Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Honesdale, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
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    497538

    Default Building a backyard range

    My home is about 15-20 minutes out of town on a quiet dirt road. I have about 2.3 acres of land and my closest neighbor is about 50-75 yards away. I did researched some bullet catch devices online, but I felt the target area is too small. It's too easy to shoot the frame/legs. My property is pretty flat, towards the back is a hill but that hill is not mine.

    I need a good backstop but not sure what's the best way to build one. My neighbor has a small excavator he might be able to use to help me. I was thinking about either getting dirt delivered and poured onto my property or ask my neighbor to help dig a descent sized ditch to place targets in.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Age
    68
    Posts
    3,551
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    15680336

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    Ditch? Trench?
    Think about drainage so you aren't making a mud puddle or pond.
    Any local.ordinances preventing shooting , even on your property?

    Backstop high enough to catch a errant round?

    Neighbors Ok? Or will they call police for noise etc?
    The pipe never wins. I always win.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    On top of a hill, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,363
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    21474847

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    You need dirt and a lot of it which has to be packed down so tights that it becomes part of the earth below it. Stacked sandbags of dirt or sand is another option as well as stacked 4x4's or rail road ties with a decent amount of dirt or sand bags packed down behind it.

    What is behind the area you want to put the back stop at, and If there are homes how far aware are we talking?

    Since my home is built into the side of a small mountain that continues to step up several times I am able to use the natural landscape as a back stop in several different areas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania
    (Indiana County)
    Age
    70
    Posts
    5,099
    Rep Power
    21474853

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    Good stockade fence, six feet tall, with neighbor's above-ground pool on the other side. If the wood doesn't stop the bullets, the water in the pool will.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
    5,187
    Rep Power
    11614870

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    What's down range of your intended backstop?
    If I was able to build a multipurpose 25 yard shooting range on my land, I'd build the backstop at least 12ft high with 12ft high full length berms on either side. IMHO, ranges longer than 25 yards, would demand higher backstops and berms. I believe the NRA has safety specs on range construction.
    Toujours prÍt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    N.E., Pennsylvania
    (Susquehanna County)
    Posts
    653
    Rep Power
    16982924

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    JMHO
    A. Check with Township if there are ordinances prohibiting shooting of firearms
    good?
    B. Check with neighbors because if you do all that work and they piss and moan loud enough or have the clout your done
    good?
    C. I do believe Game Commission has some requirements on protection/berm height at end of range
    D. NRA has some range building information as well.

    We have a small mountain that starts right behind the house and live very rural so mine is all natural, luckily
    Retired US Army
    NRA Life Member, GOA, USCCA
    "Artificial intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tioga County, Pennsylvania
    (Tioga County)
    Posts
    4,165
    Rep Power
    21474846

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    Any bullet that leaves your property you own, which a lot of people in PA don't seem to get, from my own experience.

    With the room you have you might be able to get a short range pistol range going. Building the backstop will be the issue. It will probably take more work and fill than you might expect, at least that was my experience with earth moving for range building. I have a steep hill as a backstop but moved earth to make a flat 30 yard range.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Douglassville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
    Posts
    1,061
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    21474843

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    A dump truck load of dirt or sand does not go very far when you go to use it. If you plan to build hills do some math and figure out how many cubic yards you are going to need, it might change your mind on the whole thing.
    I see stupid people, they're everywhere, they don't even know they're stupid

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Honesdale, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
    Posts
    202
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    497538

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    Behind the proposed backstop os a hill that doesnt belong to me and a small forest on top of the hill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    next to my neighbor, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,860
    Rep Power
    21474856

    Default Re: Building a backyard range

    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye Hunter View Post
    A dump truck load of dirt or sand does not go very far when you go to use it. If you plan to build hills do some math and figure out how many cubic yards you are going to need, it might change your mind on the whole thing.
    5 dump trucks (100 ton) of dirt should last awhile.

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