Bullet trap/backstop

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DBrevit

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Found this on utube yrs. ago. Stand a truck or tractor tire on end, wrap two chains around top to hold your steel target inside of tire (would be great if you could drill holes to hang chain through). When lead hits target it will collect inside the tire. Works pretty good.
John,
When you want to use a post quote, click quote then reply and all will be on the same reply, trying to help not be an a$$.
Anyway steel has a bad habit of throwing ricochets in directions that don't make sense when hit on the edge, it does not matter if the plate is on a chain or an angle, also lead spatter comes off the steel in a 360 deg circle 90 deg to the face of the steel plate and again this does not change with chain or angle.
 

Canute Rex

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I'll join with AJFedak and others in recommending rubber mulch (shredded tires) in a box. I made a box about 2 feet square on the front and 3 feet long. I put a hinged lid with a piece of tin roofing on it. Filled it with rubber mulch, plus pieces of tire sidewall and floor mat up front. I put pieces of thin angle iron on the sides and bottom of the front so I can slide the plywood front out and replace it when it gets shot out.

This stops 54 balls about halfway in. It's easy to scoop through the mulch for lead and the balls have almost 100% of their original weight left. Periodically you have to add more mulch or at least stir it up because it settles.
 

BrianL

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Here are a couple of mine using tires, rubber mulch and a compressor tank and a well expansion tank. First you cut off one end of the tank. Cut out the sidewalls of the tire. Cut across the tread portion. Cut the sidewalls into 6"pieces.
  • Stand tank on closed end
  • Line the wall with the treads, overlap is ok. This should use the tread of a couple or three tires
  • Add a layer of sidewall slabs
  • Add a layer of rubber mulch
  • Repeat until about 6 inches from top
  • Pack sheet plastic over the top and as far down the sides as possible. I use pellet bags as I have few other uses for them.
On the larger one of mine, I welded on a target frame and a chain to lift to dump (I recovered 77 lbs of lead last year)
On the smaller compressor model I mounted it in an old wheelbarrow so that I can move it around. I also use it for indoor pistol practice in the winter. These things will stop a 45 acp in three inches and I have shot full metal 30-06 without coming close to the end. They do however 'settle' a bit over time so do not use the top 3-4 inches. As you probably guessed, the treads contain any skidders. I also added a plate on the bottom of the first one as I did not know what to expectIMG_4858.jpgIMG_4859.jpgIMG_4860.jpgIMG_4862.jpgIMG_4863.jpgIMG_4864.jpg
 

DBrevit

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BrianL, How is this system working out at 100 yds ?
 

Bouncer1947

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I use a double layer of stacked tires. I use both 4ply and 10 ply. No they don't bounce back :D :D :D The second layer of tires usually catches the round balls and conicals. They either sit inside the tires or drop down in the middle, in the dirt where i can easily pick them up.


And while you are at it, make a nice shooting bench.




Not pictured, but we later added a roof and the right hand side was enclosed to keep the side breeze out.
Exactly what I have been using, stacked tires, filled with sand..25 years never a bounce back and self healing..good job!
 

Carbon 6

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Yeah the problem with the sand is that it gets embedded in the soft lead at impact. You might as well just lay out some tires and cover them with dirt. Then mine the lead.

For a little more elaborate, and a lot easier to recover the lead, You dig a small, square trough about 6" deep, and fill it with hardwood mulch. You then suspend using chains, a square of AR-500 target steel with the bottom edge at the back end of the mulch-trough, and the upper edge suspended by two posts, so that the AR-500 steel angles backwards at the bottom, away from you the shooter. Suspend targets between the posts, or put target holders in front of this. After going through the target, the ball kits the steel, and deflects downwards at a much reduced speed, stopping in the mulch. When ready, you remove the spent ball pieces from the mulch (or sawdust), and recast them.

View attachment 27458

LD
The problem with that design is that soft lead splatters and half you lead goes side to side.
Without side shields you lose a lot of lead.
I have built many different styles of bullet traps over the years and nothing beats one designed completely out of steel.

1585758259743.png



View attachment 27584
 

BrianL

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BrianL, How is this system working out at 100 yds ?
To test it I set up at 50 yards and pounded it with everything that I had and measured the penetration...or lack of it. Whst I did find interesting was that after a 25 yard workout with 45 acp I expected to see the bullets all mashed up (because I am such an awesome pistolero and put them through one hole...yup) but found that the bullets were pristine.Apparently the mulch diverts the flight path. It just works. Of course as you start shooting hotter stuff, the bullets get fragmented when hit.
 
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Carbon 6

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I was told that shooting into the ends of lengths of large diameter logs works and burning the logs is supposed to allow the melted lead to puddle in the bottom of the fire pit.
It does, use the entire log, as the face wears down from shooting you get out the chainsaw and make a new one. A wooden frame can be attached to the from for hanging targets. It works quite well if you have access to a tree trunk, oak works well.
A log will last many years.
 

BrianL

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Beware, I have been reading the posts about using stacked tires and have to tell you that while the set up with a long gun may be safe enough, using pistols from 25 yards will get your attention. Our shooting range set up a pistol berm made of stacked tires filled with sand. After about a month, I got there early for a trap shoot and wandered over to watch some guys at the pistol range. A fellow brings out a 45 acp and started rapid fire string one handed and we were ducking rebounds and I have pictures of the dented cars to prove it. Slow big bullets will bounce so stay back if using tires
 

russellshaffer

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Push up a berm in a safe spot, if you are the only one shooting the size can be what you are comfortable with, have a load (dump truck) of sand delivered and face the berm with it (dump it in front of berm), done.

I don't have this problem lucky for me, to recover lead I use an old bullet proof vest on the berm behind the target.
How many rounds will that vest stop? I think the police have to replace theirs after one hit. You don't shoot the center out?
 

hawkeye2

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The problem with that design is that soft lead splatters and half you lead goes side to side.
Without side shields you lose a lot of lead.
I have built many different styles of bullet traps over the years and nothing beats one designed completely out of steel.

View attachment 27585



View attachment 27584
[Carbon6 great minds think alike! 😄😄 Unfortunately not everyone has access to the materials and equipment to build a trap like that. My last job was running a steel fabrication shop so I did get to build one which I posted here:

Steel Bullet trap

There are some more threads on traps here and a quick search will bring up more. A lot of good ideas on this thread and past ones too. Never loose sight of the fact that the safety of the trap and/or backstop is paramount.


 

DBrevit

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How many rounds will that vest stop? I think the police have to replace theirs after one hit. You don't shoot the center out?
I've shot them with .45/.50 and .54 round ball and Minie/R.E.A.L. 40 to 50 times before moving it ( so impact is spread around), all the vests are out of date vests from local police dept but still stop rounds they are rated for, I have been a local and federal L.E. SRT instructor and an instructor for U.S.A.S.O.C. for 30 years and is the reason I get plenty of vests for lead recovery, nice and clean , I've shot most everything you can think of (1.5 million rounds of handgun alone) but black powder cap and flint rifle is still what I enjoy the most, after testing a load/gun at 25 yds I shoot rifle at 100 or 175 yards so vests do well.
 

Whitworth

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I've been using end on log bullet traps for years. Something soft like Poplar allows the bullets to slip in between the grain and stop in near pristine condition after a few inches. The wood can be easily split to recover your lead since you will be them all in the same hole;) If you burn the wood the lead will drop down into your ash pan for recovery when burned in the wood stove. I'm cutting a big Poplar up now and plan on using a fresh piece to trap some rock hard Whitworth bullets I've cast up.
 

eggwelder

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Wooden box method. Big holes are .50 RB offhand at 70 meters. Small holes from an unmentionable With experimental plinking loads.
no thru and thrus

 

DBrevit

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Eggwelder,
Looks like about 15 hits with some ground junk thrown into target, out of curiosity how many rounds do you and others reading this shoot in a range session at this type of target holder ? or are you only using a box setup to test a load with a few shots.
I'm sure I would destroy a box like that in one practice session.
 
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eggwelder

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That session was cut short, was only shooting for maybe 30 minutes.
that face will last me maybe 5 or 6 outings, depends what i bring out, and who else is shooting what else at it.
i always line it with cardboard, a few layers, helps keep the sand in. And i usually shoot Dutch Schoultz`s targets that he provided in his accurizing book. Lots of ground junk that day, was testing a series of loads for another rifle, sights were not set high enough.
 

ohio ramrod

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I use a heavy steel plate hung by chains at a 45 degree angle slanted to deflect the balls down into a box of water soaked newspapers (when the temps are above freezing, saw dust when below freezing)
 

hangfast

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Hang Fast Targets has a very easy solution to the bullet trap / target problem. Simple is usually better (and cheaper)

The T Post can be pounded in the ground and doesn't need the stand. The stand works well in shoot houses, indoor ranges and hard pack.

This system traps over 90% of the lead for easy re-cycle. I cast mine into round balls and sinkers.





 

hangfast

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Another solution to the steep angle target.

A Hang Fast Standard hanger and a 2 1/2" bolt
Reactive and good sound.
Plate w/ bolt just slips over the hanger so it takes down for transport very easily.
Gravity keeps the plate on the hanger and in position. (KISS)

 
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