Trapshooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Because I live where the wind blows most of the time, I'm thinking about building a 300 ft underground range, out of 12" ag pipe, for high power rifle. Is 12" big enough? What kind of light would one use to illuminate the target? Any other thoughts? thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,940 Posts
A freind of mine, Ron Cox, a gunsmith near Greenville SC, built a 100 Yard underground range for sighting in rifles at his shop. He lives on 20 acres or so but has neighbors who were not real thrilled with the sound of .300WinMags and 7mm's every day. he used 24" pipe and buried it in about 2 feet of dirt. At the end is a backstop with chopped up tires. He has a target pulley in there so he can set up and retrieve targets. It's really slick and he always has a rack full of guns to sight in for his customers. Not sure what he charges but he told me the thing paid for itself in a year! AND his neighbors can't hear a thing!

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
There used to be a shop near Seward, NE, Plum Creek Gun Shop, that had an underground sight-in tube. They had a roll of plain newsprint on the receiving end, and a projector would project the target squares on the plain paper, when you were done you'd just hit a button and the roll would turn, giving you fresh paper. That was a lot of years ago and I only visited once, but it made quite an impression.
dju
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Duncans in Bay City Michigan has the only 200 yard indoor underground public range, it's pretty neat. They used what looks like 3 foot cement pipe,is lit on target end, with a tv camera , so you don't have to bring the target back to see hits. 12 inch pipe would not work for a 300 yard range. A 30:06 with a 200 yard zero travels 2 inches high at about 125 yard and 8.25 inches low at 300. At 10.25 inches up and down travel, it doesn't give you enough margin of error. Probably be good with a 24 inch tube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
I have built and maintained more than one of these type ranges professionally. 12" is going to be too small. 3 to 4' is much more practical and realistic both. keep in mind that some type of target retrieval is more than likely going to have to occupy that space as well unless.

The next big issue, and an important one, is ventilation. Every time a round goes off lead is released into the air in one form or another. In a small confined area which is common with this type of range, it takes little shooting before you can actual taste it in the air if you ventilation is inadequate or non existent.

Condensation is another issue to deal with. The temperature of the ground meeting the fresh air introduced to the range will condensate. Left unchecked you will have quite the science project growing in there in short time.

And last but not least. Little things such as zoning, lead containment, insurance, etc. should at least be considered. Of the ranges of this type that I have worked on "more than one" was built "covertly" so as to avoid the above mention factors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,600 Posts
I considered(have always dreamed) building a short pistol range in my basement. I wonder what the legalities of such a thing is? My basement has no windows. I actually had plans for a bullet trap and was planning to use sound studio wall blocks for sound deadening. As I said, its just sort of a dream of mine and I always wondered what(besides the boss/wife) would keep me from doing it. I live on in town so I guess the discharging of a firearm in twin could apply?.!?.

I never considered the ventilation aspect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
Matt - My brother-in-law had a pistol range in his basement years ago, and it was great fun during the cold winter months. He only shot .38 and smaller, and had a fan fitted in a window to blow out the lead and powder smoke. The window was facing the side yard, and was shielded by shrubbery, so any noise that escaped was muffled a bit more. He also had very understanding neighbors.

It all came to a screeching halt one night when he was trying out some rubber tipped training rounds, and one caught the bullet trap kind of funny, came back and hit my nephew. No injury, no blood or anything, but a scared, screaming little boy who thought he had been shot brought my sister in a hurry, and that was the end of the inddor pistol shooting.

I used to work with a guy years back, whose wife was an international air pistol shooter. They searched for a long time when looking for a house, before they found one that had enough length in the hallway and other rooms, that she could practice at Olympic distances. Hard to argue with his rifle and pistol addiction, when she bought a house specifically for an indoor range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
I have a friend who has an underground tube, 8' diameter, flat bottom to walk to the target, 100 yards long, lit at the far end. At the bench end a rock solid bench. About 8' to the south another one 25 yards long for handguns. Same as the other just shorter. Both are built into the basement of his office and extend out under his property.. Next time I go I'll see if I can snap a picture or two. Paul in GINEbraska
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
302 Posts
I grew up in Plymouth New Hampshire. The local Police Department had an indoor pistol range in the basement of the Courthouse, which coincidently was also the Police department. There was a small holding cell in their too. The pistol range had a trap that captured the spent lead in the bottom, which as I recall was full of sand. The Local armory also had an indoor range, although it was not in basement. It was two big doors that opened to expose the bullet trap in the back. We shot .22 rifles in their as part of Boy Scout training. At least living in New. Hampshire this time of year you could shoot indoors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,600 Posts
Shooting Sailor,

Like I said it's been a dream of mine but like many of my hair brain ideas, I never completely think them through. I could see how the ricochet incident would scare you straight. I have good neighbors that would probably be over to shoot. The biggest problem would be telling the wife her sewing and laundry room was now a gun range. It ain't gonna happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Pipe will be less than a foot below ground level. I will dig a hole to put shooting bench level. This will be open to the air, so ventilation should not be a problem. I plan to put tees at 25, ?50, ?75, & 100yds, where as I can walk down, & put target & light in. I understand rifle must be a fair shooter & sighted in for this to work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Gander Mountain had a 100yd underground range at it's headquarters store and warehouse in Wilmont Wisconsin. The property was later sold to a Doll company.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Doug,

I have a 50 yard underground range. It is made from pre-formed 3' x 6' concrete sections that are made for cattle crossing under roads. I realize that you want something smaller but the real issue is to have it below the frost line.

Cor-Bon Ammunition next door to me has the same setup only 25 yards long and extended with 12 inch tubing out to 100 yards. The 12 inch extension tube is 48 inches in the ground.

You might look for some damaged concrete pre forms. They are inexpensive if you have a way to transport them and put them in place.

Bruce Bowen
Sturgis SD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
That projecting the target on a roll of paper is a great idea. I would go a bit further and include a closed circuit TV system to display the shot at target on a monitor back in the shooting points. A printer to keep the target photo, too.

It's getting a new roll of paper down the tube and affixed that would be the most difficult with a small tube.

In the almost 40 years of doing real estate appraisals here in MN I've only seen one basement firing range. That was a pistol course range for an Olympic training shooter that could keep his eye in all year round. His wife also shot pistol from the second shooting position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,277 Posts
I've looked into several designs for a range like this, because one day we might inherit a few acres of unbuildable land. Might as well do something constructive with it.

For the first few feet use sheetmetal culvert large enough to put old tires in. The put a layer of fiberglass inside each tire, but not on the inner sidewalls. This helps absorb the blast noise. Technically it is a big suppressor, but BATF exempts stationary, non-portable suppressors.

Ventillation. You're going to be sending gunsmoke and lead particulates downrange. A strong fan at the target end can exhaust this.

Two foot diameter is probably the minimum you want for trajectory.

If you are going to bury it, keep in mind issues like leaks and the water table. You may have to run a drainage line underneath it. And if it is really wet in your area, try to find old pond liner. This is basically very thick rubber sheets, like very thick innertubes. Lay them over the top of the pipes or culvert before burying, especially at the joints.

You might also consider an intermediate target box at 25 and/or 50 yards for handguns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,854 Posts
Somerset County F&G in NJ has two 27" concrete sewer tubes, 100 yards each that are 10' underground. Small building on one end with a stairway down to the tubes and shooting benches. You have to come up and outside to walk downrange and down another stairway to hang your targets. Neat setup.

Ed Yanchok
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
It would be no easy task to set 12" pipe in a perfectly straight line for 300 ft and expect it to stay that way. You will probably lose the line of sight. You will also shoot holes in the pipe because 12" is way too small.

The concrete sections Bruce mentioned would be great but even if they were free the construction cost would be high. Backhoe and crane costs would be very high. The whole project will need good drainage also, just like a basement. I would love an indoor range and then I think of the cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I've seen Bruce's range & it is first class, but I can't afford that. Johnny, what you say makes since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
I was one of the designers of the 100 yard 27 inch pipe range Ed Y described. After it was in use we had to install a vertical shaft in both pipes with exhaust fans to exhaust the smoke and "toxic" fumes. The vertical fans were located 5 yards in front of the firing line. We also tried concentric plywood baffles of different diameters in front of the firing line to help with the noise and concussion, they did not work. PM me if you want more information. Jack M
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top