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Making own range

5293 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  dragunovsks
I am getting into shooting alot now and am learning about alot of different things. Can anyone tell me what the walls are made of in a "kill house" and how much it could cost to build a 1 story "kill house"?

Can anyone tell me what cost would be for a simple outdoor range with a 100yard X 50Yard concrete slab and a not to expensive but effective backstop?
What would make a good backstop for an outdoor range?
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I've thought about this before, but have no land except a house lot.

First, you'll need plenty of open area. Make sure shooting is allowed before you put out the resources and time. No sense in getting shut down by the authorities after completing the build out.

I don't see any need for a complete slab to run the length of your range. That seems to be what you asked. I've never seen any outdoor range have that type of construction. You don't even need a slab for your shooting area. You might want a covered place to shoot from, but even then you won't need a slab, just level the ground.

Some people have gone to the trouble of surrounding their range with a berm to minimize strays. If you have plenty of dirt, you might want to create a U shaped berm at the backstop and a for a few feet from the targets uprange instead of completely surrounding it.

Cheapest, easiest backstop is a wall of dirt. If you have access to used tires, stack them up then fill and cover. You could also use old railroad ties. There are many types of backstops to make.

Your target stands can be something portable you've bought or you can make your own permanent ones. The cost will be determined by how sophisticated you want them to be. There are plenty of designs available on the net. Just search for target stands.

You won't know the cost to build your own range until you've decided how far you want to go with it. Is is something permanent to the location, or are you looking to build temporary? You'll just have to price your components and go from there.

I don't know anything about making a "kill house," but I've read people's accounts of shooting in them, and some have been just hanging sheets to create "rooms." If you want to create a professional one for live fire, it would cost the same as building a house I'd think.
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I think you could get by pretty cheap making a kill house with products if you have a local habitat restore IE old building materials people donate.

I've gotten complete doors with frames for $5. They have plywood and 2x4s usually. Usually have bricks as well.
Making own Range!

Hello all


I hate to be the Wet Blanket to the wonderful Idea you have! First of all, remember all the Local, State and Federal ordinances you will have to comply with, all the Wonderfull folks at DEP, as well as the EPA, Get an Idea of what you want to do and before you put one thin dime into it, Contact those agencies I've mentioned! I've seen folks try and do this and waste thousands of Dollars, just to be told, YOU CAN'T DO THAT! Best to be patient, explain who, who and where you wanna do it, then let them see if they would approve, Yes, it's America where the Feds have a Lot of Say in what you can or can't do! I hate that it is this way, but it is! No, it's not Just California or New jersey, the feds Like domain over dam near everything! I don't say this to be a pest, I just don't want your dreams dashed by the feds and the Paper police?
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I have a shooting range on my 16-acre piece of woods in northern Michigan. I have a steep, natural hill for a backstop. The target stand is a cheap 2X4 framework, 8' high and 24' wide. Total cost for my range was about $30 and some hard labor, as I had to cut down several trees to make room for it.

It's not as pretty as the local DNR operated range, but it was about $1,000,000 cheaper.

If you wanted a "Kill House" you could go one of two routes. Light steel walls and frangible ammo (1/16 inch sheet steel will safely stop Longbow frangibles). Or solid walls and conventional ammo. You could use railroad ties, 2x thick with sand between or tires stacked, two to three thick.

I had an outdoor range with tires for a backstop. Final evolution was split tires (friend had tire store and tire splitter that split radially through the tread) with utility posts set at back of each bead to keep stable. The front of the posts had 4" angle iron to protect the wood. Would easily contain 7.62 X 51 ball ammo.
This is Mine During Reconstruction Work.

Well Over "2000" truck loads of clay and dirt. 250 yds. Long x 33 yds. wide.
Still have more Work to do before it's Finished. Rental fees Kill me though.:(
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Years ago I had one made of railroad ties (4 deep,10 high)and a 1/2 in. sheet of steel at a downward angle.

Where I live now I have one dug out of the side of a hill in the woods by a creek. I have a JD450, so that kinda helps a wee bit.:)
Buckeye tell us more. Is that your land and you charge rental fees to shot there? How much do you have invested in the land and improvements?
I've been debating buying 20 acres and building a range but there are houses on both sides of the 20 acres. The land is unrestricted but still. Declaration Day do you have neighbors, do they complain?
You looking at personal use? Also the SDZs (primary and ricochet) could put you at risk depending on where the houses are in relation to your down range. What kind of back stop are you building? What are the ordnances in your county? I would try to co-opt the neighbors first, get them on board and you should be good to go.
good luck
It would be personal use. This is no restriction land deep soil farm land.

It's all in planning stages though. The land is actually 40 acres not 20. I wanted to build the range in the middle of the property then use the rest to plant an orchard. If I did construct it the back drop and sides would be dirt.
A 4 foot tall berm, 4 feet across at the bottom should stop anything you'd be firing out there. If I still had my Combat Engineer FMs, I could look it up for you, but I've long since dropped that info from my memory.
You didn't mention your location or amount of land you have to work with. I think those 2 things are very important in determining your methods of construction which will affect the cost. My range has 1 tandem load of dirt dumped in a pile for a backstop.
You could do a 800 sq ft ( thats a little small, but you could still get in all the rooms and closets to make it real) kill house for about $3000 if you did most of the labor. I'm sure the kill houses I played in cost the tax payers way more then that, but I'm guessing your not going to have 15-20 shooters a day dumping 100-500 rounds each from handguns and rifles.
ScottG had some very good ideas for backstops. Old tires can be acquired for free, the bench can be made from 2x 6's for about $50, and you can use concrete for a pad under the bench or even for a bench top for added stability, if desired. I have two 100 yd. ranges and one 50 yd. range for handguns. on my property in NY. The only law governing a private range is the distance of 500' to a house, farm, or other inhabited dwelling (unless you have the permission of a closer neighbor) The bullet cannot pass over a road (obvious). Than being said, I have 17 acres of woodland and feel this is about the minimum without a commercial-type backstop, since the longest leg of my property is only 1100'. My backstop is a natural burm and my lot is heavily wooded. My targets are close to the ground also. My target holders are made from scrap wood and replaced often. There is still a liability involved however, because even posting your land will not relieve you of the liability you will incur by accidentally shooting a trespasser!
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I was watching Dallas SWAT one day and the guys were training in a kill house in which the walls were made of really dense square rubber blocks. Not sure what some of those things cost but tires might work too.
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