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How much land will I need?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by fjolnirsson, May 28, 2004.

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  1. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

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    How much land wil I need?

    Ok, so I'm moving to Oregon. I own a home here in CA, and I'm sick of it all. Sick of the gangs, sick of the weather, sick of the recession, sick of the people and the legislature. I want something better for my family.
    I am in a position, when I sell my home to do a serious upgrade in terms of land.
    How much would I need for a private range for personal use? Any ideas?
    I want to be able to go outside and plink up to about 50 yards. I'll build a good berm. How many acres would be sufficient? Neighbors probably won't be a real problem, I'll inform them of my range, and I'm looking for rural areas, anyway. No city ordinances to worry over.
    I've looked over home prices online, and found some really sweet deals in good areas. I figure the minimum I'm buying will be about 4.5 acres. I can do that and make a profit of around $100 grand. Will that be enough? How far should my berm backdrop be clear?

    Is this even a possibility? Or am I smoking crack? Any of you plink in your yard?
     
  2. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    Government (state, local) ordinances aside - and that's a big aside because you need to check noise, environmental and other ordinances to make sure you can do as you intend, you probably are looking at 50-100 acres to get the job done.

    Keep in mind that this will not be enough room to fire anywhere but into a backstop. Even a 22 goes something like 1 1/2 miles so you'll still need to construct something to trap the projectiles.

    Bordering up against state land might be an idea as wll.

    The NRA has a source book for range design - suggest you invest in it and do things right. I don't have a copy as yet but they may have minimum land requirements in there as well.

    General information here: http://www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/

    Book: http://www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/sourcebook.asp

    This has also been discussed here in a number of threads like this one: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=63531

    Do a search here on acreage . . . . good luck.
     
  3. berettaman

    berettaman Member

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    The total land area isn really a personal and monetary thing.My shooting range is only two lots but that is enough for me.It is next to the marina of a lake resort(if you could call it that)and the only one who complains is the drunk who bought it a few years back.Otherwise there is a total of about 12 homes in the rural addition where I live and no one has ever complained.It's not rare to hear the report of a shotgun or pistol in the neighborhood."oh that's just Mike.He's either showing off to a friend or testing out a new acquisition.Damn that boys got a lot of guns,is that a new one?".The town has turkey shoots a couple times a year for different holidays at the local park accross the bridge.So I guess what I'm saying is that "most" country folks don't go ape $ht over hearing gunfire.My backstop is a large mound of dirt,rock and cement that was left in the far corner of the second lot when they finished building the house.They wanted to knock it down and haul it off.I told them not to even think about it,that it was going to be my bullet stop.I got a funny look from the city boys who did the construction.:D
     
  4. mfree

    mfree Member

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    Heh, out here in semirural tennessee I hear gunshots all the time, i generally just sit back and wonder what's in season or if the dogs are running cattle again.

    Now, when the neighbors across the road start playing with dynamite *again*... (seriously. They blow stumps though :)
     
  5. Brett Bellmore

    Brett Bellmore Member

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    How much acreage you need is very dependent on it's shape. Unless, of course, you're a really rotten shot. :D My 16 acres, for instance, is only 160 feet wide at the front, but it's all of half a mile long, with another half mile of somebody else's woods on the other side, and farm fields to the left and right. But I still need a backstop. Exactly 100 m from the rail of my back porch...
     
  6. harpethriver

    harpethriver Member

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    Get a copy of a book by Gene GeRue titled "How to Find Your Ideal Country Home." There are 2-3 editions. I talked to Gene last year and current edition was temporarily out of print while he changed publishers. Rather than go in to a lengthy dissertation about the book, let me just say that it is the most complete and concise primer available on the subjects you're interested in. It is written in layman's terms with a good dose of common sense, practical advice, and a measure of Will Rogers type humor thrown in. I have read everything out there I am aware of and this book is by far the best. I cannot stress enugh that it is worth the effort to find a copy. By the way Gene is a Northern California/San Francisco expatriate who left for the same reasons you cite. He currently lives in the Missouri Ozarks.
     
  7. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    50 yards deep x 10 yards wide is a lil over 1/10 acre. 50 yards square is about 1/2 acre. 250 yards square is about 13 acres. 250 yards x 50 yards is about 2.6 acres. 43,560 square feet per acre.
     
  8. another okie

    another okie Member

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    I own 40 acres. The amount of acreage is not all that important. Location is vital. Buying on the edge of a town is a good investment, but a lousy way to be able to shoot. Cities can and do annex land, and you can suddenly find yourself subject to town ordinances. The population is going to continue to grow, so go well out from a town.

    Look around and see if the neighborhood looks like people who hunt and shoot live there. (BMWs are a sign you're in the wrong place; four-wheel drive trucks with grill guards and winches are a sign you're in the right place.)

    I am able to shoot into the side of a steep hill, and in a direction in which no one lives for about 5 miles. Otherwise rent a bulldozer and put up a backstop. It's sure nice to have a tree screen between where you shoot and the road, both for noise muffling and because people get more agitated when they can see you shooting.

    This is a little off-topic, but one of the first things many people do when they move to the country is buy a couple of dogs and let them run loose. Don't do that. Some of us use our land for productive purposes - cattle, gardens, sheep, pigs. Dogs will cause damage and eventually get shot, causing hard feelings all around.
     
  9. pax

    pax Member

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    fjolnirsson,

    Good plan. The Pacific Northwest is God's country. Once you move here, as long as you and your family are EX-Californians, you'll fit right in. Too many of the northwest's immigrants from the south bring the California attitude with them ~ but I'm sure you will not. ;)

    Dunno about land size. I just wanted to point out for when you start looking at specific places that the Willamette Valley, even the rural parts of it, is the worst place in Oregon for shooting afficionados. If you are able to swing it, both eastern Oregon (avoid Bend itself) and southern Oregon are very gun friendly. The closer you get to Portland, the more likely you are to encounter neighbors who have brought California with them in their minds.

    pax
    former Californian in the great northwest

    Whatever starts in California unfortunately has a tendency to spread. -- Jimmy Carter
     
  10. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    What Pax said, and it depends on the terrain. If you have a big hill (or butte or mountain) as a backstop, you don't need nearly as much land as if it's flat for miles. What part of the state?
     
  11. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    Why Oregon? Why not Idaho or Montana? AFAIK Oregon is ALMOST as much a socialist paradise as is Californiastan.
     
  12. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Not landlocked (i.e., no continental weather extremes)? Shall-issue CCW permits? No sales tax? Some job opportunities?

    That would be my guess. :D

    ~G. Fink
     
  13. crewchief

    crewchief Member

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    I am moving to Ohio in a month and my in-laws have there own private range at home. This range has two skeet throwers and targets set up all the way to 100yds. and that is just on the actuall back lawn. With the use of the farmers land behind us we can actually push out to about 800yds. if we wanted too.

    Now thier property is not very wide as in street frontage but it is real deep and totally flat. The land that is ours is a 400 acre chunk and that is what the range is set up on and behind us as a back drop and what we can use to push back is a 20,000 acre farm of nothing but corn. Past that farm as far as you can possibly see with a telescope is nothing but farms and not a single residence or building. This is important as I said the land is completely flat, so all in all I would say that we have a good 15-20 miles of nothing for a bullet to hit and that is why I am considering buying a .50cal sniper rifle to shoot out there.

    Now you certantly don't need that much clearance for most applications ecspecially shotguns. In fact I think that you only need a few hundred feet as a backstop for a shotgun. Like others said though if your land is hilly you can cut down on the amount of land you will need as a massive hill can be your backstop.

    Another thing that you might want to look at is who's or what land is adjacent to yours. If it is a big empty lot you have more backstop to work with. Hope this helps.
     
  14. pax

    pax Member

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    Gordon,

    Plus, Class 3 weapons are legal in Oregon. Wheeee!

    pax

    Full auto is a great way to turn money into noise. -- Clint Smith
     
  15. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    Maybe mentioned , maybe not: I remember reading here a while back, here I believe, that some states require a minimum acreage for shooting/hunting. I have been told by several people since that in Indiana, for instance, it's 5 acres. Personally I am on 12 and a 150 yd range is no problem but even with the other 27 acres of mine across the tracks I still feel hemmed in. Need more land. Never enough. :) Find some in BFE with a relatively low value and buy 45 instead of 4.5.
     
  16. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    Crewchief - you still need a proper backstop for rifle rounds. Can you be 100% positive that there is NEVER anybody on that farm land (which you do not own) when you shoot? Does the farmer ever plow the field? The odds are small but the consequences are great. Obey rule #4. You need a backstop, especially if the land is flat.
     
  17. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    FWIW, Eastern Oregon can be considered "landlocked" and is indeed a totally different environment than west of the Cascades. Also, both Idaho and Montana are "shall issue" states. As for unemployment rates, both Idaho and Montana's are LOWER than Oregon. See the U.S. Department of Labor table as of April 2004. Oregon appears to be FOURTH HIGHEST in the nation.

    What was that other one, oh yeah. Sales tax. Idaho does have a sales tax, I'll even look up the rate for you if you like. Montana has no sales tax.

    Doesn't sound like a compelling argument to me. :D
     
  18. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    You know, I think he's the first person I've ever heard of leaving California because they're sick of the weather.
     
  19. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Ultimately, about 6 feet by 3 feet
     
  20. Fronka

    Fronka Member

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    Look for land that adjoins a state forest or other government owned land that will not be developed.
     
  21. Black92LX

    Black92LX Member

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    My personal land that i shoot on sometimes, though not often because it is 3 hours from my home in cincy. We have 45 acres but where i shoot is about 7-10 acres. It is a nice flat spot where we used to have a cornfield when my great grandma still lived on the property. but i am lucky because it is at the foot of a mountain so God took care of the backstop for me.
     
  22. Otherguy Overby

    Otherguy Overby member

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    As said before, Oregon has no Sales Tax. However, property and income taxes are high and more than make up the difference.

    Once you get up near Eugene (a liberal hotbed) you'll be surrounded by liberals all the way to Portland.

    BTW, Washington state has no income tax and is also shall issue.

    Eastern Oregon and Washington have a lot of high desert like land.

    Montana also has no sales tax. Regretably, some of the nicer areas there have been infiltrated by very active liberals. Most especially around Flathead lake and Kalispell.

    I'd tend toward Idaho.

    Wyoming and South Dakota also have no income tax. South Dakota's property taxes are twice as high as Wyoming's, though.

    Once you leave California, every state is shall issue except for Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.

    I ended up with 160 acres in the Ozarks. (low taxes and shall issue)

    Finally, and most importantly, only buy unincorporated land well away from any town and watch out for any land use gotchas like well and septic restrictions/requirements.


    ***
    "I don't mind if you don't like my manners. I don't like them myself. They're
    pretty bad. I grieve over them long winter evenings." -- Phillip Marlowe
     
  23. scotjute

    scotjute Member

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    I'd recommend 40 acres, but if you're wanting to shoot 20 acres to my mind would be minimum. The ability to shoot into a natural hill/cliff/etc is a big big plus.
    I have looked at flat land with the idea being to have a long narrow strip graded to produce elevation on both sides and

    I have done shooting on a long thin 8 acre strip owned by a friend surrounded by others who own similar size/shaped strips. I limited it to pistol/.22 lr/ or black powder rounds. The site simply wasn't sufficient to contain high-powered rifle rounds.
     
  24. WYO

    WYO Member

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    I would suggest that you don't straightjacket yourself by purchasing based on your current firearms goals. A couple of months from now your firearms tastes may change and you're going to wish you could plink at multiples of that distance without having to drive somewhere. This would be especially true if you get into hunting or rifle competition.
     
  25. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    Last edited: May 28, 2004
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