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Building a range; asking for your ideas please

Discussion in 'Rallying Point and Range Discussions' started by OptimusPrime, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    I forgot to mention that there is no power up there, just woods. All gadgets must be battery-powered.
  3. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. diverdon

    diverdon New Member

    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
  5. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Well-Known Member

    Hope you get "good" insurance.
  6. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. orangeninja

    orangeninja Well-Known Member

    I'm about to do the same thing. Though slightly less ambitious. I'll be watching this thread with great interest.
  8. *NOVA*

    *NOVA* Well-Known Member

    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?
  9. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Grey_Mana

    Grey_Mana Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    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...
  13. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

    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.

  14. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Well-Known Member

    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.





  15. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

    You Kansas guys get all the cool stuff...lol
  16. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Well-Known Member

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

    ; ^ )

  17. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member


    I'm in Kansas too.
    South of you off HYWY 69.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  18. justice06rr

    justice06rr Well-Known Member

    Great thread. I've been looking to purchase a piece of land that has maybe 100-200yard length for the same purposes.
  19. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    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

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