Making your own LR range

MudRunner2005

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Anybody got any tips for making your own LR shooting range? Targets? Benches? Pictures of your personal setups? Etc...

I have a buddy who has a couple hundred acres about 15 mins from my house, and it's mostly old farmland, so it has this really long pasture and we can shoot probably 1000, maybe longer.

We've about got him talked into letting us use it for LR shooting. It's right by the interstate, so there's huge rock walls and huge dirt mounds already setup as backstops, seperating his land and the guy next to it where the bridge overpasses, from way back when they built the interstate and just left the huge dirtmounds 100 years ago. The bridge overpasses WAY to the right of where we'd be shooting. It sounds dangerous, but I can assure you it is far from it. We will be shooting parallel to the interstate, and it is about 1,000 yards away to the right of where we'll be sitting and shooting. Safety is the number 1 concern with me, being around firearms.

We would setup regular target backstops at 100, 200, and 300, and setting up 2MOA sized steel gongs at 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, and 1,000.

I'm a metal fabricator by trade, and my family owns a steel shop. So I can get the stuff at a big discount. A sheet of 1/2" AR550 plate will cost me about $400. And we have a business friend who owns a plasma bed, so he can cut them out perfectly round for me to whatever sizes I need.

I can build the posts and hangers and stuff out of scrap tubing we have laying around.

Just looking for any info or tips that might help me or others out.

 
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Broz

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Run an add in the local paper that you want some old swingset frames and will come pick them up. Then hang a set of targets that diminish in size. I camo to improve the looks a little.

 

MudRunner2005

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Cool! Good into Jeff, thanks! I actually have an old swingset frame that was sitting in the back of an old 1/2-rotted truck that we bought. I'll see if I need to reinforce it a little bit. I can also build my own tripod stands out of old scrap tubing. Simply cut 4 pieces around 6" long, then cut them all (on one side) at a 60* angle, then weld 2 of them together, make a pair of them. Then weld a bar between them to hold them together, then cut 4 legs that are smaller than the I.D. of the tubing frame, then you have 4 legs and a base and it's simple, quick, easy, and strong. Also inexpensive.

I think that's probably how I'll be building my frames to hold the targets. Plus, being made of multiple parts will make replacing 1 part very quick and easy.

It would basically be the same design as the swingset, but made of much thicker and stronger steel, and on a much smaller scale to hold each target.
 

Broz

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I have built those and like my swing sets over them. I leave the bolts out of the swing set so I can break the two halves apart by sliding the telescoped tubing apart. They are very light and get you up out of grass and very visible. I transport two of them in the back of my truck often. I have fabricated many steel targets over the years, some even spring loaded retracting. I still use the two swing sets as my favorites.

Jeff
 

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20130727_202601.jpg 20130727_202607.jpg 20130627_132857.jpg 20130910_191134.jpg

I have a big sheet of AR steel I put folding legs on so I can move with a truck and just slide off and stand up.
I get used agriculture tires from local tire shops for free. I stack them up and fill them with dirt and sand to make very good backstops.
I also hang my "permanent" AR steel from t-posts by welding t brackets out of square tubing.
 

Area51

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As simple and un-earth-shattering as this is I thought I would post anyway, because that's exactly what I was going for. The pics are what we have been using to hang our gongs with. I wanted simple to make, simple to set up, small storage footprint and inexpensive. I got some reject 3/4 square tubing from the recycling yard, the rebar could be any round stock out of the rem bin, 3/8 x 4.5" bolts welded in the center with wing nuts and the four legs can be any length wood you need for the veg and terrain you are in. The legs here are some 2x3x8's cut in half but I a also ripped and cut an old 2x6x16 so I would have some 8' legs for areas with taller sage.
 
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My question is why are you going 1/2" steel? 3/8" will be plenty for almost everything past 500 and depending on what calibers you're shooting 1/4" AR500 rings like a church bell at extended distances. Also for what's it's worth I've heard you want t avoid plasma cutters since they will put too much heat into the steel and change the material properties near the cut.
 

Area51

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3/8" will be plenty for almost everything past 500 and depending on what calibers you're shooting 1/4" AR500 rings like a church bell at extended distances. .
we have been using 3/8" AR500 with good results. I would love to get some 1/4" but did not know how well it would hold up. We would be hitting it with .300 WSM and WM (210 and 215 gr. bergers )as well as 7mm (168 gr. bergers)If we stayed out past 400 yards would the 1/4" hold up.
 
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we have been using 3/8" AR500 with good results. I would love to get some 1/4" but did not know how well it would hold up. We would be hitting it with .300 WSM and WM (210 and 215 gr. bergers )as well as 7mm (168 gr. bergers)If we stayed out past 400 yards would the 1/4" hold up.
We shot 1/4" AR500 with a 243 AI shooting 107's at 3150 fps at 300 yards and on the back you could just barely feel a dent where it hit. We set up 1/4" AR500 plates at 800 and have shot them with 6.5x284, 243 AI, 6.5 Creedmoor and a 260 and they ring like church bells. None of these showed any signs of damage. For the most part speed kills steel but there's no denying that thinner steel can bend if hit with enough energy. I imagine for the 300 WSM and Win mag anything over 600 yards would be just fine for the 1/4" plate.

I may come up to IF to shoot with some friends sometime in the next month or two and I can bring some 1/4" plate for you to hit and see what happens.
 

Area51

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I may come up to IF to shoot with some friends sometime in the next month or two and I can bring some 1/4" plate for you to hit and see what happens.
Browninglover1 - Yeah I would like to go shooting when you come up. I can bring along a few other gongs as well if you want to set more up. Just PM me when it gets closer.
 

TXSlayer

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We have a pretty large steel table on our back porch at the ranch. Granted the closest shot we can make starts around 370 and goes from there. We shoot at various things like beer cans, rocks, steel plates and an old rusted feeder barrel that sits 920 yards away.
 

OldmanFCSA

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I recommend you contact Bryan McCann near Marksville LA and attend his FCSA sponsored FUN Shoot held there most years.
Targets are an abundant supply of bowling balls, and occasionally cars with propane tanks and 100 pound of TannerRite inside at 800 yards.
I've shot there at 450, 600, 800, 900, 1000, and 1760 yards at bowling balls. Broke 2 or more at each range (but did require 12 shots at a mile to break one.)
I'm sure he would allow steel gongs to be set up, but you would need to inspect ammo used as they shoot everything.
I shot ball, AP, Incendiary, API, and solid brass projectiles there.

Contact www.fcsa.org for dates of Fun Shoots.

 

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