The Soundboard: “Do try this at home” Edition

With all of the Boomershoot posting going on, both here and around the gunosphere, I was jonesin’ for some “aim small, miss small” action.

Not having an ATF license or 700yds available, I decided that I’d have to scale back my demands a bit: Targets that explode, but not because of chemical reactions. And because I only had 200yds to work with, they had to be one inch or less in size so as to not be easy to hit, even with no wind.

Rack ’em up, Slim. We’re gonna shoot some pool.


Billiards chalk is 7/8 of an inch per side and even when hit with something as slow moving as a standard velocity 22LR out of a pistol, makes a bigger poof than Charles Nelson Riley.

If you can hit it.

Recently, I took my old, trusty gross box of Master blue chalk and a roll of clear box packing tape to the range, along with the still unnamed Ruger M77 MKI in .22-250 Remington, a box and a half of the green and yellow boxed Remington 55gr Core-Loct and my video camera.

This was the result, set to the tune of ZZTop’s – I Wanna Drive You Home, from 1981’s El Loco album

The video starts out at the 200yd berm and the first three segments are out of order. That was all my fault in editing as I originally started out at the 100yd target berm (had to make sure I could still hit them). I could go back and redo it but that’s a pain in the ass and I think the damage build-up works better this way.

Also, sorry for the shaky footage in some parts, but I still cannot find my good tripod after the move and with the extreme zoom, whenever someone nearby would light off it would move the camera.

You’ll notice that some of the hits are “wiffs” instead of “poofs”. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the 1/2 inch dimple in the cube face. If you don’t put the bullet in that dimple, it’ll “wiff” on you. If you “wiff” it, you had better hope it didn’t break the top edge of the tape and cause the chalk fall off the target (kind of like knocking a Boomer off the stake). If the chalk stays on, you get a second chance to center hit it.

Unfortunately, there are a pair of downsides to shooting at Billiards chalk: Number One is that some of the people at the range will tell you that you won’t be able to hit them. Some of them will actually get amusement from telling you so repeatedly. Even when you hit your first one, they’ll call it luck. After you start hitting them in strings, those same people will then tell you about how they could probably do that with an SKS.

RNS Top Tip: Try to go to the range when there aren’t a lot of people there.

Secondly, if you hit them in the dimples, you will not only splatter chalk dust on your shooting neighbor’s target board, you’ll blow a one inch-plus sized hole in the back of the target board. Make sure to get your range’s permission, or your actions may end up in the range’s monthly newsletter.

BTW, you can use your favorite search engine to find a supplier for this, or you can just hit this link. For as little as $24 for a box of 144 targets, these are much cheaper than Shoot-and-See stickers and are one of the best ways to get trained up for Boomershoot without frightening folks.


PS: I do have a better quality vid that DM said was too big for upload. Let’s try this one first and if enough people demand less color wash-out I’ll post it for download.

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22 Responses to The Soundboard: “Do try this at home” Edition

  1. sidhe_demon says:

    “Billiards chalk is 7/8 of an inch per side and even when hit with something as slow moving as a standard velocity 22LR out of a pistol, makes a bigger poof than Charles Nelson Riley.”


  2. sidhe_demon says:

    actually, that was supposed to include the quote.

    html FAIL.


    (fixed. ed.)

  3. David says:

    AWESOME video!

  4. sidhe_demon says:



  5. Rivrdog says:

    Jonesing for small, reactive targets, fine.

    Getting into the whole benchrest mindset, INSIDIOUS.

    Our idea, and correct me if I am wrong, was to get to be an accurate rifleman so as to enhance our usefulness in defending those things which are dear to us.

    Boomershoot is OK, it enhances that objective by having the small targets, long ranges and reactive targets (having boomers go off and all the others shooting on the gunline is good conditioning). Boomershoot is BAD if you get into the mindset of enhancing your ability to bust boomers to the exclusion of the reality of rifle fire: killing things at long range.

    Ginning up a “boomershoot” rifle is a nice exercise, expensive as it may be, but if you had to tote that rifle all over God’s Creation to use it for it’s primary purpose, could you do that? Would the finely-tuned Boomershoot rifle survive all the stress? Would YOU survive toting that monster around?

    My idea in going to Boomershoot was to take ordinary hunting rifles and see if they were capable of MOA work. They were. Now I’m looking to get another rifle that will handle the far boomers better than the .243 did, but when I get it set up, it will still be, primarily, a KILLING tool. Deer, elk, antelope, whatever, at long ranges.

    I could gin up a “heavy benchrest” caliber rifle, with a heavy stock, and it would do fine at Boomershoot, but it’s not for field work, so it’s a waste of time and money, IMHO.

  6. Linoge says:

    *sigh* You had to remind me of the pool cues after I already purchased a box of clay pigeons and the stands to put them on. Oh well. With my luck, I am bound to take out the four stands eventually…

  7. NMM1AFan says:

    Another fun target is the cheap lollipops from the market, the cellophane wrapped ones.

    Take the cellophane off, of course!


  8. Phil says:

    You aren’t “wrong” per se, RD. Folks take what you want from Boomershoot.

    In my case, I use my experiences to make sure I can make a precision shot at whatever range the target is at. MOA is nice, but 1/2MOA is better. And if a person can pull of a shot at that ratio, why should they not build a rifle that can hit at that level (if not better)?

    For instance, I’ve built a 7.62×51 rifle that is reliable and accurate at 20% past the cartridge’s normal ballistic dead point. That is with standard ball ammo (147 or 148gr) all they way up to 175gr, though it really loves it some 168s. So no matter what ammunition I have at hand at the time, I’m good to go.

    No, it is not a delicate flower, though I’m not about to go abusing it. Yes, I can hump it wherever it needs to go. It is tapped for swivels and I have one of the Barrett slings normally used to make carrying around an M82A1 reasonably comfy.

    I have a receiver currently waiting for me to decide on a caliber. I can go all the way up to a .416 Barrett with it if I want, though I’m currently debating between .300WinMag or a .338 LapuaMag. It will be, essentially, an “if I can see it I can hit it” rifle.

    The rifle I made this video with is a factory M77 with a fresh stock, a trued action and a honed trigger. Being built as I am, a factory rifle becomes a bear to shoot due to their less than sufficient Length of Pull for someone my size. I have to restock every rifle I buy, so I might as well make them good ones. The M77, as you can see, is a .22cal cartridge being fired out of a rifle that is now good for 1/4MOA. Sounds like Win-Win to me.

    And lastly, a good rifleman knows not to waste a shot he can’t reasonably guarantee. Using a rest now only lets me know what I can make a shot of. It doesn’t stop me from future use of bipods, window sills, tree limbs, dirt, sand or whatever comes to hand.

  9. Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET says:

    International Orange clay pigeons do ver well at 100 yards with a Sharps .45-70/300 grain bullet. Big Orange Puff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. Murdoc says:

    That is brilliant. I’m ordering some today.

  12. rivrdog says:

    Why wouldn’t paintballs in neon colors work also?

    Buy ’em by the thousands for cheap.

  13. Murdoc says:

    There’s cheaper chalk on Amazon, though shipping ends up being as much as gross of these. Still, ordered some. Link on my site.

    Again, brilliant idea.

  14. Phil says:

    Glad you liked it Murdoc.

    Paintballs would be OK, RD, but with only 3ft between target stands at my range, I’d be worried about pissing off the guy shooting next to me from the splattering paint. Chalk dust is one thing. Paint is entirely another.

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  16. stan says:

    Excellent idea, light, easy to set up on a tree or anything else found in woods. Kids would love seeing the blue smoke and if they missed, you could heckle them till you voice is gone.

  17. Algen says:

    I have tried both the chalk and paint balls using a Ruger 10/22. I glued both of them to cardboard that I then attached to the target boards. That way I did not have to worry about them falling off due to a near miss or partial hit. The chalk works great, but for some reason the bullets just want through the paint balls without them exploding. Just a small hole with little or no paint spread.

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