What considerations should gun range owners understand about planning upgrade services for renovating an existing outdoor range to improve customer appeal, safety and account for expansion?
James Barthel: MT2 has been involved in providing lead cleaning and maintenance services to outdoor gun ranges for over 20 years. We assist them in expanding and increasing their safety related to lead cleanup, lead removal, maintenance, increasing their customer appeal. We’ve done a wide range of construction and design projects. Some of the projects we get involved with would be extending a range and moving a range further downrange. We’ve been involved with increasing the height of a berm to keep bullets on site. We’ve been involved with a major retrofit of a trap and skeet club to help prevent lead and shot from going into the water, which is an essential point of focus these days with EPA and others.
The considerations that we get involved with from a design-build would be, looking at the Surface Danger Zone (SDZ) as far as ballistics of what’s being shot? How do we keep shooters safe between ranges?
Our design focuses on separation walls and barriers and the different materials needed to meet that need effectively. The ability to improve an outdoor range’s capabilities for managing and reclaiming lead shot and lead bullets from their backstop or the floor is another area we focus on. We’ve been involved in planning considerations for the shooting range floor and how to improve that material on the surface to help maintain its operability and manage the lead. Of course, there are targeting systems and replacement of knee walls that ranges want to look at, and we provide them a perspective that a typical contractor cannot. As the #1 firing range services contractor, we provide gun range cleaning and lead maintenance and a comprehensive firing range for indoor and outdoor range needs. This includes Shooting Range Lead Mining, Lead cleaning services, Lead reclamation & Brass recycling, Range Maintenance, HVAC systems support, Consulting and Assessment by our OSHA/EPA experts, Range Construction, Renovation, and Lead Remediation & Abatement. MT2 Firing Range Services Uses Exclusive PATENTED Technologies That NO Other Gun Range Services Contractor Can Perform.
Another unique approach MT2 provides our clients includes environmental considerations for range improvements. Cleaning up and renovating a gun range and improving environmental health and safety for the employees, shooters, and the community! With stormwater, especially on the outdoor trap and skeet ranges, there’s a need to manage the retention basins, redirect stormwater pathways, and ensure that the lead stays on the range.
Are there different considerations that go into the design and build renovations of existing indoor ranges?
James Barthel: You bet, we’ve been working in the firing range services industry for over 20 years and have successfully completed over 3000 gun ranges including services including Lead Mining, Lead cleaning services, Lead reclamation & Brass recycling, Range Maintenance, HVAC systems support, Consulting and Assessment by our OSHA/EPA experts, Range Construction and Renovation, and Lead Remediation & Abatement. About half of those projects have been indoor ranges where we help the operability, maintainability, and renovation of the range.
From a design standpoint, this could include a ventilation system upgrade or modifications to the ductwork, and ventilation testing in the range itself, which you wouldn’t usually see in an outdoor range. We work with some of the industry leaders in the ventilation area and have good relationships to bring our firing range clients.
The maintainability of the ventilation systems and the filtration systems is essential, as well as upgrading the lighting. Some of the old ranges we all used to go to were pretty dark, and with new targeting systems, active systems, then new lighting’s required.
Many new materials are out there for sound mitigation on the walls and the ceilings regarding the sound. Certainly upgrades to improve the OSHA aspects for the workers and the shooters ensure that the lead dust is not in contact with them. Installation of the new and renovations of their current bullet traps. There’s a whole new generation of bullet trap systems out there from numerous manufacturers. We provide the service to our gun range clients of replacing components of bullet traps whenever this is needed on a project.
All of that goes into the consideration of modifying the indoor firing range. Then there’s, of course, the baffling systems and how to put the bullets where we want them to go. Ultimately then, it comes down to operability, maintainability of doorways, electrical systems, and access. Those are all kinds of renovation projects that MT2 gets involved with from a design-build standpoint for indoor gun ranges and outdoor gun ranges to provide services that are the most professional in the industry.
What should firing range managers and owners think of when considering building a new firing range?
James Barthel: Well, we like getting involved upfront in new firing ranges because we can avoid problems we’ve run into from the range projects in the past. We feel like if there is ever a speed bump in a project, we can eliminate it in the future. By building a new gun range, you’re starting with a fresh slate and fresh design.
I think it would be essential to talk about the types of contracts typically used with design-build and the insurances required to do this kind of work. Typically design-build is done under a firm fixed price, cost plus, or guaranteed maximum price basis, and MT2’s experienced with all of those. You want to make sure you’re dealing with a licensed contractor and somebody who’s got direct experience, prior experience with ranges. Being licensed and having that direct experience is essential.
We like to recommend that you look at a firing range construction project in equipment neutral design-build operations; MT2 is not trying to sell you a specific piece of equipment that we manufacture….because we are not in that business. We focus 100% on gun range cleaning and lead maintenance services with comprehensive firing range services. As the nation’s #1 range support firm, MT2 specializes in safety and environmental assessment, consulting services, lead reclamation, range and bullet trap installations, maintenance cleaning, renovations and improvements, lead-waste management, construction, and construction management of new ranges. We work with all the industry partners to provide the best system for that specific range, so I think that’s an important piece.
Regarding bonding, you want a design-build firing range contractor to deliver your range project that will turn out well, especially in new construction services of a gun range. There should be some skin in the game with the firm; payment performance bonding is essential.
Lastly, insurance coverages are often something range owners don’t consider, whether they’re doing a renovation or a new build. General insurance or general liability insurance only covers the general aspects of the work. By policy, it expressly excludes any of the environmental hazards like lead, so if there’s any lead involved whatsoever, you’re not covered if you have general liability insurance. MT2 Firing Range Services offers 10 million dollars of pollution liability insurance, general liability insurance, and builders insurance to ensure that the outcome of the range project is top-notch.
In addition to looking at the types of equipment, targeting systems, ventilation systems, traps, and the specialty range equipment, we also work on the electrical, mechanical, civil aspects of what needs to be done at the site. As far as the business management side, we work with the other firms to make sure that when that range is built, whether it’s a new indoor range or a new outdoor range, it’s ready to go.
Watch the rest of this informative interview on the MT2 Firing Range Services Virtual Summit; click here