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From: Doug White <>
Subject: Re: Indoor Range Construction
Organization: MIT Lincoln Laboratory

In article <2f9s3m$>, <> writes:
# Does anyone out there have hands-on experience building or running an indoor
# range?  I am interested in:
#      - air filtration equipment
#      - baffle and wall design
#      - shooting station equipment
#      - target carriers
#      - lead recovery systems
# I'ld like to hear from people who information on commercial equipment or
# systems that were hand built.
# I am also interested in discussing vaults and security.  For example, Jaquas
# Fine Guns in Findlay, OH has a showroom that appears to be a giant vault.
# The entrance to the showroom is via a vault door.  If you do this, what do
# you for walls?
# --
# Allen Leibowitz
# Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert	<>
# Ann Arbor, MI  48104  USA
# +1 313.998.3314
# 	Either CONFESS now or we go to ``PEOPLE'S COURT''!!
#                     -- zippy

Both the Caswell bullet trap company (now owned by Detroit?) and the
NRA have plans.

One problem I have not seen addressed is powder dust.  If you are shooting
handguns in particular, they produce a fair amount of unburned powder dust
over time, which will settle out on the range floor.  The MIT range has
a concrete floor with fairly deep grooves cut at regular intervals to
control expansion cracking.  After several years of sweeping up brass,
these get filled with unburned powder.  The previous coach used to smoke
like a chimney, and one day tossed a butt down in front of the firing line.
It landed on one of the grooves, which set off a nice fireworks display
of powder burning in a giant grid pattern.  No harm done, but it scared
the sh*t out of him, and the smoke took quite a while to clear.  MIT has
one of the most vicious ventilation systems around, so the dust must
consist of fairly large particles to make it to the floor.  I have seen
some ranges with electrostatic dust precipitators, but I don't know how
well they work.

If possible, don't use sand to stop the bullets.  It makes recovery a real
pain.  A commercial trap with a spin chamber works much better.  One idea
I liked was to use concrete sewer pipe several feet in diameter for your
range, and run it underground.  This way you can have a safe range longer
than your basement, and it probably makes the ventilation problem simpler.
Some sort of exhaust fan is used at the far end, with a vent and access
hatch (locked of course) going to the surface.

Doug White
MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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