My homemade bullet trap


January 18, 2012, 08:52 PM
I just built a bullet trap, and gosh it was easy. I spent about $20 on the steel and the wood was laying around my property. I went to the salvage yard today, and it surprisingly only took about half an hour to complete this. So this thing has 1/2 inch thick steel as the backplate and 2 4X4 supports screwed onto there. I have been lusting after a bullet trap for a while, but I didn't want to handout $50 plus shipping to have one I could only shoot with .22s, that isn't strong enough for all my other calibers. I even found a clip in my work area that was the perfect size to clamp the target onto the steel.

Now the whole unit weighs about 60 pounds. Despite being 17 and skinny as a rail I can lift that thing just fine. here's a closeup of the 1/2" steel I used for the backplate:
Now... what color should I paint it? :neener:
I got the idea from here:

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January 19, 2012, 02:26 PM
Looks good.

Maybe red or orange so you don't shoot the legs too often??

I might suggest you place it over a sand pit to catch the deflected bullets.
You can recover the lead with a small garden rake.

Otherwise, you will eventually have a clump of fused bullets under it that may ricochet a bullet back at you.


January 19, 2012, 03:00 PM
I hope you don't live within the city limits of any town, or you'll be getting a visit from unhappy po-po for discharging a firearm within the city limits. That's very illegal just about everywhere. It doesn't matter how big or good your bullet trap or range is, if you're within any city limits it most likely won't bode well for you. And where I live, the city limits extend far out into the country, where one would assume he'd be safe, but nooooo.

January 19, 2012, 03:04 PM
I hope he isn't planning on using it setting on a concrete patio slab either!! :what:


January 19, 2012, 07:06 PM
Well I'm not going to just stick it on my patio and fire guns at it while sipping my morning coffee (although that would be pleasant to have a cup of black coffee in one hand and a Remington New Model Army in the other) it's so I can have a nice backstop for the place I shoot at that I could set 100 yards out to help catch my lead. As for the bullets and their final destination, I'm probably going to get a steel pipe, preferably about 4" wide and with 1/4" thick walls. Then I'll cut a section of the side off to give me a 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" hole on the side. Then I'll find a way to attach it to the base, probably with some nice heavy bolts at the sides close to the 4X4s (I don't have a welder and I'm cheap.)

I also have been considering getting a piece of that hollow stuff that's kinda like a 2X4 made of steel and hollow (I'm no expert of terminology) then cut one of the 2" sides off it with my Makita. Then I could fasten that to the backstop to possibly catch my bullets, preferably with thick bolts as I mentioned before. That would be preferable since I'd have a good reservoir to contain the lead in temporarily. The cool thing about that is I can make a pusher rod to shove the lead out into a tray or some other receptacle for later use, maybe contour it. I really like accessories that go with other accessories, as redundant as that sounds. I do try and dig the bullets I shoot from the berm, although I don't like having to do that. I'll take toting a bullet trap over digging and recovering 25% of my bullets any day.


January 19, 2012, 09:59 PM
I made a bullet trap similar to this and fitted it under my split level house. I could sit in the laundry room and shoot 50' targets with no one outside ever hearing the shots. I mounted a trolly to take the targets down range, and lights on the target. I never shot anything bigger than .22 cal, but it was lot's of fun. I haven't had a house with this opportunity since then.

January 19, 2012, 10:55 PM
That sounds fun! I think if I ever have a big enough property with a house like that I might make a nice indoor range setup like that for when it's rainy and I can't shoot outside!

January 21, 2012, 06:59 PM
I raised it an added a lead catcher made from an ammo can!
I filled the ammo can with kitty litter to catch the lead
I also cut the lid so I can fit it on, this makes it so I can seal the lead and kitty litter inside to minimize exposure.

Now it's just the way I want it to be! ;)

January 21, 2012, 09:08 PM
I think you will need a bigger box.


January 22, 2012, 08:36 AM
I agree with RCMODEL. When I had mine inder the house I loosened the dirt about 1 ft deep under the entire plate and never had a rickochet.

January 22, 2012, 08:42 AM
Great idea. You sound like an enterprising young man. Glad to have you as a member of the shooting sports.

February 1, 2012, 04:23 AM
So have you tested this little gem out yet? How big a caliber do you think it would handle?

February 1, 2012, 03:11 PM
Thank you BigN, I appreciate that! :)

Me, I'm a bit of a cheapskate. If I can make something that costs half of what a rimfire trap costs that will stop just about every firearm I own then I'll by all means do it. I'm always on the lookout for making my shooting cheaper, and if I'm hankering for something then I usually take a crack at building it first.

So far I've shot it in the shop with a couple rounds to see how it works. I'm far out enough that nobody will hear the muffled shots, but I still can't shoot much in my backyard. It handled CCI stingers, and hot .22 Magnum from a pistol without the slightest dent. I think as long as I don't shoot it with any FMJ .30-06 I should be just fine. After all the biggest I can throw at it is a 20 guage slug, or a Minnie ball from my .50 blackpowder rifle. After all it's a 1/2" thick steel plate, from what I can tell it should be sufficient.

I like the fact that this will help catch the lead from my guns that spit out heavy cast projectiles. I cast my own bullets, so this is a perfect way to save lead and money. I mainly just keep it in the ten ring, but I plan to build a bigger lead catching box just to be safe.

Paul Kersey
February 3, 2012, 09:01 AM
For some reason, I'm seeing a teenager here that doesn't spend all day indoors playing video games.

Jim Watson
February 3, 2012, 09:39 AM
I think as long as I don't shoot it with any FMJ .30-06 I should be just fine.

I would not shoot it with ANY .30-06 or other high intensity rifle round.
Even angled, even half an inch thick, that is probably mild steel and a high velocity bullet will gouge it up if not penetrate.

February 5, 2012, 12:55 PM
For some reason, I'm seeing a teenager here that doesn't spend all day indoors playing video games.

I'd rather be spending my time building cool things and fixing firearms, I don't take much to video games. I prefer a good classic novel if I'm going to lay low. Besides, I don't hang out with many folk that are my age, their maturity level is absolutely terrible. They seem to have no respect for women, God, or their country and it makes my skin crawl. So here I am, the weirdo who doesn't play video games, respects women, and loves his country.

Yesterday I did give it some light duty. I put a paper target on it, put it on the other side of my yard with the lead catcher, and shot it with my Crossman Quest air rifle into it. It works well for that, definitely more roomy than my Beeman pellet trap! Plus I can hang a 6" steel gong in between the posts, how cool is that! I also have a 2" and 1" gong if I want to challenge my marksmanship. I love shooting steel! It rings nicely when you hit it too, so that is definitely a fun little plus to my already cool bullet trap! Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.

Stay safe and God bless America!

February 5, 2012, 01:05 PM
Busy Hands is a good handle for you.

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