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06-02-2013, 01:22   #1
Mindful
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Home Range

Hi there,

I'm looking for any advise/ info on how to make sure target shooting at home stays safe.

I used to make rough plastic bows and wooden arrows and shoot them in the garden often enough, and that was no problem. Now though, Im doing a beginners course in Dublin and getting hooked on the sport! I realise that I will most likely continue with it after the course is over, and also that I will almost certainly want to be shooting a lot more than once per week. I'm thinking about shooting at home some days but as there is a big difference in using homemade vs professional gear, I want to make sure I do it safely.

I have an area about 50ft long which is walled by my house on one side, and a six foot solid panel fence at the other side and the tail end. The area is about 10ft wide all the way down the length.

What factors do I need to take into consideration if I am to shoot here, or would you just not recommend it at all?

Thanks
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06-02-2013, 12:29   #2
TommyKnocker
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I am also new to archery and I shoot in my back garden. I have one of the large straw target bosses you see in clubs and I made a stand for it. I place the target at the back entrance to my garage, so that I am shooting towards my own property.

I am only shooting from 10m so I don't miss the target, but you can also buy some netting, which can be used behind the target to stop any stray arrows. On rainy days I move my target into my house (I live alone) and set the target up at the hall door. I then shoot from the kitchen, down the hall to the target. Again a distance of 9m-10m. This way I can shoot as much as I want.

I would imagine that as long as you account for stray arrows and ensure that should you miss the target, your arrows will not end up in a neighbours property or a publicly accessible area, or in any way pose a danger to anybody you should be fine.

Also do others have access to this area you propose to shoot in?

If yes,

* What is the possibility of somebody or somebodys pet entering this area while you are shooting and possibly getting injured?
* You should inform the others who have access of your intentions and give them the chance to raise any objections they may have.

I would say that the main thing is to make sure that nobody can come to any harm due to you practicing at your chosen location.

Last edited by TommyKnocker; 06-02-2013 at 21:02.
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06-02-2013, 16:18   #3
bjpower
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You must make sure you cannot hit anyone. arrows and bows can have failures that cause the arrow to fly off in crazy directions.

A handy area to practice would be if you have a garage and shoot from the door of the garage inwards.

a 6ft fence at 50 ft will be easily be cleared if a gust of wind throws off your aim.

dont get hung up on distance. practice your form the rest will follow.
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06-02-2013, 17:00   #4
greysides
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Basically, I'd agree with the other replies and I'm glad to see you realise the importance of safety by asking. Your teachers have done a good job.

I'm lucky in that I live in the country and can shoot safely, once a little care is taken, at reasonable distances. I have an earth bank behind the butts I use the most and half a mile of furze to search through if I over shoot that.

Recently most of my shooting has been done up very close, blank baling, to concentrate of form matters. I don't think I've shot over 20m in six months! So this is something that will hugely benefit your shooting without needing much distance.

I've seen some real 'funny' things happen with arrows that you'd never expect. Whatever your set up it must be fool proof. Beware letting others try out your kit too! Arrows can hit nails or knots in the wood of a butt and bounce back.......... to your feet. A nock can break on release with unexpected results. The 'have-a-go' can let go too soon and an arrow can glance of a roof and go miles.......if you can imagine it, it can happen, you do need to be very careful.
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06-02-2013, 21:29   #5
Mindful
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Thanks for the replies guys. You've been very helpful.

I think the keyword I should take from all of this is "foolproof". Whilst the setup I described above would be safe 99% of the time, I can imagine scenarios where a really wild shot could fly over the end fence out onto the street, or ricochet over the side fence into my neighbour's garden. Neither of these scenarios, however unlikely they may be, are worth taking the risk for. I would have a hard time forgiving myself if I hurt a person or an animal.

I could shoot into my shed. Actually I did shoot a fair bit in my shed with my home made gear before. What I feared this time is a stray shot bouncing off the block walls and skewering me. While this would be prefereable to hurting anyone else, it's not something I would wish for either! I could clear part of the shed which would let me place the target about 18ft away from me, but I dont know if that would be a safe enough distance or not.
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06-02-2013, 22:43   #6
greysides
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I regularly stand 5-7m away from a bale and shoot, sometimes even with eyes closed

I use a 130 cm layered foam butt, also useful for tuning as a wayward bareshaft will still be caught.......... most of the time. The earth/stone bank otherwise is called into service.

There is netting you can get to take the oomph out of a missed arrow. Even some heavy carpet will slow it a lot. It might save arrows that would otherwise hit a block wall. They netting/carpet needs to be able to move i.e. hung like a curtain.
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06-02-2013, 22:59   #7
Mindful
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Thanks Greysides. I think I see a plan forming.

The target I use is layered foam insulation. I'll see if I can dig up some old carpet from somewhere now - it'll be easy enough to hang it as a backdrop for where I'll shoot. If an arrow was to hit the block wall somehow though, do you think there is much chance of a rebound, or is it more likely that it will shatter?

I dont mind losing an arrow, but Im rather fond of my eyes
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07-02-2013, 00:26   #8
greysides
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At close distances you're not going to miss the butt, if it's big enough.

Maybe a double layer of carpet, hung out from the wall. If the arrow goes through the carpet it's unlikely to do so twice.

If you're doing a beginners course the poundage will be low and if using aluminium arrows, the arrows heavy. I doubt you'll have trouble.

There was a thread here a little while back about making a butt using carpet strips. Compacted well, they make a very solid butt. Heavy though!
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15-02-2013, 11:57   #9
Lardy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greysides View Post

There was a thread here a little while back about making a butt using carpet strips. Compacted well, they make a very solid butt. Heavy though!
Here is my home made butt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCc1_6r2W2E

Watch from 28 sec in. Was shooting a 40lb recurve when I made that vid. I'll look for the thread where I made the butt.

EDIT:
From the other thread...
Quote:
If you make a U shape out of the wood first, then layer the carpet until you are a few inches above the hight of the wood, then lay the top plank of wood on top of the carpet. Now put 2 ratchet straps from the bottom of the target, and over the plank thats resting on the carpet. Tighten the ratchet straps until the carpet is compressed, and the top plank sits flush with the 2 upright planks. Now nail the top plank in place. Remove the straps and turn the target 90degrease so the carpet is vertical. Finished.

And yeah, it stops the arrows perfectly. Just don't use carpet that has rubber/ sticky backing or you wont get your arrows back out!

Last edited by Lardy; 15-02-2013 at 12:01.
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