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Tips for building a backstop?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Ukraine Train, May 5, 2005.

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  1. Ukraine Train

    Ukraine Train Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    My property has about 300 yards of woods, then the property line followed by probably another 300 yards of woods. It's very flat so there aren't any berms. My thought was to build something about 150 yards into my woods. There are a lot of fallen trees so what I want to do is put two posts in the ground two feet apart and then about 10 feet away put another two posts in, also two feet apart. Then I would stack logs in the slots created by the posts, either two wide or just stagger them so there aren't any gaps. It would end up being roughly 10' wide by 4' tall. In the unlikely event that a round misses the backstop there would be a few hundred yards of woods to stop it. The woods are flanked by farm land so I was going to put up signs on the perimeter of the woods that there is shooting going on. The woods aren't too dense so I would be able to find a spot to get line of sight up to 150 yards to the backstop. What say ye?
  2. Freedomv

    Freedomv Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    I assume that you will be putting earth in front of the logs. If not it will be just a matter of time before bullets will pass through the logs especially if useing a heavier caliber pistol or rifle.

    I would add wings on each side of the logs to form a "U" shape to help hold the dirt in front of the logs.

    Also a log or two across the frontal area will help maintain a higher dirt pile with out the dirt spreading out over a larger area.

    It may take a little extra work but it will be will worth the effort.

  3. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Alma Illinois
    I say get ye a shovel ;) actually a backhoe/endloader combination would be better. Bullets will penetrate your logs (55 gr M193 5.56 ball wittl go through several inches of pine board, 7.62x51 M80 ball will cut trees down, not with one round but it will zip right through) or ricochet off and land who knows where.

    Use your logs to help support the dirt if you want, but you'll need several feet of compacted soil for your backstop (lets call it a berm now) to stand up to a lot of shooting.

    Build it high enough that someone would have to deliberately try to shoot over it. 4 feet isn't going to be near high enough if you're shooting at it from 150 yards. You're going to want it to be twice that high at least. If you build it that high anything that goes over it will be travelling at a high enough angle to spend all it's energy before it comes down. However, it will still have enough velocity to injure or kill someone when gravity brings it back down to earth. Get a ballistic calculator and figure out max range for every thing you intend on shooting at your little range. Then figure out the angle the bullet will travel if it goes over the berm. Everything behind the berm is impact area. This will extend a good distance back from the berm even if you're shooting from 150 yards away.

    To be really safe, you're going to need to control much more land then the few hundred yards behind your berm. How far is the nearest dwelling to your proposed range? How about roads?

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