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old tires as a backstop?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by mw367, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. mw367

    mw367 New Member

    Has anybody ever used old tires stacked on their sides so that you are shooting into the tread? Would just like to get some input on the idea before i try it.
  2. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Is it your own land?

    What is the gun? Pistol? Rifle? Caliber?

    What is behind the "backstop"?

    Lots of factors... How many tires?
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It will take a lot of tires to stop rifle bullets.
    Or even pistol bullets if you shoot well enough to hit in the same place all the time.

    Stacked up and filled with sand though, they will stop anything, indefinately.

  4. GlowinPontiac

    GlowinPontiac Well-Known Member

    Be careful if you shoot .22 at them. I have had .22 bounce off tires and go flying in random directions including back twoards the firing line.
  5. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    I don't know about shooting at steel belted radials.
  6. youngda9

    youngda9 member

    Doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. Find a hill, tree, or pile of dirt.
  7. Mobuck

    Mobuck member

    I started out many years ago with stacked truck tires filled with sand. I used 2 stacks side by side in front with a 3rd stack behind covering the gap and sheet of plywood to attach targets in front.. I found that arraignment insufficient to stop 30/06 and 7mm mag rifles. I left the tires in place and now use double stacked railroad ties in front of the tires. Ties are stacked offset so the cracks don't line up but the middle gets shot out after a couple of years and has to be replaced. This gives me a 4'x 6' area for hanging targets.
    A guy up the road used tractor tires filled with sand. Worked OK until the tires got shot up somewhat, then the sand dribbled out when it rained.
    So, to answer your question. No, just a stack of tires will not make a decent backstop and yes, you'll need something like a sheet of plywood in front of the tires to prevent rebound and to hold targets(if you choose to use tires filled with sand/dirt).
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Sheesh. I've seen .45 230 gr. ball come back uprange after hitting tires. Tires are a lot like the big plastic barrels folks seem to want to use for target holders sometimes -- you just never know what that bullet's going to do after it hits them.

    If you've got a lot of tires you can use them as a kind of filler and binder for a backstop berm, but make sure they're covered DEEP in dirt/sand so the bullets are actually contained.
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    We've discussed this several times and the facts are that impacting tires can result in ricochets and injury.

    If you use tires to make a retaining wall for dirt they can be useful, but NOT for the backstop itself.
  10. brnmw

    brnmw Well-Known Member

    Agreed, years ago we had used a bunch of old tractor tires and treated wood we did not want to burn... piled them up but then dumped a ton of earth over them making a "Hill" as a shooting range. "ALOT OF EARTH" using tractors.... bare tires no way!!!
  11. c.latrans

    c.latrans Well-Known Member

    I may be alone in the universe on this one, but I use a system exactly as Mobuck described. Let me say first, that we use this range for high power rifles only. We have 3 stacks of tires placed in a triangle. 8 tires high, filled with dirt. Ten feet in front of that we have a sheet of plywood mounted on posts to staple targets to. Now the closest I have ever shot at this backstop is 50 yards, I am usually shooting 200 yards because we have a bench built there. The system works great for my uses. I copied this from none other than Bob Milek, who was an acquaintance. I would think if we are getting blow back off the tires some of it would end up on the back of the plywood but after several thousand rounds, I have yet to see it. We have used it for rifles up to 416 Mag. Have had to replace a couple of tires over the years, and the plywood quite often, but never an issue. It should be said that there is nothing but sage brush for quite a few hundred yards in any direction, except directly behind the bench....well, and a few sheep from time to time! Also, this set up is on a shooting buddies private land. I don't think I would use it for lower power applications such as handguns, for the reasons mentioned. YMMV.
  12. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Well-Known Member

    Not very effective. Even a 22 will go through many many tires.
  13. Loc n Load

    Loc n Load Well-Known Member

    Tire houses

    As a tactical firearms instructor I have had plenty of time in shooting houses that were constructed of stacks of auto tires filled with sand. I have been in these "houses" that covered a lot of area and had room after room in them.....we have used them for years in CQB and training teams how to clear rooms/buildings.....getting "bounce backs" from 9mm's and 45's is common. And when I say " bounce back" I mean a projectile coming back at you hard enough to hurt you. We learned the hard way over the years, and the only way I would shoot into a stack of tires is if I had some distance and I was fully armored....meaning legs, groin, torso, throat, face and eye protection.
    Most agencies have gotten away from using tires for this reason in the past years due to the liability.....Tires are very, very tough.....this stuff you see on TV where they shoot tires out, is mostly fantasy land....take a steel belted radial and try and saw the thing through the sidewall, tread and other sidewall and you will see what I am talking about.....I would not recommend tires for a back stop.
  14. goldie

    goldie Well-Known Member

    Truck mud flaps from a semi if you can get them work better, ive used them upstate many years ago.since they are flat, if you put about 5 or 8 together, it works pretty well at stopping or slowing bullets,depending on caliber, then a big dirt or sandpile behind it,too...
  15. mw367

    mw367 New Member

    I would like to thank all of you for the advice. It seems i will be going a different route with this personal range idea. Maybe railroad crossties or just a couple loads of dirt.
  16. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Well-Known Member

    No R.R. ties

    I tried the R.R. ties and they were shot to pieces in no taime at all.

    I was the only one to use the range and it was primary a pistol stop.

    Did not last even a full year.

    Now if you can do a R.R. tie front and back and fill in the middle with at least 5 feet of earth,that would be better as I used to shoot at a range that was so set up.
  17. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    For those who are thinking this might still be a good idea;

    Check State and local laws/regulation for storage of tires on your property.

    If you sell your property you will need to declare the tires on our property.

    EPA has regulations for storage of tires...it may be considered a hazardous material and have to be removed.

    Disposal of tires can be a expensive process. Try finding a company that recycles tires or will store them.

    Failure to do so can result in big trouble.
  18. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Well-Known Member

    Used conveyer belting in several layers with 3 to 4 inches between layers works well. Try with the first two layers vertical and slant the next two or three layers top towards the firing line, if the round penetrates the first layers then the next ones deflect into the ground,
  19. GlowinPontiac

    GlowinPontiac Well-Known Member

    Call some tree companies. A lot of them are looking for places to dump logs. You'll be competing with guys wanting them for firewood but you can probably get a few dumptruck loads of logs for free or rather cheap.

    No worries about hazmat and when they get shot up too bad you can invite some buddies over and have a bonfire.
  20. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

    We just had our rifle/pistol ranges rebuilt. The contractor used shredded tires in the berms behind the target frames on the berms. The shredded tires do an amazing job of trapping the bullets, and preventing deep penetration of the berms. When we decide to have the bullets reclaimed, it's a relatively simple matter of replacing the shredded tires, and a couple of inches of fill dirt.

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