Air Rifle/L144a1 Range

Hi all, at my Squadron we have a Weapons Safe, and an RCO but no shooting facilities. We’re looking towards building a range possibly because we’ve got a lot of space free to use. What would the procedure be to implement one of the ranges?

I would suggest your RCO asks your Wg Shooting Officer for assistance / guidance.

A .22 (L144A1) range would not be easy / cheap to build & require in-depth approval. If you have a large internal room / hall, an indoor 5.5m air rifle range might be a better option. Very approximately, you would need 5.5m for the firing distance + 2m for the length of raised shooting platforms + 0.5 / 1.0m behind the platforms = 8.0 - 8.5m

Obviously there are other safety considerations (you may be able to have different height pellet catchers for standing shooting as well), but with on-going (separate) armoury storage issues, air rifles = simple & very, very effective for marksmanship trg.

It would , of course, need to be a currently approved arms chest with the appropriate alarm system fitted. As MJ says, you need to seek the advice of your wing shooting officer who presumably would escalate it to a specialist.

Unfortunately our indoor facilities are too small for an air rifle range

We’ve been to a squadron that has a portable AR range that is approved for indoor use.
IIRC it has heavy plastic slats with the target / pellet catchers incorporated.

Well, if it require a separate “build,” it will be much cheaper to look at an air rifle range (total length 8.5m?) rather than a .22 range (total length 28.5m at least?). You could buy a good second-hand 10m office “container” or similar for £3K-£4K (or less) & fit it out quite easily for air rifle.

Lots of out-building companies / designs too. Any separate building will be limited by your budget, security considerations & availability of space / land.

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TS25. Still need the space to put it in though and they aren’t that easily portable.

Really? That’s a surprise as you really don’t need much space. Has your TSA or Wg Shooting Officer inspected?

But easier and cheaper than the agg of building one, or acquiring a container as that would require land and permission.

The squadron we go to has had their portable one for sometime and it sits in the main room with “blackout” curtain over it.

When we go the other squadron the entire “length” of 5½ metre range is about 7/8m and the cadets wait in another room.

Minimum distance (& 7m seems too short) = firing distance of 5.5m + 2m if using raised firing platforms = 7.5m = not so easy access for RCO / safety supervisor(s).

Add on 0.5m behind firing platforms for access. Total = 8m.

Useful to have cadets being able to watch, as it makes the various CLF exercises easier to understand.

EDIT - your RCO should be able to access the Bader Sharepoint Shooting Portal = various forms / documents, including request to “initiate a range.”

The whole room is a little over 10m and it all fits with room to spare.
I still maintain it would have to be better than all the grief of works orders, permissions, business case (thatbuilding plans, getting someone to build it and to approve it (probably 2 or 3 times), even the container is problematic in terms of the lift in to a compound and base to put on. These processes 1-2 years if RFCA get their finger out and not do the la la la la fingers in the ear hope they get bored and go away routine

Too true, an indoor range with fixed (coverable when not in use?) pellet catchers / backing board (or portable one) is much better than the faff involved with a new outdoor facility.

However, beware of safety requirements for having to block off classrooms / offices / facilities whilst the range is in use. When ours is “live,” our computer room / flight sim is not useable, & one other linked room can only be used as there are 2 separate fire exits. It’s not resource friendly to have a range in use for 2 - 3 firers, but 2 - 3 other rooms blocked off at the same time - in this case, an external facility might be better.

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It depends how it’s managed. The squadron we go to do their shoots Saturday AM (when we go) or non weekday parade nights as doing it on parade nights as mentioned creates all manner of problems.
I did ask and the RCO said he does the ranges for no more than 8 and has never had less than 6, so going another night or Saturday doesn’t seem to put them off.

Before you do anything contact your Wing Shooting Officer to contact HQAC!

Surely if you wanted to build a proper new build indoor range. You would need to let RFCA know…who then will probably proceed to slam the breaks on things because they would be responsible for the maintenenance of it post completion, which they say they wont have funding for?

Already stated by the OP:

I’ve already outlined the minimum length needed (& there might be safety angle issues for minimum width / height.

So, if that is the case, it has to be an outdoor facility of some kind. Is space available? Yes or no.

If yes, all the relevant agencies will have to be involved.

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