Building a gun range isn’t as easy as buying a piece or property, putting up a building with some shooting lanes, and then opening your doors for business. There are a multitude of factors involved when constructing an indoor shooting range. Is your site properly zoned? Is it pistol or rifle rated? How many lanes and what will be the distance of each lane? Before a realistic cost can be determined, you’ll need to consider several crucial points before moving forward with your project.
Do you have a site location and know the property costs? Consider the intended sites current zoning, any special use permit process, ease of access, existing utilities and any signage limitations.
Will you be working with all new construction or renovation of an existing structure? Consult with your range equipment provider (such as Meggitt Training Systems) when designing a new building. Should you have an ideal location that has an existing building – the primary consideration factors will involve the building size limitations. Is there enough length for your desired achievable target distance and adequate ceiling clearance height? Is the building structure built to specs for a shooting range? There are definite room size and configurations to be considered. In addition to a safe range design, you need to consider how all other aspects of the business will be operated. Everything “surrounding” the range operation should be thought through. Will there be an observation area or control room? How or where will ammo and target sales be conducted prior to range entry?
What is the type of building structure? Although a full concrete room enclosure is best, many ranges are installed within buildings with other types of ceiling structures and varying heights.
Will your range be pistol rated or rifle rated? Most modern ranges are designed for limited rifle capability. Some ranges will construct multiple firing bays and separate pistol shooters from rifle shooters.
What is your desired target distance? Commercial ranges typically provide between 15 yards and 100 yards, the longer distances being for rifle ranges. In addition to the target distances, you should allow adequate distance for the bullet trap depth–with a service aisle behind it. Also include the desired length at the range’s entry location. Your ventilation system designer will usually want 12’-15’ at the range entry end to properly balance out the air flow.
What type of bullet trap do you need – steel plate or rubber design? Different bullet trap designs have varying size depths and heights (space requirements) and service intervals for reclaiming the bullets. Your bullet trap selection is integral to your range design and size.
What type of shooting stalls do you want – solid panel or clear design? Solid panel and clear shooting stalls are available in both pistol and rifle ratings. Although the clear designs are flashy and offer added visibility, many shooters prefer the privacy of their own shooting stall space without the distraction of being able to see, or be seen, by their adjacent lane shooters.
What type of target system would work best for your range? You can choose from basic trolley wire, monorail forward / return, monorail with 360 degree turning and programming capabilities, stationary targets, etc.
What are the intended shooting activities planned for your range? Will it be all primary firing line shooting, or any downrange type training? Downrange “Combat” type shooting activities will increase the equipment needs. Additional ceiling panels coverage and sidewall treatments need to be considered.
What type of ventilation system will you require? Purge design or recirculation with A/C? Mechanical equipment locations (Outside roof or slab mounted – inside a mechanical room space).
As you can see, building a gun range requires a lot of thought and planning before construction starts. Your range equipment provider should work closely with you, your architect and engineer to ensure the project meets all these requirements before construction begins. Meggitt Training Systems has over 90 years of experience with the design, equipment and installation of gun ranges. Find out how we can help with you build a gun range by clicking here.
Road Range™ – a flexible alternative to traditional firearms training.
Meggitt Training Systems’ Road Range™ is a self-contained mobile firearms training facility that integrates live-fire and virtual simulation capabilities to provide a total weapons training solution in a transportable environment. The ballistically secure trailer range is equipped with systems and components to produce a three position, state-of-the-art, live-fire range. The Road Range can also be customized to provide training for less lethal and non-lethal options such as verbal commands, baton, chemical spray and TASER®.
The Road Range is distinctive, offering a traveling training environment that provides much-needed range time for law enforcement, militaries and security forces. By bringing the range to the users, departments are able to conduct routine qualifications for their officers or units based on their timeframe and requirements. The Road Range provides a comprehensive solution for marksmanship, sustainment and judgmental de-escalation training. The Road Range also saves money, as it:
Removes the need for a permanent shooting range, capitalizing on operations and maintenance savings
Eliminates property taxes associated with permanent installations
Allows departments to subcontract the management, maintenance and associated training to a third party
Savings through on-site training versus moving to a permanent training facility
Environmentally friendly solution that saves on costly clean up
Road Range Features
The standard Road Range is a three-lane shooting range built inside an over-the-road 53 ft. trailer that is USDOT certified for use on all unrestricted roads. It is powered by standard electrical connections or can be equipped with an optional built-in generator. The interior of the Meggitt Road Range is designed with a range-control room separated from the shooting range. This division creates an ‘airlock’ entrance vestibule between the shooting range and the exterior of the trailer to help maintain range ventilation (similar to permanent fixed facilities). Each area has independent HVAC and lighting systems. The area’s dividing wall has the same ballistic capabilities as the shooting range.
Meggitt’s Road Range systems are customizable for many applications, including a crime lab, simulation range and advanced training, and can be configured using multiple trailers. Additional arrangements are available:
Side-by-Side: Six shooting lanes; operates as one range or as two separate, three-position ranges
End-to-End: Three shooting lanes; units combined end-to-end; 75 foot distance
For more information on the Road Range and how it could work for your organization, contact us or visit the Road Range page.
DID YOU KNOW
The most widely used and successful method of diffusing air in a shooting range behind the firing line is through an airwall. An airwall is basically a perforated plenum, floor to ceiling, spanning the backwall the entire width of the range. Supply air should be fed evenly into the plenum at the ceiling. The duct-work diffusers into the airwall should be evenly balanced. The airwall is typically 12 to 16 inches in depth and perforations should be ¼ inch in diameter, centered every 1 inch. The distance from this airwall to the firing line should be at least 10 feet, optimally 15 feet. The reason this is critical is that air is turbulent and needs time to stabilize. Improper air distribution, even with adequate velocities, can lead to shooter overexposure. Air distribution is often overlooked in the design of the system. This one factor is the most critical part of the total system design. Want to learn more? Download our 90-page Indoor Range Design Guide.
The FATS® 100LE marksmanship training environments may be changed by controlling the system’s temperature, elevation, wind speed and direction, all which influence the bullet ballistics during flight. A lead point indicator has been added to correctly engage and mark moving targets when not using through-sight devices, while a “target indicator” and “target distance marker” are available to assist virtual training and skill transfer to a live-fire environment. The amazing visual fidelity and target detail readily supports target detection, recognition and identification requirements. An impressive after action review allows engagement and shot assessment in a 3D virtual environment, while providing detailed trainee diagnostics for skill reinforcement and/or correction.
Q.How do I ensure my employees and customers are not exposed to unsafe lead dust conditions in my gun range?
A. Exposure to lead in indoor firing ranges can be minimized and controlled through awareness, proper ventilation, medical surveillance, administrative controls and work practices and procedures. Critical to controlling this manageable problem requires that owners and operators understand lead and its impact on range operations. Verifying existing range conditions is the first step to identifying the impact of lead in the range. This includes ventilation evaluation and airborne lead testing during range use and operations, a review of existing maintenance practices and procedures, and a review of general range procedures. From this effort, range modifications, medical surveillance programs, work practices and general range operations procedures can be modified, developed and instituted to minimize exposure to lead. For more about airborne-lead management, visit www.is.gd/xWUdIo.com.
Q. I want our officers to train on our virtual system using their flashlights. Do you offer that feature?
A. Yes! The flashlight option provides increased training value by simulating night training or training in dark areas where a flashlight is required. This allows any video scenario to become a “night scenario” without the time, labor and expense of re-filming the scenario. With the flashlight option, trainees gain experience in managing a firearm and flashlight simultaneously. Multiple flashlights can be used concurrently when training in groups. See our Accessories data sheet for more information.
This newsletter covers just a few of the ways that Meggitt’s virtual and live-fire products are improving training for defense forces, law enforcement agencies and commercial gun ranges around the world. In upcoming newsletters, we’ll introduce you to new technologies and products. For more information, contact MGTTS-LESales@meggitt.com.
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InVeris Training Solutions is the world leader for integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems for defense forces, law enforcement agencies and commercial shooting range owners around the world.