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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2.35 acers with a 50yd. range for target and reloading testing. The backstop is a pile of dirt about 10' high. Behind is farm land with no houses in sight. I had a visit from a deputy after firing 4 rounds from a rifle that hit the target. He said a driver by was wondering if I had a good enough back stop. I told him it was good enough for me. He then told me that I couldn't shoot from a prone or standing position. I was shooting off a bench rest. I looked up Ohio laws and it basicly said you are liable if your bullet leaves your property and hits something and suggest a NRA style backstop. Doe's anyone have more incite on this and was I being shaken down.
 

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I am not an expert nor a novice. Here are my thoughts. Your acreage is not that big. How far from any dwellings? I do not know why he said you can not shoot prone or standing. He might know something we don't. What could you hit if you really tried to shoot over the berm? Someone else's land? How far can you set up away from the road?

A friend of mine had a bench to shoot from that had about 12 tires lined up to shoot through like a silencer/muffler. The barrel of the rifle would just enter the "doughnut hole" and actually did reduce a lot of the blast. His dirt impact area had logs in front to stop or absorb the bullets. Also kept the dirt from moving in the heavy rain.

The Sheriff probably gave you some good advice. It probably would not hurt to go to his office one day and ask for advice on how to make your range Sheriff approved.

I have 15 acres but shoot behind the house at a steel plate hooked on a chain on a large hollow Beech tree that is still growing in a gorge. I can get at least 80 yards. I try not to shoot on weekends when the neighbors are home or during the week when the school busses are running at 3-4 PM. No complaints yet. I hear shooting around me all weekend, not close, but not me.
 

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not sure if theres a law but youve been warned and if anything happens theyll prolly throw the book at you...i'm pretty lucky i guess to have places to shoot with very large hills as backstops...everybuddy shoots on their land all around so theres never any complaining about it...i do like having good backstops just in case...:D
 

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I have a friend that built a 600 yard range on 35 acres in a semi-residential area. The 2 things he was concerned about was stopping bullets and sound. There are laws(not sure if they are state or federal) about how much noise you generate. He bought a meter to check the decibel levels at his property line and they are well within the limits.

Other then those 2 things there isn't much in the way of legal limits on shooting in most unincorporated areas. The deputy was BSing you, I would call the sheriff's office and get a clarification from them on the law.

I would talk to the owner of the farmland behind you and let him know what is going on. I'd also talk to any neighbors( i bet it was one of them and not someone driving down the road),maybe invite them over to shoot some. Even if you are doing nothing wrong if the neighbors call the cops they have to respond, wasting their time and aggravating you.
 

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Be safe, you never know who may loom behind your backstop.
You are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun.
 

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On my familys land we built a box out of some plywood about 6 foot high 5 foot wide and 8 inches deep. It stops my 45 and a decent amount of rifle rounds. Once your done shooting caulk the box so it stops sand from leaking and top it off with sand its done me pretty good might be worth looking into. Even if it doesnt stop the round right there it sure slows it down a good bit. Hope this helps.
Aaron

Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
 

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Be safe, you never know who may loom behind your backstop.
You are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun.
Yes sir-and having liabilty insurance helps as well.:biggrin:

10' mound of dirt you would think would be enough, but I have seen otherwise quite a few times. Sometimes-someone makes a mistake( round discharges and bullet goes in an unwanted direction) or you are just trying to sight in a gun that is no where near zero(should be using the sight in bench at the correct range)- in either case your discharged round can leave the intended backstop you are shooting at, so that is why you have to do everything possible to make it safe beyond the target.

I don't know why yours may be an issue to someone else, or they think it is, but you may want to evaluate to see if you can improve it by enclosing it somewhat and having additional precautions beyond the backstop if they do.

For many years, the backstop at our ranges were very large hills. Our rifle range had a hill about 75' tall. Over the many years it has been there we had a few rounds leave the range and beyond. We even got some heavy equipment and put another 10-12' mounds of dirt on top of that hill- and a few rounds did leave the range. We then lowered the firing points, and so far so good.

Last year we started to enclose all the range backstops and used heavy metal beams and thick sheets of metal at the top that deflect rounds down to the dirt and sand we have installed below. They work very well and contain the bullets as long as the shooter shoots at the intended target. We installed the top main beams either 9' or 10'(can't remember the height) and the metal sheets were they layed on top of them and supported with metal posts that were anchored and welded. We tested one of these for a year before we went to do most of the range and it works well, as long as the shooter shoots at the target. The sheets of meatl are expensive though, but the concept can be used in some way without metal possibly.

If you look at one of our Pistol back stops in the back ground of this picture below you can see the metal sheet on top and the dirt and sand below. I don't have a completed picture that I could find, close up.



.....and never think a round can't go beyond your backstop- we thought that too-until we saw some "hits" at that height you mention(see below)-we had to make adjustments to the metal beams as we progressed to eliminate that possibilty. Fortunately we have a hill and many acres of trees behind them as a safety net. It's a constant challenge trying to improve it and make it safe.

Good luck-

 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Deehntr56
You have a good looking range there. My little range is 50yds. and is private in fact I'm the only one that uses it. I'm going to beef it up with RR ties plus a roof of ties. When I sight in I move in very close and shoot off a rest. Thanks
 

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I have a neighbor that has a private shooting range with a backstop that is only 10 feet from my property line. We cut the grass behind the make-shift shooting range. We have 6 acres with some woods and a horse barn on our property directly in the line of the shooting range. One time the neighbor shot a small cannon and the cannonball landed on our property in the woods and our two grandsons were playing in the woods. I called the police and they said that there was nothing they could do, they do not regulate or enforce the laws. They actually said to call the neighbor if we were going in our woods so he will not shoot us. I need help. I am a concealed carry person and I do own a gun. But, this is ridiculous! I need HELP. I plan on getting horses again in the near future and I can not enjoy my own property. We have lived here for 50 years this June. What does the law say about being only 10' from a private property?
 
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