How To Build An Outdoor Range

How To Build Your Own Outdoor Range

Nothing rivals the convenience of stepping onto the back porch and firing off a couple mags through your new EDC pistol or your favorite plinker. And despite the initial investment, an at-home setup can also save a fortune in gas and membership fees at your local gun range. Here's how you can start building your very own outdoor range.

SME SMESHW Self-Healing Windmill Universal Polymer Green Windmill Illustration Impact Enhancement Motion
SME SMESHW Self-Healing Windmill Universal Polymer Green Windmill Illustration Impact Enhancement Motion
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Location

First, identify the best location to begin building. Look for a clear, flat piece of land with an unobstructed view from the firing line to any targets you plan to place downrange. For your safety, allow 15-20 yards for shooting handgun calibers and shotshells (except for slugs). You will need at least 100 yards for rifle calibers, with considerably more distance required for big bore rounds like .338 Lapua Magnum or .50 BMG.

One caveat: you should always check with local law enforcement or consult with your attorney to make sure you are not violating any local or state laws, as many municipalities have specific guidelines for where and when firearms may be discharged by private citizens. Even if your property is outside of city limits, it's always better to play it safe rather than risk an expensive fine or even jail time.

Backstop

Unless your property stretches out for miles in the direction you're shooting, it's best to have some type of backstop. You could create a berm at the edge of a dense wooded area or construct a thick wall made of railroad ties stacked high and deep. Whatever you decide, your backstop must be sufficient to completely stop every round you intend to fire at your range should any shots miss their mark.

Targets & Target Stands

Steel targets are incredibly durable and produce a satisfying Ping! when hit, which is perfect for outdoor shooting. These targets are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to keep your shooting sessions interesting and push your skills to the limit. Some smaller targets (like the Caldwell AR500 Prairie Dog popper) even ship with an auto reset stand.

On the other hand, larger gong targets may be purchase with a stand to support the target or the gong and target stand may be purchased separately. Always make sure that any targets you're using are secure and maintain a safe distance when shooting.

Caldwell 1140016 Gong & Target Stand  8" Yellow AR500 Steel Gong Hanging Includes XL Strap Hangers
Caldwell 1140016 Gong & Target Stand 8" Yellow AR500 Steel Gong Hanging Includes XL Strap Hangers
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Other Range Essentials

Once your range is finished, it's time to stock up on all the range essentials like ear protection and spare mags. Want to know what we bring with us when we go out to shoot? Be sure to watch our video below for a comprehensive breakdown of our range day loadout.

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