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Building an indoor range

Discussion in 'Air Guns' started by D.B. Cooper, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I have an opportunity to build an indoor airgun range in a garage on somewhat rural property (1ac). I believe I have just enough distance to go about 10 meters. My goal is to have a range and the proper guns to not be heard by any neighbors. Total stealth. How do I do this?

    The range: I think this should be easy.

    1.) Bullet trap: Is it sufficient to just buy a cheap Crossman pellet trap? My other thought is I could build a trap from a 15 gal metal barrel such that pellets go through the paper then down into the barrel and spin around and around until all their energy used up. Am I over thinking this? Is there a better (simpler or cheaper or easier) option.

    2.) Ventilation: is this even necessary? If so, what is the minimum amount needed?

    The guns. Suggest the following:

    1.) Rifle with which to practice for NRA high power (standing sitting prone) preferably can accept Tek Sighs or at least a rear aperture and front post type sight. Not interested in high-end (i.e. high cost) competition rifles (Anschutz, Walther etc)

    2.) Pistol with which to practice fundamentals. This could be about anything: multi pump, CO2 etc. Have already been thinking about buying one of those CO2 handguns that is exactly a "real" gun for practice for USPSA, but not sure how useful that would be.

    3.) Suppressed or not? (Are suppressors on airguns an NFA item?) I know some of them have integral suppressors. Basically anything to hold the noise down so as not raise the ire of the neighbors.

    4.) Alternative to airguns: build range same as above, go with 22 rim fire guns with suppressors (jump though the NFA hoops)
     
  2. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    I commend you for going to Airguns for training. And I could probably write about a 1,000 pages on the subject. There are so many options it is crazy. Might want to join a Airgun Forum, because of the depth of information. You can have both indoor range and outdoor ranges. There are so many Air Rifles and Pistols out there. Noise will not be a problem for most air guns, some co2 and PCP, some Springers are loud, but. But some do have built in suppressors and some Spring Air Rifles are just built with such quality that they are quiet.And there are many aftermarket supressors out there. Most will not have the requirements like powder burners, but still advise to check your laws. I think you would be smart to start small and build up over the years. A garage setup is easy for pistols. Most of my back stops are simple, you can use a wood, a plastic storage container etc. and I use duct Putty to stop the pellets. There are many "Replica" air pistols out there that are so close to the real McCoy you would not believe it. Air rifles, will fall into three groups, guys that are devoted to Springer's, those to PCP and both will shoot some COs2 I am a devoted Springer fan for Rifles. Lol, I started with a cheap Crosman Quest many years ago and just kept going up the ladder to better rifles. And there are some terrific Quality Air Rifles out there. And the accuracy will more than rival a whole lot of 22.cals. You see many threads on gun forums of guns like CZ etc. where someone will spend about $500.00, but many Airgunners will spend that amd quite a bit more on a good Spring air rifle and then go on to have a Custom Tune. And then of course some competition Marksman rifles will go into the thousands of dollars.

    Iron Plate shooting with pistols is a big sport in Europe and started picking up in the US. During the ammo shortage, I started hitting the Pellet Pistols really hard, was able to train three to five days a week. Came back to powder burners and shot better than I have in my life. Great for Point and shoot skills. Really develops the eye, and hand skills.
    I will end this post here, as it is already getting long.Good luck, but Be careful. It is a very addicting Sport!!

    Here is a great place to get started. This link to building a backstop and you can see all the other questions. The guy in the video is "TOM GAYLORD". Very well know to airgun enthusiast. And of course the is a TV show devoted to Airguns.

    Building a Backstop
    https://www.pyramydair.com/airgun-academy-videos/

    The very best Entry Air rifle IMO which is good Quality is the Diana MDL 34. A German made gun that shoots very well with open sights and will not bust the bank.

    easy trap. fill walmart bag with old rags and clothes and put them all round the back yard for point and and shoot skill.

    mH7X5Op.jpg 7YjqbCB.jpg

    Stops all pellets which collect in the bag for easy disposal

    pCPuyGZ.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  3. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    @D.B. Cooper I think that's awesome that you are looking to get into airguns. The links that @Jeb Stuart put up are good, along with his use of duct seal for the pellet trap. I think what you make for a pellet trap will depend on how powerful the airgun you are shooting is.

    I shoot indoors and my micro range is about six meters- the distance from the fridge to my office. My pellet trap is an Amazon box filled with old pants of mine. I shoot an HW75 pistol, which is supposed to be around 400fps, but probably is less (no chronograph) with the lighter target wadcutters I mostly shoot. I hang an index card from bullclips attached to paper clips- will see about posting a picture of it.

    Not sure if they still sell to non CMP members, but the CMP does have used Daisy 856's for sale for just over $100. They are durable, accurate (Lothar Walther barrels), come with globe fronts and peep rear sights. They are low powered and meant for 10 meter shooting. The Diana 36 Jeb mentioned is supposed to be highly regarded, but have no experience with it. If you wanted a target bb gun, take a look at the Daisy Avanti 499b. Runs around $140-$150 with the target grade bb's being about $6-$7 for 1,000.

    As far as how loud they are- it depends. My HW75 isn't loud, kinda like a halfhearted hand clap- sometimes the pellet hitting the trap is louder. The 856 is a little quieter, and the 499b is quieter still, but has a springy "sprong" noise that takes me a little to get used to.
     
  4. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    As far as a good pistol to recommend- for new maybe one of Crosman's 2300s? Lots of info on those. They are C02. Have no experience with it, but there's the Air Venturi a10.

    If you were able to find a Daisy 717 or 747 for a good price, they are good.
     
  5. Ryden

    Ryden Member

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    1.) Bullet trap:
    This depends on what your targets are going to be. For paper targets, get a bunch of cheap metal pellet traps and stick on the back wall.

    If you want to shoot metal targets or clays or whatever misc targets, get some 1/16 sheetmetal and put it up along the wall in approx. 30 degrees angle and a length of gutter beneath it to collect the pellets. It could be sloping down to a bucket on one end.
    That will make you a big backdrop and you can hang permanent targets in front.

    You might have to experiment a bit on the collection of pellets. Take a look at the "shooting gallery" type of targets for angles and stuff, they're also a good thing to have for plinking.
    My target has four boars and a reset disc and my goal is to put 100 pellets in and get 80 dead boars. That's one single miss allowed.

    Self resetting targets like spinners are great, you want to shoot, not walk.
    500.jpg

    Or build some sandtraps


    post-32-0-08324400-1358978232.jpg


    EDIT:
    You missed out on, and I didn't think of, the most important part, backstop!
    The entire area behind your targets need to be able to stop a pellet from penetrating.
    Not really a problem with a normal air rifle like the Diana springer in .177, but bigger calibers and/or more potent guns can need something like 3" wood.

    My range is actually built as a genuine bunker, something like 3' reinforced concrete walls beneath ground level so I never had to care

    Maybe cinders block will work, cheap and quick to stack into a wall

    2.) Ventilation:

    YES! Lead dust is something you really don't want in your system.
    Get a bathroom extractor fan and mount it at the side of you targets, if you mount it on the same wall you're going to put a pellet through it at least once. Don't ask
    Just as long as air is moving from your back towards the targets

    The guns. Suggest the following:

    1.) Rifle with which to practice for NRA high power (standing sitting prone)
    FX Dreamline
    Dreamline-Tactical-II.png
    2.) Pistol with which to practice fundamentals.
    If you really want to work on the fundamentals, you need something that is good enough to show you your errors, eg. it has to be extremly accurat.
    I suggest a used FWB65 or something similar, might cost a bit but your eventual grandchildren can probably still compete with it at lower levels.
    ddcf6d246e8a67de9adefd03cd399f46.jpg
    I got some CO2 real gun clones and they are a hoot to shoot, but there's no way of learning from your misses, might be your hold, or your line of sight or the amount of CO2 still available or the pellet or the wind or... well, you get my drift. (no pun intended)

    3.) Suppressed or not?
    No need for ordinary air rifles, they go plink. Or in case of a tuned springer, twangg. A PCP might be noisier.
    If you shoot indoors, noone's going to hear you. I'ts better to work with sound dampers (egg crate foam or similar) on the walls in case you still have noice issues for some reason

    If you go to extreme power there will be noice (I tuned a chinese AR1000 to 412 m/s and that's as loud as a rifle, won't hit the side of a barn though) but then you'll not want to shoot it in your garage anyway.

    4.) Real guns
    Much more work to make an indoor range, ventilation for example will be much more involved, and backstop.
    Not to mention cost
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    D.B. Cooper likes this.
  6. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Thanks
     
  7. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Have you thought about getting a cargo container for this--most of those are pretty cheap, it would already have a barrier on the end plus a trap ready built, you could shoot in the rain or mist, and some cheap sound insulation would reduce any noise. A 32 ft. container would be about ten yards.
     
  8. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

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    I've used a target backstop that I got from Beeman many years ago, it's a bit less than 8.5x11" and uses duct seal as the barrier. It can be found online easily. I have thousands of rounds in mine only just recently started thinking about replacing it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Rectorseal-8...torseal+81881&qid=1568161879&s=gateway&sr=8-1

    Regarding rifles, if you don't need the high end, then be sure to check out Hatsan's refurb store. If you're locale allows it, look at the QE models for sound reduction.

    https://hatsanairgunsusa.com/produc...-41091009&mc_cid=ee7add6f22&mc_eid=52ce1f94a2
     
  9. kBob

    kBob Member

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    My apartment for my first teaching job was just long enough that I had ten yards in a straight line. I took a scrap of steel I found out walking one day that was almost 6x 8 inches and took a carb board box and cut and duct taped until I had the plate inside the box at about a 45 degree angle leaning toward me.

    I set a sock full of construction sand in the box on top of the plate to keep the noise down. I set the box and sock o'sand in a baking tine with an inch of sand in the bottom and fired away. I only shot stand as hey that's what ten meter air rifle is all about.

    I shot my FWB springer at it most every day.

    I would reduce the range to five yards and shoot one of those awful Marksman smooth bore BB/ pellet pistols at it with pellets or at a different box of wadded up newspaper and magazines with BBs. I also occasionally fired that thing with the little darts that came with it which in those days had a clump of fine hairs for a kite tail (later they came with plastic vanes that were pointless) at a cork dart board.

    A bud would occasionally visit and we would also shoot his Benny Pump rifle and pistol at the plate.

    Recovered pellets and fragments went into the melting pot for crappy unknown hardness low velocity pistol bullets with any other lead crap we had. Not sure modern pellets are pure lead or in some cases EVEN lead.

    never a mark on the wall or furniture,

    -kBob
     
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  10. Ryden

    Ryden Member

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    Ordinary pellets are soft lead, I've recycled about 40 lbs into round balls and conicals with great success.
    A container is a good tip, not as inconspicuous as the garage though.
    You'll need a backstop, a container is not pellet proof.
     
  11. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    I will put a few bits into here....

    I hate the putty....HATE it. Lets think about it.

    Hang a paper with a big bulls eye on it and start shooting.....where are the bulk of the pellets going to go....you are going to have lead on lead very quick, it will stop sticking in the putty, that stuff is expensive, and if you think you can reuse it after it is full of pellets think again.

    A normal rimfire trap will stop any pellet you plan to ever shoot in your house if you are sane....downside is they are a bit on the small side, and you do really hear the impact. Still inside the house I would bet no one would ever know.

    I like rubber mulch in a card board box. I generally use a desktop computer box (i have access to tons of this stuff) and fill it to the rim with that reclaimed tire rubber playground/whatever mulch. I have shot it (outside) with a 9mm and it did not go through. The front will get chewed up, so you will need to replace the cardboard or invest in some duct tape....the mulch will settle so you will need to check and fill from time to time....and it will get heavy as hell as it eats lead. There is no sound of impact...and its size is really based on the size of the box. Just to be sure there is a carpet scrap taped to the back and then a small bit of plywood....never anything to even touch the carpet even using a pretty stout .25

    Most the other questions can be tricky.....the suppressed or not I want to say can vary state to state with less free states saying no. I would not worry about venting.

    As to the gun if you want something that will come as close as possible to a firearm you are going to want PCP or CO2....spring guns are very different and require a very different skill set.

    At your distances I would look at something like a Chief, or perhaps Mrod or Gauntlet.....most of these guns suffer from poor triggers but the ones I suggested have very wide after market support (think 1022) and all kinds of things are out there to change stuff around....they are also on the sub $500 end of "good" air guns.

    Do yourself a favor and at this stage don't bother with any of the expensive things....FX, Daystate bla bla bla.....you are spending money you don't need to spend for what your stated use is.
     
  12. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I did the same thing in the middle of my living room and kitchen. I was able to find a 15 yard shooting lane, just had to make sure I didn't shoot the toaster or the potted plant.

    My research indicated that there is no lead contamination from air rifles. There's no primer or burning powder, just air pushing a lead pellet.

    The bullet trap I used was a card board box from Amazon. About 15" x 15" x 4", filled with newspaper and junk mail. My air rifles make 20 fpe and 30 fpe, and the box easily stopped all pellets. A steel trap is very loud in comparison, but when the box starts expanding from the pellets and torn up paper, it will need replacing.

    Others here can give you advice on springers vs. PCP vs. pumpers. I just shoot springers so I have nothing to compare.

    The noise with my springers are not an issue for me, but if your gun seems loud then a pair of plugs should fix the problem.
     
  13. George P

    George P Member

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    My pellet trap is a cardboard box with 5-6 lids form 5 gallons buckets in there vertically. My RWS 34 will hit over 1000fps (and that can get noisy) but the pellets never make it through the third lid. Spingers will be noisier than PCP, and anything supersonic will have that "crack" to boot. There are air rifles with built in moderators of sorts that are sold sans the NFA regs.
     
  14. Ryden

    Ryden Member

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    Muzzle sound can be fixed with a tire trap, my local range has two and they reduce a 30-06 to something like a 22LR.
    They have a 4" layer of rockwool on the outside, otherwise they're the same as the picture, drum and all.
    For air guns something smaller would suffice.
    They're legal here since they're not attached to the rifle, YMMV
    non_portable_noise_reduction.jpg
     
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  15. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    True but some states do restrict them...with NJ being one that I do know of.

    If you are worried about it go to one of the big online places, Airguns AZ, pyrmaid....there are others (and I suggest you get the gun there vs wally world) they are good at the laws state to state....they even have people that know the hunting laws state to state if you ever want to go that way.

    Airguns are a real slippy slope, they are a huge amount of fun.....I will say there is a very as in VERY strong group of cork sniffers in that community and a great many of the "airgun forums" cater to this crowd.
     
  16. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    Air guns are considered dangerous weapons in my state. My yard is an acre so I've made an indoor/ outdoor type range. I've only got one neighbor closer than 500 ft but I still don't want to shoot out in the open. I shoot from a window to a target and backstop about 60 ft away not visible to neighbors. Splatter targets and binoculars. The sound is muffled quite a bit and it's not obvious I'm shooting.
     
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