Building a Backstop


March 16, 2011, 07:43 PM
I'd like to build a backstop for occasional rifle use. I've read a few threads here and there on the subject, and the most popular seems to be a stack of railroad ties w/ dirt or sand behind them. For my situation a double stack of railroad ties would be a lot easier than hauling and shoveling dirt. And i've found them for 4 bucks a piece. I'd be stacking about 10 on top of each other, then right behind them stacking another 10. Do yo think that would hold up well to rifle fire? Behind it would be a 200yd feild gradually sloping up to about the height of the top of the backstop. Then about 50yrds of timber before reaching the property line. According to google earth, a bullet would have to travel through another 300 yrds of timber and across a 500yrd field before it found a barn(if they even line up). Would you feel comfortable shooting 7mm Rem Mag or lighter at this backstop or should I be building something else somewhere else?

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March 16, 2011, 08:23 PM
At those distances I would put up a target and shoot no backstop.It does pay to be double or triple safe in situations with high power rifles so unless its a .50 two railroad ties thick by ten high should stop it. In reality you should be fine with just shooting you have 1200yrds behind the target 350 of which is woods.

March 16, 2011, 08:30 PM
if i was building a range for any type of rifle round, i would definitely use railroad ties with an earth mound behind them........

a stray round can travel for miles, you really cant be to careful.....

also, check and make sure there are no zoning restrictions or permits you need to be aware of.

March 16, 2011, 08:53 PM
I would think your backstop plan would work well for a long time before you chew up/rot out two thickness' of rr ties.

If you really want to do good...a backhoe or dozer can do a tremendous amount of work in an hour.

If you're gonna do it...consider incorporating a bullet trap in your plans. EPA is screwing with lead sources etc, etc.

March 16, 2011, 10:31 PM
I ended up using old tires filled with and covered with dirt. I stacked 5 high and 3 deep. It's the base on which I built my berm on. The tires were free and delivered by the garage and saved them the hazmat and trucking fee friend had a bucket loader and got the dirt fill from my own property.

Shadow 7D
March 16, 2011, 11:30 PM
Like many people have said, you may not need it, but if something did happen, you could point out that you are a responsible firearms owner, and that it couldn't possible be you, since you have an effective back stop.

That said, have you considered downward sloping plates and a sand pit?

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