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Posted: 6/12/2003 11:48:23 AM EDT
I am building a range up on my mountain property and I am sure many of you guys have already made your own so you know some tips and hints. First some physical information: The physical dimensions are about 250 feet long and 20 feet wide, I wish it could be longer but the lay of the land is just not going to allow that. The backstop/berm is a natural hill about 35 feet high. No electricty or water. The area is forested with the exception of the range area itself and the backstop. Usually the area is relatively dry, no streams or springs nearby. Plans: I have already welded up some nice metal tables to place in the ground and have some framework to build a box like shelter. My current plan is to bury the structure with dirt to form kind of a cave from which to shoot. Shelter size is about 8*8*10 once secured in the ground. It is in a narrow little valley, lengthwise, so this will not require as much dirt moving as it sounds like. For a "target holder" or hanger I was going to use two metal tubes to hold up a 4*6 from which paper targets could be held on strings. Other targets would sit on the ground. So does that sound like it would work? Am I missing anything important? Any ideas? Thanks guys.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 12:36:15 PM EDT
Make sure the 'cave' doesn't fill with water when it rains. Why not just leave the structure open to the air? If you are going to be shooting at metal, make sure there is no dry grass near the target. You don't want to start a fire! How are you going to keep it light in the cave? You will want to be able to see papers, cartridges, etc. from your shooting position.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 4:26:32 PM EDT
I didn't mean a dark bear cave. [:D] More of what I meant is that I would fill the dirt in on all sides of the structure except the front. This is primarly to make the structure less obtrusive visually. The top may or may not be covered with dirt. So far I am thinking the dirt will stop about a foot from the top so that a little ventilation can occur and light can enter. Also the depth of the "cave" will only be 8 feet at most so plenty of light should get in. The "cave" or shooting box will be about 2 feet about the valley floor so water should not be a problem. As for the fire concerns we keep the shooting area pretty clean, of trash and vegitation, so there is no worry of a fire. Thanks
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 10:42:39 AM EDT
The cave is also going to be loud. If you've ever shot under a shooting station like at an organized range it's already louder than open air. Filling in three sides will just make it louder. You might could just berm up around the covered area, but I'd start the berm no less than 10' away from the edge of the cover. I would suggest that if you have the means the direction of travel of the bullets be from South to North. In other words, the firing line to the South, the berm to the North. This is the way to get the least amount of interference from the sun in your eyes throughout the day.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 2:30:16 PM EDT
Damn, didn't think about the sun. [:(] That is going to suck, the range runs almost perfectly west-east. Too bad I already cleared the trees. I knew I should have asked you guys before I started. DO'H! I've shot indoor ranges before and it didn't seem that bad with ear muffs, but then that was handguns and .22's. The ol' 30-06 might be a little more painful in a box. Never shot a rifle indoors or by a wall, how much worse is it than a handgun? (with ear protection of course) If the thing hurts to shoot in that would be a serious waste of time. Thanks Norman
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 3:07:42 PM EDT
I had an AD w/ an AR indoors when I was selling guns. My ears rang for 3 days afterwards. I have been to indoor ranges where they allow rifles, and it is damn near unbearable. I don't shoot at them because of the noise levels. Check out your area and see what you can find, maybe you can try it out. Also, the noise level is over time remember. So if there's a 1dB increase for each shot fired, the damage it's doing to your ear is cummulative over time. I'm not a Dr., but I do have a degree in architecture and we had to learn alot about acoustics. It was a few years ago but I seem to remember this. Personally I'm as concerned with damage to my ears as I am with being uncomfortable since I'm still a relatively young 28. Is your berm at the West end or the East? There might be some things you can do depending on which way it goes. Alot of the things you deal with in architectural design and passive design come into play with dealing with the elements on a range. That's where my limited expertice comes from.
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