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Thread: Target backstop

  1. #1

    Target backstop

    Hope this is in the correct section?

    I'm thinking of building a more permanent target on the land I use and wanted to "build" a decent backstop out of clay/soil by way of a bund. Any thoughts on the depth of clay/soil required to comfortable stop a bullet?

    I was proposing to have a ply board to mount the target sheet with a gap of about 6" to a wall of single sand bags with the clay/soil behind that. The clay/soil would be free of stones etc to avoid ricochet too. (Id draw a picture if someone could tell me how to post it on here??)



  2. #2
    I'd be interested in this too, 22/17HMR for now, but potentially larger calibres later.

  3. #3
    Good point Redleicester, I forgot to mention it will be .243 (100gr) & .308 (150gr) calibres on the range

  4. #4
    I personally would want a good 2-3" of soil and or sand behind the sand bags

  5. #5
    You'll need at least a 6' bund graduated up to a wall of sleepers behind to stop them adequately - it needs to be a properly done job - if you don't believe it, get yourself a piece of railway sleeper or some 6" square hardwood and shoot at it from around 100yards - it'll be through and through with SP and even more so if you ever use some fmj paper punching rounds

  6. #6
    We built a bullet catcher for a small range. 3 staggered rows of car tyres. We went about 12 ft wide, stacked to about 8 ft high and filled all with sand. They need to be framed to keep them compressed inwards.

    It costs very little, tyres are free so the cost is your time (not long) and the sand (more than you think). You end up with a back stop that is about 80 inches deep, solid sand with a minimum of 4 layers of rubber to get through. Very effective. your .243 will not even make it through the first row.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  7. #7
    You need to be thinking FEET of soil and/or sand, not inches. A single sand bag, side on (or even end-on), simply will not cope with .308, espeically FMJ. It MIGHT stop the first round, but almost certainly won't stop subsequent ones, especially since you will be shooting in (almost) exactly the same place due to the location of the target. In fact, I would avoid sandbags except at the sides for support: a couple of dozen rounds and you will have chewed them up. Plus, they rot. The key issue with any range butts is to inspect it before and after use, and be prepared to re-build the depth and compaction of the soil or sand immediately.

    So, without checking, I would say 5-6 feet of compacted soil/sand, and then railway sleepers sounds a good start. But I would still be incredibly careful in terms of sighting it (i.e. not on a skyline, or with a path or habitation behind it, etc).

  8. #8
    Thanks for the replies. I was thinking about the 6' mark, but the sleepers behind sounds good too. We were only using the sand bags as a retainer rather than actual stop, but take the points on rotting and eventually decaying. May be better facing the clay off with the bucket on the excavator.

    Any more ideas before I go and play? I'll post some pictures when I'm done to see what you think.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    I personally would want a good 2-3" of soil and or sand behind the sand bags
    Indeed, and be ready to rebuild it occasionally, its surprising how much earth several hundred rounds of 150g+ can shift.

  10. #10
    Google 'jsp403' for some ideas. It's the MOD bible of range maintenance and construction.

    But, generally, 4-6' of well compacted, stone free soil bank, with around 18" deep grit sand, around 5' high should do for most peoples needs, and make sure the floor between you and the target is clear of stones etc too. You'll want to angle the face of the sand to around 34 degrees, steeper if your sand will stay there

    Don't bother with builders sand, it's too fine and is rubbish. Grit sand or even sharp sand is better. Mix in a little rock salt to prevent it freezing, and keep an eye on the lead build up on your mpi.

    If you want finer details, pm your number and I'll chat to you on the phone if you want.



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