Starting your own private gun range


PDA






maq
June 1, 2012, 02:00 PM
Hi all,

Well, there just has to be a better way. I don't know how many people have similar problems, but finding a Gun Range that allows me to shoot, FMJ open sites for practice with my M1 Garand and bolt action rifles is quite difficult in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Who'd of thought. I moved here from New Mexico and thought that anywhere in Texas was going to be more gun friendly than anywhere else in the Union! Not necessarily, though I shouldn't complain, lots of folks have it much worse.

Anyway, I've been tossing around this idea to buy some land and make my own Gun Range. I've checked out some deer leases, but the ones that I have found are just too expensive. So, why not buy a plot of land far enough away from the city, say in the one hour range and build my own range? Make a burm, build some Target Holders/Stands, measure out 10, 25, 50 100,200,300,400, and 500 yards, put pvc pipe in the ground for the target standards to go in, and advertise in the free press private club memberships to Firing Range for FMJ, Open Sites, etc. Maybe I'd even contruct a cover.

If I knew of a place like this I'd pay x dollars per year for a key to the gate to practice, away from the public ranges!

Is this a good idea? Would any of you participate if the Range was convienient to where you live? How much land would I have to buy? Not that much I don't think, It's not a deer lease but a shooting range. Three to Five acres?

What do you think? Is this a good idea? Thanks!!

Maq

If you enjoyed reading about "Starting your own private gun range" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
dubya450
June 1, 2012, 02:03 PM
I think the hardest and possibly most expensive part would be insurance. I'd look into the insurance before you even look at any land.

joecil
June 1, 2012, 02:11 PM
An outdoor range the most expensive part is the insurance after the cost of land and building a berm high enough. Our groups range here in Kentucky insurance runs about $4K to $5K a year. Some states might also require other things such as a license etc. I guess Kentucky is pretty much one of the top 3 states for gun owners.

JellyJar
June 1, 2012, 02:46 PM
Perhaps require each member to provide for their own insurance?

Skribs
June 1, 2012, 03:03 PM
I'm planning on setting up a private range when I get a better job and can afford it, but I don't think I'll open it up to the public (just family and friends). That way, I can avoid the insurance of running a private club, and whenever I go I don't have to worry about random people being on my range.

However, I want to set it up for the same reason you do. The pistol range I go to has a 2000 FPS limit, which means I can't use a FiveseveN there or an AR-15 if I got either of those. The rifle ranges within comfortable driving distance (1 hour or less) all have silly rules like "no humanoid targets, only circles" or "one shot per second" (if I'm getting an AR over a shotgun, it's so I can get faster follow-up shots). These really don't let me practice for SD/HD, which is what I'd want.

So I want to set up my own place to practice, which is less than an hour away and where I set the rules.

BSA1
June 1, 2012, 03:13 PM
Those "silly rules" came about for a reason. The NRA can provide you with information on range design. I suspect you are in for a big $$$$$$ urprise at how much money your veature is going to cost you.

Good luck.

maq
June 1, 2012, 03:17 PM
Thanks for the Responses.
I still think there is a way. JellyJar's got a point you could ask everyone to have their own insurance and sign a waiver. I'd limitt the membership to a reasonable amount for the size range I built.

The restrictions at a lot of Gun Ranges is just "CRAZY". Here in Dallas, many gun ranges won't allow fmj. I practice with M1 for the John C. Garand matches and surplus ammo is required that is fmj. Another range that allows fmj requires that every rifle have a scope? What is that all about? No open sight rifles on the range at all. I just don't understand why they are excluding so many customers.

Maybe it's the insurance?!!

Anyway, a fellow I met at a competiion here locally is a part of a deer lease. Six guys went in toghether and got a deer lease, none of them hunt, they are all target shooters. Hunters on a deer lease don't have insurance do they? Does the lease owner? Does anyone know? There must be a way.

I'd rather spend money on a land mortgage then rent on a deer lease. I didn't realize they were so expensive.

If 7 guys spent 300 a year for a land purchase for 3 years and then nothing, would that be bad? I spend 150 at least on range fees/yr... If anyone dropped out, you'd charge the next guy 300 for 3year and split it amongst the Charter Members, or use it for new standards/targets /tables etc... There has to be a better way!

Maq

drsfmd
June 1, 2012, 03:20 PM
silly rules

The things you cited are public image and safety issues... I don't think they are silly at all.

Skribs
June 1, 2012, 03:30 PM
Considering there are other ranges that don't have those rules, I don't see them as being necessary. Something that doesn't let me practice is silly.

I'm not saying there should be no rules at the range. Every range has rules for safety purposes. It's just there's a difference between rules designed to keep people safe and rules based on a fear of a bad image.

ETA: A coworker mentioned a range that won't let her practice drawing, you have to just stand there and pick it up off the shelf and shoot. If you don't practice all the fundamentals together, you're not getting the full benefit of practicing.

JustinJ
June 1, 2012, 03:34 PM
I still think there is a way. JellyJar's got a point you could ask everyone to have their own insurance and sign a waiver. I'd limitt the membership to a reasonable amount for the size range I built.

Users can sign all the waivers in the world and carry whatever insurance you like(most people won't agree to the hassle) but if one shot goes over the berm and hurts/kills a person or damages property you will be the one being sued. I've never been to a range that did not require a waiver but i'm sure they all still carry huge insurance policies. And how would the logistics of having each person buy their own insurance even work? How do you know they are up on their policy when they arrive to shoot?

Also, what if you buy some land and then a month later somebody buys an adjacent plot and decides they don't like the noise?

Also, what environmental regulations might you encounter? Will you provide restrooms and how to deal with water and sewage? Rain run off must usually be accounted for also if you have a parking area.

The restrictions at a lot of Gun Ranges is just "CRAZY". Here in Dallas, many gun ranges won't allow fmj. I practice with M1 for the John C. Garand matches and surplus ammo is required that is fmj. Another range that allows fmj requires that every rifle have a scope? What is that all about? No open sight rifles on the range at all. I just don't understand why they are excluding so many customers.

One range in the Austin area forbids FMJ rifle rounds and claim it is because of the high rock content of the soil and berm. I suspect that insurance rates may be affected by what is allowed.

armoredman
June 1, 2012, 03:40 PM
Depends on the amount of monitoring. I have never been to a range in AZ that said no FMJ, 1 shot per second, scope only, or anything I do indeed consider a bit silly. Just came back from the range using my SA vz-58 5.56mm with iron sights at 100 yards with both FMJ handloads, factory, and HP loads. I was probably shooting slower than 1 per second, but that's because I wanted to see just how well it would do! Rules on that range - no glass targets, and no explosives.
I have heard about people making their own range - out here we drive 20 minutes from town, and set up. Would be nice to own that much property, but if it's not for public use rent a bulldozer and scrape up some berms and firing lanes.
Building one for public use would be FAR more involved.

Kristensdaddy
June 1, 2012, 03:47 PM
More complicated but here is how to do it. Create a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) with you as the primary shareholder and have the LLC buy a piece of land. Organized a shooting club with a strict set of bylaws and have the club lease the land from the LLC. The shooting club via membership dues pays for insurance, indemnifying the members and owners of the land (the LLC). Get directors and officers insurance for the management of the club also. You are twice removed from liability since the land is owned by the LLC and leased by the members.

Still to overcome is the fact that your new neighbors might not like a shooting range next door.

drsfmd
June 1, 2012, 03:48 PM
Considering there are other ranges that don't have those rules, I don't see them as being necessary.

There are a lot of unsafe ranges out there...


ETA: A coworker mentioned a range that won't let her practice drawing, you have to just stand there and pick it up off the shelf and shoot. If you don't practice all the fundamentals together, you're not getting the full benefit of practicing.

Having seen and read many cases of people shooting themselves while drawing and holstering, this doesn't seem to me to be a bad rule at all.

The problem with rules is that they don't NEED to apply to everyone... some qualified people can easily do things that others would hurt themselves or others with. But, to enforce those rules, they have to apply to all.

Skribs
June 1, 2012, 03:55 PM
Having seen and read many cases of people shooting themselves while drawing and holstering, this doesn't seem to me to be a bad rule at all.

Exactly why it should be practiced. Not practicing it because you might hurt yourself while practicing is setting yourself up for failure if you really need to use that skill - and without drawing, that carry gun is just a brick fighting against your belt. Instead, it should be enforced that you take care not to get anything in the holster while holstering, and that your finger is not inside the trigger guard until you're aiming at the target.

Owen Sparks
June 1, 2012, 03:59 PM
We never had insurance at our local key club range. Insurance makes your club a jucy target for the trial lawyers and drives up the cost of membership. Our range was really nothing more than a dirt berm and a few shooting benches on a rented parcle of land. The club was incorporated so all they could get was a few benches and target stands.
No lawyer would bother sueing the range as there was really nothing to get.

Kristensdaddy
June 1, 2012, 04:01 PM
I would not want to be an officer (or whoever is "running" the club) without there being insurance. The club may not have any assets but you probably do.

Owen Sparks
June 1, 2012, 04:41 PM
In our small key club only the twenty or so members had access and there were never more than a few of us there at any one time. If there was a lawsuit it would almost have to be one member suing another for shooting him through neglegence. I don't think he would have much sucess sueing the other members who were not present over a gun accident. Again, the only club property was a few wooden benches and wooden target stands. There were no houses near by either.

drsfmd
June 1, 2012, 04:57 PM
Exactly why it should be practiced. Not practicing it because you might hurt yourself while practicing is setting yourself up for failure if you really need to use that skill - and without drawing, that carry gun is just a brick fighting against your belt. Instead, it should be enforced that you take care not to get anything in the holster while holstering, and that your finger is not inside the trigger guard until you're aiming at the target.

You can practice those things without ammo.

45_auto
June 1, 2012, 05:48 PM
Look into the environmental impact costs also. We lost one local range because of lead clean-up costs.

Chuck R.
June 1, 2012, 05:50 PM
I bought land and built my own range which consists of a 35mx35m graveled pistol range, 100-500 meter rifle. I dug into a hillside to create a berm, and brought in dirt to create the 400&500M berm. I also spent quite a bit on AR500 plate, and a garden shed to house the stands and targets in. It’s strictly for private use, and only when I’m physically present since I technically own every projectile fired there. I also make it a point to be considerate of my neighbors.

It can be done, but most likely not be cheap. Another consideration is the local zoning regulations. Here in my county, anything that extends past private use, or has commercial impact requires an environmental study, special use permits, and applicable insurance. This includes Club use, although no where can I find the definition of what constitutes a “Club”.

The zoning is key! A guy a few miles from me built a range to NRA specifications, without going through the “special use permit” process. He put quite a bit of money into it with the plan of using it for CCW classes and other training. A couple neighbors complained and he was issued a cease and desist order from the county, effectively shutting him down for any commercial or club use.

Chuck

maq
June 1, 2012, 05:51 PM
I guess there are lots of ways to look at it. I really don't want the responsibility of starting a public range. That's why I would call it a "private" rangewith only a few members. Not more than 10 but more like 7. I wasn't aware that people who aquire a deer lease had to incorporate so I wasn't thinking a corporation was necessary.

But, I see your point. I just wanted to buy or lease some land. Less land than required for a hunting lease, build a berm, find a cost effective way to hang targets and shoot for practice without the hassle of the ranges.

Look, I'm all for safety and rules. I don't mind any of the safety rules as pertaining to shooting. But why do I need a scope on a .177 or 22 rifle or any other rifle at 100 yards? and..... I still don't understand why fmj or lead core projectiles are so dangerous as long as we are shooting into dirt and not metal. Wow, things sure seem to get complicated fast.

Guess if I get this thing done, noone will want to shoot with me... too dangerous.

Maq.... anyone think its a good idea? Dang shame to go to all the trouble just for me?....

Lead in the environment... that too!

Chuck... good points..I'll check with zoning if this thing progresses... and Just invite "friends" when I'm there. Used to live in Ashland,Ks and Hoisington... Graduated WSU

M2 Carbine
June 1, 2012, 07:27 PM
I've been shooting on my place since 1967 (west of Ft Worth).

For years I'd allow most anyone to shoot here.

BUT, now days the American people have become such low life sue crazy scumbags that, like most private land owners, I can't take the chance anymore.

I still teach new shooters and allow friends to shoot here but, even though I would like to allow more people to shoot here I can't take the chance.

It's a shame to have a nice range go unused most of the time but until people became responsible for their actions again (fat chance) we land owners can't take the chance.

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Natat52yards.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Scottat52yards.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/ChrisAR.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Lindsey-2.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Lindseyshootinglaser.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/KimAK.jpg

splithoof
June 2, 2012, 01:19 AM
Yes, take the time and effort to construct your own range! You won't need to haul targets, steel, and supplies around every time you want to shoot. You can shoot day or night and camp their also. The ideal setting would be a large parcel adjacent to public land, well fenced/gated, and have some natural hills and canyons. You could have a few "guests", but only when you are there or say otherwise. If you own it 100%, you take care of all expenses, and don't have to deal with partners, etc.

Flintknapper
June 2, 2012, 04:56 PM
You would be creating a headache for yourself (like you wouldn't believe) if you open a range to the 'public'. Waivers or not.

Just find a piece of property you can afford (or have a few friends join in) and make your own range. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate to begin with (if ever).

The majority of pistol and short range rifle shooting can be done just fine in an area 100 yds. square. That is all the bigger mine is.

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Range1.jpg


IF you primarily shoot pistols, then 50 yds. is enough.

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Range2.jpg


I have a small area I use for 'rimfire' firearms, with a few steel targets and an area in front of them suitable to bounce around soda cans, etc...
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Range3.jpg


A couple of steel 'Humaniods' and 8-10 stands that will hold cardboard targets (IDPA/other).
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Range4.jpg

Pepper Poppers of course.
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Range5.jpg

Steel Plates (you can do a LOT with these)
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Range6.jpg

And then a small 'Race Rack' (each person starts on an end, first one to drop the middle disc is the winner)
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n92/flintknapper/Range7.jpg


I have places on the property that I can shoot out to 400 yds. (rifle), but if I want to do long range shooting, I normally go out the local Rifle Range.

The bulk of all the shooting I am interested in (Defensive and Casual plinking sometimes) can be done right on my own range, I make the rules and come and go as I please.

Family and good friends also enjoy the use of it. We have NEVER had a problem or accident.

If you enjoyed reading about "Starting your own private gun range" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!