How much land to shoot in my backyard?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by iz.pss.98k, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. iz.pss.98k

    iz.pss.98k G&G Newbie

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    I am a city-dwelling gun enthusiast looking to move out to the country sometime early next year, and I was wondering how much land do you need to be able to shoot right in your backyard without pissing off the neighbors with the noise, and of course for safety reasons?
  2. tappedandtagged

    tappedandtagged G&G Enthusiast

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    I also live in the city, so I take my shooting out to my father's land in the county. He has about 67 acres but we only use about three acres to shoot on. But, and a big but, we have a good backstop and even if a bullet were to get past, there's nothing but woods and hills past that for miles. So, for safety concerns, the amount of land doesn't matter as much as what's behind it. If you have the money, get some dozer work done and make a outdoor gun range type embankment.

    For the sound part, I live in southern Arkansas and if we're not cracking rounds off, my neighbors are, so sound isn't an issue. A gunshot can be clearly heard a long way off. If you're wanting to ensure that no one hears it, get in an area with lots of woods and get a ton of acreage. I really can't help you here seeing as I've never had to deal with picky neighbors who fuss about shooting. Maybe you should just find a house you like that affords a safe shooting area and then start talking to some people in the area and explain your concerns. Who knows, may meet a shooting buddy that way. :)
  3. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    Look the laws up in your state.In Mich.it is under State Police and DNR.Our laws are for target shooting you must have an adequate backstop.(they get to opinionate as to adequacy.) in other words you can target practice on a small building lot.The noise element is from 10:00 on but you can't fire firearms after dark.Hunting is 150' from a road and 450' from a dwelling or business.I am sure you will find similar laws and 'backstop will be the priority.Having good relationships with neighbors is important.It is important to talk it over with them. sam.
  4. LiveToShoot

    LiveToShoot Suspended

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    My wife and I feel 10 acres would work well, 20 acres if the price was right, with an on property knoll or hill to shoot against...

    ...and we're still searching for that little parcel of paradise.
  5. iz.pss.98k

    iz.pss.98k G&G Newbie

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    The property I am looking at is about 13 acres, mostly wooded except for a clearing here and there. As for making a berm, I can't believe I didn't think of that! That will solve the safety issue, I guess now all I have to do is meet my future neighbors and see what they are like. If I am lucky, they will be into shooting just as much as I am.

    Thanks for the help everybody! Hopefully in a few months my guns will be put to use like they were meant to, instead of collecting dust in my safe.
  6. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead G&G Enthusiast

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    I agree with Sam about the back stop. What calibers are you talking about and what distances?
    I'd look for at least 10 acres with a gully, hill, ravine, etc. If not then build your back stop. I'm looking into possibly using railroad tie for a back stop but I wouldn't be able to retrieve my lead. I'm still looking. A bullet trap would be nice.
    Where I'm located, if you don't pop a cap once in a while, the neighbors will think something's wrong with ya.
  7. iz.pss.98k

    iz.pss.98k G&G Newbie

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    I'd mainly be shooting my .22 with my son but I also plan on shooting .45, .223, 7.62x39, 7.62x54r, and 8mm.

    distances would probably be 50-100 yards.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  8. Windwalker

    Windwalker G&G Newbie

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    Good luck with your shooting range.Everyone who hunts or shoots needs a place to sight in your guns. Offering the use of such a place to your neighbors might gain more cooperation from them also.
  9. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead G&G Enthusiast

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    I have 20 acres and will be shooting pretty much the same as you. The 50 yd range doesn't seem to be much of a problem, the 100 yds takes a little more thought but is very do-able. A gully or ravine is best for noise abatement but sometimes won't provide that long range distance. I recommend purchasing as much land as your budget will allow with a set minimum of 10 acres and go from there. The farther away your neighbors are, the fewer problems incurred. However, Windwalker has an excellent point but don't give anyone free reign to come and go as they please. ...that will lead to problems.
    If you have a good back-stop, the only cause for concern would be flyers.
    BTW, are you staying in NY or planning to move to another state?
  10. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead G&G Enthusiast

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    You got a range?
    I'm on my way, see ya in the morning...lol
  11. iz.pss.98k

    iz.pss.98k G&G Newbie

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    I'll be moving to PA
  12. twtalbot

    twtalbot G&G Newbie

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    Even more important than total acreage is the terrain and distance to buildings and roads. A 2 acre lot backed by a hillside, surrounded by 500 acre farms could be fine, while a flat, 200 acre lot surrounded by 1 acre homesites would never do. Where I live, the minimum distance is 500 feet. When deer and turkey seasons are closed, I shoot at my hunting lease, where I can shoot from the top of one hill into the bottom between it and another...gives me about a 15 foot berm at 150 yards.
  13. .22hustler

    .22hustler G&G Enthusiast

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    Make sure of a adequate backstop.Here in NY, you have to be 500' from any occupied building, and I THINK it's 1,000' from any school. Check the local laws where you might be buying, and good luck shooting.
  14. EviL

    EviL G&G Newbie

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    i just built a back stop out on my land. i put 4 T-posts in the ground and then slid some bridge timbers in between them. its about 4'x4' and the boards are only about 3 or 4 inches thick so they dont completely stop the bullets from my 308 and i didnt intend it to. i built the back stop on the side of a hill so it just takes that initial blow and the hill behind it does the rest. before some of the bullets were ricoceting over the hill. theres nothing on the other side of the hill for quite a ways but i wanted to add a little more to stop the bullets. i plan on using railroad ties as well, but they are at my buddys house an hour away and just havent went to get them yet. it works good for my 22 and 22mag. havent tried my 9mm carbine on it yet, but i figure it will work good for that to.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  15. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    If you give permission for others to shoot,you are responsible for their safety especially if "they"do something stupid.Also,a hill will "NOT" stop riccochettes! Build a berm,preferably leaning slightly toward you so bullets will go down if they bounce.There are lots of instructions on how to build one. sam.
  16. TikkaTakDriver

    TikkaTakDriver G&G Newbie

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    look at local laws and clear it with the neighbors. If you have an acre or so on each side of your house it would be adequate I think. Like I said give the neighbors a heads up about the boomin'
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