tribune ran two articles on the event.  One on the Thursday before and one on Saturday during the middle of the event.  The Lewiston TV station sent a cameraman for a while too.  They had this article on their web site.

Email from some participants:

From: Gene Archer
Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2003 12:54 PM
Subject: Boomer Shoot 2003

Hello Joe. Just wanted to thank you for the terrific kick off day, Friday. The demo at the first was worth the fee to shoot & almost stopped our hearts.  You couldn't ask for any better or nicer people at this shoot. We are really thankful that what we were shooting was not shooting back!!!!! It was a REAL BLAST!!!!!!!  Can't wait until next year.

Gene & Pat Archer & Todd Stobie

From: Benjamin
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 4:34 PM
Subject: Boomershoot pics.

That is a collection of all the shots I took on my trip to Idaho.

I would like to thank you again for the Boomer Shoot. It was a once in a lifetime experience I am planning on reliving next year!


From: Rob
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 10:44 PM
To: Joe Huffman
Subject: B.S.2003

Hello Joe.

I wanted to thank you for allowing me to participate in my first Boomershoot that I shared with my friend Joe D. along with Tim and Dave. I can't tell you how much fun and excitement I had, not to mention the awe inspiring beauty of the countryside and surrounding area, great people and hospitality that I encountered. I live in the foothills of western WA., just east of Mt.Vernon on 20 acres of peace and tranquility but, after having visited your area of Idaho I am inspired to relocate. I know for sure that if my sons Leo 15, and Morgan 14 were with me to share in the whole adventure they would be begging me to do just that, especially after seeing all the wild turkey's, fishing holes and in general, the beauty of the land. It is that feeling of freedom and calm I got, as well as all the warm greetings and fellowship I experienced through participating at Boomershoot yourself and others worked hard at to bring us all a very enjoyable experience. The only regret I have is that I couldn't share the experience with my boys. Next year that will not be the case.

In addition to the booms, I also enjoyed having the opportunity to meet Gene and John and share in the knowledge they had to present. Good people for sure.

In closing, thank you and all your staff for a wonderful, fun and exciting weekend. Just to see the smiles on my friend Joe D.'s face after his hits, that in itself was heart warming. We are all kids inside waiting for the chance to laugh, smile and enjoy good times that leave lasting memories.

Best Regards,


From: Mike
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 4:19 PM
Subject: Thanks, Joe!

Bob and I had a great time at your Boomer Shoot last weekend. It was my first experience there, as you know, and I was delighted to see how well organized and safe you and your crew kept the operation.

The wind and rain actually added to the experience, as far as I'm concerned. If conditions were perfect, it shouldn't be that difficult to hit a couple of close boomers. But since I hadn't been practicing with a long gun in quite awhile, it was a terrific confidence builder for me to be able to make consistent hits on the 12 inch steel poppers out to the 625 yard mark, and I blew up four boomers at the 544 yard mark. All this of course in driving wind and rain. Past attendees have told me that it isn't unusual to be skunked your first time out, so I consider myself pretty fortunate to have been able to connect.

We are both delighted with how well our shooting equipment worked. Bob's Armalite with the Springfield scope was enabling him to make consistent hits at less than 300 yards on the first shot!

Anyway - thanks again for the hospitality. We are both hoping to attend again next year - with a little better bench setup and perhaps a bit of rain protection. ;-)

I have one question for you - one of my colleagues here is a recent immigrant from South Africa and an avid shooter. He can't obtain his Washington Alien Firearms License until his green card comes through, and can't legally possess a gun here until he has that license. Are you familiar with the regs in Idaho? If he wanted to participate in the shoot and brought along a spare rifle, could he legally take possession of it during the shoot, and relinquish it back to me prior to our return to Washington? And - if you would prefer to not answer, don't worry, I'll just pursue the question with the Idaho AG's office.


Still grinning.........

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 11:19 PM
To: Mike
Subject: RE: Thanks, Joe!

Idaho doesn't have restrictions on alien shooters. Bring him on over!

Glad you had a good time.


Some of my memories of the event:

On Thursday the target building got off to a late start and we were short handed.  Ry and I were building them alone and then the blender died.  I borrowed one from my sister-in-law and we continued the task.  Ry was ill and had his kids with him.  I finally told him to take them home and I would finish up with Jamie and Kim who were due to show up that evening.  Jason showed up around 19:00 and we finished up the targets by the headlights of the pickup about 21:00.  

Thursday night I spent on site in the back of my pickup.  My daughters and their friends spent the night in tents.  The stars were stunning.  We saw "falling stars" and Xenia and Sarah brought me cookies and juice before we went to sleep.

Friday weather was almost decent.  The wind was a bit strong and it interfered with the opening fireball but people still seemed to think it was impressive.  I suspect there was a lot of it that went completely away from us to the south such that no one saw a good portion of it. I changed the position of the gasoline jugs for the Sunday fireball such that it would go more up.

Within a few seconds of the opening horn on Friday I saw the first splash of a milk jug filled with gasoline and I knew I should have told everyone to shoot at the carton of explosives rather than the milk jug but it was too late.  There were numerous splashes without detonations of the  explosives.  I corrected my mistake on Sunday and there were only one or two splashes and there were lots of fireballs. 

During the clean up explosions on Friday Ry piled them a bit bigger than I would have.  The first explosion I touched off left a crater big enough to use as a foxhole.  All that dirt came down all around me.  Bob, over 700 yards away, thought someone had hit the side of his RV with a sledge hammer and came running out to see who did it.  When the dust cleared on the hillside he saw me walking around and decided it must be okay.  Ry said it make his  Jeep (about 30 yards away) with the tall CB antenna hum like a tuning fork -- he wants more boomers like that.  I split his other piles in two -- and still had dirt falling all around me.

Sean drove all the way from the Seattle area to be a spectator.  The shooters came from farther away -- John came from Illinois, Pam and Robert came from Michigan, and Scott came from North Dakota. 

On Friday morning Lee Ellyn thought she was going to be the 'token woman' of the weekend.  She wasn't -- Pat, Pam, and Gera were there too.  Plus there were numerous female spectators.

Both Friday and Sunday I was quite worried that my fireball demo would not ignite properly so I 'cheated' with a can of Sterno burning just out of sight near where the gasoline would be sprayed by the explosions.  The videos show that the Sterno wasn't needed, but I sure would have been embarrassed if it had been needed and it wasn't there as a backup.

In addition to some profuse thanks for putting on the event I got a big hug from one of the women as she told me she "Had a blast!".

As I listen to the audio in the video I hear lots of whoops and cheers.  For some reason I didn't hear that during the event.  I only noticed the things that didn't go quite right.  The fireballs that were just splashes of gasoline and the reactive targets that just made small pops instead of earth shaking booms.

Ry had his cheek pierced with a rock during a clean up explosion on Sunday.

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Pre-Event Material

This event will feature an opening that you will remember for the rest of your life.  The first few seconds will be some of the most intense moments you can experience and expect to live through.  It will be more expensive than previous events, but it will be an event you tell your grandchildren about.

Click on the picture above to see the video.

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bulletGeneral Information
bulletMinimum safety rules.
bulletSubscribe to the Boomer Shoot announcement email list
bulletHow to enter the event.
bulletPrecision Rifle Clinic.
bulletSize and distribution of the targets.
bulletCurrent status.

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Minimum Gun Safety Rules


Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.


Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.


Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

These are the bare minimum which you must follow while at the event.  You MUST have them (or the equivalent thereof) memorized.  Please read the additional rules and clarifications.  These and other rules will be explained at the shooters meeting before you take your gun out of its case.

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How to Enter the Event

The Boomer Shoot price and entry is completely separate from the Precision Rifle Clinic.  Sign up for both to make the most of your weekend.

There are 30 shooting positions available on both Friday and Sunday.  Each position costs $60.00 ($55.00 if you are Palouse Practical Shooter member). If you want to share a position with another shooter there is an additional, but reduced charge for them.  No more than three shooters may share one position.  See the printable entry form for detailed pricing.

There is also a gift certificate version it you want to give an entry as a present.  Send me the proper amount of money, with a note as to who the shooter(s) will be and give the gift certificate to the recipient to finish filling out.

Send your entries to the following address:

PPS Boomer Shoot
P.O. Box 3745
Moscow, Idaho 83843-1916

NOTE: The '1916' on the zip code is essential!  It goes to the wrong post office without it.

Please indicate which day you are signing up for: Friday May 2, or Sunday May 4.

The entry form has the NRA Gun Safety Rules (or see Minimum Gun Safety Rules) which you must have memorized.  Or, if you prefer, Jeff Cooper's four rules of safe gun handling.  Memorize them.  You will be asked to repeat them (take your pick, either the NRA or Jeff Cooper version) when you show up.  Think of this as an I.Q. test.  You don't want to look stupid and go home without shooting.  Pass the test.  You will be expected to follow the rules at all times.  If you don't follow them you will become a non-shooter for the remainder of the day.  Refunds for safety violations will be very unlikely.

You will get an email response confirming your entry.  If you don't get it then send me an email to find out if it has been lost or I have just been lazy in picking up my mail and/or getting the confirmation out.

I expect the Sunday's event will sell out by the first of March.  Friday's event by the first of April.   In the event that it doesn't, all entries must be received by April 30th.   Make the check out to FlashTek.  You MUST have web access and an email address.  Also, I need phone numbers so that I can contact you at the last minute in case the event must be canceled for some reason.

See General Information for more details on what to bring and expect on site.

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Size and Distribution of Targets

The volumes and dimensions are as follows.  The density of the explosive material is approximately the same as water, so the target sizes, in pounds, are approximately 1/2 and 2 pounds.

Target Volume

Width (in)

Height (in)

Depth (in)

Exposed face (in2)

236 mL (8.0 oz) 3.0 2.3 2.3 6.90
250 mL (8.45 oz) 4.2 2.5 1.56 10.50
1 liter (33.8 oz) 6.7 4.0 2.44 26.80

For a picture of these targets (plus the obsolete 200 mL target) click here.

Range (yards)








Number 236 mL 30 106 69 6 3 2 216
Number 250 mL 0 0 15 30 5 4 54
Number 1 liter 30 0 0 0 42 35 107
Total targets  60 106 84 36 50 41 377
Expected shots 142 699 701 701 697 696 3636

Target distributions for Friday and Sunday.

Some numbers of note: In 2002 there were 286 targets each day.  This year there will be 377.  Combined with the targets used in the precision rifle clinic there will be nearly 800 targets available.  In 2002 there were 28 1 L targets.  This year there will be 107.  In 2002 the expected number of shots per target was 10.17.  This year it is 9.64.

If you are not a numbers geek you probably want to skip the following paragraph.

I did a lot of work with an Excel spreadsheet to come up with the distributions.  I estimated the number of shots required to be 90% certain all the targets were cleaned at a given range and tried to make it roughly the same at all ranges within the constraints of my explosives magazine and the available target sizes.  This same spreadsheet has the probabilities of hits at the various ranges and the expected number of shots to have a 90% chance of cleaning the targets at that range.  It also has the calculations for the distribution used the previous two years.  

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Current Status

May 6, 2003

The event is over.  I lost five pounds between Thursday morning and Sunday night.  I slept for 12 hours on Monday night.  I've been looking at all the email, pictures and video people have been sending my way and I'm quite pleased.  Although I didn't really notice it much at the time, people seemed to be having a good time. 

May 1, 2003

Friday still has 8 slots open.

The weather is still looking almost reasonable. There may be some thunderstorms on all three days. If there is lightening nearby I will halt all shooting and move my staff into vehicles for safety. Friday looks like it should be in the lower 60's with winds of about 5 MPH with a slight chance of showers. People attending the clinic on Saturday will get a chance to test what they just learned about wind doping. There are no real wind forecasts available for Sunday yet -- just "breezy".

Friday...slight chance of rain showers and afternoon thunderstorms. partly cloudy. highs 59 to 69.
Friday night...chance of rain showers and slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening...then chance of rain showers after midnight. mostly cloudy. lows 36 to 46.
Saturday...chance of rain showers and slight chance of thunderstorms. mostly cloudy. highs 55 to 65. west wind 10 to 20 mph.
Sunday...breezy with a chance of rain showers. mostly cloudy. lows 28 to 38. highs 50 to 60.

See you soon. It will be a real blast.

April 27, 2003

Friday still has 8 slots open.

You can view the t-shirt design by clicking here (PDF file).  The price will be $15.00 each.  They will be available onsite on the days of the shoot.

The current weather forecast is as follows:

Thursday...chance of rain showers. mostly cloudy. lows 31 to 41. highs 55 to 65.
Friday...slight chance of rain showers. mostly cloudy. lows 33 to 43. highs 57 to 67.
Saturday...chance of rain showers. mostly cloudy. lows 32 to 42. highs 57 to 67.

April 20, 2003

Friday still has 8 slots open.  

We went onsite yesterday.  The creek was low enough to cross without a bridge.  The ground was wet in places, but not bad.  The weather was wonderful.  Just a hint of wind with the temperature in the upper 50's.  We did some more tests.  Diesel doesn't work for our new targets (see the results of the first shot in the video below).  Our old mix still seems to work fine.  It generated a very positive response from the audience.  Click on the image to see the video:

April 16, 2003

Friday still has 10 slots open, but one shooter claims the check went out yesterday, which would make it 9.

Thanks to a fellow IPSC shooter who delivered a sack of cartons this week I now have all the containers I need.  Please bring more (1Q or 1L only) for next year so I can loose some of the weight I have gained drinking all that 'stuff'.

The weather is still marginal.  Rain and occasional snow flurries are predicted for the next couple of days.  But we have another 16 days left for it to warm up and dry out.  No reason to be worried yet.

Four college students have volunteered to help make targets for Friday, so I expect the magazine will soon be filled without putting in too long of a work day.

April 5, 2003

Despite at least two people claiming they were going send in their entries immediately, Friday still has 11 slots open.

It has been snowing (and raining) recently.  Spring may be a little bit late this year.  But it's still too early to predict the conditions for the days of the event.

March 29, 2003

The March 20th issue of the Clearwater Tribune (Orofino Idaho) had our press release on the front page.

March 12, 2003

Friday has 11 slots open.

Press releases are out now.

March 1, 2003

Sunday has a large waiting list now.  The chances of anyone else being allowed a Sunday entry is somewhere between zero and none.

Friday has 13 slots open.

Crystal (from the ATF) won't be present at the shoot.  I don't know if anyone else from their agency will be there or not.

February 23, 2003

Gene Econ reports the precision rifle clinic is full too.  He is maintaining a waiting list as well so contact him if you wish to be put on it.

February 22, 2003

In the largest rush of entries I have every received in one week (nine) Sunday is now full.  Future entries for Sunday will be held and those people will be put on the waiting list.  Usually about two or three people end up canceling for some reason or another.

There are 17 slots open on Friday.

February 15, 2003

There are 20 slots open on Friday and 8 on Sunday.   I had a nice chat with a lady (Crystal) from the ATF this week.  She plans to  arrange for her inspection of the explosives magazine on May 1st or 2nd this year -- either during setup or the actual Boomer Shoot event.  That will save me an extra trip out to the field and she won't have to work on a weekend.  Plus she will get to see a few Boomers go off.

February 7, 2003

There are 23 slots open on Friday and 11 on Sunday.  There are at least three other slots on Sunday that people say they are going to claim so get your entries in soon.

February 4, 2003

There are 23 slots open on Friday and 14 on Sunday.  Eugene Econ reports there are only 4 slots open for the clinic on Saturday.

The caterer has confirmed for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday lunch.

January 17, 2003

There are 24 slots open on Friday and 18 on Sunday.

I may have the 1 Liter container problem solved.  But if people want to bring containers to the event I'll pay $0.25 each for them.  Up to a total of 200 containers.  These must be the rectangular 1 L or 1 Qt foil lined soy/rice/whatever containers like the large one in this picture. 

January 9, 2003

There are 25 slots open on Friday and 19 on Sunday.

I have all the Titanium I need for the fireballs.  I'm a bit behind on the 1 Liter containers.

December 16, 2002

There are 26 slots open on Friday and 20 on Sunday.

December 12, 2002

Ry and I did some more tests on the mixtures/configuration for the 'special' targets.  Ry video taped it and then digitized it for me.  Here are the results, click on each of the pictures to view the video for each test:

Five out of five worked properly.  We were so thrilled.  I think you will be too.

December 7, 2002

Entries are coming in.  Sunday is a little over 25% full and Friday is a little over 10% full.  I hear slots are filling up for the clinic too. 

November 26, 2002

The precision rifle clinic bulletin is now posted.  Sign up soon -- this fills up every year!

September 15, 2002

I just got confirmation that there will be a Precision Rifle Clinic this year.  Details will be posted soon.

September 14, 2002

I have the target distribution figured out.  I have the new prices figured out.  I have the helpers scheduled.  I have sent a query to Eugene Econ to see if he will be available for another precision rifle clinic.  I probably will know within a couple days.

Everything is a go.

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Email: Joe Huffman
Last updated: June 27, 2004