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 Post subject: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:20 pm
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Location: Northeastern Illinois
I'm new to this forum; was browsing some posts from about a year ago by GordonSetter about feasibility of an indoor trap or clays range. I think it is an excellent idea. (Espcially this winter, the colder it gets the more excellent I think it is.) Maybe we could start an organization, "The Indoor Clay Shooting Association", and see what we can come up with as to suitable designs, locations and funding.


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2004 1:34 pm 
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Location: Illinois
Im up for it!!! If they can have tractor pulls inside with all the toxic fumes regardless of what they tout as a exhaust system a indoor range doesnt sound out of a possiblity !!!

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2004 8:33 pm 
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There's a huge Dairy barn down the road that I can't wait for the operator to go bankrupt on, it's big enough for trap and skeet with room for a heck of a clubhouse left over.

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:17 am 
Me and a buddy discussed this idea also - the Pontiac Silverdome (former home of the Detroit Lions) came to mind
We believe that Skeet, Trap and 5 stand should not be a problem - it's just the $5million up front that makes the snag!


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:53 pm 
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I'd have to pass on the idea, it seems somehow sacreligious to not contend with the weather. Plus, I've had the occasion to fire shotguns indoors both with and without muffs and it is an experience I would rather avoid if at all possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:14 pm 
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I have wondered about the very same thing. I think it would be cool if it could be done. A big hippodrome or similar type of structure would work wonderully.

Back in the '70s Wingo was introduced. It was an indoor skeet game. The cartridges were straight-walled rimfire types made by Winchester. You shot at close raqnges at tiny flying targets. To give you an idea of the magnitude, or lack thereof,here are some facts about the equipment:
The cartridges were called 20 caliber Wingo
They were 0.200 inch bore to prevent loading into 22LR firearms
They held 2.1 grains of powder
They had approximately 113 pellets of #12 shot
The 20 Cal Wingo would be a 582 gauge

The game never gained in popularity and didn't last.......

Go figure.

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:35 pm 
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Location: Green Bay WI
I've ran all the numbers and contacted several range designers from the NRA lists. It is possible but the cost to do it within the law (hepa air filter air system, Sound dampening outer walls, lead collection systems, insurance, permits,...) it would cost $470,000 to build my dream range new! My dream range consists of three 4 lane rifle ranges in 50, 100 and 200 yrds. Three woble trap fields with one field also setup for 5 stand. A grill overlooking the trap area (behind sound proof glass), a proshop, 2 classrooms, and a viewing area for both the rifle lanes and shotgun area. And of course I would want the whole system as automated as possible.
So who wants to loan me the $$ to make my dream come true?

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:28 am
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Location: SE Michigan
How about just a 1/2 dome
for trap and skeet

just cover the area where the shooter stands

like the 3 wall room with a 1/2 roof and shoot to the open area


JD


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:55 am 
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Gordo,
For $470K you could buy a house in Dallas and one in Phoenix and just fly south with the geese for the winter.

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:20 am 
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Location: Green Bay WI
I thought about the half dome thing. Two problems come up for me.
1) In WI the weather would still effect you so the whole indoor thing would be pointless. 20mph winds durring a snowstorm are not uncommon.
2) I couldn't locate it in town. There is a nice big empty lot right across from Gander in Green Bay i would love to use.

The bulk of the cost comes from the EPA, OSHA, and insurance laws. If I could get past the Lawers I could build it for almost half the cost.

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:20 pm
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Location: Northeastern Illinois
Thanks to all those who responded to my post. Gordon, does the $470,000 include the building and land or just the range construction? How many square feet? I'm thinking that in a big metro area like where I live, (Chicago & four surrounding counties have a population of 7.5 million), you could find 500 people willing to pay $1,000 each for a club membership. People pay more than that at some private country clubs for things like golf and tennis.

The Wingo idea sounds interesting also. I'm guessing the space requirement could fit on an indoor pistol range. (50 - 75 ft.) What would be needed is a target thrower designed to throw the small 60mm mini targets slow enough to be hitable at such short distances. I've fired a 12 gauge on an indoor pistol range using very light target loads and found the noise and blast to be very tolerable. It might draw more people than the original Wingo if it could be shot without the need for a special gun & ammo.


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:21 am 
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Location: Green Bay WI
The price would be all inclusive. I don't know the exact footage, I just have some rough ideas. It looks like I may start with an indoor hangun and rifle range then build up to the shotgun stuff. Ahh draeming is fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:26 pm 
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Location: Okawville,IL
GordonSetter Maybe you could contact Jonny Morris owner and operator of Bass Pro Shops. I know in Springfield,MO at The First Bass Pro and HQ they have indoor handgun and rifle range in the basment level. He has The money to bulid an indoor range. and would probally be suportive of such a thing.
Just an idea.....

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:09 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Just think, with no weather to affect the clay flight them 25's would just rack up! (yeah I wish!)

Mack

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:28 pm 
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Location: Green Bay WI
Accually my design includes wobble traps so you can add the chalenge of that since you take away the elemental challenge.

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:49 pm 
Gordonsetter - I have just discovered shotgunworld today and I find your idea about indoor shooting intriguing. I have had similar ideas in the past and I can sympathize with you about the overwhelming cost and regulations.

Consider this, I imagine an indoor shooting facility that features smaller ranges than normal. I see shooters with a very stock looking 410 gauge shotgun. The differences would be that we are shooting steel shot. (very reclaimable, no lead-based ammo restrictions) We are shooting specially loaded shells that contain no powder or primer, but have a normal wad seated in the shell. The gun is modified to accept a fairly standard paintball trigger assembly and a pressurized gas system which delivers the "omph" to send 3/4 oz. of steel shot at around 700-1000 fps towards a smaller, lighter target. Your recoil is minimal. Your noise is minimal. You are using standard reloading equipment to reload the shells with your own reclaimed steel shot. Aside from not being able to reuse the wad it's an almost totally reusable system. I have more thoughts and angles on this but i'm getting tired of typing.

What do you think??

-don r-

i'll have a username by the time i post next


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:41 am 
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Location: Green Bay WI
Hi Guest poster, welcome! Feel free to join the ShotgunWorld.com family and get in on all the talk.

The lead is not really a big issue as there are several companies that will buy it to use it in thier current products. This means the lead can accually be sold to help recalim some cost. I believe the noise issue will be minimal with correct range design. I would stay away from steel as it's ricoche potental is way too high for an indoor range. I also would stay away from any modified guns since at that point you would have to purchase, maintain and modify the guns yourself. This would be very pricey. The idea of clays to me is to help you improve your shooting, using a modified system might help a bit, but nothing like the real thing. I would limit shot size to 8 or 9, not allow anyone to cross the shooting line for any reason even haul collection, manditory eye and hearing protection, mandatory hunters safety, under 18 w/ an adult only ...

These are just my views, your ideas are sound and may work just fine. I have gone down this raod before and just prefer "real" shotguns.

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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:26 pm 
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Location: indiana
GordonSetter - Thanks for the warm welcome. I understand your points about practice and using our own guns. I guess that I have been approaching my idea from the standpoint of making clay shooting available to the "non-shooter". I feel that by introducing the shooting experience to a wider range of the public we would all benefit. A guy could possibly make a buck or two. If it ever flys, remember - you heard it here first. HA!
Good Luck!! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:20 pm
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Location: Northeastern Illinois
I did some more research and found the earliest reference to indoor trap goes back to 1877. A.H. Bogardus, an early inventor of glass target balls and traps had the “A.H. Bogardus’ Shooting Gallery at Glass Balls. For wing practice with shotgun. 158 S. Clark Street, Chicago.” This is from an article by Alex Kerr which can be found at www.glswrk-auction.com/200.htm. I don’t know what happened to the gallery, but there is now a skyscraper standing at this address in downtown Chicago.

I found a posting in google groups, dated 6/23/1999 by Gary A. Williams, in which he describes a game called “Mo-Skeet-O”. A company called Routledge Manufacturing in Michigan developed this in 1939. It used 2 5/8” targets and required a room 75 feet long with a 9 ft. ceiling. There were both trap and skeet versions. It was shot with a .22 rimfire smoothbore. Williams cites the source for this information as a now out-of-print book called, “Complete Book of the .22 Rimfire”. (Peterson Publishing, 1997.)

Gunbroker.com had an example of one of the guns, a Remington model 121 Field Master that was marked, “ROUTLEDGE BORE FOR 22 LONG RIFLE” on the receiver. Perhaps Routledge sold the guns along with the traps and targets.

The only two actual uses of Mo-Skeet-O I found were both outdoors at Boy Scout camps. The last one, in 1965, has a photograph found at www.billcotter.com/onteora/photos-14htm It is hard to make out the details of the trap in the photo, but it appears to be a simple manually-cocked type.

As Mo-Skeet-O faded into oblivion, Winchester tried to pick up on the idea with Wingo in the early 70’s, which CartridgeGuy described in his earlier post.

So, people have been trying to develop indoor trap for over 100 years without much commercial success. Is the time now ripe to try it again? I think it is. As society becomes increasingly urbanized, areas suitable for outdoor shotgun shooting will become harder to locate near major population centers. Indoor shooting is the answer to this problem as well as creating a “winter season” for clay shooters.

I know that some shooters will think “miniature” games like Mo-Skeet-O and Wingo are a bit trivial, but I think they are the practical way to start. They can fit on existing pistol ranges with little extra cost. Just because the game is smaller doesn’t mean the guns need to be. With light target loads and the right range design, shooters can use the same guns they use outdoors.

What I’m hoping to find is someone in Cook, DuPage, Lake or Will counties in Illinois who has an indoor range who like to help me test this out. Of course, I’d pay for the privilege. If it works, we could form a club. This would give the range owner opportunity for more income. If the club is successful, it could spawn other clubs and eventually spark some serious commercial interest. One day maybe even someone willing to invest in a regulation-sized indoor trap field.


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 Post subject: Re: Indoor Clays
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:50 am 
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Location: Green Bay WI
Well thanks for all the intrest in this. I too have heard of all these games before, but you know mw and wanting to only use real guns and loads. I have accually came up with some ideas that will work and keep the cost down.

First scrape the custom bulilding. Use a large warehouse from one of the many industrial companies that resently went under :cry: . Next setup 4 fivestands in a square pattern (side X side, back to back). Enclose the courses in balistic nylon. You can buy sheets of the stuff and it will stop lead shot. This gives you an indoor sporting clas type course. This will cut building cost by half. Next add a 50 yard handgun range and/or a 100 yard rifle range. I will run these on an appointment only basis for 6 months then appointments and limited hours for the next 6 months then appointments and regular hours. After 2 years I can add the 200 yard range and the interactive shotgun system.

The interactive shotgun system is an idea I'm working on with a few engineers. Real basic (don't wanna give it all away) you can see where your shot hits in relation to a moving target. Using your gun with your ammo, you can see if you shoot ahead, behind, under, or over. you will be able to see exactly where your shot passed the target!

Anyhow to start it up slower like this with these changes I'm down in the $150,000 startup cost which is more managable. Look for my grand opening sometime in the next 10 years!

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