Do you want to start a shooting range and want to know the cost breakdown? If YES, here are 10 factors that affect the cost of building an indoor shooting range. However, to be a shooting range owner, it is first important you check with the gun control laws of your local municipality, county, or state. At the federal level, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is in charge of enforcing the legal use, possession, and safety of firearms.
While for local enforcement agencies, it is advisable you do a quick internet search of your area, or contact your local law enforcement’s non-emergency number and inquire about the rules and regulations for opening a shooting range. Indoor ranges are very expensive to build. They require a lot of special equipment that can cost several thousand dollars per stall. The more stalls you wish to have, the more expensive the range will be to build.
10 Factors That Determine How Much It Will Cost to Build an Indoor Shooting Range
After construction costs for the building itself, it can cost an additional $500,000 to build an indoor range. Note that one of the most expensive elements is the HVAC system, which carries a price point of about $25,000 per stall. The HVAC system is very necessary for indoor shooting ranges, in order to provide the necessary ventilation and lead containment.
You will also need bullet traps, target systems, and baffles. Prices vary with the type of materials used, but on the low end, the cost would be about $214,000 for 10 lanes. Although they offer a significant revenue-enhancing opportunity, pro shops increase gun range start-up costs. The start-up cost of a gun shop is $10,000 – $50,000.
Nonetheless, there are many factors involved when constructing an indoor shooting range, and there is no “one price fits all” when designing, building and equipping a gun range. Each project is different, the requirements are different, and the customer needs are different as well. Initial considerations are many, and include a variety of factors. Below are things that can determine the cost of building an indoor gun range.
Table of Content
1. Site location
What is the price of your property? Consider the intended site’s current zoning, any special-use permit process, and ease of access, existing utilities and any signage limitations. Since indoor ranges can be situated in cities, it makes them more accessible to potential customers.
In addition, they can be near malls or other high traffic areas, which is a bonus for indoor ranges. Note that by being located near high traffic areas, and convenient to access, more customers will come to your range, increasing profit.
Indoor ranges can also be very lucrative if they include a pro shop. Pro shops can offer guns, ammunition, and accessories. You can also choose to sell your own merchandise, such as tees and hats, with your range logo on them. Have it in mind that by renting out the guns you sell in your pro shop, you are more likely to make a sale. Shooters get to try out the merchandise, unlike online shops, and the more flexible purchasing process will appeal more to customers.
However, when considering some safety and environmental concerns associated with gun ranges, indoor ranges offer a few advantages. Ranges are subject to many safety requirements, including noise pollution and safety, and it is often easier for indoor ranges to meet these requirements as compared with outdoor ranges.
Aside the safety of your customers, you have to consider the safety of those in the community. This is where noise pollution comes into play. Your range might be near apartment buildings or shopping centres, where people nearby aren’t shooting but are still affected by the noise.
Although it all depends on how close they are to the range, blasts from shooting could damage these individuals’ hearing. In addition, the ‘noise pollution’ of gunshots from the range may disturb people in their homes and cause them to complain.
Will the project be all new construction, or would it involve renovating an existing structure? It is advisable you consult with your range equipment provider when designing a new building. If you have an ideal location that has an existing building; the primary consideration will involve the building size limitations. Is there enough length for your desired, achievable target distance, and is there adequate ceiling clearance height? Is the building structure even proper for a shooting range?
Note there are specific room size and configurations to be considered. In addition to a safe range design, you ought to consider how all other aspects of the business will be operated. Everything “surrounding” the range operation should be thought through. Will there be an observation area or control room? How and where will ammunition and target sales be conducted prior to range entry? How convenient will the range services be?
3. Building Structure
What will be the specifications? Although a full concrete room enclosure is best, many ranges are installed within buildings that have varying types of ceiling structures and heights.
4. Type of Weapon
Are you looking for a pistol rated or rifle rated range? Most recent ranges are designed for limited rifle capability. Some ranges will construct multiple firing bays and separate pistol shooters from rifle shooters.
What is your desired target distance? Would it be 25 meters, 50 yards, or something longer? Commercial gun ranges typically provide between 15 yards and 100 yards—the longer distances obviously being rifle ranges. Coupled with the target distance, allow adequate distance for the selected bullet traps depth with a service aisle behind it. Also consider the desired length of the entry location(s) of the range. Your ventilation system designer will usually want 12’-15’ at the range entry end to properly balance out the air flow.
6. Bullet Trap
Owing to your expected usage, are you looking at steel plate or a rubber design? Different bullet trap designs have varying size depths and heights (depending on space requirements) and service intervals for reclaiming the bullets. Your bullet trap selection is integral to your range design and size.
7. Lane Dividers
Do you prefer solid panel or a clear design? Solid panel and clear lane dividers are available in both pistol and rifle ratings. Although the clear designs are flashy and offer added visibility, many shooters prefer the privacy of their own shooting stall space without the distraction of being able to see, or be seen, by their adjacent lane shooters.
8. Target Systems
Although it will mainly depend on the usage of your range, will you need a basic trolley wire, monorail forward/return, monorail with 360° turning and programming capabilities, stationary targets, or something else?
9. Shooting Activities
What are your intended shooting activities? Will all be primary firing lines shooting? Or will there be any downrange training? Downrange “combat” type shooting activities will increase the equipment needs. Additional ceiling panels coverage and sidewall treatments need to be considered.
10. Ventilation Systems
Will you require a purge design or re-circulation with A/C? What are your mechanical equipment locations? Outside roof, slab mounted, or inside a mechanical room space?
Note that building a training facility requires a lot of planning, organization, due diligence and hard work. Ensure you have all these factors mentioned above considered before moving forward. Consult with the experts before beginning such a large project and make sure any vendors you partner with during the process are properly vetted; see portfolios of work, check out websites and obtain references.