Assess my idea for stupidity


January 22, 2010, 09:18 AM
I cast boolits, I work loads, sometimes those loads take numerous attempts to get to where they wont lead much less shoot accurately. I am sure some of you that cast or use lead go through the same headaches. I am tired of loading 5-10 rounds in a 5 set series and waiting a week to go to the range to test them, don't get me wrong I shoot other proven rounds to make the time worth it but it takes forever to develop some loads.

Here is my idea that needs Assessment. I live in a rural neighborhood with lots about an acre a piece. I own a sink hole, not an itty bitty sink hole but more of a crater in the earth roughly 60' in diameter. I am thinking about building a simple sound suppression box (7'X1'X1') out of ridged insulation board we use frequently here at work. It would be a long rectangle box capped on all ends and a hole to fit the muzzle or arm and gun into to fire 5 test rounds through per load to see the leading effects. This would hopefully suppress the sound enough the neighbors don't get alarmed but gives me a chance to see if I am leading or not. If no leading then take those rounds to the range and check them for accuracy.

I would be firing down into the pit into a relatively large pile of wood dust I have been disposing of for years from my dust collector in my woodworking shop. Is this a dumb idea, or no. To clarify this would be done down in the pit firing into the pit.

If dumb, anybody got any other ideas to more efficiently test these loads in a timely manor.

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Jim Watson
January 22, 2010, 09:29 AM
Been done many times. When I lived next door to the area repair gunsmith, he had a muffler in his shop and could function fire a gun with nothing but a Whomp! in the shop that did not carry outside.

January 22, 2010, 09:31 AM
It's a dumb idea if it is illegal by zoning or local governance law. That's the first place to start.

As for the supressor angle--study up on suppressors.

Jim H.

January 22, 2010, 09:32 AM
Sounds great. Just make sure you aren't in an incorporated area that prohibits discharge of a firearm, or within ???' of another inhabited structure or whatever the rules might be in your area. If you're legal to shoot on your property, that's a great idea!


January 22, 2010, 09:45 AM
I am going to look into the legalities of it, although I am sure it is legal as I am in one of few neighborhoods in the county. We have one peace officer and he is an ole timer.

As far as suppressor, maybe the wrong word. Obviously not a Class 1 build but more a noise containment box. We do have that one neighbor that lives someplace far away that always manages to tell us every 4th of July the fireworks were setting off are illegal in the state of Ky.

January 22, 2010, 10:50 AM
The old gunsmith near here, who lived right in the middle of town where it was illegal to discharge firearms, did so all the time. His devise was a piece of 6" thick(1/2") walled pipe, with several angled baffles welded in it. It was about 5' ft long and had been split into halves so the baffles could be welded in and rewelded the sides. At the very end was a new looking muffler out his '64 Chevy(he had straights on) welded on. On the gun end there was a stepped down 3" pipe with a couple layers of red inter-tube clamped over it for a seal. He would stick a gun in and fire it and you could hear the bullets bang inside the pipe, but you could only hear a whomp sound less than thumping the wall. There was never a problem with the law because he fixed their guns and reloaded their bullets.

Jimmy K

January 22, 2010, 11:40 AM
an acre isn't large enough to contain a ricochet so be sure about making it impossible to happen. Even then, just one "concerned' neighbor can ruin your afternoon. That said, are you buddies with anyone (like a farmer or other large landowner) who owns a large enough tract near you (or has a big-old hill on their property)?

My brother lives in a rural environment so target shooting on his 7-1/2 acres (backed by woodlands) is mighty convenient...and also 100% legal. I live in a major city so am stuck with paying the fees at the nearest indoor range, which limits my visits to maybe a couple times a month, if that.

January 22, 2010, 11:43 AM

Don't use sawdust. Use sand. 12 inch of sand will be sufficient and it will be ricochet free IF your bullet does not hit another bullet in the sand. That means cleanup the sand often if you shoot often.

Thank you

January 22, 2010, 11:45 AM
That said, are you buddies with anyone (like a farmer or other large landowner) who owns a large enough tract near you (or has a big-old hill on their property)?

I wish, trust me that was my initial thought. Used to be able to shoot at the parents 5 minutes down the road, but they sold the land to development. This testing thing is killing me, I would love to load five round and shoot, adjust load 5 more and shoot. I think the true answer here is to move.......:D

January 22, 2010, 12:20 PM
Moving is better than getting in trouble with a frightened neighbor with a small child who calls the cops about the maniac blasting away in his backyard?

These days law abiding gun owners catch enough grief without adding fuel to the uninformed fires.

Just my two cents of course.

January 22, 2010, 12:38 PM
IF there are no county or home-owner restrictions you will be legally safe, there are no legal restrictions on any sound absorbing box such as you intend. And it WILL deminish the concussion of firing. Even so, think I would go to the near by neighbors and tell them what you plan to do. And I don't mean to ask permission, only to inform. Suspect your cop will confirm that you do have that right IF you have a safe back stop.

January 22, 2010, 08:33 PM
I'm with Ranger. If it is legal to discharge, they have no recourse.

You certainly are going above and beyond what most idiots do. Kudos for being responsible enough to worry and ask here. :D
(ETA: Most idiots don't even know what THR is...)


January 22, 2010, 09:27 PM
The question of, "using a silencer on your gun" is likely to appear here, so I'll head it off.
Federal law specifies that it's illegal to attach such a device to a gun, without the requisite federal approval. However, as long as the device is not attached, you're not in violation.
Just thought I'd clarify that. But if you have doubts, call your local ATF. From a phone booth. Across town. Since the Terrorism Act, can't be too careful these days.

January 22, 2010, 10:10 PM
Why not just get a "clearing trap"?

January 22, 2010, 11:02 PM
Clearing traps don't muffle sound. Unless you make a box in front of the trap...


January 22, 2010, 11:05 PM
"...own a sink hole..." Own a sink hole? Who sold you a hole and why did you buy one? snicker. How deep is your hole? Can you get to the bottom of your hole? Is your hole 60' diameter at the top or bottom? 60 feet at the bottom would give you a dandy home range.
Assuming there are no firearms discharge by-laws, go into your hole and shoot. The walls of your hole will likely deaden any sound.
"...would be firing down into the pit..." Shooting down into your hole will give you grief.
"...the maniac blasting away in his backyard?..." His backyard hole.

January 22, 2010, 11:15 PM
If you have a Basement...put a few layers of Homosote over the Windows...and you're good-to-go as for a short-ish Indoor Range with about zero outside sound carry.

I used to test Pistol rounds in a hall closet, shooting straight down into a Bucket of Sand with a soft sheet plastic cover...door closed.

Only a soft 'whump' could be heard from the other areas of the home...and nothing at all to be heard outside.

January 22, 2010, 11:15 PM
If legal issues have been cleared,

Clearing traps don't muffle sound. Unless you make a box in front of the trap...

Here's an example of a pipe clearing trap:

Our range uses old tire rubber to capture bullets and is cleaned twice a year (rubber wear is virtually minimal and bullets come out intact) - This way you can reuse the lead instead of shooting it down the sinkhole - recycle!)

So, if you make a clearing trap out of steel pipe (say, large 60" welding gas bottle) and fill it with old tire rubber (should be easy enough to get) and build a detachable sound box, you can have a safe and quiet lead recycler! :D

When not in use, detach the sound box and put the screw top on and it will look like a gas bottle. When it's time to test, attach the sound box.

January 22, 2010, 11:15 PM
Own a sink hole?
For me this would be a metaphor :(

January 22, 2010, 11:20 PM
You might as well figure out a way to contain and save the bullets.
A barrel of water might work in your pit. Cover it with layers of cloth? to contain the splash. Whole lot easier then dealing with sand or sawdust.
I worked at a shop that had a indoor test room with a steel box we shot into. It had a steel pipe we would shoot into. Dust would fly back at us if the trap was getting full.
Lots of ways to tone down the noise and contain the bullets.
I would try shooting through the middle of a stack of scrap tires. About twenty feet of tires might contain the noise.

January 22, 2010, 11:24 PM
"...this would be a metaphor..." Vehicle or house? Or both?
The idea of owning a hole tickles me. Reminds me of that Bugs Bunny cartoon.

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