Many of you will know the immensely rewarding feeling and an overwhelming sense of achievement when you land a perfect shot. Whether you’re on the airsoft field and eliminate an enemy from long range or you’re competition shooting and hit the middle ring, it’s a great feeling. Unfortunately, for many of us, the time we can spend with a gun in our hands is dictated by the amount of time we can spend in the various shooting areas, such as ranges, battlefields and alike. From Monday to Friday, we don’t often have the opportunity to grab our gear, which means the muscle memory is fading. This is why the idea of having your own shooting range is such an appealing one. In this article, we take a look at some of the factors to consider when thinking about building a prime shooting range to improve your sharpshooting skills.
The considerations of having your own range, whether for real steel, air guns or airsoft guns, should start and end with the safety of yourself and others around you. This includes anything from the location that you decide to set-up the range to the equipment you use when shooting. It would be naive to assume that just because you’re shooting in a controlled environment that you do not need any safety equipment. Ricochets and accidents can still happen; therefore, having the bare minimum of protective goggles and a thick shirt/top will mitigate the risk for any injuries to occur to vital parts of the body.
If friends or family will be using the range, remember to take special care of them, especially when they are firing and handling any guns. Although gun safety may seem like second nature to you, it may not be for them.
The direction in which you shoot is important as this will define how safe, or unsafe your range will be. If you are in your back garden, aim away from the house or any entrances where people may pass through, such as back gates. This will help you to avoid any accidents, while also giving you an undisturbed range.
It is also worth remembering that you run the risk of prosecution should your pellet land beyond your land, whether fired or by an accidental ricochet. Make sure to position yourself in a place where this will not happen and to put in place suitable backstops.
Some of the most common targets used are bottles and cans, with the occasional plate thrown in for good measure. These targets are often unreliable as although you’ll be able to tell if you hit them, you won’t be able to tell how accurate the shot is.
We’d suggest grabbing some paper targets and backing them on something substantial such as wood. This will stop the pellets from unwittingly penetrating other surfaces.
The length of the range will mostly be dictated by the size of the space you have to work with. However, whether you’re firing over 10m or 100m, make sure you’re aware of exactly how far it is. Whether you’re a budding rifle marksman or want to increase your efficiency with a handgun, knowing your distances will help you judge trajectory and get a more accurate shot overall.
If you have more space to work with, why not set up various measured out points so you can practise taking shots from various distances?
When designing the range, consider what you want the purpose to be. If you’re an air-softer looking to improve consistency, why not place various blocks and shelters in the way of the targets for you to shoot around? You could also consider trying to implement moving or swinging targets so you can get used to tracking your aim.
Equally, if you’ve got an air gun and want to improve your accuracy for hunting or general shooting, consider implementing smaller and smaller targets. Our recent article on pest control states that you will often be aiming for a target the size of a pound coin, so being able to reliably hit this size area will help.
If you have built your own gun range, we’d love to know what tips you have for others doing the same! Let us know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter.