Written by Michelle Henderson – April 9, 2019
Top 5 Considerations when Building a Gun Range.
Shooting ranges present special challenges that need thoughtful planning and consideration. Before any realistic planning and design can begin, it must be determined what shooting activity will be conducted in the range. The use of an indoor range can vary from shooting handguns at bull’s eye targets for basic marksmanship training to highly sophisticated tactical training ranges where shooters advance downrange and shoot at close range. The type of range activity and space selection dictates design and equipment considerations and include:
Space Requirements: The greatest cost in any shooting range is the building and real estate. The cost can escalate if planning is inadequate. For example, if construction or renovation of a building to house the range is done before consulting with a range equipment manufacturer, you may find the structure unsuitable. There may be inadequate space for ventilation, a bullet trap or a target system — any of which could require later modification to the building itself. As a result, space is the first consideration when planning a range.
Basic Length: The majority of indoor shooting activities can be conducted on a range that provides 50 or 75 feet between the firing line and the target line. For law enforcement/security training, a 75-foot range is typically mandatory and may extend to 150-feet for longer target distance applications.
Width of Shooting Points: A 42 to 60-inch wide shooting point is industry standard, but widths down to 36 inches are still acceptable for most shooting activities.
Room Height: A structural ceiling height of 10 to 12 feet is the most effective. Ceiling heights lower or higher than this can be accommodated; however they do present additional costs for ballistic protection, lighting, and target retrieval systems.
Ancillary Areas: Depending on the use of the range, the designer must also make allowances for the range control station, ready room, spectator area, and adequate storage areas. To provide better visibility of the firing line, Meggitt recommends that you plan for a raised platform for the range master’s station.
To learn more about range design and planning, visit this page.