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  #1  
Old 03-10-2006, 09:10 PM
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Homemade Bullet Trap


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Hi,

Has anybody had any experience building or using a homemade bullet trap? I did my homework before posting this and didn't find much.

I have a nice safe place to put one with a 125 yard approach backed by a 100 foot hill.

I will probably shoot a max of 200 rounds per year and will not be using any very high powered weapons. A 357 and a 30-30 are the most powerful weapons I have.

Any ideas or, especially, proven plans will be appreciated.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2006, 09:50 AM
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I dont know much about it, but you can pick up 1/8 to 1/2 steel plate on the cheap from junk yards, and I imagine you wouldnt need much on the sidewalls, cuz they would just have to catch ricochet.

Maybe if you look at what some of the commercial makers are doing, and base your ideas off of theirs, it is always cheaper to make yourself



Sorry I cant offer more
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2006, 09:57 AM
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Any farmers or ranchers nearby who put up round bales? A 5' x 5' bale stops .30-06 bullets. Burn it when it rots down and get another one.

Bye
Jack
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2006, 10:32 AM
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It does not seem worth the trouble for 200 rounds per year.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2006, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman7777
Hi,

Has anybody had any experience building or using a homemade bullet trap? I did my homework before posting this and didn't find much.

I have a nice safe place to put one with a 125 yard approach backed by a 100 foot hill.

I will probably shoot a max of 200 rounds per year and will not be using any very high powered weapons. A 357 and a 30-30 are the most powerful weapons I have.

Any ideas or, especially, proven plans will be appreciated.

Thanks

Last "stop" was/is (haven't ruined it yet) a double stack of rail road ties 4 foot tall..had easy/cheap access to the ties, so put them to use. IF you (1) keep hanging the target in the same place and (2) shoot big heavy lead bullets will evntually put a port hole in the double stack ties.

On another make-do range, used sheets of ply wood, propped up with 2X4's, and a 1 1/2 foot layer of gravel between the plywood (again, becasue teh gravel was near at hand...guess dirt would work almost as well). That tended to leak ofter you put a few good sized holes in it...so we kept a stack of odd shaped, about 1 foot square sections of plywood and some nails handy.

have also cut fire wood...more or less...and stacked it end-on and used that for a back stop. Two layers is best, off set a bit to catch the ones that slip ibetween two of the front logs.

think the general idea here is that you use what you find at hand...trees, gravel, rail road ties, or what have you...If all you have is dirt, then dig a trench and pile up about a 4 foot berm.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2006, 04:38 PM
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¼” steel is officially proof against 30-06 ball and 12 gauge slug. But ricochets remain a problem. I would suggest surrounding the steel with a generous quantity of sand. Easier to sift the sand for lead. I do assume you are shooting lead alloy, and wanting to recover your bullets; for recycling purposes.
Wouldn’t put too much stock on that 100’ hill. Have known ricochets to bounce right over hills, into houses some distance beyond. Had I not seen it, I wouldn’t have thought it.
Have also known ricochets to come right back at the shooter (from the hillside).

I’m talking GENEROUS sand, here!
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2006, 06:16 PM
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1/4" steel is bulletproof? I assume we are talking about something other than mild or cold rolled. I can nearly punch through 1/2" with my HP rifles at 100 yards w/ one shot, hit it the same place twice and it goes through
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2006, 06:43 PM
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First one I made was with 45° angle top plate .375" thick and .250" sides and bottom, all made from A-541 steel a/k/a T1. Top plate came down to half a 12" sch 80 steel pipe so the bullets would turn just shy of 270° and impact a reservoir holding about 300 pounds of sand. Worked ok but was messy to clean out and when used inside the shop, the dust was nasty.

Sold that one and made another similar but made it so the bullets turned only 90° from plane of fire and filled the bottom with ground rubber around 14" deep. Cut way down on the dust but .38 spl wadcutters would sometimes bounce off the rubber and come right back out following the top plate. After taking a good smack in the chest, I installed a piece of 2" x .250" angle on the top of the upper plate with the V facing the inside of the trap.

Since then I've gotten away from using a stopping medium and have built a large outdoor use only trap. Whole thing is made from 1" and 2" thick A541 except for the collection box which is made from .250" thick steel but this does not take any impact greater than gravity. Thus far this one has trapped numerous rounds including about 80 500gr FMJ's from a .458 Lott and you wouldn't know it.

Opening is 51.5" high by 55" wide (size of the four main plates I happened to get so just built everything else to match the mains rather than do needless cutting). Trap is surrounded by a double thick wall of tires about 11' high and extending about 5' past each side of the trap. Interlocking stacking and both rows filled completely with sand. Nothing your shooting off your shoulder is going to get past this one.
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2006, 06:51 PM
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There is an industry standard of bulletproof. It is if one round of 30-06 hardball or one 12 gauge slug (foster) will not penetrate from 30-50 yards (I forget which). Not talking mild steel, would have to look up just what alloy.
You shoot a lot of steel? Reason I’m asking is that I want to make some gongs for .44 magnum and 45/70 for unmeasured range practice for kicks & giggles (OK, stress relief).
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2006, 04:01 AM
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I use the firewood method. The end of one log holds the target. The rest of the stack is there to catch bad misses. There is a high bank beyond that.
I can recover most of the lead when the one log is split for fuel.
Cheezywan
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2006, 08:19 AM
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I use my wood stack as my handgun backstop for now. It is ok for short term use but the back stop I like is tires. Take 16 in truck tires and cut one bead off and face that side up and fill it with dirt/sand and continue the stack until you get the height you desire. Make two rows and off set them 1/2 a tire and it will stop anything you shoot and the rubber and belts will last for years. For added safety you can pike more dirt/sand behind it if you wish.
My rifle range backstop is an embackment below my house.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2006, 08:31 AM
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All,

Thanks for the tips and ideas. I'm starting to get a plan for I intend to build.

If it comes out good (and if I ever get a digital camera) I'll post a picture or two.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2006, 11:22 AM
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For handguns, including .454Casull, I use one, 1/4" plate, angled 45 degrees into the ground. I don't mind digging the bullets out and screening them. (It did fail to stop a.270 I was testing for a friend.) .
It has some serious dents frof full house .454 loads, however so does my hand. I don't shoot full house .454's any more.
BTW It is backed up by a good sized dirt berm.
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2006, 12:03 PM
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The way I take your original post is the hill is 125 yds away. Why not just dig out a backstop in the hill, as most outdoor ranges are done and put up a target frame n front of it. For the amount of shooting you indicate you anticipate recovery of the bullets certainly isn't enough of an issue to warrant the expense.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2006, 09:43 PM
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Steel

1/4 inch bulletproof??

Jeez, my 6.5 Swede with piddly little 85 grain varmint pills will go thru nearly double that!
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2006, 09:51 AM
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My 22-250 with a 55 grain spitzer will shoot through 1/4 inch plate like it was nothing also.
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  #17  
Old 03-14-2006, 11:49 AM
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Difference is hitting it square on vs at less than a 45° angle. 45° is too much angle, better off staying under 37°.
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  #18  
Old 03-25-2006, 03:09 PM
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Backstop

Stack up some used tires filles with dirt
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  #19  
Old 03-26-2006, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbmatthews
Stack up some used tires filles with dirt
Like I said earlier. Cut the top bead off first, they will fill easer and stack better too.
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  #20  
Old 03-26-2006, 10:23 AM
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I remember seeing a fairly good sized homemade job on eBay once. It was basically a oversided mailbox looking thing. Made of steel I would presume.

It was kind of like this but higher off the ground in like a mail box style as I said above. i think I recall it even having a trap door on the bottom like grill for removing removing ashes but for the lead.
http://glarp.atk.com/2004_IRL/Champi...let%20Trap.jpg
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