Author Topic: I Get to Build a Pistol Range  (Read 1701 times)

Offline David in MN

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I Get to Build a Pistol Range
« on: August 15, 2018, 09:22:50 AM »
Just like it says I (along with another guy) get to design and build the new pistol range at our gun club. As it stands we have a 25 yard long 15 yard wide U shaped dirt burm we get to fill however we want.

It turns out that the entire board are league trap shooters who know nothing about pistols. To the point that they don't even own one. So at our latest meeting one other member and I (we'll call him Tom) spoke up about setting up steel targets and maybe even attracting some of the handgun competitions which are very hard to find up here.

It's not just for my fun. We hope that filling our range with steel targets and reactive targets will be good for the club as we try to differentiate with the other less fun indoor square ranges. It will be the only dedicated pistol range built by pistol people for pistol people.

I'm curious what input I could get from the shooters around here. What have you seen that works or doesn't? We really want to turn our pistol range into a destination that people travel to shoot at. We're only 2 hours from downtown (a lot less from the north burbs) so building something fun could really bring shooters and revenue.

Offline DDJ

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Re: I Get to Build a Pistol Range
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 10:39:13 AM »
Good luck and post pictures.  I would love it if my club could add steel but we have decided not to.

I would suggest entertaining the thought of hiring a range consultant or take the NRA class (can you say side job opportunity).  This could keep you out of trouble with the people living around the club.  I have considered it but am unable to fund (time more than money) my training and my club does not have the funds.  There is a lot of gut feel and hearsay that will come up in meetings where rules and best practices are concerned. Steel scares most people because it is a fundamental no no.  If you get ahead of those early you might be able to stem off some of that.  That reduced our usage of steel to only when certain people are around.

Some of our experiences as my club added a "utility range":
Visit other facilities to see how they made their berms.  See if they post their rules where you can see them.  That will give you insight into the issues they have had. 

I would probably suggest making your rules stricter than you would prefer to cover the abuse and rule pushers.  It will likely be easier to relax a rule than to make it more restrictive.
When selecting steel I would think you might want to move up a class of steel.  If you get 22 steel someone will shoot it with a 9mm and damage it.  I would assume rifles will be used (AR and AK pistols at least).
You may want to put up a camera and DVR to watch for abuse.

Your mileage may very and I do wish you the best.

Offline Carl

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Re: I Get to Build a Pistol Range
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 01:52:07 PM »
  Steel reactive targets are often a lot of FUN...but at such short ranges you may find bullet construction is important as the gilding or jacket of many rounds has a bad reputation for returning to the shooter area due to 'splash' and some may get small,though generally not dangerous fragment wounds while a lead only slug is much more safe and less prone to return problems. Also make sure air ventilation of the shooters area is robust so shooters are not exposed to a cloud of lead styphenate  to breath as the 'lead' danger is mostly from expended priming compounds.Also,you may find indirect lighting will allow lights,if used,to last longer.