The HVAC System in Your Shooting Range

Because air quality needs to be one of your highest priorities, an efficient and quality HVAC system in your shooting range is essential.

Visiting the local gun range is a great and exciting way for your clients to practice their aim, perfect their shot, and improve their skills. But without a decent HVAC system installed in your firing range, the air quality can be harmful to your customers’ health. Air quality is paramount when building an indoor shooting range.

Learn more about the importance of an effective and efficient HVAC system in your indoor firing range below.

Things To Look Out For When Buying an HVAC System in Your Shooting Range

There are many claims made by HVAC suppliers stating they can supply your indoor range with 200 to 400% more fresh air than other systems on the market. Sure, that is doable, but it’ll cost you! Make sure that you ask your provider for all data and documentation supporting and confirming you are getting what they say they are supplying.

In standard Recirculation systems, you can expect 25% of the total Range Supply Air to be fresh, outside air, which is typical if you are trying to get 50-75 fpm airflow at the shooter and downrange. Fresh, outdoor air is necessary to control the carbon monoxide levels inside the range. Recirculating the same air without incorporating some new, fresh air will put range employees and patrons at a considerable risk of breathing in toxic air.

To have 200 to 400% “more” fresh air than a typical Recirculation system, the following would be necessary and/or occur:

  • Operational and energy costs would increase as the system efficiencies would decrease.
  • The system’s ability to control humidity would be lost unless a much larger unit with the necessary cooling capacity is put in place.
  • Equipment size would need to increase to match the increased cooling demands.

Can HVAC Purge Systems Really Generate 200 to 400% “More” Fresh Air?

Guidelines set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) require airflow from behind the shooter downrange at 75 fpm. In a Purge system, 100% of the total Range Supply Air is fresh, outdoor air. Using mechanical cooling with Purge systems would require equipment with three times the amount of cooling capacity and operational costs. This results from 100% of the Range Supply Air being conditioned from the outside temps and humidity levels down to the indoor range conditions you desire. Once the conditioned air flows down the range, 100% of it is put into the atmosphere. This process recaptures none of the energy put into the Range Supply Air, making it a much less efficient system. Dryer climates have greater success using evaporative cooling with Purge systems. They use far less energy than mechanical cooling systems while adding moisture to dry air.

To achieve 200 to 400% “more” fresh air than a typical Purge system, the following would be necessary and would occur:

  • Fans with 200 to 400% greater capacity.
  • Fan energy consumption instantly increases to accommodate 200 to 400% greater capacity.
  • Equipment costs would increase as a result of the 200 to 400% increase in equipment size.
  • The Velocity of air going through the range would be 200 to 400%, which is much higher than the NIOSH recommendations.
  • The volume of air moving down the range would be 200 to 400% greater.

Obtaining Laminar Flow to Move Lead and Toxic Fumes Away from the Shooter

Laminar airflow is a critical part of all range ventilation system designs. The amount and severity of toxic fumes are greatly reduced when the airflow approaching and passing the shooter is laminar. Turbulent airflow can cause lead dust and hazardous fumes right to the shooter. Systems that are property designed provide laminar airflow for standing, kneeling, and prone shooting positions. Some businesses will market that by angling the stalls or removing diffusers, you’ll meet OSHA standards. However, the engineering does not lie — directing air around and over the shooter is crucial for keeping them safe. 

Check your system for laminar flow with smoke test kits to ensure air is moving in the desired direction. Make sure to check the airflow from behind the firing line. Start the smoke test on the floor, move up toward the ceiling at a consistent rate, and ensure that air moves constantly, from the bottom to the top, ensuring proper 50 to 75 feet per minute. You shouldn’t experience any swirling before getting to the shooter.

Carbon Monoxide Monitoring and the HVAC System in Your HVAC Company

Many inexperienced HVAC companies do not provide carbon monoxide monitoring to shooting ranges, which is a direct violation of OSHA requirements. You’ll find that is especially common for companies that are not familiar with managing lead dust and other toxic fumes produced by firearms. 

It is essential for ranges to have the necessary equipment to monitor CO levels. Monitoring carbon monoxide levels in the Range Supply Air is crucial for providing a safe and comfortable environment for range employees and customers. Alarms need to sound when monitored CO levels reach a predesignated concentration (that is well below harmful CO levels) to protect all occupants.

Ventilation systems need to expel a certain percentage of indoor air to the atmosphere and replace it with fresh, outdoor air to exhaust CO from inside a gun range. All systems need to have a damper control at the exhaust to increase flow when CO levels rise because of heavy range use. If you have a standard Recirculation system, always monitor carbon monoxide levels so you can control how much air is being exhausted, the amount of air being recirculated, and how much fresh air is being brought into the range. Of course, standard Purge systems require no carbon monoxide monitoring and no MAU Bypass because all of the Range Supple Air is fresh air.

Regardless of the ventilation system your range has, Recirculation or Purge, NIOSH recommends that the 10% greater airflow be expelled from the range envelope than what is being supplied into it. This produces a negative pressure in the range relative to the space outside of the range envelope. This is a crucial design component and ensures that lead dust and other toxic fumes are not introduced into spaces next to the range envelope.

The Importance of Intuitive Smart HVAC Controls

Having control systems that are easy to use, understand, diagnose, and adjust is essential when running a gun range. Settling for a basic start and stop system just won’t do. Instead, utilize available technology that ensures you are properly serving your system when necessary. Find a control display with the following options:

  • ON/OFF
  • Mode (Fan, Heating, Cooling)
  • Safe to Shoot 
  • Alarms/Faults
  • Range Temperature
  • Range Humidity (for Recirculation systems)
  • Filter Status/Life
  • Equipment Service Information

Need an HVAC System in Your Shooting Range? Contact Action Target Today!

For the best HVAC system in your shooting range, contact the experts at Action Target. We provide the industry’s best ventilation systems for new range installations and existing ranges in Provo, Utah, that exceed all environmental standards. We offer a complete package of air filters, controls, and maintenance to ensure that your customers, employees, and the surrounding area are protected from the health hazards associated with lead exposure and other air-borne toxins found in indoor shooting ranges. Our innovative ventilation system designs exceed NIOSH, EPA, and OSHA air quality standards and are customizable to your particular range installation. Contact Action Target to learn more today.

Why Can’t You Shoot Green Tip Ammo at Shooting Ranges?

If you are familiar with the rules of shooting ranges, then you know the mystery surrounding green tip ammo. Not only is this ammo controversial when it comes to shooting, but it is also not welcome in almost all shooting ranges. This consistent rule makes people wonder why the rule exists at all. 

You can’t shoot green tip ammo at most shooting ranges because it’s made to penetrate steel, and most indoor shooting ranges use steel to catch bullets. While the steel backdrop would likely still stop a green tip bullet, it would incur a lot of damage, costing the range a lot of money. 

Let’s go into more detail about green tip ammo and why ranges decided not to allow it. 

Potential Damage Caused by Green Tip Ammo at Shooting Ranges

Green tip ammo can do a lot of damage at indoor shooting ranges that rely on steel. Not only could this ammo penetrate the steel and possibly continue traveling along its path of trajectory, but it would also do a lot of damage to backdrops, requiring that they be replaced. 

Because this ammo was created to penetrate armor, that means it can penetrate steel and sometimes continue traveling along its path of trajectory. This poses a huge threat to indoor shooting ranges that use steel to catch bullets. Shots on target might not be a big deal for green tip ammo, but any missed shots could travel through the backing and cause injuries. 

If you are familiar with green tip ammo, then you know this may not happen. It depends on the velocity of the shot as well as what is being shot at. But that doesn’t completely remove the risk. 

Gun ranges are made for safety, and green tip ammo may put the safety of others at risk. So, most ranges do not want to lose their license over safety concerns. This is why many places ban these bullets. 

Another reason these bullets tend to be banned is because of the damage they can do to backdrops. Steel backdrops are made to last through a lot of shooting before they need to be replaced. However, because green tip ammo is made to penetrate this material, it can cause a lot of damage, wearing down of the steel from just a few bullets. 

This damage doesn’t always make the range unsafe, but it certainly means that the backdrops will need to be replaced more often after being hit with green tip bullets. This can get very expensive for a range, considering shooting ranges don’t normally need to change them very often. 

Some indoor ranges will still allow this ammo despite the costs that come with it. For them, the damage done to the backdrop or targets is worth it to keep those customers happy.

Typically, you’ll find this ammo allowed more commonly in ranges that require a higher price to get in. This price increase can help the trade-off of allowing this ammo and replacing the backdrops more often. 

Indoor ranges that allow these bullets also need to heavily consider how well they are made. There are quite a few regulations that must be met before an indoor shooting range opens, and this type of ammo can draw attention to any regulations that may not have been followed. 

This type of dangerous ammo means that rules need to be followed very closely to ensure that no one is mistakenly harmed when using it. So, the ranges that do allow these bullets to be used tend to have stricter rules about who is allowed in the range at any given time. 

Why Green Tip Ammo Is so Controversial

Green tip ammo is made to penetrate steel, which makes it very strong. The damage it can do is what makes it controversial for civilian use. This superior ammo was originally created to penetrate armor. It’s considered dangerous by many, but nonetheless is legal to own in the United States. 

Green tip ammo came about in the 1970s, and ten years later, it was adopted by the US military. During this time, they painted the tip green, which was meant to show that it could penetrate armor. To this day, it is sold and contains those green tips that make it stand out. 

Over the years, these bullets have been shown to penetrate through steel armor which makes it controversial in terms of safety. Many are concerned because it could penetrate bullet-proof vests and other protective gear. 

Since these bullets can penetrate steel, they are considered very dangerous as a stray shot could do a lot more damage than an ordinary bullet. Thinking in terms of self-defense, green tip ammo can cause many issues if you miss a shot or the shot goes through the target and into something else. 

These bullets can travel through steel, so a wooden wall wouldn’t be much of a challenge. 

Over recent years, the ATF has attempted to impose regulations on these bullets for fear that they are putting the lives of law enforcement in danger as it can penetrate their vests. These attempts fell short when it became clear that it would violate the Second Amendment.

Green tip ammo is commonly not allowed at indoor shooting ranges. It can do a lot of costly damage and could be considered a safety concern if it penetrates backdrops. Because of this, most shooting ranges do not allow it to be used in their facilities. 

If you are frustrated with a range for not allowing this ammo, remember that it is done for safety and cost reasons. 

Contact Action Target

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


How Close Can You Safely Shoot Steel Targets?

For gun enthusiasts everywhere, steel targets have become a prevalent form of target practice, and for good reason. 

Steel targets are specifically designed to be used for target practice and engineered to maximize use and minimize risks. Many people who don’t fully understand steel targets often wonder how safe they are for shooting. 

You can safely shoot steel targets as close as 15 yards with handguns and 100 yards with rifles, which is a standard operating procedure. However, the weapon’s caliber, the target quality, and other factors, all play roles in the risks involved with shooting steel targets and must be considered. 

This article will go more in-depth about all the dos and don’ts of shooting steel targets. We will discuss what type of steel is best for target practice and the appropriate weapon and which ammunition can be used. Every circumstance is different, and we’ve done our best to cover each scenario. 

Why You Should Use Steel Targets

When it comes to guns and shooting, with all of the other options out there for target practice, some people wonder why they should even bother with steel targets. There are paper targets, clay pigeons, cardboard cutouts, and so much more, so what’s so unique about steel? 

The main reason gun enthusiasts love steel targets so much is that they’re very user-friendly. 

When practicing with a rifle at a long distance, it’s often difficult to determine if you have hit your mark or not. This is never a question with steel targets as you will be greeted with a loud dinging sound. 

Steel targets are also reusable. With paper and cardboard targets, you’re constantly having to replace them and change them out. On the other hand, steel targets are meant to last much longer and be much more durable than the alternatives. 

Quality of the Steel Makes a Big Difference

The quality and thickness of the steel target you’re using make a big difference in safety distance. A good steel target is designed to destroy the target upon the first impact, deterring the possibility of a ricochet accident. A well-made steel target should be composed of AR 500 or AR 550 grade steel. 

Steel targets should always specify the steel type and minimum safe shooting distance for each caliber of weapon. If the instructions say the minimum distance for handguns is 10 yards (9.14 m), then listen to the instructions. If the instructions say 20 yards (18.2 m), then the minimum safe distance is 20 yards (18.2 m). 

Most shooting accidents occur because of carelessness and not following best safety practices. If you show responsibility and respect around guns, nearly all accidents are avoidable. 

There may be the occasional errant ricochet to no fault of the shooter, but these incidents are few and far between. 

General Guidelines and Safety Standards

Here are a few general rules to keep in mind when using steel targets: 

  • The thicker the steel is, the closer you can be to the target 
  • The softer the bullet is, the closer you can be to the target 
  • The larger the caliber, the further away you should be 

Every gun and situation is unique, but there are best practices to be followed. Assuming you’re following the specific instructions for each steel target and paying close attention to the thickness of the target, you can have a good idea of minimum safe distances. 


The absolute minimum recommended distance for handguns, depending on the ammo, is 15 yards (9.14 m).  If you’re using a high-caliber pistol or high-velocity ammunition, 15 to 25 yards (13.72 to 22.86 m) is recommended to avoid ricochets or fragment wounds.


Rifles are much more powerful than handguns, and the minimum distance is therefore greater. 100 yards (91.44 m) is usually the minimum distance allowed for shooting a steel target with a rifle. 

Not all rifles have the same firepower, so this may not always be necessary, but if you’re not sure about the quality of the target, 100 yards (91.44 m) should be the minimum. 


To be on the safe side with shotguns, you should keep a minimum distance of 25 yards (22.86 it ism) between you and your steel target. You should also make sure to examine the target closely after every shot to make sure the steel isn’t getting dimpled.

Dimples or dents in the target can lead to unpredictable ricochets and fragment spreads in use. 

Angle and Integrity of the Steel Target Matters

Using a steel target that is angled downward can also decrease the risk of ricochet accidents. The target should absorb most of the bullets’ impact, but there’s always a small risk involved with firearms and steel. 

Angling the target is not one-size-fits-all, however. Ensure you know the proper angle for every kind of bullet used. 

If you notice the steel target you’re using has started to develop dings and dents or cracks, immediately cease using the target. 

A steel target that has been compromised will only increase the risk of accidental ricochets. A damaged steel target will also be less likely to absorb the impact of a bullet fully. Be smart and use caution anytime you’re discharging a firearm. 

Your steel target should be smooth and free of any surface damage. A good rule of thumb is that the softer the target, the safer it is. The steel used to make a good target is often the same material that the gun is made of. 

No matter how excellent or thick the steel is, however, if you use the wrong ammunition with the wrong target, you increase your chances of an accident. 

Contact Action Target

The most important thing to remember when shooting steel targets is that you should always veer on the side of caution. 

Guns are powerful weapons and must be respected to be appropriately used. If you have any doubts about the quality or integrity of your steel target, then change it out for a newer one. 

If you’re afraid the bullets you’re using are too soft or hard for a specific target, then use a different bullet or get another target. Carelessness and nonchalance are the leading causes of accidents involving steel targets. 

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


What Are Indoor Shooting Ranges Made Of?

Indoor shooting ranges are generally non-descript-looking buildings with rows of individual walls used to create a shooting booth or stall designed for target practice. However, you have to wonder what indoor shooting ranges are made of since people inside are shooting guns. 

Indoor shooting range stalls or booths are made of bullet-proof material. The best bullet-proof materials include thick armor steel, dense poured concrete, and sometimes large rubber blocks.  

The design engineering for indoor shooting ranges includes health and safety factors we had not considered. We think those factors are worth knowing. Read on, and perhaps you will agree. 

Bullet-Proof Shooting Range Walls Protect Users

Within indoor shooting ranges, participants are kept safe in individual stalls or booths divided by thick bullet-proof, armor steel walls that protect them from stray or ricochetbullet/s 

The caliber of guns accepted at an indoor shooting range is a primary factor when choosing the building materials. 

Indoor shooting ranges can be built within an existing building or new construction. However, some companies prefabricate the shooting range stalls from precast concrete or the more popular steel that is then installed on your site. 

Government Guidelines for Indoor Shooting Ranges

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Health, Safety, and Security takes charge of not only the construction, but also the maintenance of indoor shooting ranges that provide training and practice for police and military personnel. 

The guidelines issued for the construction of a shooting range are in place to protect everyone from wayward bullets. No surface should be penetrable by a discharged bullet. 

Basic guidelines and materials to meet the standard are as follows:

  • Concrete or brick is preferred for exterior walls. 
  • Interior walls should be poured using high tensile strength concrete and 6 inches thick. 
  • Floors are reinforced high tensile strength concrete.
  • Ceilings should be 10-12 feet high and be made of concrete or armor steel. The finish should be smooth and flat
  • Baffles and other soundproofing are required to contain and absorb sound. 

Add HPDs Along with Baffles and Soundproofing

Steel Baffling covered with acoustical material is used to reduce the repetitive loud noise and provides hearing protection for the shooters and range safety officers. Another reason for requiring soundproofing is to avoid allowing the shooting range to become a neighborhood nuisance. 

Even with baffles to absorb sound and soundproofing materials built into the structure, shooting galleries are inherently loud; therefore, Hearing Protective Devices to protect your hearing are required in all indoor and outdoor ranges. 

According to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), one shot from a nearby firearm can cause hearing loss. Be alert and don’t remove the protective devices while other shooters are nearby.

Angled Firing Range Wall Stops Bullets 

The trap or bullet catch, which is located downrange, is most often made from thick bullet-proof steel or chopped rubber. All traps and baffles are angled to interrupt the bullet’s trajectory speed and ensure it decelerates and is captured in the downrange trap.

Steel shooting traps are found in indoor and outdoor shooting ranges. A steel trap consists of two angled top and bottom plates as well as a right and left angled side plate designed to catch the fired bullets and deposit them into removable containers ready for recycling. 

Some target typers are placed in front of the trap so that the trap can capture rounds as they are fired. These are primarily used in training facilities for law enforcement, the department of energy, nuclear facilities, correctional facilities, and more.

Retrievers, designed to send a target down and up range, are used in commercial ranges. These allow a safe way of shooting for even the novice.

The bullet trap can be designed using steel or rubber. Both are brilliant designs for indoor or outdoor use. Each option serves a specific purpose; therefore, it’s important that you contact a range manufacturer to learn what solution is best for your range needs. 

Ventilation at an Indoor Shooting Range

Bullets contain lead, and lead particles in the air can be harmful to human health if they have considerable exposure over time. When a lead bullet is fired from a gun, the lead releases dust, vapor, and fumes. 

Workplace regulations for lead are applied to shooting ranges as well. Lead accumulates in the body, and over time the damage can be debilitating if prescribed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety guidelines set by OSHA are not followed appropriately. These standards have been created nationwide to protect workers and shooters at indoor and outdoor ranges.

Indoor shooting ranges are required to have an effective ventilation system with a positive exhaust in place. Government standards are outlined by the United States Department of Labor guidelines for lead safety; 29 CFR 1910.1025

The Firing Line at Indoor Shooting Ranges 

The firing line may consist of a line of multiple shooting stations, with each station being protected by bulletproof walls. The walls must be flush to the floor and overhead must have a protective canopy or safety ceiling. 

The distance between the firing line and the trap downrange will depend on what caliber of firearms is allowed in the shooting range. 

For the greatest comfort, firing lanes or booths should be at least four feet wide. It’s good to have one or two lanes that are five feet wide with adjustable table heights to accommodate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. 

Most targets systems in civilian ranges travel on steel tracks using either older pulley-driven systems or more technically advanced, wireless retrievers that travel out and back the length of the range. Shooting lane lengths differ based on the type of gun used. Twenty-five feet for pistols, fifty feet to one hundred for rifles. 

Observation Control Platforms in Shooting Ranges

Observation control platforms are built into shooting ranges at a height that allows the instructor to observe the line of participants. Ballistic proof observation glass is used if these platforms are enclosed. 

The platform should be constructed to the same specifications as all work platforms. However, it must be safe from stray rounds, and it must not be a tripping hazard for the observation site. 

The observation instructor must have a visual of participants at all times and be able to communicate with them. 

Indoor Shooting Ranges Made for Training Classes

Many states have passed concealed carry laws. That action has increased the number of people interested in learning to safely use, maintain and store a firearm for personal use. 

When building an indoor shooting range, space should be set aside for training classes. The space does not require the extraordinary materials that the shooting range itself is made of. 

You will want to incorporate some comfort materials for classroom areas. 

Indoor Shooting Ranges Made of Safety Materials 

Indoor shooting ranges are made of safety materials with very high standards. All levels of safety, including gun safety, air quality, and lead disposal, are addressed in a well-planned shooting range.

Not all shooting ranges meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Health, Safety and Security. If they are not a training facility, they don’t have to. 

Some shooting ranges are made for use by sports clubs and even for an at-home indoor practice range. Safety becomes the responsibility of those who use the facility. 

If you plan to engage in firearms training as a beginner, choose an indoor shooting range with the following features:

  • Bullet-proof wall surrounds with deflectors to prevent stray bullets.
  • Shooting traps that collect bullets and steel jackets in sealed containers that can be recycled. 
  • Noise baffles that reduce the chance of hearing damage. 
  • Ventilation system to effectively and efficiently clear lead particles from the range. 
  • Range Master that is always on watch. 

Contact Action Target Today

The NRA has been instrumental in the development of shooting ranges, especially for its youth programs utilized scouting, 4-H, and more. 

Multiple layers of safety are built into indoor shooting ranges. The design and engineering that must go into planning and building a shooting range must be well thought out. Therefore, it’s important that a professional range manufacturer or consultant is consulted before finalizing future range builds or enhancements. 

Whether for training or just for sport, the safety features built into indoor shooting ranges are impressive without interfering with the fun. 

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



Do Indoor Shooting Ranges Allow Shotguns?

Indoor shooting ranges allow gun enthusiasts to test out various firearms in a supervised and enclosed environment. 

Some shooting ranges are even set up with unique games, giving customers a more interactive shooting experience. One might ask if these indoor shooting ranges allow all types of guns—specifically, shotguns.

Shotguns can be shot in indoor ranges. Some issues with shooting shotgun indoor include safety, birdshot can bounce off rubber traps while the wades can collect in the trap causing a fire hazard. If shooting indoor with a shotgun we recommend a steel trap. The shot is collected into the collection system and wades can easily be swept up off the trap and floor after the shop closes. The wades do damage the standard acoustic fascia applied to the protective baffles above the shooter but this can be prevented if designed with other more resilient materials and solutions.

Ranges we have built for shotguns, secure a large space in excess of 125’L X 50’W X 25’H. The space is designed without a trap and is set up for sporting clays with 7-14 clay throwers. They include games and challenges for all levels. (look up TNT in UTAH – you will see pictures. Also see if you can find the Governors Club 2 in Georgia, another indoor shooting range. These indoor ranges are a blast.

Are Shotguns Allowed on Indoor Ranges?

Shotguns require a much more extensive range. Check out TNT, use this as a reason why you can do it, in a safe and effective way.

However, if you’re in the mood to try a shotgun, a few sports are expressly set up with this weapon in mind.  

Where Can I Use a Shotgun?

It’s up to the ranges in the local areas. Indoor and outdoor are options. Outdoor is definitely preferred and accepted.

You can use a shotgun in an outdoor shooting range. Outdoor ranges are more versatile than their indoor counterparts because they offer different types of terrain where targets can be set up in random spots and varying distances, allowing you to tweak your shooting experience as you like.

Almost every outdoor range permits the use of a shotgun on-premises. However, they may restrict the kind of ammunition allowed. For example, some may prohibit lead pellets and prefer single projectiles, like slugs, to reduce impact.

Types of Shotgun Sports

Shotgun shooting gets exciting when you try your hand at the different sports designed for shotgun use.

The two main kinds are trap and skeet shooting, both involving shooting at moving clay targets. Trap and skeet shooting were designed as exercises to improve a hunter’s accuracy and increase their chances of success, but these ‘exercises’ have now grown to become Olympic Sports.

Trap Shooting

The critical difference between trap and skeet is how the targets move in relation to the shooter.

Trap shooting involves firing at clay targets shot out of a “house” or “bunker.” These targets are fired in random directions away from the shooter. So, while the shooter is aware of the target’s origin, they are clueless about the order or trajectory in which the target moves. 

This element of randomness creates an intense yet exciting challenge for the shooter who has to be on edge, ready to fire in a particular direction at a moment’s notice.

Trap shooters fire five shots from five distinct points marked out on a semicircle. Each participant gets 25 shots in each round, and those with the most successful hits win the round.

Participants decide on the number of rounds to be played, and the one who wins the most games wins the competition.

In Olympic trap shooting, 15 fixed machines fire targets, and each competitor gets 125 shots to score the highest points. While the fixed direction of the targets may seem like an advantage, the Olympic targets are fired at over 68 miles per hour, ensuring that only the most skilled marksman can make the shot.

Skeet Shooting 

Skeet shooting was a shotgun sport devised in the 1920s by a hunter who recognized that trap shooting did not replicate birds’ random movements or flying patterns. This shooting sport was his attempt to rectify the mistakes so clear to him in trap shooting.

In skeet shooting, the participant must hit two targets that cross one another at the height of roughly 15 feet (4.57 m)  in front of the shooter. 

The targets are fired from two separate machines, one fixed at 10 feet (3.048 m) high and the other at 3.5 feet (1.06 m). These machines are placed almost 40 meters apart, and the shooter stands somewhere in the middle, between the two bunkers.

Skeet shooting can be considerably more complex than trap shooting as participants must fire and hit both targets quickly.

This sport comes in two versions – American Skeet Shooting and International Skeet Shooting. 

In American skeet shooting, targets are fired in a different order, and there is no delay between when the shooter calls for the clay and when the target is fired.

International skeet shooting follows the format used in the Olympic games and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) games. 

In International Skeet, there is an odd delay between zero and three seconds from when the shooter called for the target and the machine fires.

Sporting Clay 

In addition to skeet and trap shooting, sporting clay is a more recent shotgun shooting discipline that has gained immense popularity in the last few years.

This sport is often called “golf with a shotgun” and involves shooting on various courses laid out over a vast expanse (at least 35 acres) of natural terrain.

Each sporting clay session involves shooting at 10-15 different shooting stations, each set up entirely differently from the others. The terrain and natural obstacles differ from station to station, adding an exciting new element to the sport.

The machines, or bunkers, firing targets are also set up differently at each station. The speed, angle, and distance covered by the target differ throughout the course, adding to the randomness of the sport.

This element of surprise and the need to adapt to different terrain makes sporting clays the most reliable shooting practice in preparation for actual hunting.

Contact Action Target Today

While indoor shooting ranges allow the use of various firearms, some choose not to allow shotguns based on their range design and setup.

If you’re looking to work on your shooting game, do some hunting prep, or clean out the old shotgun, an outdoor range is your best bet. 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

Note: All law enforcement range shoot shotguns indoors. They prefer steel, but I see it often on rubber traps. We support shotguns in indoor ranges, but a range owner needs to consider options during the design.


Why Do Gun Ranges Ask for an ID? 3 Things to Know

Gun ranges are exciting places to practice your marksmanship and have fun, but operating firearms must be done with the highest amount of safety. 

Safety begins with a lot of range rules to be followed and sometimes pre-checks that must be performed. Some ranges may check IDs or even do background checks.

Gun ranges may check IDs because obtaining the identity of any person entering their establishment is an essential step in minimizing both risk and liability. Age requirements, waivers of liability, participant tracking, and firearm eligibility status are all reasons why a range may check IDs.

In most cases, checking IDs is harmless, but it is still important to determine why these ranges may check yours. Read on for the most common reasons a range may check your identification and when they will run a background check on you.

3 Reasons Gun Ranges Ask for an ID

Ranges will check IDs for the following reasons:

  • Minimum Age Requirements: The range will want to make sure that you are of the appropriate age to shoot. This may be for legal or liability reasons or both.
  • Participant Tracking: For liability reasons, the range may want a record of anyone who was present at the range. In case of damage to property or others, this will allow them to identify the perpetrator.
  • Background Checks: Running background checks allows the range to see if you have a criminal history that may affect your ability to operate a firearm. This practice has legal implications that will be discussed later in this article.  

1. Minimum Age Requirements

While it varies dramatically from state to state, there is usually a minimum age requirement to shoot at a gun range. To shoot alone in most states, you must be either 18 or 21 years of age. To go to a gun range as a minor, you must have a parent or guardian with you. In both cases, you will have to fill out a waiver stating that you are of appropriate age and you understand the rules and risks of using the range.

At most ranges, they only check IDs to satisfy this requirement and cover any liability that may come with letting underaged individuals operate a firearm without supervision. There are no minimum age requirements in some states, but the range may still check people’s identifications for their liability purposes.

2. Participant Tracking

Some ranges may take a photocopy of your ID or write down your driver’s license number. If they do this, they are most likely trying to protect themselves if somebody does something against the rules, damages property, or harms others. Range operation laws state that the range can lose its special license to operate if a preventable incident occurs.

If something happens at the range, the range owners would be able to go back and check who was present at the time of the incident.

3. Background Checks

Some gun ranges may try to run a background check on you the first time you come to their property. The range would want to do this because they need to make sure that you are not a convicted criminal, mentally unstable, or have any other reasons you would not be allowed to operate a firearm.

Federal law prevents all felons from possessing or using a firearm. Additionally, criminals convicted of a violent misdemeanor charge are banned from using guns. 

Lastly, federal law would outlaw anyone previously admitted to a mental institution or deemed mentally unwell from operating a firearm. This definition varies from state to state, but always requires some history of inpatient treatment.

Convicted felons may even be able to retain their firearms right to be able to shoot at a range.

All you need to run a criminal background check is a name, address, and date of birth. Having a social security number may expedite the process, but they can do it without one. If the workers at the range ask for any part of your social security number, you know they will most likely run background checks.

What Type of Gun Ranges Are Most Likely To Check ID?

There are two types of ranges; indoor and outdoor. These ranges can be divided further into public and private entities.

The range most likely gun ranges to run ID and background checks are private, indoor ranges. Private ranges typically will have a more extensive selection of rental weapons, such as automatic rifles and exotic guns, making their liability much higher.

As a result, they will want to be sure you’re fit to handle a firearm before allowing you access.

These ranges may be even stricter in states with tight gun control laws, such as Hawaii, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

The type of range with the loosest rules are public, outdoor ranges. These are most common in gun-friendly states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, New Hampshire, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. 

Occasionally, these ranges are set up as “show up and shoot” ranges where you pay a small entrance fee and shoot for the day without any other hassle. You are unlikely to have your ID checked at a range like this.

Can Gun Ranges Legally Run Background Checks?

Gun ranges cannot legally run background checks on individuals who want to use the range or rent a weapon. This is because of a concept called “constructive possession.” As long as the rented weapon stays inside the property, the range is still lawfully in possession of the gun.

If the individual wants to leave the property with the weapon through purchase or long-term rental, the range must then perform a background check. Once the individual goes off the property with the firearm, they are legally in possession, and restrictions are now enforced.


The rules and regulations that gun ranges implement vary from range to range. Not all ranges will ask for IDs, but some have a more extensive screening process. This story of a violent felon shooting her firearms instructor may convince more ranges to start performing stricter checks. This woman was allowed to shoot a firearm without going through a background check.

Contact Action Target

If your gun range asks for your ID and you’re curious why, then just ask! The owners of the range should be more than happy to let you know the reasons behind their request.

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


Can You Put a Shooting Range in Your House? 4 Facts

If you enjoy a few rounds of indoor shooting, you may have wondered whether you can put a shooting range in your house. 

Our homes are now our one-stop source of all entertainment—we can shop, exercise, and watch movies all from the comfort of our home. However, your home can also house more extreme hobbies, like shooting ranges. 

You can put a shooting range in your house as long as it is safe and functional. While residential shooting ranges are legal in the USA, you should always check local regulations and ensure that you are taking safety and noise control precautions to avoid complaints from your neighbors.

This article explores 4 facts you should keep in mind if you’re interested in building a shooting range in your house. 

Facts About Residential Shooting Ranges

You can put a shooting range in your house, provided you follow a range of regulations and guidelines. 

Some key facts to consider when building a residential shooting range include:

  • Residential shooting ranges are legal in America.
  • You must soundproof your shooting range.
  • Safety precautions are crucial.
  • It’s best to get an architect to build your shooting range.

This section considers facts to know if you want to build a shooting range in your house, including legal requirements and construction suggestions.

1. Residential Shooting Ranges Are Legal in America

Before you begin to construct or even design a residential shooting range, you should check whether it is legal in your area. In most areas in the USA, residential or in-home shooting ranges are legal. 

However, you do need to follow area-specific zoning rules and regulations. 

Most local councils will require that you register your in-home shooting range. Other regulations you might need to follow are: 

  • A limit on the number or type of firearms you have within your shooting range.
  • Constructing your range with soundproof walls 
  • Having a range of safety precautions in place, including a secure place to store the firearms. 
  • The building that houses the range must be reinforced and repaired when necessary. 

To understand the regulations behind a residential shooting range in your state, consult with your local council. NRAExplore has also collated a helpful document which details the Gun Range Protection Statues in each US state.

You can also consult with your shooting range provider to understand the rules and regulations within your area. 

2. You Must Soundproof Your Shooting Range

Shooting can be an incredibly noisy activity. When building your shooting range, you should ensure that noise pollution is limited both in the range and in the area surrounding it. 

To minimize noise indoors: 

  • Use sound-absorbing materials when designing the shooting range space, such as foam panels and acoustic partitions. 
  • Keep noise levels in the range at a maximum of 85 decibels using mufflers and suitable firearms. 

To minimize the noise in the surrounding areas of the range: 

  • Surround the shooting range with heavy masonry walls. 
  • Use acoustic, sound-absorbing materials in the middle of the walls. 

Architects and shooting range consultants will be able to suggest suitable materials and give you tips on how best to construct the range.  

3. Safety Precautions Are Crucial

If you are putting a shooting range in your house, you need to take precautions to protect the people who are using it and the people around the range. 

Some of the ways for ensuring the safety of your shooting range include:

  • Install bullet traps. Bullet traps receive and cushion bullets, ensuring that the bullets do not go astray. They also ensure that the bullets cause little to no environmental damage. 
  • Use safety baffles. Safety baffles are an integral component of a shooting range – they are significant if the shooting range is in your home. They surround the range’s ceilings and walls and contain any misfired bullets, protecting the shooter. 
  • Ensure downrange deflections. It would be best to build areas in the shooting range to ensure any misfired bullets will be directed downrange. 

4. It’s Best to Get an Architect to Build Your Shooting Range

You can put a shooting range in an already built house or in a house that has not been constructed. 

The process is different for the two different types of construction. Working with an architect and shooting range consultant is a good idea for both types of construction. 

An Existing House

You may have an already built home that you want to incorporate a shooting range in. Provided you have space and the proper budget, this is possible. 

Many people choose to build a shooting range in a basement, a barn, or an external storage bunker. 

Some of the adaptations you may need to make to ensure space can house a shooting range include:  

  • Reinforcing the ceiling and walls with cement to ensure that they are both sound and bulletproof
  • Adding in ventilation through fans, vents, and other apparatus
  • Deciding on and laying out the number of stalls you want in the range.
  • Choosing and installing target systems along with bullet traps

A House That Is Being Built

If you are in the process of constructing a house, work with your architect, shooting range consultant, and builder to design and build a shooting range. 

You can choose to build your shooting range in the basement of your house or as a separate structure. 

You should keep the same considerations in mind as building a shooting range in an existing house. However, you’ll enjoy more flexible options and the ability to customize your range in more ways. 

Consult with Experts from Action Target for the Best Results

You should consult with an expert like an architect or a shooting range consultant to build a shooting range in your home. They will work within your budget and the space you have. 

They will also suggest the type of range you should build and perhaps supply you with equipment best suited to your range. 

Visit Action Target’s services page to learn more about the range of equipment and consulting services we offer

Final Thoughts 

With the right consulting company and guidance, you can build a shooting range in your house. 

However, be sure that you are aware of safety, noise control, and other rules and regulations before using your range. 


Safe Shot: Ballistic Baffles
Whole Building Design Guide: Firing Range

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