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Recreational firearm shooting is more popular in the US than in any other country, whether that be for sport, profession, or simply fun. There are many shooting ranges throughout the country, with some states having better availability than others. State legislature policy around gun control is the key factor that affects the prevalence of shooting ranges. However, it’s a big market with potentially lucrative opportunities for anyone considering opening and operating a shooting range.
Depending upon local market demand, climate, and available real estate, the choice of whether to open an outdoor or indoor shooting range is about the only big decision that needs to be made, second of course to choosing the building material. This article explores the many benefits that a steel building provides when it is built as an indoor firing range.
So, you’ve decided to operate an indoor shooting range.
It’s likely you based your decision on several criteria, such as:
Commercial buildings come in all shapes and sizes and are constructed using a wide variety of materials. You may choose to locate your indoor range in an existing “brick and mortar” building.
However, if you plan to take on an existing property, ask yourself the following:
Steel answers the call for those looking to commission new construction of an indoor shooting range.
We’ll answer why by taking another look at the questions listed above.
Is it Big Enough?
If you take on an existing “bricks and mortar” building, you pretty much have to work with what you’ve got. It will be a particular size and shape, with inherent load-bearing walls that will be difficult to remove.
With a steel building, the framing allows for long, spanless interiors (up to 200’). Therefore, the internal partitioning can be however you want it. And, it can be big—really big—giving you some of the advantages of an outdoor range without the disadvantages.
If you decide that the partitioning needs to be modified for some reason, it’s easily done, without compromising the building’s structural integrity.
Is the Layout Convenient?
As your business grows, you may need a reconfiguration of the premises or even an extension. This is easily done with a prefabricated steel building. In fact, it’s even possible to install a second-floor mezzanine using the base structure you started with.
Can it be Easily Outfitted with Equipment and Infrastructure?
By its very nature, the framework of a steel building lends itself ideally for attaching internal cladding for heat and sound insulation as well as peripheral systems like lighting, moveable target runners, ballistic arrestors (for catching and collecting spent ammunition), and heating and ventilation (HVAC) equipment.
Can it be Repurposed if I Upgrade or Sell and Move On?
Your steel building fundamentally consists of a modular frame with metal cladding. Any accessory components that are built onto these fundamentals can be reconfigured or removed at any time. Therefore, if or when you decide to move on, perhaps to bigger and grander premises, the next owner will be able to reconfigure and repurpose the building for their business requirement.
Due to its versatility and configurability, a steel-structured building makes for a very sound investment.
How Safe and Secure is it?
Being primarily made of steel, your new indoor shooting range will be structurally impervious to fire. A fire might cause superficial damage, but you are very unlikely to lose the building itself. Also, the building’s significant structural strength will make burglary and theft far less likely, as well.
Will it Stand Up to Extreme Weather?
A steel-framed and metal clad building is about as robust as you are going to get. Bring on the hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes. Chances are, your steel-built shooting range will still be standing when other less substantial buildings have yielded.