Back Stop Design Theory


February 25, 2011, 10:36 AM
In another post relating being struck by a riccochet, I would like to share some thoughts on back stop construction.

I shoot on our property and desired a better situation than shooting into the woods at the foot of the hill with a neighbor's house over the hill at about a 45 degree angle, so, I set about what is sort of my own little pyramid construction. In it's core, I initially placed generally hard stuff that was on hand (rocks, metal, what have you). Around that core, I have since continued to place the relatively "soft" outer layer that continues to grow, of woody debris, brush, feed pad scrappings, that sort of thing.

The concept I'm operating on, is that any bullets that do penetrate as far as the hard inner core will stand a better chance of being disrupted by the hard core and then the disrupted bullet will more easily be contained by the soft outer layers to reduce riccochet potential. In the summer, I grow viney stuff all over it to render it a little less "junky" looking.

What things have others done to create a safe back stop or range?

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February 25, 2011, 11:16 AM
The NRA has a whole book on range construction including backstop design. Talk to them to see how you could get a copy or an E version. Be better then reinventing the wheel here.

February 25, 2011, 12:19 PM
My reason for bringing this up was;

1) To see what others may have done utilizing available resources

2) Promote awareness and discussion of the elements of safe range design and use

3) I don't have high speed internet, so downloading a book is out of the question

4) Sometimes, reinventing the wheel, produces a better wheel

February 25, 2011, 01:47 PM
Out where I shoot, we have some big dirt burms that are covered in grass seed to make the dirt look better, and help prevent erosion. It seems pretty effective.

February 25, 2011, 01:57 PM
My range is set up with dirt mounds. I put all riccochet producing materials on the back of the piles. We have done some extensive landscaping, so all the excess rock and stuff like that goes on the back. If anything were to get through to it to bounce, it would bounce back into the pile.

February 25, 2011, 02:31 PM
Plain old dirt works well for me.

THe Dove
February 25, 2011, 02:55 PM
Round hay bales and dirt berm works for me.

The Dove

February 25, 2011, 05:54 PM
A friend of mine had a berm built into the back of his property when he had his house built. Over the years he continued to add more dirt and organic material behind and on the sides of the berm, so that now it's more like a crescent shape mound,with the shooting area being in the center, with wings on either side of it.

To offset yearly erosion he buys bags of sand which he stacks up all along the front of the berm. It does a great job of adding to the overall depth of the berm and reduces the chance for richochets.

February 27, 2011, 01:49 PM
This pump just isn't taking a prime is it?

Some other ideas I've seen used on home ranges include use of a "snail" trap (has a funnel shaped end that terminates in a tightening spiral to deaccelerate the bullet) and use of a suspended piece of conveyor belt to stop a .223 bullet (don't know about this one, I'm surprised it would stop one).

On my rifle range, I use 12" X 12" X 3' wooden cants to catch bullets. I shoot a lot of patched round ball and can recover lots of lead this way to be recast. At times, I'll recover a golf ball sized lump of lead that has swaged itself into one big lump.

February 27, 2011, 08:09 PM
To the OP, your design reminds me of the kind some indoor ranges use. A top and bottom plate, steeply angled into a cylinder type center that the bullets run into and bounce around till all energy is expended.
You know, same thing but different. I like your idea.

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