Shooting Backstop

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by johnnyk, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Hello Fellow Riflemen,
    I'm building a new shooting range beside my house and wanted your opinions of the backstop that I intend to build.
    I am going to use two 10x8" by 10' Creaso bridge ties (bigger than railroad ties) and cut them up into 3'4" sections. There will be 2 rows, or about 20" thick. Am also considering having a 6" gap between the two rows to fill with dirt. I probably won't shoot anything above the .300 Win Mag. Will this backstop be sufficient?
     
  2. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    One layer of cross ties would be suffeciend for a good while but it will eventualy get chewed up.

    We built a six foot wide by six foot tall bu 6 foot deep box and filled it with dirt and we just use regulat 1/4"plywood and a couple 2x4" to hold it up in front , the wood gets ate up and the dirt in the box/trap get loose but we jjst shovel it back up to the top and replace the wood.
    Their is a guy that shoots his 50BMG into it quiet often and we have never had a problem whith it passing through.
     

  3. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog Writers Guild

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    Doesn't really answer the question, but as an indicator of bullet penetration of wood.....from somewhere deep in my memory I seem to remember that a 7.62 ball round will zip through 9" of timber and still have enough energy to kill a man on the far side out to about 1200 or so metres.

    ....I think I'd go for a dirt filled gap /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I don't think the thickness of the bridge ties will make much difference. I'd use sand instead of dirt as dirt will most likely not flow back into the "wound" channel.

    My back stop is two railroad ties with plywood and sand filling the wide side gap (10"??) This is then backed with large lava rocks.

    The only time I get full penetration is when I shoot 338 250gr bullet three shot groups into less than 1". Any bullet into the tie gets full penetration except for 243 and 223s.

    Also, the backstop is @ 200yds.

    Sand is a much better stopper than dirt.....
     
  5. coupalr

    coupalr Well-Known Member

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    Fill a 1 foot wide gap with sand and try to use dry sand and keep it that way. Otherwise you get a wound channel like Roy says.
     
  6. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the input. Going to start on this week with weather permitting. Will get pictures if possible. JohnnyK.
     
  7. intofire

    intofire New Member

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    on that note, looking to do the same as far as a backstop. I'm just looking to do .22 with friends that come over and something to do myself. Looking to put it up against a hill on property for safety (don't you agree?). I'm afraid, even with the mentioned backstop, that someone aiming incorrectly would allow a bullet to go past the backstop. Common sense would be to shoot directly at the target with the backstop. If had to build a berm, how tall and wide?

    thanks

    ricklightbulb
     
  8. Topshot

    Topshot Well-Known Member

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    Interesting post.

    I Have a private range that I am developing. It has a 100, 250 and 450yard ranges to shoot over. I have been trying to step the back stop into the base of a hill and this works quite well.

    I just fired a few shots at the target and then started to excavate with a shovel where the bullets impacted. It didn't take too long to make a mound big enough to stop 338 cal bullets.
     
  9. 308

    308 Well-Known Member

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    I've helped build several places to shoot and a excellent bullet stopper is used semi tires.

    Trucker tire shops are usually glad for you to take them off their hands, I'm talking about wore out ones.

    You can lay them on their side and fill with sand or dirt, fill the whole tire up not just the middle and stack them 2 or 3 high and you will have a backstop to last for a long time, and when you do shoot a hole big enough to matter you can rotate the filled tires a 1/8 or 1/4 turn and shoot a bunch more.

    Cheap simple and effective!: 308
     
  10. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    I started this post back in 2006 and since then I moved from the original place (NC) where I erected that backstop. It's still there and didn't get much use as the neighbor (brother-in-law) complained that the shooting was causing his two little Pomeranian's to have convulsions.
    I have since moved back to the East Coast (VA) and have erected two more back stops where I now live. One is at 100yds in my back yard and landlords cow pasture and the other is in his back pasture across the road. I get a little over 560yds from that one.
    Before I used bridge ties and this time I used railroad ties. On the backside of the ties I mounted a 1/4" piece of steel with lag 4" lag bolts. This has been working good as the only thing I've been shooting is Ballistic Tips, V-Max's, a few MK's and Partition's. Calibers have been the .243, .25-06, .260, 270WSM, 7mmRM and .300WM. I didn't have any "dimples" in the metal until last Sundays.
    I was doing load development on my .300WM with the 190gn SMK and RL25. Velocities got up to 3100fps. Whew, talk about bone-jarring. I had to consciencely make an effort to close my jaw/mouth before I shot, if not my top and bottom teeth jarred together!
    I noticied about mid way through that I had a couple of dimples in the metal. This may be from the ties getting ragged. There seems to be a lot of trains/tracks here in the Shenandoah Valley so ties are a dime a dozen. Good luck. JohnnyK.
     
  11. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    I have bunkers at 100,2,3,4,and 600, I called a local excavator and he built them in less than 3 hours cost $375. The 600 yarder is 20 feet long and 14 feet tall.
    All the closer ones are 10 by 7. It was worth the money, shouldn't need an upgrade for at least 10 years.
     
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    So far, one of the great things about the Los Alamos New Mexico area is that natures backstops are solid rock, perpendicular and as much as 400 or better feet high and at times over a mile away.:)
     
  13. cabelas90

    cabelas90 Well-Known Member

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    Are you shure you can hit that target roy i mean thats an afull long ways away:D jk
    Zach
     
  14. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

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    I use big worn out machinery tires, lay them on their side and pack them with sand. Usually two staked on top of each other is plenty high. The best are heavy ply tires like those on Caterpillar wheel loaders. Skidder or tractor tires would probably work well also, this will make the ultimate bullet trap. Most places that have these used tires are more than willing to give them away.

    Jim