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Old May 18, 2016, 08:53 AM   #4
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,293
As you say, the free flight impact zone for a rifle can extend for miles.
.30-06 M1 about 5400 yards, per Hatcher.
I have shot on one range ever that had that much space, several square miles on a military reservation posted for the purpose. You could see the trees behind the target pits clipped to uniform height by thousands of bullets.

Everybody else depends on berms or hillsides.
Some places have overhead baffles to catch bullets ADed at excessively high angles.
Others just say: "Shoot into the berm, dammit."

There are no "special requirements" for steel targets at rifle ranges.
The steel must be hard to stand the use, AR500 is common.
And AP bullets should be excluded
Ball, hunting, and match bullets simply pulverize against the steel.

Paper targets have the advantage of letting you know where your off shots go. Shoot at a plate and you have a hit or a miss. It takes a skilled spotter to tell you WHERE you missed. Shoot at a paper target and if the hit is not centered, you know what to adjust for.

Consider how many people in your area will USE ranges longer than 100 yards. We went to a good deal of trouble to lay out a 200 yard range - couldn't get 300 at all - and it is sparsely populated. Likewise the other range in the area with 280 yards available, but seldom used.

Consider how shooters will know what they are doing at ranges over 100 yards. It is hard to see a bullet hole in the 300 yard black without a GOOD spotting scope. Or even a splash mark on steel... which has to be painted pretty frequently.
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