I built a range today!!!


April 19, 2003, 11:14 PM
I finally did something I have wanted to do for a very long time today -- I built a range!! Actually two ranges.

About 2 miles from my house, there is about 150 acres or so of "family land" that is used for grazing cattle, etc. (also groundhog busting by me :D ). It is a bit hilly, so I built one huge target using 4X4s, 2X4s and plywood that is about 6 1/2 feet high and 8 feet wide, and it is staked off at 100, 150, 200, 250, 300 and 400 yards.

Since the land is so hilly there, I couldn't practically stake it off at shorter distances, so I found a flat area that allowed me to build an identical target, and stake it off at 7, 10, 20, 50, 75 and 100 yards. I painted the "frame" (4X4s and 2X4s) white, so hopefully that will keep it from getting shot. The cheap plywood should last quite awhile, but I know I will be replacing that -- luckily screws were used, not nails.

Now, I think I'm going to build platforms for shooters to stand on at 7 and 10 yards for pistol shooting -- maybe a 2X6 frame, with plywood floor. What I really need though is a good sturdy shooting bench. Right now, I plan to take a cheap white resin table to shoot off of. I have used this before, and it is surprisingly sturdy and practical to use.

After working on this for about 9 hours today, I was returning some post-hole diggers to a family member, and I was carrying a Makarov openly, and said family member asked me (in front of someone else): "Why do you always carry a gun? You're going to end up shooting somebody and going to jail." I was so mad I couldn't hardly walk back to my car. :fire:

Oh well, I will greatly enjoy this new range, and so will my friends and a few family members. Does anyone else have a "personal" range? If so, how does it differ from the description of my design?

***This one is the lower pistol range at about 20 yds from the target.

***This one is obviously the lower pistol target.

***Lower target, and upper "long range" target.

I like it.


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April 20, 2003, 09:07 AM
I don't live on a big enough piece of property for something like that.:( It sounds like an excellent range. Good for you.

April 20, 2003, 09:17 AM
Living in NJ all my life, you can't begin to know how jealous I am of anyone who can do this.
It sounds like a fantastic set-up, enjoy it for a long time!

April 20, 2003, 10:10 AM
Outlander -

Your mention of NJ reminded me of a 40-ish couple I've been working with since last late December. They moved to Tejas from NJ a while back and were apalled how simple it was to buy a handgun. (At least they had the good sense to seek some training. :) That's where we met: lady came out on morning of Christmas eve to get gift cert. for NRA First Steps class.)

They have bought 4 guns in as many months - and say their friends back home think they must have flipped out. First gun was a little Taurus .22 semi, then a Taurus .357, then a Beretta 92 (with CT laser!). Just this past week, the lady picked up a Steyr 9mm that she tells me really feels good. Both to be going for TX CHL once they get a little more comfortable ... and they get their finances back in order! :D

April 20, 2003, 10:55 AM
I take it that you are using the cheap plywood as a backing for your targets? A little better/cheaper idea is to use chicken wire held to the 4X4's with staples. It lasts a long time, and is very cheap to replace. You can buy it in rolls that are easy to store even if you don't have a lot of storage space. I have used it on ranges in the past, and when I get my freedom from Uncle Sam in a couple of months, I plan on building another range. Does anybody have any ideas on an indoor range?


April 20, 2003, 11:50 AM
Whoo Hoo!!!!
Were ALL comin' over! That's great!
My Dad & I are going to get a small pistol/150yrd rifle range set up this summer! Got hills on 3 sides of a small valley on some new property he got - can't wait till the ground thaws up there.

4v50 Gary
April 20, 2003, 11:53 AM
Next time I'm in the Old Dominion, I'll drop by and have a blast. ;) Actually, was there back in Dec. on vacation and doing a lot of battlefield tours and library visits. Congratulations and we should all be so fortunate.

April 20, 2003, 11:56 AM
They moved to Tejas from NJ a while back and were apalled how simple it was to buy a handgun.
I can hear them saying:
"Free at last, free at last, Great Koogamooga FREE AT LAST"
I hope they spend MANY happy years with their new found freedom.

April 20, 2003, 12:02 PM
This is the setup at my mom and stepdad's place in TN. It's about 33 yards and works for pistols. I wish he had something a little longer for rifles though. Do you have pics of your newly constructed range?



April 20, 2003, 04:38 PM
Not yet -- I worked so long on it yesterday, I didn't even get to fire a single round. :(


I intend to go up there today to make sure none of the cattle on the property damaged anything -- including the stakes -- if so, I will reinforce the yardage stakes to a hilarious degree.

I may take the digital camera and take some pics.


April 20, 2003, 04:54 PM
Congrats on a nice setup!

For target stands, you can build some wooden frames using 6' 2X2s and plywood strips, and use roofing felt for backing. The tar paper takes staples nicely and is cheap and easy to replace when shot up.

The frames can have a steel pipes bolted the bottom that fit into steel pipes that are sunk in the ground at different ranges., allowing you to build your nice platform and walk the targets out to where you want them.

April 20, 2003, 04:59 PM
The company I work for allowed the employees to build a range on their property. We have benches from 100-400 yards but still haven't competed the area for close in stuff yet. (pistol, rimfire)
For targets we built T posts out of heavy steel pipe and hang a pallet off of either side of the T. Cheap to replace, have a small mountain of them in reserve.
I really hope that one day I can have a setup like yours so I can just step out the back door and blast away!


April 20, 2003, 05:03 PM
Benches were easy to build but took some manpower to set up.
Built a frame from 2x4's, laid Visqueen (heavy plastic sheeting) at the bottom of the form so one side would be nice and smooth.

April 20, 2003, 05:42 PM
very nice...i need a good shooting bench similar to that one.


April 20, 2003, 06:16 PM
I'm one of the lucky ones in that I have a 100 yd. range set up at my mother's place and if I want to shot pistol at closer ranges I just drive my truck down to the backstop and shot at any range that I want. I also can setup my clay pigeon thrower and shot clay pigeons anytime that I want.

April 20, 2003, 06:25 PM
My dream house would be one in the country of course, with a walk-out basement. Set it up so I could load a few rounds, step out on the patio and try 'em out.

April 20, 2003, 06:47 PM
I'm one of the lucky ones in that I have a 100 yd. range set up at my mother's place and if I want to shot pistol at closer ranges I just drive my truck down to the backstop and shot at any range that I want. I also can setup my clay pigeon thrower and shot clay pigeons anytime that I want.
Stop bragging. No one likes it. Go away.


(You see the winky smiley, right? RIGHT? I'm kidding!)

April 20, 2003, 10:36 PM
Nice range. People built 3 houses on the back side of my 200 yard range 3 years ago. The nerve of them isnt anything sacred anymore.:mad: . Had to join a local Rod and Gun Club. Good people and I just registered with the Game Commission to teach Hunters Ed. Its great getting the kids involved and you wouldnt believe the adults the show up. Boon :)

April 20, 2003, 10:45 PM
people need to hush around here....us city folk will cause an upriseing.

i really miss my county living back home. go in the back yard, shoot till my heart content. moving to the city SUCKS.

but looks good, just dont let someone like me shoot at your targets. i tend to take out supports with my crappy shooting :)

April 21, 2003, 12:22 AM
I am so jealous! I hope you step in a warm cow pie!:neener:

Good on ya! Use it safely and often.:cool:

April 21, 2003, 12:41 AM
It's funny you should mention that -- while I was building the range, there weren't many cow pies around -- but when I went up there today, there was a big congregation of bovines around -- as well as some substantial fecal material -- which i did not appreciate.

Can we say solar-powered electric fence? :evil:

It may be a good investment, to insure poop-free shooting environs. :D


April 21, 2003, 01:31 AM
congregation of bovines
Around here those are sometimes refered to as "slow elk".
No reuglated season. :D

AJ Dual
April 21, 2003, 10:20 AM
Not to nitpick, but the upper "long range" target in the last pic of your post looks a bit like you've got some clear sky behind it.

I'm assuming that's not the case from the shooter's vantagepoint, and it has adequate backstop?

Just wondering.

April 21, 2003, 10:44 AM
I hope you step in a warm cow pie!
I hope he steps in a steaming cow pie. Just being warm doesnt mean anything, steaming means its fresh. :D :neener:


April 21, 2003, 11:14 AM

April 21, 2003, 11:43 AM
Looks nice!
I have a lot of trees on my property, so it's not quite as open as yours but I have some 100-yd 'alleys'. It is real nice to be able to walk out onto the porch and shoot.

April 21, 2003, 11:57 AM
You're right - it does look that way from the pic, but from the shooter's viewpoint, there is quite a substantial ground backstop -- in fact, even more so than the lower range. The ground rises gradually behind the target up to about 40 feet or so above it (in elevation).


April 21, 2003, 01:07 PM
Nice setup! Like some of the previous posts mentioned, I'd be sure backstops are adequate and that you aren't likely to have ricochets.

I had a nice 100 yard rifle range on some family property for years, and it was great. It was not without problems however, so I'll mention a few that grew into big problems and that eventually led me to sell the property.

1) You're going to have lots of friends, relatives, and plain strangers who want to use your range - most without permission. "I knew you wouldn't mind."

2) Remember that as the property owner, you have a great deal of legal liability for what occurs there. If somebody is accidentally shot, you're probably going to be sued.

3) You will find yourself cleaning up messes left by those who use your range. I've picked up a ton of old targets, tires, broken bottles, cans, empty propane bottles, and all manner of junk. "Gee I just wanted to see if my .30-30 would shoot through this old washing machine."

4) No trespassing signs make wonderful targets.

5) Carefully constructed benchrests make even better targets. "Golly, reckon this 12 ga. will shoot a slug through that 4x4?"

6) Local law enforcement will automatically assume they have permission to use the range and will invite all their friends and acquaintances.

I'm not mentioning all this to discourage you about your range, but you may want to give these problems some thought before you face them.

April 21, 2003, 02:57 PM
Wish I had the room to make a range as your...

Just an observation, your "high" target appears to be up a hill. Meaning the bullet will go through the chip board and continue till it hits somthing else or putters out. I know you said you have 150 acres, but most bullets can fly a few miles in the air, hate to hear you hit something you did not intend to...

Enjoy your range...:banghead:

H Romberg
April 21, 2003, 04:42 PM
Had a nice range out at my folks farm... Till they built an elementary school on top of my backstop, that is.:(

April 21, 2003, 05:22 PM
Nice little range!

If I could post the picture, I would show you my range. I have a 200 yard range, right outside the door of my cabin with a concrete shooting bench. I set it up so that from the bench it is 100 and 200 yards, from inside the cabin (for use when raining ot just too cold), it is 100 and real close to 200 meters.

April 21, 2003, 05:35 PM
Thanks for your advice, but I don't believe I will have any of those problems. This range can only be accessed with a four-wheel drive vehicle. It is inside a property that has two means of entry -- and both have gates that are padlocked. I am one of three people with a key. The other two people only go up there to tend to the cattle, etc.

Also, I have been using this land as a range area for years, using portable targets -- and a rangefinder to temporarily set up a "shooting area" -- aka hood off of a vehicle. And no-one ever goes up there to shoot without me anyway.

Also, regarding law enforcement using it whenever they want:

1. They don't know it's there.
2. If they did, they couldn't physically get to it.
3. That would be trespassing, which is punishable by law. They would be asked, then made to leave.



April 21, 2003, 05:46 PM
I appreciate your comments, and I can see how it does not appear clear that the higher target has a more than adequate backstop in the picture I provided.

The last picture shows the upper target from about a 7 to 8 o'clock perspective. It will be shot from a 5 to 6 o'clock perspective. This way, the shooter will be at the same elevation as the target at distances ranging from 100 to 300 yards. Also, there will be even a greater backstop there than at the lower target.

From the perspective in the picture, the upper target is about 100 yards away, and quite a long way up a hill. If you are standing directly in front of that upper target, there is about 200 yards of uphill land behind the target that rises gradually, and substantially in elevation.



April 21, 2003, 08:58 PM
My setup is pretty much the same. I took 8ft 6 inch wooden poles and put them 3ft in the ground. Then lag bolted crossties to the wooden post with the front covered with a 4x8 sheet of plywood. The berm behind it is the dam of a dried up stocktank. The ties will stop most anything unless you hit where two of them come together. Cheap and effective.

Only have 50 yards though. Well you could shoot at 100 on it but we would have to open both doors in the barn and shoot down the hallway and across a four strand bobwire fence.:D

April 22, 2003, 11:31 AM
Thanks for the warnings..was gonna ask some buddies to help...maybe Dad & me will do it ourselves. Anyone can jump a barbwire fence....

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