Homebuilt $100 Backstop for .22lr
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default Homebuilt $100 Backstop for .22lr





This will stop a .22lr from anything 50 feet or more, without ricochet at any point on target stand. It can be built to any size you want. The center concrete section is 4 inch thick solid concrete block. The wings and secondary layer behind the blocks is 8x16 cinder block.

The side shot shows the replaceable slats made from 2x8 pallet wood from some heavy pallets my work gives us for free. The particle board alone is enough for .22lr practice at 50 feet and more. it safely drops behind the pink foam after hitting the concrete without damaging the blocks. Many of my rounds don't make it past the second sheet of particle board since i use the 2x8 wood to staple all my targets to. My .223 is only shot at the thickest sections as shown in the side view with target stapled to the 3x4 upright. It and the ones behind it stop a .223 from 50 yards before it hits the pink foam.

The rear shot shows how i stacked cinder blocks vertically to cover the vertical cracks between the solid blocks to avoid using mortar and make the whole thing easier to maintain. This also made it unnecessary for the ground to be perfectly level. I shot a .223 round at a seam and only dust made it through to the cinder block behind it....of course, the two 4 inch blocks had a 1/2 inch deep 2 inch diameter depression at those edges where they came together. Point is, nothing got through but concrete dust in a fine vertical line. the bullet jacket dropped to the ground behind the pink foam...fragments sprayed against the back of the foam.
You can see a .223 bullet hole in the target where i tested it for penetration of those wooden layers from 50 yards. The bullet was effectively trapped in the wood before the pink insulation.
This is a cheap investment for a safe location to make it even safer.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Couldn't find a pile of dirt?
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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You spent $100 on that? Might I suggest purchasing sand bags next time

Srsly, it's the thought that counts so kudos to you.

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Old 12-02-2010, 07:08 PM   #4
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Nice Build! Fill those blocks with sand. You might think about adding to the sides of the backstop in case of accidental discharge.

What's down range....Looks like a corn field?

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Old 12-03-2010, 02:04 AM   #5
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And to think I just go to the Deli and get 5 gallon buckets from them for free, then take them home and fill with dirt put lid on and instant target. It is deep enough that .223 doesn't penetrate. And it cost nothing.

14 inches Deep of dirt, 12 inch round target face.

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Old 12-03-2010, 08:38 AM   #6
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The barrels work. I used them to test fire .22's and most centerfire handguns into (non Magnum) in my gunsmithing shop. They would even work with some centerfire rifles, but the blast made quite a mess.

John K

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Old 12-03-2010, 04:43 PM   #7
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Put the center cinder block at more of an angle so you can target the upper limbs of the trees behind for tree rats with the deflections.

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Old 12-03-2010, 06:09 PM   #8
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1. A pile of dirt isn't an option at this time. There is one of those at the conservation Dept. shooting range 25 miles away.

2. Barrels are too small for my pistol shooting friends and my own piece of mind. Getting enough of them to make a stop this big would require lots of sand...which i don't have free access to. I am definitely not comfortable with a 12 inch diameter backstop and i doubt my neighbor would appreciate that if he looked across the street and saw it either. This is a visible display of safety, in case anybody around here wonders how i keep my bullets out of the field over there.

3. This backstop positively stops my .223 and the wood is free to me. There is no ricochet, as i think i mentioned. The angle concrete block in the front is nowhere near any target we shoot at and once a bullet ricochets straight up, it falls at the normal rate determined by gravity....not ballistic anymore in other words.

4. I'm not sure this is the final precise location for the backstop, so it's still movable. There is one safe direction (east), but over 200 feet of fence i could put it on. The field behind is a hay field that slopes upward from just behind my stop for about a 1/4 mile before going back down.

5. Nothing is going through those two hedge trees either side of the backstop. There are more trees behind the hedge a ways out in the field about halfway up the hill as well. The field is not continuous and is rarely used, except for mowing and baling and occasional bale removal. It's not that big a field to be very busy and there's no hunting on it.

6. Sandbags stacked for a backstop this large would be plenty expensive around here. Where do you get your sandbags? I would have to buy sandbag weights for cars at several dollars each and more bags than the 1.09 blocks i bought...way more expensive, or make my own sandbags. These blocks weigh 36 pounds each and are easily arranged and moved as needed. So far, i haven't needed to rearrange or move them, but the first time was simple..sandbags? Nice idea, but I don't have them as a viable option.


7. i thought this might be helpful to somebody wondering about an effective, low maintenance backstop that isn't a big dirt pile. this can also be painted camouflage very easily if aesthetics is a concern. If i do the dirt, it will be in the NE corner and will change the shooting positions, which requires the removal of a building....i don't see that happening..it's my 12x24 shed...but one wall removed would make a 30 yard covered station possible...lol. Then there's that pesky dogwood tree to shoot through. The concept of concrete and wood to stop the .22 is really the point here, i think. It doesn't take that much, and it can be done simply and cheaply for a fringe type location like this one, provided no laws prohibit it. You can stack them as high as you want, make it movable or permanent, paint it, put a roof on it, whatever your heart desires. Not everybody has free access to dirt, sand or equipment. For those who don't, this is cheap way to go. Granted, not everybody has free 2x8 pallet wood with 3x4 bracing legs either.

8. The center block in the front is nothing more than a weight for the stand to keep it upright...i have found since then that it can sit flat in front of the stand and not be anywhere near any viable target we shoot at. The stand doesn't fall forward anyway, it's a just in case block and may eventually go away. I will probably go up a little on the wings eventually, but 2000 pounds of concrete block in my 87 dodge van was all i was comfortable driving with.


We live just outside the city limits and there is one safe direction to shoot, east, but extra safety is important to me and lots of shooting is too. This is the best solution i found that doesn't look like a 9 foot tall pile of dirt that sprawls across the north east corner of my yard (i also have a wife). I do have a neighbor on the south side of the road and the road ends at our houses. the open field to the north houses ponies and donkeys, so it's a no-go. there are neighbors to the west. If my wife decides that is acceptable eventually, the cost of the dirt, grass seed, tree removal, moving the shed and rental of the bobcat will far exceed this 100 dollar expense. The barrels are no safer and are every bit as hard to obtain and fill as these blocks were. There is no free sand around here for me, and no free way to get it here. I built this in a under an hour not counting the stop at menards after working night shift. I also worked that night after enjoying shooting in my back yard before i went to bed for the day. Everybody has a unique situation. I did what i feel i could with the property and funds i have.

There are the rest of the details i left out for brevity sake (so much for brevity). Thanks for the responses. I hope somebody found this or some of your ideas helpful.

I gave this a lot of thought and it works, all the way around from the standpoint of safety and marital bliss in my personal shooting situation. Now my cut down willow tree and the other wood we've collected from the trees here can be a bonfire and we can use our original bonfire spot the way we used to, for parties and s'mores after the weenie roasts.

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Old 12-03-2010, 07:33 PM   #9
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What do we need to bring for the weenie roast besides our .22's??

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Old 12-04-2010, 05:10 AM   #10
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Bring a .223 or ...um... somebody i know just got a .308 for an early Christmas present...there may be a big dirt pile after all...lol. I'll keep you posted. The old willow tree pile is still there for the moment. All bonfires are on hold until i get the .308 sighted in...lol.

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