practice shooting, man in shooting range

Building A DIY Airgun Range

If you want to improve your shooting skills without wasting expensive ammunition, practicing with an airgun is a great way to do so. Airguns use compressed air or gas instead of traditional ammunition, and are very popular for recreational target practice and for hunting small game. If enjoy practicing with an airgun, building your own range at home could be a great investment. Here’s what you need to know about building a DIY airgun range.

Benefits of Building Your Own Airgun Range

While there are plenty of public ranges where you can practice with an airgun, there are advantages to building your own range at home. If you shoot frequently, then building your own airgun range can actually save you money in the long term. This is because you’ll be saving the money you would otherwise be spending on a membership to an airgun range. Another benefit of having an airgun range at home is privacy. You can shoot whenever you want without having to worry about other people or any time restrictions. If you’ve wanted to practice more often but have struggled to find time to get to the shooting range, then building a DIY airgun range could help you.

man firing a airgun rifle in a shooting range

Choosing an Airgun

Before you can set up your airgun range, it is first important to find an airgun that you feel comfortable with. Ideally, your airgun should have the same size and feel as your other firearms, so that there isn’t an awkward transition between your guns. It’s also important that the airgun has the right amount of power and shooting distance for your space. If your home shooting range is small, a gun that is too powerful could actually be dangerous. It’s also important to make sure that the gun is durable enough to last through plenty of repeated use and is made from quality materials. Finally, you should make sure that the gun’s features fit your taste, with the right caliber, barrel design, and more. Once you’ve found an airgun you like, you can start to set up your DIY at-home range.

Building Your Airgun Range

Once you have an airgun you like, the next step is to assess your space and start setting up your range. You will need to determine where the best place is for the range and how you want to set up your targets. An ideal at-home range is one that is outdoors with plenty of space for targets at varying distances. If you’re planning on setting up an outdoor range, you’ll want to make sure that it is entirely on your property and that it won’t interfere with your neighbors or any protected wildlife in the area.

If you want to convert an indoor space into a shooting range, make sure it’s large enough, and that the structure of the room won’t cause any safety issues. If there are loose items too close to the target, they could ricochet if you miss a shot and hit them. You could also have issues with the targets ricocheting themselves if they are hit at the wrong angle.

The most important thing to consider in either scenario is what is behind the targets. You will need a reliable backstop behind each target. A backstop will catch the bullets that go through the targets and prevent them from hitting anything else around you and causing damage. If you are outdoors, you have plenty of options for backstops. If you can place your shooting range on a hill, it will serve as an effective natural backstop. The target will need to be angled correctly so that the earth behind it can catch the bullets. If your shooting range is on flat land, you will need to create your own backstop. If you have hay bales available, these can serve as an effective backstop, or you can create a dirt mound behind the target.

If you’re shooting indoors, you will need to create something that mimics the function of a dirt backstop. A pile of several thick phone books can work well, as can boxes of old books or newspapers. When shooting indoors, you’ll also need to be very careful with the types of targets themselves. While water bottles and aluminum cans can work very well for outdoor use, they can be dangerous when used inside. This is because a missed shot could hit the target at the wrong angle, causing it to ricochet and potentially hurt you or damage your property. Paper targets work best in an indoor setting, because there’s less potential for heavy items to go flying.

Positioning Your Targets

Regardless of what type of targets you’re using, you’ll need to decide where you want to position them to shoot. You’ll need to consider the power of your gun and how far it typically shoots to determine the most effective distance. You may want to set up multiple targets at different distances to test your shooting abilities. Another important factor to consider is how far the targets will move once they are hit and how long it will take to set them back up again. Ideally, your target setup should take just a few minutes to put back into place.

You’ll also want to make sure that your shooting range is comfortable and private. In an outdoor range, this may mean putting up fences to prevent neighbors from watching the action and prevent targets from flying. In an indoor space, this may mean soundproofing to keep the noise limited to the space, and avoid bothering those around you.

If you are an avid shooter, building your own DIY airgun range will give you a fun and safe way to practice at home. It’s fairly simple to set up your own range, and it’s very affordable too. The practice you get from shooting with an airgun can translate to using a traditional firearm.

Featured Image Credit: U.S. Army CCDC / flickr

In Post Image Credit: U.S. Army CCDC / flickr