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Old 02-12-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Indoor Range Ideas

Could anyone who might feel so disposed please give me input on an indoor range, in which I would use only frangible ammo?

I have a Ruger LCR .38 Special +P and am considering using such ammunition in a small room in my basement (6' x 16') I want to convert into an indoor range.

Here are some of my thoughts:

- I don't want to be using anything with lead in the house, because there are contamination issues--not just from the lead that settles, but from the lead in the air. Without a really super ventilation system, that could be a problem.
- I think frangible ammunition might be the way to go. I'd never use it as a defensive ammunition, but I think it might be ideal for indoor practice.
- I was thinking that I would line the walls and ceiling of my room first with Armstrong High Acoustics Model #1811 tile for sound deadening, and then use 1/8" steel on the end of the room I was firing toward. My understanding is that steel is the best material to use because the frangible projectile turns completely to dust without doing any damage to the steel. I wouldn't have to worry about errant shots because the floors in my house are 1-3/4" solid wood (7/8" sub-floor and 7/8" finish floor). The walls in that room are all stone except for the solid wooden door and a window, the latter of which I would cover with the tile and steel. At the end of the room I was firing from, I would build a shooting booth to stand in, thereby further minimizing my exposure.

Any input is welcome! Feel free to critique my ideas and offer more of your own.

Thanks!
Tony
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:57 PM   #2
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Do you have a basement? Do you live in an urbanized or rural area? Do you have open land adjacent to your basement?
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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I would think that there may still be a need for good air exchanges just from primer discharges even with frangibles. Jusy a thought--could b in error there.

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abninftr View Post
Do you have a basement? Do you live in an urbanized or rural area? Do you have open land adjacent to your basement?
Yes, the 6' x 16' room is in my basement, all below grade except the top 2' which is stone. I live in a small village (4 blocks x 6 blocks). from the outside of the wall to my neighbors house is about 100'.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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Just my 2 cents and I'm speaking with HVAC experience. It seems to me that you would need an exhaust fan which creates another problem. That would be noise... and I'm not talking about fan noise. The fan would need ducting to the outside and that would create a path for the noise to travel outside. Running the duct work to the roof would help but that probably wouldn't be an easy or practical thing to do with the house already built. I guess, once the duct is outside, you could run it up the outside of the house but there are problems with that too.

Position of where the exhaust is ducted to the outside would be important also. You probably would want that down range. That way it would draw the smoke away from you. AND, while I'm on a little roll here, if you have a forced air furnace/AC you'd want to be sure there's no way the smoke could be drawn to your already existing return ducts... sort of the same reason a return duct should never be in a bathroom or kitchen. Most likely the returns are upstairs but they don't care where they get their return air from.

Last edited by Les; 02-14-2013 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:48 PM   #6
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Any more feedback about a basement pistol range?

I hadn't heard anything more so I thought I'd post an update. I have come to the conclusion that the small basement room won't work, so I am expanding into two rooms of the basement to allow me to shoot at 15' and 25'. I also had some good conversations with an engineer about ventilation and sound-deadening.

Also, RealGuysReviews had a great video about building a "sand box" bullet bunker so my engineer friend and I designed a box with caster wheels that can be hoisted up and down and even lowered onto its back on the floor. Here's a link to the RealGuysReviews video:

I'm still looking for any other ideas and feedback.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #7
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Any more feedback about a basement pistol range?

I hadn't heard anything more so I thought I'd post an update. I have come to the conclusion that the small basement room won't work, so I am expanding into two rooms of the basement to allow me to shoot at 15' and 25'. I also had some good conversations with an engineer about ventilation and sound-deadening.

Also, RealGuysReviews had a great video about building a "sand box" bullet bunker so my engineer friend and I designed a box with caster wheels that can be hoisted up and down and even lowered onto its back on the floor. Here's a link to the RealGuysReviews video:

I'm still looking for any other ideas and feedback.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:12 PM   #8
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perhaps some strawbales or dirt between walls of RR ties, above ground somewhere? roof it over with junk lumber and hunks of discarded black plastic sheeting, at least 2 layers. the bales (on lumber, would also be quite sound deadening as a roof. Make your shots thru a rack holding rows of tires, so as to further deaden the sound, or make suspended hoops, with coils of discarded house insulation batting to reduce the noise. Maybe there is no need of indoor range then? Could just dig a hole to stand in, and have a tunnel to shoot into, with a skate board on a wire around a pulley. mount the target on the skates, pull it back and forth. need one helluva air circulation system tho, even with lead free primers and bullets just hitting dirt.
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