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New Range & Need Ideas

Started by Sgt-at-Arms, January 02, 2019, 02:22:58 PM

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So let me paint the picture....

The Range is about 75ish ft wide, and plenty long enuff, with 3 hills, one to each side and at the back end down range.
There's a cross section of burm covering a short pistol area lil better than half way down range (not an issue). We've measured for propper 25 meter distance, and figure 15 lanes.

My question, seeking advice/options, is range set up.  We can spray paint the Gun Line and the Equipment Line, no problem.  My questions mainly are LB Stage and Target Backing/Frame Work.  Whatever we do must be temporary.  Building frames with 2×4 and plywood would be a lil expensive and our budget is minimal, like bare minimal.  There's a Papermill Plant in the area, I think I can get large sheets of cardboard donated, like 4×8 maybe 6×10. But if i can't, what's some other options that have been used successfully?

Hope I'm posting this in the best place to get responses!
Kenneth Dawyne Pirtle

"we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."


Can't seem to figure out how to up load pics on here.
Kenneth Dawyne Pirtle

"we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."


Portable traget line is cheap and simple to put up and take down quick.

Home depot or lowes has metal fence posts. They just bang into the ground. They also sell the banger.  Then tie rope to all posts anb use binder clips (avaible on amazon) to hold the backers to the rope.    Total cost is probably around 100 and everything is reusable.      Note the target line expence is also reembersable.

I use this setup myself as does several other shootbosses in florida.

Tennessee Beast

Fence posts spaced 10'-20' + apart with two strands of rope between them. 

Cable tie or binder clip cardboard backers to the rope.

The main disadvantages are the potential for wind interference and you need to use pushpins instead of staples.

It works great.  It is what is used at Blue Ridge, GA (among others) see pics here

I have a fence post driver and a tool for pulling them up.
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Range setup is usually directed by the Shoot Boss running the event, often on the morning of the event.  The Shoot Boss will bring or coordinate for the required supplies.

We've done events at places from farmer's fields to high-tech ranges.  I don't think there will be major challenges.

I understand Bluegrass Colonel did your site visit.  I suggest you contact him for his recommendations.

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I've posted elsewhere in the forum how to make super portable jiffy-fence that sets up and tears down in minutes.  It's made of plastic safety fence, conduit, rebar, and some paracord.  A50ft 20 shooter fence stows into a 6" dia x 2ft long roll and costs less than $20 to make.  Targets are held onto it with clothespins from the dollar store.  I think its in a Shoot-Boss-only area, but since this is useful kit for any shooter, a copy ought to go where anyone can see.  Look for it in the Arizona subforum within the next day or two.

Talk is cheap because the supply exceeds the demand.

Do or do not - there is no "try."'  -Yoda


Thank you AZMULE, I agree, information like this should be out here for everyone.  I participate in other shooting programs and this is useful to anyone that needs to set up a range quickly.

Thanks to everyone that's replied, it's very much appreciated, and please keep the ideas coming!
Kenneth Dawyne Pirtle

"we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."


We are using plastic electric fence post and electric fence cord/tape at several ranges in TX with coroplast backer boards and 12" zip ties.

We found the fence posts and electric fence tape at Tractor Supply, but they are also available on Amazon.  We ordered the coroplast backer boards from Amazon as well.  Be sure to use the AS Amazon Smile so that AS receives a bit of a commission on the purchase.

Some SBs measure the distance between the posts at 3' while others are one fence post length in width (about 4').  You'll need some string/cord and long, strong tent anchors for the ends to maintain tension.  If the electric fence cord/tape is shot and severed, you can the create a knot on each end and insert a zip tie to pull the two ends together.

I've used this set up at two events - it takes time to set up, easy to take down, and super easy for shooters.  We use pushpins, rather than staples, so the coroplast boards lay flat for storage.  In Ft Worth, we're hoping the backerboards will last for at least 6 events before needing to be replaced.

If you send me your email, I can share the Amazon product links.


Charles McKinley

One of the benefits of the safety fence is I haven't seen it shot down.  The systems with wire or cable Iv seen fall.  :(

I have gotten over a season out of a roll of fence.  I use steel T post and a few fiberglass in between to deal with sag when needed.

A benefit of the steel post is they can be driven in enough not to need guy wire/rope to tension the fence.  Draw back some rages don't allow steel post, need a post driver, heavy.

Zip ties are your friend!  I hold the targets with binder clips.

Congratulations on the new range.

Have a great 2019!
Last evening, it occurred to me that when a defender of Liberty is called home, their load lands upon the shoulders of the defenders left behind. Just as the Founders did their duty for Liberty, every subsequent generation must continue their work lest Liberty perish. As there is no way for the remaining adults to take on the work of those that die, we must pass the ideals and duties on to the children. -PHenery


Awesome stuff!  Please keep the ideas coming!

Kenneth Dawyne Pirtle

"we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."


Just another idea, one of my shoot bosses goes around his area after an election and collects all the corrugated plastic yard signs that have not been collected (usually the loosing candidate's).  He then paints them white and uses them as backers.  They are more sturdy than cardboard and the push pins hold tighter than in cardboard.  Just and FYI. 

Be bold, brave and forthright and the bold, the brave and the forthright will gather around you!


 Posts and wire for a quick temp line, as long as you can pound the posts in. Lots of rock around here though.

We have a portable wood frame that is used on the ranges where posts don't work. 4' 2x4 for a base, 4' 1x3 for an upright and a shorter 2' to for an angle brace/support. The 1x3 is hinged to the 2x4 and the brace gets installed with a  couple sheetrock screws.  A cordless screwgun assembles this pretty quick.

(2) 8' 1x3's for connecting the uprights and we add another 8' section to one end to have a 16' long target line. we usually keep it to 16' max as two people can move it, say for KD on Sunday. If more space is needed we have another set up like the one mentioned. a couple pics from a Colebrook event here:

We usually have 4 pre cut backers , with a little space between them, for each 8' bay. 8 targets max per 16' frame assy. It seems to help in target ID for the shooters, leaves a little room for wind to blow thru also. Backers can be attached with screws to the wood frame or zip ties to either style setup. Space the frames to cover the line width as best you can.

And speaking of wind, it can wreak havoc on either these or a post and wire setup. We've piled firewood and or stones on the 2x4 bases to help hold things down in the wind. With posts use them closer than 10', say 6 to 8' with no more than 3 backers per section. And you'll sometimes need extra posts to brace what you have up. A  lot of space between backers on the post TL will help in the wind.

Room for 15 shooters is covered by 6 uprights and eight 8' 1x3's. It fits into the back of a Saturn Ion with the back seat folded down, All the other stuff eats up most of the rest of the interior so it's no extra occupants when loaded.

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Here's what I use - attached. Only change is that I have gone to thin rope, instead of wire as it is less likely to break when hit and offers lower chance of injury. I use large office binder clips to attach backers - cardboard for dry events with staple guns or "coroplast" for wet events with push pins.
Para ser Libre, un Hombre debe tener tres cosas. La Tierra, una Educacion, y un Fusil. Siempre, un Fusil!  Emiliano Zapata


Kenneth Dawyne Pirtle

"we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."


I built a version of the target line using AZMule's design, it has held up very well and I highly recommend it due to the lack of having to carry around cardboard.  You can get wooden clothpins 30 for a buck at the dollar store.  The whole thing rolls up easily and is very compact.  Just beware if your conduit gets a bullet hole, the edges are extremely sharp (I put a nice slice into my palm on one), so carry with you a pair of pliers to bend those edges back down.

As for the firing line, I just tie together a string of orange paracord extremely low to the ground (so it doesn't trip anyone) and that becomes the marker for people to line up against.

Never had to label an equipment line before, I just eyeball it as 6 feet behind the end of their mat at a bare minimum to allow for folks to walk up and down the line without running into stuff.

Whole target line was probably 60-70 bucks.  Sometimes if you're resourceful people give away safety fencing all the time because they buy 100 feet rolls and only use 20.

Only downside is that this target line will require 2-3 people to help setup, especially getting the rebar to sit just right in the conduit to be effective and to put enough tension at both ends to prevent the safety fencing from sagging.
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