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Thread: Shooting indoors?

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Question Shooting indoors?

    The basement in my new house is roughly 50' long..... Soooo, the obvious best use of this space would be some recreational shooting . Have any of you made a bullet trap? I'm thinking of starting with .22 plinking and if it goes well I might step up to larger handguns.

    I have access to quite a bit of steel and I weld so a trap shouldn't be all that hard to fabricate. I'm guessing I could fashion it after the commercial traps which look pretty simple.

    Any input/suggestions/warnings?
    AKmud
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    My only suggestion is good ventilation. Lead levels can climb quickly in a small area shooting even .22's.

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    The trap should be fairly simple, but ventelation may be a problem. Also, are you in an area you can shoot legaly (inside a city limit, etc)?
    I have almost 100' in our church basement, but I'm in the city limits so it's a great archery/airgun range.
    Vance in AK.

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    Ditto on the ventilation and test it.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I have windows on both ends of the basement so I could probably put a box fan in the window near the target (blowing outside) and open one behind the shooter so I have a positive airflow toward the target.

    I'm out of any city limits so I have no restrictions.
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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    I hope Mud doesn't mind, but I thought I'd hijack this thread regarding indoor shooting. Some friends and I were just chatting about this tonight how there is such a lack of indoor ranges up here.

    Didn't there used to be an indoor handgun range near the WalMart on Old Seward south of Dimond? And is the range just south of the Fairgrounds in Palmer still open?

    Did the muni pass some law in the '90's outlawing this? I'd be really open to the idea of starting my own indoor range, but I figured there had to be some story behind the lack of them.

    Hope this is okay Mud..

  7. #7

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    Mud,
    My advice to you is that no matter what you shoot down in the basement be aware of people upstairs. Floors might not stop bullets. When we shot in our range growing up, the rule was no shooting if people were above us. Thats my thought.
    John
    Henry Bowman for President

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    Talking

    deerhunter is right. you ahve to be very cautious if you have the money maybe look into kevlar sheeting. you can get it in large rolls... think of it this way its both sound proofing and protective a floor wont stop a 9mm ive personally seen it. like the other guys said lead build up is a caution as well.... protect the ceiling maybe not the whole thing but atleast a respectable area from the target for ricochets... spend the money or spend it later replacing your hardwood floor or whatever you have... if its hardwood guess what you have to take it all up to get that one little piece fixed. i dont know the laws on gun ranges in the city but hey if you sound proof the thing who will know
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Did the muni pass some law in the '90's outlawing this? I'd be really open to the idea of starting my own indoor range, but I figured there had to be some story behind the lack of them.
    Nope. They just didn't make the money they needed to. The cost of a building large enough to shoot in, the insurance, the heating, the electricity, etc.. when you pencil it all out there'd better be a ton of people shooting every night to pay it off.

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    We have a private indoor range that's supposed to be opening in the kenai/Soldotna area in the next year or so. It's part of an expansion of an existing retail gun shop.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Good feedback... So does anyone know if that indoor range outside of Palmer is still in operation? Someday if I have some extra coin, if the operating revenue would break even, I'd probably do it.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Yep. It's either due to re-open soon or already re-opened.

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    Default Dimond area indoor range "The Firing Line"

    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Nope. They just didn't make the money they needed to. The cost of a building large enough to shoot in, the insurance, the heating, the electricity, etc.. when you pencil it all out there'd better be a ton of people shooting every night to pay it off.
    I still have my old membership card for the indoor range that used to be in south Anchorage a half-mile south of Dimond Mall.

    Check this thread for more information:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...d.php?p=360964

    Lost Sheep

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    Default Some others' thoughts (I have so few of my own)

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    The basement in my new house is roughly 50' long..... Soooo, the obvious best use of this space would be some recreational shooting . Have any of you made a bullet trap? I'm thinking of starting with .22 plinking and if it goes well I might step up to larger handguns.

    I have access to quite a bit of steel and I weld so a trap shouldn't be all that hard to fabricate. I'm guessing I could fashion it after the commercial traps which look pretty simple.

    Any input/suggestions/warnings?
    Here are some sites I was able to find that you might find interesting.

    http://www.ais-sim.com/shooting_rang...llet_traps.htm
    This first site describes a bullet trap that seems designed for both commercial operations and for home installation. The last paragraph on their web site reads:
    Each SRI bullet trap is free standing and modular in design. The main body of the trap is a solid welded unit and will fit through a standard 3'0" door. Assembly of extension plates occurs in the final stage of fabrication at the installation site. This will bring the trap to its full height and width.


    http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7194944.html
    This web site contains more links to other resources.

    http://www.snailtraps.com/popups/wetOrDry.htm
    This last one, I read about a dozen or so years ago and I thought it would be the cat's meow for both bullet recovery and controlling lead dust. Here is an excerpt from their web site.

    The Snail lubricating fluid flows across the upper portion of the lower entrance ramp and is sprayed in the deceleration chamber. The fluid reduces friction between the bullet and trap surfaces, virtually eliminating the generation of lead dust. Any dust that may be generated is captured by the liquid, preventing it from becoming airborne. A reservoir system, liquid return lines, in-line filters and impeller pumps continue the circulation.


    Good Luck,

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

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    Default Some other thoughts

    About 30 years ago I built a machine gun range (with a couple dozen of my closest friends) (at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, I wonder if it is still in operation?)

    One feature of the design was that each firing station was set at the mouth of a concrete culvert. This was so that even if the gun was aimed outside of the target area/bullet stop/safe area, bullets would be unable to exit in that direction. Thus, a bullet launched skyward would be ricocheted into a safe direction rather than over the backstop (or ceiling, in your case).

    A 30" diameter steel tube 6' long would serve to constrain your aiming such that your floors, ceiling and walls would be safe from stray bullets (as long as you keep the gun inside the tube.

    I remember cruising some web sites that showed how people managed to silence their gunshots. One very simple method involved putting a series of tires in a row and firing through the middle of them all. If you took 8 tires and put them inside the 30" diameter x 6' long steel tube, you could quieten the noise AND restrict the direction of fire. If shooting a semi-auto handgun, it would catch the brass, too.

    If I can remember the web sites for the silencers I will post another post. Most were for outdoor use, but would not be out of place indoors, I guess.

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    Default Some more links

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...reply&p=366970


    I read about a shooting range that allows sighting in up to 200 metres.

    Right in front of the fixed bench is set up a line of 10 car tires, so that the muzzle of the rifle sticks well into the centre hole of first tire. This acts as a silencer and completely muffles the sharp bang. A hundred metres away from the target in any direction and you can't relate the noise to a gunshot. The only thing you hear is the bullet hitting the target (I didn't try to listen behind the target!)

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    This thread on the forum AccurateReloading had this thread a few years ago. The information is still good, though.

    http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...3011#549103011

    among the posts are these two:

    Hammer Posted 04 January 2004
    Snail Technologies is a division of Savage Arms and you can see their stuff on the Savage website.

    Think their EPA approved model cost in the $1,000s.

    trk posted 04 January 2004
    I have an old commercially made trap that handles 44 mags with ease. It is 1/4" plate - 4 pieces in a 4 sided pyramid (wide open on one end 4" hole on other end) 4 pieces are top/bottom, left/right sides. The narrow opening goes into a snail shell about 8" in diameter 4" thick. The bullets deflect into the small hole and go round and round in the shell, grinding themselves up. Opening on the side for cleaning. Pix on request.

    There is a commercially available model - much newer and is EPA cosher too - Snail technologies I think.

  17. #17
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info Larry! You gave me quite a bit of homework now .
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    Default Lead Concerns

    I have worked in various shooting ranges over the years both old and new. Most often with Jr. shooters but not always. Some of the ranges were spotless clean and others you left footprints on the floor when you walked. The biggest concern is that most of the dirtier ones is that they are now closed or underwent major upgrades for lead containment. I've been on smaller ranges that do what they can and on the best ranges on the world with $15,000 HEPA vacs and booties/protection just to step across the firing line.

    I'm not a clean freak by any nature. I grew up on some of the dirtier ranges and have never had elevated blood lead levels and have been tested at least every 2 years for the last 20 or so. Maybe I'm lucky, who knows. At any rate, most of the stuff now a days is way overkill and the levels they test for in ranges are set for HUD Housing levels and to be safe for kids (sorry, but I don't know of many children playing with toys and eating on the floor of shooting ranges). Most of it is bogus and I think gives them reasons to shut ranges down.

    My largest concern in the house is both lead contamination and toxic primer compounds from center-fire pistols. The "dust" left over from shooting is a combination of vaporized lead from the back of the bullet (caused by the heat of the burning powder), unburned powder, and primer compounds. The lead around the bullet trap is not near the concern as is this "dust". The trap is easy to contain but the other is not. The lead dust is obvious in it's dangers. However, the primer compound dust is just as much so. Many ranges don't allow center-fire pistol shooting not just because of the backstop capabilities, but because of the primer compound remnants which is bad stuff too.

    Couple of suggestions.
    1. If you have kids in the house, try to close off the area so that they can not get into any of the "dust" near the firing line and near the trap. Lead is most dangerous when it is ingested and little hands and feet on the floor and toys tend to be stuck in mouths which is how it will affect them.
    2. NEVER use a broom to clean up. Broom bristles flick the particles up from the floor where they can be breathed in and instantly absorbed by the body. Use a squeegee for the bulk of it then a small dust pan if you need to. Even that won't get it all up, a HEPA vac is necessary.
    3. I would limit it to rimfire unless you have proper ventilation and cleaning abilities. The windows sound like they would do fine, and a small HEPA vac can be ordered for a couple hundred dollars or some household ones are already HEPA rated now.

    Lots of info but just trying to help. I would love to do the same and have seen lots of in-home ranges that work just fine. It can be done!!
    Dan

    "May the gods keep the wolves in the hills and the women in our beds!" Menalaus -Troy

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