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

Shooting in the yard, sand backwall?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Johny, Jun 30, 2009.

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

    Johny member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Don't ask for my .02 cents, Because I'll need it
    I been shooting 22's and a .410 in the backyard. I rescently got a 7.62x39 and I dont know if its a good idea to be shooting that. I looked on google earth theres not a house for 10a+ in thick dence woods( I got people on both sides of me but I am shooting down range past their house) I was thinking about putting sand bags up. Does anyone know how many I should have stacked? and how many thick? I was thinking about 20 sandbags. I will be shooting toward the ground, not height leveled.
     
  2. chris in va

    chris in va Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Messages:
    6,097
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    Does anyone walk around in the woods at all? Are you sure?

    I'd just hate to hear about a poor kid getting nailed because you were plinking in your backyard. This happened a couple years ago, guy got sent to prison because the 22 he was using somehow hit a kid 600 yards away, and he was on a trampoline.

    We had some woods behind our house in VA, down in a gully of sorts. My neighbor would shoot groundhogs at least once a week. One day I saw movement about 300 yards off on the other side of the creek, turned out to be a couple kids messing around. He didn't shoot after that, scared him pretty good.
     
  3. Johny

    Johny member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Don't ask for my .02 cents, Because I'll need it
    Yes no one dares to walk in those woods, its very thick I doubt a bullet could go past it.plus I have a few trees before it goes towards those woods. I shoot toward the ground anyways so its not height leveld. And it is summer no one in there right mind would go in there, now if it was winter I wouldn't people might explore. I hear gun shots often so other people shoot around here. One guy has a Ak-47 drum mag, I swear I counted over 70 shots nonstop once.
     
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,506
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Better check with the local police. And have a lawyer check local ordnances for you. You can get in big trouble, regardless of how safe your home range is.

    If you build a range, you must have a U-shaped backstop. The base of the U is the intended backstop, the arms are to stop ricochets and to keep people from inadvertently walking into the line of fire.

    The backstop should be about 6 feet thick at the top, and much thicker, of course, at the bottom.
     
  5. Johny

    Johny member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Don't ask for my .02 cents, Because I'll need it
    Ok Thank you very much
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    47,953
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    All the more dangerous because bullets glancing & skipping off the ground can clear a lot of tall trees, and go a very long ways.

    rc
     
  8. Johny

    Johny member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Don't ask for my .02 cents, Because I'll need it
    really? I thought shooting into the ground is a safe thing. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,506
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Nope. I personally know of a range in Virginia that was shut down for two years because someone with a .450 NE double rifle put a target on the ground and fired at it. The bullet skipped over the backstop and stuck in the wall of a house nearly a mile away.
     
  10. Johny

    Johny member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Don't ask for my .02 cents, Because I'll need it
    how many sandbags should I buy? 30-100?
     
  11. Big_E

    Big_E Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Maybe put some cinder blocks filled with concrete up too. Heck Even behind that get a large tank and fill it with water.

    I am glad you brought this up because I want to buy some acreage and want to put in my personal range. If I dont have a backstop in the area I plan on buying I will probably use a hill of dirt, cinderblocks, sandbags, but this will be out in a secluded place and not a lot of people around.

    Speaking of which, my dad worked on a case where a man was hit sitting on top of some bluffs in the area and was hit by a stray bullet from a hunter a few miles away and below him hunting in the oil fields. Talk about bad luck.
     
  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,506
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    You might start with 2,800. A standard sandbag is 14" X 26". When filled properly (which is to say about half full), it will make a solid 1X2 feet square and about 3" thick.

    If your main berm is 6 feet deep, 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall, you'l need about 900 bags to make a vertical wall. For structural safety, you need to slope the face of the wall back a bit and add more sandbags to buttress the rear -- about 50% more bags. Say 1300 to 1400 bags for the backstop itself. The wings (which can be thinner) will take about about that many more.

    Fill the bag only about half full. If you overfill them, they will get "round" and won't stack properly. There will be gaps between bags, where bullets can penetrate.

    Ideally, you should build a frame to keep the structure from collapsing as you build it. And get a 2X12 about 3 feet long. Use this to pound the bags as you lay then, flattening them out and filling all the crevices between bags.
     
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    15,710
    Location:
    Hot and Humid FL
    Old railroad ties - build a double wall and fill in between with either dirt or sand - a little neater than building a dirt-only berm. Stagger the ties and connect with 5/8" rebar into each one.

    Or, if you want to get creative, get thick, hardened steel plate and install at a 45 degree downward angle into a 8" thick bed of sand

    sandbags have a nasty tendency to leak when shot - you don't want to be replacing them all the time
     
  14. Team Grandma

    Team Grandma Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    we put up a wall of cinder blocks(inside the dirt) and built a U shaped burm of dirt using a bobcat its a perfect little home range
     
  15. everallm

    everallm Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,504
    If you can get access to a lot of old tires, these, filled and bedded with sand make a good backstop and do a pretty good job of self sealing the bullet hole.
     
  16. Lightninstrike

    Lightninstrike Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Eastern Kansas
    This may be a dumb question. I have never built a backstop with sand bags. Don't you have to replace the sand bags on the face of the backstop as they get holed?
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,506
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Yes. I was at Guard Post Collier on the Korean DMZ in 1981 when the North Koreans got mad at us over a line crosser (a deserter who ran into the Guard Post) and fired about a thousand rounds of machinegun bullets into the Guard Post. That made us so mad (machine guns are not allowed in the DMZ) that we materialized an M2 Browning .50 cal and gave them about 1200 rounds in return.

    We spend the next two days replacing ripped sandbags. What it took them to replace their fortifications, I don't know, but from Collier it looked like a backhoe had bitten hunks out of their trenches.:evil:
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    I certainly wouldn't use sandbags.
    All you will have after a couple of years is a sandpile where the bags got shot up and leaked all the sand out.

    I would use old tires stacked up and filled with sand.

    But in the end, the steel plate at 45 degrees is the best there is.

    We started out with railroad ties years ago. Didn't take long till they where shoot clear though and leaking.

    Finally got a big steel plate about 15 years ago, and it is still as good as the day we put it in. All the bullets end up in the sand under it, and are "mined" with a small lief rake for bullet casting lead once a year or so.

    rc
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,506
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    How thick is your plate, and what cartridges do you shoot?

    A steel plate that will reliably stop a .300 Win Mag, for example, better be pretty thick.
     
  20. Johny

    Johny member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Location:
    Don't ask for my .02 cents, Because I'll need it
    I am not using metal plates. Not safe. I might do the cinderblock idea. $2 a block + fill in with concrete.
     
  21. rondog

    rondog Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,788
    Location:
    Commurado
    Hate to say it, but an angled steel plate is probably safer than the cinder blocks/concrete. Not to mention those will disintegrate qiuckly into rubble.

    Not to mention by-God-heavy. And expensive.

    If it were me, I'd build a smaller version of this, with dirt and a front-end loader. This is one of the pistol ranges at my gun club, we have several, and a couple rifle ranges 100 yards deep. A small version of this up against the tree line in my backyard would be so sweet!

    Another thing to mention is to make certain that you're NOT within the city limits, no matter how far you are from town. Even if you're on your own 100 acres with NO neighbors around, it can be illegal to shoot if you're within city limits. Where I live, those limits reach for miles out into the country.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  22. chris in va

    chris in va Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Messages:
    6,097
    Location:
    Louisville KY
  23. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,914
    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    You don't need/want sandbags .... you need a bulldozer.
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    47,953
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Whatever the cheapest thing you can get to build a retaining wall to support a dirt/sand berm (or just the dirt/sand berm heaved up with an excavator) is what you need and the dirt/sand to pile up a 10 ft high berm.
     
  25. springmom

    springmom Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    3,599
    Location:
    Spring TX
    At the risk of a minor threadjack:

    We went over to our usual outdoor range this afternoon and...well, somebody had lost their minds. The only explanation I could come up with anyway:

    1) The 100 yard rifle range was untouched. So far, so good.

    2) The 50 yard range looked like the berm/eyebrow combination had been beefed up a bit. Probably needed it.

    3) The 17 yard/50 foot range had a brand new berm, *maybe* 10 feet high, with an eyebrow, that stands, oh, 10 yards max behind the poles onto which are strung the chicken wire where one puts up one's targets. And here's where it gets weird....the chicken wire was down almost to ground level. The very top of the wire is probably at (maybe) 4 feet off the ground. Chicken wire is, what, 2 1/2 feet to three feet wide? You get the picture. On this thigh-high wire is where the targets now go.

    4) And that was nothing compared to the 7 yard range. A miniature berm, maybe 4 feet high at max, was piled up behind the posts and chicken wire setup. Behind THAT was the continuation of the 17 yard berm/eyebrow. Same setup, with the targets down low to the ground.

    I just stood with my mouth agape. We shot at the 17 yard range, as far as we could get away from the 7-yards. Chalk it up to me being an artist, but I could imagine any number of unintended consequences resulting from this very odd arrangement. Given how many people have trouble hitting the paper at 7 yards :banghead::banghead::banghead: I had visions of undershot rounds ricocheting, overshot rounds bouncing off the top of the mini-berm and ricocheting, and wondering precisely what would be the effects of magnum shotgun slugs at that angle and range.

    Hang it all, I have enjoyed shooting there since I returned to shooting after many years' away. I like the people. I like the prices (sometimes). But unless we are invaded by an army of munchkins, that range is going to be worse than useless, even for plinking, let alone training muscle memory.

    When we came in, Archerandshooter asked the young lady behind the counter why it had been done. We were told that it was because all the shooting tore up the posts that hold up the berm. Whisky tango foxtrot? Thinking that this might mean that it was temporary until the berm had more work done, I asked if it were permanent. She lowered her eyes (I get the impression she'd been answering that question for days) and said yes, as far as she knows, it is.

    Well, crud. The only positive thing is that we'll now be forced out of our comfort zone to go check out other ranges and maybe finally take some pistol classes together somewhere. I may occasionally go and shoot at the 17-yard range....or the 50 if I get really nervy :) But I won't be shooting over there much again unless they fix this oddity.

    Back to your regular scheduled discussion....with the caveat "if you're going to build a berm, for heaven's sake, build it large enough to BE a berm."

    :cuss:

    Jan
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page