Written by Michelle Henderson – June 24, 2019
2 Important Things to Know About Gun Range Noise Abatement
When building a gun range, there are two primary noise considerations you need to ensure are in place:
- Lowering the sound level within the range
- Preventing the transmission of noise outside of the range
Acoustical applications are of some benefit to lowering the noise level. The walls from twelve feet forward of the firing line to the back wall should be covered with acoustical material. In addition, the horizontal ceiling above the firing line and the front surface of downrange baffles should also be treated. The most widely used material for this application is Class 1 acoustical foam. Check with your local fire department for class requirements.
The walls, ceiling, and floor surfaces within twenty feet of the bullet trap receive most misdirected shots and should not receive acoustical treatment due to the high frequency of repair that would be required. Any surface downrange of the firing line that does receive acoustical material should have an air-space between the hard and soft surfaces, even if it’s just the thickness of furring strips.
Reducing the transmission of noise to areas outside the range requires close attention to sound leakage. Even small cracks will allow sound to escape, therefore, all openings should be sealed and all doors weather-stripped. Pipes, ducts, conduit, etc. will transmit noise to the outside if not enclosed in heavy masonry. Do not line exhaust air ducts with acoustical material because of accumulating unburned airborne gunpowder.
Doors leading into the firing range are great offenders of noise transmission. For best sound attenuation, two solid-core doors should be installed at right angles to each other to create an air-lock at the range entrance. One of the benefits of installing an environmental rubber bullet trap is the elimination of noise associated with bullet impact and deceleration on steel bullet traps. This is particularly important when the range shares a common wall with other occupants of the building.
To learn more about noise abatement and other shooting range considerations, visit download Meggitt Indoor Range Design Guide page.
For additional information, range planners can refer to the Indoor Firing Ranges: Industrial Hygiene Technical Guide. This technical manual was produced by The US Navy Environmental Health Center to provide general information on indoor firing ranges to assist users in recognizing, evaluating, and controlling safety and health hazards inherent to indoor ranges. NEHC TM6290.99-10 Rev 1 May 2002 http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/Documents/policy-and-instruction/ih-indoor-firing-ranges-technical-guide.pdf