Underground Ranges?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by G36-UK, Jul 26, 2006.

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  1. G36-UK

    G36-UK Member

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    This is something I've been thinking about since I read about complaints about nearby rifle ranges and noise, but I only really thought about it after reading the "shooting in basement" topic.

    What would be the problems in building a shooting range underground? I think the main problem would be the actual construction, and here's what I have at the moment for what is necessary.

    - Soundproofing around the range, to prevent noise pollution

    - Well ventilated to prevent lead buildup (someone advise on this please?)

    - Filters in ventilation to prevent spreading lead to the outside area

    - Cooling throughout the range

    - Bullet catcher at the and of the range (again, advice?)

    I'd like to point out this is only a hypothetical, as I don't really have the ability to create such a thing (not to mention the "publicity" form anti groups, lol). However, I do believe that this would be a good idea (at least until it's shot down, so to speak).
     
  2. SomeKid

    SomeKid Member

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    As far as bullet catchers, angle the range downward, and let the Earth catch them for you.
     
  3. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    My club has an indoor, mostly above-ground, fully-enclosed 100-yard rifle range. It's sort of set into a hill a little bit.

    Our backstop is a pile of black rubber from a bunch of chopped tires (tyres) AFAIK. Every once in a while, you can retrieve the metal and refresh the rubber.

    Going all underground would make soundproofing even better, but our cinderblock building isn't bad.

    It can be raining and blowing hard outside, and I can still go and sight in my hunting rifle in comfort and convenience. True outdoorsmanship, I'd say.:D
     
  4. HerrWolfe

    HerrWolfe Member

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    Dig 50 ft to 75 ft trench, install 20 inch drain tile or plastic pipe, dig pit at each end, one large enough for nice bench, the other to simply hold a target, and you have a bomb shelter for very tall skinny people and a shooting range. My range is behind the house...only 150 ft but it works for what I need. But it is noisy and a neighbor does complain (about the noise and everyting else too, like noisy driveway gravel!)
     
  5. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    You'd need to control groundwater seepage (i.e. waterproof the building) to prevent it from becoming a damp, dank pit.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Oh yeah...

    I forgot to mention that our range is on a slope, in a desert climate.

    Scotland is a tad wetter.:)
     
  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    The NRA used to (and probably still does) sell a book on building gun ranges with insights on everything from bullet traps, ventilation (especially how much air flow is needed), sound proofing, etc. It also has outdoor range information as well.
     
  8. learn2shoot

    learn2shoot member

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    They do still sell it and it is good. It is 20.00 for the CD and 50.00 for the hard copy. It includes a lot of building plans for target holders, shooting benches. It it really extensive, I have a copy if anyone in the NoVA area would like to preview please let me know and I can show it to you.

    http://www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/sourcebook.asp
     
  9. Aguila Blanca

    Aguila Blanca Member

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    Are we talking underground (as, with a roof), or simply depressed below grade?

    The range I usually shoot at is 12 lanes and completely underground. It is all reinforced concrete, and the parking lot is on the roof of the range portion. It goes out to 25 yards and has 12 lanes. There are two very large vertical "mushroom" ventilator fans at the shooting end to suck out the fumes -- I don't know if they have any special filters to catch the lead, or if it just goes into the atmosphere.

    Noise is nonexistent. From the gunshop area upstairs, you can hear the shooting but you can carry on a normal conversation and not need ear protection. From outside, you have to listen to know that someone is shooting under your car. From off the property you hear nothing.

    I think he uses a 45-degree deflector plate as a trap, and then at the floor level there's a "moat" filled with water. Dunno how deep it is, maybe 6 inches or a foot. The angled plate deflects the bullets down, and the water then slows them down, traps them, and contains any lead particles that may be flying around.
     
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    I've had the idea for years for an underground range.

    Dig a straight 100 yard long ditch, 2-3 foot wide and about 3 feet deep.
    Then the ditch would be covered with something and the dirt from the ditch piled on top. Making a tunnel that almost no stray bullet could escape.

    At each end build the necessary pit with shooting bench, etc. I already have a shed that would cover the shooting end and the target end would be designed for water runoff, etc.

    The problem is I never found something that would span a 3 foot ditch and support the dirt and would be cheap enough to use to cover 100 yards of ditch.:(
     
  11. mrmeval

    mrmeval Member

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  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Or do what they did with an old railroad tunnel in Wales:

    ""The Vaynol Tunnel Range provides
    members of the Bangor & District Practical
    Rifle & Pistol Club with a 24hr/365day - 475
    yard and 100 yard 'indoor' range. (The longest
    civilian 'covered range' in the UK and possibly
    the longest in the World).
    Originally created by a few dedicated
    shooters after the closure of the Ty Croes
    Army Range, the Vaynol Range provides
    shooting opportunities and a Club house for
    the members of The B&DPR&PC.
    The Range caters for all shooting disciplines
    and competitions are run for every variation of
    firearm.""
     
  13. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

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    Someone ( on here? ) took a septic tank put it underground, and filled one end with pee gravel. They connected it to the basement wall with concrete pipe. Cut a hole in the wall and bingo! Enclosed, hidden range.
     
  14. hiker44

    hiker44 Member

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    A late comment about underground ranges...

    A few years ago I read a detailed article about how an engineer in Greely, Colorado built his own underground rifle range. Now, to do it the way he did, I suppose you need to own enough real estate -- or have a small tunnel boring machine -- and here's how he did it. He had a deep trench dug on his property. In the trench, he had a 6 foot (2 metre) concrete pipe 100 yards long buried completely below the surface. At the target end, he built a bullet trap that would deflect all shots into the ground. At the operator end, he installed a shooting bench, lights, ventilation and an overhead track to transport targets. He installed recessed lighting at the target end, as well as at 25, 50 and 75 yards. The operator end of the range was in a small shed, so there was protection from the elements. Simple enough, as long as you have the finances to afford the construction, the necessary property to accomodate the size ot the place and some really good hearing protection. Can you imagine the concussion of a hunting rifle discharged inside a 6 foot concrete pipe?
     
  15. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    I was going to post about the range I go to, but I am pretty sure it's this one. I don't know about the specific construction or sound proofing, but it's true, you can be directly above the range in the parking lot, and the noise is minor.
     
  16. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

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    yes I fell for the need to clean the pipe range :evil:
    25yd 6 foot diameter pipe buried used to check zero probably nobody been down it for years:fire:
     
  17. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I have looked into this myself, thinking it would be less expensive (over the years), than 1) to pay $20.00/hour to shoot in an indoor range, 2) the gasoline, and especially 3) the loss of time to drive to a range:

    http://www.asiproaudio.com/gun_shooting_range.htm

    Maybe some day I'll be rich enough to build one. :D
     
  18. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    i think it is hornady that has such a beast. it is a great idea. you are not the first to think of it. you would need BIG concrete sewer pipe. a very large fan near the far end to pull fresh air through (sucking ALL the gun powder smoke / bullet dust, etc. DOWN RANGE and away from people). you could make it as long as you wanted, say 500 yards? as for a bullet trap, fill the last 10 feet of the last pipe with black dirt. the moisture from the surrounding ground should keep it fairly moist, which should keep most of it in place. if you are under ground, inside a concrete tunnel, there would not be much noise poloution except near the entrance. and if that is by the parking lot, it should be diffused enough naturally not to offend anyone by the time it travels a couple of hundred feet or so. now the noise level INSIDE would be horrendous. so everyone would HAVE to wear protection. lining the walls with large expanded metal would help break up the sound waves though. wrap it all the way around the inside of the concrete pipe for the first 50 feet or so. the cost of this would be staggering. which is why you dont see many. it is ALMOST the perfect range. you never have to worry about weather, wind, animals, etc. but space would be very limited, so you would only be able to accomodate a couple of people at a time. unless you are a multi-millionaire, and you want a private range that you could shoot at any time in any weather. it probably is not practical.
     
  19. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I don't see how it could be any quieter to those listening from the outside than a properly built above-ground structure. This - where I used to shoot - is a perfect example. You have to get up literally next to the building to hear any gunfire, which includes elephant guns and machine guns.
     
  20. everallm

    everallm Member

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    On the sound damping side, egg crate foam on the walls is probably the easiest and cheapest sound damper.

    I have seen this at one indoor range and they had scavenged almost all of this from a recycle center (asking the dumpers first) for free.

    It was not mounted directly on the walls as the foam will deteriorate over time. Mesh chicken wire raised on battens anchored on the walls and the foam wire twisted onto the wire, went about 15 feet down range.
     
  21. jester_s1

    jester_s1 Member

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    Heard about one a store built a while back. It was 100 yards made of a 36 inch sewer pipe. The big problem he had was water seepage. After a rain, the pipe had 6 inches of water in it. The range still worked, but was a financial failure because customers didn't like it.
     
  22. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    Back when Cougar & Hunter was still in business in Flushing, MI, they had a 100 yard underground range. Rooms with bench, gun rests and spotting scopes were built in the basement, and drain tile extended to the target end, where provided targets were hung for you. I liked it well enough, but it was kinda pricey, when the much cheaper to use Williams Gunsite range was 15 miles away.
     
  23. tribbles

    tribbles Member

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    Depending on your climate (and water table), instead of concrete, you could lay a few surplus metal intermodal shipping containers end-to-end. At least you could weld those up to keep the water seepage out.
     
  24. mrmeval

    mrmeval Member

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    http://www.soundproofing.org/

    Kinda nutty but has good info. You would want anything you put on the walls to have built in mold, mildew and bacterial protection, it would be a good idea to make it easy to remove for replacement.
     
  25. Steve N

    Steve N Member

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    Quote[On the sound damping side, egg crate foam on the walls is probably the easiest and cheapest sound damper.]Quote

    Use extreme caution when selecting foam for sound dampening. Remember the fire at the NJ club where Great White played? They used a non-fireproof foam, a fire started and 100 people died. Granted that was started by fireworks, but if a bullet can start a forest fire, a stray spark from muzzle blast, or a cigarette, could be all it takes. Always use an approved fire-proof foam for safety.
     
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