A few months ago, my father-in-law bought his first hand gun. He already has a rifle range in his back yard (14 acres between a swamp and several farms in the middle of nowhere). But now that he also has a handgun, and he knows that I enjoy shooting (when I can find ammo), he wants to put in a small range using the same dirt backstop as the rifle range.
Anyone have any suggestions on things to include? We are going to build a table at a slight angle, and I think I might pile up a bit more dirt on top, because right now we are shooting at a slight down angle.
Other than that, how far should we put the table from where the targets would be? I was thinking of putting some markers for different distances, so we know how far to move back. I have already been told that my wife and I will inherit this land and the house someday, so I am more than willing to spend a bit of time and money on this project.
you will want to shoot at different distances so make the table light enough to move easily. Markers are a good idea. Targets of course and some steel targets.. Check out Hickock 45's range on you tube, you might get some good ideas from him.
I'd put a table at 25 yards for standard distance. If you've got the money, order a load of screenings and spread them in a fairly wide path (not the whole load) between 25' bench and nearly up to the targets. Finding your brass will be a bunch easier. Spread screening to the right and rear of the bench as well. If you don't reload, betcha that someone that you know does and would love to have the brass. Besides, are we not heathens....er, no. I mean, let us not be heathens and leave our brass piling up like so many drunken ******** in the summer sun. Or something like that. Send the brass to me, postage paid.
I've got a fifty yard range on my place, shooting at a nice size berm, backed up by 8 acres of thick trees that belong to me. I've got my table at the 50, as that's where I do the initial sighting in of my rifles. Got a couple of target stands made with PVC and wood, a couple of steel spinners, and a rail for setting bowling pins on when I'm in the mood. I have access to a 600 yard range, when I need it.
I've got some range markers on the ground, and use our golf cart to run all the stuff out for a range session, as well as to act as our mobile table, from the target back to 50.
Beats the hell out of any public or municipal range I'll say.
You might consider building a short wall from square railroad ties and then piling dirt behind that. You can easily hng targets on the wall and you know you have a very safe backdrop to shoot against. Also RR ties are very cheap, couple bucks apiece and you have to sign a waiver saying you wont burn them.
I also built a range on our place by digging into a hill for the backstop and gravelling in a 30x30 meter area for handgun use. My range also slopes downhill as I shoot from hill to hill across a dip. I also use the same backstop for handguns, and rifles from 100-400 yards. Recently I put in an additional small berm for shots out to 500.
In addition to the berm and bench, I’d take a look at what you want for targets. I use primarily commercial made targets in AR 500 steel. With steel you usually get what you pay for, go for armor plate. Once your steel gets dented/cratered, it's no longer safe for the close in work, as you'll get splash back. Besides 2/3rds IDPA silhouettes I have an IDPA swinger, a knockdown, and a set of Bowling pins in AR500 that we shoot with handguns and rifles at distance. I’ve also got 6 steel stands to hold IDPA silhouettes on 1x2 firing strips.
Thanks for the great suggestions. Bigmacque, that might be a heck of a drive from FL to MI....
I think I might talk to the FIL about renting a bobcat to bowl the sand bank a bit more. That way we can do all sorts of drills. I know he often rents one to regrade the driveway and put down more gravel in the spring, so it would be a perfect win/win.
I love the idea of the screen. We both want to keep it somewhat natural looking, so the screen idea will still allow the natural field grasses to grow up and I will be able to collect the brass or MY reloads. I need something to shoot...
The target suggestion is very much appreciated. I think I might also pick up two of these to have races too...
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