Indoor Shooting Range Dimensions | What Are the Standards?

The planning of a shooting range facility is a substantial undertaking. Live-fire shooting has specific needs that demand careful planning. To begin any realistic planning and design work, it is necessary to identify what type of shooting will occur on the range.

You can use indoor firing ranges for a variety of purposes. First is basic marksmanship training with pistols and bull’s-eye targets. Second, as a more advanced tactical training with shooters moving downrange and engaging targets at close range.

Range activity and space selection dictate design considerations and equipment choices. This article will look at the indoor shooting range dimensions necessary when designing one, among other factors.

shooting range with targets

Indoor Shooting Range Dimensions

Planning for shooting ranges presents unique challenges that require careful analysis.

Indoor Range Space Requirements

If proper planning isn’t done, the building and real estate costs might quickly spiral.

If you build or renovate a building or your home with a shooting range in mind, before consulting a range of equipment manufacturers, you can find that the structure isn’t suitable.

A bullet trap, a target system, or ventilation may all demand adjustments to the structure. As a result, creating a range begins with figuring out how much room you have available.

The following is a breakdown of the requirements:

Shooting Point Length

You can do most indoor shooting activities if you have a 50 or 75-foot distance between the firing line and the target line. To train police and security personnel effectively, the law mandates a 75-foot range and can expand to 150 feet for more considerable target distances.


Shooting Point Length

You can do most indoor shooting activities if you have a 50 or 75-foot distance between the firing line and the target line. To train police and security personnel effectively, the law mandates a 75-foot range and can expand to 150 feet for more considerable target distances.


Shooting Point Width

The industrial standard is a 42 to 60-inch broad shooting area, but most shooting operations can go on with a range of 36 inches.


Height of a Room

The ideal structural ceiling height is between 10 and 12 feet. However, lowering or raising the ceiling height will need the inclusion of ballistic protection, lighting, and target retrieval devices.


Accompanying Areas

The range designer must also account for the range control station, the preparation room, the spectator area, and suitable storage rooms. It all depends on the use of the range. The range master's position on an elevated platform will better view the firing line.

targets on the shooting range

Aspects of the Architecture

Some range designers create highly specialized structures that can no longer work for any other purpose because they aim to provide ballistic protection.

It may not be a big deal in a municipal range, but it significantly affects a public or commercial range facility. When designing a facility, range planners should avoid using massive earthen berms and concrete solid walls and ceilings.

Walls

When building range walls, use concrete blocks filled with cement or grout rather than the more common gravel. Noise reduction and ballistic safety are both maximized with this design.

Any break or penetration in a sand-filled block may cause spillage onto the range floor, so avoid using these. You can place downrange steel plating on the sidewalls for additional ballistic protection.

Flooring

A hardened concrete floor is the best option to ensure a smooth, non-absorptive surface from the firing line to the bullet trap. It is more likely that a smooth floor will reduce the number of irregular ricochets because the floor will take many low shots.

Vinyl or rubber flooring is commonly used to cover the space behind the firing line. Environmental concerns compel the use of filtration equipment in floor drains. It is a costly option, so most range designers no longer use floor drains or sloped flooring when creating their designs.

Ceiling

It's best to use a precast or slab ceiling because the baffles and guards are usually not essential. There is still a need for ceiling-mounted lighting, piping, conduits, ducts, or other protrusions to guard.

If you build the range with a precast or slab ceiling, the range designer should try to route pipes and conduit out of the range and only enter it when necessary.

Another common solution for different ceilings is a network of angled air-space baffles or re-directive guards hung from various points. 

The ceiling height decides the precise location, the length of the range, and whether any shooting activity will take place outside of the main firing line.

Dividing the Range

If the range has over ten shooting positions, consider the bay division. Two bays of five points each for a ten-point range, and six points for a twelve-point range, are the most efficient ways to split a range.

A solid or at least 8-inch fully grouted block wall should separate bays.

The range's thickness will depend on the activities that will take place there.

A separating wall should extend from the front to the back of the range and from the floor to the ceiling. It is necessary for the integrity of the ventilation system or the in target range fairway.

What Other Factors Should You Consider When Designing an Indoor Shooting Range?

Building an indoor shooting range demands your budget for the internal systems of the facility. Let's look at what you should look to include when designing.

Building Internal Systems

Ventilation in the Range

You can attribute most of the expense of interior range equipment to an adequate ventilation system. When specifying a range ventilation system, you must consider and adhere to federal and state health regulations.

Here is why:

Regulators are more concerned about the safety of the employee or range master.

So, find out the rules, and then design your project accordingly. As a rule of thumb, it's best not to wait until you need a major upgrade or a complete retrofit to make the switch to a newer, better system.

indoor shooting range

Range Lighting

The range needs both general and target lighting for proper operation.

Fluorescent light fixtures are common for general illumination, whereas you can use incandescent reflector lamps for target lighting.

Each target stop typically has two swivel fixtures. The distance fired determines the wattage, but typically 150 watt lights can achieve the requisite 100 MFC on the target face.

Throughout the range, put lights into the ceiling and arrange them in three or four banks on each side. Use one bank of lights for each target stop to offer varied light conditions for training.

Noise Reduction

When designing a shooting range, it's important to keep the noise level down and prevent it from transmitting to other areas.

There is some value to using acoustical applications to reduce noise.

From the firing line to the back wall, acoustical material should apply to the walls. Additional considerations include the horizontal ceiling above the firing line and the front surface of the downrange baffle. 

Class 1 acoustical foam is the most commonly used material for this purpose. Consult your local fire department to see if there are any training requirements.

One of the most common sources of noise pollution is through doors leading to the firing range. It is best to put two solid-core doors at right angles at the range entrance for maximum sound absorption.

a woman shooting in the range

Ballistic Security

Baffles, steel guards, and re-directives protect range protrusions, limit ricochet hazards, and cut off probable escape routes. Each device has its application.

A wooden or rubber frame separates a steel sheet from wood or rubber facing in an air-space baffle. It will allow a shot to go through the front wood or rubber surface and travel through the air. After striking the steel sheet, the bullet is less likely to return to the open area of the range.

Consider combat walls for the sidewalls of the range if shooters may go downrange beyond the primary firing line. An unintentionally fired round hitting the combat wall will divert to the bullet trap by the well-proven air-space baffle design.

Types of Specific Ranges

How much shooting will take place influences what kind of range to design and the equipment to use. There are four different indoor ranges:

  • Private
  • Commercial
  • Military
  • Law enforcement

Commercial ranges frequently serve two purposes. In most cases, a shooting range with over five positions will accommodate both law enforcement training and public shooting.

targets in the shooting range

The following are the primary range types and equipment, including extra things that can extend the range’s overall utility.

Private Range

Forensic labs, research and testing facilities, personal target shooting ranges, and other low-volume uses fall under this category. Among the pieces of equipment are a rubber granular bullet trap and a manually or electrically powered guidewire target recovery device.


Military Range

It is best for National Guard outdoor firing ranges, reserve training facilities, and ROTC institutions. There is no distinction between the firing lanes and the ready area. Among the pieces of equipment are a rubber granular bullet trap and a separate shooting gun range stall for each shooter.


Commercial Range

The equipment needs to be durable, simple to operate, and versatile enough to handle most shooting range scenarios. 

A granular rubber bullet trap, an electrically operated guidewire target retrieval system, and shooting booths are all standard pieces of equipment. 

If you use the range for police or security training, the designer should consider outfitting one bay with equipment specifically for that use.


Law Enforcement Range

For law enforcement and security purposes, the range of equipment chosen must be adaptable enough to allow for:

  • Precise weapons instruction
  • Mandatory re-qualification
  • Advanced reaction exercises
a man shooting in a gun range

In addition, the shooter must often advance downrange and engage many targets in tactical training circumstances. The details suit the outdoor shooting ranges. However, an indoor range should have granular rubber bullet traps and battle barriers.

Here is why: 

They provide a safe shooting range environment for near and cross-range firing. For a target retrieval system to be effective, it must have rotating targets and a target control system working simultaneously.

An onboard target light is an additional function that would be nice to have in a target system to practice various lighting conditions. Barricade- and blast-shield-equipped stalls are standard at law enforcement indoor shooting ranges.

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