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Above-ground pipe, 3 ft diameter, with a target rail thing? Then one end in a berm built up with clay and hard structure inside?

Edit. Might help reduce reports a bit, especially if you could wrap insulation n stuff on outside, basically a giant silencer tube but not attached to guns :s0140:
Instead of insulation, cover it with dirt to deaden the sound
Lots of good info in the thread. I'm building a personal 20 yard range in a new building right now, in the basement if you will. Here's the plan I put in place.

Physical construction:
20 yard single pistol bay, 12' wide and 9' ceilings
In a "daylight basement". 16" Concrete walls on all sides, ceiling and slab (its all structural for the upstairs on grade garage.)
Floors and walls will be epoxy sealed.
Entry door is a 40" commercial steel exterior door (opens into adjacent indoor space)

Outside air inlet louver that powers open when range is turned on and air enters behind the shooter, drawn in by the exhaust fan draws clean air to the dirty end of the range. Just over 5000 CFM flow, in an air tunnel that will be about 8.5' wide x 9' tall. No heat or air, just have to suck it up.

More light than you think, good lighting on the targets and at the range bench. Also able to control each light independently to practice with low light and Night Vision. The baffles and tires will adsorb a lot of light, so using double the amount you would normally use.

Brass collection
Brass collection baffles on the right side of the shooter. Saves picking up brass off the floor and consolidates any mess into one easier to clean space.

Sound attenuation:
Sound escaping the bay isn't a huge issue, its a concrete room inside of building and 3 sides are underground and this is a rural location.
Duct work will have a cleanable sound attenuator in the duct along with several changes of direction to depress the Sound Pressure Level
Sound in the space is a huge concern - I don't like shooting inside. "Luckily" we have a huge pile of car tires at our outdoor test range. We're going to line the concrete walls with tires stacked horizontally, and fill with rubber mulch. The tires will be stacked in a zig zag pattern so the wall isn't straight, which helps mitigate sound. The beams on the ceiling will have rubber baffles

Target Bullet trap - a commercial movable target collection box
Backstop. A 2 layer deep of tires as a back up bullet stop. Front facing tires will be filled with rubber mulch. Back row, will be filled with 1.25-1.5" gravel, finally there is the 16" of concrete, which should never see a bullet fragment.

Clean up:
HEPA filtered shop vac - no brooms, no compressed air.
Delead wipes and hand washing outside the range.

Just some of the things I've researched and been around. Relatively low cost solution, except for a the building shell (but we're doing that anyways). We have a 200 yard outdoor range already, and use that for rifle and pistol. Just really want the ability to practice and train indoors during poor weather.
+1 to underground. You could also look into building an isolation box for the shooter - basically a soundproofed box to soak up most of the noise. Then you would limit the amount of soundproofing needed for the rest of the range length.

Whatever you build, make sure you aren't running afoul of your property's zoning. Last thing you want is to deal with a legal battle over it.
Invite the inspectors to come and try it out!
Ventilation? Bullet Trap? Just toss some sandbags and packing blankets underground.


I've never attempted to soundproof out for a range, but in doing some sound proofing for loud music years ago, the main thing I learned was simply to get all surfaces.

I tried some of the professional products (vinyl and special batts - never tried the glue) and both seemed to work, but not that much better than rockwool insulation, layers of carpet or even just a number of towels stacked 5 or 10 (can't remember how many I used inside the window frames). The professional products may be a little denser/better, but not enough to justify the price tag IMO.

I did go for the rockwool insulation above and below though for sound reduction and fire resistance, so a win-win there.

The biggest enemy though was simply leaving any surface unchecked. Below the floor, windows, & door, but once all surfaces were accounted for, sound escape was dramatically reduced, so I'd say do some testing with whatever you can find that's cheap to ensure it will work for the specific purpose and make sure you cover all surfaces before having some fun.
@Sporting Systems thank you very much for going through all your details. Seems like I am on the right track in alot of ways and there's a few ideas in there for me to. I am trying to take up a lot less space then you have available though.

@nwfirepdx I have been hunting craigslist and market place and have gotten rockwool at half off green glue for about 1/3 the cost and 4x12 5/8 sheetrock at 5$ a sheet I also have a decent pile of lumber to use before I have to buy anything. Being a fresh build I can make sure every inch gets the treatment as I go, but your absolutely right it's only as good as your least insulated area.
Only problem is his yard was not wide enough so the tunnels actually went under the neighbors property also. That probably wasn't too smart.

There are probably more of these surreptitious neighborhood gun "ranges" in existence than we might imagine.

I remember reading a news story somewhere about a guy who kept hearing a periodic thumping sound in his house. He never could locate the source of this noise. Later, it was discovered that his next door neighbor had built an underground gun range that extended onto this neighbor's property and under the house.

My mother lived in a residential suburban neighborhood. Her home was built on an irregular shaped block; accordingly, some of the left-over land in the middle had been apportioned out to several of the individual lots. Including my mother's, whose land abutted another neighbor with a similar sized lot. For years, the owner kept a bunch of hot rods back there. Then the owners must've changed, because the cars disappeared and the space was taken up with a big, new garage. Which was built like a fortress, no windows, weird ventilation ducts on the roof, etc. Then one time when I was visiting, I looked over the block wall and noticed a couple of small holes in the back of the building. Then it dawned on me, the guy had built himself in indoor range. Since the bullet holes didn't face my mother's property, I didn't say anything about it.

One more anecdote. When I was a child, our back fence neighbor worked for the telephone company. His garage faced our back yard. He piled stacks of telephone pole cross beams behind his garage. Years later, I learned from another neighbor (who was a co-conspirator you might say) that the purpose of the beams was to serve as a safety back stop for shooting that they were doing inside the garage. It faced right into our yard where I'd be. I never heard a pop.

Hey, people like to shoot.

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