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Thread: Need ideas for back yard range. Shoot house, sound dampening ideas...

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Need ideas for back yard range. Shoot house, sound dampening ideas...

    I know this is a bit of an odd post, but I am hoping for some creative thinking here.

    I am tired of riding 20 minutes to the range, paying $10/hour, and hoping the bench is open when I get there. Wife and I live in rural area (by our standards) on 7 acres of land. Got some neighbors, all shooters, LEO, etc.. but they are 150-300 yards away and we got about 3 acres of woods between us. I was out playing with the dog yesterday when it occurred to me that I have room across the back yard for a 100 yard range.

    Thought if I put some kind of small building, storage shed, my 12 foot closed Harley trailer, etc.. in the corner of my yard, I could shoot to the other back corner (100 yards). What I am trying to figure out is what kind of 'structure' would be a good shoot house and at the same time keep the noise from bothering my neighbors. I live on the end of a long dirt road and shoot house would have me shooting away from all neighbors, so at least the muzzle is pointing in the right direction to disperse sound (and rounds of course). Will make a suitable backstop, berm, etc..

    Would be great to just walk into the shoot house in my back yard and sit down on my shooting bench and try out a new load. Sure as heck would be handy when working up a reload for a given application, gun, etc.. Shooting 223 and similar stuff, they might not hear much noise at all if I do this right. Looking for any ideas for a shoot house with an emphasis on sound dampening. While it is legal for me to shoot guns on my property, I am wanting to be a good neighbor and all. Thanks for any ideas.



    -Dan

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    I would first check the local regulations to ensure it was ok, then run the idea past the neighbors to make sure there were no serious objections. Even let them know they'd be welcome to shoot from time to time.

    Once those two issues were settled, I'd bring in a truck load of dirt to use as a suitable backstop, mark the area behind and to both sides with firing range warning signs, and put up a privacy fence on the sides I wanted the sound reduced towards. And add a small shoot house like you mentioned. That should do the trick.

    At the distance your neighbors are from you 150-300 yards, the sound of most firearms will not be that bad with a fence and a shoot house to muffle the sounds.

  3. #3

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    To supress the noise and still be a good neighbor. Place a set of rails 12 to 16 feet long at the end of your shooting bench and stack used car tires on the rack. Fill the tires with a bat type insulation and then put a retainer mesh like chicken wire in the hole where the wheel used to be secureing bats and tying the tires together. This makes an effective, simple and legal sound supressor for high power rifles and pistols and keeps you on good terms with neighbors with a headache or hangover. It also places the end of the tire rack in the right place to allow for a chronograph if you have one. It also narrows the field of fire so stray bullets are reduced. You'll still need personal protection with this kind of supressor though.
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    Buddy of mine on the west coast has the best setup I've ever seen. He got hold of 100 yards of cement water line when the city was replacing it. Cut a 100 yard trench about 2' down, placed the pipe and backfilled. Then he built cinder block "bunkers" set mostly below ground at each end with the top of the pipe coming about a foot below the eaves, one actually housing a shooting station and loading bench, and the other a target backstop. He ran a pulley system full length and wired both buildings for power. Very few clubs have a better setup. It helps that he's a contractor and has his own excavators, etc. But man, what a great place.

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    I was going to suggest a dirt berm, but I have construction equipment, and it'll be costly to pay for without it.

    What about a tax stamp for a suppressor?????? might help some.......

    The tire idea sounds like a better way to go..............Now around here we would probably line the shooting range with junk cars tipped up on their sides, might not be ideal
    if you live in a higher class area than I do. The down side of the tipped up junk cars, it gives the neighbors some pretty good "targets", so there is a little loss of safety.

    Living in an area that has somewhat of an "anti-guverment" sentiment, I've built a number of below grade "storm shelters" . A few with the buried culverts mention in the previous post. They work very well and are not too spendy.

    My neighbor has cattle, and those pesky coyotes bug the cows often, it's quit common to hear him blasting out of his bedroom in the middle of the night....not sure where the rest of the gunfire comes from........but I find it quite comforting.......
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    The underground set up, that sounds incredible, but I am going considerably more low tech than that.


    The tire idea sounds interesting. I am going to think more on that. Not sure what bat insulation is. But the idea could be implemented easily outside a window of a basic shed I can buy at Lowes or build. A simple 10x10 shed with a tube of tires facing the target area. Sounds extremely interesting, affordable, and effective. Eye sore perhaps, but oh well. Need to figure out how to make this work. Thanks for the idea man!!




    -Dan

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelers View Post
    My neighbor has cattle, and those pesky coyotes bug the cows often, it's quit common to hear him blasting out of his bedroom in the middle of the night....not sure where the rest of the gunfire comes from........but I find it quite comforting.......

    As do I

    I can always tell when one of my neighbors has hit the bourbon too hard. They also shoot skeet in their back yards on weekends. Normal stuff like that. Two highway patrolman are among the 8 folks that live on our 1/4 mile dirt road. They shoot pistols in their back yards sometimes. While some would turn their nose up at all the gun fire around here, I know for a fact that I live on one of the safest roads in North Carolina. ha ha...


    BTW, called your brother, but he has been too busy to call me back. Just as well, I am broke. Bought a Barnes Precision AR-15 last week and picking up another any day. Thanks for the thought though. I appreciate it.



    -Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    . Eye sore perhaps, but oh well. ......................




    -Dan
    You could plant ivy on the outside of the tires.. Kinda like a redneck Atrium.....
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  9. #9

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    You could also just build a plywood box/tube lined with the insulation and put some sort of roof over it. Would look better than the tires, plus I imagine finding enough tires of the exact same size to make a consistent 16' tube might be tough. By the way, batt insulation is just fiberglass insulation like you probably have in your house. The term "batt" just implies a piece of insulation.

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    I first saw the tire idea from a magazine article by the gunwriter who sank the short magnums. He bolted together the old car tires to form the tube. The end of your barrel should extend into the tube. You could camouflage the tube by building plywood structure around it and add siding so no-one would no what it was unless they looked into it. I do not think fiberglass would work for very long with the concussion of a rifle. If you do add the 'glass make sure to install a small fan that will draw outside air into your shed to push the exhaust and bits of 'glass out.

    Any tire dealership would be tickled to give you old tires; they wouldn't have to pay to take them to a dump.
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    I have built and used 2 of the "shooting mufflers" - Rick Jaimeson from the mid-Willamette Valley area of Oregon published the plans, I altered it a little bit to suit the available materials and it worked awesome - The first one sat right out front and off to the side of my front door and it looked just fine, the wife never even complained once ! I used a salvaged 8' long 24" (I think)composite culvert (the kind that is black and looks like it has rings) built 3/4" plywood ends, filled it with tires (I didn't fill the second one's tires with metal shavings and it worked 96+% as well as the first), PM me if you would like more specific details - and Jaimeson's plans were free - Aside from the report being quieted down it will amaze you how much more relaxing even magnums are to shoot from the reduced blast to the shooter

  12. #12
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    Tire tunnels work...
    I made a long box out of 2x2s and plywood, Then I lined it with old shag carpeting and made some foam baffles.. Out works Ok but it has become a wet, smelly thing of the past couple years of being outside.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    I do not worry too much about the noise of shooting, so....
    I shoot off my back covered deck and have 25/50/100 meter ranges. The 25/50 is four rows of tires stacked five feet high and all filled with dirt, about 15 feet wide. There is also a 1/4" steel plate behind the fifth row of tires. Works every good. The 100 range is dirt stacked five feet high, with an area dug our that was back filled with tires stacked and filled with dirt. There is a 1/4 steel plate on the very back, one on top covered with two feet of dirt and rail road ties on front of it all. I do not allow any 'wild shooting' so do not have to worry about rounds going where they are not suppoed to go.

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    Nitroman - I don't understand your comment about "the gunwriter who sank the short magnums" ?? Jaimeson was ahead of his time for sure but the "short magnums" have been a resounding success ......

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    Jamison sued over the short mags being patented by him. He wasn't really ahead of his time as others before him had done the same thing, but they hadn't used gun mags to promote their ideas nor patented them nor sued manufacturers. Do some googling if you want more info.
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