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Hawk21

Advice on Convincing a New Indoor Range to Hold Steel Matches

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There is a gun shop near me that is breaking ground and a new indoor facility.  Haven't been able to break away on weekends and make it to the local outdoor matches (hour away) near as much as i would like.  So i figured it would be great if this new indoor range held a steel match at night during the week once a month.  As a beginner in USPSA and Steel Challange I'm looking for advice on what options there are for indoor matches  as well as answers to any concerns the range owner would have.  I believe he is more of a full auto guy than the competition type but when the question arose on his FB page he said they were open to the idea competitions.  I have a coworker that is a NROI Range Officer so that's a solid start.  Thanks in advance for any helpful comments.

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Steel matches are a great way to get new shooters into sport since minimal movement. Even if they don’t have a holster you can start folks from low ready. Just more people to become range members if they know you hold weekly matches or practice. 

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You are going to get splatter from steel targets. Unless the overhead lighting is protected, you are going to loose bulbs. Florescent tubes pop!. They used to have steel matches at the indoor range near my house. They stopped when they lost one of the observation windows at the rear of a bay. I have seen poppers with some sort of bullet trap material on the face. Self-healing non-metallic plates may work. It may be better to try for an indoor paper match.

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The self healing targets caught my eye but life expectancy was stated as only 1,000 rounds, could get expensive replacing those often.

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Below is a video of a "Monster match" we had last year (LOTS OF STEEL). Our range has baffles to cover lighting. I know PTPC who was tagged above does the same thing. They have some more baffles to have more even lightening than we have at Alpha Range in McHenry IL. Other ranges use 2x6 or 2x8 framed in boxes to catch the frag off steel hits. Some ranges use tires for plates as well. This is a very common practice to handle the frag if needed.   

 

http://www.alpharange.com/

 

 

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NOW THAT LOOKS LIKE SOME FUN!

 

I will check in with them and see if they have planned for lighting baffles and then that can drive whether we pursue paper or steel matches.

 

Thank you guys for the fast feedback.

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We had a falling steel match every week at our local range for over 15 years. In those 15 years, we broke countless lights (even those covered by baffles), destroyed at least 6 baffles from constant ricochet during the matches, and destroyed the side walls of the range near where our targets would be set up (they were concrete block, filled with concrete). The side walls, when we were forced to stop shooting steel, were probably 2" thinner than when built. Those spots are now covered with sheet steel, but the new owners made us stop shooting all steel. We now use a plastic target. The targets are home made, as the self healing ones, while they do work, are rather expensive, and don't last terribly long. We have a virtually free source of UHMW plastic close by, and that is what we use now. A 380, 9mm, 40, and 45 have no problem knocking the UHMW over, and the bullets pass completely through, hitting the backstop. However, I should note that a really hot, small, round, like a 38s major round, will sometimes pass completely through and not knock the target down. 

 

We get our UHMW from an Air Boat manufacturer...they use the stuff on the bottom of their boats, and it gets replaced on older boats periodically...we get the stuff that is being replaced. It does get shot up pretty bad, but for a few pennies per target (if that even), it is well worth it. We probably get 1k-1.5k hits per target before we have to toss them.

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There was a steel challenge match in Europe years ago that used circular plates with old car tires around them to catch the splatter. Really neat idea and kept everything contained.

 

 

 

Edited by Will_M

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