Shooting In The Country

This is a discussion on Shooting In The Country within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; SIXTO started a plinking thread, which got me thinking... How much land does it take for it to be "safe" to shoot? What do you ...

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Thread: Shooting In The Country

  1. #1
    Member Array Hawk's Avatar
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    Shooting In The Country

    SIXTO started a plinking thread, which got me thinking... How much land does it take for it to be "safe" to shoot? What do you do to ensure the safety of those around you?

    As an example: I recently bought a weekend place out in the country. Its 5 acres, about 250' wide and 1000' deep. I go to about the midway point and shoot my .22s, .38, 9mm, and (once) my 7.62x39. I have a contractor that has put a significant number of rounds into a sandpile from his .223 and .45.

    There is a natural contour to the land that has you shooting "down" into the base of a small swell in the property. Even so I am not 100% comfortable, as there is another house about 450' (as the crow flies) back and to the left. Put another way: it is probably about 30 degrees to the left of my target and 350' further back on the property.

    The next residence is directly behind my target area through about 1/4 mile of heavy woods. Now keep in mind, I am shooting at a downward angle and the contour is such that it would be impossible for me to get a round to track to that house (or to their property) without repositioning my targets and myself.

    What would you reccomend as additional safety precautions? I am considering building a shooting box with built in "aiming stakes" to keep barrels oriented the right way. Anyone got any other thoughts? What do you do on your own property?

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    Member Array GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    My father made a dirt mound behind our designated 'target area' with his tractor as he built our pond. Seems to work just find, except my mother thinks its ugly!

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    At least a mile or 1/2 mile of heavy woods. Even with a good berm
    you can get AD down range that will go over the berm.

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    I shoot into my pond bank. The next house in line through some thick timber is over a mile away.
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    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    I shoot into the woods that covers the hill out back. There is an old gravel pit back there as well.

  7. #6
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    On our old family place I shoot into a shallow box canyon.

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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    I think a good backstop is much more important than the linear distance of unoccupied land behind your target. I'd put at least a 10' wide by 5' high berm out there to suck up bullets.

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    I bought a semi load of railroad timbers. It sounds expensive, but it really wasnt. I built a u shaped wall about 30' wide and about 10' high.
    I then rented a small dozer. I pushed dirt up against the backside of the wall, and seeded it to help prevent erosion.

    It has worked well, but its time to replace the timber. Ten guys went in with me on it, in exchange for range use. I also allow some very much trusted local CCW instructors use the range for a small percentage of their class fee. It has paid for itself in about two years time. Total cost was about 3k.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Another vote for berms - or equivalent.

    There is of course always the outside chance of an ND going high and then the distance factors re housing can be important but - for pistol use in particular I think berms are the real deal.

    Used to live in a place with an ideal natural backstop - sadly now best I can manage is a small backstop for .22 only at 25 yards .... beyond which is plenty of space but not good enough for anything much bigger.
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    I only own an acre, but I have RR Tracks that is built up about 25 feet. Natural barrier. I shoot into a ditch..

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    VIP Member Array Sig 210's Avatar
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    "I think a good backstop is much more important than the linear distance of unoccupied land behind your target."

    Very good point.

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    Senior Member Array firefighter4884's Avatar
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    Do any of you guys worry about too much lead in the ground from shooting in the same place time after time? Just curious.

    I don't shoot at home, but would like to be able to shoot my .22's, and this to me is the biggest worry....

    --Jim
    Last edited by firefighter4884; October 25th, 2007 at 12:49 AM. Reason: forgot stuff
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    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    My firewood pile makes an excellent backstop for pistol rounds. An added bonus is that I can recover some of the bullets and re-cast them.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter4884 View Post
    Do any of you guys worry about too much lead in the ground from shooting in the same place time after time? Just curious.

    I don't shoot at home, but would like to be able to shoot my .22's, and this to me is the biggest worry....

    --Jim
    It would takes way more lead than you will ever be able to shoot to make a difference. Where did the lead come from in the first place?

    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Eastland County, Texas is in big trouble if we have to worry about lead. The duck slough alone was carpeted in lead shot long before the lead shot ban.

    Lead is dangerous. My cousins and I once used a very large mesquite tree as a backstop. After years of absorbing bullets it collapsed. That bad ol' lead finally blew it to pieces.

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