Shooting House - Down Range Doors

Rum River

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
103
We have a 400 yard range in the back yard. Took a lot of years and effort to establish, but that's another story.

Due west is the only option for range direction. (Yes, I'm aware the sun does and always has set in the west.) The down range doors are hinged at the top and open like awnings for combination blue sky control/sunshades and work very well in that role. There's a heavy tree line beyond the last berm that is significantly taller, so as long as the door/awning is adjusted below that tree line there is zero problem looking west.

Problem: I'm older now and some medical stuff makes it such that the doors are a struggle for me to open.

The building doesn't have electricity (yet) so have been going around and around with design ideas that either don't need electricity or could use an electric drill. The pictures show what we're using right now - just propping them up outside. What I want is the supports to be permanently attached to the outer end of the door/awning by means of a heavy duty hinge with the other end of that support fitting into a bracket on the post.

I've scoured the web looking for something similar and haven't found it. I think I was pretty thorough but who knows what I could have missed.
Maybe google is not my friend.

What I was hoping to end up with is some kind of a jack device I could move from door to door. It would hook over the bottom sill of the opening and extend out against the outer end of the door. At that point I could pivot in the supports, set them in the bracket on the post and move on to the next door. I've considered levers, compound levers, rack & pinion, overhead cables w/boat trailer winch, etc. - but would be interested in what other people come up with.

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LuvDog

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Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Messages
108
Location
New England
First... I'm jealous beyond belief

What about adding gas struts to the door and connecting the the posts (similar to a car hatch/trunk/SUV) That would make it much easier to lift with your existing system.

I'd look at single panel garage door hinges/springs



Or maybe turn those in to sliding openings and adding a retractable awning like these
 
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Rum River

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Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
103
Why not use the tractor bucket?
Not a bad idea - but don't have one available, the crop land is now rented out.

Direction I was going is something that can be used from inside the building.
That way I wouldn't have to worry about working around whatever snow has slid off the roof.
Depending on a given day - my arms could be the problem, my legs could be the problem, or all the planets could align and I'll have one of those fantastic days when they are both a problem.
 

Rum River

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
103
First... I'm jealous beyond belief

What about adding gas struts to the door and connecting the the posts (similar to a car hatch/trunk/SUV) That would make it much easier to lift with your existing system.

I'd look at single panel garage door hinges/springs



Or maybe turn those in to sliding openings and adding a retractable awning like these
Hmm, gas struts.
What I could do is get a bathroom scale and figure out what the load is and see what struts are out there.
Have to follow up on that.

The expense of the retractable awnings is more than I can manage.
After the effort and expense of building the current doors I want to stick with them.
 

Stammster

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Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
465
Location
Houston, Texas
Looks like the back and side are partially open already (missing track doors?). Why not just prop the shooting doors open permanently or remove them.

Or modify them to swing outward, not upward. Extend the roof for sun shade.
 
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Rum River

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Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
103
Looks like the back and side are partially open already. Why not just prop the shooting doors open permanently or remove them.
Sliding doors are in process to close those off. In the summer they can be opened up as seen in the pics. In the winter the building will be closed up so the only opening is whatever shooting bay(s) is/are being used.

Already have a free wood stove earmarked for installation. Until then I use a Big Buddy propane heater to keep hands warm.
 

762x51

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Jan 8, 2016
Messages
443
Location
NC
without having power, i think i'd come up with a new style of door if it were me. put them on hinges or have them slid out of the way like a barn door.

sweet set up though. i hope to have something like that one day
 

Rum River

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
103
without having power, i think i'd come up with a new style of door if it were me. put them on hinges or have them slid out of the way like a barn door.

sweet set up though. i hope to have something like that one day
Yeah, if I had it to do over again I may have built those doors differently.

P.S.
I like your signature - I've used that one a few times.
I think I got it from an old Star Trek Next Gen episode.....
 

LuvDog

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Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Messages
108
Location
New England
They definitely make them big enough... you'd have to search around for price and what you need size wise


gas-strut-003-2.jpg
 

Rum River

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Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
103
It would be nice if I could make the gas strut idea work.
Found an online calculator to compute what I need.

Time for my own little feasibility study.
It's warmed up to 4 above zero at the moment - later today I'll do some weighing/measuring of the doors.

Thanks to everybody for responding - it's much appreciated.
 
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