building a backstop


July 20, 2009, 02:13 PM
I did searh and found alot of information. Still have some questions. I have a steel plate. 6 1/2' x 4' x 5/8". Im going to use that set up on angle to deflect the bullets towards the ground for rifle. What would be a good angle for the plate to be at? I know after use it will become dangerous to use from craters and im sure some bullets will go through. I also read somewhere about using a rubber mat in front to slow down the bullets some. This may be the case but I think it would really help prevent richotchets from going out of control. So I want to build a dirt pile behind it with railroad ties and logs on the backside of the pile. Its just a flat piece of ground, so dirt will have to be trucked in. The pile will be about 15' wide maybe 10 feet tall. What is suggested for depth? How many tons will it take to make this pile? I will have the range set up to shoot out to 100 yards. But for pistol shooting you can just move closer to the dirt pile and not use the steel plate. What other suggestions do you guys have? Thanks Josh

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July 20, 2009, 05:53 PM
First your going to want to know how many YARDS, not TONS. Since ton is a measure of weight, and weight varies with moisture content, density, etc. you could wind up paying for a bunch of WET dirt. Simple formula, Width x Height x Depth(in feet) then Divide by 27, so you need one more measurement to proceed. This will give you the approx. number of cubic yards or "yards" of dirt to order. Second, if you put your steel plate INSIDE the dirt, like a foot in or so it should be fine indefinitely. This will effectively utilize the dirt as the backstop with the plate as a "safety" barrier.

July 23, 2009, 02:07 PM
Once the ground drys up a little im going to move some railroad ties into place. Then hopefully getting some dirt. Any ideas yet? Josh

July 23, 2009, 05:01 PM
I have seen somewhere that old tires are used with the dirt piled on top of them. Looks like old tires could be found for nothing and not have to buy cross ties. That should make a pretty good backstop.
If you are building a dirt backstop I wouldn't even use a steel plate. The dirt will stop anything anyway.
I used only dirt on backstop I built. Using my tractor and a box scrape I just cut down a small hill and piled the dirt with the scrape. It's "L" shaped with each leg 25' long an is
7-8' high.
Wish I had seen the tire thing before I built mine. It sure would have saved me a lot of time. ( Less dirt used too )

July 23, 2009, 05:15 PM
You could possibly dig a slope into the ground, and use the dirt you take out to make a berm at the back. At your 100yd line, make a raised platform, or another berm to shoot off of.

July 23, 2009, 05:35 PM
Set your steel plate at a 45 degree angle leaning towards the shooting position.
Fill under it with sand.

All the bullets will deflect off it into the sand under the plate and stop.

We "mine" the lead out with a rake every once in a while and have no splatter or ricochets at all.


July 23, 2009, 05:57 PM
You'd have more surface area if the steel was set up with the long side vertical. If possible. Might need to install some side supports, made out of crossties.

July 24, 2009, 01:41 AM
Ill check into the tires. You can get them free around here. Atleast they would make good fill for the dirt. The pile is going to be pretty close to a big ditch. Drainige is already going to be a problem. So digging out in front might not work. But I will keep it in mind. I think I will have the long side vertical. As far as not using the plate. Im going to need it for a little while. Atleast till I get a good dirt pile. I want to be able to practice drawing and shooting pistol. I dont think the plate would be a very good tool to utilize for this at close distances. Thanks!!!! Josh

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