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Discussion Starter #1
I'm kicking around putting together a plywood/[email protected] backstop in my barn. What kind of penetration would I get from a 45? I'm currently thinking of 6" of plywood in front of 4" of 2x12 boards. Is this enough, overkill, not enough?

I figure I'll be using it for .45 & .357 mostly, with some .22 thrown in occasionally.

Since I live out in the country, city statutes are not a problem.


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Scott Cooper
 

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Hmmm... 10" of wood, a mix of solid hardwood, and laminate (plywood)... For the 45, it should be sufficient, but with 357 magnum loads, it might be a bit thin...

Also, consider that the plywood with definately wear away after even modest use, as it splinter's from consecutive shots.

You may want to rethink this...

I'd be inclined to build a hollow wall, filled with sand, and pea gravel, using timber, and sheet rock on the outside, and maybe cinderblock filled with sand, and or concrete on the back side.

Yes, it could get expensive, but the price could be much more if you have an "accident"
 

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I would go with a backstop that isn't solid. I have had too many rounds return in my direction to even consider shooting plywood or other hardwoods. The sound of a round coming back at you is unmistakable, just the thought of it makes me cringe. I would consider a backstop composed of earth or sand. Plus as it wears, you can just apply more.

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I would be inclined to go with a multi-layered stop.

The front layer would be the part that is going to need replacing the most often. The best I have seen for this is rubber sheeting thin enough to allow penetration of all the cartridge/bullet combinations you will use. As the bullets pass through, the stretch charactaristic of the rubber "closes" the holes somewhat, making it last longer than wood or other materials, and it protects against backsplash of fragments at close range. Get a big sheet and it can be moved around as any particular part starts to get significant gaps in it. Behind that you can have various layers of chickenwire, and filled cavities with gravel, pebbles, rock etc. The sides should have some solid timber, or gravel/pebble filled wire cages to catch any fragments that might somehow find their way out those directions. And the final backstop something substantial like brick/cement with a space so that this can be inspected for signs that the main system is failing. Inspect frequently.
 

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More expensive, but I'd consider an angled hard backstop and an earth or clay collector. Have the hard backstop
(like carbon steel) angled at 45° to deflect bullets down into a collecto material.

I don't know how much time, money, and resources you have to throw into this though.

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-Electric Armadillo-

[This message has been edited by Electric_Armadillo (edited 10-10-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So the concensus is several layers with space/sand between and a rubber cover at the front? Well, that's doable. As far as a downward deflection plate, well the thing will be set up in the loft of the barn so that may be a touch difficult. What about a 1/2" rubber mat as the first layer followed by 2" styrofoam heat insulation, then 1" plywood & 4" fiberglass insulation alternating with 2' of gravel/cement powder as a final backstop? This whole setup should be doable for around $150 or so.


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Scott Cooper
 

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Up in the Loft??? Guess any use of Sand and Cement will need to consider weight too, as that could get heavy for loading up a small footprint.

Splash Back could be ugly, though small caliber's (under 380) might be the limit against a wood front, even with a Rubber cover.

Definately, an angled "Bullet Trap" would be best, and probably the lightest. If you did this, even upstairs in the loft, you could have a Steel plate on the floor, and 2 angled plates in front, forming a ">" trap, similar to how the Indoor Ranges are constructed. And if you shoot lead, you could "Recycle" and remold your bullets


I would not consider Fiberglass Insulation, it's just not that dense to "trap" bullets.

Dirt, Sand, or some other "Media" would be better, and the suggestion to have a space behind to check for signs of damage/failure is a good one too.

I have given serious though to a "Home Range" when I move, and get some property...

For me, I am thinking underground, off from the Basement, maybe using those big Cement Pipes for the tunnel.

One thing to remember is to ensure good ventilation, blowing from behind, downrange, to keep lead/powder residues away from the shooter. Also, a well vented area will help with the increased spikes in Sound Pressure level's when shooting.

Enjoy!
 

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A half inch rubber screen will stop pretty much any backsplash - though I would agree that it would be prudent to place a sheet or two of ply behind that which could be replaced every so often. I would always wear shooting glasses as a standard and universal precaution during all shooting practice, for many reasons.

Rather than sand or any other powdery substance I would use large pebble and or heavy aggregate in chickenwire cages stacked in "blocks". It doesn't take a great depth of this stuff to stop even rifle bullets. It's easier to contain than sand or finer gravel. And as in my first post, it can be extended forward at the sides to catch anything that might approach a 'ricochet' bullet fragment - and augmented at the sides with timber as well.

In view of the fact that this is going to be in the barn loft, I would go to a scrap metal dealer and scrounge up a very large sheet of steel plate (at least something about 1/8th inch thick) as a sort of "fail safe" backstop say 2 feet+ square and mount it center directly behind the primary backstop. Presuming here your backstop is going to be situated at a gable end?

The wire cage "blocks" might need fixing up with more chicken wire every now and then in the primary target area. I would make them triple or quadruple layer (the wire cage itself) to start with and check it after every shooting session until you get a feel for how long it holds together.

The only question is how much weight your floor will support. It might need shoring up directly underneath.

I must say that a steel plate trap would be the overall best. The only question is costs, and whether or not it could be constructed in situ. Either way there is still the weight factor to consider.

[This message has been edited by LAK (edited 10-11-2001).]
 
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