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Old May 20, 2021, 04:29 PM   #1
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Range maintenance

In Switzerland we have two sorts of shooting ranges :

- private ranges, often indoors, which are privately owned and a commercial / for profit business. Anyone can walk in, rent guns, and shoot. Most calibers are accepted, they sell ammo for most guns and typically have a gun shop inside. They are open six days a week all year round and can be quite costly, typically $1.- per minute or by subscription ranging from $ 600 to $ 1200 per year.

There are not many of those, probably a few dozens in the whole country (granted it’s a tiny country)

Here a 50 m indoor range

- military style ranges, mostly outdoors, which are non-profit organisations and which either belong to or are financed by the town or commune. The idea was for the militia soldiers to have a place to practice and hone their shooting skills outside of the military service. There used to be one or even more in every commune, probably close to 3000 spread across the country, but this number has been reduced maybe to half.

The 25 m range and the 50 m on the right with the targets still covered (and recently converted to electronic scoring, same as the 300 m)

300 m range

To use those facilities you must be a member of a shooting club, fees are typically very cheap ($ 50-80 per year) but there is no shop, no rentals, they only operate from spring to fall (typically April to October) and only 1-4 times a week for limited hours. Police forces and active soldiers will also use those ranges occasionally for training. They are run by benevolent people, many being former soldiers and/or officers.

And they must comply to military standards for distances, safety etc. They normally only come in three distances, 25 m pistol, 50 m pistol and rimfire rifle, and 300 m rifle, and only standard military calibers (past and present) can be used (7.65 Parabellum / .30 Luger, 9mm Parabellum, GP 11 / 7.5 X 55 Swiss, GP 90 / 5.56 NATO) and .22 lr. Smaller calibers such as .32 and .380 ACP and .38 special is generally accepted too.

I am a committee member in two such clubs, which means I also have to contribute, organising some competitions, range officer duties etc..

And every now and then ... maintenance

We recently prepared 40 new targets for the summer season. The main person in charge is a policeman, he prepares the targets for the local police trainings and agreed to do them for the club too. I went with him and gave him a hand.

Those are the ordnance targets. We also use ISSF precision and speed shooting targets

And occasionally some fantasy targets (The monkey is the mascot of our village)

That was easy.
Classic12 is offline  
Old May 20, 2021, 04:30 PM   #2
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Range maintenance

Then came the range itself. In order to reduce lead pollution and contamination, most of those ranges installed bullet catchers. Ours is four years old and was never emptied. The rubber mat that prevents shrapnel ricochet was pretty worn out too.

The company who builds those asked $600 for the materials and another $ 2000 for removing the bullets and installing the rubber mat. We decided to do it ourselves.

We removed about 600 pounds of lead and copper

Brand new and ready for the next four years

Last edited by Classic12; May 20, 2021 at 04:50 PM.
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Old May 21, 2021, 01:38 AM   #3
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
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The lead and copper can be quite valuable, especially if it's all kept relatively clean in a trap like that one.
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old May 21, 2021, 02:05 AM   #4
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VERY nice pictures.
Thanks for going through all the trouble to share this with us.
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Old May 21, 2021, 05:46 AM   #5
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Yes, thanks!
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Old May 21, 2021, 12:40 PM   #6
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A lot of the lead issue is way overblown.

It takes some pretty nasty pH levels to actually leach solid lead.
It generally forms lead oxide over time that is insoluble for the most part.

The whitish powder you see on exposed lead.
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Old May 21, 2021, 01:44 PM   #7
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Consider using sodium bisulphate powder,

spread on the ground [in front, under and behind] the traps.

used to work in a brass musical instrument company and the local EPA indicated that the [ NaHSO₄], will form PbHSO₄ rendering the Pb inert.

Nice set-up, you have over there.
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