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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I am new to a lot of this, so please forgive me if I ask questions that should be easily answered...
I have recently moved to an area where I will need to have a backstop if I want to shoot on my property. I would be using a 9mm, a 45 acp, and a .22.
my property does not have the capability to have an bulldozer, skidsteer, or backhoe out back; therefore I cannot dig up dirt for a berm. I have limited funds, so huge sheets of steel are not possible (I don't believe), and it needs to not be too cumbersome visually because my wife likes the look of nature, not a huge backstop when she looks to our woods.
I am legally able to shoot on my property.
This is what I was thinking about making:
Using two 10' 4X4 posts, two sheets of 4'x6' 3/4" plywood, 2x4s, and 4'x6' rubber 3/4" barn stall mat.
I would post the 4x4s, 2' deep, hang/frame the plywood (using the 2x4's) 2' above the ground, thus becoming 6' high, 6' wide. I would put one horse mat inside the plywood frame, and fill the rest of the space with sand. I would hang the other mat on the outside of the plywood. My hopes would be the rubber would slow the bullets, and maintain some structure of the plywood, and the sand would catch the lead. My fear is that the rubber may ricochet, but I am hopeful it would just shoot through it.
I am curious if this seems like a good, safe, visually unobtrusive, economical answer to my situation. Any help would be very much appreciated and respected. Thank you.
 

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About 18 bails of hay, stacked lengthwise, 2 deep, 3 wide, 3 high, should do it. I've thought about a backstop on my brother-in-laws property, and that's what I would do. Probably stop and AR too.
 

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Straw 'Hay' works for me. I staked them down with steel engineering stakes and wired the tops to prevent toppling. It is much cheaper easier to maintain, will stop the bullets you listed. If you later decide to shoot heavier calibers just add additional layers of straw.:thumbsup:
 

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Thank you Yosemeti Sam and Northtidesix. A appreciate the response, I have considered hay bales. My wife however would rather a "billboard" type construction (it would be a side view from the house) vs "Large "box" type visual.
What do you think about the rubber mat idea? Will they ricochet? Too thick? Not hold up? Any experience or info on that? Thank you again. Leaman
 

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I would stack tires behind your plywood covered with barn mats, they can easily be filled with dirt using a shovel and can stop anything. All you would see from the front would be your 4X4 frame and the black square of the mats. If you're always going to shoot at the same spot (not a shooting gallery) you can have 3 tires wide and 2 more columns (what ever the height you decide) in the center of the 3. old tires are practically free, dirt is free and you seem to have the mats and 4X4's

Edit: for an even more secure sack you can drive bolts through every 2 or 3 tires locking them with the other stack
Made a little photoshop top view of what I meant lol

Untitled-1.jpg here found a better picture, this guy used center posts image.jpg
 
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I would stack tires behind your plywood covered with barn mats, they can easily be filled with dirt using a shovel and can stop anything. All you would see from the front would be your 4X4 frame and the black square of the mats. If you're always going to shoot at the same spot (not a shooting gallery) you can have 3 tires wide and 2 more columns (what ever the height you decide) in the center of the 3. old tires are practically free, dirt is free and you seem to have the mats and 4X4's

Edit: for an even more secure sack you can drive bolts through every 2 or 3 tires locking them with the other stack
Made a little photoshop top view of what I meant lol

View attachment 47666 here found a better picture, this guy used center posts View attachment 47674
Check with your local tire store. You may be able to get old worn out tires for free. Using the tires filled with dirt should stop the calibers you listed by themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your responses.
I appreciate the tires response Kobs. If needed I will absolutely take that aproach. Thank you.
Does anyone feel as though what I have explained would work?
Does anyone feel the mat idea, 3/4 plywood, another mat, sand then plywood would work?
Will/would it just fall apart?
Would horse mat ricochet?
Am I being numb with the whole idea?
Thank you everyone
 

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The mat idea is good, there are Co. that make those. I don't know if the rubber is different but I do know theirs are 1-1/2-2 inches minimum and they sell 6 and 8 inch thick blocks to build walls with (backstop) google ballistic rubber blocks. Thinner mats would slow them, but let the bullets through and in a short time period would destroy your plywood, leak sand behind destroy the outer plywood etc. Changing them would be a job you would have to do over and over again.
The way I made the drawing too, but only when you feel you want to, cause like I said nothing would go through the tires filled with sand... well none of the caliber you mentioned lol. The mats plywood and 4X4 frame would serve but mostly to look good, you could just set up your targets in front of the tires but it would look like a pile of tires in front of your trees (forest view). You will have to pound those cow mats hard before they start to show holes but they will in time, personally I would use them if I had them. As for ricochet I don't think the .22 would (but it's only my opinion) I know 9mm and .45 would go through specially if there's a solid backing behind
 
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My dad made an old school backstop once I can't remember seeing him using it but I do remember digging for bullets in the remains when it was no longer in use.

He made a 4 Ft. wide wall of railroad ties about 5 ft high, the sides were made of the same wood but were 1 foot nailed together and another wall behind it look like a tall thick flower pot and he filled the inside with sand but in the end the sand leaked from the target spot I have no idea how long it lasted. He was shooting 38's and 45's

backstop.jpg
 
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Use your matts...rubber...on front, fill with peat moss and landscape chips in center to keep light....keep wife happy...make semi portable/permanent...Also..if welding skills or know welder...cut salvaged boat trailer near wheel base...re attach tounge...mount same box so you can tilt tounge up in air after positioning ?...if, you want wider stop.
regards...
C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_hqdefault(3).jpg
dont forget your rest/bench...
C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_bench.jpg
 

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I don't know where you are but most places can get a truck of dirt anywhere. I'm not talking top soil or something expensive but filler, more dirt than 3/4 to 1 inch small rocks but you wouldn't mind having them. I bet it would be cheap enough to consider. Then you would still have to bring it to where you want with a wheelbarrow but this would be the best thing. Build a U shape with railroad ties and forget it Wife would like it cause eventually grass would grow on it and it would stop anything you mentioned and future bigger cal. Or if you can get a hold of a trailer to haul your dirt. if you look, places would probably give it to you for free

Edit: wish I could shoot my guns on my property, backstop would be the easy part loll
 
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I saw some very nice looking tire backstops when I went looking for answers to these questions. Hey I am a city boy and no idea what a cow mat was. Had an idea sure but for this I needed more than just an idea. I really like the look of the staggered wall o tires.

Not knowing how much you plan to shoot I can not say how long the cow mat thing would work. For 22LR I am sure the four layers would stop them well at first, but everything wears out except for a dirt mound. I've seen railroad tie walls with holes through them but that takes a lot of high cal ammo to do that.

So what ever you decide on one of the most important things to consider is what is on the other side of your backstop. You mention trees but do you mean woods or a line of trees separating your property from the neighbors. Eventually something is going to get past your backstop and it will have lethal velocity when it does. So where is it going when it gets past the backstop? This is an important consideration.

Another suggestion that would extend the life of your back stop is to shoot steel. Use AR500 3/8 in thick steel targets. I like shooting steel better than paper. It is safe with 22LR and non magnum hand guns. You can shoot steel with an AR-15 but the target has to be set up correctly to angle the bullet down. You can pick up the targets cheaply on e-bay.
 

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Very simple. Polycarbonate. I weld for my buddy sometimes who manufactures
signs, he gave me a piece of 3/16' thick piece to shoot at to see what it does.
It stopped a .22, and a 9mm barely went thru it. I would say a piece of 3/4"
or 1" would easily stop a .45. Same thing they use at banks, and aircraft
windshields, and bullet proof windows. Get a 4x8 sheet, then all you have to
do is build a 2x4 frame around it with legs and you're in business.

Little expensive, but easy to do. I saw a piece of 1/2', 4x8 sheet for about $386.
Very little work labor wise.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone. After all your responses, I believe I will bail on the plywood and mat idea.
@Kobs, I do like and appreciate your tire stacking idea. I was now thinking about stacking the tires, and building a "shed" around them with doors that open to the sides. When I am not shooting it would look like a garden shed. When i do shoot, well i'd open up and shoot!
@Siplace, behind the backstop is 2 miles of New England woods. No traffic of any kind to speak of. I just want the backstop to be sure.
@Nickerson. I looked into the Polycarbonate. To be thick enough, it would cost me over $500 around here. But I liked the idea. Thank you.
@1shot1k, I have got a rest bench construction model in mind. Yours with the wheels looks sweet!
Thank you all again for your responses. Its nice to get feedback from those who have been down these roads before.
Leaman
 

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^^^ Yeah, shed look alike with barn doors is a great idea if you don't mind spending a few more bucks just for the looks of it :thumbsup:

Not as "nice" but kind of like this. Doors the width of one whole side

rustic-shed.jpg
 

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Thank you Yosemeti Sam and Northtidesix. A appreciate the response, I have considered hay bales. My wife however would rather a "billboard" type construction (it would be a side view from the house) vs "Large "box" type visual.
What do you think about the rubber mat idea? Will they ricochet? Too thick? Not hold up? Any experience or info on that? Thank you again. Leaman
If your wife would like to maintain the visual aspect of nature then why not logs stacked with the area between front and back of the small "cabin" built structure filled with sand?

I had helped an old buddy out at one time build a similar backstop with railroad ties which are cheap and easy to lay your hands on. But to keep it aesthetically pleasing, one could use 10' logs stacked as high as would be considered safe. Yeah, replacing the logs over time would depend on the usage.
 
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