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Best back stop for Home range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Flyboy73, Oct 20, 2006.

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  1. Flyboy73

    Flyboy73 Member

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    I am thinking of setting up of my own shooting range in the back yard. Was talking with the wife and she is not crazy about putting up a pile of dirt to act as a stop. More like I just got the back yard landscaped and you want to put a pile of dirt. :D

    Is there any other methads or materials that could be used as a back stop?

    Maybe somthing not permant?


    Brion
     
  2. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Some ranges have portable backstops.

    I think they have their places indoors, but outside is another story. you need a dependable backstop, not just a pile of dirt.
     
  3. Flyboy73

    Flyboy73 Member

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    I should have also asked

    For those who have ranges at home, how did you set up an effective backstop.

    Brion
     
  4. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Member

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    I have a small firing range in my back yard. The backstop, mind you, is very small aprox 3-4' wide by 2.5' tall. I used white sinthetic fiber bags (100 pound+/-) full of sand with a thick board of rather soft wood in front to staple my targets on. The bags are the kind that you see used by USAID for flour or grains that are given to third world refugees. I use it mainly to fire a .22LR carbine on the weekends, occasionaly I fire a .45ACP against it and it holds up fine.

    A single row of these sand filled bags will stop pistol rounds cold (I've tried .22's, .45's, 9mm's, .357SIG and 00buck). I added a second row behind the first just to be sure. Don't know about centerfire rifles or shotgun slugs. You can make this unatractive backstop dissapear very fast as most of the sand will be contained within the bags, just thow them on a wheelbarrow and cart them away. The bags will eventually make the lawn underneath it die because of the weight and lack of sunlight and might leave a bald patch.
     
  5. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Ours was made by mother nature (hillside) but our next door neighbor made one by basically building a 4'x4'x4' box out of heavy duty planks (4x4 posts in the corners) filled with dirt. You could fill it with sand and tell your wife it's a big-boy sandbox :D Just make sure kids don't play in it if you have any.
     
  6. DirtyBrad

    DirtyBrad Member

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    Ah, the high road.
     
  7. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Barrels with dirt (depending on how high power you're looking into going).

    Not easy, but they can be moved or covered when not in use.
     
  8. Mr White

    Mr White Member

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    Don't know if you have access to large pieces of plate steel, but a guy I know put pieces of plate steel then a row of horizontal logs, then 2 rows of vertical logs. The baskstop was maybe 40"x40" and he didn't do a lot of shooting at it, but it worked.
     
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    What about the legal issues? Is it legal to shoot in your area? Is there a law requiring ranges to meet certain conditions or be licensed? Is there a minimum property size for shooting or for a range? How about zoning?

    If you miss the backstop, where will the bullet(s) go? ("I never miss" is not the right answer.)

    We may not like it, but there are fewer and fewer areas where a person can just shoot on his own property with no problem. Even where it is legal, a stray round that kills or injures someone can result in a lawsuit that will destroy your life.

    Just some thoughts to show that the amount of dirt in the backstop is only one aspect of the situation.

    Jim
     
  10. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    I made a framework out of old tires, stacked in a wall about four feet high.

    Atop this framework, I poured two big, six-wheeled dump truck loads of good river bottom dirt (no rocks at all in it).

    I did the final shaping and sculpting with a shovel and my own back.

    It's held very well.

    Beyond my dirt-over-old-tire wall is unihabited Ozark forest and a mountain ridge.

    hillbilly
     
  11. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    Oh yeah...I seeded the back and sides of my dirt berm with grass.

    It blends very well now, and the grass helps prevent erosion on three sides.

    hillbilly
     
  12. goings_51

    goings_51 Member

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    I would think bales of hay would work. Sand bags would also be a good choice.
     
  13. Hazzard

    Hazzard Member

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    I think I would seriously consider what Jim Kenan said. There may not be legal implications to firing a gun in your area, but if you miss the backstop, or ND, are you going to endanger someone drinking a beer on their patio?

    I'm fortunate to have a place where I can shoot at a local range which is pretty secluded and has good backstops. But for a longer drive, I can go to our family farm where I have my own range set up with markers out to 900 yds. The backstop there is a dirt pile which others here have said may be ineffective. My dirt pile is about 400yds long, 200yds thick, and 400 ft high. We call it a ridge. I think it's pretty effective at stopping anything I'll throw at it.
     
  14. CannonFodder

    CannonFodder Member

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    I dunno, man. I hear that the .50BMG can actually shoot through tectonic plates... even if you miss! :neener:
     
  15. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    If you can get some 1/4 or 3/8 inch steel plate, a easy way to hang it is using two steel fence posts.
    And if you have a welder you can build bullet traps to.
    Backed up with something to stopped a possible miss the (unhardened) steel plate works good for 9mm and 45ACP.
    [​IMG]

    This has been my back yard pistol range for over 20 years.
    The dirt pile covers the storm cellar.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Smith357

    Smith357 Member

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    I have made quite a few bullet traps for .22lr and and standard velocity pistol using 3/8 inch steel plate at a 45% angle to deflect the lead to the sandbox bottom.
     
  17. Flyboy73

    Flyboy73 Member

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    I have nothing but a swamp behind where i would like tp put the back stop in. After the swamp the terrain raises. So any misses to the backstop, would go right into the swamp. Especially since i would be shooting ar the backstop from a little higher up.

    Brion
     
  18. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    M2 I wouldn't wanna mess with that attack cat! :)

    Unless your wife is worried about obstructing the view to the swamp I'd go with a media-filled box (sand, dirt, tires, etc) of good size. If you want to camo it further you can plant foliage on and around it, or even get one of those nifty camo nets used to cover vehicles. I think places like Sportsman's guide usually sells them.
     
  19. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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    Look here http://www.reloadammo.com/backstop.htm easy to build, cheap if you can find scrap steel. I have five of these now. They weigh about 40 pounds. Will deflect a 30-30 round at 25 yards (will dimple steel), 22lr will just splash as will any .17 rim fire round. Read about shielding the sides. Had to replace the frame of my first after about 2K rounds, have the sides covered with scrap conveyor belt and they are at 4.5K and going strong. BTY if you intend to leave it out use treated 2x4 lumber.
     
  20. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    You can always do what I did. I used my dad's logging equipment to drag a log up into a field and pushed some dirt up against it. The log is about 10ft long and about 30" thick and weighs about a million pounds(maybe a little less:cool: ). The cavity in the middle there is from about 5000 rds of various ammo, from .22 up through 30'06. My home built range is 50 yards. Works fine.
     

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  21. Griff

    Griff Member

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    Old, used-up tires work great; just make sure to fill them up with dirt or sand or they'll hold rainwater and become mosquito breeding grounds.
    Sandbags are good, too.
     
  22. tulsamal

    tulsamal Member

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    I'll go with the other posters that have recommended tires. Make a stack of them. Tall stack with the tires stacked like coins. Then fill from the top with dirt/sand. (Build a ramp for your wheelbarrow.) Two or three stacks of tires side by side for the front. Then ideally a whole 'nuther matching set of tires behind those. And then the slope of the dirt ramp you built in the back to fill them. Should stop anything. Plenty big.

    Gregg
     
  23. Holleta

    Holleta Member

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    I used a combination of dirt pile and a hole. My range is a downhill, downward shooting 100 yard range. I used the tractor to dig a hole and build up a bank behind the hole. Hole is approx 2 feet deep and targets or whatever go in hole. Natural earth behind the whole is my "backstop" since I shoot down hill. The dirt pile is my emergency/way off target backstop followed by flat ground behind it (shooting downhill) and lots o' trees. My other shooting site was more flat and I was going to build a wall of logs (trees cut down) with dirt behind it as a back stop.
     
  24. vynx

    vynx Member

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    If your wife doesn't like dirt I doubt the stack of old tires will win her over!

    Try making some kind of planter box - maybe a long row of railroad ties with 4 to 6 feet of dirt in it - I mena 6 feet back from the front - then grow sunflowers or chili plants on it or vines around it sort of like backdtop camologe - hmmm, maybe even flowers?
     
  25. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    Hmmm...tough call, if you can't just use a dirt pile. I'd try to convice the wife that you can build something thats not too ugly (use plantings, logs, landscape timbers, railroad ties (if you can get em), then plant stuff around it

    On my property I have about a 50 ft. elevation change from the bottom to the the top where the house sits (10 acres). So I've put out some old appliances (the garbage guys won't take 'em), with some 2 foot diameter logs behind them, and behind them the hillside (about halfway up the property). Believe it or not, I'm actually shooting directly towards my house/barn. But, that way the neighbors can't complain, as my own property would be the first stuff hit! Any shots that might go over the "range" would likely get stopped farther up the hill, or by the heavy trees farther up, or worst case, by my house/barn!

    I am (if I can afford it) gonna get a bulldozer in there and make if better, but it's really safe enough, as is.
     
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