Designing a useful range at home

We have a relatively large piece of property here in Troy, AL, and have a straight forward, single lane shooting range. It’s ok, and provides me somewhere to shoot, but I’d prefer to set up a range where we can train a little more tactically.
What’s your recommendation(s) for setting up a home range?

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range (1).pdf (5.9 KB)
To start

  1. orientation is with Blue yellow green bars to your left and in the upper or north corner.
    (This was an Excel spreadsheet so that would make Column a blue,b Yellow ,c green,d-f light blue,g-h purple with red, I is blank or space,j is green.

Entry into the range is from the bottom or row 9 in Excel speak (example in column a the blue starts at a1 and ends at A4, while the yellow in column b starts at b1 and ends at b6, the green starts at c1 And ends at c9. Entry into this range is from the row 9 side.

Range Set up:
The blue column is for rifle at 100 yds possibly 200 if you desire. The shooting lanes are 1-3 your choice.

The yellow column is for rifle here again 1-3 shooting lanes 600 yards

The green column is single lane rifle at 1500 meters or 1640 yards.

The light blue boxes d-f is a static pistol range multiple lanes, leveled ground or concrete shooting area.

G-h the purple and red is an advanced pistol range,with a higher degree of saftey required.
The red indicates an intentionally disturbed,non level, debris laden foot area. Forcing an understanding of shooting from non normalized footing

This area may also contain targets with limited horizonal movement,forcing the shooter to shoot from many uncomfortable and moving situations
( This is advanced and magazine load should be minimized until understanding is achieved

I is simply recovery distance

J is a traditional 1 person limited course where firing around obstacles to hit targets is required,however one quarter of the course is sand underfoot,one quarter is ground,one quarter is pea gravel,and one quarter is concrete.

Additionally there can be an area set up next to this area of just flooring (wood) no targets,it is a movement area, so as to better listen to creaks ,noise,and to feel dips,and movement of wood overtime.

This particular design is partially covered, all of the shooting areas ,but open to the outside, including the wood movement area.

Shooting lanes is space and size dependant.
Backstops are all bulldozed berms, with an asummed area of woods behind them.

Back Berms are 3 to 5 times the height of the target (min example a 6 foot high target gets an 18 foot high berm ABOVE the target, for a minimum of 24 feet)

Berms are dirt no rock, they are stabilized first with old used tires on the back side, and if possible trees laid perpendicular to the ground on the front side. Berms of the front side should be as close to vertical as possible.

Thickness requires a few understandings one is the type of dirt and it’s liquidity index. Liquidity index tells you how much liquid mixture ( rain water) it can hold before moving or eroding. Obviously clay based is different from a loam or loose pack soil.
Stabilization is critical with a deep rooted grass if movable soil prior to placing tires and logs. Tires can be behind the logs also in the front but due to the vertical angle this gets expensive( we are trying to be fairly cheap here and in a do it yourself mode.

You can also use railroad ties laid in the berm front if they are available,but beware the pollution aspect of treated ties.

The Back Berm should be at a minimum four feet wide at the top. This is approximately 24 inches deeper than generally required ( soul type etc are critical here) however when the tires and trees are laid it will be much wider,the though process is that you do not want to reconfigure the back berm every couple of years due to high use and erosion or just erosion. The counter measures should be enough but we are being neighborhood safe. The top at four feet provides a walking path the length of the berm for at a minimum semi annual inspection.

In addition you will want side berms to insure no harm from unintended discharges,richochetts etc.
These should be on the rifle side,at a minimum 800 feet,half the distance of your longest range,but it fully protects your two shorter ranges. The design assumption being if you are shooting 1500 meters everything about that range work demands a somewhat different approach to your target practice.
If on the pistol side the back berms are moved up then the side berms can run the length of the range, 50 yards etc.

The outside enclosures are little more than corregated metal or plastic roof materials on wood,however the metal and plastic will be loud in rain,but it may be much cheaper than wood.

As to the sight in rifle range,100 yds column a the shooters area has a concrete slab, the 600 yard range depending on number of lanes (if 2) is 1/2 concrete slab,and 1/2 ground ( you can use plastic drums or water piping to create other shooting senarios or rest if desired on the grass or non concrete lane.

Pistol ranges were previously discussed,however be sure to verify that your range meets all local building code regulations for your area,before lifting a bucket or shovel.

You will also want to check the dept of energy guidelines (yep i said dept of energy)

Possibly in bama the title 6 regs (north or south depends)

Any local noise ordinances
Possibly a generic Nra range guideline

And make sure you are back yard use as opposed to sport or private
And after all of that then have

:wink::wink: Happy range time !!

Nothin is easy if it’s good.

If you get along with local law enforcement,you might also make it available to them for recertification test or private practice. It never hurts to make friends and have them be comfortable if they ever have to answer a call at your property.

Oh and make sure you won’t run into any pollution issues base on lead or bullets in the berm ( environmental issues)

Insure that the ground in front of you targets is also free from rocks or other ricochet creating objects. Groom the ground.

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range (1).pdf (5.9 KB)

Here are a couple of discussions about home ranges that might help:

As to tires, check with junk yards, mechanic shops and tire places. A lot of the time they have to pay others to take used junk tires away. If we’re repurposing them for a burm, they don’t need to be good tires! You may be able to get a bunch for free or very cheap.

I’ve set up multiple ranges here in VA. I am a huge fan of steel also (AR-500). If this is a casual “personal” range you can get away with an awful lot on just a straight road or a power line cut. For safety’s sake you need to look at the maximum ordinate for the weapons you are shooting worst case scenario is the muzzle at 45* and blue sky, how many miles will that boolet travel? Backstops are preferred but if doing dynamic pistol or carbine if your firing position is slightly elevated the ground is a great backstop if you keep your targets low. For the above I also like roads that cut through trees, lots of trees, and steel, did I mention steel? Game trails and walking trails are also good options for dynamic shooting because they have trees, lots of trees, since I don’t like bullet holes in my trees I like steel, lots of steel.

Unless you are shooting long range keep the boolets away from the blue sky. Trees, ditches, culverts and streams are your friends as they are all places boolets stop at. And steel, lots of steel.