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Old June 4, 2016, 10:15 PM   #1
Mbalmer
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Help With Private Outdoor Range

Posted this on a different forum here and it was suggested that I post this here.


I am building a range on some farm land that I own. I'm having a cabin built and my bulldozer guy is now finishing up on my range. These are the current dimensions as of today, and I am thinking this is where we are going to stop. He has moved an incredible amount of dirt and I currently have a 300 yard range (will put targets at 100, 200, and 300 yards). I am shooting at an elevation of 5'7" (Not in relation to sea level, just level of my range) towards a 300 yard target at 5', so there is a 7" downward slope over the course of the 300 yards. Behind the 300 yard target is a slope that runs about 8 feet in elevation over about 30 yards and then I have a backstop 84 feet wide, (left to right) 15 or so feet deep (front to back), and about 15 feet high. Thus making my backstop 23 feet total in height above where my 300 yard target will be. Sorry if confusing.

Does anyone see a problem with any of this? Have any suggestions? We can make it higher, but it really does look huge in the current state.

Just looking for help and suggestions.

Thanks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 225 (Or so) Downrange 2.jpg (224.4 KB, 180 views)
File Type: jpg Bottom of Berm 2.jpg (238.3 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg Standing on top of berm with yardage 2.jpg (238.3 KB, 161 views)

Last edited by Mbalmer; June 4, 2016 at 10:21 PM.
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Old June 4, 2016, 10:49 PM   #2
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Wish I had that much land to build a range!

As a CYA, You may want to look up National Shooting Sports Foundation's guidelines on building a range. I think it is online and has many good suggestions.

Good luck!
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Old June 5, 2016, 08:56 AM   #3
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Have you checked with the NRA web site for range building info?
They have a range building section there with specific information on how to safely do it.
http://range.nra.org/sourcebook.aspx
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Old June 5, 2016, 09:07 AM   #4
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Provided all your backstops are on your land, you should be good to go, assuming you exercise good bench practices and keep the muzzle pointed at the impact area and never elevate it with a round in the chamber.

One question, though, what is beyond your property line?
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Old June 5, 2016, 09:40 AM   #5
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Beyond the berm is a small field, then 250 feet of trees, then 1000 yards of corn field. There is a house, not in direct line, but it is there about 1300 yards. All that property would be 35 feet above my shooting elevation. I am in a low area in relation to the other land around me.
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Old June 5, 2016, 05:05 PM   #6
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Looks good from here. Elevation is tricky to determine as in the first photo, but from your description sounds good. Our club faced similar downrange problems and had to cut a pretty steep face on the front of our back-stop. Getting grass or cover to grow on the steep berm was a pain.

You're fortunate to have enough property to construct a range. We can't always make our neighbors feel safe, but we must do all that we can to make them safe...
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Old June 6, 2016, 07:12 AM   #7
Gavlan
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The only real problem I see is ,,, it's not mine .
Is there any County / State regs that have to be met ?.
does it have to be " inspected" by any Gov agency to be approved even if it's on your own piece of Terra firma,,?.
Looks good ,
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Old June 6, 2016, 11:11 AM   #8
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Yeah, I don't have to check with anyone since it is my land.

My guy isn't out there again until tomorrow, but I'm going to have him make the berm higher for piece of mind.

Outside of that, I feel like I'm good to go. I hope to be shooting there by next weekend, if not sooner.
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Old June 6, 2016, 11:19 AM   #9
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I'd like to chime in & say I too am envious!

My question is to the OP, why so big? Is this for a club or just a few friends? If so a bit smaller & easier to maintain might be a consideration. Just a thought...
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Old June 6, 2016, 11:41 AM   #10
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It’s sort of hard to tell from your photos, but have you accounted for proper drainage? I visited a small range on a farm once and it didn’t have a crown in the center which meant all the water just sort of sat there. While the range would usually drain after a day or two it was always just kind of damp and a little muddy.
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Old June 6, 2016, 02:32 PM   #11
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As far as being big, yeah it is, but things just worked out that way. I purchased 42 acres for family recreation. We have a 6 acre pond, good 4-wheeler space, and a nice place to build our "cabin" which is really just a 32x56 metal building with a garage, finished living space, and a loft above that. This is just our play area since we own a business that is hard to get away from.

As far as drainage goes, I'm not worried. The entire area is sloped to the south towards our biggest pond. The dozer guy deals with this stuff all the time and he did put a tube in at one place.

This is really just for me. I have some brothers that will shoot on it a couple times a year (They don't live in the immediate area) and a few good friends that enjoy shooting. I plan to be very selective on who I let shoot on my farm.
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Old June 6, 2016, 02:49 PM   #12
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Be very, very, very selective.

Check with your attorney about liability and insurance.
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Old June 6, 2016, 05:11 PM   #13
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Are you a handloader?

Also, I told myself that if I ever had my own range I'd have one 100yd shooting point that was in a small shed where I could set-up to load out of the wind & shoot right from there. Just a thought...
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Old June 6, 2016, 07:22 PM   #14
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Mbalmer, Did he push the debris in with the berm? I am going to have a range pushed in on my property And I was thinking of having him push all the trees with the earth to from the berm.
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Old June 6, 2016, 08:40 PM   #15
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No. In 1 of the pictures you can see the giant stack of trees. And brush. It will stay like that for a few seasons to dry out then I will burn it. He is old school, literally 80 years old, and he said he didn't want to use that stuff because it would rot in ground and constantly be settling. Plus I had tons of dirt because he chopped off a couple hillsides so I have direct sight to the targets from just about anywhere.

And I plan to put up a little hut at some point. Was going g to do it at 300 yards, but I imagine I'll be shooting from 100 more often...really not sure at this point. Just going g to grab 3 picnic tables and put them at 100, 200, and 300 for now.
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Old June 9, 2016, 04:20 PM   #16
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Just an update:

I had my guy make the backstop taller, longer, and steeper. I also cut in a 5 foot backstop that will be right behind the targets and about 25 yards in front of the big backstop. That also lowered my elevation. He was finishing up this afternoon and I am wanting to get out there tomorrow and set up some steel...and maybe shoot a few rounds

The small pictures don't really do it justice.

Thanks for all your suggestions.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BirmNew2456.jpg (220.4 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg NewRange432.jpg (193.1 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg rangenew532.jpg (231.3 KB, 128 views)
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Old June 9, 2016, 04:51 PM   #17
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That looks pretty good.

Hope you're going to Hydroseed and mulch that bare earth, hate to see it turn into a desirable environment for noxious pasture weeds.
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Old June 9, 2016, 06:28 PM   #18
Mbalmer
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I'm just going to smooth it out at this point, basically take out the dozer marks.

In the fall I will seed it; feel like I am too late at this point and I'd be wasting the seed.
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Old June 12, 2016, 11:22 AM   #19
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Yeah, it's a bit late for seed, probably.

Do put down some straw mulch, though, to keep the surface from washing, or even tarp it, or you'll have to reshape the surface come fall.
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Old June 18, 2016, 06:13 AM   #20
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Looks good, have fun!
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Old June 18, 2016, 09:40 AM   #21
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Looks good. I have 300 acres here in KY, but the woods are such that I can only get 110 yard range. At the end of our range we stacked a bunch of railroad ties on top of each other for hanging targets. The other thing we do is go to a scrap yard and pick up old brake rotors and some angle iron. Lay the rotor flat and weld angle up and then make a U. You can then use some small sheets for plywood for moveable targets for pistol shooting or sighting in rifles etc.

Very nice set up....
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Old October 18, 2016, 12:04 AM   #22
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Deerslayer303

I wouldnt reccomend pushing debris like brush and trees into the berm because they can leave gaps or voids in the berm. Those could allow projectiles to pass through. Carefully placed logs will be helpful on the other hand.
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Old October 18, 2016, 08:37 AM   #23
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Good point towman! The lot I recently bought bordering my property is 98' wide and 997' long perfect for a range. It has alot of big pines on it to dispose of. Thats why I was thinking to use the brush. But you're right eventually they will rot. Although in the right circumstances pines like to turn into fat lighter. Which will stop a bullet no problem.

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Old October 18, 2016, 04:51 PM   #24
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you can seed the hill now, actually fall is best. Just make sure to cover it with straw or peat moss.
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Old October 18, 2016, 06:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
I purchased 42 acres for family recreation.
Could that small amount of land have any noise issues with your neighbors?
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