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Posted: 1/17/2006 4:23:36 PM EDT
My dad is looking to build a shooting range in our basement. He and I got talking and decided that best way to do this by cutting a hole in the basement wall and putting a tunnel out into the yard. It would have to be 60ft long. It needs to be this long for practicing for small bore competition rifle. The only problem is the price. We figured that the tunnel needs to be close to 3ft in diameter. Our first choice is cement pipe which is roughly $6000. The second choice is steel which is roughly $3500. I was wondering if pvc pipe would work and how much. Any other ideas would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:24:15 PM EDT
you'll need a damn good ventilation system unless you want to get chronic lead poisioning...

or just use lead-free ammo.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:26:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
you'll need a damn good ventilation system unless you want to get chronic lead poisioning...

or just use lead-free ammo.



We have the ventilation all figured out. The pipe is the main proplem right now.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:31:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 4:32:21 PM EDT by the_great_snag]
I think I would put an insulated door between the shooting station and the basement proper. Unless you wanna heat that tunnel buried in the cold cold Michigan ground! EDIT: You can always leave the door open while shooting so you don't freeze, but I would guess that pipe would be a real energy hog otherwise...

Also, how are you gonna retrieve targets? Some kinda pulley system?
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:34:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
you'll need a damn good ventilation system unless you want to get chronic lead poisioning...

or just use lead-free ammo.



The majority of lead exposure is not from the actual bullet. Lead exposure comes from the Lead Styphenate which is the primary compound found in almost all primers made today. So lead free bullets would not reduce your lead exposure.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:39:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By the_great_snag:
I think I would put an insulated door between the shooting station and the basement proper. Unless you wanna heat that tunnel buried in the cold cold Michigan ground! EDIT: You can always leave the door open while shooting so you don't freeze, but I would guess that pipe would be a real energy hog otherwise...

Also, how are you gonna retrieve targets? Some kinda pulley system?



We are going to make a room in the basement that is just for guns. On the inside of the room we will have sound mufflers and insulated doors that open up into the tunnel.

Yes, we will have a pulley system to retrieve the targets.

We will have blowers just above the tunnel that blow fresh air into the room. Then at the end of the tunnel we will have a blower pulling air out of the tunnel.

As of right now this is all in a design phase. We don't have the money/time right now and it is too cold to be cutting holes in the house.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:47:00 PM EDT
I had a friend that built one. He used a 3 or 4 foot culvert pipe (steel or aluminum) it went from the back of his shop thru the garage and into the driveway. It had an angled steel trap of his own design that could be cleaned via a manhole cover in the driveway. He wired it for lights and used an electric drill to power the target retrieval system. He used a shop vac that sucked thru about 30 feet of pipe that was routed up and down the garage wall and into the vac which was mounted high on the wall out of the way and actuated with a light switch. It could be used by two shooters.

The range end was a 10x10 room that was under the shop with a spiral staircase into it, very cool. It could be closed out of sight. It was about 75 feet long so you had 25 yds for pistol and could shoot 7yd, 10 meter air and 50 foot as well. He used switchs to indicate the distance on a lighted panel.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:52:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JaredB:

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:
you'll need a damn good ventilation system unless you want to get chronic lead poisioning...

or just use lead-free ammo.



The majority of lead exposure is not from the actual bullet. Lead exposure comes from the Lead Styphenate which is the primary compound found in almost all primers made today. So lead free bullets would not reduce your lead exposure.



+3,000,000

Ventilation should be your primary concern, to the point where there is a constant breeze on you, pushing everything AWAY (downrange) of you, and away from the house. This would mean a vent at the end of the tunnel somewhere. The fan(s) should be running for at least an hour or two after you exit the range, and the route to the house should be airproof.

Of secondary concern should be two things; bullet trapping, and sound insulation.

Of tertiary concern should be target retrevial.

Lighting, proper lighting, should be somewhere in there as well.

If you're doing small bore...well, depends on the small bore Technically a .223 is small bore...so I'd build/engineer a backstop that can take at least 2x what you'll normally throw at it.

Anything's feasable...just takes some engineering.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:58:12 PM EDT
I'm in the middle of a build like this now. The tunnel is 80 feet, 4x4' inside dimension. 4x4 posts every 4' with a doble flat truss atop each, whole thing "planked" with 2x12 lumber, and sealed. The sides of the tunnel are in the ground and the top of the tunnel has 2' or more of dirt over it. I got a thread started with picks of the tunnel dug out. Got more pics coming of tunnel progress.


Having it attached to your house can really suck if you screw the pooch in ventilation. Just too many "ifs" for my taste. Think about building it seperate from the house in a storm cellar type setup.

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