Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Need backstop advice

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Impureclient, Jun 19, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Impureclient

    Impureclient Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    838
    Location:
    Florida
    I am shooting in a friend's backyard tomorrow. He has approximately 1 mile of wooded area behind his home. We are shooting only 9mm, .380, and a .22.
    We are getting together materials for a backstop. It is kind of temporary but may stay up if we can keep it "clean & tidy" looking. My question is how much
    wood does it take to contain these caliber bullets so we don't have anything pass through? I have a huge amount of pallets and can stack them vertically,
    so I was hoping I could put them to use for this. I also was going to try some metal 5 gallon buckets filled with (wet/dry?)sand. I also have some 1/4" steel
    plates. I assume that the bullets will splatter and not ricochet upon impact of that steel. Is that correct?
     
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    15,710
    Location:
    Hot and Humid FL
    An earth berm is probably the best backstop. Framed with various materials to keep it neat, it can be formidable. Buckets with sand, etc (tires also), might be effective, assuming bullets penetrate the container and do not ricochet. Steel plate would need to be angled downward to prevent ricochet
     
  3. Tallinar

    Tallinar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Displace some dirt and make an earth berm. Easiest low maintenance permanent solution. All of the other materials being described will have to be replaced periodically. Dirt don't care.

    I used a shed as a backstop for shooting bow when I was a teenager. Dad didn't appreciate that. :D
     
  4. NukemJim

    NukemJim Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,201
    If you use steel you have to be careful, if it gets dimpled or pitted "splashback" of lead is possible even if the steel is hung at 45 degrees. You are also going to spread more lead around in smaller particles if you use steel as opposed to earth.

    Good luck and best wishes

    NukemJim
     
  5. sonier

    sonier Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    Westcliffe Co.
    without experiance in shooting at steel i wouldnt recomend using it, I will upload some pics of my backstop.
     
  6. sonier

    sonier Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    Westcliffe Co.
    Heres the pics, this will stop any pistol round, including the 7.62x25 with fmj, this stops any of my 30/06 soft point loads, but it wont stop my steel jacketed 7.62x54 mosin nagant. this took me 30 minutes to build with a chainsaw and no measurements. it is just old timbers that were a little to rotten to use. hope it gives you a good idea of possiblities.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. XxWINxX94

    XxWINxX94 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    754
    Location:
    C(r)ook County, Illinois
    +1 Dirt.
     
  8. metalman8600

    metalman8600 member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    276
    And what methods can be used to make sure the dirt mound does not erode?
     
  9. sonier

    sonier Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    Westcliffe Co.
    I dont really think there is much you can do to keep the dirt from washing away, plus you need a front end loader to pretty much make one, it dosnt seem much of a eay task to do. plus with wood i can collect all the lead i shoot burn the wood scoop the melted lead from the bottom recast and recycle into more plinking rounds.
     
  10. GD

    GD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    601
    Location:
    Wichita
    I put up a stack of railroad ties and then filled in behind it with dirt. My dirt pile is about 8 feet high with the railroad ties being about 5 feet high. My dirt pile started out about 10 feet high 5 years ago and eroded about 2 feet in those years. There is grass growing now so I presume the erosion will decrease quite a bit. The whole berm is about 30 feet wide. A half mile downrange is a grove of trees that is very thick. I don't allow anyone to spray and pray or fool around in any matter with my shooting range. Even though my nearest neighbor is 3 miles downrange, I don't want to take chances.
     
  11. harmonic

    harmonic member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,247
    You definitely want to be very careful w/this. Are the woods you'll be shooting into normally full of people? Never have people?

    Wood is normally a poor backstop unless it's a) partially decayed to allow the bullet to enter it and b) there's enough of a volume to stop the bullet.

    Fresh wood or green wood is bad because the bullet can bounce off.

    Steel will stop the forward motion but will ricochet to the side or even back toward the shooter.

    An earth berm is best but requires engineering knowhow (angle of slope, height vs. necessary width for height, etc), lots of dirt and access to earthmoving equipment.

    I had a friend who built a "backstop" in his rural back yard. He used dirt, held in place w/wood. He was shooting one day (223 rifle) and a cop showed up. Turns out one of his rounds ended up in the car door of a neighbor about a half mile away, narrowly missing the neighbor's son.
     
  12. sonier

    sonier Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    Westcliffe Co.
    yea around my area the soil is too rocky for making dirt piles, ricochets are very common this is why i built a wooden one.
     
  13. Impureclient

    Impureclient Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    838
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for all the advice. I am going to try and make a cube from the pallets and fill it with dirt. We have a carpet that will line the inside keeping it from spilling out.
    So basically we will only have to periodically replace the front which will be additionally covered with a piece of plywood. I imagine the carpet will kind of seal itself
    back up when it is penetrated also. This "dirt box" will only be catching what gets past what we will be using to hang the targets on in front of it, railroad ties or large
    12- 24" pieces of a tree trunk.
    I don't see anybody putting anything past a 4 X 4' area when we don't plan on shooting more than 25 yards out. That far would be with scoped .22 rifles anyways.
    The main thing we'll be shooting are our small carry pieces and 15 yards out is pushing it as it is.
     
  14. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    7,850
    Location:
    Ava, Missouri
    Old oak railroad ties stacked and backed with old tires filled with dirt or sand...
     
  15. wishin

    wishin Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,430
    Location:
    Georgia
    This would be my advice too. Have fun.
     
  16. perch

    perch Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I recently built a backstop of earth and tires. My brother let some guy dump about 100 tires on our property a while back and I decided to put them to some use.

    I stacked them about 5-6 ft high and 20 ft wide with some slightly shorter sidestops.

    After they were stacked he used a skidloader to dump dirt all over the tires. At the bottom the dirt is over 10 ft deep and shallower at the top. I was worried about using this with the Mosin Nagant 91/30 7.62x54r because it could be bad to have a bullet go beyond the backstop; my donkey loves to hang out behind the berm. I dug one up and found that it penetrated at most 6" of dirt and now I fire away!
     
  17. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,985
    Location:
    Texas
    Does your friend own the woods?
    You are responsible to see that no bullet leaves your ground. Counting on someone else's woods to stop your bullets is foolish and most likely illegal.
    If you have ever been in a woods when pistol bullets are going through, it's surprising how far some will zing through the woods.

    It doesn't take much of a backstop to stop pistol rounds but a pistol round fired up at a little angle will travel quite far. There have been cases of people being killed a quarter mile and further with pistol rounds.

    This has been my backyard backstop that I've been using for almost 30 years.
    [​IMG]

    This is my 100 yard backstop. The higher the berm the better.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,524
    A dirt berm needs to be close to vertical to be absolutly safe. A simple pile of dirt with a 45 degree slope can ramp bullets skyward like a bank shot in billiards, especially if the dirt becomes hard and settled. If you ever get a chance to play with some tracer bullets you will see for yourself. A hillside that has been cut with a bulldozer works great for a while but after enough rain it will eventually erode from a cliff into a slope and require maintainance to remain safe. I was at a pistol match once where a car window got broken by a .45 bullet that obviously skipped off an eroded berm 200 yards away and lobbed into the parking area. Because this was a compitition, all shots were observed, accounted for and recorded. There was just no way that someone accidentaly fired a shot in the air without it being noticed. It HAD to have hit the backstop first. A 200 grain chunk of lead does not have to be traveling very fast to be dangerous.
     
  19. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,902
    Location:
    Texas
    hahahahaha

    Dirt... You know, in some places, there is no dirt. Go out to west texas, it is nothing but various sizes of rocks.
     
  20. wally

    wally Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    12,352
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Around here, let nature take its course for one summer and its permanent, unless you use it enough for the bullets and splatter to keep the weeds at bay :)
     
  21. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    47,964
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Only a continuous surface backed with enough material to stop a round will do. Since the trees are not continuous they just can't be relied upon to do the job, especially since you have no control over who/what moves through them.
     
  22. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,677
    Full railroad ties would work but I prefer lots of dirt. Also less chance of ricochet. I guess sandbags might work. You can NEVER be too careful.
     
  23. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    5,356
    Location:
    Oregon
    The next door neighbor has something like this and it works very well. 4x4" posts in the front two corners, boards across the front (could use pallets), filled with dirt. It's on an uphill slope so it doesn't really need a back. When the boards get shot out they are easy to replace and keeps the dirt from coming out of the box (plus the fact that over time rain makes it nicely packed in there). I'll get pictures if you want some PM me.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page