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Old October 4, 2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: October 4, 2012
Location: Syracuse, NY
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Home/Private Firing Range

I am considering building my own firing range (rural property, 50 acres wooded) for at-home marksmanship practice.

I am planning on covered shooting bench, with shooting lane (200 yrds), and a backstop (likely a filled double sand bag wall).

What I am concerned about, and the purpose of this post is lead contamination on my property.

I realize that one bullet dissolving (or lots of dust fragments dissolving) is more than enough to leach into the ground water and pollute wells, and the area is mostly sandy soil, and I do have two drinking wells on the property (although a significant distance from from where the range would be). Either way, I want to collect/contain as much of the lead as possible.

I considered something simple like excavating the range down a couple of feet (I get heavy equipment rentals for free), then heavy plastic etc... but even in this scenario, the rain will have to run out somewhere potentially taking dissolved lead with it.

Anyone here ever deal with lead containment at a range? Are there good methods for containment that are economical? Is it just simply a bad idea? Would a plate steel 45 degree backstop work better, or would this generate more dust?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

John R.
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:05 PM   #2
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You can download a lengthy publication from EPA entitled "Best Management Practices for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges." It's free and I'm sure will have some useful information for you.

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Old October 4, 2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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Join Date: October 4, 2012
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Just briefly looked over the document, but it looks like an excellent resource!

Thanks a ton!
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