Building a long range rifle shooting range is a complex task. This quick guide will give you all of the necessary tools that you will need, as well as the information you will need to know when discussing the details of your range with your contractor.
First, there are three ways to build your range. You can boot strap your range and built it all by yourself, you can sub contract out the entire range project and let somebody else do all the work for you, or you can do a combination of these and tackle some projects yourself and leave the heavy lifting to the contractors.
Because I feel that the third option will be the best fit for most people that is the option I will focus on today. However, all of the principles outlined here will be applicable for anyone who is building their range by themselves, or someone who is having a contractor to come in and build it for you. When you first begin your long range rifle shooting range there are a couple very important factors to consider.
- Legal Issues
The location of your range is critical. You obviously cannot build a range in a downtown or suburban neighborhood. You would not have enough room, and your neighbors would be less than thrilled. You will also need to consider how much space will be taken up by your range. Many long range rifle shooting ranges can extend up to 1500 meters or beyond so there is a need for a lot of space. The best source of space is the availability of acreage that you personally own. You will need to secure an area that has a clear line of sight for a minimum of 2000 meters. This will allow you room to build your shooting platform and also build a back stop for your shooting range.
The second major concern is noise. Once again, you cannot build a range around other houses or people. Long range rifles make a lot of noise when fired so your range must be well out of hearing distance so people are not made anxious by your shooting or by your construction. You will need to check the noise ordinances for your area to make sure that you do not violate any of these.
The last major concern is any legal issues that may arise. You must make sure that you have the adequate permit to build your range, and that your range does not violate any noise ordinances. You also must make sure that all of the guns used on your range are legal and are licensed by the person shooting them. You will also need to carry extra insurance to cover your workers who build the range and yourself as you use the range. Also make sure that there are no legal issues with your state or local governing body that would prevent you from building a long range rifle shooting range on your property.
Once you have considered all three of those issues you will need to begin construction. Your shooting platform can either be covered or uncovered or both. Many people prefer a covered platform to be able to escape from the elements but other prefer an open platform so they can simulate more real world scenarios. Build according to whatever you prefer.
You will also need to build your back drop that will catch the bullets after they pass through your target. If you own a piece of heavy dirt moving equipment you can easily accomplish this. If not, you might consider renting such a piece of equipment or giving this task to a contractor. You will simply need to pile a large mound of dirt at the end of your range that is tall and wide enough to stop any bullets. You may also consider installing a concrete wall barrier within the dirt mound that will also held to stop any bullets and stray ammo.
Once you have created your shooting platform and your back drop you will simply need to mark out the distance for calibrating your rifle sights, hang up some targets, and start shooting.