Home shooting range and lead build up?

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Anyone have experience building a 100 yard shooting range on their property that is also the property where you live?

My concern is that lead will build up and leach into the groundwater. And since my water comes from a drilled well, this could be an issue down the road. I do have a whole house filtering system in place.

I just do not like the idea of filling a berm with lead/copper etc and leaving it there. I would feel better about it if i could collect it after a certain period of time.

I understand that the ground itself acts as a "filter" but since i plan on living at this property long term. Im not looking to pollute my property in any way.

Are there any methods of easily collecting lead once shooting into a berm?
 
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Depends whose study you read. There is a lot info out there on just this subject. If possible maybe make a contained impact area. Some depth of sand with a impermeable liner underneath might be ideal. You will want to reclaim the lead for several reasons. A screen box and a shovel will work.
 

whacko

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Depends whose study you read. There is a lot info out there on just this subject. If possible maybe make a contained impact area. Some depth of sand with a impermeable liner underneath might be ideal. You will want to reclaim the lead for several reasons. A screen box and a shovel will work.
Agreed that the ability of lead to leach into soil and water supplies is debatable. However most new military ranges when they are build have an impermeable liner under the berm. The new ranges built at camp Edwards Massachusetts have a thick black liner under the impact area.
 

ToddDubya

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People are still finding lead bullets from the Civil/Revolutionary Wars in rivers and in the ground. If they're still intact I can't imagine they've leached much into the water supply. If water running over a bullet for nearly 250 years hasn't worn it down to nothing, I wouldn't worry about bullets sitting in the dirt. Just my opinion, I'm no scientist.
 
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How much lead do you think would be put downrange on a home range? Not enough to be noticed, I think. I belonged to a seriously active club in Colorado which was across the road from a river. We had hundreds of members. We ran monthly USPSA, IDPA, weekly trap, ZOOT shooters, etc, etc, matches. Because of the proximity to the river there was regular monitoring of lead migration. The range is from the 1920’s and there is no lead migration evident from the testing. Results may vary, I guess.
 

Dadstoys

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If it's a small berm then build a roof over it.
At our club , both the mid range and pistol range have a roof .
Leaching shouldn't be an issue, even if it was one , if no rain falls on the bullet trap.
 

MGnoob

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Sometimes i mine berms for lead, after winter is the best.
Alot of clubs wont let you because they done want the berm messed up...which if done with a rake actually improves the berm...most projectiles dont go very deep.

As far as lead on your property id be more concern about steel cases and trash left behind.
Ive been tested for lead, unless you work at a poorly ventilated indoor range, youll never have an issue.

I dont personally know you but how much lead do you really think youll leave downrange in your lifetime....it could be litterly a ton or several tons...2000lbs of lead really isnt very much..lead is heavy and dense.

Oil comes from the ground, but that doesnt mean you want it everywhere.
Oil can travel far and contaminant water, lead is not going to be more than a foot in the ground where it will pretty much stay..once the surface of lead oxidizes break down doesn't stop but is so slow not much will change in your lifetime
 
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You live in the northeast there's a good chance you grew up on lead water mains and I'm sure there's still plenty in the ground. Building a small home range can be a great chance to make a decent lead recovery set up.

The epa has a lot of info on range management and lead containment and preventing contamination.
Growing up a few people had private ranges.
All used the same style design. Basically a lean to style structure made of railroad ties or telephone poles then filled and covered with sand/dirt.
Some times as kid we would be tasked with sifting out the impact area. You will be surprised at how many bullets find their way to the top of the pile.
 
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Leaving it in the ground would be the safest thing to do. Shoveling out a berm will expose you to a shitload of lead dust. It would probably be safer to drop a lead ingot in your well than dig out a berm. When fall river R&G redid their pistol house one of the workers got lead poisoning from shoveling out the backstop.
 

whacko

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Leaving it in the ground would be the safest thing to do. Shoveling out a berm will expose you to a shitload of lead dust. It would probably be safer to drop a lead ingot in your well than dig out a berm. When fall river R&G redid their pistol house one of the workers got lead poisoning from shoveling out the backstop.
Correct the dust is the biggest risk. At my club when we sweep up forward of the shooting benches we wear masks rated for lead dust contamination. The backstop media is raked out to reclaim the lead and copper once a year and they wear respirators.

I'm not convinced that lead leaches into water sources. I was Inna debate about this once with a guy that was convinced that the lead ban on shotgun ammo for waterfowl was because it pollutes the water with lead. That ban is in place because loons and other waterfowl eat grit from the bottom of the water body to help digest theory food and they pick up lead shotgun pellets and fishing sinkers. The gravel grit breaks down small enough that they pass it through their digestive system. Lead pellets don't break down and kill the birds .
 
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