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Old 02-16-2011, 07:10 AM
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Question Rifle Backstop/bullet deflector

Need to build a solid backstop/bullet deflector for my rifle range. Bullets are doing damage to pine trees on neighbors property and it will be safer if I build one. Dirt burms are not an option.

Probably going to be an angle iron frame on wheels with a plate steel deflector about 24-30" wide and 48-60" tall and angled at 45 degrees to deflect the bullets into the ground and keep them on my property.

So, here's the question. At a distance of 100 yards and out, what thickness of everyday run of the mill plate steel do you think I will need in order for hot 243's and 270 wsm's with soft points not to punch through. I'd imagine 1/2" or better.

Anyone on here shoot at ranges that might have some insight?

Thanks in advance for any good input or ideas.

SC
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:49 AM
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There is a lot of danger in a DIY bullet deflector. This is especially true with rifle traps.

I would go with a barrier made from railroad cross ties. Stacked up about five feet high, 2-3 deep, in a U-shape works well. Depending on how much shooting is done there, you may have to replace one or two of the ties every couple of years. I went six feet high at my farm and then pushed dirt behind it in the unlikely event a round would penetrate two layers of ties. Bought the ties for less than $200 used and had a friend help me place them.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:59 PM
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Any time you steel for a backstop, be aware the constant shooting against it will create dents, and perhaps miss-shape an area. Rounds fired into curved steel can come back at very unknown and unexpected angles. It has been known to have caused injuries. High powered rounds like those you mention need to be contained in the backstop, such as the railroad ties mentioned above. Also, there are many different grades of steel, and some are much softer than others. I have fired .222 Remington at a 1/4" boiler plate and it totally penetrated the steel.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:31 PM
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Default steel, bullets, warping, containing

I have two 24" X 48" X 1/4" back stops I have used for 14 years for everything from 22 shorts to HOT 44 mag soft points. Between me, my son and many friends, we have probably put over 50,000 rounds into each backstop/deflector. I've had to rebuild the 2X6 pressure treated frames twice during the past 14 years from splatter eating the wood away and the errant shot(s) from "non-gifted" friends that needed LOTS of practice. The plates are both starting to get a "wallow" in the middle that might be 1/2" deep or out of "flat".

The rifle bullets will be deflected down into a disc'd fire line. I suppose I could increase the length of the backstop and also increase the angle of it as well, and the plate wouldn't take as heavy a beating.

Just for grins, I think tomorrow I'll take a medium-warm hand loaded 130 grain Sierra SPTZ 30-30 and shoot and shoot one of my 1/4" plates and see what it does. (It's a single shot Topper) If it pokes a hole in it, oh well.

If I remember correctly, a 24" X 48" X 3/4" piece of plate steel will weigh about 150 and cost close to $200. Again, if I remember correctly.

Cross ties and burms are a no-go. The road is around planted pines and we burn every year. Backstop must be portable/moveable enough that it can be moved in and out of a narrow road by two men. But then again, I suppose I could build a 3-point hitch on it and move it around with my old Masey 135. Either way, the road has to stay accessable and open.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:30 PM
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Buy a very cheap utility trailer used. They can be found for less than $100 and build a backstop on it. Then just wheel it out of the way when need be.

If this is a public access road, you may be in vilation of the law when shooting on it.
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:57 AM
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Do a search in the reloading section. There was a thread on bullet traps. A guy in Florida made a really nice one who lives on a farm. It was movable and not only stopped the bullets but then the fell down in the bottom to be recycled. I can not remember when the thread was but there was several other ones that worked very well. Some were filled with the shredded rubber mulch and would stop pretty much any bullet.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman45 View Post
Buy a very cheap utility trailer used. They can be found for less than $100 and build a backstop on it. Then just wheel it out of the way when need be.

If this is a public access road, you may be in vilation of the law when shooting on it.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

It's not a public access road. It's a private road down the western edge of 285 acres of my property. However, it is the only road flat and straight enough to shoot up to 800 yards. All other roads are limited to 300 or less, mainly because of small hills/knolls. Even to get the 800 I get now, I have to get up in the back of my truck to do that.

Speaking of old trailers, I've got a couple of old axles with leave springs on them out in the barn. Think now I might build the frame on/around one of them and just move it around with my 4 wheeler. Need to do some "figuring" and planning now. If I decide to go ahead with the project I'll keep you guys posted on the project.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:05 AM
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Just for grins, I think tomorrow I'll take a medium-warm hand loaded 130 grain Sierra SPTZ 30-30 and shoot and shoot one of my 1/4" plates and see what it does. (It's a single shot Topper) If it pokes a hole in it, oh well.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Shot the 1/4" plate yesterday with the 30-30 spitz. It didn't punch through, but made a dent in the steel that was just short of cracking through. But then again I was only standing 25 yards from it.

I feel pretty sure a 1/2" plate will deflect a hot 270wsm, but am also going to check into 5/8" plate as well and maybe increase the angle of one of my 1/4" plates and shoot it from a 100.

SC
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