Author: Action Target

Action Target Inc. Announces a New Steel Target Training System

PROVO, Utah–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Action Target Inc., the global leader in modern live-fire shooting ranges, announces its new Portable Steel Target System, the PT RangerTM, is now available for purchase. The PT Ranger is a tough, portable, and rapidly deployable target system for pistol and rifle scenarios. Engineered for high-volume shooting – the PT Ranger is one of the market’s most comprehensive and complete steel target training systems.

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Industry Day at the Range™ Action Target Safety Award Recipient is Franklin Armory

LAS VEGAS, N.V. – February 1, 2022 – The Industry Day at the Range Safety Award, sponsored by Action Target, honors the participating company that demonstrates the highest standard of safety throughout the event. The 2022 Action Target Safety Award was awarded to Franklin Armory at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club Range on January 17.

The winner of the Action Target Safety Award receives a $2,000 credit toward the 2023 Industry Day at the Range event. Franklin Armory has elected to donate the $2,000 to Project ChildSafe. Project ChildSafe is a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) program committed to promoting firearm safety to communities across the United States.

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Action Target showcases new and revolutionary shooting range technology, at SHOT Show 2022 in Las Vegas.


PROVO, UTAH – January 15, 2022 – Action Target Inc., the leading global expert on modern live-fire shooting ranges, will showcase new and revolutionary shooting range technology, products, and services at NSSF’s annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor, Trade Show (SHOT Show) in Las Vegas. Visit Action Target at booth #12816 for live, hands-on demonstrations.


Action Target provides an all-inclusive turnkey solution for shooting range facilities for law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets worldwide. Action Target generates range solutions that guarantee the success and simplify the process for customers who are planning to build, expand, or improve a facility.


“As a trusted partner at every stage of a range project, Action Target is constantly developing products and services that promote the success of our customers. We are excited to display a selection of our new products and solutions at SHOT Show this year,” said Mike Birch, CEO at Action Target. “A few of our products and solutions include expanded features of our Smart Range Axis range control software, Citadel Shooting Stall, Electric Turning Targets Interface, Simulation Powered by VirTra, AutoTargets Maneuver Range Targets, Modular Small Arms Range/s and the Ranger – or table Steel Target.”


Smart Range AxisTM new features 

Action Target continues its commitment of expanding its capabilities of Smart Range AxisTM(SRA), the industry’s most powerful and complete range management system. Smart Range Axis puts complete range control at the fingertips of the range manager Our user-friendly software gives the range manager unparalleled control over lane management, target retrievers, ventilation (HVAC), shooting programs and training scenarios that provide unmatched customer engagement and value to the range owner. Action Target is excited to add the following new features to the SRA platform:


  • DRM Pro – Running Man Target System
  • Fixed Turning Electric Targets
  • LED Accent Lighting Control for Stall Glass
  • HVAC Central Control Filter Monitoring
  • Translations; French and Spanish – other languages available upon request.


CitadelTM Shooting Stall 

Action Target introduces the CitadelTM shooting stall to its industry-leading shooting stalls lineup. The Citadel has beautiful floor-to-ceiling LED lighting that accents its modern design, showcasing its strong lines and customizable bold materials that will enhance the look and feel of any range to a high level of modern sophistication. It integrates seamlessly with Action Target’s smart range AXISTM system, giving you full control over lighting levels, color, and retriever settings–enhancing the overall experience of shooters at the range. The new stall also features a holographic lane number projection system that can be customized to meet the specific branding needs of your business and range facility. Your shooters will appreciate its deeper footprint, which is perfect for those who desire the fortitude of privacy while they shoot. At the same time, sizeable ballistic glass panels provide a high level of visibility to promote safety on the range.


Modular Small Arms Range/s

Action Target has built thousands of ranges around the world over the past four decades. Our range products span every environment and meet the needs of the simplest and most advanced training facilities in the world. Now, we have partnered with CoverSix, the leader in customized modular buildings, to redefine Modular Small Arms Ranges. Together with Action Target, CoverSix with its extensive expertise in custom modular construction, commits its expertise to the next evolution of shooting range technology with three configurations to meet the industry’s needs. The Arcas EXT, Arcas MBL, and Arcas DLX configurations create a framework designed to support all the necessary equipment on the range, with the same expectations as a traditional construction method. Each Arcas is made to order and once delivered, projects can be assembled and commissioned in weeks rather than months or years.


Simulation Powered by VirTraTM 

Action Target has teamed up with VirTra Inc.  to provide the necessary simulation training solutions often required as part of its customers training facilities. This agreement facilitates the combining of expertise from both companies, allowing for an assortment of Action Target’s indoor/outdoor live shooting ranges and VirTra’s simulation training and curriculum. Action Target is excited to team up with this global provider of judgmental use of force training simulators, firearms training simulators and driving simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets. The company’s patented technologies, software, and scenarios provide intense training for de-escalation, judgmental use-of-force, marksmanship, and related training that mimics real-world situations.


PT RangerTM 

The PT RangerTM is an extremely tough, portable, and rapidly deployable steel target base. Like its little brother, the PT Scout, the Ranger is highly portable and requires no setup tools. No matter where you shoot, the built-in handle and easily collapsible features makes transporting the Ranger a breeze, while allowing the shooter to deploy multiple targets quickly–without losing precious shooting time. Its modular parts are easily replaceable, increasing its life from damage sustained in harsh shooting environments. Current owners of the PT Scout will enjoy that the Ranger can also be used with the existing lineup of the PT Scout head plates. Action Target is also introducing five new steel silhouette targets exclusively designed for the Ranger–


Action Target Range Services

Operating a shooting range can be extremely demanding and we are aware of the unique challenges that come with range ownership. Action Target has spent decades developing products and services that simplify the process for range owners with a full turnkey solution. When it comes to maintaining a range, your dedicated Action Target Territory Manager is structured to provide industry-leading support and preventative maintenance to keep your range running at peak performance. We offer the most efficient, comprehensive, and convenient services available. Our new proprietary equipment and processes ensure minimal range downtime and with our competitive and transparent pricing, you maintain control of your services value. Action Target can streamline your range needs giving you more time to focus on building your business. From scheduled maintenance visit discounts, improved cleanings times to 1-day, managing metals recycling and OSHA and EPA compliance documentation, Action Target’s services maximize your operational value and so much more.


About Action Target Inc. 

Action Target is the leading global expert on modern shooting ranges. Since 1986, the company has partnered with thousands of range owners worldwide to design, install and maintain world-class shooting ranges, systems, and equipment for law enforcement, military, educational, commercial, and residential markets. Action Target’s range solutions include dynamic range designs, shoot houses, modular ranges, shooting stalls, target carriers, target retrievers, reactive targets, superior bullet traps integrated with eco-friendly low maintenance systems, and the new Smart Range AXISTM range control system. As the industry’s foremost turnkey solution provider, Action Target also offers custom ventilation equipment, security systems, and a comprehensive selection of range services. These Services include shooter training courses, parts, and maintenance programs, rubber trap cleaning, metals recycling, hazardous waste and filter disposal, and an online store for range supplies. Learn more about Action Target at


About NSSF SHOT Show

NSSF’s annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting, and law enforcement industries. It is the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from 50 states and more than 100 countries. The show is owned and sponsored by NSSF and is produced and managed by ConvExx. Visit the show online at


Media Contact

Nick Stewart, Marketing Manager




PROVO, UTAH – January 11, 2022 – Action Target Inc., the global leader in modern live-fire shooting ranges announced a teaming agreement with VirTra Inc., the global leader of judgmental and use-of-force firearms training simulators. Under this agreement, the two companies will work together to provide the industry with best-in-class solutions for both simulation training systems and live-fire shooting ranges.


Action Target provides the broadest end-to-end solution for live-fire shooting range facilities for law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets worldwide. This teaming agreement with VirTra will further expand Action Target’s capabilities and provide the necessary simulation solutions often required as part of our customer’s training facilities.


“Action Target is excited to join forces with VirTra, a like-minded global leader and innovator,” said Action Target CEO Mike Birch. “We believe in working with companies, such as VirTra that share not only our core values but also possess the leadership and experience to provide best-in-class product solutions to meet the demands of our industry.”


More than 400 law enforcement and military locations, spanning local police and the federal government currently use VirTra simulators to improve judgment, critical thinking, communication skills, and decision-making during highly stressful encounters. Bringing together both companies’ expertise will allow for an unmatched innovative assortment of training solutions from Action Target and VirTra.


About Action Target Inc.

Action Target is the leading global expert on modern shooting ranges. Since 1986, the company has partnered with thousands of range owners worldwide to design, install and maintain world-class shooting ranges, systems, and equipment for law enforcement, military, educational, commercial, and residential markets. Action Target provides range solutions and services for indoor/outdoor shooting ranges, modular ranges, and shoot houses. Products supported include ballistic shooting stall, smart target retrievers, reactive targets, steel and rubber berm bullet traps, enclosure baffles, security systems, lighting, ventilation, Smart Range AXISTM range control system and 3-year warranty on key products. As the industry’s broadest end-to-end solution provider, Action Target also offers a comprehensive selection of aftermarket range service including parts, and maintenance programs, rubber trap cleaning, metals recycling, hazardous waste and filter disposal, and an online store for range supplies. Learn more about Action Target at


About VirTra

VirTra (NASDAQ: VTSI) is a global provider of judgmental use of force training simulators, firearms training simulators and driving simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets. The company’s patented technologies, software, and scenarios provide intense training for de-escalation, judgmental use-of-force, marksmanship, and related training that mimics real-world situations. VirTra’s mission is to save and improve lives worldwide through practical and highly effective virtual reality and simulator technology. Learn more about the company at


Media Contact

Nick Stewart


How to Clean up Lead in a Home Indoor Shooting Range

As with any indoor shooting range, the one in your home exposes you to lead, which can pose some problems. 

The metal, which is found in bullets and primers, can harm your brain, gut, and reproductive organs in the long run. So how can you clean up the lead without the adverse effects?

Here’s how to clean up lead in a home indoor shooting range:

  • Wear personal protective equipment.
  • Turn on the ventilation system. 
  • Avoid inappropriate cleaning methods.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Do wet cleaning in the absence of a HEPA vacuum.
  • Do post-cleaning activities to reduce contamination. 
  • Monitor lead levels every six months.
  • Opt for range practices that minimize lead contamination. 

You may need to keep reading if you don’t want to get contaminated with the lead, so let’s get started.

1. Wear Personal Protective Equipment

When you fire a gun, it ends up vaporizing the lead from the bullet and primer. If you’re not careful, you can easily breathe it in or swallow it. 

You can even end up ingesting lead if you eat or drink in your home range. That said, you must put on full battle gear before you start cleaning.

Here is the equipment you need to wear when cleaning, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): 

  • Tight-fitting respirator with P100 filters, as lead easily passes through paper masks.
  • Face shield
  • Vented goggles 
  • Full-body work clothing, such as a coverall or disposable suit.
  • Gloves
  • Head and foot covers   

2. Turn on the Ventilation System

Since lead dust can become airborne during cleaning, you need to turn your system on before starting. Ideally, it should have a push-pull system as this will help move the lead toward the exhaust. 

For best results, your vent should have the following characteristics as well: 

  • High-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter
  • It should be separated from the rest of the home.
  • Not feeding air into the other rooms inside your house.

Additionally, you should inspect and maintain your vent at least every three months. You should also replace the filters every quarter.

3. Avoid Inappropriate Cleaning Methods

You can’t just clean your indoor range like you would any part of your house. For one, you mustn’t dry sweep, brush, or shovel the area. Nor should you use compressed air to clean the room. 

Doing any of these will stir up the settled lead in the range. This, of course, places you at a higher risk of breathing or ingesting the dust. 

4. Use a Vacuum Cleaner with a HEPA Filter

You should clean your indoor range regularly, especially if you use it often. 

The gold standard for doing so is to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. This machine works by forcing air into a mesh that traps lead dust and other particulates.  

You can use your vacuum to clean up these areas every week: 

  • Floor to ceiling, except for the bullet trap 
  • Top of the target track
  • Stall glass/area
  • Booth glass 

Here are the other areas you should vacuum every month: 

  • The rear of range, including behind the bullet trap
  • Hallway/area outside of weekly cleaning area
  • Fan shroud in the cleaning area

5. Do Wet Cleaning in the Absence of a HEPA Vacuum

If you don’t have a vacuum with a HEPA filter, you can still clean your range safely through the wet cleaning method. When you use a wet cleaning agent, you can remove the lead dust safely without spreading it around and causing more contamination throughout your home. We suggest using one of our D-Lead solutions, as well as swiffers or rags that can be immediately disposed of using proper hazardous material methods.

Most range owners go for a high-phosphate cleaning substance as they are more effective. 

Even without a HEPA vacuum, you can reduce lead hazards by wet cleaning the areas mentioned above. 

6. Do Post-Cleaning Activities to Reduce Contamination

Now that you’ve cleaned the lead in your range, you should be careful NOT to bring these particles home. Before you leave the range, you might want to change your clothes so you can avoid accidentally putting lead particles everywhere. 

For best results, you should shower as well. 

If this isn’t possible, you should at least wash your face and hands. You should also use a decontamination wipe, as it can remove at least 98% of the lead on your body.

Another option is using specialized hand wipes, which can indicate whether or not you’ve washed the lead off effectively. For best results, hygienist Alice Weber recommended using two wipes each for the face and hands.  

Proper disposal is key to preventing contamination as well. Make sure to dispose of your disposable coveralls properly, as you would the trash in the range. If they’re reusable, place them in a secure plastic bag. 

Make sure to wash them separately from the rest of your garments. 

7. Monitor Lead Levels Every Six Months

Even if you clean your range regularly, you have to monitor its lead levels at least every six months. 

The easiest way to do this is to buy a lead test kit.

Another method is to check the air concentration of lead in your range, which you can do with an air sampling pump and membrane filter. The range is deemed safe if the levels read below AL of 30 µg/m3 or PEL of 50 µg/m3.

If you use your range frequently, you’ll want to undergo blood lead level monitoring regularly. This will help you prevent any lead-related health complications. 

Keep in mind: A level of AL of 30 µg/m3 is enough to cause blood pressure problems and reproductive system issues. 

8. Opt for Range Practices That Minimize Lead Contamination

Cleaning lead from a home range can be taxing, if not expensive. But if you want to reduce the hazard further, then you should follow these helpful practices:

  • Use copper/nylon-clad bullets or non-lead primers made from mannitol hexanitrate.
  • Use jacketed bullets in case you need to use a conventional primer. 
  • Avoid utilizing angled back straps with your sand traps. 
  • Cast or reload bullets in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid eating or drinking in your indoor range.
  • If you need to bring a water bottle in the range (though it’s best you don’t), make sure it’s tightly closed.
  • Don’t install carpets, as it will be hard to remove the lead that will accumulate here. 

Contact Action Target Today

Lead is harmful to health. By following these cleaning techniques, you can keep yourself, and your family, safe from contamination. 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 Are Indoor Shooting Ranges Made? Process Explained

If you’ve been to a shooting range before, you’d know they all have a similar design. Ranges allow you to learn and practice shooting a gun without much risk of injury. But you might wonder how shooting ranges are made. 

Indoor shooting ranges are typically made in standalone buildings or basements with limited access. Ranges must be built with materials that don’t allow bullets to ricochet or travel through the walls. Indoor ranges have very specific design regulations that must be followed to maintain safety. 

Let’s look at how indoor shooting ranges are built in more detail. 

Materials Used for Building Indoor Shooting Ranges

The most common materials used to make indoor shooting ranges are steel, rubber, and concrete. These are used to line the wall, floor, and ceiling of a shooting range to catch bullets and prevent injury from ricochet. 

Rubber is a very common material used to catch bullets, especially with smaller ranges. It’s made to capture bullets upon impact rather than allowing them to ricochet and hit people.

Rubber is one of the preferred materials for building small low volume indoor shooting range due to its self-healing feature. There isn’t much need for intense maintenance as it’ll form itself back together, allowing it to be reused. It’s cost-effective as it doesn’t need to be replaced as often as other materials. Maintenance and recycling can be performed by certified businesses that follow the OSHA regulations.

Steel is another popular option for shooting ranges. This material can handle a lot more firepower than rubber, thus, commonly used for larger shooting ranges with higher traffic. 

Harden Armor steel is required for shooting ranges., harden steel helps keep the shooter safer by enusuring that Bullets cant penetrate the steel Soft steel is avoided in range because it can penetrate the steel and splatter unpredictably.

How Indoor Shooting Ranges Are Designed

Indoor shooting ranges are designed with safety in mind. This is done by ensuring there’s an exit and entrance in a safe area that won’t put guests at harm. Ranges must also have lanes that allow guests to shoot safely without endangering other people nearby.

Shooting ranges follow a strict design, leaving little room for creative freedom. This is because new ideas can put people at risk of being hurt. So, there are only so many options that designers have when creating shooting range concepts.

Some decisions are left to the designer, like the materials they use, the office and restroom locations, and the position of everything. But they must include every safety aspect.

Safe Access Lanes

There should be no guest-accessible door leading to the lanes where people will be firing. There is meant to be a common area before entering the lanes, allowing guests to get ready to shoot before entering. This keeps guests that are shooting and wandering both safe. 

Prep Area

Between the range and the check-in area, there should be another area for preparations. This is the place where people can get ready to enter the range. Guests will need a place to put on their ear protection and wash their hands before entering. They can also use this area to clean up once they’re done with shooting. 

Ventilation and Soundproofing

Indoor shooting ranges should also have proper ventilation and acoustics to prevent sound from escaping. There are local sound ordinances that have to be met that may change depending on your area. So, it’s essential when designing a shooting range to inquire about sound ordinances first. 

Basic Design Regulations for Indoor Shooting Ranges

Some of the few specifications required for indoor shooting ranges are impenetrable surfaces, no wood in the structure, minimum of 6-inch (15 cm) thick concrete, 12’ high ceilings, and electrical specifications. 

Impenetrable Surfaces 

All surfaces in a shooting range need to be impenetrable, such as:

  • Walls
  • Backdrops
  • Targets 
  • Partitions

Safety is a shooting range’s top priority. To prevent accidents and keep everyone safe, it’s important to ensure all surfaces are impenetrable by a bullet.

One of the least-known regulations of creating a shooting range is that there should be no wood in the construction. Wood is easier for bullets to travel through. So, ranges should avoid it.

This isn’t all that difficult for newly built buildings, but older buildings being turned into a shooting range may not have this option. 

Rather than rebuilding the range, these buildings can be modified to be able to fit the regulations. These wooden walls need to be modified to handle the amount of metal required. Wood also needs to be treated as it can be a fire hazard for an indoor shooting range. 

High Ceilings 

Ceilings for an indoor shooting range need to be at least 10 ft. (2.4 m) tall but ideally 12’ is needed if you plan to install the proper ventilation to ensure good airflow that meets OSHA standards. Good air flow and ventilation reduce air turbulence to ensure air flow travels over and around the shooter to keep contaminants moving downrange to be filtered. Ventilation systems are vital for removing contaminants from the air caused by firing a gun. Higher ceilings allow for the ventilation system to be effective by reducing air turbulence. 

Thick Concrete Walls 

All concrete walls at indoor shooting ranges must be a minimum of 6 inches (15 cm) thick. This thickness specification is vital for being able to stop bullets from traveling through the wall. Concrete does a better job of stopping a bullet than wood, but the thickness of the wall can help make indoor ranges safer. 

Electrical Regulations

This regulation is relevant for all building regulations, but it differs slightly for indoor shooting ranges. Not only is ventilation vital to keep shooters safe, but electrical requirements have to be met as well. 

These requirements involve having:

  • The ability to keep the lighting on and bright so shooters can see very clearly 
  • Heat or air usable in the shooting range
  • Targets remotely controlled without issue to keep workers out of the range lanes and out of danger

This may not seem like a lot, but the range can’t run without being able to power each of these things. So, there are many more regulations for indoor ranges because electricity is required to ensure the safety of the guests and workers. 

Contact Action Target Today

Indoor shooting ranges are made with safety as the first priority. Many regulations need to be met to run a range. Design specifications are left up to the designer, but with so many regulations, most ranges have a similar setup. 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 Much Does It Cost to Build an Indoor Shooting Range?

You have decided to turn your passion for firearms into a business and want to build an indoor shooting range. 

There are a lot of things you need to plan on, and there are probably even more questions that will arise throughout the process. One of the biggest initial questions you will want answered is: How much does it cost to build an indoor shooting range?

Generally speaking, building a private indoor shooting range will cost anywhere from $10,000 to $400K. A commercial indoor shooting range will likely cost more than $4 million. There are many additional expenses that go into an indoor shooting range. 

Keep reading through the rest of the post to find out more of the specifics that will help give you a better idea of how much it costs to build an indoor shooting range. Your expenses will be much more than just the cost of the building.

How Much It Costs to Build a Commercial Indoor Shooting Range

Starting an indoor commercial shooting range isn’t an investment to be taken lightly – it’s going to cost a lot. Just how much?

Generally speaking, a commercial range will cost upwards of $3-4 million. The cost of building an indoor shooting range will vary; depending on location, building a new or modifying an existing building, materials, permitting or licensing required, and what technology you outfit your range with.

Below we’ll cover more of the specific expenses that can be anticipated when building an indoor shooting range.

Buying a Location for a Shooting Range

There is an old cliche in real estate, something about location. Whether you buy an existing building or you build a new one on an empty piece of land, the same thing will cost you significantly more in one state than it will in another. 

It is easy enough to figure out the price per square foot of a property. For example, if the building is 5,000 square feet and costs $500,000, you know that you are paying $100 per square foot. This is probably an unrealistic figure, but knowing this formula will make it easier for you to understand the average commercial real estate rates in your area.

Aside from the cost of the location, you’ll need to consider if the building or property you are purchasing is zoned for a business like a shooting range. More of the specifics on zoning will be detailed later on.

Buying a Building for an Indoor Shooting Range: New or Existing? 

It goes without saying that the building will be one of your largest purchases for an indoor shooting range. Determining whether to build from scratch or purchase an existing building is going to be an important decision to weigh. 

In many cases, it might be more affordable to purchase an existing building for an indoor shooting range. However, if the business that previously occupied the space was not a shooting range, a significant amount of retrofitting and modifications will be required to apply the correct bulletproofing and safety features. 

Whether you go with a new or existing property, you will also need to consider what your space requirements will be. We’ll take a closer look at both options below. 

Using an Existing Building for a Shooting Range

If you decide to go with an existing building, there are many things to look at; by far, the most important consideration will be if the existing building you plan on purchasing can be modified and totally bulletproofed for safety. 

According to guidelines on shooting range construction put forth by the US Department of Energy:

Indoor ranges must be designed so projectiles cannot penetrate the walls, floor, or ceiling, and ricochets or back splatter cannot harm range users. Considerations should be made for cleaning of all surfaces and handling of hazardous wastes.” 

There is no way around this, and it will likely be the most expensive part of utilizing an existing building. Additionally, you will need:

  • Lead collection
  • sound dampening
  • Ventilation

Adding each of these features to your space will be a large expense as well.

Know Everything You Can About a Building’s Construction 

Again, according to the Department of Energy reference above, if possible, you should try to make sure that any existing building purchased to be used as an indoor range has existing, original drawings or blueprints from the architect, engineer, or builder. 

These drawings can save you a major headache when it comes to modifying the building and knowing certain traits like construction materials and load-bearing capacity.

Some Basic Requirements of Indoor Shooting Range Construction

The ceiling and the walls of your building will need to support heavy equipment like steel plates or track systems. Other criteria that need to be considered as per the above reference includes:

  • General Construction Materials. It is recommended that wood and wood products as construction materials should be avoided. And any modifications that you may be able to make to ensure the building is safe will not be cost-effective.
  • Exterior Walls. It is suggested that buildings with walls made of masonry or concrete are optimal. Walls should be at least six inches thick. 
  • Interior Walls. Walls need to be evaluated not only to prevent bullet penetration but to see if they can withstand the heavy load of the necessary range equipment. They also need to be able to contain excessive noise. 
  • Floors. Floors need to be evaluated to determine their capacity load. 
  • Ceilings. Ceilings should be at least 8-feet high and enclosed. 

This is just an overview of what you need to consider. There are very detailed guidelines that need to be followed when preparing an existing space for an indoor range. Research all federal, state, and local requirements and regulations as you start shopping for a location for your shooting range. 

Constructing a New Building for a Shooting Range

Constructing a new building will likely cost more, and it will require all the same specifications as were listed above for existing buildings, with a couple of important advantages:

  • Fully customizable space. You are working with a clean slate and getting to build your shooting range exactly as you like. 
  • Ease of determining budget. The cost of building supplies varies much less than the price of real estate. As long as you already have a place to build, construction costs should be somewhat comparable from state to state.
  • Experienced professionals available. If you are looking for a company or contractor to build a large building for your range, there is no shortage of talent.

You may be surprised to learn that there are many online companies that have great reputations and experience constructing buildings specifically for indoor shooting ranges. 

One of these companies is Range Development Services, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They can help provide a full scope of services and will help you develop your range from the ground up if you want. Their website features some of their past work, and the ranges they have helped design are top of the industry.

Concrete or Steel Construction for Indoor Shooting Ranges

As noted in the Department of Energy Guide, concrete is the ideal construction material for an indoor gun range. Precast concrete is pre-molded into panels and then assembled into whatever building is being constructed. This process of precasting makes concrete buildings significantly cheaper. 

Precast concrete averages $275-$400 a cubic yard. A company that specializes in all kinds of precast buildings is Easi-Set Buildings. They build many different types of precast concrete buildings and have great reviews online.

Many ranges will also opt for steel buildings. Steel may be a good option if shipping costs are a concern for prefabricated concrete. 

MBMI is an experienced company, in their own words, “formed by a group of top steel building professionals who focus on delivering the best products and services possible.”  They fabricate high-quality steel building kits and understand many of the aspects that go into building an indoor shooting range. If you have a good idea of your specifications, they can provide you with a quote.

How Much Space Will an Indoor Shooting Range Require?

As for how much space you will need, there are even more questions to ask in order to determine the size of your range. 

Space needs of an indoor shooting range depend on the number of shooters to be accommodated, how many lanes to build, whether retail space is wanted and what type of guns will be permitted on the range. 

Number of Shooters and Lanes

Know how many people you want to host on the range at once. It is recommended that each lane at an indoor shooting range is approximately 5 ft wide in order to provide a safe distance between shooters. 

For instance, if you want to be able to accommodate ten shooters at a time, that is going to add up to a minimum of 50 ft of width you’ll need for the range.

Retain Space

Most shooting ranges make a large portion of their income through the sale or rental of firearms and sale of ammunition. This space will be for displaying products or inventory, and it will require a space that is completely segregated from the rest of the range. This will also include customer service counters and offices. 

For this, you’ll probably want at least 1,500 square feet. Every square foot of space will cost you more for your build. 

Gun Types Permitted on the Range

If you plan on allowing your patrons to fire rifles and longer-range weapons, then you will probably want to make your building as long as possible. Some newer ranges have even built 100-yard indoor rifle ranges.  If you only plan on allowing pistols, then you won’t need as much length.

These questions all need to be answered in order to determine what size of building or property you will need to purchase.

What Zoning Code Is Required for Indoor Shooting Ranges?

Before you commit to a property for your shooting range, zoning should be the first item to look at on your list. Zoning is a local law that applies to properties and their uses. 

Oftentimes, in zoning ordinances, there is no specification about gun ranges being an allowable use for a property. This is something that needs to be confirmed depending on the location of the intended shooting range. 

It is important to get zoning clarified and make sure you can be given a guarantee that your property will be allowed to operate as a shooting range. If a property is not zoned for a shooting range, it doesn’t mean it is impossible. There are ways to work around local zoning ordinances or get them amended. But again, it is important to know what the laws are regarding this before you commit to a property.

Does a Shooting Range Require a Federal Firearms License?

Anyone who operates a range will tell you that paperwork, licensing, and regulations are key in running a safe and legal business. What about a Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL)?

A shooting range is not required to hold an FFL just to operate as a range but, ranges that rent firearms or sell ammunition or firearms need to hold a Type 1 Federal Firearms License. A Type 1 federal firearms license will cost $200 for the first three years and $90 every year following.

You can apply for a federal firearms license through There is an application fee, and the process will include a review, background check, interview, and a final review. This whole process generally takes about two months.

What Kind of Permit Is Needed to Open an Indoor Gun Range?

To find out exactly what your requirements will be when it comes to various permits and licensing, you should contact your local government. Starting with your local city or county and state. This will likely involve more annual fees depending on where you live and should be accounted for. 

After talking to these local governments, it isn’t a bad idea to call the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as well. The ATF has many resources online and can probably answer any questions you may have about licensing on a federal level.

What Insurance Does an Indoor Gun Range Need?

Like any business that allows the public into its space, your indoor gun range is going to need insurance. And, since firearms bring with them an inherent liability risk, an indoor range needs some special coverage.

Gun range insurance coverage protects any or all of the following:

  • Firearms liability
  • Commercial property loss
  • Commercial general liability
  • Workers’ compensation claims
  • Weather-related disasters 
  • Fire or flood
  • Personal liability
  • Lead pollution liability

On average, insurance estimates for a smaller range or gun club will likely cost between $87-$129 a month for insurance, according to General Liability Insurance

This is likely to increase depending on the size of your range, the amount of coverage, and any other bells-and-whistles you add to your policy, such as cybersecurity coverage or communicable disease liability coverage. 

If you are serious about building this shooting range, then it should be no surprise to you that you are going to need some serious insurance. Experienced shooters are usually well educated about the inherent risk involved with guns, but even with proper training, there is always at least a minimal level of danger involved with firearms and the general public. 

How to Make an Indoor Shooting Range Safe

This subject has been saved for last because there is the most information to cover. There will also be a large number of links for products and services.

There are many companies in the United States that specialize in outfitting indoor shooting ranges for maximum safety, and they are very passionate about what they do. Some of these businesses can even help you figure out most of the other logistics and planning details required to open a shooting range.

Range Systems and Products

As there is a lot of equipment and products involved here, this is going to be a significant expense on top of buying your property or constructing your building. Most of these necessary products are at least some degree of bullet-resistant, and as such, they will be made from expensive materials.

There are companies that are leading this industry and are able to answer most, if not all, questions you may have and provide any product you will need to maximize safety for your indoor range. But no company does it better than Action Target.

Action Target, out of Provo, Utah, provides any of the range safety outfitting you’ll need as well as cleaning, testing, and monitoring services any range will need throughout its lifetime. They supply these products and services for commercial, military, law enforcement, and private shooting ranges. They have an extensive list of past clients, foreign and domestic.

Safety Products and Services an Indoor Shooting Range Needs

As for all the products the above companies provide, there are a wide variety of styles and construction materials. You’ll have to shop around and find what works for your business’s budget and needs. 

The products listed below are necessary for safe operations:

  • Ceiling Guards or Ceiling Baffles
  • Lane Dividers
  • Bullet Traps
  • Lead Collection
  • Ventilation
  • Sound Dampening
  • Target Systems

These products will surely add up to large expenses for your range, but they are all important. Continuing on, we’ll cover what these items are and what their purpose is at an indoor shooting range.

Are Ceiling Guards or Baffles Needed for an Indoor Range?

Baffles are hung from overhead and are meant to keep your ceiling, lighting fixtures, target carrying systems, HVAC ducts, and plumbing or fire suppression lines from being shot while also preventing bullets shot at the ceiling from going outside. 

When installed properly, ceiling baffles will not leave any exposed spots in your ceiling, saving you enormous costs compared to the other option of capping your whole roof with concrete. The materials they are made from, and their installation methods vary a little from company to company, but they do the same job.

Action Target ceiling baffles are constructed with a combination of wood, steel, and acoustic tile to help reduce sound. We have two types of baffles rated for different classes of firearms, depending on what is allowed at your range.

Does an Indoor Shooting Range Need Lane Dividers/Shooting Stalls?

Stalls are important to keep your patrons separated by a barrier as they are shooting downrange. They can also prevent injuries from accidental discharges while patrons are on the firing line.

Although the concept is the same for any of these products, they all differ slightly when it comes to bells and whistles or materials they are made out of. Some are made transparent, while others offer more privacy

For example, Action Target’s American Series Stall is a high-quality version of this shooting stall. It provides 6-foot-wide walls to maximize privacy, and the walls have an acoustic design that helps dampen sound from shots of adjacent shooters, as well as minimize muzzle blasts, or the shockwaves, from guns being fired. It can also be customized with overhead lights, a nice feature that many dimly lit indoor ranges could use.

What Is a Bullet Trap and Why Is It Needed?

A bullet trap at the end of your range is not merely a bulletproof wall. 

The goal of the bullet trap is in the name; it is meant to trap or catch bullets at the end of their trajectory, where they would otherwise hit a wall. The bullet trap also aids in:

  • Air quality
  • Lead management
  • Noise control
  • Patron safety

Bullet trapping systems like Action Target’s Total Containment Trap are made out of modular parts, making them easy and more affordable to replace as they wear down. Not only does our system safely decelerate all rounds fired into them, but it also catches bullets and collects them in buckets, making the whole process of Lead Collection easier and safer. 

Why Is Lead Collection at an Indoor Shooting Range Required?

An indoor shooting range is going to produce a lot of lead. And range owners need to take care of that, of course.

Collecting lead, either through systems or services, will keep hazardous airborne lead particles to a minimum, preventing contamination and preventing your employees and patrons from getting sick. 

If you have a built-in lead collection, as is included with bullet traps like the ones linked above, this necessary task of disposing of hazardous material like lead can be much easier. In addition to systems that collect lead, Action Target that can provide:

  • Monitoring for lead migration. 
  • Train your employees for the safe handling of lead.
  • Test your employee’s blood levels for lead. 
  • Can help you develop your business’s practices for cleaning, decontamination, and disposal of lead.

Lead collection and disposal are very important for safety, but you can also recycle your collected lead for money as a nice perk.

Why Is Ventilation Required at an Indoor Shooting Range?

Again, ranges are going to produce a lot of lead. Into the bullet trap, but also into the air.

Ventilation systems can:

  • Help keep lead particles out of the air.
  • Provide clean air for patrons and employees. 
  • Help your range meet levels of compliance that are required by the standards of inspection agencies like OSHA and the EPA.

Depending on your climate, you will also need heating, air conditioning, or both, in addition to air filtration. Action Target is able to provide these systems as well as the maintenance they need. 

In terms of cost, expect to pay anywhere between $25,000 to $35,000 or more per lane for a proper ventilation system. 

Why Is Sound Dampening at an Indoor Range Important?

Minimizing harmful noise is a feature you will have to implement in order to meet OSHA, as well as other government agencies, standards for noise control and hearing protection. 

Soundproofing companies will have a variety of acoustic materials to reduce sound, such as:

  • Sound-absorbing blankets
  • Acoustic foam panels
  • Mass-loaded vinyl barriers
  • Polyester panels

An experienced and reputable soundproofing company should also guarantee that their work will meet OSHA and other government agencies’ standards.

What Are Target Systems and Why Do You Need Them?

Target systems allow shooters to place targets down range and position them at various distances without themselves walking down range, either safely holding all other shooters up or not safely creating a dangerous situation for themselves and others. 

Without a target system, patrons checking their targets will be a huge hindrance to everyone, if not impossible. With a target system, a shooter can safely evaluate their target after every round fired if they wanted to.

Action Target has multiple target retrieval systems available, and their upgradable options include many modern technologies like wireless operation, network connectivity for diagnostics, as well as cameras that can allow the shooter to check their shots on target at further distances.

Indoor Shooting Ranges Are Expensive to Build for a Reason

After you have acquired your commercial or private property, there are still many more costs that go into building and maintaining an indoor shooting range. Keeping patrons and employees safe will require a large sum of money, but that is not a cost that should be in question if you want to get into this business. 

Due to the nature of firearms, you are going to need a lot of rugged materials and equipment that can stand up to gunfire, and these durable qualities are not inexpensive. In the long run, these expenses will keep all of your patrons and employees safe and allow your business to thrive.

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


Is There Ricochet When Shooting Steel Targets?

Many people have a common misconception about shooting steel targets: there is always a ricochet, and bullets end up flying everywhere. This fear is rooted in a general misunderstanding that non-gun owners have about bullets and steel targets. In reality, when used properly, steel targets have a very low ricochet risk.

There can be ricochet when shooting steel targets if the wrong ammo is used on the wrong target. With proper precautions, ricochets are extremely rare and not harmful. When shooting steel, you must use an undamaged armour steel target, the correct ammo, and stand a safe distance from your target. 

If you read the instructions accompanying your steel target and adhere to its guidelines, the risk of ricochet accidents is significantly reduced. In the article that follows, we will discuss more specifics about ricochets and steel targets. If you have questions about how to avoid these dangerous accidents, then continue reading to learn more. 

How to Avoid Ricochet When Shooting Steel Targets

Shooting steel targets has quickly become a prevalent form of target practice. While paper and cardboard targets are fun and shooting clay pigeons is a challenge, few things are more rewarding than the loud sound of a steel target being struck. 

The risk of being hit by a ricocheting bullet off a steel target is low, but it can happen. 

The number one rule to being safe when shooting steel is to follow directions and be careful. Unfortunately, most shooting accidents happen as a result of carelessness and disregard. 

Use the Right Ammo

Steel targets are designed to absorb the impact of a bullet and destroy it on impact. However, if you use the wrong ammo type, the steel may not be thick or strong enough to destroy the bullet.

Also, consider the solidity of your ammunition, as some bullets may be too hard to be fully absorbed by your steel target. 

Know What Your Steel Target Can Handle

Most steel targets are made of AR 500 or AR 550 steel. These are some of the best money can buy, will last longer, and absorb more bullets than other steel targets. 

For example, this Highwild 3/8″ AR500 12″ Classic Popper from provides high visibility and is suitable for “most pistols and rifle calibers.” It’s under $50, and it’s ready to go right out of the box.

It’s also important to know how thick your target is and what bullets it is rated for. 

Some targets are meant for handguns or shotguns, while others are capable of handling rifle impacts. 

These High Caliber AR500 Geometric Steel Targets come in a range of thicknesses from ¼ to ½ inches (6.35 – 12.7 mm), with the thickest option suited to everything from a classic 9mm to a 12-gauge slug buck.

Read the instructions that come with each target and if you’re still not sure, contact a firearms expert. They will be able to inform you as to the best way to use your target. 

Angle Your Steel Target Appropriately

angling your target in a downward direction is recommended to reduce splatter and extend life. This ensures that the only path the ricochet has to go when the bullet strikes is down into the ground. 

This is a helpful safety tip to remember. 

Factors That Can Reduce the Risk of Ricochet

The number one cause of ricochet accidents is people not knowing what they’re doing. If you use the wrong gun or ammo with the wrong target, you significantly increase your risk for an accident. 

If you adhere to the directions of your target and are still worried about ricochet, here are a few things you can do to ensure safety. 

Only Use Targets Certified As AR 500 or AR 550

Steel targets made of this steel will ensure that you have a high-quality target capable of handling multiple types of weapons and ammo.  

While you can use AR500 or AR550 targets for pistol shooting, the heavier AR550 plates are better suited for rifle practice and last longer without pitting or damaging a rifle range. 

ALWAYS Check Your Ammo

The best type of ammo to use for shooting steel targets is FMJ (full metal jacket). As a general rule, the softer the bullet is, the better. 

If your bullet is too hard, you risk dinging or denting the steel target, making it more of a liability. Avoid using armor-piercing rounds and steel rounds which are more likely to cause ricochets.  

Stand the Correct Distance Away From the Target

This is perhaps the most important rule to remember. If you stand far enough away from your steel target, you significantly reduce the risk of being hit by a stray ricochet. 

The distance you’ll want to maintain when shooting steel targets depends on what kind of gun you’re shooting with. For shotguns, stand at least 30 yards away. When shooting with rifles, stand at least 100 yards away.

Make Sure Your Target Is Not Damaged in Any Way

If your target is old and beat up, or if you use the wrong ammo and damage your target, stop using it. A damaged target is a recipe for disaster. 

If a bullet should hit the steel target in a damaged area, the steel may be too compromised to absorb the bullet’s impact. 

Additionally, dings or dents could send a ricochet in an unpredictable direction, further putting yourself and anyone with you at risk. 

Following directions, being cautious, and using the above safety techniques will help you avoid nearly all ricochet accidents. 

Weapon Guidelines for Avoiding Ricochet 

Every gun is made differently and uses different ammo calibers, but listed below are general guidelines to remember when shooting steel targets. 

Handgun Guidelines

When shooting steel targets with a handgun, a minimum distance of 25 yards (22.86 m) should be kept between you and your target. 

This may vary depending on the type of gun and steel target you use, though, so always check before pulling the trigger.

Shotgun Guidelines

A minimum distance of 25 yards (22.86 m) should be maintained between the shooter and their steel target when using shotguns. 

Once again, this may vary from target to target and from gun to gun, but 25 yards (22.86 m) is an excellent standard to have.

Rifle Guidelines

When it comes to shooting steel targets with rifles, more caution is necessary. 

Rifles are often more potent than shotguns and handguns and use larger bullets. Therefore, a minimum distance of 100 yards (91.44 m) should be kept between you and your target when using a rifle. 

Contact Action Target Today

Shooting steel targets is a great and fun way to hone your firearm skills. As long as you are aware of the risks that accompany this activity and how to mitigate them, shooting steel targets is relatively safe. 

Remember to use the right ammo, have a high-quality AR material and undamaged target, and stand a safe distance away. If you follow each of these steps in conjunction with your steel targets instructions, then you should be able to enjoy an accident-free day at the range!

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


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