Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
Sign in to follow this  

Shoot House design

Recommended Posts

I'm fortunate to have been invited to help design a shoot house bay and house structure.  Users will be IDPA, outlaw steel, LEOs, and target shooters.


Anyone have do's / don'ts, or designs that I can consider?  Probably will have plywood (OCB) "disposable" walls. Will NOT be a 360 shoot house.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not know of any reason that there should be a wall on the uprange side of the house. I would consider making any desired uprange entry doors self supporting , if it was decided that there must be an uprange wall I would consider see through options (snow fence style, plexiglass, etc.), Or perhaps a "wall," that was short enough to see over. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the fun project!


Physical design
I've seen folks build huge walls that are strong but end up being too cumbersome to move around. If you have to move the thing then you're best to do it with framed wooden walls with the plastic Visquen  from home depot. If you can build it semi-temporary and will have it in place for a couple weeks/months   then just build a few  sturdy walls and start locking them together on the top. The first video below has a shoot  house build this way slowly over the course of a few years. It has a dedicated bay. If this is something that needs to go up and then come down I have build plans around here somewhere for walls designed to be put up and torn down from match to match.

If it's going to be in place for some time, take into consideration the largest person you've ever met.. putting 100% of their weight on any of the walls.. It needs to survive that, repeatedly. 

Some thoughts on  stage design... not physical design...

A few things to consider

  • Is this for fun or are you trying to impart a lesson to the shooters?
  • Will it be a blind shoot house or can they walk it prior to shooting?
  • A big  consideration if you have multiple rooms  and walls that are penetrable  is shoot throughs.  House size and wall material and ammo being shot should dictate target placement. 
  • Never underestimate a competitors ability to miss the target. 
  • Be focused on not setting up 180 / DQ traps
  • Keep the COF straight forward enough  that shooters don't loose orientation (depends on the size of the house). You can always mark the down range walls with a specific color. 
  • always, always always have someone be the last man out and clear the stage. You can also count X people in X people out etc... establish a protocol for success/ safety. 


Fun things to think about. 

  • Barrels / vision barriers can be used in a TON of amazing ways to force the shooter to move/think/act. Including putting barrels in spots so they move there to engage and instead find  nothing behind them :)
  • If it's a blind shoot. Having a room they walk into which is absolutely filled with No-Shoots  and a handful of shoots between/ behind  them makes for some awesome "ohh wtf" moments. I've done rooms with 15+ no shoots they have to move through to get to  1 or 2 shoot targets. It makes for high anxiety / fun and helps instill the notion that movement is important. 
  • No-shoots  & hard cover can  make shoot houses fun/challenging. 
  • Don't be afraid put targets lower down if the range space allows for it.  This solves a lot of shoot through issues and also keeps the shooter looking /scanning 
  • Consider covering the roof in some / all rooms. In the past I've tossed a surplus green  parachute over the top in some rooms if there no roof. The changing color/ambiance is pretty cool and gives a nice effect and takes some folks out of their comfort zone. 
  • You can use the same target for all shoots and no shoots. Designate shoots with a weapon. 
  • Put shirts on some paper targets so they have to call their shots on those. This will slow down reset but if you put targets like this toward the front 
  • If you have a big enough space to work with and it's a blind shoot  one tactic that is fun for design is to place a target in an area that draws the shooters attention and then set up targets that will surprise them (or they will miss/not see)  as they move to engage that target  I can give examples if needed. 


Anyway Good luck with this! I'm off to the range to setup a shoot house and a few other stages for 3 gun tomorrow :) If the event allows for it, run the shoot house blind if you can at some point. It's really the true test of one's ability. Unknown targets, unknown or partial house layout...  @multigun on instagram and I'll be posting some stuff today as I do some plotting and planning.

A few examples of shoot houses with semi-permanent structures to give you ideas of room layouts/ target arrays.  Granted the examples below are from 3gun 




Edited by MiniUzi
Physical design notes left off

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

IHAVEGAS; We are undecided on the front wall: yes it does block the view into the house (safety).  But it does provide a vision barrier for the competition shooter, of the targets down range (fun).  We have a ton of barrels that we could use...we'll see..  Safety vs. fun, etc...


MiniUzi; thanks. To answer you questions:

  • House would be for competition (IDPA), LEO training, and fun.
  • As per IDPA rules, there would be a walk through. I can't speak for the LEOs.  I would hope that those that shoot the house for fun would walk through before....


Some questions back to you:

  • As an SO during a competition, how do multiple rooms work for safety, 180's, confusion, etc.?
  • Noticed RR ties as the 'ballistic walls'. 
    • How do they hold up? 
    • How often to you need to replace them?
    • How to you replace them?
  • Are the walls you show in the video reconfigurable?  If so, how?
  • Where is this?  Would like to view it via Google Earth.

Thanks for the replies guys!!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of our local clubs has an outdoor shoot-house with a roof and black, plastic walls to create some low-light shooting conditions.  The plastic walls allow them to reconfigure the stage easily by cutting windows in different locations.  If you do this, make sure to incorporate some sort of venting system.  Following someone who was using smoky loads was pretty miserable before they added a fan.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...