Joe Huffman had expressed skepticism that a bullet from one of my specialty pistols would have enough velocity to explode boomers past the 385-yard line.
Well, at Boomershoot 2008 I exploded a large boomer at about 620 yards with my factory Encore pistol and its 15″ Bullberry barrel in .308 Win, using Black Hills 175-grain Match loads with the Moly-coated bullets. Muzzle velocity was 2351 fps.
Even better, I went from 385 to 620 yards without clicking any elevation into my scope. I wanted to not only prove the concept of firing a pistol with precision at a distant small target, but also prove the concept of fast target acquisition “in the field” at varying distances simply by changing point of aim on the scope reticle — at least in my hands. On Saturday, I had zeroed with this load at the 385-yard line, holding dead center for elevation on the left edge of a 4″ target to blow it up. To get to targets up on the hill on Sunday, I simply held up on the Burris Ballistic Plex reticle the requisite number of stadia lines. In this case, I just placed the tip of the lower plex post on the lower right corner of the boomer, and away it went. It took some trial and error to get to that point, of course — but it worked!
This is exactly the same drill I performed in 2007, by the way — confirming zero at 385 yards, then having Phil “walk” me up the hill past 500 yards, without changing my scope settings. Unfortunately, in 2007 I had started “walking” up the hill too late in the day to nail a boomer — they were all gone!
Not in 2008 — Joe made plenty of boomers this year. After exploding my boomer, there were a few left up at the 700-yard berm. Phil spotted for both Dave and I simultaneously as we battled it out for the last one — me with match ammo but shooting a pistol with a small field of view in my tiny scope, he with cheap 2.5-MOA ammo in his precision rifle with a big NightForce. He won, but barely.
My personal Boomershoot odyssey:
2005 — pick up a rifle for the first time after buying it specifically for Boomershoot. Finish Gene Econ’s clinic three days later by putting ten rounds into a 7″ boomer at 385 yards.
2007 — bring the rifles to Boomershoot, but they stay in the cases while I shoot pistols exclusively.
2008 — I leave my rifles at home. Blow up my first boomer past 385 yards with one of my pistols.
2009 — Who knows? But I suspect I’ll be hangin’ in there with the big boys, shooting my .308 pistols at 600- and 700-yard targets almost exclusively, and blowin’ em up, too!