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Old February 22, 2006, 09:47 PM   #1
NoPlaceLeftToGo
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Personal Range

I am just looking for some information and tips on building a small personal range on a few acres. How much land would be the minimum for pistol, shotgun, and assualt rifle fire. Nothing fancy, just strait down range shooting. Info on berm size and legal issues (I'm sure there is a bunch of those) would be greatly appriciated. Basically I am looking at around sixty acres in Nevada. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old February 22, 2006, 09:50 PM   #2
rapier144
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Go to the NRA website they have info on building a range.It will be under the heading of range services.
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Old February 22, 2006, 11:12 PM   #3
rex
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rapier144 -

I am interested in this as well. I looked on the NRA website and all I found was a link to purchase a book. Is this what you were talking about, or are there some tips on the website? Thanks.
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Old February 23, 2006, 09:10 AM   #4
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I was actually just logging on this morning to post the same question, I would like some info on range specs and regulations. I as actually more interested in an indoor range. Any information on either would be much appreciated, I checked the NRA website and found nothing.
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Old February 23, 2006, 05:32 PM   #5
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Oops

Sorry my mistake i got in a hurry and didn't check on where exactly i found the info.Do a yahoo search on range backstop and click on Baffles Berms,and Backstops or you might be able to search for that title . Sorry for the misinformation. But the piece is written by someone from the NRA.
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Old February 23, 2006, 05:34 PM   #6
rapier144
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Just tried searching for Baffels Berms and Backstops on yahoo search and it took me right to the piece. Hope it helps.
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Old February 23, 2006, 05:45 PM   #7
rex
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Found it. Thanks for the help rapier.
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Old February 24, 2006, 12:50 PM   #8
riverrat66
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Quote:
NoPlaceLeftToGo wrote:
I am just looking for some information and tips on building a small personal range on a few acres.
I found this HERE at rangeinfo.org but it seems awfully involved for a "small personal" range.

I made my range with the side of a hill as the backstop. Even though my land is posted I'm still always concerned about someone walking up from the side while I'm shooting. I don't know what else to do other then put up warning signs along with the no trespassing signs because I can't afford to fence in 14 acres of land!
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Old February 27, 2006, 09:33 AM   #9
Ronny
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lead and gunpowder control

If you're running off of well water, you might want to look into controls for lead contamination in groundwater. Also, if it is going to be an indoor range you might want to invest in a respiratory mask (filter size P100 I believe) so you don't inhale any lead dust while maintaining the backstop. Try not to sweep so you don't stir up any dust. Wet mop or vacuum is the best way to go.

One more thing. Accumulated residual gunpowder on the ground can still catch fire, especially if it all congregates into one place. Vacuum that up. My local range caught fire just last weekend from a stray bullet that struck the metal flooring nail and ignited a fire from the residual gunpowder between the rubber mats.
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Old February 27, 2006, 11:28 AM   #10
Denny Hansen
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The article Erick mentioned was in the January 203 issue. Since that time a lot of improvements have been made. The main berm is almost twenty feet high. Twelve-foot berms on either side go back to the 25-yard line. The range is twenty yards wide, so we can get a lot of shooters on the line or have plenty of room for movement drills. Using a bit of ingenuity we have constructed turning, moving and charging targets. An old house on the property with a lot of blind corners and hallways is used for force-on-force training with both Airsoft and Sims.

In addition to the classes my son and I run, we have helped defray maintenance costs by allowing recognized instructors to use the range for a minimal cost. For example, Jeff Gonzales (Trident Concepts) “rented” it to train a bunch of guys from 10th Group. We also have let the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office host a regional SWAT training course at the facility for free. Our way of giving something back to the community.

In regards to lead contamination:
I’ve been told by folks much smarter than myself (one is a Marine Colonel who wrote his doctoral thesis on this subject), that lead fired into in dirt will not migrate more than a couple of inches and in fact there is very little chance that it can harm groundwater. If you have ever dug a chuck of lead up and observed the white crystalline substance that forms around it you have a good idea of what I’m talking about.

Think the project out first, have fun, and good luck.

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Old February 27, 2006, 02:38 PM   #11
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I recently helped build a "range" at my friends place. Though it may not be "public safe" it is suffice for our needs. Basically it is a bunch of Railroad ties stacked on top of each other to build a wall. The stacks are strapped to two vertical 4x4's cemented into the ground. There are 2 walls to prevent overpenetration. When the wood wears out, we will just replace 1 tie at a time. When we get a little more money I am going to build 2 "holders" out of 3/8's steel. These will hold the rubber blocks that can be found on the internet. According to the ads they "encapsulate" the bullet, and they last for "1000's" of rounds. If anything they will prolong the life of the wood (they are VERY heavy) in the "kill zone"
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Old February 27, 2006, 04:39 PM   #12
riverrat66
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Nothing fancy

All these ideas are great but NoPlace only wanted
Quote:
A small personal range. Nothing fancy
and Trapp has a much simpler and less expensive idea for the average guy.

Quote:
we can get a lot of shooters on the line or have plenty of room for movement drills. we have constructed turning, moving and charging targets. An old house on the property with a lot of blind corners and hallways is used for force-on-force training with both Airsoft and Sims. we have helped defray maintenance costs by allowing recognized instructors to use the range for a minimal cost. We also have let the County Sheriff’s office host a regional SWAT training course at the facility for free.
While the shooting range described above sounds wonderful it also sounds like a commerical endeavor that would require building permits, inspections, insurance and all kinds of other things that would be a real PITA. Lets remember we're talking about a guy who was only asking for "information and tips on building a small personal range" on his property.

I feel bad because it was NoPlaceLeftToGo's first post and I think we let him down. We certainly weren't very much help to him. At least that's my take on it.
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:14 AM   #13
CabinJohn
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Range specifications

Several months ago I was looking for the same information... not alot out there geared to personal use. One of the things I did find however, was a Navy publication "RANGE FACILITIES AND MISCELLANEOUS TRAINING FACILITIES OTHER THAN BUILDINGS". It is document number "MIL-HDBK-1027/3B, 30 November 1992" with updates. Unfortunately, I can't tell you where I found it since it is a PDF file and I had copied it to my hard drive. But, I will bet that Google can find it for you in short order.

While the information is geared to large scale (military) ranges, much of it is useful for any size range, for example various baffle materials or calculations for backstops.

Hope that helps.

PS (edit) Google found it at numerous places, including here listed first.
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Old February 28, 2006, 01:11 PM   #14
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http://www.rangeinfo.org/ and the following may prove helpful, but for a small personal outdoor range with a "U" shaped berm of roughly 20 ft height and a minimum of 4 ft thickness should do.

RELEVANT CODES AND STANDARDS

The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of firing ranges. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible:
29 CFR 1910.1025, Lead Exposure (http://www.wbdg.org/references/code_....php?i=295&r=1)
Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service/National Firearms Unit, Firing Range Design Standard (http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=5086)
GSA Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service, P100
International Building Code (http://www.ihserc.com/cgi-bin/ihslog...name=icc%20ibc)
Naval Environmental Health Center (NEHC) Technical Manual NEHC TM-6290.99-10, Indoor Firing Ranges Industrial Hygiene Technical Guide (http://www-nehc.med.navy.mil/downloa....99-10Rev1.pdf)
National Park Service, Firing Range Waste Management (http://www.nps.gov/renew/rangewastemgt.pdf)
NIOSH, Technical Information #76-130, Lead Exposure and Design Considerations for Indoor Firing Ranges. NTIS #PB266-426. (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ranges/pdfs/76-130.pdf)
U.S. Air Force, ETL 02-11 Small Arms Range Design and Construction (http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=391)
U.S. Army, ER 210-3-2 Army Range Programs (http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=3188)
U.S. Navy, MIL-HDBK-1027/3B Range Facilities and Miscellaneous Training Facilities Other Than Buildings (http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/browse_doc.php?d=2830)
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Old February 28, 2006, 04:11 PM   #15
Mikeyboy
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Some ammo manufactures (Federal , maybe Winchester) make "Green" Frangible ammo for indoor ranges that you buy in bulk. The rounds are not made with lead, and since they are frangible you have less problems.
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Old February 28, 2006, 07:46 PM   #16
Ga Johnny
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When I lived "out in the country" I had a 100 yard range set up in the back part of the property, nothing more than a big pile of tree limbs, stumps etc. covered over with some dirt from clearing out a lane 100+ yards long by about 30 feet wide. I made I paper target holder out of 3/4 heavy wall pipe with light gauge wire strung between the uprights and clothes pins to hold the targets, I set pairs of PVC pipe sleeves in the ground at various distances from the covered concrete pad where the table sat. I also made some metal swingers with 1/2 round stock for the frames and plate steel for the targets, 1/4'' for 22 to 38 cal, 1/2'' for heavy calibers. Every year I would augment the pile with a Christmas tree. The pile was about 6ft tall and maybe 20 wide at the base, I never had anything go all the way through, I even set up a sheet of plywood behind it one time to be sure.
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:44 PM   #17
riverrat66
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My home made range

Quote:
I made my range with the side of a hill as the backstop. Even though my land is posted I'm still always concerned about someone walking up from the side while I'm shooting. I don't know what else to do other then put up warning signs along with the no trespassing signs because I can't afford to fence in 14 acres of land!
I feel I should have elaborated a little more on how I built my personal range on my property. It's 300 yds. long and about 100ft wide with 4x4" in the ground 4' deep with a 4x4' frame made from 2x4" and I use 2x4' ceiling tiles to attach my targets to. The ceiling tiles are cheap and easily replaced. The backdrop for my range is a natural hill with thick woods impossible to penetrate. I can move my shooting bench from one location to another as I have prepared a flat level surface at 100yd. increments. Up closer beginning at 50 ft. I have the area cleared and leveled with some barrels, a stack of wood, a pile of tires and other obstacles to form a makeshift "combat" range. I'm even thinking about adding an old automobile just for fun. When I dig my pond I'll use the dirt to "build up" the hill & sides even more. I would like at least 60 degrees on all three sides.

I'd like to do what Ga Johnny did and make some metal "swingers".

I hope this helps NoPlaceLeftToGo and his quest to build his own little range.
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Old March 4, 2006, 02:22 PM   #18
mack59
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I have a 50 yard range by my house on 7 acres - it is 50 yards long and 30 yards wide. The backstop is a 30 yard wide dirt berm with wings on both ends that entend about 15 yards to form a rectangle like this: (edit - well it looked like a rectangle when I typed it )

-------------------------------------------------------
l l
l l
l l
l l
l l
l l
l l
l l

The berm is about 30 to 25 feet thick at the bottom and 10 to 12 feet at the top. It is about 12 feet high. There is 2 miles of farmland straight behind it. It is not set up for commercial use and could not be as there are 3 houses in what a commercial range would call the fan (area covered by the shape of a fan at angles past the backstop within a two mile range, none are in a direct line of fire of course). I have target holders made from oak pallets as the base with 2x4's nailed upright to them and them particle board cut 4ft by 4ft for the holders nailed to the 2x4 uprights, cost me 36 dollars for six. The target holders are close to the berms base so when I shoot my shots are going into berms base at a downward or level angle. I do not shoot when the farmer is in the field and my neighbors - as they are in the country are all aware of my "range." The wings that run off the main berm at 90 degree angles taper down from 12 feet to about 6 feet. I had it built initially by hiring a bulldozer to push up the dirt into the main berm and wings - it took him parts of two days to complete it - start to finnish. Then I threw grass seed on it. A few years later I had the pond just behing it re-dug and had them throw part of the dirt on the backside to the berm, which doubled the overall thickness of the berm top to bottom to its present described thickness. The Bulldozer job cost me somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand - I really can't recall 8 years later the exact cost. Later, I build a small baseball diamond for my kids with a mound and backstop on the firing line on a corner of the range. Of course we don't shoot and play ball at the same time.

I would be interested in any homemade, inexpensive designs for turning or moving targets - I've been playing with the idea of using a garage door opener for a moving target system. I am going to modify my target stands this spring so that I can set up falling targets using hinges and an off-set frame held up by the weight of clays hanging behind the target - hit the target right the clay breaks and the target falls forward.
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