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Building a shooting pit at home


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I have finally gotten a go-ahead to use the back field of our families property to train for uspsa matches, and I have a question that maybe other's who have helped build home-ranges can answer:

What do you do about grass and brass? I'm going to have to mow the area at first since it is all tall grass but have no intention of leaving the shooting area covered in grass since brass will still escape me with ease. My game plan was to simply tarp the whole area in 6 mil black plastic tarp (http://www.amazon.com/TRM-620B-20x100-black-visqueen/dp/B00GBAVB1A) figured that 40'x100' should be plenty large enough of a shooting area for my needs. Gravel or sand would be too expensive and weeds would inevitably make their way through it eventually, whereas with the black plastic tarp nothing will be growing under there. Shooting and running around on a tarp might feel a little weird, but getting all my brass back and not having to mow the range every time I use it would make up for that.

Anyone else who has built a range on a previously grass covered area, what did you do?

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Mine gets heavy enough foot traffic that dandelions are the only thing that comes up. I spray for them maybe once a month. Once it all dies in the fall I still end up finding a good bit of previously hidden brass. It gets pretty muddy in the spring and my buddies whine that I should gravel or mulch it but until they chip in to cover 60'x180' worth of ground it's not gonna happen. I think running on a tarp would be weird feeling at best, and I know for a fact it will be dangerous in wet or icy conditions.

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Before mine was done with a gravel/stone dust mixture I sprayed it with regular gas, let it die off for about a week and burned the dead stuff off. Roundup will keep it from coming back pretty well. The gravel mix I use costs something like 4 or 5 bucks a ton and I haul it in a 2 1/2 ton trailer and shovel. Hope this helps...

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I'd suggest round up to kill and a pre-emergent to minimize future growth. I don't think the tarp would work too well and safety, footing, would be a concern. Also, unless you keep it swept, dirt will build up and give weeds a place to grow anyway. Which ever you decide, you will have maintenance and associated expenses.

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We put down the black felt cloth that they use over the gravel layer when they are building roads. It lets water through, no grass, is great for picking up brass off of, and is like running on concrete.

We want by a hi site where they were building a road and asked them where they get it. They just have is three rolls that were down to 5-10 yards apiece. The stuff is like 20' wide, so that covered the main shooting area.

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We put down the black felt cloth that they use over the gravel layer when they are building roads. It lets water through, no grass, is great for picking up brass off of, and is like running on concrete.

We want by a hi site where they were building a road and asked them where they get it. They just have is three rolls that were down to 5-10 yards apiece. The stuff is like 20' wide, so that covered the main shooting area.

This could be a great option and pretty much cover all my bases,

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Simple and cheap answer is to mow the grass really short. You will find most of your brass. Unless it never rains where you are, do not kill the grass unless you intend to install gravel or you will have a muddy mess.

I looked into gravel and decided to just keep mowing the grass. Far cheaper to lose some 9mm brass than pay for the gravel

Spray the grass with 2-4-D to kill the weeds. This makes mowing easier.

This is how I maintain my range area.

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After a bit of thought, I decided to move the range to a new area on my property. There is a natural backstop, and the ground is mostly silt/sand as it is a river runoff area. Some elbow grease with the rake and power broom yielded a pretty nice little shooting area!

The trees can serve as target stands, the area allows for some fun stuff to be setup even out to 50yrds or so.

Going to clear as many rocks as I can from the backstop area, and after that I'd say it's about finished!

post-53112-0-13356300-1431721159_thumb.j

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