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Old February 1, 1999, 02:21 PM   #1
ddunn
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Join Date: December 14, 1998
Location: hilliard, OH, USA
Posts: 22
Has anyone thought about (or built) rifle/pistol range for my friends and me?
How long a range is necessary?
What kind of backstop do I want?
This project will not be happening in the near future, but it will help to know what I am up against when I buy land.

thanks
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Old February 1, 1999, 02:34 PM   #2
Contender
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Join Date: December 10, 1998
Location: NY
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I know if I built my own range, it would have some type of bullet trap where I could recover the fired bullets either for scrap or here in NY anyway, we are starting to here rumblings about calling lead deposited at these ranges, toxic waste.

You might want to contact the NRA to get info on how to build a suitable range. They are very good at this.

Take Care
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Old February 1, 1999, 06:47 PM   #3
Cheapo
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If you want to do only handgun shooting, with perhaps some fast 'n dirty rifle work, go with 50 yards, three firing points with a benchrest at one (removable designs are interesting), and a target carrier out to 25 yards on at least one firing point.

It's nice to shoot paper targets for sight adjustments, etc., without a need for a cease-fire to retrieve the targets.

Consider getting a bullet trap made by Action Target in Provo, Utah. Theirs can be had rated up to .50 BMG, and lead recovery is a breeze.

Depending on the trustworthiness of your friends and the location of the range, you may need to consider making it fully bullet-resistant in all directions from the firing points. Don't forget the roof.

Rifle discussion comes later, with more information regarding what kinds of shooting you want to do.
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Old February 2, 1999, 06:46 PM   #4
ddunn
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I should probable let everyone know what started me thinking about making a private range.
I went to the public shooting range over the weekend. It was crowded (nothing unusual there). I had to drag my stuff out of the vehicle across the parking lot the down to the range. I was at the pistol range shooting my paper targets and clay pigeons that someone setup for me. So far I met some new people and was having a good time. A little girl was shooting just down the bench from me. She turned and pointed the gun at me. Needless to say I freaked. I was told the look on my face was like a deer caught in the headlights. It was only a BB gun, but I didn't know that at the time. I was probable not as nice to her father as I should have been after that. I started considering a personal range/club with a severe fine for violating one of the four rules for gun safety.

I feel I am still learning so I am not sure what type of range I should build.
I shoot and reload rifles and pistols. I have never had a range over 100 yards available to me. What advantage would I get?
I could shoot over beans, tomatoes, Zucchini, and a pond, if I built up the target and bench areas. Right?
Collecting lead sounds like a good environmental and financial idea.

Thanks

PS. Sorry for not putting this in the general forum.

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Old February 3, 1999, 11:49 AM   #5
fal308
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Shooting over crops is fine. Don't forget to take into account the height of whatever you rotate in next time. Just don't shoot while people are harvesting, they probably wouldn't enjoy it as much as you.
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Old February 6, 1999, 01:09 PM   #6
BillOH
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Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: OHIO
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I built a range behind my house.Actually I built the range before I built the house. You will need a lot of land out in the country. The neighbor problem will be bigger than how to build the range. How will you keep undesirables out? My range can't be seen from the main road and it is right behind my house which has big dogs inside along with loaded guns. I had a dozer come in and build a big U of dirt piled about 10 feet high. Depending on what is behind the backstop you might want to go higher. It is about 35 yards by 35 yards and the backstop is 135 yards from the back porch. I can shoot rifle out to 135 yards or move in closer to shoot handguns. I use target stands that can be moved around. MAKE SURE THAT NOT A SINGLE BULLET CAN GET OUT OF THE RANGE. BE SAFE. Also make sure that anyone who shoots there knows that. Only one hole in a barn roof or a neighbors cow can create lots of problems. Do you have any friends or relatives nearby that already have a farm where you could set up? Land is expensive. Good luck. BILL

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[This message has been edited by BillOH (edited 02-06-99).]

[This message has been edited by BillOH (edited 02-06-99).]
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Old February 11, 1999, 10:25 AM   #7
Cheapo
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ddunn:

Ensuring absolutely no bullets can leave the range requires that an overhead bullet-stopping baffle be part of the design. It also requires that absolutely no firing take place anywhere other than under such a barrier.

It also requires that any metal targets be under a similar baffle, to keep ricochets from leaving in the general overhead direction. It is not always necessary to have 100% overhead baffles--just planning for where you will have firing points and richochet-generators...

Three possible designs: hanging armor plates, like in indoor ranges. Reinforced concrete covers (best with removeable plywood and sheet metal "sandwich" liners--plan for maintenance. Or, wood-frame covers strong enough to hold an adequate layer of sand on top (plywood & sheet metal sandwiches help there too).

Cheapo
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Old February 19, 1999, 03:35 PM   #8
El Chimango Pete
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Got my own covered range in at this farmhouse in the Sierra (use a ravine for long stuff) - its in my garage and workshed, the immediate backstops are boxes filled with old magazines (the published kind - mostly computer stuff which is obsolete in a week). Reloading bench at the firing line, chrono stored right handy. Only thing is to take the pickup, jeep and any guests or visting relatives vehicles (and their owners if necessary)out before shooting - or at least remember to open all the windows in the line of fire. The walls behind are rock, not even a 50 BMG would go through.

El Chimango Pete
----------------
a 44 beats 4 aces
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Old March 6, 1999, 05:35 PM   #9
Dennis Glover
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Check with Mikey. ou can find him on some of the other posts. He has had considerable experience at building a range. Good luck it can be a bunch of work even if you go the low dollar route.
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Old March 11, 1999, 07:13 PM   #10
Mendocino
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Join Date: August 4, 1999
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I have a 70 yard range behind my house. Its actually really nice; we have rests on the deck and shoot into the hillside behind the house. The hill rises in a gentle slope and then gets pretty steep at about 80 yards. Most of our shooting at home is with .22 LRs (I shoot larger rifle and pistol at the local gun club). My neighbors are relatively close, but don't bother me if I don't complain about their mules and goats.
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Old March 12, 1999, 10:25 PM   #11
HankL
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El Chimango has it right! The best range in the world would be a 2 to 3 hundred yard range with a firing port that was perfectly safe from your reloading room! Imagine loading up one or two and then pushing it over the instruments and into the target!
Hank
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Old March 13, 1999, 05:54 PM   #12
El Chimango Pete
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Indeed it works (though i would like to have a 300 yard shed/garage - mine is only 30). My neighbor complained about the noise (he's a 'weekend farmer' from city and a lawyer by trade so i guess he complains as a matter of principle) - so i invited him to keep his new Land Rover in my garage...
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Old March 14, 1999, 02:11 AM   #13
David Schmidbauer
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At the last place I lived, which was on 18 acres I built a range. Being on the coast there was no hills so I had to construct a backstop of some sort to stop the bullets from going into the swamp (no houses back there but lots of trees and things). I had already dropped a few trees with numerous pistol and shotfun projectials so my wife got on my arse.

Being a Govt employee at the time I didn't have access to large quantities of cash. What I did was use Rail Road Ties. Took 4 of them and made two Ts. These were set up resting on two points (top of one side of the T and the bottom leg). This put them at approx a 45 degree angle. I "tied" these together with a piece of angle iron. Distance btwn the two "T Ends" was approx 10 ft.

I then stacked additional RR Ties, standing on end Vertically, along the angle iron.

I tested the stop with my .375 H&H loaded with 270 gr Barns-Xs from 7 yards. The stop.. didn't. I then staked in a RR Tie about 3' up from the ground on the back of the Vertical Ties but running Horizonal. On top of this I stacked others. What I ended up with was a row of ties running verticle backed by another row running horizonal. Again I tried the .375 but this time it worked.

The stop stood up to two huricans and after 2 years of service some of the front ties needed to be replaced due to wood loss from bullets (shot through). I was able to shoot out to 250 yards (shooting btwn trees)but mostly keep it @ 100 or less.

I have since moved and am now in hill country. I have a nice "natural" backstop that allows me to shoot out to 200 yards.

IMO for pistol/shotgun any range out to 50 yards is great. Its when you get into rifle that you need the longer ones. 100 will do, 200 is better, 300 would be great and 500 or greater would be heaven.



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Schmit, GySg, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"


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