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Old August 18, 1999, 04:04 PM   #1
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Drawing up plans for a new house and had another one of my wonderful ideas. I was thinking of building an indoor range in the basement. I would use a 5' diameter concrete culvert that would extend from the basement wall about 20 yards. The inside end of the culvert would be contained in a room the size of a large bedroom, soundprofed and vented via one of those whole house vent fans. The room itself would be made of concrete block with a vault door so to serve as a combination walk-in gun safe and tornado shelter (it would also be my reloading room). The one thing I've yet to figrue out is how to seal the far end of the tunnel. It would need to be water proof yet absorb the bullets fired into it. What do you think? Practical or just a pipe dream?
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Old August 18, 1999, 04:19 PM   #2
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SK, I'll really envy you if you get this thing built. Try going here-->
for ideas. Good luck....

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Old August 18, 1999, 04:46 PM   #3
George Hill
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Seal it with cement - then line it with rail road ties. Probably 4 sections thick. Have the ties cut into cubes, then you could replace the cubes as they get shot up.

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

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Old August 18, 1999, 06:59 PM   #4
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Joe & George, thanks for the input. The link to Caswell was really nice, the club I belong to wants (needs) a new indoor range as soon as funding is available. One thing I thought about after posting is the "Unlawful discharge of a firearm within the city limits" rule. If I build it, they better not come. ;-)
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Old August 19, 1999, 04:52 PM   #5
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I know a guy at work whose dad did something similar. He just took some cinderblocks out of his basement wall and dug into his backyard about 20 feet.

This set up worked pretty well for him until the winter and it's corresponding wet weather came. About mid feb. his backyard caved in.

You have to admire his initiative, however his execution left something to be desired.


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Old August 19, 1999, 07:40 PM   #6
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It may be worth the bucks to invest in the Action Target (Provo, UT) flat steel spatterthebullet bullet trap. Great for pistol calibers and something like up to .30 Carbine or so.

A bullet trap for rifle calibers gets more problematical, with angled plates, etc.

IMHO, Caswell is a bit behind the times with their bullet trap stuff.

I strongly recommend the old-fashioned hand-cranked target carriers. The motor-drive systems are always breaking down, don't allow precise mid-range stopping (without added cost downrange sensor switching), and are more of a booger to work with.

Go a full 25 yards if you can, and put some baffles and foam in the tube to calm down the noise. It can be alarming!
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Old August 20, 1999, 12:10 AM   #7
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for moving target's down range get some used or new if you want garage door opener motor's. also if you have access check out some concrete sewer piping. then you set your shooting position down a few feet lower than tube so you can do either sitting or standing position's. you can also use a hi-flow exhaust fan( look at uesd resturant equip. suppliers) for down range venting.
by the way the epa and haz-mat people consider anything less than 55gal drum as dumpable at your local dump/recycle( oil etc) if you seal it in 5 gal or less container's you should have no problem getting rid of it. at this time osha and the epa ONLY have reg's for lead paint! i know as i have been looking at doing an indi\oor range for the gen public.
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Old August 20, 1999, 07:52 AM   #8
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I just helped install the new Caswell GranTrap system at an indoor range in St. Louis. This system is light years ahead of their old steel plate system; less lead dust and particles, quieter-less noise and reverb from weapons and no riccochetts. has photos etc of new style system.
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Old April 1, 2012, 10:45 AM   #9
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turning a old tennis court into indoor range

Anyone happen to have any knowledge on building an indoor shooting range. Looking to turn an old tennis court into an indoor shooting range!. I live in Chester county Pennsylvania. Any ideas/ WEBSITES?
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Old April 1, 2012, 08:04 PM   #10
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A friend of min has an indoor range

I have a pretty good friend that has an indoor range in his home. He uses it nearly every day that he's home, and can get in some time down there.

The shooting station is 4' wide, 7' high & 30 yards deep. He has it marked out every 5 yards. It has lighting all the way down so it's bright and easy to acquire the targets at any distance thru the tunnel. The lights are built in a steel box to protect them too. There's a shooting bench that folds down and is strong enough to hold his shooting rest. He has a high precision Pellet rifle that he competes with, and the 25 yd range is perfect for Benchrest shooting practice. He mounted a spotting scope on the right side wall, so it can be used for sighting the shots all the way down the range.

The range is completely soundproofed, so when you're not in the shooting room you can't hear anything. There is an intercom for an emergency.
Also, he never uses it when he's the only person in the house. He tells his wife whenever he goes there, unless he's with somebody else down there, so there's a level of safety that goes with using it.

It's basically a 12" thick concrete tunnel with fiberglass reinforced concrete.
The ceiling is plated in 1/2" steel for the occasional stray bullet.
The floors and walls are covered in 1/2" crushed rubber pads to keep down any sound.
He had a steel bullet trap built into the far end. The trap alone cost him nearly $20,000. It is a Venetian Blind trap, like the one in the link above showing the different trap designs. It'll stop any handgun round up to a .44 magnum round, lead or jacketed, and will not ricochet. He estimates the total cost for the whole setup was close to $30,000.

I've been shooting with him numerous times and it's a sheer pleasure to shoot there. Just behind the shooting station is his entire reloading setup. He sometimes loads his pistol ammo for testing as he shoots.
He has quite the setup.
It has a reverse draft exaust so the smoke is drawn down to the far end, and exausted out thru a pipe ending at the roof line.

Here's a picture of me with my tommy gun, shooting at 25 yds. Since it shoots .45 ACP ammo, it was safe to use down there.

My next home will have a full 200 yd. outdoor range with 5 shooting stations.
There's no way I'm up to setting up an indoor range. It's way too expensive to do it right. There's much more to it than just setting up some railroad ties as barriers and putting in an exaust fan to clear the smoke.

I wish you well in your endeavor.
When the time comes that I don't want a new gun, Call the undertaker!
My firearm is an investment on my life.

Last edited by gearchecker; April 1, 2012 at 08:10 PM.
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Old April 1, 2012, 08:23 PM   #11
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My friend has a 50 yard tunnel made of 8' culvert that was insulated and waterproofed. At the far end is the exhaust fan and filter system, the back wall is concrete protected by 2' thick layers of sandbags. In front of that is a hardened steel plate set at 45 degrees to deflect bullets down into a 8" bed of sand. The culvert has drainage system, concrete poured for a walkway and a target retrieval system.

It went on the house plans as a storm shelter and wine cellar. There is a positive pressure AC system blowing all air down the tunnel for safety
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Old April 3, 2012, 04:34 AM   #12
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Over 50 years ago, my Dad built me one in our basement. He tracked down a piece of steel plate, built a frame, filled the bottom with sand, and I shot BB as well as .22. The best part being, he shot with me. His only prior firearms interest or experience was WWII. Other than shooting with me, he never shot again. About the same time, he was concerned that his WWII issued 1911 was a potential danger, and gave it to the local PD. Although he was not a gun guy, he was always there to encourage me in endeavors where time was well spent. My interest led me to Junior Rifle, modest competitive shooting, a lifelong interest in small arms, and a professional career touching all or part of 4 decades, where I was issued the finest sidearms and rifles the U.S. Gov. had available.

I retired in 2001, just before 911. Years before, I had been issued a scoped Win. Mod. 70 .30-06, built in 1957. When the younger guys came along, they were hot to get the new synthetic stocked, tweeked and geeked, .308, I hung onto that pre64 mod. 70. I hung on to that great rifle until my exit interview the day I retired. They had to pry my fingers of the rifle just before they threw me out the door.

A thread on indoor ranges??? Yes, it caught my eye. Enjoy.
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