Shooting ranges are all the rage. There are more than 16,000 shooting ranges in America alone.
This leads many people to think that they are easy businesses. But it is actually quite hard to clean and maintain a shooting range.
What are the hazards when cleaning one, including outdoor venues? What are the basic safety protocols that an owner should adopt? How can an owner maintain and store their guns?
Answer these questions, and you can run a neat and tidy range. Here is your quick guide.
Cleaning a Shooting Range
For the most part, shooting range maintenance is like cleaning any indoor space. Your biggest problem is dust and other common detritus.
Get a vacuum cleaner and remove anything off the floor. Keep the floor as flat as possible, so people don’t trip with their guns.
Try to avoid placing a carpet on the ground. It is easy to trip or lose one’s footing on carpeting. You can have a concrete floor that you shine for visual effect.
There are a few unique hazards in shooting ranges. Shooting lead bullets can cause lead dust to travel through the air. Breathing in lead can damage the lungs and blood.
When cleaning lead, make sure you wear a suitable respirator. Test the air every month or so. If you have a high level of lead, shut the shooting range down until it is clean.
Avoid using compressed air. This can knock lead dust upward.
You may encounter a similar issue with brass. Try to avoid shooting lead or brass bullets in your range. If a lot of people shoot these bullets, invest in a sound ventilation system.
Develop a good cleaning strategy before you start a shooting range. Visit sites like http://www.hcienv.com/shooting-range-cleaning-maintenance. Talk to other owners of gun ranges about what they do to clean.
People who visit your range are responsible for their trash. They should pick up bullet casings and other items. Provide trash bins near stations, so it is easy for people to throw away their garbage.
Tending to Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor ranges are more versatile than indoor ones. Shooters can move to different spots to open fire. This means that there are more locations you need to clean.
Check every station at least once per day. If anything seems dirty, shut the range down and clean.
Lead can contaminate water and soil in addition to air. You should not have an outdoor range near water resources.
Many outdoor ranges have vegetation that provides a barrier from ricocheting bullets. You need to maintain this vegetation with regular watering sessions.
Inspect trees, so they don’t fall onto your range. Hire someone who will trim dangling branches, especially ones that impede views of targets.
Being in the outdoors means the range is subject to inclement weather. Rain can create mud that dirties people and makes it hard to walk.
Consider buying a tarp. You can put one over the area where your shooters will be, or you can cover the entire range. A whole-range tarp is expensive, but it makes clean-up easier.
Following Shooting Range Safety Tips
Never go out on the range while people have their guns. It does not matter if they are not at their stations yet. It is far safer to clean when the people with guns are away.
Every gun must have its safety on. It can only come off when an instructor says it can. All guns must be unloaded until the shooters reach the firing line.
Under no circumstances can someone point a gun at someone else. It does not matter if the gun is unloaded. It is a safety hazard to point any gun at anyone.
An instructor must supervise everyone at the firing line. When they tell everyone to cease firing, everyone must stop shooting. Any shooter who fails to follow instructions must leave.
Shooters can only fire at the target in their lane. They cannot shoot at neighboring targets or the ground.
Everyone near the firing lane should wear eye and ear protection. Glasses or goggles should wrap around the eyes. This will prevent dust from getting inside.
Storing Your Guns and Ammunition
You can keep guns or ammunition at your range. But you must be careful with them.
Buy a gun safe with weights in its floor. This makes it hard for a thief to put the whole safe in their car. If you have a lot of guns, buy a few different safes and put them in different rooms.
Guns should be unloaded with their safeties on, even inside your safe. Point them away from the door.
Do not store your ammunition near your guns. Buy a separate safe and put your ammo in it. You can label your bullets so you can load your guns properly.
If your guns have been in storage for a while, check in on them. Safes can trap moisture, which can let rust grow. Buy a dehumidifier so you can remove the moisture inside your safes.
Rub a little oil on your guns as well. This will remove grit that can make them harder to fire.
Maintain Your Range
Don’t overthink cleaning your shooting range. You should vacuum floors and maintain common surfaces where people shoot.
The most significant hazards are lead and brass. Install a ventilation system that filters the air.
Check the various stations on your outdoor range. Don’t let trees block the views of shooters. Invest in a tarp that will prevent the ground from muddying.
Do not clean while others are firing. All guns should be unloaded and on safety. You should store guns in a safe away from ammunition.
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