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Swanny10

Best range surface

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I'm hoping this is the appropriate forum,

I've decided to gravel my personal range. I'm tired of searching for brass in the grass, mowing around targets, etc. My question is what type of gravel have y'all found works the best for a range surface. I have a slight grade that runs away from the shooter into a waterway which separates the range from a crop field. It will drain well but I don't want my gravel washing away either.  I appreciate any input. I do a lot of moving and shooting so footing is a concern. 

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A very long time ago when I lived in Tulsa OK, I was a member of Oil Capital Rod & Gun Club.  The pistol ranges we used had a multi layer gravel surface.  Big at the bottom, medium and then a pea gravel top layer.  It was packed as the layers were added and was a pretty solid surface that drained well.  I do not recall having trouble with maintaining my footing.  The only negative I could recall was occasionally getting a piece of gravel stuck in a .45 case.

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Whichever size gravel you go with, the important thing is to tamp the gravel more than you ever think you should. It will maintain better if you layer it larger then small twice. I used what we call around here turkey grit for the top layer and it holds up really well. With the amount of compacting, it's almost like concrete.


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8 hours ago, e3lug said:

Whichever size gravel you go with, the important thing is to tamp the gravel more than you ever think you should. It will maintain better if you layer it larger then small twice. I used what we call around here turkey grit for the top layer and it holds up really well. With the amount of compacting, it's almost like concrete.


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I wonder if the turkey grit you refer to is potash. 

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Crushed granite is pretty small. Reclaimed concrete if you tamp it hard enough after it gets rain a few times it really is like solid concrete. 

I was talking about this with a buddy last weekend, I think it's be cool to try our thing on one of those poured rubber surfaces they use on playgrounds. If I hit lotto I'm gonna get a range and do it

Red

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On 11/6/2016 at 1:32 AM, DagoRed said:

I think it's be cool to try our thing on one of those poured rubber surfaces they use on playgrounds. If I hit lotto I'm gonna get a range and do it

That sounds awesome, although I wonder if it wouldn't be too grippy.  When some of the grippier forms of artificial turf came out, there were lots of ankle and knee injuries from lateral moves where the shoe/turf interface just didn't have any give.  Sometimes, slipping is like blowing a fuse... inconvenient, but probably better than blowing a ligament or tendon by overloading it.  

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2 hours ago, Steve RA said:

Asphalt works very well.

Ha! Maybe I'll go ahead and pour concrete and put in heater coils while I'm at it. 

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2 hours ago, Steve RA said:

Asphalt works very well.

One of the nearby ranges uses packed, crushed asphalt for the main surface and it is really nice.

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4 hours ago, ATLDave said:

That sounds awesome, although I wonder if it wouldn't be too grippy.  When some of the grippier forms of artificial turf came out, there were lots of ankle and knee injuries from lateral moves where the shoe/turf interface just didn't have any give.  Sometimes, slipping is like blowing a fuse... inconvenient, but probably better than blowing a ligament or tendon by overloading it.  

The creme de la creme would probably be the rubberized brick you see in high end horse barns.  But my reality doesn't allow me to dream about such things. 

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We had a product that we used up north in Illinois when I lived/worked there to fill in roadways when we dug them up called crushed road gravel with fines. When you tamped it down and it rained it kind of almost turned into concrete. Needs a good base layer until it settles. Drains well. One of the big ranges here in Texas has something similar and it is great to shoot on.  Inexpensive product and easy to use. Not sure what your local yard would call it, but go talk to them. They can recommend a product, that will work and fit your budget. Easy to find brass on it.

gerritm

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2 minutes ago, gerritm said:

We had a product that we used up north in Illinois when I lived/worked there to fill in roadways when we dug them up called crushed road gravel with fines. When you tamped it down and it rained it kind of almost turned into concrete. Needs a good base layer until it settles. Drains well. One of the big ranges here in Texas has something similar and it is great to shoot on.  Inexpensive product and easy to use. Not sure what your local yard would call it, but go talk to them. They can recommend a product, that will work and fit your budget. Easy to find brass on it.

gerritm

That's probably the same or very similar to what I was talking about.  There are loose pieces on top, but the surface is pretty solid for the most part.  The surface can be seen here:  

 

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17 hours ago, TennJeep1618 said:

One of the nearby ranges uses packed, crushed asphalt for the main surface and it is really nice.

Called asphalt millings in trade speak. Price varies on how much construction work and recycling is going on around your region.

 

Decomposed granite or limestone road base are good options too, if you want a hard surface. You'll want at a minimum 4" over a compacted surface but 6-8" over native/non-disturbed earth will do just fine.

Edited by SCTaylor

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1 hour ago, TennJeep1618 said:

That's probably the same or very similar to what I was talking about.  There are loose pieces on top, but the surface is pretty solid for the most part.  The surface can be seen here:  

 

Very similar, but when you add the "fines" it gives you a more solid surface without the loose stones on top.

gerritm

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We use chipped limestone, with or without dust.

I would recommend a permeable underlayment and box the whole range with landscape timbers to keep it from washing away or disappearing into the dirt.

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The little range I practice at got crushed brick from some demolition project, guess it was cheap.

I'd hate to fall on it, but it pretty well settled/packed hard on its own within a summer, drains great, and the grip is good.

My one recommendation whatever you use is landscape cloth under, weeds will find a way, but it will slow them some.

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Our local range is compacted white Gravel. The white is nice since it makes brass really stick out but in the middle of the summer you need sunglasses to just walk around it’s so bright. 

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