How to build an outdoor range?

How to build an outdoor range?

This is a discussion on How to build an outdoor range? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My wife and I own 98 acres of land in Gatesville, TX and I'd like to shoot on our land on the weekends. The problem ...

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Thread: How to build an outdoor range?

  1. #1
    Member Array Eddie A.'s Avatar
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    Question How to build an outdoor range?

    My wife and I own 98 acres of land in Gatesville, TX and I'd like to shoot on our land on the weekends. The problem is that it's in the plains area and there aren't any hills to use as backdrops. Our land is surrounded by other plots of land that are all flat as well and there aren't any houses for miles. I've been told that I probably don't need to worry about having a backdrop in this situation, but I don't feel comfortable shooting without one because of the possible safety issue. What do ya'll think? Anyone have any ideas on how I can get dirt to create hills to use as backdrops?
    "I'd rather have my gun and not need it, than need it and not have it"


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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    Rent a bull dozer, or have someone come do it for you.
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    New Member Array Tscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie A. View Post
    My wife and I own 98 acres of land in Gatesville, TX and I'd like to shoot on our land on the weekends. The problem is that it's in the plains area and there aren't any hills to use as backdrops. Our land is surrounded by other plots of land that are all flat as well and there aren't any houses for miles. I've been told that I probably don't need to worry about having a backdrop in this situation, but I don't feel comfortable shooting without one because of the possible safety issue. What do ya'll think? Anyone have any ideas on how I can get dirt to create hills to use as backdrops?
    Either have some dirt trucked in or rent a back hoe and use what you already have. Should be pretty simple with the right tools. Just make sure it is tall and vertical enough to stop what you throw at it.

    Tom

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    If you get an excavator with a small dozer in for a few hours he can surface scrape up a fairly decent berm for a backstop.

    If he took off the top 2 inches of a 20 foot wide range 100 feet deep he would have about 10 yards of material to work with. If he fanned out the shooting area to a width of 30 or 40 feet you would soon have quite a bit of material that would serve as a backstop.. A 15 or 20 yard pile of earth if shaped right might serve you well.

    bosco

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    Member Array bones's Avatar
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    Dig a big hole, make that dirt into a big hill, place targets in front of hill. Voila!
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Having watched some of those cute youtube videos I would look carefully at the quality of dirt you are using. If you have fairly clean soil there without a lot of rocks I think the bulldozer plan would be a good option. If you have dirt trucked in I would think you could maybe have some rocks towards the back of your pile (depending on what you are shooting) but you need a whole lot of clean stuff facing the firing line to keep stuff from bouncing around.
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    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    I wish I could have someone build me one. I live too far into city limits to do so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie A. View Post
    My wife and I own 98 acres of land in Gatesville, TX and I'd like to shoot on our land on the weekends. The problem is that it's in the plains area and there aren't any hills to use as backdrops. Our land is surrounded by other plots of land that are all flat as well and there aren't any houses for miles. I've been told that I probably don't need to worry about having a backdrop in this situation, but I don't feel comfortable shooting without one because of the possible safety issue. What do ya'll think? Anyone have any ideas on how I can get dirt to create hills to use as backdrops?
    I wish I had your problems...
    I'd have a bulldozer in there and I'd have that range made pretty quickly.
    I believe that you could find a lot of info in the iNet about building private ranges...physical features, legal possibilities, zoning concerns, and safety thoughts.

    Stay armed...good luck...stay safe!
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    VIP Member Array Paco's Avatar
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    I'm thinking doze the dirt out, pile it up along the lane just made by the dozer and pile up some trees (sorry to the tree huggers) to make a wall. Then I'd go to the landfill or junk yard and get as many tires chewed up as you can and pile them in the back, behind your targets.

    The beauty of this is it doesn't have to be done all at once, start with dozing out a lane and build up the sides and back with the dirt, then move on bit by bit.

    Then invite all the TX DC.com'ers out to do some shootin'
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    Member Array Texas Yankee's Avatar
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    Just make sure your land isn't in wetlands. Even though it is dry most of the time, if it is lowlands near a creek or riverbed, even a dry one, it could be wetlands. If it is wetlands, then you can run afoul of all sorts of environmental regulations.

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    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Dig a trench 100yds long 6ft deep and 4ft wide. Jump in and hang a target at one end and shoot from the other. Bingo no distractions no windage...
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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    Dig a trench 100yds long 6ft deep and 4ft wide. Jump in and hang a target at one end and shoot from the other. Bingo no distractions no windage...
    And then hope it doesn't rain or you'll have what we in Kansas call a "strip pit".

    Seriously, if you don't have any open water on the property, pond dams make great backstops. I'd have a nice, large pond dug with the back of the dam facing where I wanted to set up my firing line.

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    Member Array pfcslr's Avatar
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    Make friends with a general contractor

    I cant tell you how many times I have had 100-200 yards of dirt to get rid of.




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  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie A. View Post
    My wife and I own 98 acres of land in Gatesville, TX and I'd like to shoot on our land on the weekends. The problem is that it's in the plains area and there aren't any hills to use as backdrops. Our land is surrounded by other plots of land that are all flat as well and there aren't any houses for miles. I've been told that I probably don't need to worry about having a backdrop in this situation, but I don't feel comfortable shooting without one because of the possible safety issue. What do ya'll think? Anyone have any ideas on how I can get dirt to create hills to use as backdrops?
    I'd say start digging and make a hill.

  15. #15
    Member Array rueljr's Avatar
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    My son and I used a small farm tractor with a bucket on the front and scrapper with teeth on the rear. We scrapped about 4-6 inches deep and 40' X 100'. We had a berm at the end a good 10' high and still had enough dirt left over for each side to have a decreasing berm out about 25' from the end. Try to put some slight slope into it away from the berm and toward one side for drainage.

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