Homebuilt $100 Backstop for .22lr

Discussion in '.22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion' started by Ronbo, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Ronbo

    Ronbo New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  2. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

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    Couldn't find a pile of dirt?
     

  3. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    You spent $100 on that? :eek: Might I suggest purchasing sand bags next time ;)

    Srsly, it's the thought that counts so kudos to you. :)
     
  4. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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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?
     
  5. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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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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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  6. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

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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
     
  7. group17

    group17 New Member

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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.
     
  8. Ronbo

    Ronbo New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  9. Chortdraw

    Chortdraw New Member

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    What do we need to bring for the weenie roast besides our .22's??:D
     
  10. Ronbo

    Ronbo New Member

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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.
     
  11. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Man you could have spend $6 a bale on 8 to 10 2 wire hay bails and had a better looking more affective back stop in my eyes. I dislike shooting SOLID HARD objects with firearms just me YMMV.

    how is a pile of dirt not movable? Got a shovel and a wheel barrow or truck?

    Worst come to worse I would put in 2 8' 4x4 posts 6 to 8' apart and the screwed the 2x8 to the outside and filled it with sand or dirt. Shoot a hole in one pop it off and pop on a new one.
     
  12. Ronbo

    Ronbo New Member

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    A pile of dirt is more movable than 50 cinder blocks, some hollow and some solid?

    Bales of hay for a .223? If you don't like my backstop, go spend $6 and shovel away. Please don't think i was making it law that you make one of these. This is the best solution for where i am and I am sure someone else will find the information useful. As for cosmetics, like i said, it can be painted..these were pictures of it within an hour of the initial construction...good grief.

    There is actual science and research in this concept by Purdue university shooting range. You don't have to like it, but don't insult my intelligence. As i mentioned, the wood is free to me, dirt is not and would actually cost me much more, since cheap seems to bee what you prefer. I even mentioned that i may need to make a dirt pile now that i got a .308 for Christmas. For .22 and .223, this works fine and was a very quick effective solution.

    As for shooting solid hard objects, you haven't researched the effects of a bullet on concrete at the angles I have chosen here. There is no ricochet...starting to feel like a broken record. A .22lr will actually create a molten concrete puddle that will embed itself in the lead at point blank range. At the yardages we shoot, the .22 just hits the concrete and falls behind the pink foam. The .223, if it gets through the foam only hits and falls with more lead splatter on the back of the foam...jacket lying in one piece on the ground in front of the concrete. Solid hard objects are not all the same when it comes to bullet behavior. On concrete, ricochet is only a player at VERY shallow bullet approach angles..there are no angles approaching that in my backstop. Find the Purdue PDF file and look into it for yourself.


    Anybody else want to hop on the "gee what a stupid idea" bandwagon? For those that find this useful, you're welcome....that was my intent.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  13. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    I guess that rules out the Bucksnort club ranges on UU as well. :(
    That's a shame. There are some mighty nice folks out there.
     
  14. Ronbo

    Ronbo New Member

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    Yeah..my 12 hour swing shift schedule makes a lot of driving to shoot pretty rough. I couldn't even get time off for deer season, but i lucked out and worked night shift on friday. I was able to get into the woods by 7:50 am and got my buck at 8:35. Otherwise, it would have been just Sunday due to my work schedule.

    That's why i wanted a backyard mini range for me and my wife to use at every open hour we can. It's a 30 second walk to our benches and an trip or two for sandbags, ammo, etc. Beats driving 25 minutes each way.

    We will be using it more over Christmas break i hope since we can also shoot clay birds there, then put tiny orange ceramic shards in the rifle backtop staples and explode them with the rifles at 50 yards....one of my favorite kinds of plinking with the .22 and the .223. I can also safely shoot the .308 at 50 yards there. I sighted it in at 30 yards into my woodpile today..it's a shooter too!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  15. IDVague

    IDVague New Member

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    A friend of mine used to work at a place that used large plastic barrels for something (about a foot taller than a 55-gal. oil drum and half again as wide). He could get them for free when they were done with them, so he set up about 8 of them filled with sand on the back of his property. Then he dumped sand in the voids between the barrels and he had a compacted sand pit contained with the barrels. A 4 x 8 sheet of plywood attached to the front (later set into a wooden frame a few inches in front of the barrels) was perfect for attaching targets and easily replaced after a few thousand rounds. Nothing ever made it through the barrels and there was a LOT of ammo expended into them before any needed to be replaced.
     
  16. Ronbo

    Ronbo New Member

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    .308 recovered from same backstop

    after much research and a small adjustment in the amount of wood in front of the backstop ( one extra piece of 3/4 particle board), here's a .308 winchester power point round recovered from the backstop, shot at 50 yards. There was minimal damage to the concrete and the bullet was simply laying just as you see it on a lower 8x16 block that serves as the base for the 4 inch solid blocks.

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    Here's the target.

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    Now i am happy that i can shoot all my rifles into this safely and with minimal maintenance.