Our new indoor rifle range burned up

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Doublezranch, May 9, 2014.

  1. Doublezranch

    Doublezranch Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2011
    On May 1st our indoor rifle range opened. A beautiful state-of-the-art facility with Kongsberg electric shooting system, overhead trolley system that stopped your target every 25 yards, and one lane geared for reloading and load development. The back stop was crushed tires (similar to the Barnes factory range) and half inch steel plate. There are 2 RSO's on duty and very strict rules. The only caliber not allowed is a 50 bmg however there was one shot in the lanes to make sure it could indeed handle it.
    The range was open for roughly a week, and somehow there was a fire in the tires. For you that have had a country bonfire and have thrown a tire on the fire, you know how hot and what a mess it makes. Needless to say, she will be closed for along time. All the sound deadening material needs to be replaced, everything wiped down, deodorized, disinfected etc.

    So the only round I can think of that can start tires on fire is the 50 cal tracer rounds. I'm curious to ask all of you if you've had any ideas of what happened. We are all boggled.
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    That's a shame !!

    There are so few nice places to shoot indoors any more.

    Tracers are probably the culprit. There seems to be a trend towards tracers in many calibers starting with the 22 Rim Fire and going up. Why someone would use them indoors or out in some
    places is beyond me but grass fires are started all the time by them in the field.

    I have nothing against them as long as they are used in a safe environment.

    After the range gets fixed they may need to look at another backstop material that is not flammable.

    The Rule =If it can happen, It probably will happen. applies.

    Sorry about there/your range.

  3. gunaddict

    gunaddict Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    That sucks!
  4. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2011
    What a shame. Same thing happened to our outdoor range a few years back. Some idiot was shooting tracer rounds up into the rocks in the middle of summer. surprise, surprise, it started a fire and our range was shut down for months. And has never been the same even though we were lucky to re-open.

    So anyways, I would assume it was tracers rounds at your range that caused the tire fire. Just thinking about it now, what temperature would non-tracer bullets be at when they shoot into a tire... would the heat get high enough after several hundred rounds were stuck all in about the same spot to cause combustion in the tire rubber??? I really don't know the answer to that. You said the barnes factory range uses the same tire-rubber backstop, but I would think a public range would see higher volume of fire, especially from guys with AR type rifles... lots of lead downrange in a hurrty.
  5. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    Tires are flammable.
    Jacketed bullets hitting steel produce red hot sparks/fragments.

    Put those elements together and you have fire.

    It would only be a matter of time before the conditions were just right.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2018
  6. Demon061

    Demon061 Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2014
    Sorry to hear that. Any tracer can cause a fire. Even though ignition isn't probable it isn't impossible. I've seen brush fires started with tracers, too.

    I'm sorry to hear that man, I hope you guys get back on your feet quickly
  7. Demon061

    Demon061 Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2014
    Can you use something like angled DG for a backstop? Or perhaps fine sand particles with a suitable ventilation system?