Building a range; asking for your ideas please


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OptimusPrime
March 6, 2013, 06:04 PM
I've just bought into a small hunting land co-op with a friend, and he is asking me for help in building a range on one slice of it.
I know this has been discussed before and I've read many of the old posts, but a lot of those posts are 5-6 years old and unfortunately a lot of the pictures have expired links, so I'm missing some of the best and newest concepts. I did see GBW's home range pic and that is awfully sweet; good job GBW.

So if you were designing/building a range, what would you make sure to include? What are some neat ideas that you've seen incorporated into home ranges? What tips or tricks or gadgets do you wish you had used?
Some details:
- range would be for pistol as well as rifle, on up to .30-06
- I've got about 100 yards to work with max, because the forest is real dense past that
- the backstop will be a U-shaped earthern berm, probably hemmed in with timbers or railroad ties
- there are no houses near, there are no wandering people, there is nothing but trees and draws and empty miles of West by-God Virginia behind the planned target berm; but of course I will make the berm 10' high and I'm already trying to figure out how to get a sloped steel plate over and behind it just to be sure.

Let the ideas flow!
Thanks for your help.

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OptimusPrime
March 7, 2013, 07:49 PM
I forgot to mention that there is no power up there, just woods. All gadgets must be battery-powered.

Highland Ranger
March 7, 2013, 07:56 PM
NRA has some good resources - - - http://range.nra.org/

Given the regulatory environment, I'd minimally want to get some outside help to understand environmental regs and how that effects a range - private or otherwise.

You don't need that kind of trouble.

diverdon
March 10, 2013, 11:59 AM
My range is not built yet so I am going to follow your thread with great interest. I did get some nice steel targets here; http://www.bigdogsteel.com

Sav .250
March 10, 2013, 12:44 PM
Hope you get "good" insurance.

OptimusPrime
March 10, 2013, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the tip on the targets. I do plan on making a couple of templates and then cut out the designs on cardboard. I plan on doing the normal like groundhogs, a torso, a velociraptor, a cat, etc. I'm also playing with aluminum tubing I've got to make the target holders.
Insurance? This isn't a public range or place of business, just a backwoods target lane. I'll make it safe as possible (bulletproof?) so that we can concentrate on the fun part.

orangeninja
March 11, 2013, 11:28 PM
I'm about to do the same thing. Though slightly less ambitious. I'll be watching this thread with great interest.

*NOVA*
March 11, 2013, 11:42 PM
340 Defense is a public outdoor range in West Virginia. If you are ever near Charleston, its just a few clicks south of there. Why don't you pay them a visit and see how they've got it set up?

Hunter125
March 11, 2013, 11:48 PM
I've always wanted to build a shooting booth with a roof and some sort of brass catcher on both sides, whether cloth or plywood of some kind that would funnel the brass from semi autos down to a bucket. I've always wondered why public ranges didn't at least attempt something like that.

Grey_Mana
March 12, 2013, 05:28 PM
Ten times as much gravel as you were planning, so the parking space is big enough to invite all the new friends you'll have once you make a private range :)

A car port type roof is nice. If you want to shoot in the rain or snow, you can pull your car right up to the shooting bench, and not have everything get wet.

There may be times when you want to shine your car's headlights down range (e.g. practicing low light shooting and want to move targets).

A clay thrower, everybody likes clay throwers.

Remember to peak at your county code, and make sure that whatever structures you have planned won't trigger tax assessments.

Zeke/PA
March 12, 2013, 06:09 PM
Hope you get "good" insurance.
I agree!
Just family members and some close friends shooting is one thing BUT in this day and age, LIABILITY is a VERY strong consideration.

OptimusPrime
March 12, 2013, 10:15 PM
Ten times as much gravel as you were planning, so the parking space is big enough to invite all the new friends you'll have once you make a private range :)

A car port type roof is nice. If you want to shoot in the rain or snow, you can pull your car right up to the shooting bench, and not have everything get wet.

There may be times when you want to shine your car's headlights down range (e.g. practicing low light shooting and want to move targets).

A clay thrower, everybody likes clay throwers.

Remember to peak at your county code, and make sure that whatever structures you have planned won't trigger tax assessments.
Grey and Hunter, that's a couple of great tips. Everywhere I've been, there's always that walk from the truck to the bench. Of course I should make it close and able to pull right up directly. And a funnel contraption for brass? Genius.
Keep 'em coming...

SabbathWolf
March 13, 2013, 05:59 PM
I have found that the best way to have a range around here is to "not" actually have one.
Nobody ever hassles you that way. Plus...it's cheaper too!....lol
I picked up some backers and targets, and built my own stands out of scrap wood.
Works great and can be torn down in less than 3 minutes.

I got "my" stuff from a place called Law Enforcement Targets, INC.
They have paper, steel, reactive, you name it man. It's an awesome resource for choosing what you "may" want for yourself and your own personal range needs.

NO....I am not affiliated with them in any way.....lol
They just have some really cool stuff from way cheap to way out of my budget, and everything in between.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v648/Swampdragon/39bf67b7.jpg

Chuck R.
March 13, 2013, 06:38 PM
I built my own range by digging into a hill, and gravelling a 30x30 meter area. I use the same backstop for 100-400 yards and I’ve just put in additional berms at 385 and 500 meters. I’ve bought steel targets from both Arntzen and Quality Targets all except for 1 piece is AR500. Don’t go cheap on steel. I also have a knockdown, swinger, and a bunch of target stands for IDPA silhouettes.

The biggest concerns for me were zoning, and a suitable backstop since you technically own every round fired on your place. In my county, private ranges are just that, private and unregulated UNLES they’re used for commercial or club use. If either of those occur, then you must obtain a special use permit, which requires an environmental impact study, insurance, inspections etc. I therefore go out of my way to maintain my “private” status. I also maintain good relations with my neighbors by only firing a couple times a week and at decent hours. Nobody, not even me wants to live next to arrange.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/BowlingPins.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/OntheMove.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/New%20House%20Construction/ShootingBenchSlab5.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFRHunter/Shooting/DSC00039.jpg

Chuck

SabbathWolf
March 13, 2013, 06:49 PM
You Kansas guys get all the cool stuff...lol

Chuck R.
March 13, 2013, 08:04 PM
You Kansas guys get all the cool stuff...lol

It's all part of our preps in case you MO folks decide to visit Lawrence again..........

; ^ )

Chuck

SabbathWolf
March 13, 2013, 09:25 PM
It's all part of our preps in case you MO folks decide to visit Lawrence again..........

; ^ )

Chuck
LOL.....

I'm in Kansas too.
South of you off HYWY 69.

justice06rr
March 13, 2013, 11:00 PM
Great thread. I've been looking to purchase a piece of land that has maybe 100-200yard length for the same purposes.

twofifty
April 2, 2013, 01:29 AM
ChuckR that is one sweet and sturdy bench by your pond.
We made a bunch just like those for our club's range and everyone loves them.

oneounceload
April 2, 2013, 04:53 PM
I would build a sand base the full width and depth of the target area and use angled steel plate to direct all bullets down into the sand in front - that means no strays and it means you can recoup them for melting/casting. Behind that either tires packed with earth or two layers of ties with earth in between. Depending on your weather, you might want to build a covered shooting are with bench/tables made of block and preformed concrete (that will never rot)
Solar panels on the covered shooting area can provide some juice for at least a fan or two if it gets hot enough where you are.

I would add a storage shed for chairs and target holders, etc - maybe even make it a little bugger for a small reloading bench

jmorris
April 2, 2013, 06:42 PM
My long range rifle spot has shade and a good bench.


http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0150.jpg


The one in the back yard is around 4000# of steel plate.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0892.jpg


http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0959.jpg

col_temp
April 3, 2013, 02:16 PM
I have found that the best way to have a range around here is to "not" actually have one.
Nobody ever hassles you that way. Plus...it's cheaper too!....lol
I picked up some backers and targets, and built my own stands out of scrap wood.

hey Sabbath, I do hope you have some kind of backstop we don't see in the picture!

Like all the rest of you's set up. Mine's not nearly as nice but it works for now!
Ditto the LE targets, Cheaper to buy and use from online! Take mine with me to the range and never pay for targets!
Great thread!

SabbathWolf
April 3, 2013, 03:21 PM
hey Sabbath, I do hope you have some kind of backstop we don't see in the picture!

Like all the rest of you's set up. Mine's not nearly as nice but it works for now!
Ditto the LE targets, Cheaper to buy and use from online! Take mine with me to the range and never pay for targets!
Great thread!


My land is made of rolling hills. I put the targets at the base of the hills and have natural back stops with no problems. They are only sitting where they are in the pic just for the photo op.

wv109323
April 4, 2013, 07:01 PM
If it is a private range you really do not have to worry about anything but stopping the bullet in the intended berm. The old rule of thumb to stop a 30-06 you need three feet of dirt.
I would built multiple berms at whatever distance that most of your shooting will take place. Like a berm at 25 yds. for pistol, 50 yards for .22 rifle and 100 yds. for rifle.
With multiple berms you could use a common firing line. Build a shed that will hold the maximum number oF shooters anticipated. I would shy away from the car port idea. Our range has one and it is very loud with an echo to shoot within. Also the edge is quite low if you are standing and shooting.
Do not use rigid steel targets. Make sure they can swing with bullet impact or angled about 15 degrees so that you do not have bullet splatter.
Build a gun rack that will hold firearms , not only convenient but is a safety precaution that long guns be in the rack when going downrange.

gunner69
April 5, 2013, 02:17 AM
Good information here, thanks guys. I live close to a couple Military Installations and went to one of the "Surplus Sales" they had. I bought one of the old metal military desks with drawers on both sides and one in the middle. Both sides also have a "pull out" typewriter stand. This desk is sturdy, lockable, and makes a fine range bench. I have adapted some of the stuff I have bought at the sales to make target stands, etc. An old paint locker is used to store stuff too. Innovate, adapt and overcome........ that's what Clint Eastwood said anyway. :D

OptimusPrime
April 5, 2013, 11:15 PM
Great ideas guys, thanks so far. Unfortunately I've been buried in snow up until a week ago (global warming what now?) so my plans have been back-burner-ized for too long.
JMorris, I love the mounted spotting scope, what a great idea!

daveit
April 6, 2013, 11:54 AM
All the "environment" and "insurance" posts make me sad. I can't wait to escape the city this summer, get back to backwoods Pennsylvania & go shooting on mom & dad's farm.

eldon519
April 7, 2013, 02:02 PM
It wasn't clear to me but perhaps you've already done it: make sure you check with everyone else in your co-op to ensure they want this range too. Some people may be concerned about a lot of shooting scaring off the game.

As for ideas, I love hickok45's gun range on Youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/user/hickok45

Ramone
April 8, 2013, 12:03 PM
It really depends on having just the right terrain, but at a friends deer camp, we took advantage of a tiny stream running down our back stop to make water powered pop up targets-

when they are all knocked down, the fastest pops up after about 15 minutes and they are all (12) up after about 40 minutes. Some will fall and then reset themselves if you hit them just right. Makes for some great shooting.

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