Favorite features of an outdoor range
I live in eastern North Carolina, and there seems to be a lack of good places to shoot with a very high demand for it. I have been thinking of opening a range in the area and wanted to get some feedback on the topic. Just wanting to hear everyone's favorite features of outdoor ranges, both rifle ranges and pistol ranges. Anything cool you have seen or would like to see in a good range, Also any other services offered, i.e. gun smithing, pro shop, training courses.
Thank you all for your input.
I'm new to this forum and am still checking things out,I just came across your post.
Personally I don't like indoor ranges, I go shoot on US Forest Servive , BLM and State Land. I'd drive the log roads until I found sand & gravel pits where they use the fill to take care of the wash outs & pot-holes.
I take a fold up table, two chairs, a frame something like a sandwich board for the backstop, a ice chest with coke and spend a few hours shooting targets.
If I were to make permanent target range, I'd have a back-stop made out of sand & gravel to stop all of the bullets fired ans off set them. Three or four back-stops so people could shoot up to 100 yards, up to 200 yards, up to 300 yards anf then up to 400 yards. At the 100, 200, 300 & 400 yard mark I'd have permanent target frames, I'd have moveable light weight sandwich board target frames for distances in between the permanent distances.
Where you shoot from I'd pour a concrete slab and build a roof with the back & right side enclosed. Some good shooting tables and chairs. Electric & lights.A coke machine for guys who want a drink while shooting. A broom & dust pan to clean up spent brass and a good size plastic barrel for the brass. (Yours to sift through to sell to reloaders). A six inch plastic pipe about three feet long imbedded in the ground with sand around it to keep it in place and a 4 foot solid piece of plactic pipe to incert in the six inch pipe for the guys to place there hang fires, Fail to fire rounds, and other ammo that isn't any good.
All of these garbage rounds I'd see if you could drop them off at the local police station or see the proper way to dispose of them.
I would want a rifle area that provides marked target-stand placements at 100, 200, 300, 600, and 1,000 yards. The prone-firing line should have a rifle rack and a couple of tables.
I would want a pistol area where working from the holster is safe and acceptable, with marked, informal firing lines at three, seven, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 50 yards. Work-tables would be nice.
I would want a rangemaster who knows how to teach, and a couple of well-trained assistants. All of them could be volunteers.
And, most of all, I would want the range and its workers to be very well insured.
Thank you for the informative response. I always value your posts.
HGF Forum Moderator
My local indoor range is much, much closer. That is nice. And, I live in TX. Before that indoor range opened - I either didn't shoot in the summer months, or I dided from the heat and was dripping sweat by the time I was done. Always wnet home to take a shower ASAP. And, by summer - it's like more than 1/2 the year here in TX. Over 100 in the REAL summer, though. Too damn hot.
So, my favorite thing about my in door range is the a/c
I do wish it was longer than 15 yards, though. But oh well...
When I wanna shoot rifles, then I just gotta suck it up and go to the outdoor range.
As for suggestions - I see how it can get expensive for the range - but rental guns are a must. And, some gun companies have deals for the range to get the rental guns a bit cheaper... So, they can sell more of their guns... The one here only charges $5 per gun. But, the trade off is that you must buy ammo from the range. Usually $3-$5 more per box than Walmart prices. But, still cheaper than buying a gun you do not like.
Safety is always a concern - but my favorite ranges are ones where ya don't have a range master embarrassing ya all the time. I won't go back to one of those places.
Below are links to my Club's ranges. Two different Internet Sites with LOTS of info. Procedures, construction, etc.
Originally Posted by isti
The "Old One" on Nat'l Forest Land. Been there for years, run by our Sportsmen's Club. NRA matches are held on regular schedules. Sat. or Sun.
Still in use, but being closed in a year due to "Non-Gun Types" From the Sec. of Ag. down to our local "National Forest Head Ranger".
Prescott Sportsmen's Club
Our new one just opened, built with cooperation with our town council, and our local police department. They have a 360 degree live fire training area unavailable to us civilians.
This "Chino Valley Shooting Facility" range was designed by club members. Who also donated A TON of volunteer hours. And lots of businesses donated "construction stuff".
The town donated the land. Hundreds of people attended and a lot of politicians spoke at the dedication last year. Election around here depends on "I'm for the 2nd Amendment".
Currently it has 50 yard pistol range, and 100 yard rifle range. Soon open the 200 yard range. The third construction stage will be a 600 yard rifle range.
The ranges have metal shade covers over the concrete "line" and a wooden bench with wooden stool at each shooting station.
Chamber flags are mandatory and and shooters cannot cross "the yellow line" behind the benches during downrange target replacement periods.
Each "distance" has permanent PVC pipe in the ground to accept wooden target frames with replaceable cardboard insert for stapling your target.
Bullet strikes to the wooden frame result in an automatic $5 "donation to the club". Yes, it is enforced. Almost always on the pistol range.
There is a small but nice "range house". Members shoot free for $75/year. Non-members shoot for $10/day.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are LEO training days. The others for free shooting, and organized club matches.
And our Range Masters are very nice. Especially after they get to know you, and how you operate. They are very helpful to any newbies.
But, they do MAKE SURE the safety procedures and commands ARE followed. No yelling. But they can be "firm". And they review ALL the
rules with outside shooters before they can go to the line. Unless they know them from previous experience. And they do watch outsiders carefully.
But, sometimes I just go Nat'l Forest Land for "weird stuff". Practicing draws and reloads. And just plain "shootin up or blowing up shxx".
Legal as long as you are 1/4 mile from a building or a "main road".
My girlfriend has a M2 Carbine. The full auto version of the WWII M1 Carbine. Man, does that sucker eat .30 Carbine ammo.
Chino Valley Shooting Facility
Last edited by DanP_from_AZ; 01-19-2014 at 10:44 PM.
Reason: #&^%*#@ Typo