Backstop


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shiftyer1
May 23, 2012, 02:13 AM
Do ya'll consider a few acres of heavily wooded and brush covered land an acceptable backstop. Handguns and rifles? Not considering big booming wizzbang magnums. Up to 308 of so.

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YankeeFlyr
May 23, 2012, 03:00 AM
No.

mark olindale
May 23, 2012, 03:30 AM
I would maybe look into making a mound out of fill dirt or something. It is much better to be safe than sorry...a .308 can go a long way. You want to make sure it is defiantly stopped.

MEHavey
May 23, 2012, 06:58 AM
a few acres of heavily wooded and brush covered land ...
Unless you know (can see) exactly where the bullet will stop, you don't have a backstop. You will never know what (or who) might be hidden by what you can't see.

Actual hunting is only slightly different in that you still never take a shot where the bullet has even the faintest possibly of continuing beyond your knowledge. Many here have had to pass up many opportunities for that reason :mad: -- but you never want to live with the possible alternative.:(

alsaqr
May 23, 2012, 07:09 AM
Do ya'll consider a few acres of heavily wooded and brush covered land an acceptable backstop. Handguns and rifles? Not considering big booming wizzbang magnums. Up to 308 of so.


Absolutely not.

M2 Carbine
May 23, 2012, 08:01 AM
No.

Is the wooded land yours?
Can you absolutely guarantee that a bullet fired into the woods will not exit the woods on to someone else's land?

Build a dirt berm. The bigger the better.

bigfatdave
May 23, 2012, 09:24 AM
no
a backstop is NOT composed of a general area that "teh boolitz 'll prolly b stopin sumwar insida"

If it isn't an object that catches bullets, it isn't a backstop. And you always over-engineer such an object, there can't be any "maybe" about whether it will catch a round, even after it has absorbed huge amounts of ammunition.

303tom
May 23, 2012, 11:08 AM
NO ! A earthen berm is the only sure stop.............

bannockburn
May 23, 2012, 11:15 AM
Most definitely NOT! As others have already pointed out just firing into a heavily wooded area does not make for any sort of actual backstop. A proper backstop would be a tall, deep, and wide earthen berm that can readily prevent any round from penetrating all the way through it.

Strange Bob
May 23, 2012, 11:22 AM
I faced this situation with actually several miles of rolling woods and pine plantation downrange. I built a hardwood log and dirt berm backstop. Why take even a micro chance of an accident?

BCRider
May 23, 2012, 11:39 AM
To be considered as safe I would expect that the woods would have to be fenced all around and clearly marked as being a firing range. If this is not the case and the woods are open to anyone that may be hiking, biking or horse riding through the area then the answer is a simple no.

You are also seriously underrating the distance that a .308 can travel. In this world of Magnum this and that too many folks have forgotten that the "old" rounds can still reach out and kill at a mile and more away. Hell, a few of us like trying to hit the 200 yard gong with handguns at my club's range. The 9mm gets there with only a little holdover and hits with quite the "THOCK!" sound. So even if it were out at 300 yards or more if it were to hit someone it would still be capable of wounding.

So dirt up a berm and be sure that ALL your rounds impact the berm at all times to be sure.

CountryUgly
May 23, 2012, 12:42 PM
Nope..... Time for some dirt...I am glad you got a place to shoot privately enjoy it and count yourself lucky. Oh did I mention to got get some dirt.

Shimitup
May 23, 2012, 02:18 PM
Here's a little illustration to direct your thoughts on this matter. Have you ever walked from a road a few hundred yards into the woods at night in the winter when the foliage is off the trees and followed the headlights of a car passing on that road? You see my point. Not much safer than shooting into thin air.

splithoof
May 23, 2012, 04:28 PM
Only a complete idiotic fool fires into an area where he cannot account for his projectiles. If you have to ask such a question, it is some time for remedial safety training.

GoWolfpack
May 23, 2012, 06:15 PM
Only a complete idiotic fool fires into an area where he cannot account for his projectiles. If you have to ask such a question, it is some time for remedial safety training.
I'm pretty sure that kind of hostility isn't necessary. Somebody came here and asked a question, you attacked him for even thinking it.


OP: Dirt is cheap, lawsuits are expensive. Everything would probably be ok. But the risk of injuring or killing someone simply isn't justifiable when the reward is saving a few hundred dollars.

crossrhodes
May 23, 2012, 06:30 PM
A person recently received a long jail sentence in Vermont. A 45 ACP traveled 250 yards through the woods and hit a man, sitting on his porch, in the head and killed him. The headlights through the trees is a good comparison. Oh ya. It wasn't his gun that fired the fatal shot, but it was his property and his range.

bergmen
May 23, 2012, 06:40 PM
Boy, I can't believe all of the negative remarks here.

Then I suppose it would be idiotic to go hunting in the woods should one chance a miss and have a bullet fly into the trees, right? Does everybody here only fire towards deer, etc. if there is a dirt backstop behind the animal?

I'm not saying it is a good idea to use woods as a backstop for a shooting range but I would have thought that there would be something of a more calm approach to OP's question.

Dan

Ironman
May 23, 2012, 07:14 PM
Here's mine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFzOSwuphBo

I agree...you need something like a berm to terminate the bullets movement safely.

Old judge creek
May 24, 2012, 08:10 PM
Is it ("some woods") "safe or not"? The answer is a resounding "No". What part of that do some of us not understand?

While hunting in flatland woods, the rule is ALWAYS know where your bullet will go should you miss the target. I learned that rule almost 64 years ago and its a good'un.

Would you put your child out to play on the far side of that wooded lot and still feel comfortable shooting in that direction?

My backstop is ~500 feet high.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c327/OldJudgeCreek/ranch/targetset107.jpg

MEHavey
May 24, 2012, 08:47 PM
Then I suppose it would be idiotic to go hunting in the woods should one chance a miss and have a bullet fly
into the trees, right? Does everybody here only fire towards deer, etc. if there is a dirt backstop behind the animal?

Yes.

I've passed up many a shot as I couldn't be sure that there was a hard backstop behind a whitetail
-- like a tree, a downward angle into the ground or the side of a ravine. Even a solid hit that becomes
a through & through is dangerous w/o a known backstop.

SleazyRider
May 24, 2012, 08:58 PM
Why not transform some of that woods into a firewood pile and shoot into it? I split and stack a large pile of firewood and shoot into the end grain of the logs. I replace the wood every two years at it seasons, burning it in my woodstove, and replenish the pile with fresh-cut wood. I always leave two or three unsplit sections of log in the middle of the pile which takes the brunt of the fire. Though I don't cast bullets at this time, the lead is easily reclaimed from the bottom of my woodstove during its yearly post-season cleaning. The end grain of wood effectively swallows up bullets from both rifle and pistol, and I've yet to experience a ricochet.

jbr
May 24, 2012, 09:06 PM
I often shoot on a farm. About 500-600 yards to the woods. I always set my targets below level. I shoot up to a 30-06. With the target below level i always see the bullet grab dirt well before the woods. Certainly it could richocet in some rare instances but i hope enough energy would be lost to prevent the bullet going to far and with the woods behind it i have always considered this safe.
AM I Wrong Guys??

Could setting up this way solve your issue?

bergmen
May 24, 2012, 10:59 PM
Yes.

I've passed up many a shot as I couldn't be sure that there was a hard backstop behind a whitetail
-- like a tree, a downward angle into the ground or the side of a ravine. Even a solid hit that becomes
a through & through is dangerous w/o a known backstop.

Then you are one heck of a far more conscientious hunter than anyone I've ever hunted with in the past 50 years. I've NEVER know anyone to pass up a shot at a buck as long as their direct hunting partner(s) are not in jeapordy.

Not once has this issue ever been brought up with the dozens of hunters and hunting scenarios I've been associated with in my entire life.

Learn something new everyday I guess.

Dan

GunnerShotz
May 25, 2012, 02:22 AM
Well now this is interesting... with the hunting comparison that is to say. For target practice though "up to .308" I'd say make a berm; and the higher it is, the less you (or anyone else) will have to worry.

Sav .250
May 25, 2012, 08:57 AM
Your kidding ,right?

Owen Sparks
May 25, 2012, 10:28 AM
I posted last year about how a local idiot was shooting into the woods behind his house and a bullet skipped off a tree and passed right between me and a neighbor. If you have ever played with tracer rounds you should know that a bullet can hit a twig or branch and change course by as much as a 45 degree angle in any direction including upward.

Look at the simple graphic below. Where will the bullet go when it hits something hard at this angle? It will arc off like a bank shot in billiards

---------------> /

MEHavey
May 25, 2012, 10:37 AM
Then you are one heck of a far more conscientious hunter than anyone I've ever hunted with in the past 50 years.
That's why I quit hunting in California in `73. Bullet went right by me down in a draw while hunting Muleys :what:
`Unmistakable Vietnam sound I never forget (or forgot). :fire:

CountryUgly
May 25, 2012, 10:45 AM
Boy, I can't believe all of the negative remarks here.

Then I suppose it would be idiotic to go hunting in the woods should one chance a miss and have a bullet fly into the trees, right? Does everybody here only fire towards deer, etc. if there is a dirt backstop behind the animal?

Dan

I don't know about everyone else but if say I'm still hunting on the ground with a level shot and nothing but open field behind the deer then yes I pass. If I'm in a tree stand or an elevated shooting house then I don't worry as much because of the downward angle. If I don't know where a bullet will stop I don't shoot. To do other wise is really just not very bright. BTW a .300 win mag and a 30-06 will pass through an 18 inch dia. oak tree with ease at 100 yards. Trees are no backstop for hunting rifles.

dubya450
May 25, 2012, 04:05 PM
I too have passed on a shot before while deer hunting (on a buck!) Because I was worried about where the bullet would end up. My buddy, not so much. He decided it'd be okay to take a shot at a running deer with my truck on the other side of the deer. He got an earfull for that one.

jj1962hemi
May 25, 2012, 04:13 PM
We should take the hostility out of this. That said, I played in the woods as a kid, as will other kids. I think the OP should build a berm (I like the log idea too), or find a plasce where the land has a natural rise. Better safe than sorry.

Owen Sparks
May 25, 2012, 04:24 PM
Trees and limbs are round and if you don't center them and just clip the esge the bullet can glance off and change course by as much as 45 degrees. Sure it will slow it down but a 150 grain chunk of jacketed lead does not have to be traveling all that fast to hurt you.

BCRider
May 26, 2012, 11:53 PM
I personally know of two guys that no longer hunt due to close calls caused by hunters that took the shot without consideration of where the miss or thru shot would go. As it turned out it went right by the two guys that don't hunt anymore close enough to make them realize that the woods are often much too full of other hunters that don't think through their shots.

dubya450
May 27, 2012, 12:51 PM
I forgot to mention this one, about 10 or 11 deer seasons ago my uncle shot a big 9 pointer and when he was walking back to get his truck I stayed with the deer. About 15 min later I heard another shot from him and figured he got another one but I waited and waited until it was dark out and he finally walked back to get the deer and me (I was about 13 or 14 at the time so no cell phone). Well what happened was he jumped another deer and took a shot at it while it was running, missed and hit his truck and went right through the gas tank. We stuck a screw driver in the holes and went home! Later on someone had told him that if the tank wasn't almost full it probably would have blown up. He's much more aware now days as am I!

Tinker
May 27, 2012, 06:35 PM
Not to beat a dead horse..... but....

Manmade dirt berm as others have said.....or into a hill.

Just look at those Youtube videos where folks shoot tracer rounds on steel. Even with solid hits you see chunks going places other than parrellel to the orginal intent.

As for trees...back in the 80's my bros and I used to shoot suplus SKS rifles and that cheap commie ammo. You'd be amazed how thick a tree even an SKS can shoot through.

B!ngo
May 27, 2012, 07:27 PM
Further dragging that dead horse through the mud :)
An acre is about 210 feet on a side. Pretty darn small. Stretched another way, about the size of the playing area of a football field. So when the OP says a few square acres, if he means 3 or 4 or so, then it's not even close. If it was a square plot, you would need more than 625 acres just to ensure that you had a minimum of 1 mile of free space per side.
For a .308, that's not nearly enough. Arguably, that's not enough for a .22LR but that's playing it quite safe.
So, no. Put the gun down and step away from your acres.

JohnKSa
May 27, 2012, 07:39 PM
For your own safety as well as the safety of others, you need a good backstop. A good backstop is that it not only prevents bullets from getting past it, if it's properly made, it also prevents ricochets from coming back at the shooter. I just read a thread on another forum that showed a picture of an injury caused by a ricochet from shooting a rifle into an area without a proper backstop. The bullet came back and went through the shooter's wrist/hand.

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