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Posted: 9/3/2001 7:30:25 PM EDT
I'm curious: How difficult/expensive would it be to convert something like an old salt mine into a shooting range? The big advantages would be the ability to shoot year round, 24 hours a day, plus no noise complaints or lead disposal hassles or stray round worries, plus extreme privacy (no BATF agent is going to drop in on you when you're 100+ feet underground). Obviously, ventilation would be a big problem, plus you'd have a long elevator ride up and down, plus you'd need to have some sort of engineering inspections to be sure the place was still safe. This occurred to me as I was reading about the old salt mines under Detroit and Cleveland. The thought of running a range right underneath [literally] the noses of all the anti-gun politicians is just delicious. [8D] Are there any mining experts here?
Link Posted: 9/3/2001 11:45:26 PM EDT
The feds would find you in violation of the endangered species act for threatening the habitat of the cave cricket, shut down your range, make you pay for an environmental impact report, then seize the property.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 4:17:50 AM EDT
Or perhaps all the old salt mines are already filled with unsuccessful candidates for UMW offices. [xx(]
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 6:15:21 AM EDT
The short answer is yes it can be done. If fact, I believe there is an abandoned lead mine in Missouri that has been converted to a shooting range. A shaft operation is not ideal, but adit and portal type mines allow easier access. You would want at least two secure ingress/egress routes in case of fire. Ventilation is a concern, but it is part of the process of designing any underground operation. Salt mines would not be my first choice because of the corrosion factors. Stay away fom coal mines because of the danger of methane gas explosions. I would look for a hard rock mine, especially one that produced oxide rather than sulfide minerals. When the mine I was at shut down, I tried to get Sierra interested. A 1000 yard indoor range with a controllable environment should generate some interest, but no one responded. Another alternative would be to look at train tunnels along abandoned lines. Could be a little easier to get everything completed. HTH....SRM
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:42:36 AM EDT
SRM, do you have a rough estimate of how much it would cost to buy a closed mine? Would that entail buying all the real estate over the mine?
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:50:12 AM EDT
Hey, isn't making, repeated LOUD, CONCUSSIVE noises in old shaky mines a bad thing? I don't want to explain to my wife how I was trapped in a mine while plinking! :)
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 8:04:38 AM EDT
Hey, isn't making, repeated LOUD, CONCUSSIVE noises in old shaky mines a bad thing?
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Well, if you're plinking with a 120mm tank gun that might be an issue, but I doubt that ordinary small arms would produce enough sound energy to collapse a mine. The heavy equipment used to dig the mine in the first place probably makes more noise than any rifle or handgun ever would.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 9:40:03 AM EDT
There are several basic rights you may or may not get when you purchase property. The two most common are the surface estate (ground level to about -6 feet) and the mineral estate (ie mineral rights) You would need to obtain the mineral rights in order to allow access to the underground workings. You would also have to have some sort of lead recovery system, or shoot in a lead mine, or have a permit to deposit lead. The cost is going to vary based on local property values, but an old mine is usually not in the high rent district. If you ever have the opportunity to be underground when several hundred to several thousands of pounds of explosives are detonated, you'll understand why small arms fire is inconsequential. However, the walls (ribs) and the ceiling (back) of the workings can have rock loosen up over time. SOP for miners is to physically inspect access and work areas daily for loose rock. There are several methods of supporting the rock that can be vary long term to nearly permanent. HTH....SRM
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 9:51:50 AM EDT
Buy some 400 watt H.I.D fixtures and a hydroponics setup, and grow some cannabis in one of the secluded shafts to subsitize all the upgrades on your mine!
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 9:53:36 AM EDT
http://www.biznet1.com/gems/mining/ Mines for sale, pretty decent prices too
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 11:22:09 AM EDT
I would suggest finding a qualified licensed architect in your area to determine required egress, life-safety, and handicap accessibility issues. --Texason AIA
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 12:22:43 PM EDT
You would also have to have some sort of lead recovery system, or shoot in a lead mine, or have a permit to deposit lead.
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You need a permit to put lead [b]back into[/b] the earth?!?
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:05:24 PM EDT
Lead is considered a hazardous substance, even in the metallic form which is NOT bio-available (unless it is traveling in excess of 200 fps[:D]). Any for-profit business should check this out before proceding. The EPA is NOT our friend... SRM
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:09:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:11:57 PM EDT
Our basement range at our hanger was shut down due to poor ventalation. From what I understand the lead content of the air was pretty high from minute particles off the rounds. Aviator [img]www.dredgeearthfirst.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 7:38:19 PM EDT
Don't even think about a mine deep enough to require a hoist for entry. The cost of operating and maintaining the hoist and dewatering pumps will eat you alive. Your best bet is a former strip mine or quarry. Miners always ask, "why go to the trouble underground when you can do it on the surface?
Link Posted: 9/5/2001 6:20:01 AM EDT
I'd hate to see what a little of that salt would do to your guns.
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Is salt corrosive in the absence of water? The salt miners use lots of steel machinery so the corrosion problem can't be too bad.
Link Posted: 9/5/2001 9:11:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2001 11:02:56 AM EDT
Yes the humidity in the air in the salt mine would be enough to cause some problems without proper cleaning. What nasty chemicals are used in mining? The vast majority that I am familiar with involve high quantities of nitrates (from explosives) and petroleum-based lubricants. Acid mine drainage (AMD) occurs only in sulfide deposits. If those deposits are in dolomite/limestone, the rock provides a fair amount of natural buffering capacity. See above. I suggested a portal/adit hardrock operation which mined oxide minerals. Strip mines,gravel pits and tailings impoundments all offer opportunities to develop ranges and put property to work that may otherwise stay idle. The real key to this process is to convince first the mining company and then the state that the preferred method of reclamation is the development of a shooting range. HTH....SRM
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