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Backstop for home made range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Robbins290, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I am planning on making a 100 yard range on some land i will be owning in a few weeks. In the idea stage now. I need some good idea's for low maintenance back stop. Was thinking 55 gallon plastic drums fill with sand or tires piled up with plywood in front of it.

    Does anyone else have any ideas?
     
  2. Bob Willman

    Bob Willman Member

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    In the mid 1970s I got some used railroad ties and stacked them like a picket fence with the 2 side stacks at a 45 degree angle to the back stack. I placed 2 poles behind the corners of the junction of the back stack and side stacks. Then I covered the front of the ties with corrugated plastic panels with the ridges vertical. Two truck loads of yellow sand dumped in front of this makes a backstop about 6' high, 8' wide and about 5' deep at the target level. Nothing I have will penetrate the sand but I have dug out lead minnie balls from muzzle loaders that were elbow deep. I did reposition the sand about 5 years ago that had washed down some.
     
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  3. mcb

    mcb Member

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    A big pile of dirt is probably the quickest, easiest and safest.
     
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  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Yup sand or dirt.
     
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  5. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I thought about that, but there is alot of ledge. might be hard to make with a rented tractor. But might be the easiest approach soo far.
     
  6. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    If possible a tandom truck load of sand maybe cheaper then you think.
     
  7. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    Problem is, its up a old logging road and a drump truck can not get up there, Only pick ups.
     
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  8. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Ya I figured that, around me a one ton dump truck of sand is only about $40.
     
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  9. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    Thats not a bad price. I know a local place i can fill my truck for super cheap. but thats alot of work
     
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  10. Wisco

    Wisco member

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    Dirt. Skid steer. Grass seed. Done.

    Go 20% higher and wider than you first think. Erosion. Errant shots while zeroing. People you’re teaching to shoot missing the berm...
     
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  11. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    skid steer? thats like a bob cat right? i will have to see what the rental place has around here. or borrow somebodys tractor
     
  12. Wisco

    Wisco member

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    Yep - bobcat is a brand of them.

    Personally, I don’t own one. A rental was $300, so I hired a local guy for $100 plus $20 tip total (he was on time, very polite, very efficient) to do about an hour of work building a small berm and moving some other landscaping materials around. Very quick work for an experienced driver - who was insured and bonded and showed up and left on schedule.
     
  13. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    That is also a good idea. There is a small guy that has equipment like that. Does most of the earth work in this town. And the land is around 5 miles from his house.
     
  14. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Is there a hill side you can dig into.
     
  15. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    ya, its on the side of a mountain. 210 foot incline from one end to the over, 8 acre square lot.
     
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  16. wild willy

    wild willy Member

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    One ton of sand isn’t that much it’s less than a cubic yard.It takes more dirt than you think to make a good backstop.My 50 yard is over 30 ton of clay the 100 and 170 aren’t much less 170 yards because that’s as far as I can shoot in the yard.If you have never run equipment it might be quicker and easier to get some one in with a track loader they will do more in a couple hours then you’ll do in a day if you don’t have any experience
     
  17. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    i used to run a rock crusher with excavator arm with a hammer on it. Controls are the same as an hitachi. and i ran a bob cat daily. But only messed around with a loader. Im sure i can pick it up easy. I will compare prices. but i like the idea of mounding up soil and throwing seed on it.
     
  18. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Are they replacing any utility poles or railroad ties, you can make a box that can hold sand.all the basic machines are about the same 5 or 10 minutes to get the hang of then.
     
  19. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    If you rent for the day make a list off other things to use it for, since your up high i would see how water drains. Or even the access road in is it level, keeps you from sliping around when driving in them.
     
  20. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I just use a big pile of dirt pushed up with a bulldozer. No reason to make things complicated.
     
  21. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    A few dumpster trucks full of dirt would be what I use. Depending on how prone the area is to erosion you might use a soil hardening treatment to keep it the same shape over time.
     
  22. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Sand is also very hard to keep piled up unless you can keep it covered with some type of grass. Wind and rain move it in a hurry.
     
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  23. wild willy

    wild willy Member

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    I'm not the one who recommended sand.I used clay for my 50 dirt and logs for the others even clay and dirt settles and washes down. I have a loader so once in a while I move the targets and pile it back up.Even with grass on it shooting erodes the front and it falls down.
     
  24. Jammersix

    Jammersix Member

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    It's hard to beat a berm, made out of whatever's already there.

    The advantages are it's already there, it's free, there's probably a lot of it, and if it develops hotspots it can be sifted, the lead mined for smelting and re-used.

    The disadvantage is that mining lead from a berm is hot, heavy, hard, heavy, hard work.

    If I weren't going to use a berm, I'd go all the way to a steel bullet trap, built as a funnel feeding into a steel collection shell. There are plans all over the net.

    Advantage would be the simplicity of recovering lead and it would be the lowest maintenance system.

    There is only one disadvantage to a bullet trap: building one that would take any caliber would be quite expensive.
     
  25. SamT1

    SamT1 Member

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    If you can get cross ties they make a pretty quick back stop. I’ve seen some pretty descent ones made by drillong a hole in them and stacking them on a couple sucker rods drove in the ground.

    If you bought dirt you’d be shocked how small a truck load will be.
     
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