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sickle hocks 
36 Cal.
Posts: 54
10-24-11 02:44 PM - Post#1059563    


Anyone using a homemade backstop that allows lead recovery? Dirt bank and rake I suppose...Was also looking at the inclined steel plate bullet trap designs and wondering if they could be made a bit lighter for round balls?
Just hoping to find a simple and inexpensive backstop so as not to spread pounds of lead across my farmland...
thanks for any thoughts....


 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 13209
Rifleman1776
10-24-11 02:57 PM - Post#1059569    

    In response to sickle hocks

No lead recovery. My backstop is a big brush pile at back of yard. Beyond that is many acres of woods.

 
Ghettogun 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2925
10-24-11 03:00 PM - Post#1059570    

    In response to sickle hocks

Get a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid. Check local restaurants. Fill it with damp sand or dirt. Wedge it on its side into some stacked haybales or make a simple X stand for it. Shoot at the lid. If you are a decent shot, it will last quite awhile. You may need to switch out the lid. Or you can just back the shot out lid with some cardboard to keep the sand in the bucket.

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13673
BrownBear
10-24-11 06:36 PM - Post#1059658    

    In response to sickle hocks

For some years now I've been using 5 gal buckets of sand. Just put a layer of truck inner tube on the side where you're going to tape the target to make it "self-healing." Otherwise all your sand leaks out.

It's downright amazing what that sand will stop. If you hit up near the top of the bucket it shoots sand up pretty good but even then usually stops a ball. To test it for penetration I whacked it at 25 yards with 30-06 ball ammo. The bullets made it about half way through. No wonder the guys in green use sandbags for emplacements! A 58 cal RB on top of 120 grains of powder fares no better.

Oh, I just made a small screen with 1/4" hardware cloth for lead recovery. Dump the sand into it, give it a few good shakes, and your lead is waiting. Purdy darned easy and effective.

Ah, here we go. I thought I had some photos of it all hanging in my photobucket account.







"Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
Merle Haggard


 
ohio ramrod 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5732
10-24-11 06:54 PM - Post#1059666    

    In response to sickle hocks

I use a 12 to 14 inch thick cross section of a log as a back stop. When the back starts to show signs of wood pushing out. I take the axe and split it and recover the balls. That way I have recovered lead and kindling for the wood stove.

 
rr11 
40 Cal.
Posts: 197
10-24-11 07:20 PM - Post#1059674    

    In response to sickle hocks

I use two rows of old tires filled with sand. After a year of use the two in the middle are fairly shot up. I replace the shot up tyres and shift the sand to recover the lead.

 
sickle hocks 
36 Cal.
Posts: 54
10-24-11 09:45 PM - Post#1059717    

    In response to rr11

Thanks for all the ideas! I'm especially liking the bucket / sand / tire tube idea..it's small and handy enough that I could spread a bunch of them around and set up a bit of a 'course'.

Of course a five gallon bucket is considerably smaller than the broad side of a barn...so we'll see how it goes...



 
123.DieselBenz 
45 Cal.
Posts: 706
10-25-11 07:20 AM - Post#1059760    

    In response to sickle hocks

Since I shoot out in the desert, I got tired of transporting a bucket of sand, I now use a cardboard box filled with rubber mulch, it is old shredded tires, and a 12" cube will stop my .36 rifle, and my 44 C&B easily, and I shoot it from multiple sides, before emptying it. It will also stop 45 acp, 357 mag, however my 375 H&H Mag needs about 30"!



 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
10-25-11 10:29 AM - Post#1059820    

    In response to sickle hocks

About recovering lead. Don't hesitate to throw the loose dirt or sand into a hot fire, so that you can separate out the small bits of lead from the "dross". There is a lot more lead there they you can imagine.

We had a fire at my club range years ago, started by the farmer who was farming the property behind our backstop. We had Railroad Ties, backed by Piled earth for the backstop. Well the fire got so hot burning those RR ties, that it melted lead in the earth behind and next to the ties. We had huge "globs" of lead from the ties, which stopped most of the soft lead balls. But, we had thousands of "shiny" lead drops in the sand and dirt behind the ties, where they had melted when the dirt got so hot.

A couple of our club members spent several days collecting all the lead, even bought some ordinary screen wire to sift out the small bits of lead from the dirt. When they told us about doing it, some other members began to laugh and shake their heads. Then, the guys told us that more than 2/3 of the lead they recovered were in those little bits of melted lead recovered from the dirt. They were considering taking out a propane tank furnace, and a large pot, and "melting" all the dirt, one pot at a time, to get the rest of the lead there.

No one was laughing after that.

Since lead is heavier than most soils, I would think that using a bucket ( 5 gal. works for me) of water to separate out the smaller lead particles from the organic debris would do the job more cheaply. The organics would float on the top, to be easily skimmed off. The Remaining minerals, like silicates, iron, calcium, and other traces minerals would of course sink to the bottom with the lead.

Pour off the water, spread the remains on a flat surface in the sun to dry, and then melt That stuff in a pot to recover the lead.

It sounds like more work than it is. The organic material in soils are a lot of the volume, and are easily skimmed off and put in a pile to the side. Don't hesitate to pour the waste water on the organics, as you can easily make compost out of this stuff, if its kept moist enough to attract the worms and grubs.

Oh, Three men split up more than 300 lbs. of lead they recovered from the ties and earth backstop. They gave some more away to friends. They could not estimate how much lead they left behind because they were too tired to process( sift) more of the earth. They didn't melt the lead bits out of the earth as I have described above.

 
zimmerstutzen 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4652
10-25-11 11:12 AM - Post#1059836    

    In response to paulvallandigham

A buddy of mine used a heavy old water heater tank with the end cut off & propped up on one end. The balls just hit the sloping back wall and bounced down into the lower end. Granted he was only shooting pistol at 25 yds, but after a hundred or two hundred shots a layer of lead spatter formed in the base and absorbed the shot.

I don't think water heaters are made that heavy these days. I have been scrounging some metal plate off old farm equipment to use for such a project. Farm discs seem to work pretty well as gongs for lead balls.

 
Ghettogun 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2925
10-25-11 12:23 PM - Post#1059851    

    In response to 123.DieselBenz

  • Quote:
ince I shoot out in the desert, I got tired of transporting a bucket of sand,

Seems to me you would just fill up a bucket with some of that natural desert stuff. I'd kinda hate to scoop up a rattler though

 
123.DieselBenz 
45 Cal.
Posts: 706
10-25-11 12:30 PM - Post#1059854    

    In response to Ghettogun

No, cuz it's all kinds of crud and gravel mixed in, hard to sift out, it's not all loose sand like at the beach ... Sorry I can't post pics from my phone ... But I'll try to remember to when I get home.

Over at Cast Boolits forum there is a HUGE thread on boolit traps!

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13673
BrownBear
10-25-11 12:41 PM - Post#1059860    

    In response to 123.DieselBenz

Good observation 123.DieselBenz.

Our sand around here is a little courser than the "sugary" stuff I've seen on the east and west coasts, plus it sometimes has a little gravel mixed in.

Problem with the gravel is that it really tears up the balls rather than just flattening when hit. I solved it by putting my 1/4" screen on top of the bucket to sift the sand as I shovel it in.

Another point- I get a yield of about 75% recovered lead. The rest is in pieces (and probably dust) so small it passes through the screen, or at least some pieces caught on the screen are too small for my trouble.

Another point in recovery- storage. You won't generate enough lead from most shooting sessions to remelt right away, so I drop it into a 2# coffee can with a plastic lid. When the can is about half full, then it's time to start thinking about melting, even if just to ingots for more convenient use later.

Another trick- bring along several buckets with the inner tube facing. You accumulate lead a whole lot faster if you make the spares available for you shooting pards.
"Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
Merle Haggard


 
123.DieselBenz 
45 Cal.
Posts: 706
10-29-11 01:36 PM - Post#1061315    

    In response to 123.DieselBenz

OK, I'm home, and have access to my pictures!

This is kinda long, and is mostly from my centerfire days!


This the first trap I made out of plywood, 15" X 15" X 21" it has a partition of steel road sign holding in 1.5” of sand in the back. weighs about 90 pounds!


I ended up adding a cardboard partition towards the front half, so I would only have to empty and sift/sort out half of the shredded rubber




Recovered .358” Hornady Hollow Base Wadcutters


.358” Lee LSWC


.432” MP Custom HP Semi Wadcutter at 44 spl speed (back row) and Mag speed, (middle row) plus what they look like when they collide in the trap!


.359” MP Custom HP mold


.434” MP Custom Mold Kramer style


Same as above, but with the round hp pins


And run a bit faster!


.378 255gr Accurate Custom mold


This is what I used to try to catch some of the above out of my 375 H&H Mag! 27” of rubber, some it went through, by following the same “tunnel” from previous shots!


.225” 59gr NOE Custom 10 cavity mold!


Here are some .350” RB on the left:


A .451 RB made out of wheel weights, show’s the damage done trying to seat it in my revolver!


A 16” cube I used for the “Alien vs Longhunter” match


I now use a cardboard box about 12” square . . . sometimes bigger . . . I shoot it full of holes, run some packing tape over the holes to hold in the rubber, turn it 90º, and shoot again! I use a 2 pound yogurt container and scoop out the rubber and drop it into my metal wheelbarrow, you can hear when a boolit comes out, even a little 22!, I pluck them out, brush aside the rubber to one end, and dump out more!

I tried using a 5 gallon oil tote, and you really only get ONE shot! But it sure is FUN!
Here is a video:

You can see the rubber boolit trap on the right, I found it!

I can't hear very well with my ear plugs in!




And what we found! (The one on the Right was shot into rubber, for comparison)


Here is a sand trap model I made out of 2X6’s, 1/4” lexan, and thin piece of rubber floor matt. Notice the 140gr 38 spl did not make it through the lexan, and the cardboard held them there, until I opened it up, now they are on the floor! But the 22 Long Rifle did!:


The 44 Mag HP’s tore up the lexan though:


Factory 45 Auto FMJ, .359” 140gr MP Custom mold, .432” 242gr MP Custom SWC


I shot .270 Win factory 130gr SP which only went in about 4” to the sand, just shreds of copper jacket left . . . Here are various velocity 131gr NOE Custom boolits out of my AK47:


Started out looking like the ones on the right!


Overall I like the rubber better, as it saves more lead, and it shows a better representation of how the lead, or allow mix reacts to stopping quickly!


 
CoyoteJoe 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4994
CoyoteJoe
10-31-11 10:50 AM - Post#1061945    

    In response to 123.DieselBenz

Thank you! That is one of the best posts I've seen on this forum.

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13673
BrownBear
10-31-11 10:58 AM - Post#1061950    

    In response to 123.DieselBenz

I agree with CoyotieJoe- Excellent post. All BTDT and no BS keyboard ballistics.

I think you may have sold me on the rubber mulch, if I can find it around here. Sand is dandy, but for something like 6 months a year it can be hard to come up with. "Saving" it from one session to another doesn't work if it is even slightly damp, cuzz we call it a "brick" when it's frozen solid.

Extra lead recovery is another bonus. As noted in my previous post, I'm only recovering about 75% due to breakup.

Thanks again!
"Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
Merle Haggard


 
123.DieselBenz 
45 Cal.
Posts: 706
10-31-11 06:56 PM - Post#1062143    

    In response to BrownBear

Your Welcome!

I find at least 99% of the lead stays together . . . if you hit another one in there, it could just smush it up, or if it is a harder alloy, it could break into chunks, I use 50/50 lino/wheel weights for my .222 cal and 375 H&H . . . most everything else was a ww mixture, with a tad of tin added . . . I save my soft lead for my C&B revolver . . .

I got mine from Home Depot, but most any store that sells the that kinda stuff should have it!


By retaining most or all of the lead, not only does it allow you to re-melt and cast more, but think how much of that sand has very small particles of lead (lead dust) which are easy to ingest or breath in!

With the rubber, some guys just dump it into a big container of water, scoop off the rubber, dump out the water, and your lead is waiting for you at the bottom!

 
sickle hocks 
36 Cal.
Posts: 54
10-31-11 08:33 PM - Post#1062182    

    In response to 123.DieselBenz

Excellent! Thanks for the tip!

 
trettie 
32 Cal.
Posts: 33
11-07-11 05:28 PM - Post#1064890    

    In response to sickle hocks

This was my take on it. It's basically a wooden box filled with scrap lumber. After a while, I open the top and pull out the scrap and glean the lead (or throw it in the firepit and collect from the ashes). Turn it around when it gets beat-up, and just replace the face when it's really beat up. It's got 12-inch spikes on the feet so it's easy to move around.



 
WildShot 
40 Cal.
Posts: 313
11-08-11 02:39 PM - Post#1065272    

    In response to sickle hocks

I don’t have any pics to post but here are a few details of what I use on my 25 yd offhand range. I have a 4’ long piece of 10” well casing that has one end cut at a 45 degree angle. I have it mounted at an angle using metal fence post so that the longest dimension of the pipe is at the top of the target, the 45 degree cut is perpendicular to the ground. I have a railroad tie plate blocking the end on the ground and have filled the pipe with rubber mulch. Very effective for stopping just about anything including 12 ga slugs and .690 round balls. My goal is to recover and reuse the lead. The rubber mulch makes it easier to reclaim than sand.

 
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