Month: August 2021

The Zoning Requirements for a Gun Range Explained

For many firearms enthusiasts, the fascination with guns of all kinds is often more than just a hobby: shooting is a sport, a lifestyle, and even a means of putting food on the table. Private gun ranges offer space for the exact instruction, experienced supervision, and most importantly, the practice required for proper gun safety and marksmanship. 

Zoning requirements for private gun ranges vary by state and locality. Texas leaves most land use regulations to individual counties and subordinate municipalities, only imposing a few limitations. Ask your local government offices for regulatory information specific to gun ranges in your area. 

Whether you are a sportsman in need of a regular practice range, a professional interested in opening a commercial shooting field, or even just a hobbyist wanting a good look at the target of your passions in action, you will want to keep reading for important information on local gun range regulations. 

Zoning Requirements for a Private Gun Range

Several distinctions can be used to describe a gun range, such that there can be a range for almost every kind of firearm enthusiast. Regardless of similarities, like the firing distance or the kind of target used, firing ranges are generally divided into two elementary categories: outdoor ranges and indoor ranges.

Local ordinances tend to vary for each category of gun range, imposing differing limitations on similar qualities that reach from participant capacity to lighting requirements. Additionally, the difference in regulations for both classes of shooting range may also vary from one region to the next.

It will also be important to consider the legal classification of your private gun range. Regional codes governing land usage are likely to differentiate between private gun ranges for personal use and private gun ranges for commercial use, and have equivalently different expectations for each variant.

Zoning Regulations under Local Authority

Regulations for land usage are most often established at the level of county and/or city governments. State governments, including the State of Texas, may establish guidelines or provide working administrative examples of possible regulations, but can not explicitly direct regional governments beyond the letter of state legislation.

As a result of this institutional dynamic, local municipalities have a great deal of freedom when creating their zoning requirements. Additionally, state ordinances that directly address this freedom and the regulations drafted under it are in place only to ensure that regional governments are unable to contradict federal and state law.

Common zoning requirements established at the municipal level for private firing ranges usually address:

  • Location: Local governments are granted the ability to regulate the discharge of firearms within city limits (if the government is a city), unless the gun is being fired in a reasonably safe manner and within the confines of a sports shooting range. This includes the firing of rounds within 300 feet of an occupied building.
  • Zoning: At their own discretion, municipalities are allowed to design regulations on zoning and land usage, as well as business ordinances and fire codes, on the condition that their regulations do not intentionally limit or prohibit firearm or firearm-related commerce.
  • Hours of Operation: County and city governments are allowed to regulate and enforce limitations on the operating hours of a firing range as long as the limitations are not more stringent than the most lenient limitations on operational hours for any other business. This comparative excludes places that sell alcohol.
  • Unlicensed Carrying: Municipalities can regulate and enforce rules that disallow anyone not in possession of a carrying license from taking their firearm to public spaces, governmental meetings, schools, and political rallies. This may apply to shooting range members if the range is situated near these or similar areas.
  • Licensed Carrying: Local governments are allowed to regulate and enforce carrying rules even on citizens in possession of a carrying license, so long as the use of the rule is based in another, pre-existing law not already and explicitly barred by the state’s legislative authority. 

If there is a conflict between local zoning regulations and the construction or operation of your private gun range, then you may consider reaching out to your appropriate local representative or government office to discuss your options. In some circumstances, it may be possible to request a waiver from certain rules or propose zoning changes.

Additionally, since these regulations are created and implemented on such a low governmental level, there are often opportunities for sport shooters and firearm enthusiasts to influence local administration by simply participating in their local government.

Marksmen that are particularly active in the community may consider founding or joining a local gun hobbyist’s group, attend town hall meetings, or even run for offices if they are qualified. Other political activism techniques, such as protests, the creation of educational circulars, and consistent participation in local elections can also be of use. 

Limitations on Local Zoning Authority

The State of Texas, as well as its legislative and judicial bodies, assumes authority over any rules and regulations created or enforced by its summary principalities. As such, orders issued by a local court are still considered subordinate to the state’s legislation, and regulatory attempts to circumvent the state’s legislative power are considered void.

This is extremely important in the context of zoning requirements. While the municipal zoning arguments that first come to mind may involve school district jurisdictions or disputes over county borders, the legal reach of a locality’s zoning authority can go far beyond dissecting city blocks into residential and commercial properties.

As a result, it is important to know not only your personal rights regarding firearms, but the rights of your city or county and your state as well. This will assist any marksman hoping to own a private firing range in protecting the legality of their practice field if their region attempts to overstep the bounds of its jurisdiction in the following ways:

  • Commerce: Municipalities are forbidden from drafting and enforcing any regulation with the purpose of making firearm and firearm-related commerce difficult. This can include the manufacturing, trading, and selling of firearms, as well as that for firearm accessories and ammunition.
  • Persecution: Local governments are not allowed to cite, charge, or otherwise persecute a sport shooting range unless and until the range has violated a noise regulation or other compliance condition. Additionally, if no regulation is in effect that addresses the levied charge, then the range can not be persecuted.
  • Location: The drafting and enforcement of any local zoning regulations addressing the location or operation of a shooting range can not deviate from the long-term land usage plan of the local government. This offers range owners further protection from regulations designed to adversely impact range operation.
  • Construction: According to Texas state law, a sports shooting range must be built and maintained such that it adheres to safety standards equal to or more rigorous than the construction standards in the range manual published by the National Rifle Association. Local municipalities can not lower these requirements.
  • Use Precedent: A local government that has recently annexed one or more parcels of land is restricted from enforcing current or future zoning regulations on tracts that have been or are currently being used for sport hunting. In short, the zoning assignment of a given tract is precluded by its zoning prior to annexation.

Please keep in mind that local governments are not the enemy of sport shooters. A perfectly acceptable local regulation can be accidentally enforced in a way that is out of line with state law. It is also not impossible for a locality to propose or pass unacceptable limitations on gun ranges due to the misinterpretation of state law.

It is also possible that a local municipality has not yet considered drafting zoning requirements for private firing ranges; in this case, you may be interested in working with your city or county to propose novel regulations addressing the potential for new shooting ranges in your area.

However, if you suspect that your local government is intending to purposefully ignore, contradict, or otherwise be maliciously ignorant of state-ordained limitations with their own regulations, then consider seeking legal counsel to assist you in challenging verboten municipal requirements and protecting your private firing range.

Zoning Requirements for an Outdoor Gun Range

Outdoor gun ranges are more versatile than their indoor counterparts, but they also have greater operational risks. The lack of walls or a ceiling in the firing field often expands target options from the usual stationary type to airborne targets like traps, skeets, clay pigeons, and sporting clays. These facts are reflected in the regulations put in place by local governments regarding outdoor gun ranges. 

However, removing the barriers that are part and parcel of an indoor shooting range also decreases protective control over misfired rounds. An outdoor range is usually barred from being placed too proximally to areas with a high residential or transient population volume.

More specific regulations that might be found in your Texan county or municipality are as follows:

  • Lot size: Your local government may have regulations mandating the minimum property size required to construct and operate a private outdoor gun range. This may be described in acres, square feet, or square meters, and may include special areas designated as dangerous due to the accumulation of used rounds.
  • Location: Municipalities typically divide land into a handful of general utilization categories, such as land used for residential or commercial purposes. Your local government may or may not restrict gun ranges to a specific land use category, and might have additional rules for what categories a range can be built near.
  • Safety Precautions: Your local government may require additional safety measures unique to outdoor firing ranges, such as wind flags, shaded firing lines, and specialized backstops. Public courtesy warnings like hazard signs and gated fencing to notify passersby of their proximity to the range may also be expected.
  • Orientation: Firing ranges that are open to the sky must account for the orientation of the range in relation to the sun. Your range may be subject to local rules dictating the angle at which the firing field must be to ensure that sunlight can not impede a marksman’s view and thus safe firing practices.
  • Construction: While the State of Texas offers very specific guidance on the minimum construction and maintenance requirements of a sports shooting range, individual municipalities are still allowed to draft more scrupulous requirements that exceed the standard suggested by the state.

Marksmen interested in having their own private firing range for practice purposes will need to be careful of regulations limiting the discharge of firearms close to populated areas if the range will be in or near a residential district. Backyard firing ranges are not ideal for any marksman, unless they live in a rural, sparsely populated area.

Gun enthusiasts living in highly populated areas should instead invest their time in finding an established gun range or local hobbyists group, as it is highly unlikely that a given municipality would allow private firing ranges to be constructed on personal property in urban or suburban residential districts.

Firearm fans and professionals alike that may be looking to open up their own commercial outdoor firing range will also have an easier time doing so in areas with a more widely dispersed population, since these private ranges will already benefit from placement on the large plots of land more commonly available in rural areas.

Zoning Requirements for an Indoor Gun Range

While indoor gun ranges are less versatile than outdoor ranges in terms of practice variety, they make up for it by being more versatile in their placement relative to any populated surroundings. The enclosed space of an indoor firing range decreases the likelihood of a misfired round finding itself in an unaffiliated, perhaps even living, target.

Additionally, indoor gun ranges can create a more controlled shooting environment: the considerate placement of artificial lighting, for example, negates the need to account for the sun positioning, while air conditioning and ventilation systems pose less influence on the firing path of a round than any gust of wind.

Some distinct local ordinances that might apply to your future private gun range could include:

  • Construction: Since indoor gun ranges are defined by their enclosure, it is extremely important for the design of the building to incorporate measures that prevent fired artillery from escaping. Your local government will likely have regulations regarding such things as construction materials and wall thickness.
  • Lead Poisoning: Your local government probably already has regulations that address environmental lead contamination and lead exposure. These regulations may extend their influence to private indoor gun ranges due to the high concentration of lead particulates generated during firing practices.
  • Safety Precautions: In addition to unique construction measures, your local government may also have specific expectations designed to prevent ammunition rebound and back splatter. Certain backstops or baffling may be required before your range is approved for operation.
  • Location: Similarly to outdoor firing ranges, your municipality may have regulations that restrict the construction and operation of private indoor gun ranges near properties under certain land use jurisdictions. They might also be more stringent, as indoor ranges are more common in highly populated areas.
  • Maintenance: Due to the unique hazards posed by the operation of an indoor firing range, your local government may have cleaning and maintenance standards designed to ensure the safety of range users. Special considerations may be given to the cleanliness of ventilation systems and electrical fixtures.

Those interested in setting up a private indoor firing range for personal use may find the prospects of doing so attractive, but beware: even if your local municipality allows the building of indoor gun ranges on private residential property, the expense of the building materials and construction necessary to meet the building’s requirements will be steep.

Additionally, it is unlikely for a county or city to allow the construction of private indoor practice ranges in residential areas. Firearms enthusiasts living in population-dense areas or regions with a high degree of foot traffic will probably not be able to build a backyard indoor gun range, even if their house lot is large enough to accommodate one.

Sportsmen keen on opening their own private, commercial firing range will also need to find an acceptably sized lot allocated to a business district, but will have an easier time constructing an indoor range in an urban or suburban area as opposed to the often unacceptable outdoor range.

Final Thoughts

Firearm hobbyists and professional marksmen are highly likely to find themselves in need of a proper firing range in the course of their hobbies. Sports shooting ranges offer an extremely valuable space in which to practice firearm safety. As a result, the prospect of opening a private gun range is very attractive to firearm enthusiasts. However, the zoning requirements for a gun range can be variable and complex.

Fortunately, the State of Texas has imposed basic guidelines and limitations on the regulatory capacity of local governments to oversee the construction and operation of both indoor and outdoor firing ranges. With this knowledge and a little research into your region’s ordinances, the passionate marksman can easily invest in a private gun range. 


Is It Legal to Build a Private Indoor Shooting Range?

Any avid shooter would love nothing more than to step into a private indoor shooting range to unwind after a long day.

The chance to practice when we want to practice despite the weather, time, or day of the week is inviting. The question looms whether it is legal to build an indoor shooting range.

A thorough investigation of local laws, rules, and regulations is the only way to determine the possibility of building an indoor shooting range in your home. You should also consider other factors that may become issues in constructing a home shooting range.

When constructing a home shooting range, a discussion of air quality should take place to ensure the safety of your family. A professional HVAC ventilation system is required and should be reviewed with experts such as Action Target, who can help you design and install the proper system

Can You Have a Gun Range in Your Home?

It is possible to have a gun range in your home if you meet the building and zoning requirements. Some residential building codes don’t reference gun ranges. In this case, the zoning and inspection officials refer to commercial shooting range codes that impose local requirements.

Legal challenges to building a home shooting range can come in several different guises. Where you live is a big determinant of what sorts of laws and regulations may affect your ability to construct an indoor home shooting range. Among the legal constraints you may face are:

  • Local building codes may directly address the requirements of an indoor home shooting range or expressly forbid the construction in some areas.
  • Local zoning regulations may prohibit the discharge of a firearm or specify that all shooting ranges be confined to specific building zones within a city or county.
  • Local, state, and federal environmental and health regulations dictate minimum standards for air quality and contaminant controls.
  • Homeowner’s associations may prohibit or highly control where and how indoor shooting ranges can be built or maintained.

Before making any plans or committing to building an indoor shooting range, you must review with your architect and ensure you comply with your local regulations.

How Much Space Do I Need for a Home Gun Range?

Most experts recommend installing a two-lane shooting range, measuring roughly 8 ft wide by 100 ft long. Each lane should be a minimum of 4ft wide and  75 ft long. Space is required behind the shooter and behind the bullet trap. A twelve to fourteen-foot ceiling height is recommended to give adequate ceiling height above the shooter while also securing space above the shooter for baffles, ventilation, and lights in order to ensure ventilation has the proper airflow over the shooter it is recommended that at a minimum, you allow for at least 15 feet of open space behind the shooter or firing line. This allows for laminar airflow to travel over the shooter keeping gases and airborne lead moving down range to be filtered through your Hepa filtration. 

There are several questions to be answered about the space you have in order to install range equipment:

  • Is there enough length to build an adequate range and stay within my property’s setbacks and property lines?
  • Do height requirements in my city zoning and building ordinances allow a building tall enough to function as a shooting range?
  • If you intend to remodel a portion of your home, is the structure suitable for the additional walls and equipment necessary for the shooting range?
  • Do I have an adequate structure, such as pured concrete walls or filled CMU block to contain rounds fired?

What are the Requirements for Ventilation in a Home Shooting Range?

The National Institute of Occupations Safety and Health (NIOSH) dictates the standards for air quality in shooting ranges. In general, ranges must maintain negative air pressure in the firing area, trap the particulate matter generated by shooting, and release clean air into the atmosphere.

There are several federal guidelines on air quality issues for indoor shooting ranges, and it is recommended that these be followed for private ranges as well. 

How Do I Build a Safe Indoor Shooting Range for my Home?

There are industry standards covering equipment, design, and installation of this equipment require professionals who are familiar with these industry standards. Contact

Can I Get Homeowner’s Insurance if I Build a Home Shooting Range?

Insurance laws vary from state to state. 

Before you plan any indoor shooting range construction, consult with your insurance agent. You’ll find a series of providers that provide additional policies to support your range build endeavor.

It’s highly recommended that you find a reputable company that specializes in shooting range design and installation. These professionals have dealt with the ins and outs of every aspect of home indoor shooting ranges, including the legalities.

Having a professional on your side can mean the difference in getting the required permits, finding the most qualified contractors, and the right equipment for your needs. Designing and building a safe and secure place to practice your shooting requires a commitment of time, money, and effort. Starting right is as important as finishing right.

Action Target Can Help

With over 30 years of experience, Action Target can help you build the perfect range for your one-of-a-kind needs. Whether you are building a commercial range that caters to casual or tactical training or a law enforcement range to better prepare your officers, our experts can help with the challenges of building a range. Talk to one of our experts in your neck of the woods here

10 Essential Accessories for Long Range Shooting

If you like a challenge and are a hunter, or just want to have fun at the gun range, then a good challenge is taking some shots at long-range targets. 

The farther the target, the more variables there will be. It’s a difficult challenge, and you’re going to need some essential rifle accessories. 

Gun and rifle accessories are very useful in any situation. In long-range shooting, however, these accessories become a great asset to you. You’ll need the right ones to help you make those challenging shots. Keep reading for the most essential and must-have accessories for long-range shooting.

Best Sights, Optics, & Scopes for Long Range Shooting

You can’t hit a target that you can’t see. Whether it’s target practice, a competition, or hunting, the target will be far away and hard to see, let alone hit. You need an optic that allows you to not only see the target, but also predict where the bullet will hit the target. For those who don’t know, sight is an optic without magnification. These are good for close-range targets. 

A scope, however, is what you need for long-range shooting. Scopes are optics that provide magnification. Scopes can provide different magnifications, and some even have variable magnification. Variable magnification allows the user to choose the magnification they want on the fly. This can be useful for hunting if your target decides to run further away from you.

Best Scope Magnifications for Long Range Shooting

Scope magnifications are designated as 3×50. Here is what that means:

  • The 50 just tells you the diameter in millimeters. 
  • The 3x is most important. It tells you the magnification you’ll get. With a 3x magnification, you’ll get an image inside the scope that looks 3 times closer than it really is. 

3x and up is what you want for long-range shooting.

Watch out for Too High of a Magnification on Your Scope

Keep in mind that if you are using a 4x scope, and double it to an 8x scope, that the object will appear even closer and look even bigger than it originally was. According to Bushnell, the height of a target will appear taller when there’s an increase in magnification. This may cause you to overshoot, thinking the target was there when in reality, they were just under your aim. 

You don’t want to overdo magnification. You want a magnification that allows you to hit the target without overshoot that’s caused by the scope. You want you making mistakes, not your equipment. As magnification increases, so do the distortions in the scope’s image. You are not looking at a direct image of reality, but a distorted reflection of it. A 10x scope doesn’t actually bring a deer ten times closer to you.

Bushnell recommends those shooting over 500 yards to use a 10x scope. For those hunting, most deer will be within 100-200 yards. A scope with a magnification of 4x-6x is recommended for deer hunting. At the end of the day, use the magnification that you feel most comfortable with and clearly gives you an advantage by helping you accurately hit a target.

Best Scopes for Long Range Shooting

Vortex Optics Sonora 4-12×44 Second Focal Plane Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle

This Vortex Sonora 4-12x riflescope is a good and affordable option. 

  • Cost: It’s about $150 
  • Magnification: It has a variable magnification of 4x up to 12x! That’s a lot of zooms! Maybe even overkill and may cause you to overshoot. Make sure to adjust and use the best magnification that you can work with. 

Reviews: Amazon customers have highly rated this scope for being easy to work with.

Overall: A wide range of customers seem to like it. This is a good option for beginners and those who want a more affordable option without sacrificing quality.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane 1-inch Tube Riflescope – V-Plex Reticle

The Vortex Crossfire 2-7x riflescope is a great, affordable option for beginners. 

  • Cost: It comes in under $200 
  • Magnification: From 2x up to 7x. It’s a great scope for hunting

Reviews: This scope is highly rated on Amazon for its clarity and reliability.

Overall: A reliable and affordable option for long-range shooting beginners.

Best Laser Rangefinders for Long Range Shooting

To hit a target accurately, you need to know exactly how far the target is. You can estimate and make adjustments when you miss the target, but what if that target is your dinner for tonight? If you miss a deer, you will be alerted and run. It may never be seen again, and you’ll be starving tonight. A laser rangefinder will alleviate this issue.

A laser rangefinder does exactly what it sounds like. It uses a laser rather than human estimation to find the exact range of the object it is pointed at. This can be a great help for hunters and increase your chances of hitting the target greatly. Accuracy and precision become increasingly difficult at longer ranges, so get some help with a rangefinder.

Bushnell Engage Hunting Laser Rangefinder

The Bushnell Engage Hunting Laser Rangefinder is built for hunters. 

  • Cost: It can cost up to $180
  • Features: Fog, water, & dirt protection. ARC Tech for help shooting from trees and high perches.

Reviews: Amazon customers have reported it as being easy to use and having a sharp picture.

Overall: A great versatile option for hunters who prefer to hunt from trees.

Rangefinder, Hunting Golf Laser Range Finder, 800 Yards High-Precision Flag Lock with Vibration Hunter Scope for Golfing Hunting, Free Battery

This Hunting & Golf Rangefinder is a great option for those who don’t need a rangefinder with all the bells and whistles.

  • Cost: It will cost up to $70
  • Features: Doubles as a rangefinder for golf balls

Reviews: Amazon customer reviews have been satisfied with this rangefinder as a cheaper and still quite capable option.

Overall: This is a good option for beginners and those who want to be frugal.

Best Wind Meters for Long Range Shooting

Shooting long-range has many variables that may mess up your shot. Before taking the shot, take a note of the wind. The wind is strong enough to deviate your rounds while they’re in the air. This can be frustrating when you set up the perfect shot beforehand and forgot to check the speed and direction of the wind. Wind meters are capable of doing so for you. No need to lick your fingers and stick them in the air.

A wind meter will take in the speed and direction of the wind and report them to you. Some are even capable of syncing up with a rangefinder. All your needed data is displayed on one screen. How useful is that?!

Caldwell Wind Wizard II Wind Meter with Multiple Wind Readings, LCD Backlight, and Lanyard for Long Range, Shooting, and Hunting

The Caldwell Wind Wizard II is what hunters and gun enthusiasts want. 

  • Cost: It can cost up to $50
  • Features: Protective casing with a lanyard for carrying easily

Reviews: Customers from Amazon have rated it mostly favorably, but have complained about the measurements being slightly off

Overall: This is a good & affordable starter option for long-range shooting

HOLDPEAK HP-866B Digital Anemometer Handheld Wind Speed Meter Gauges with Data Hold, Backlight, Wind Chill Indication for Flying, Hiking & Shooting (Bonus a Small Tripod)

The Holdpeak HP-866B Wind Speed Meter is another option that may be useful for many. 

  • Cost: It’s about $36
  • Features: Tripod stand for ease of use

Reviews: Amazon customers have stated that the product is easy to use and has a good value.

Overall: A handy and affordable option that helps you monitor the wind without needing to hold up the meter all the time.

Best Scope Levels for Long Range Shooting

When you build a table, you want to make sure it’s flush to the ground by using a level. It’s the same idea with a rifle to the ground. Shooting a rifle that’s not leveled can ruin your muscle memory. You have to be consistent when you’re learning how to shoot at long range. Be sure to level your rifle to keep consistency, and you’ll improve your long-range shots.

GHHJX Solid G Gunsmith Level, Professional Gunsmith Magnetic Leveling Tool, Set of 2

The GHHJX Solid G Gunsmith Level is an affordable level that gets the job done. 

  • Cost: About $10
  • Features: Comes in a set of 2 and has a magnetic bottom

Reviews: Customers from Amazon report some problems with accurate levels, but a good product to use when they are accurate

Overall: You get two levels for 10 bucks and both are magnetic allowing you to stick it directly to your rifle. An easy to use & affordable product.

GHHJX Precision Scope Magnetic Level for Precision Shooting, Diameter 32mm

The GHHJX Precision Scope Magnetic Level is also a reliable level to use if you want something a bit bigger and noticeable. 

  • Cost: Up to $9
  • Features: Degree markings to measure angles and magnetic for easy attachment

Reviews: Amazon customers say that the level is accurate and easy to use

Overall: For those who want a level that’s a little bigger and easier to read this is a good option.

Best Rifle Supports for Long Range Shooting

Recoil (kickback from your rifle when you fire) can screw up your aim and make you miss the target. To fix that, you, first of all, need proper form. Not holding and handling the rifle properly means you won’t prevent the rifle from kicking back so much. Most pros will have proper form, but it doesn’t help to ask someone anyway if you’re in the right position.

Once you got the proper form set up for long-range shooting, you’ll need some extra support. This support can come in the form of sandbags, bipods, and tripods. Sandbags can be placed down, and you can have your rifle rest on them. If you don’t want to haul around heavy bags of tiny rocks, then a bipod or tripod are great alternatives.

Bipods are bipedal stands for rifles while tripods are… well tripedal. It’s the same idea as a stand for cameras. It gives the rifle stability without you needing to take on all the recoil yourself. Bipods and tripods are great for long-range shooting and will help you be more accurate in your shots.

Best Sandbags for Long Range Shooting Support

It may seem out of place to show you how to find sandbags, but as of 2021, there’s a sand shortage. Yes, we’re not joking. We really are running out of sand. Apparently, sand is an important ingredient in construction. Anyway, here’s one on Amazon that can help you out and take in some of that recoil.

Military Sand Bags Deluxe Quality – Size 14 x 26 Inch, Sandbags Woven Polypropylene, Empty Heavy Duty Sand Bags for Multipurpose Task, Military Green

Your basic sandbag. Nothing special. It’s just a bag… full of sand. It gets the job done. Not much more to say.

  • Cost: $12.50 for a pack of ten bags
  • Features: Sand. But also a well-woven bag that will prevent the sand from spilling out

Reviews: Amazon customers have had a positive experience with these sandbags and noted their durability

Overall: For $12.50, you can get ten durable sandbags! Ten! Your Amazon driver may have trouble bringing it to your doorstep. Get yours before… nobody can!

Best Bipods for Long Range Shooting Support

CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod Adjustable Spring Return with Adapter

This CVLIFE Tactical Rifle Bipod has a ludicrous number of Amazon reviews. 

  • Cost: About $24
  • Features: Springs for easy folding, adjustable legs, & rubber ends for greater stability

Reviews: A shocking 21,000 Amazon customers have vouched for the product, but a few have complained about leveling issues, so get one of the levels mentioned above.

Overall: A bipod that hunters and gun enthusiasts can rely on. It gets the job done and absolutely should be your first choice when choosing a bipod for long-range shooting.

Best Tripods for Long Range Shooting Support

Tripods are best for heavy-duty rifles and allow users to increase their height greatly. It’s a lot like a camera bipod. You can increase the height enough that you can get into a sitting position instead of a prone position and some even as high enough for you to be standing.

Thunder Bay Tripod Shooting Stand for Hunting Guns, Rifle Swivel Mount and Rest, Adjustable Stick Height, Lightweight and Compact, V Grip, GSX Series

The Thunder Bay Tripod is a support stand that’s simple and practical.

  • Cost: Up to $70
  • Features: Adjustable height, v-shaped mount, & 360-degree rotation 

Reviews: While the reviews on Amazon are mostly positive, it does seem like there’s some confusion on the height and if anyone above 5’8 can properly use it.

Overall: It extends in height up to 60.4 inches and has a folded height of 18.1 inches. For those who are taller than 5’8, it may be best to read some further Amazon reviews before purchasing.

Best Gun Chronographs for Long Range Shooting

Ballistic or gun chronographs are instruments used to measure the velocity of a fired bullet. The velocity is measured in feet per second (fps). Chronographs usually have two rods that can sense the speed of a passing projectile. You’ll place a ballistic chronograph in front of your rifle, but not through it. Only the flying round will go through. This tool can help you accurately time your shot by accounting for bullet travel. Bullet travel is how long a bullet takes to get to its destination. That all depends on the velocity of the fired round.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

The Ballistic Precision Chronograph is something newbies can use to get an idea of their bullet’s speed and direction. 

  • Cost: Up to $115
  • Features: Two rods that measure the velocity of projectiles, a digital display for ease of use, has an app

Reviews: Reviews are mixed. Some Amazon customers love it for its accuracy and others say the accuracy is hit and miss. No pun intended.

Overall: A good starting option for anyone looking for a chronograph. It even has an audio jack that you connect your phone to and lets you record data to the Caldwell Ballistic Chronograph app. The app is available both on Android and Apple app stores. This chronograph can help you in your desire to improve your accuracy.

A Spotter or Spotting Buddy Can Help You

This is one of the best tips you’ll get. It can be hard to juggle all these useful gadgets. Having a friend can not only make the experience much more enjoyable and fun but allows you to focus on shooting the target itself. It’s always good to delegate. Your friend may enjoy being a spotter and be of great help to you.

A spotting buddy will take in all the needed data and do all the calculations for you before you take the shot. A spotter will also watch the bullet and see how it performs. They may notice that the bullet went an inch above the target and advise you to readjust and calibrate your rifle and scope.

Dope Card for Improving Shooting Performance

Every dope needs something to write down all the important data that you or your spotter will be gathering. Dope cards are useful cards that can be used for recording important information. There’s a lot of information to take in and record, so be sure to keep track of everything through a written record. Having a pen and dope card by your side can give you an idea in real-time of your performance over time.

A spotter buddy is a great combination. They can do everything for you and easily show you how you’re doing. If you really want to get better at long-range shooting and win those long-range shooting competitions, then a dope card or any form to record on is essential for keeping track of improvement.

Raine Tactical Gear – Shooters Armband Sleeve – Tactical Gear – Wrist Sleeve – Shooting Range Accessories – Wrist Map Holder – Military Arm Pouch

The Raine Armband Sleeve is a great choice for most. 

  • Cost: About $30
  • Features: Three protective windows for holding dope cards

Reviews: Amazon customers appreciate the convenience of the armband, but say it tends to fog up.

Overall: It allows you to record info quickly on your arm. Holds up to three dope cards. It protects the cards themselves from water and dirt with a protective and transparent film. This is a good option for hunters and competitors.

Best Ammunition for Long Range Shooting

Ammunition for long-range shooting is one of the most important aspects of long-range hunting. Check out these rounds!

Barnes LRX Bullets

The Barnes LRX Bullets (or Long-Range X Bullets) are an exceptional option for long-range shots. 

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on the type of rounds you need. Head to their website for more info.
  • Features: Bullet nose that separates into four razor-sharp petals delivering all kinetic energy into target and Boattail shape for reduced drag & increased accuracy.

Reviews: This comprehensive review from Desert Dog Outdoors reports the LRX line of bullets one of the best rounds for hunting at long range.

Overall: These rounds deliver high performance in speed, accuracy, and the capability to humanely kill prey by delivering all kinetic energy into the prey. Through the ability of the nose to flatten and separate into four razor-sharp petals a quick and clean kill is done. These bullets deliver high performance while being perfect for ethical long-range shooting.

Best Tracing Rounds for Long Range Shooting at Night

Many hunters like to hunt at night. It can be enjoyable yet difficult due to the low visibility. Tracing rounds can help a lot. Tracing rounds (or tracers) are rounds that light up while they fly through the air. They light up because they are on fire. That’s why they’re also called incendiary rounds. They burn.

Nearly all tracing ammunition are incendiary. They burn while flying in the air and continue to burn when they land. This is dangerous for both indoor and outdoor use. You don’t want to cause a forest fire. In fact, tracing rounds are banned in California since they are a fire hazard. California has enough firefighters putting their lives on the line anyway, so let’s keep them out of harm’s way.

Here are some alternative Long Range Tracing Rounds:

Streak Visual Ammunition

Streak Visual Ammunition from Ammo Incorporated is a great option for tracer rounds. 

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on the type of rounds you need. Head to their website for more info
  • Features: Has glowing ends instead of burning ends & safe for indoor and outdoor nighttime shooting

Reviews: This review from 1ShotTV shows off the capability for night-time shooting, but also shows that these rounds don’t light up so well during daytime shooting.

Overall: Unlike most tracing rounds, the Streak rounds are suitable for both indoor gun ranges and nighttime outdoor use. That’s because the Streak rounds are nonincendiary, meaning they don’t burn; thus, they don’t cause fires. 

How does the Streak round light up then? The Streak rounds ingeniously achieved luminesce by having photoluminescent ends. On the back of the bullets are red spots that light up by taking in light from a muzzle flash. This makes the round glow as it flies to the target. It gives you the effect of shooting a laser gun without putting anyone or anything in danger. Pretty cool, huh?

Contact Action Target

Long-range shooting can be a fun and engaging hobby. It requires lots of practice to get to the point of being both precise and accurate at long ranges. This may take a long time and requires patience to master long-range shooting. For hunters, this skill may be needed for food and may want some help to not miss the initial shot. These essential accessories can make long-range shooting easier to accomplish and help you make those difficult shots.

With over 30 years of experience, Action Target can help you build the perfect range for your unique needs. Whether you’re building a commercial range that caters to casual or tactical training or a law enforcement range to better prepare your officers, our experts can help with the challenges of building a range. Talk to one of our representatives in your neck of the woods here



Streak Visual Ammunition

Barnes LRX Bullets

Desert Dog Outdoors


App Links



Amazon Links

Vortex Sonora 4-12x Riflescope

Vortex Crossfire 2-7x Riflescope

Bushnell Engage Hunting Laser Rangefinder

Hunting & Golf Rangefinder

Caldwell Wind Wizard II

Holdpeak HP-866B Wind Speed Meter

GHHJX Solid G Gunsmith Level

GHHJX Precision Scope Magnetic Level

Basic Sandbag

CVLIFE Tactical Rifle Bipod

Thunder Bay Tripod

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Raine Armband Sleeve

How Many Acres Do You Need for an indoor Gun Range?

Are you wondering how many acres you will need for a gun range? We will discuss the amount of land needed to build your shooting range. 

How Many Acres Do You Need for an indoor Gun Range?

The average indoor firing range has a footprint of 2 acres of land. You will need acreage to support each firing bay, retail space, register, classroom, bathrooms, storage, office space, and parking. 

The average range sizes are between 10,000 and  20,000 sq. ft. and range from 1-2 Bays with 7 to 14 lanes.

What Is the Purpose of Your Gun Range?

The amount of land required for a gun range will vary depending on the usage. 

There are choices to make when you decide to have a range. You must determine if you will have an emphasis on range, retail, training and/or custom builds. Once this is decided it will be essential to work with an architect to review these choices in order to determining space requirements. A few questions that need to be addressed upfront include:

  • How many bays and shooting lanes are you planning to install?
  • What products and quantities are you planning to retail in your store?
  • Will your retail space focus on firearms and accessories?
  • How large of a retail space is needed to support displays and inventory?
  • Are you planning to provide regular training classes and if so how much capacity does your classroom require?
  • Do you expect to have a gunsmith or armorer onsite? If either will you provide the option to have customers customize their firearms?
  • Will your staff require offices, cubicles, lockers, or lunch area?
  • Will you provide uni-sex bathrooms or designated bathroom?
  • Are you planning to install wash sinks outside the range?
  • Do you plan to have a VIP lounge or snack area?

Deciding the purpose for your range will help you determine how much space you need. 

How Much Would it Cost to Build a Gun Range from the Ground Up?

It will cost approximately $350,000 for a range equipment and bullet containment. This does not include the land, or building cost. 

you buy a piece of property, you need to make sure you can obtain the permits to develop the property for the purpose of a shooting range, action target technical sale representatives can help you through the process, find your local representative at  

Where do I Find My State Gun Laws?

To find the laws that govern guns and their uses, you should check with your local and state agencies. You can find these agencies with a few quick Google searches. Be sure to enter your city, state, and county names as well as the term “gun laws and ordinances.”

These Government offices will be able to tell you where and when you are allowed to fire your guns. 

  • City
  • County
  • State
  • And Local Law enforcement

You are not allowed to fire a gun within the city limits in most states unless you are at an indoor gun range. Check your state-specific regulations.

Should I Buy an Existing Gun Range?

Buying an existing gun range is beneficial because it is already zoned as a firing range. It is less expensive to buy an existing range because you do not have to worry about the expense of construction. It is recommended that the property be inspected by a licensed inspector before purchasing it and that you confirm with the state that the range is compliant with all local and state regulations.

If you are interested in buying an existing gun range, a quick google or Zillow search in your desired area is the easiest way to determine what is available. 

Action Target Can Help

Whatever your gun range questions are, Action Target is here to answer them. With over 35 years of experience, we can help you build the perfect range for your unique needs. Whether you are building a commercial range that caters to casual or tactical training or a law enforcement range to better prepare your officers, our experts can help meet the challenges of building a range. Talk to one of our representatives in your area

Work Cited 

YouTube; Hickok 45


Action Target

Gander Outdoors

Trigger Time Gun Club

Lands of America

MBMI Steel Buildings