Soundproofing a Shooting Range or Firing Range
Soundproofing – Many cities and municipalities are looking for state of the art sound proofing techniques or products and procedures for soundproofing a shooting range either public, private, or and even home based shooting ranges. The sound proofing elements used must be resistant to smoke and gun powder residue and must be tough (able to take a round without falling apart) and easy to maintain. Some shooters feel that expanded foam mat, like bedding or egg crate foam, will work in such shooting range applications. This is a completely incorrect belief because expanded foam is an open celled foam and has no sound proofing qualities at all.
So how do you get both sound absorption and sound blocking from one foam product, that is also impenetrable to moisture and will stand up the rough of a live firing or shooting range? Many large urban areas have contacted me desperately looking for just such a restaurant material and believe it or not we have exactly what they are looking for. It's the closed cell vinyl nitrile America mat and it has been used in many different ranges throughout the country. It is extremely flame retardant and only absorbs water into the first 6% to 8% of the mat. We have found through real life experience that this absorbed moisture dissipates rapidly and never causes mold, mildew, or deterioration.
America mat is both a blocker and absorber that is extremely resilient and versatile in the shooting environment. The mat comes in thicknesses of ¼” all the way up to 2″ thick, but we have found that in most instances the ½” America mat does the job. This foam mat would be adhered directly to the walls and ceiling of the range tunnel and in some cases it would even be adhered to the floor. This will provide complete coverage thus forcing the sound to be absorbed into the mat and with no way out it dissipates rapidly. Major shooting ranges have used this foam mat even on outdoor ranges where the material is exposed to the elements.
Now we really don't recommend direct exposure of this material to the elements (especially in the snow), but the feedback we have received in such applications has been favorable indeed. This material has been used in the cities of Boston, New York, Oceanside California, and Kansas city and all the feedback was positive. The thicker the foam, the better the results, but for a basic handgun range, the ½” America mat should be sufficient. There are many other applications for America mat, but one of the most popular is for shooting ranges. It is a phenomenal product.
There is now a new product that is also used extensively in firing ranges and police training facilities. This new product is called silent panel. I will talk more about silent panels in my next article. Thanks for reading and learning about soundproofing a firing range.
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