Need your input reworking a SB range

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jbzeus
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Need your input reworking a SB range

Post by jbzeus » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:21 pm

Hello all. Our club currently has a range that hasn't been used much. Basically just a slab that needs replaced and berms at 50Y/M and 100Y/M that have been neglected. I have asked and been designated "project manager" to bring the range back into more formal use.

I am considering attempting to make the range multi use for smallbore shooting. I'd love to hear from you and consider any input you might have so I can try to incorporate the best design elements while keeping the range multi use. What have you seen that you like or dislike or "If I were going to build a range I would..."

Firing line - Silhouette/Position/Benchrest How to best incorporate the three into one firing line? Position in front of the benches? Between the benches? If between the benches then the firing line width grows due to the increased space to move and handle rifles.

Overhead baffles. Not sure we need baffles all the way down the range but potentially the first few yards. We have a barn to the right and up about 40' (not indirect line of the firing line but we want to make sure an errant round doesn't leave the property. OUr property extends beyond the berm but we want to be safe.)

Firing line design? Any ideas for best practices? How many points? I *think* I read if you wanted to run a state or regional match you would need 12 firing points? Not that we may ever but it would be nice to have in case we would. Our club has about 1500 members with various ranges for pistol and rifle. Our available range width is approximately 200'.

Hopefully this thread will generate a lot of good input so I can incorporate fresh ideas. If you have pictures to share please PM me and I can give my email address.

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acorneau
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Re: Need your input reworking a SB range

Post by acorneau » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:59 pm

Since I don't know what else is available to your club members I'll go on a wish-list style of reply...

1. Target frames at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards for standing, kneeling, prone, and bench use.
2. Fixed target stands at 40 and 100 meters, movable stands for 50m/60m and 75m/77m to cover both smallbore and lever-action silhouette matches.
3. Markers in the ground at 20, 30, 36, and 45 yards for air rifle silhouette resettable targets. (Put out for matches and put away after so they don't get destroyed.)

With 200' of width to play with you shouldn't have any problem fitting both standing and benches on the 25-100 yard lanes and have a few movable benches for the 40-100m lanes. The serious benchrest guys will most likely want to shoot at the "yard distances" so you won't need big concrete benches at the "meter distances".
Allen Corneau

tnchicknsnipr
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Re: Need your input reworking a SB range

Post by tnchicknsnipr » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:23 pm

If you need benches build wood moveable benches. That way you can pull them out of the way for prone shooting then move them for silhouette. If I was you baffles are a must. A round going off range could be a problem. Need help with design I have pictures of our range that could help.

Hawkeye7br
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Re: Need your input reworking a SB range

Post by Hawkeye7br » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:40 pm

jbzeus-
Send me a pm with your email address. We added a dedicated 22 range recently, rebuilt our firing line, added sand to the berms making them largely maintenance free, etc.

BTW- where are you located? geography makes a difference. what works in high desert of Arizona/Utah won't work in humid climate of Kentucky/Georgia.

I have a great design for ambidextrous shooting bench with front wheels that engage when you lift the rear. Have pics of it & description.

If you have the ability to build an elevated firing line, even just 3-4 feet above grade, it opens up the ability for standing shooters to shoot OVER a berm to the next set of targets, or perhaps alternate berms. 25 & 75 yard berms can be in a line, as can 50 & 100y. This helps conserve downrange space instead of having 75 yards of "dead space" between the firing line and the 100 y/m targets. This becomes more important if you intend to shoot prone. A lot of ranges have the ability to see over berms when standing, but not prone.

How deep do you intend to build the firing line from front t back? Enough to have a staging area under roof? Seating? A place for temporary reloading press to be mounted? Deep enough that your gear won't get wet if it starts to rain?

Are you considering rope reset targets? Air reset targets? Just plain old knockdowns?

atomicbrh
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Re: Need your input reworking a SB range

Post by atomicbrh » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:22 am

1. Build your firing line cover as big as you can afford to build it.
2. Build the minimum amount of benches that you can get by with. That means 4 benches. One for each distance.
3. For state and regional matches, after practice, remove all benches from the firing line.
4. 1,2 and 3 above make for the most efficient, fast movement of competitors, tripods and rifles up and down the firing lines.
5. If you do not have single rails but double stack rails, install steel backer plates and expanded metal horizontally between the target rails and the backer plates. This way the target setters never have to search for the targets or pick them up off of the ground. It is like the targets are trapped and land on a shelf just behind the stands. Makes for super quick target resetting and the targets wet with paint do not pick up dirt and trash.
6. The above 5 things add up to finishing hours earlier over a 3 day weekend and really help during inclement weather.
7. If you have a huge firing line cover, do not use the front of the concrete as your fault or datum line. Move the firing points back farther under the cover and paint a fault line on the concrete. This allows competitors to shoot even when a head wind is blowing rain in because they and their rifles are not getting wet.
8. Prevent bank advantage if you can. After shooting many years at the same places we have noticed our scores at some ranges are simply luck of the draw. These are usually the ranges that have a huge berm or mountain on one side and a valley or huge open area with no berms on the opposite side. When we draw the banks up against that berm or mountain we know we are going to shoot our highest scores. When the wind comes into those ranges so that the mountain or high berm gives us the most protection, we know we are going to shoot even higher scores. If we are out on the least protected firing points it is impossible to shoot good scores.
9. To prevent #8 do dirt work or plant trees so that both sides of the range are equally protected or exposed to the wind.
10. In addition to dirt work, install the target rails in a pyramid shape. In other words, put all the ram rails in the middle of the range with 1/2 of the other targets to the right and left of the rams. This puts the most wind sensitive targets in the middle of the range making the playing field more level.
11. Some ranges placed all their chicken rails in the middle and pyramided the other targets so that rams were on the far left and far right. This accentuated the luck of the draw when one set of rams were protected and the other set of rams were fully exposed to the worst winds.
12. Find a Civil Engineer or a active surveyor on site to help you place your rails and lay out your range. Hopefully you have a club member that is a civil engineer. A civil engineer who spent his whole career building roads and bridges helped us design and measure a smallbore range. Our son and I learned a lot that day. The people who do that kind or work every day do it more accurately than the non-professional. We found out quickly that we did not know how to pull tape correctly over long distances. They put much more tension on 100 meter tape than the non-professional would ever imagine. You can use range finders but back it up with tape.
Note: We did not notice the advantages of the luck of the draw at some of these ranges until my wife started taking lots of photos. That is when we started noticing these trends. When there is no wind luck of the draw is not a factor.

atomicbrh
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Re: Need your input reworking a SB range

Post by atomicbrh » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:54 am

Forgot #13.
13. When the target rails or stands are pyramided correctly, competitors never have to walk the full length of the firing line as in from rams to chickens. Everyone spends the whole day only walking and moving their equipment half of the firing line distance. This speeds everything up and reduces firing line congestion. When hosting a large match though it is proper to never put a squad on just the right or left side all day. They should be on one side in the morning and the other side in the afternoon to even conditions out.

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