Shoot the Bomb?


September 28, 2003, 01:38 PM
I met a real nice older gentleman at the range yesterday and he was sighting in a custom 280 Rem (Shilen match barrel, custom wood, $1200!!), anyway he starts telling me that this rifle is for a customer of his, and that it'll be used for the 600 yard 'Shoot the Bomb' matches somewhere.

He said they compress dynamite (called it something else but said its basically dynamite) into sodapop can size cylinders and shoot them at 400, 600, 700, and 800 yards (IIRC), and the shot explodes the dynamite.

Soda can size hits at 600 yards or better???:what:

He said he used to be able to do it with a 4X Weaver scope but has since went to a 12X. Sights in 6" high at 100 and hold dead on (again, IIRC).

He gave no indication that he was pulling my leg. Seemed real serious. I wondered if any of you all have ever heard of this game or participated in one. Wow.

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El Tejon
September 28, 2003, 01:41 PM
Ummm, you mean like they do at Knob Creek?:p

Matches like that have been popular around here for a long time. Did not know they did it out West too, but would stand to reason that they would have more room to do goofy stuff like that out there too.

Try it, you'll like it!:D

September 28, 2003, 02:56 PM
Yep, i certainly have heard of "dynamite" or "Bomb" shoots before.

always figured that the whole thing started when some "long range" fanatic decided that he wanted to keep his buddy that went to the range with him, on HIS end of the lane instead of down in the pits pulling targets for him.

that or it was one of those thigns that started with the phrase "Hey bubba, Hold mah beer and watch THIS!" :rolleyes: :D

September 28, 2003, 03:09 PM
Thats awesome! Anyone know of any shoots like that in Texas? Preferrably the Houston Region.

September 28, 2003, 04:09 PM
Very cool. I guess not many semi autos get used in these matches, huh?

Sniper rifles and bolt race guns. But even then, how many guys can hit a beer can at 600? I think even Steve Smith might have trouble here...:D

I can imagine hitting a 36" bull at 600, but not a beer can. I would like to watch one of these shoots though.:cool:

September 28, 2003, 04:25 PM
Soda cans at 600 yards is nothing.
There are guys out there that have "egg" shoots.
Thats right they shoot eggs at 600, and 800 yards.
Most of these boys are into Benchrest shooting.

Wish I could shoot like that........or have a rifle capable of it!

El Tejon
September 28, 2003, 04:26 PM
Ed, I remember more than a few semi-autos used. I've used a BAR in .338 WM. At Knob Creek, some guys use M82s.

If you want to watch, hook up with the THR crew going to Knob Creek this fall. I think they still do this down there???:confused:

September 28, 2003, 04:35 PM
Where's Knob Creek?

El Tejon
September 28, 2003, 04:47 PM
West Point, Ol' Kentuc'. A little west of Louisville, near the Ohio River.

Good time, check it out sometime. Hit Kiesler's in Jeffersonville, Indiana and the Patton museum too.:cool:

Do I rememeber Uncle Elmer doing this in one of his books? Or was this recollection from Unintended Consequences? Don't remember at office not FBP. Look it up later.

September 28, 2003, 04:55 PM
I know it was Hollywood, but this little trick was demonstrated in 'Two Mules For Sister Sarah', where Clint Eastwood ignites a bundle of dynamite on a train trestle with his 30-30 Winchester.
It blowed up real good. Gotta love those spaghetti westerns.:p

September 28, 2003, 05:28 PM
I remember that flick! Good one. Took him long enough, IIRC. He was all shot up too, wasn't he? I guess thats a good alibi.:D

Didn't Sister Sarah wind up shooting it? Been a long time.

Kentucky's good, I could go see family in Columbus and take 70 back which'd take me through indiana...:cool: But when, anyone? (not during my busy season, not during my busy season!)

Neal Bloom
September 28, 2003, 05:34 PM
Here is a link to a dynamite shoot.

September 28, 2003, 05:55 PM
That must be the one the guy was talking about. He said something about 2 bucks for 2 or 3 shots, something like that.


Chuck Dye
September 28, 2003, 05:59 PM
Dynamite, a mixture of nitroglycerine and diatomacious earth, does, indeed, explode with sufficient impact, and dynamite shoots are popular. I buy that part of the yarn. Grabbing the highest velocities and ballistic coefficients in Oehler's ammo library and running them through the Ballistic Explorer to zero at 600 yards gives 100 yard points of impact between eleven and a half and fifteen and a quater inch high, so that part of the yarn, I do not buy.

If you want to play, check out the Define Your Own Bullet function at

In the Oehler ammo library, the Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 140 grain, a B.C. of .484 at 3040fps appears to give the lowest midrange tragectory, but none of the factory loads comes anywhere near 6" at 100 yards for a 600 yard zero. To get that 140 grain bullet to zero at 600 yards and hit 6" high at 100 yards, you need a muzzle velocity of just over 4000 fps.

September 28, 2003, 06:16 PM
In the Oehler ammo library, the Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 140 grain, a B.C. of .484 at 3040fps appears to give the lowest midrange tragectory, but none of the factory loads comes anywhere near 6" at 100 yards for a 600 yard zero.

He did say they was 140's. Silvertips come in the black box? I didn't look close but thats prolly what he was shootin. I'm not positive he said 6" as I indicated with the IIRC statement...He talked low and fast, and I was tryin to shoot, and guns goin off all over, etc, so I prolly have that part wrong about 6" high.

Thanks for the link, looks fun.

September 28, 2003, 06:24 PM
Huck, would you know how one could determine the ballistic coefficient of non store bought bullets? (i.e. cast or homemade swaged or bullets of unknown brand/origin?)

Edited to add, that norma thing is fun! One other question..That 'Height of sightline inches' bar...that would be the height of sights above the bore? And measured how? (Center of bore to center of scope? / center of bore to center of rear sight?) :confused:


Chuck Dye
September 28, 2003, 06:27 PM
The ballistics program lives on a laptop and can easily go into the bar. I have paid for the Oehler Ballistic Explorer at least three times over in beer bets. I'm not sure which is more satisfying, the IPA's and imperial stouts, or the frequency with which shooters actually pay off when the program disagrees with the yarn. We are, for the most part, a pretty good bunch.

September 28, 2003, 06:28 PM
I just measured a Mountain Dew soda can and it is just about 5inches long.

There are tons of guns out there than can shoot 1 MOA. I bet I'd have a 50% of hitting a soda can sized target at those ranges with my FAL, Mini14, AR, Model 70-30/06 ect..

Chuck Dye
September 28, 2003, 06:33 PM

Many of the ballistics programs will calculate B.C. from the velocity drop over a distance. Of course, this requires chronographing a good sample at two different ranges. I can run them through mine if you give me the numbers.

Try the search tools, both here at The High Road, and at for other free and online ballistics programs.

September 28, 2003, 06:56 PM
Interesting. I know this much, that a perfect B.C. is based on a value of 1.0 (and was figured with a 1 LB artillary shell, I think is what it said?) so I was thinking about what my cast lead 320gr cast lead bullets at 1401fps@8ft (44mag), and my 69gr 5.56's at (guesstimating 2600 cause my chrony took a hit, so extrapolated with similar bullets and charges to guess2600 :rolleyes: , I know.):D

Correct me where I'm wrong, but a 1 moa gun would only have 50/50 chance hits here at 600 yds b/c 1 moa = 1" at 100 so at 600 it would equate to 6"?
So a pop can is what 3"wide at most, so you'd have to be able to shoot 1/2 moa at 100 to have a mehanical certainty of hits on it at 600 yds? Am I headed the right direction here with my thinking?

(Oh, I was estimating B.C. of the big fat 320 gr SWC at .125, think thats realistic? And I only have that chrono data from the one distance, is that significant to have it at two distances?)

Mike Irwin
September 28, 2003, 06:57 PM
What do the figures work out to be if he's shooting VLD bullets like those from Berger? Don't know what the BCs are for those anymore. Been too long.

September 28, 2003, 07:09 PM
Here's one to check out!:)
Boomer Shoot! (

Chuck Dye
September 28, 2003, 07:27 PM
As I understand ballistic coefficients, they are ratios to a reference standard and there is nothing to prevent a B.C. exceeding 1.0. That being so, I tried a B.C. of 2.0 for a 140 grain bullet. The Norma program says the muzzle velocity is still 3561 fps, tough to imagine in what is essentially a 7mm-06, tough to imagine in the Weatherby and Remington Ultramags. The highest (real bullet) B.C. in the Oehler library is the Berger 180 grain VLD at 0.698. The Norma program says muzzle velocity must reach 3821 fps (I LOVE those sliders!) for a zero of 600 yards and +6.0" at 100 yards. Cross checking with the same weight, B.C., and muzzle velocity, the Oehler program says +6.14 inches high at 100 yards for a 600 yard zero. Close enough, I think. As to launching a 180 grain bullet that fast, maybe a necked down .416 Rigby will do it. Don’t think I want to fire a great many rounds in testing, though.

Joe Huffman
October 2, 2003, 10:32 AM
Edward429451 was surprised that people would be able to connect with 600 yard pop cans. Yes, it can be done. In fact at the now defunct Blanchard Blast ( people have connected with a dynamite filled pop can as far away as 1200 yards.

At the Palouse Practical Shooters Boomer Shoot ( we don't have quite that much range available. In the past it has been limited to about 660 to 675 yards. Next year (it's a once a year event) it will be a full 700 yards because of the range modification we just made. We don't use dynamite or pop cans. We make our own explosives (See "Project Nitro" at to reduce costs (we go through several hundred pounds each year). We also don't use pop cans because of the danger of flying metal in the case of an accident. We use 1/2 pint milk cartons and 1 L soy milk (and juice, and tea, and whatever else we can find in that form factor) cartons. People have hit the 1/2 pint cartons at the extreme range, but it's a real life exercise in probablity and statistics.

I spend a lot of time working out the probabilities (I use the ballistics program I wrote: to make the target distribution at the various ranges such that it doesn't get too discouraging for people and that there are enough targets to last. I figure people with a 1 MOA gun should be able to hit a target at the extreme ranges at an average of no more than one hit every 20 shots. Any more than that and it gets too frustrating. At the closer ranges it figures out to about four or five shots per target. Of course with some guns, an SKS for example, it is much, much worse. And with some shooters and guns it is very close to one shot, one hit at the closer ranges.

The format for our Boomer Shoot is much different than the Gateway Dynamite Shoot (probably the one Edward429451 was told about). At the Boomer Shoot we have a shooting line where dozens of people can shoot at the same time at the same targets. People can shoot for about six hours total at nearly 400 targets. Most people run out of ammo or get tired before we run out of targets. Running out of money to shoot at the targets doesn't happen.

Another thing that is different about the Boomer Shoot is the introduction this year of a new type of target. Here is a video of my daughter testing one of the new targets: (turn up your volume to hear the voices near the end of the video). You may need to download and install a free codec to play it: We won't have very many of these new targets but they are very impressive.

As for how this relates to "The High Road" --- another gun rights activist ( has experience with dealing with the press. She has twice run for U.S. Congress and has a fair number of contacts and also experience with press releases, etc. Newsweek magazine actually sent a reporter out to cover the event in 2002 and wrote about it an a fair manner ( Other news coverage has been quite positive as well (see My experience has been that if you invite the press and do your best to show them a good time they will be fair and positive. If you react to the press after they have been contacted by the anti-freedom people you loose. The Boomer Shoot is a good vehicle for getting the attention of the press in a positive manner. It's an unusual activity, people are having fun, it's visual enough for spectators to enjoy, and no one gets hurt (well... there have been a few cases of "scope eye"). Very few (if any) other gun sports can draw spectators like the Boomer Shoot can.

Another way it relates is that it is one of my main motivations for this is that it gets people to acquire the equipment and skills to accomplish the task of long range precision rifle shooting. The more people owning and shooting firearms the more likely the politicians are to fear us at the polls.

See you next May? People from all over the country come. As far away as New Jersey, California, Michigan, North Dakota as well as the Pacific Northwest. See for details on the next event and how to enter. Don't wait too long because last year it sold out in February.


Steve Smith
October 2, 2003, 10:46 AM
Damn, Edward, how long have you lived in Colorado?

The Gateway Fire Department does this every year. It is happening Saturday.

Get with the program, son!

October 2, 2003, 10:48 AM
Did'nt used to be a big deal here in AZ; but since OK. city it's a thing of the past. We used to shoot 70% nitro dynomite at our annual machine gun shoot's. These too are a thing of the past, since the AZ Viper fiasco; everyone (a bunch were cop's) got worried we'd be mistaken for a tinfoil militia group.:(

Joe Huffman
October 2, 2003, 11:40 AM
> worried we'd be mistaken for a tinfoil militia group.

The Newsweek reporter sort of expected that at the Boomer Shoot. She was surprised (dissappointed?). There were lots of engineers, scientists, doctors, a theater director, etc. who were very respectable people. The only people in camo were the active military and exmilitary types.

Contact the press, tell them to come out and join the fun and they will discover you aren't what their sterotype is.


October 2, 2003, 11:54 AM
FWIW, Knob Creek is next weekend (Oct 10ish).

THR is going to have a modest crew camping. If you're within 6 hours travel of Louisville, you _really_ owe it to yourself.

October 2, 2003, 12:17 PM
He said he used to be able to do it with a 4X Weaver scope but has since went to a 12X. Sights in 6" high at 100 and hold dead on (again, IIRC).

Ha! Clearly an amateur. I use a .17 HMR, zero the rifle at 50 yards and holdover towards the north star with my 2x scope. This allows me to hit tuna can sized targets at 2000 yards. Of course, I can only do this at night with a clear sky a GPS reading for calculating distance.

Chuck Dye
October 2, 2003, 12:35 PM

Haven't found a B.C. for a .44 caliber 320 grain semi-wadcutter, but the ammo library I have gives B.C.'s for 300 grain hollow points from the big manufacturers between .206 and .258. The extra weight increases the B.C. of your bullet, the SWC profile reduces it. At a guess, .125 is a low estimate, but I have no idea of the real B.C. A call to customer service at the manufacturer of the mold may get an answer.

Sight height is the distance from the bore axis to the optical axis, whether the sights are iron or glass.

October 2, 2003, 07:44 PM
600 yds, 1200 yds, eggs, DynoMite! Oh man, I really should get with the program!:D

Never know if I don't try, heck I might just be the next undiscovered champion. Tongue in cheek, but who knows unless I try?

Crap, Knob creek would have to be this weekend. Seems like I'm always a day late & a dollar short. I gots to sue my lawyer early next week. He thinks he's sueing me, but I'm gonna staple it to his forehead jus cuz he's arrogant enough to lie and thinks I don't save potential evidence, har har.

Huck, thats good info, preciate your effort.

So where's a guy get dynamite to practice on?! :D (kidding, for the slow ones.)

Steve Smith
October 2, 2003, 08:02 PM

October 2, 2003, 08:18 PM
I have heard about dynamite shoots all over the country since I was a kid. One of my friends dad used to participate in one that was held in conjunction with their annual deer rifle sight in, in PA. But, I think they shot offhand at 100 yards using their deer rifles. I have seen informal dynamite shooting that was done using silhouette pistols at 200 yards but didn't participate myself. My dad couldn't see why a 12 year old kid NEEDED a T/C Super 14.

The part I have a hard time believing is that anyone could see a beer can at 600 yards through a 4X scope. I am no rifleman, but I just got back from shooting some 200 yard groups using a 10x scope. Targets were paper plates with orange stickers in the center. With the naked eye, they whole cardboard wasn't very big. Of course at 10X I could see everything fine but it wasn't huge or anything. Now cut the magnification more than in half and increase the distance by three times: :scrutiny:

October 2, 2003, 09:10 PM
I read your post Steve. I'm installing an electric furnace on Saturday. I guess I mixed things up in my mind afore I posted. I'm workin this saturday and its the 13th I gotta be in court, so that lets out Knob Creek too. I could'nt go to KC on that weekend and beat it back quick for court cuz we get back east so seldom that we'd have to make the circle through Ohio too to visit family and there's 3 days easy, not to mention a stop in indiana to see that stuff. (She even wants to swing down Florida way the same trip! I'm talkin her out of that one.)

Ever get the feeling that you're not in control of your own life?:uhoh:

Steve Smith
October 2, 2003, 09:19 PM
Of course! I also get the feeling you're gonna be 80 before you realize you worked yourself to death!

October 2, 2003, 09:47 PM
If I didn't sit ariund so much during the week (usually) I could say that. If I could just get busier I'd have more time off, if that makes sense.

October 3, 2003, 12:16 AM
Word around my camp fire one night, was to get a 55 gal polydrum full of Tannerite, and shoot it with a .50 cal from about 300-400 yds. Needless to say no one said that they would pay for this one time boom - kaboom trick but I know that we got one idiot that's just saving away for the chance to be king cool.

Having mixed and shot a 2 liter of the stuff myself (very cool) about six months ago, I can kinda guess what the hole would look like.

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