bullet trap design?

Discussion in 'Rallying Point and Range Discussions' started by kennedy, Oct 5, 2014.

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  1. kennedy

    kennedy Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    southern Ind.
    building a indoor range at home and need an idea on a bullet trap design for .40. thought to angle it at 45 degrees down into saw dust and sand, how thick should the steel be?
  2. SDC

    SDC Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    People's Republic of Canada
    More important than thickness is the hardness of the steel; mild steel will divot, bend and crack before much use, and any of those is going to end up spitting lead back at you, so you're better off using AR500 steel. Sand also isn't the best material for a catch, unless you're willing to sift it out on a regular basis; bullets end up building up in a layer just under the surface, which then has to be broken out with sledge or jack hammers. If you have the room for a snail-type trap, which lets the bullets drop out the back into a pan after they stop spinning, they're probably the most maintenance-free, but you also want to make sure you have good ventilation, going from behind you to towards the backstop.
  3. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

    Jan 22, 2005
    Texas - Born and Raised
    The snail type is overall the best route to go as well as using some of the higher grade steel. However that might be a bit complicated and expensive for the tight budget home builder.

    That said, you might take a look around through this link and see if something you can put together pops up,
    Bullet Trap Ideas
  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    I quit shooting firearms indoors, except for a hand full of sanctioned matches years ago when my lead levels got too high but a 45 degree angle (more is even better) will work fine for .40. 3/8" thick mild steel will show zero signs of any damage at all.

    This is one I built for my backyard.


    This design is not even as thick as mine but the angles are shallow enough it works fine too.

  5. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

    Jun 29, 2012
    I have one of these I had custom made by some guys selling bullet traps off of ebay. Had it made bigger with 1/4" steel instead of 3/16"

    Works pretty good for salvaging lead, which is why I bought it.



    This one is 1/4" steel, I'm pretty sure its not AR500 or anything, but in testing it stopped a .308 at 100 yards and trapped the bullet without damage to the trap. I asked for it to be able to take .44 magnum at 20 yards all day long. They called it my "dirty harry" trap, and liked it enough to add the design to their line of off the shelf traps.
    I wouldn't recommend this one for an indoor range though. It does splatter a bit and leaves fine lead fragments all over in front of it.
    If you tape a target to the front it will blow small lead bits back through the target. Some will go through and some will bounce back and stay in the trap.
    I like the idea of a 1/4" heavily angled plate with sawdust or sand at the base better, to reduce lead splatter and exposure.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  6. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    South Texas
    As an indoor trap, what is the distance to the target? Makes a difference for splatter and bounce-back concerns.
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