GUN Building a range on my property... need answers

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Admitted, May 3, 2008.

  1. Admitted

    Admitted I shouldn't be on OT right now.

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    I was looking to build a 35 yard range. How thick and tall should the berm be? :x:

    This is for my personal use only, any other things to consider?
     
  2. idleprocess

    idleprocess Bring a dollar with you baby in the cold cold grou

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    I am not an expert on these matters, so if someone has any better advice, feel free to step in.

    I'm assuming you've done some preliminary investigation into this? Not a problem in your municipality/county? Your proposed range/backstop location isn't going to prove troublesome in some way (no busy highway/school/zoo behind it)? I hope you're a good ways distant from any neighbors of any sort that might complain in any way.

    Backstop height/depth would depend on a number of factors such as fill material in your backstop, what you're shooting, and the lay of the land (ie, what's behind the backstop). If you're going to be shooting .22LR exclusively, you probably won't need so much of a backstop as if you plan on going full-auto with an M2 every other day of the week. It's not practical to build a backstop to catch 100% of the rounds fired, but it needs to catch 100% of the rounds that strike the target and as much idiot-proofing as you can build into it. Someone other than you might use it someday and experience some muzzle climb getting stupid with an AR. You might experience a ND with the gun angled up by ten degrees.

    If your range is on a high spot with clear view of the horizon over the backstop, you're going to need it to be higher than if your backstop is in a lower spot with uninhabited land behind it that you own or know to be mostly unused.

    If your backstop is in a low spot, flood plain, or runoff will drain into a waterway, you're going to be looking at lead contamination in flowing water and possibly groundwater. There may be some issues with environmental agencies if there is runoff.

    I would build the backstop as high and broadly as possible and try to stabilize it with some sort of "structural" fill like landscape timbers, railroad ties, a low cinder block wall at the back or deep within, retaining walls buried within, etc. If you can get some vegetation to grow on it, that will help to reduce erosion, although you probably won't get much to grow on the impact side of the backstop if you use it with any regularity.

    Ideally, this backstop will be bigger than you think you'll ever need, and there are miles of known uninhabited/unused/fenced-off/etc land behind it, or it's nestled into some similarly-abandoned foothills that your guns can't shoot over.

    Backstops seem to require regular maintenance to fight the inevitable forces of erosion and time.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  3. Initial E

    Initial E New Member

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  4. springy101

    springy101 When god comes and calls me to his kingdom, I'll t

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    I've asked about this before on other forums and I was told it is entirely dependent on the county you live in. They pretty much the only way to find out for sure is call your sheriff and ask him.
     
  5. Admitted

    Admitted I shouldn't be on OT right now.

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    That's what I was planning on doing. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. cantankerously

    cantankerously Active Member

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    I shoot into some piles of dirt we pushed up with a bulldozer.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Admitted

    Admitted I shouldn't be on OT right now.

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    I have to figure out the difference between just plain shooting (which is allowed in my county) on private property and the difference between what constitutes "a range". Ideally I'd like my own space for a 3 gun course.
     
  8. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    assuming it is legal to shoot outdoors in your county/town - "your place to shoot" and having people pay you to use it are two totally different things
     
  9. Willie J

    Willie J New Member

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    i built one at the top of a hill shooting down into a dried creek bed.
     
  10. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    there may be other stipulations, but if people are paying you then you can bet your ass it's a "range". Likewise, I would not advertise it for anyone else, and I wouldn't recommend letting others use it without you being there with them.
     
  11. Admitted

    Admitted I shouldn't be on OT right now.

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    No one would ever be paying me. I would always be there if in use, with no more than 2 other people. Realistic I would use it once a week in the summer with no use in the winter.
     

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