Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

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Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby ramblinmanva » Tue, 01 May 2018 09:00:13

I have purchased about 155 acres and I'm in the process now of building a new house. One reason I'm moving is to build an outdoor shooting area. I am thinking something that is 100 to 250 yards long set up with good steel targets to shoot handguns (shorter distances) and my AR or AK occasionally.

My wife is very supportive but we continue to have discussion around how close or how far away the range should be to the house.

We have 3 children (ages 12 and under) so they may be outside playing in the yard when I'm shooting at the range. But I don't want the range so far away that it will be a hassle for me to carry equipment to it, etc. These 155 acres are mostly all wooded and I don't want to clear a bunch of space unnecessarily as I generally want to keep trees up, so I plan to clear enough for the house, the range, driveway, etc., and generally leave the rest untouched.

If people are in the back yard (wife/kids), I don't want them to have to wear ear protection if I'm shooting, but we all agree it's ok if they hear the noise in general.

I know a lot is subject to the environment, the caliber, acoustics, etc., but I guess I'd lob this up as a general question to see if anyone has experience with it.

I'm a newbie to the forum and this is a first time post. Hope I didn't word or post this in an incorrect way.

Thanks for your time.


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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby SHMIV » Tue, 01 May 2018 10:54:57

Myself, I'd like to be able to pop open my bedroom window, and get my range time in, without even having to get out of bed. But, then, I can be eccentric.

I have a relative who has an informal range, in the front portion of his side yard (or side portion of his front yard, depending on where we choose to stand, that day). Either way, shooting is done pretty close to the house. On days that extended family isn't around in large numbers, he just shoots from the front porch. It's probably worth noting that his house, and relatively small yard, are surrounded by trees, possibly similar to what you envision for your property.

His children are all grown, but grandchildren are there, frequently, as are other young children of the family. Nobody wears earplugs, unless they are standing within 10-15 feet of the active shooter (or, are the shooter, of course)

Really, it just boils down to personal preference, and what your wife is willing to tolerate. There is no definite answer that you can get from a bunch of random guys on the internet that you have never met.

We do have a member that has built a personal range, though. I imagine that he may chime in on the topic, and may have some practical wisdom for you to consider.

Welcome to the forum. You'll find us to be fairly laid back, occasionally opinionated, friendly and civil.

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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby ramblinmanva » Tue, 01 May 2018 11:03:15

Thanks for the good info. I really appreciate it.

Part of the response really hit on one thing I couldn't answer for my wife. This note:

"Nobody wears earplugs, unless they are standing within 10-15 feet of the active shooter (or, are the shooter, of course)."

I told her I thought with acoustics, other structures between the range and the house (a planned detached garage) that I thought it would be safe for people to not wear ear plugs. If you are within 10 to 15 feet we should be fine.

The way I have it planned right now, I want to shoot appropriate steel targets for handguns and long guns, and I'm planning on it being about 100 yards long with a berm (still working on dimensions). The shooter would likely be about 50 to 100 feet from the driveway/house area roughly.

Appreciate the info and the welcome.


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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby Jon » Tue, 01 May 2018 16:13:07

Just for the sound reference I have about 50yds to shoot in my back yard. I only shoot handguns and 22lr. Generally shoot the 22 from the back porch and the wife hardly notices it. Handguns standing in the back yard are noticable inside but not loud enough to be annoying.

Hopefully our member who has built an actual range will chime in with some advice.

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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby GregVa » Tue, 01 May 2018 18:35:34

That sounds great, good luck! I have looked into making my own range, but have not been able to buy the land yet.

You might want to consider setting up some baffles to help with the noise, look at this image:

https://usercontent2.hubstatic.com/13279267_f520.jpg

From this article:

https://skyaboveus.com/hunting-shooting ... -Reduction

Setting up some kind of small pavilion, or a 3 sided shed, might help with the noise also.


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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby smltooner » Tue, 01 May 2018 22:25:03

Welcome to the club, ramblinmanva.
My wife and I have a cabin on 20 acres.
My range is 50 yds. Where I shoot my 22lr rifle from is 15' from the picnic pavilion and 30' from the cabin and no one has been bothered by the noise.
If we are shooting pistols, we move closer to the targets and farther from the cabin. 22lr, .380, and 9mm handguns are not bad, but my .45LC can be a little loud.
I would think that if you are going to have a garage between the yard and range, you should be OK.
Good luck.
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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby Fubar » Wed, 02 May 2018 06:38:11

I have a 100 yard range behind my house, facing away from the house. The bench is about 30 yards from the house. I shoot rifles mostly, and the noise at the house is not bad. I have thought of setting up a noise baffle, shooting through a plastic drum lined with foam. So far I haven't had any complaints so I haven't made it yet.


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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby AlanM » Wed, 02 May 2018 16:08:24

How big are the trees?
My father found that a S&W .44 magnum is darn good at taking down a 6" diameter pine tree.
Unfortunately he left a 4 foot high stump.

Short version: At a resort we used to go to he went out to a quiet area, tacked a target on a pine, backed off about 15 yards and fired six rounds. Due to not wearing his cervical collar he got a splitting headache (low blood flow) so packed up and went back to the lodge.
The next day he returned (wearing his collar) but couldn't see his target from his shooting line even with his spotting scope. He walked out and found most of his target on the ground still attached to the tree and a tall stump.

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Re: Building an outdoor range: How close from my own house?

Postby Snakester » Wed, 02 May 2018 17:38:11

Building on 155 acres , your options should be endless. I always liked shooting in the woods. It seems better to keep the natural sound barriers and clear only what is necessary. I've had Ranges at just about everywhere I have lived. The first thing to consider is the lay of the land using a ridge or natural mound as a backstop. It can take a lot of time to build a berm. If you have a place to dig dirt on your land instead of buying can save you $$$$. I'm always working on my berms but , I have a pit for the dirt and a loader on my tractor. My Range is a couple hundred yds. from my Cabin and is on the border of my property. There's a 60 acre field that borders most of the length of my range so I am in a pretty secluded spot. I have a raised shooting platform with a roof over it.....Protection from rain , sun and gives me a place to leave things there . I have a Gator that I haul my Stuff to the range so I really don't mind being away from the Cabin. I use to build Custom Golf Carts and they make great Range vehicles and can be bought fairly cheap too. I shoot steel targets made from RR track plates hung with chain for best shooting . I also get pretty regularly old oxygen /gas bottles and cut them in half. They ring like a bell when shot. BE REALLY CAREFUL shooting steel at close range !!!


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