View Full Version : Building a Range Question.

February 6, 2009, 01:47 PM
I am going to build my own range. I was wondering if yall knew anywhere i could get a diagram for setting up a range to simulate different self-defense senarios?

February 6, 2009, 02:20 PM
I should think the hardest part of that would be having a berm that encompassed your shooting area. Of course if you have a gravel pit to yourself I suppose that'd be perfect :D

February 6, 2009, 05:36 PM
The good thing is, I've got plenty of room to work with. Just wanted to see the layouts of different ranges.

February 6, 2009, 08:20 PM
Why not give the NRA a call and see what they recomend for the range you want. They have some real good guys working there.

February 6, 2009, 11:17 PM
Don't know if I need the NRA involved. I did forget to mention that this will be a private range on family land. I just want it to be a good one.

James K
February 6, 2009, 11:33 PM
Unless you are lucky enough to own a gazillion acres in the middle of nowhere, you better first check your local laws. Even if the range is on private property, there are often restrictions on shooting or having a range due to the noise and the possibility of a bullet leaving the range and impacting on someone else's land.

If there is anyone else's land within range of the rounds you will be firing, you will need a high berm and a way to control the rounds so they don't go over it. And make sure the berm and/or any backstops will really stop bullets. Some things, like hay bales, won't even stop a .22, and logs have cracks a bullet can get through.

You might feel that I am a spoil sport, and as long as you are on your own property you can do what you want. But if you make a mistake, and lose a court case, that land could belong to someone else.


February 7, 2009, 02:15 AM
All good points. There is plenty of land with nothing around. I have been shooting on it since I could hold a gun. We shoot at least once a week now. Also, the closest neighbor has a range on his land. So, I hope we will be ok.

February 7, 2009, 09:16 AM
Don't know if I need the NRA involved.:confused:
I don't really know what you mean by that, but I think it mostly means that you don't understand what the NRA is...

It's a private organization dedicated to supporting gun-owners and hunters. It's not like they're going to try to take over or report you to someone if you talk to them.

They do offer a lot of information on range construction including a fairly comprehensive book on the topic.

February 7, 2009, 09:26 AM
On the NRA's website they have a $29.95 cd that runs through tons of information about creating a range. I think it's geared to shooting clubs wanting to open a "public" style range, but it includes things you'd never think about (besides the height of berms and what they should consist of).

Things like locations of water tables, drainage, effects on nearby wetlands, surveying for errant shot hazards, etc.

You might want to give it a look-see. It might be worth it to review, just to be prepared for gov't bureaucracy.

If you're looking for how to configure an existing range for different practical settings, I'm sure any of the combat league rangemasters could give you some pointers.

February 7, 2009, 10:36 AM
I see. I will give it a look see. Thanks.

February 7, 2009, 02:14 PM
There are endless scenarios for how a range is may be set up. How yours is set up is really a matter of personal preference. Of course you should strive to make it as safe as possible while complying with applicable laws.

February 7, 2009, 02:21 PM
Don't know if I need the NRA involved.:rolleyes:

The NRA has a number of range design experts, along with a wealth of material about range development.

Of course, instead of getting the experts at the NRA "involved," you could just ask a bunch of anonymous folks on the internet, none of whom have ever designed or built a range, or been involved in investigating range mishaps.

But, what the hell, this isn't that important, right? After all, it is just bullets that might escape a poorly designed range. What's there to worry about? Who needs experts? Besides, you can get advice for free right here on the internet.

Your call.

February 8, 2009, 10:48 AM
Here's the link to the NRA Range Sourcebook (http://www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/sourcebook.asp)web page.

The book can be purchased as a binder or on a CD which is really the way to go. In their sourcebook, they cover such topics as:

Safety Plan, Planning & Design, Organization & Management, Operations & Maintenance
Chapter 1 - General Information
Chapter 2 - Safety Plan
Chapter 3 - Planning and Design
Chapter 4 - Organization and Management
Chapter 5 - Operations and Maintenance
Chapter 6 - Sound Abatement
Chapter 7 - Public Relations
General Information, Design Criteria, Operations & Management
Chapter 1 - General Outdoor Range Information
Chapter 2 - Outdoor Range Design Criteria
Chapter 3 - Outdoor Range Operations and Maintenance
Chapter 4 - Outdoor Air Gun
Chapter 5 - Outdoor Muzzleloading
Chapter 6 - Outdoor Smallbore Rifle
Chapter 7 - Outdoor Highpower Rifle
Chapter 8 - Outdoor Bullseye Pistol
Chapter 9 - Outdoor Action Pistol
Chapter 10 - Outdoor Silhouette
Chapter 11 - Competition Shotgun
Chapter 12 - Miscellaneous Shotgun
Chapter 13 - Outdoor Private and Test
Chapter 14 - Outdoor Informal Training
Chapter 15 - Outdoor Moving Target
Chapter 16 - Outdoor Archery
Chapter 17 - Outdoor Hunting Simulation
Chapter 18 - Outdoor Law Enforcement
General Information, Design Criteria, Operations & Management
Chapter 1 - General Indoor Range Information
Chapter 2 - Indoor Range Design Criteria
Chapter 3 - Indoor Range Operations and Maintenance
Chapter 4 - Indoor Air Gun
Chapter 5 - Indoor Smallbore Rifle
Chapter 6 - Indoor Highpower Rifle
Chapter 7 - Indoor Bullseye Pistol
Chapter 8 - Indoor Private and Test
Chapter 9 - Indoor Informal Training
Chapter 10 - Indoor Moving Target
Chapter 11 - Indoor Archery
Chapter 12 - Indoor Law Enforcement
References to Products & Services, Shooting Sports Contacts

February 8, 2009, 11:19 AM
"Of course, instead of getting the experts at the NRA "involved," you could just ask a bunch of anonymous folks on the internet, none of whom have ever designed or built a range, or been involved in investigating range mishaps."

All the hostility? I will bet that just because you're obviously no expert dose,nt mean that there are'nt experts that read this forum. I did'nt know that the NRA dealt with such things until it was explained to me by the knowledgeable folks here. So, in a sense, I did get the answers I was looking for by asking a bunch of anonymous folks on the internet, which is what forums are all about. Thanks to all the helpful people here.

February 8, 2009, 01:06 PM
I will bet that just because you're obviously no expert dose,nt mean that there are'nt experts that read this forum.
Correct, I am not an expert. I have helped build an indoor range, one that was designed using materials from the NRA. I doubt there are any range design experts here -- there aren't many in the US.

Hostility? Call it what you will. I call it being incredulous at someone not realizing that the NRA has huge resources available in the first place, and then not wanting to use those resources after being pointed in their direction.

February 8, 2009, 01:40 PM
Joking about the hostility. Did say, however, that I would check the NRA out a few posts back. Just never knew they had the resources until I was told. I have been shooting all my life, but never have looked into the NRA. Might just join up. Take your finger off the trigger man. Don't do it!

February 22, 2009, 12:24 PM
Making a 100 yard range takes a little planning.

Bulldoze a good 15 to 20ft berm to as a back stop. Use a good drainage.
I strongly suggest you run berms along both banks leading all the way to the back stop.
Plant or use existing trees to dampen the noise.
I would suggest an overhang at the 100 yard backstop to absolutely stop and rounds deflecting upward.

Horizontal 3/4 rebar about 7' high welded to and girded by solid steel posts. For hanging up targets.

Have fun.

March 16, 2009, 02:07 AM
How you design it depends on what you want to do with it. Will it be for pistol? rifle? rimfire? shotgun? What distances do you want to practice at? What is the maximum range of guns you'll be shooting? How thick and high of a backstop do you need? Are you planting trees on top of your berm or just allowing open distance to stop any ricochet or mishap?

I'm building a 25 yard range and plan to shoot pistol and rimfire there. I am planning a berm about 3 feet high with a place for targets at the bottom. For me that's plenty as I can see for more than a mile from the top of a hill into the distance to make sure all is clear. It will not be a combat practice range where I will be spraying around. Only carful aimed fire. It will be a place to test handloads and sight in my .22s from a rest. For centerfire rifle I use a natural hill with a 50 foot bluff. I could fire a howitzer safely there but it would disturb the neighbors who are sensitive and like to call the sheriff even through shooting in the country is legal!!

If you have the land a tractor equiptment, a 10 foot berm with trees on top is good for 50 yards but a higher berm may be more ideal for longer range shooting. Safety in the end is up to the shooter to use common sense. rc