Shooting Range Improvements

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:54 pm

Every year I set some goals for myself and 2015's goal was to get back into shooting. That involved finishing some gunsmithing projects, building the water trap, and other range improvements.

Last year I used a borrowed backhoe to built a dirt berm behind the 100 yard target. The dirt berm seemed big enough at the time, but it gradually slumped ..... and slumped ... and kept slumping with no end in sight. :(

A retaining wall seemed to be the answer. I considered building a wall with railroad ties or concrete blocks. The problem was, those things cost money. :lol:

But rocks are free and plentiful in this area. I used fencing material left over from another project (originally used to make cages to protect my tree seedlings) to make gabion wire baskets. The baskets were filled with rocks. I stacked the gabions 3 rows high.
Image

I wanted to make the target-side retaining wall out of dirt-filled tires. But I ran out of tires, so I had to switch to sandbags. The sandbags won't last forever, but hopefully by the time the sandbags wear out I'll have enough tires to finish the wall.

The finished product is about 9 feet high and 13 feet wide.
Image

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:18 pm

I improved my shooting muffler, or at least I think I did. :lol:

The tires were boxed in. The box extends over the chronograph, too. I went with asphalt shingles on the roof of the box because I figured they would absorb sound better than a metal roof? It's been too cold to paint the sides so that'll probably have to wait until next summer.
Image

The interior side of the muffler. There's a double wall of OSB with 3" of airspace between the 2 walls. Outside air is blown through the white pipe into that 3" airspace, and down onto the barrel. ( I used to shoot without ventilation but the shack filled up with powder gases that probably were not very healthy to breathe. :lol: )

The idea behind the ventilation system was to push the powder gases out without blowing cold air into the shack (you don't want cold air in the winter time!). It seems to work as intended.
Image

I'll have some more updates in the next few days, hopefully.

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:47 am

I added a 4th row of gabion baskets to the berm, so that now it is 10 - 11 feet tall, depending on where you measure it. Now matter how tall I made the berm, eventually it settles and no longer seems tall enough. :lol: Hopefully this time it'll remain tall enough.

The next project is to built a little doghouse over the target so that I can shoot in a light rain. Also I'd like to add solar power lights to the target house so that I can shoot at night.
Imageberm_nov23_16 by Dan Lynch, on Flickr

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:31 am

The structure that will cover the 100 yard target will be too small to be called a "shed" so I'm going to refer to it as the "doghouse." :lol: As always the budget is tight so part of the challenge is to figure out a way to make do with materials on hand. For the doghouse foundation, I had two railroad ties left over from another project, so I the doghouse will sit on the ties (and be screwed down to the ties). We get hurricane force winds here so I'm hoping the ties will be heavy enough to keep the doghouse from blowing away in a storm. :lol:
Image

There's no hurry on this project and the weather is none too cooperative so it may drag out for several months.

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:28 pm

The framing is more or less complete.
Image

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:42 pm

The exit of the muffler used to be wide open. To minimize noise, it now has a minimalist opening hole, just enough room for the bullets to pass through. Pexiglass was used so I'd still be able to spot any animals approaching the line of fire.

If I experience any more gas checks parting company with the bullet, the pexiglass should let me know about it real quick. :lol:
Image

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:36 pm

The original sliding glass window was removed to make way for the improved muffler. That left the shack with no window! I made a pexiglass window to fill in the rest of the original window frame. Let there be light!

Image

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:22 pm

So far I have not been able to figure out the flying gas check problem, so in the meantime I wanted to shield the chronograph from flying gas checks. There is no remote display offered for this Caldwell chronograph -- it is intended to display on a smart phone, but I don't have a smart phone! :cry: Well, since I already have a computer on the shooting bench, why not use a webcam to display the velocities? And so it came to pass.

No, my cast bullet loads do not clock 7560 fps. :lol: That was just an blip caused by me hovering over the chrono while I was getting things set up. After some fiddling, the webcam display works perfect. :)
Image

The anti-gas-check shield. There is 16 gauge steel out of sight on the far side. Usually wafer board alone will stop a gas check but I'll scrounge up some scrap pieces of steel to add to the top, too. For now there is just that one little piece of steel that happened to be laying around.
Image

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:23 pm

Some progress on the 100 yard doghouse. I ran short on roofing material so that will have to wait until next month's trip to town. The sides are merely covered with window screen -- it lets light in but will keep the majority of the rain and snow out. It still needs battens over the screen. Still needs a lighting system. But ... it's far enough along to be useful. Now I can shoot in a light rain, and leave targets out in between shooting sessions without the targets getting soggy or blowing away. :)
Image

User avatar
mtngun
Site Admin
Posts: 1626
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Shooting Range Improvements

Postby mtngun » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:31 pm

Before I could finish the battens and the roof on the doghouse, a 70 mph windstorm came along and stuck around for 2 days. One roof panel was blown off -- I went out in the storm to tie down what was left of the roof -- and the screens were blown off. :twisted:

But .... the roof has been repaired, completed, and hurricane straps added to the upwind side of the roof. The screens were re-installed and clamped down with battens. The only thing left to do on the doghouse is the solar lighting system, and that may have to wait until next year due to budget constraints. In the meantime I'm calling the doghouse complete. :)
Image

The next range improvement project will be the 200 yard bench.


Return to “Shop Construction Blog”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron