Help with outdoor bullet trap
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:32 PM   #1
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Default Help with outdoor bullet trap

When I get to my next duty station, and buy a house, I plan on building a shooting range on my property. I will be shooting almost entirely handguns.

I'd like some imput on how to setup my bullet trap. I don't cast bullets right now, but I fully intend to get into it when I get there. I'd like to be able to save as many projectiles as possible for reuse.

With that in mind, I'm thinking steel for the backdrop. I have done a minimal amount of research on it, as I'm still about a year away from being there.

Question one: let's say I'll be shooting .44 Magnum. I don't own any, but I want my range to be over-prepared (caliber wise), so let's bank on me having one someday. What grade and thickness of steel is acceptable for stopping .44 Magnum, say from 5-25 yards max?

Question two: Do any of you have any ideas on how best to setup the bullet trap, to save as much lead as possible? I have a few ideas floating around in my head, but if any of you have done this I'd like to hear from you.

I found the below video, and I really like his setup. I am right now leaning towards doing something like this:


Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Recommendations? Gripes?

Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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Perhaps you could capture a bear and use it as the bullet trap?

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Old 07-30-2013, 08:40 PM   #3
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Perhaps you could capture a bear and use it as the bullet trap?
I feel like digging around in the bear would be more trouble than its worth in terms of retrieving the lead... :P
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:50 PM   #4
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Maybe there is a reason for it but why use mulch at the base, wouldn't you want a flat surface or something that doesn't cover up your lead making it harder to find?

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Old 07-30-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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Maybe there is a reason for it but why use mulch at the base, wouldn't you want a flat surface or something that doesn't cover up your lead making it harder to find?
Right, that was exactly my thought. I would use a sheet of plywood or something. As long as it gets trapped in there, and there's a perimeter around the base with other wood, so leaves and other nonsense doesn't get blown in very easily.

I think he said he just liked the smell of the mulch. Personally I don't wanna have to root around too much to retrieve the lead.

But other than that, and a few minor changes here and there, I like his general design.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:13 PM   #6
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Rather than mulch, sand. At least 6 inches. Bullet hits angled plate, sheds some speed, is redirected into sand, when it stops. Cover open sides with plywood so local cats do not use for litterbox. When you want to recover lead, use shovel, dump sand on a sifter screen, return sand to base.

Those dimples are not good. Bullet striking on the edge of a dimple is going to go in a direction you cannot forecast. Check with local welding fab shop or metal supplier for their suggestions. And the NRA also has a range section for can call and talk to.

Uhhhh- you ARE a member of the NRA. right?

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Old 07-30-2013, 10:16 PM   #7
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Rather than mulch, sand. At least 6 inches. Bullet hits angled plate, sheds some speed, is redirected into sand, when it stops. Cover open sides with plywood so local cats do not use for litterbox. When you want to recover lead, use shovel, dump sand on a sifter screen, return sand to base. ...
Maybe one of those slotted scoops for litter boxes would aid in lead recovery.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
Rather than mulch, sand. At least 6 inches. Bullet hits angled plate, sheds some speed, is redirected into sand, when it stops. Cover open sides with plywood so local cats do not use for litterbox. When you want to recover lead, use shovel, dump sand on a sifter screen, return sand to base.

Those dimples are not good. Bullet striking on the edge of a dimple is going to go in a direction you cannot forecast. Check with local welding fab shop or metal supplier for their suggestions. And the NRA also has a range section for can call and talk to.

Uhhhh- you ARE a member of the NRA. right?
Good advice, as always. The dimples are part of the reason I want the steel to be over-prepared for the calibers I plan on using. I'll talk to local welding shops when I get there.

I'm not sure how I feel about the sand, though. I understand the purpose you're talking about, but I feel like there must be a better way to stop the momentum of the bullet after deflection, so that I don't have to sift through sand so much.

And yes, of course I'm a member of the NRA.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:41 PM   #9
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If you want to put some money in it, have a welder make you one of these-

snail-20trap-20cross-20section.jpg

You just open the end plate, and rake the lead out.

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Old 07-30-2013, 10:46 PM   #10
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C3, that's an interesting thing-a-ma-jiggy. What should I even begin to call it? For googling purposes?

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