Air rifle and archery space need?

  • UPDATE - The main upgrade is now finished. The site should now be functioning as normal, I will be making tweaks over the weekend, particularly to look of the site. If you notice something is broken or have any comments please let me know. Many thanks Matt (Lithril)

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
3,993
440
Lancashire
I'm just curious, if you're setting up a small shooting range safely, what space do you need?

Background, I'm getting involved with local scouting section as a skills assistant for other activities but I want to be as useful as possible to them for obvious reasons.

They're planning on offering air rifle and archery. I think there's been people on courses or planned to go on them. What space would they need?

We're fortunate since they've got a bit of land and decent sized hall. The land is a small grassed area surrounded by trees and banking on three sides and the hall on the other up the track there is a strip of land with grassed area then trees to the boundary.

I've done a bit of archery before, indoors, but not air rifles. Just what range length would you need for safety?

The age ranges are typical beavers, Cubs and scouts ages. I reckon it's only for Cubs and scouts though. Kit I don't know but it won't be much more than modest kit.

I'm just curious. I reckon those trained and the scouting organisation at county and district level will have this covered. It's just for my own interest.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,250
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Air guns:
The collector behind the target should be sufficient if people are good enough only hitting the target, but as I assume they are not, a background wall of wood will stop and not deflect any pellets.
To prolong the life of the wood it can be covered with an outer layer of easily replaceable fibreboard.
A meter or two on the walls on the side can also be protected with fibre board, as ricochets will happen 'to the side'.
If shooting indoors, use a lead free pellet. Not good inhaling even tiny amounts of lead particles.

air rifle range should be at least 10 - 15 meters, imo. More fun
We practice air pistol on 10 meters, indoors . Air rifle at 25 - 75 meters, this outdoors only.

Olympic air (pistol and rifle) are shot at 10 meters.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
3,993
440
Lancashire
Not that far really.

What about using the bank to stop missed shots? The site is kind of sunk down in a kind of open bowl. Banks are higher than me by some way and I'm just under 2m.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,250
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Banks are perfect, but make sure there is ‘emptiness’ behind them for as far as a pellet can fly. No houses, old ladies taking Fifi for a walk, no amorous couples.

The berms in our local gun club are about 4 meters high ( 50 meter handgun range) with another 3 meters of stacked truck tyres.

We train beginners, plus the Armed Response Unit practices there.

In your case it is not the thickness of the berm, but height, if there is vulnerable things behind it.

You can always cordon off the area behind if the berm is low.

Have lots of fun!
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
3,993
440
Lancashire
I think in that case they're probably enough. Higher than the hall roof I reckon.

I wonder what equipment they'll get. What's a good set of bows and rifles?
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,518
599
Bedfordshire
For archery at 30m and under you really want a back stop net to catch the arrows. No net and you will be searching for arrows in the grass with a metal detector.
 
Apr 8, 2009
1,043
44
Ashdown Forest
From memory, i believe there are some scout association fact sheets covering this. Our scouts set up a range indoor, prepared using a backdrop of plywood on a de-mountable frame, with a heavy carpet hung in front to stop bounceback. pellet catchers are then affixed to the plywood through a little flap cut in the carpet. Id say the range is no more than10m long,but perfectly challenging enough for the scouts with low powered .177 rifles using open sights. From memory, outdoors, the SA rules require a relatively large area.

We also have used our hall for indoor archery, borrowing a very large, expensive archery net - probably around 15m range.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
3,993
440
Lancashire
Our scouts really are lucky. Just over a year ago the new hall was opened. Iirc it replaced a WWII shed building. The scouts used to own the whole area but it got divided up years back. Some want to buy or lease more land back. There's a disused and overgrown area adjacent to our patch. 50m plus in length with 30m width, or bigger, at a very rough guess. One leader who has done a bit of shooting said it would be ideal and could be permanently set up. Other areas would be mixed use, not at the same time.
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,219
321
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
The thing to do is check POR and discuss it with the leader that has the necessary scouting qualification. The indoor range used at my hut is not long at all so I'm sure your hall will suffice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Guido

Guido

Member
Nov 13, 2019
10
7
39
North Wales
As above POR, and permits are super important.

Hay bales can be an effective dampening material (not a stop, but minimises ricochet and bounce back )

Just a note, power and calibre of air rifles should not be confused, a .177 can still do serious damage. Ft Lb, calibre and muzzle velocity are all considerations.
 

Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,295
62
52
Central Scotland
Archery GB have a facilities guide here. Note it's a 40 page doc covering everything from custom built facilities to rugby pitches but does show dimensions etc. (hint go to page 38 ;) ) it's a good read and well worth getting familiar with if being responsible for something.
 
Apr 7, 2016
362
39
suffolk
Archery GB have a facilities guide here. Note it's a 40 page doc covering everything from custom built facilities to rugby pitches but does show dimensions etc. (hint go to page 38 ;) ) it's a good read and well worth getting familiar with if being responsible for something.
I'm glad some one has mentioned it....contact Archery GB (who will also sort insurance etc) or your local archery club?
Archery GB are the governing body for target archery in the UK.
 
Last edited:

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,573
21
49
Kent
I'm quite into air rifle target shooting. a couple of organised places I have been have been a simple 6?? lane range 50 meters on farm land with waste ground behind approx 100 meters and fenced off.



https://www.holmeschapelsg.com/

Main clay shooting is just next door and they also have a small wood with 20 or so targets at varying ranges with stalls which i havent tried yet but looks good fun.





The other is an organised covered range with 12 lanes. This is simply a 50m range with a large sand bag wall built on a burm of earth to the side of a working farm and busy butchers and gunshop.

https://www.emmettandstone.c\/o.uk/air-rifle-range



I actually prefer the outdoor range because you can lie prone and I am also fortunate to have a local farmer friend who lets me use his land for 70M and under target practice whenever i like.

If you wanted real world expericence of what works, I think the people at these places would be happy to help with information setting up and safety options but of course to National scout standards.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Janne

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
3,993
440
Lancashire
Thanks everyone, lots of good links and information.

Funny enough I was talking to one of the leaders who have the shooting training, not got the paperwork yet though. Current thinking is behind the hall. So that's the length of the hall with a high bank three sides and wall of the hall on the other long side. Not sure about solid wall though. Seems a bit narrow to me.

Got a bit of history of the hall and grounds. Took them a couple of years to clear the site and knock the old building down. It was that overgrown. No grounds company would touch it so it was volunteers only. £150,000+ it cost. Credit to them I say. It's this commitment that has infected me too. I'm not a joiner really but since my son joined beavers and I've seen this commitment I've wanted to help. This is why I'm asking for information / opinions on here. So many knowledgeable people on here.