Unfortunately, there is not a comprehensive resource to help do-it-yourselfers construct their own shooting ranges. (Though there are a number of YouTube vides on the Internet, of varying quality, that do offer some instruction.)
However, resources do exist. The National Rifle Association, for example, has a large department dedicated to the building and maintenance of shooting ranges, called Shooting Range Services.
Likewise, the National Shooting Sports Foundation offers a wealth of resources in the form of its Shooting Ranges program.
Of course, both these programs are aimed at the commercial or public shooting range. Still, the general information about what goes into the building of a shooting range, the safety considerations and various legal concerns can only be a help to the prospective backyard range builder.
While most retailers are not in the position to offer professional advice on how to construct a range, a retailer would do well to let customers know of the above help. It might help them avoid some problems.
Just ask Miles Hall, co-owner of H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A while ago, a regular customer came in searching for a steel target to use at an informal range he wanted to construct himself. Hall’s staff helped him select one and the customer left happy with his new purchase.
He wasn’t so happy when he returned.
“The customer and his friends set up the target near their truck, not in front of a berm,” Hall says. “They went through a box or two of ammunition. When they got done? They discovered that bullet fragments had put four holes in the truck’s radiator!”
Hall adds, “Now, we always tell our customers — make sure you set up these targets in front of a berm or some other protective barrier!”