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Urban side yard shooting range

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All,

Finally mostly finished it! I just need to waterproof the plywood. I shoot along my side yard, in an urban area. Unfortunately, this is not very safe, but there are not that many other options. I came up with this solution, so I thought that I would post pictures just in case there were others out there that were in my same situation. I thought that maybe this would give someone some ideas on how to do it perhaps a little bit safer for the neighborhood.

After I built the whole roll around target stand that you see in the background, I realized that even though it is over 7 feet tall it would only take a few degrees of bow elevation to send an arrow over the top even at 18 meters. This would not be an aiming error, but could easily be caused by some unforeseen equipment failure, or a release error or etc. Since I'm shooting toward the street, this could be catastrophic. As you can imagine, I cannot afford to have even one arrow make it out of the yard.

My solution was to intentionally restrict my "field of fire" in the up direction. You'll see in the bottom photo my actual shooting view, which is quite restricted and will not allow an arrow to sail over the fence, and in the top photo, the actual assembly that I built that causes the restriction. I now feel very safe in shooting this way because I would have to intentionally aim the bow up at a 30 to 45 degree angle to get an arrow past the plywood blocking sheets.

If you are in the same situation as I, please take into consideration that an accident can happen, and even 3 or 4 feet of safety backstop above your target may not be enough of a buffer to prevent a tragic accident.

What do you all think? safe enough? any thoughts on making it better? Any questions on how I built the stand or the target backstop, let me know.

Les.

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Looks fine...i think you put a lot of thought into and done a good job.Good luck.
 

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Dedication there Les and awesome set-up. Just shows your not about to let limited space on where you live, keep you from shooting!

Way to think of safety too! Awesome set-up!
 

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Les K said:
Unfortunately, this is not very safe, but there are not that many other options.
There's your answer right there. If it's not very safe, DON 'T DO IT!!!

One arrow gone astray (and it happens even to the most seasoned professionals) and someone can get hurt or killed, and you will be in a world of trouble.

Until you enclose the entire shooting area, don't shoot in an residential area. Period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Where at in Orange do you live? If not to far from Camp Pendleton, just drive there and use their range.
I'm a good 60 to 70 miles from Pendelton. It would be just too far. There is High Tech archery in Fullerton, but the hours are quite limited, closed Sundays and Mondays, Open only at 11 to 7 other days. With this setup, I can go to the yard and shoot a few anytime it's light out.

About the lack of space: Yeah, it's a fact of life here in SoCal. Still expensive land, and not much of it. For the 500K+ that we're still getting here, I could buy something in many other parts of the country where shooting would be easy. But then again, the weather......:shade:

Stash: I know that your suggestion about enclosing the entire thing would be the absolute safest solution, but I can't invest that much money to build it. I can and I may go further with the field of fire limiters by building one much closer and at an angle so that I would have to point the bow straight up to get an arrow out there. I don't know if that will be necessary though since I do not EVER draw the bow from a pointed up position as I've seen many others do. I always draw starting with the arrow pointed in the general vicinity of the target and keep it there throughout the entire process. I certainly will consider building an even higher shield though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
looks good but still would make me nervous.

don't think an arrow could blow through the ply? that is one thing i would be sure to do is a penetration test.
Good point, it is 1/2" thick plywood, but maybe I could glue some rubber backed carpet squares or conveyor belt material to the front of it just to be sure. It will be getting top heavy though! Does anyone think that an arrow will lose a ton of energy hitting that plywood and be pretty much harmless even IF it does make it all the way through? I'm shooting a 50-60 lb compound with the bolts turned out as far as possible.

I suppose I could replace the 1/2" ply with 3/4" ply, but then again, that stuff is really heavy.

Thank for the comments so far everyone!
 

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How you would feel if a neighbor of yours had this setup and his target was right in from of where your children were playing? How do you think your neighbors might feel about this setup, especially if they're not familiar with archery? Also, consider the damage you will do to archery in general if there should be an unfortunate accident. Is your "need" to practice at home worth it?

I know this from personal experience. I used to have a "safe" range in my driveway, about 15 years ago. I'd stand about 5 yards back from my garage and shoot at a target at the back of the garage. Big wooden fence along my left side. One day I had an arrow fall off the rest just as I released. It went through the smallest gap in the fence into my neighbor's yard and hit right beside his kid's sandbox. Fortunately nobody was home, but I stopped shooting outside my house immediately and have made a point of putting my opinion in every time this sort of subject comes up.

I could easily set up such a "safe" range in my own yard again, but I choose to drive to my club 40 minutes away. Otherwise I shoot in my basement where I can get all of about 5 yards.

There have been a few threads on AT recently about weird archery accidents - misfires, loops letting go, releases letting go, broken nocks, broken strings, broken bows - accidents do happen.
 

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It's important to realize that you'll never please everyone all the time.

My initial thought was I would shoot at your range but at the same time, if my kids were playing in front of it-I would want to know.

Something to think about is all.
 

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not too impressed - sorry

I agree with the post that said it need to be almost completely enclosed. If you can hit the top the target, that arrow is gone!! Also, you picture needs to be taken from the lowest point you can launch an arrow from, and you need a higher backstop over your target butt.

I hate to be a pain, but I have an enclosed porch the length of my house with a 10' concret block wall behind it, wtih only 5' from the porch roof to the wall that is open. No way did I think anything could get by it. But --- I had a neighbor boy up shooting, he hit the concrete floor, and it skipped almost straight up and wnet over the wall. Not a whole bunch of power, but the arrow did go over the wall and just kind of fell into the neighbors yard.

Thankfully, they were not home, so I was able to retreive the arrow with no consequences.

My point is - if there is any opening at all - an arrow may find its way through it!

Be careful.
 

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Some of you are just tooo perfect,he realised a potential safety issue and remidied to the best of his ability. We all don't have the time or money to drive upteen miles to shoot. To the OP don't listen to the "perfect ones",no matter what you did they would complain.
 

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Some of you are just tooo perfect,he realised a potential safety issue and remidied to the best of his ability. We all don't have the time or money to drive upteen miles to shoot. To the OP don't listen to the "perfect ones",no matter what you did they would complain.
These so-called "perfect ones" as you put it are correct! If there is any way an arrow can escape, then it is unsafe!
What are the local laws in regards to firing a bow in city limits.... and so on...

Why even take the chance that someone could possibly get hurt, it isn't worth the risk!
 
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