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Old 02-15-2021, 02:46 PM
John Hill John Hill is offline
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Default Bullet trap question

I cast my own bullets and have built a good bullet trap. It is a 20" square cube made of 3/4" plywood on all sides except the front. I have covered the front with heavy "Horse Mat" material from Tractor Supply. It is filled with shredded tire landscape mulch from Lowes. It is under a protective piece of metal roofing to keep the water out. I staple the paper targets to the horse mat front.
It works great. It stops .223, .38 sp, and .45 ACP, and thousands of rounds of .22 LR. The small rounds have really perforated the front but since it is so perforated, the .45's really punch some holes and are causing the weight of the mulch/lead to bulge out the front. Nothing comes out yet.
I can tilt it on its back and unscrew and remove the horse mat front to replace it.
My question is what material would someone recommend to replace the mat for a front.
John
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Old 02-15-2021, 03:16 PM
Doug44 Doug44 is offline
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I have been thinking about trying old rubber backed carpet.
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Old 02-15-2021, 03:20 PM
John Hill John Hill is offline
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I have been thinking about trying old rubber backed carpet.
Do you know anyone that has used it? If so, how many layers?
John
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Old 02-15-2021, 03:38 PM
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Conveyor belt is pretty tough stuff. I worked at a phosphate fertilizer plant and were went through miles of the stuff. I’ve used it to cover my stacked firewood and as a shop floor.
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:43 PM
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Conveyor belt is pretty tough stuff. I worked at a phosphate fertilizer plant and were went through miles of the stuff. Iíve used it to cover my stacked firewood and as a shop floor.
The private range I shoot at bought a 'roll' of used conveyor belting to replace the thinner commercial rubberish curtain material that was shot up. The belt material is about 3 times thicker than the old curtain and is really tough. It captures and holds target velocity cast bullets which can be pulled out of belt with pliers. There is no bounce-back from the steel baffle plates with the new belt material. The only problem is its not a one man job to hang the new belt curtains. Two, or better yet three, guys are needed to lift the belt into place and bolt it up.
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Old 02-15-2021, 05:14 PM
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You only need 6" of crumb rubber to stop the largest caliber of guns. Crumb rubber will stay up pretty much at a 30 degree angle. You can put a hopper of crumb rubber on top of your trap to keep the crumb rubber amply supplied. Old conveyor belt is good to use in the front, but it does have to be replaced once in a while. It sounds like you are using the horse mat to hold back the crumb rubber. If that is the case, you need to redesign your trap for the 30 degree angle and 6" depth I mentioned.
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Old 02-15-2021, 10:15 PM
John Hill John Hill is offline
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Would a vertical sheet of 1/8" steel inserted inside the trap with rubber mulch in front and back of it do the trick? (I happen to have some 1/8" sheet steel) How far back to stop the .45s or 9mm? It seems that it would prevent the bulk of the mulch from wanting to drop and apply forward pressure on the front.
As a funny side note, the level dropped down enough to allow a hornets nest to develop in the top above the mulch. It made changing targets an aerobic activity for a couple of days until I introduced some wasp spray.
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:20 PM
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Would a vertical sheet of 1/8" steel inserted inside the trap with rubber mulch in front and back of it do the trick? (I happen to have some 1/8" sheet steel) How far back to stop the .45s or 9mm? It seems that it would prevent the bulk of the mulch from wanting to drop and apply forward pressure on the front.
As a funny side note, the level dropped down enough to allow a hornets nest to develop in the top above the mulch. It made changing targets an aerobic activity for a couple of days until I introduced some wasp spray.
As long as you keep the 6" minimum amount of crumb rubber to catch the bullet, you could use plywood in the back, but the steel would be fine. I still think a hopper of crumb rubber on top would help. Another thing is that eventually you'll want to clean the caught bullets out of the trap. Lead bullets fired into a small area will clump together into a big "ball".
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:44 PM
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As long as you keep the 6" minimum amount of crumb rubber to catch the bullet, you could use plywood in the back, but the steel would be fine. I still think a hopper of crumb rubber on top would help. Another thing is that eventually you'll want to clean the caught bullets out of the trap. Lead bullets fired into a small area will clump together into a big "ball".
What do you think is the easiest way to retrieve lead from rubber mulch?
Do they migrate to the bottom or stay at the same elevation as entry?
I can access my rubber/lead from the top of my 20" x 20' cube or I can remove the heavy rubber front and let it all dump out onto a tarp. I've caught a lot but not retrieved it yet.
John

Last edited by John Hill; 02-19-2021 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:11 PM
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Snowmobile track?
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:31 PM
John Hill John Hill is offline
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Snowmobile track?
It would probably work but we don't have any snowmobiles here in North Carolina. Good idea though.
John
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:07 AM
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What do you think is the easiest way to retrieve lead from rubber mulch?
Do they migrate to the bottom or stay at the same elevation as entry?
I can access my rubber/lead from the top of my 20" x 20' cube or I can remove the heavy rubber front and let it all dump out onto a tarp. I've caught a lot but not retrieved it yet.
John
I'm sorry, but I can't think of an easy way to remove the bullets. Just off the top of my head, you may be able to dump it all out and use a shop vac to suck up the crumb rubber, since it is lighter than the lead.
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:32 PM
llowry61 llowry61 is offline
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Would you guys be willing to post some photos of the traps. I am trying to visualize the discussion points, but a pic is worth a thousand words. Right ?
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:14 PM
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Hereís my trap. Something called a splitterbox from my plants scrapyard, basically a square stainless steel 680 pound funnel. Itís built so that multiple pipe lines can go into the same product tank. At the small end it has a 90 degree ellbow to direct the slag into a steel container.
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:38 PM
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The absolute best thing I have ever seen is conveyor belt used in rock quarry conveyors to move rock....If you can get it. We use it to face portable bullet traps made of Brinell 550 steel. It's very tough and will last for thousands and thousands of 5.56 rounds and pistol rounds. It has an almost self sealing quality after the round passes through it.

I don't know if you can source it though. We get it from a local big name quarry company. We had to do a lot of reassuring that we would dispose of it properly when it was no longer serviceable. The surface of the belt as well as the cord inside is number coded and traceable to the end user. It's used to heavily fine the company if it's found illegally dumped.
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:35 AM
John Hill John Hill is offline
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I am the original poster and this is my trap.
Here are pictures of my bullet trap. Made of 3/4" plywood and 2x4s or 2x2s with a heavy front rubber covering filled with crumb rubber (Shredded tire landscape mulch from Lowes). I used horse stall floor matting from Tractor Supply for the front so I can staple targets to it.
.45 ACP LRN bullets penetrate about 11"(see pic)
The trap measures 20" cube with removable top. I attached a simple piece of metal roofing to keep rain out. I can unscrew the metal roof to get easy access to the top of the trap. I placed it all on an old lawnmower frame for portability but never moved it. (It could be on anything)
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