Thanks to Vince Bloom,
Your Golf Game Never Looked Better!
Imagine standing on the Tee area of your favorite Par 4 hole and wishing you could get to the green in 1. (Putting for Eagle is something that most of us never have the chance do). You reach into your bag and select your 20-inch Colt H-Bar. As you drop your Top-Flite XL-3000 ball into the Bloom muzzle device, you read the wind and aim a little to the left to compensate for it. With a hollow sounding thump your ball takes flight and bounces just short of the green, rolling up beside the pin. It looks like another day of shooting under par.
We don’t know how your local golf course will feel about using the Bloom Automatic Golf Ball Launcher but we have yet to encounter a shooting range that doesn’t allow it.
The Bloom Automatic Golf Ball Launcher is a muzzle attachment designed to be used with several firearms. Rather than having a dedicated thread that must be matched to a particular firearm, this device will function with any standard 22mm flash hider or grenade launcher. It simply slides over the factory flash hider or grenade launcher and is secured with dog-point set screws in the corresponding grooves. Unlike cup-point set screws, there should be no scratching or marring of the original finish.
The firearms the Bloom device can be used with include, but are not limited to, the following unmodified firearms; Yugo SKS, AR-15, M16, FAL, Galil, CETME, G-3 and MAS 49/56. It will also function on the 1903 Springfield, M1 Garand and M1A / M14 when used in conjunction with their grenade launching attachments. They also recently added the correct flash hiders for an AK47 to use with this system.
After securing the launcher to the firearm, all that is necessary is a bucket of golf balls and a corresponding number of blanks. For obvious reasons this device should NEVER be used with live ammunition. A golf ball is dropped into the launcher and the blank round is loaded into the chamber. To fire, hold the rifle on your shoulder in a slightly elevated position so the ball will not roll out.
The distance the ball will travel depends entirely upon the caliber and the barrel length of the firearm used. With a 20-inch barrel on an AR-15 the balls can fly as far as 350 yards. When used with an 11.5-inch barrel, the distance was reduced to somewhere in the area of 100 – 150 yards. With an SKS they will fly in excess of 500 yards; almost completely out of sight. We can only assume that when used with the M1A or M1 Garand they will travel further. Standard blanks are used in conjunction with the Bloom Automatic Golf Ball Launcher and the use of grenade launching blanks is not recommended.
Something that has to be considered when firing golf balls is that they react unpredictably when they strike a hard surface. It would not be recommended to fire at a hard surface where there is the potential for the ball to bounce back towards the shooter or any spectators.
During our testing we found it fun to place several 5-gallon pails in a large area and try to see if we could drop any balls in the pails. Other suggested “sporting” options would be to use 55-gallon drums or paint large circles in the field or range in a bulls-eye fashion and, in a 21st Century version of “Jarts,” hits could be scored by their proximity to the target. While there is no tactical factor being sold with this attachment, the fun factor is certainly high, and with a little imagination several competitive and recreational uses can be discovered.
In support of this neat accessory, Bloom Automatic is going to offer blank crimp dies for sale. This will assist the reloaders who wish to manufacture their own loads instead of purchasing factory blanks, which at times can be elusive and expensive. Some factory blanks can be corrosive and reloading will solve that concern.
There has been a lot of discussion about specific launching accessories and their rulings within the Technology Branch of the ATF. As of this writing, ATF has ruled that the Bloom Automatic Golf Ball Launcher does not constitute a firearm or a destructive device. This conclusion followed a 6-month discussion period with the ATF legal department and they have even issued a ruling letter to this effect. A copy of this ruling is available at the Bloom Automatic website:
There are several new platforms for the launcher to be used on and they now include the 1911 pistol and some of the MAC family of firearms. All of this new information is available on their website as well. The price for the standard launcher, as tested in Small Arms Review magazine is $40 with an additional $5 shipping fee.
Bloom Automatic, LLC Dept. SAR 402 2nd Street Monongahela, PA 15063 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bloomautomatic.com
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|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V10N2 (November 2006)|