Build Small Shooting Backstop

Discussion in 'Firearm Related' started by gunsmoker, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    AC054243-5926-47E1-B37C-4940BFB4762D.jpeg 6E29F9BB-0348-48B1-925B-8F3598506779.jpeg

    I want to take up 22 shooting in my backyard.
    Only with .22 LR rimfires. The maximum power would be a .22 Long Rifle High Velocity at about 1250 f.p.s. from a rifle. That will be the most powerful will thing I regularly shoot for target practice, and those would probably be fired through a rifle that is wearing my suppressor.
    Most of the time I would use standard velocity, or subsonic, loads.
    Or CCI "quiet" ammo, maybe "CB Long" cartridges, or just regular .22 shorts.

    In the past I've only done a little bit of shooting, and I normally use bundles of old newspapers magazines and junk mail as a backstop. That seems to work well --each bundle of paper will absorb over 100 impacts. And it's pretty quiet; you can hear the bullet thump into the paper, but it's not a loud clanging sound like shooting a steel gong or hanging plate would be.

    Now I want to use an angled steel plate that will be mounted in a frame of some kind, or otherwise positioned so that its surface is tipped down at approximately a 45° angle directing the bullet splatter downward.

    It should be portable --I want to be able to put it in the garage when I'm not using it and bring it out by hand (carrying it myself) when I want to shoot.

    I JUST VISITED MY LOCAL JUNKYARD
    and bought a quarter-inch thick steel plate a little over a yard long,
    and 15 inches wide. It's not hardened steel, not abrasion resistant (AR 500) but I think it will be OK for any 22 caliber rimfire ammo.

    So, all you do it yourself-ers, carpenters, cabinet makers, or anybody else experienced at Jerry-rigging some homemade contraptions...

    ... how would you arrange & support this steel plate
    on or near the ground
    so that it safely deflects bullets without the fragmentation going any direction other than downward? (Or perhaps using other scrap lumber to catch any lead fragments that may otherwise splatter sideways.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  2. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    The reason I chose a rectangular steel plate that was so much longer (37") than it was wide (15.3")
    is so that even when it is tipped at a 45° angle
    it will still have sufficient height.

    And by my calculations, if you tip a 37 inch tall plate at a 45° angle,
    you will have a 26 inch tall window to shoot into.

    It will "look like" a 26" x 15" rectangular backstop, oriented vertically, as I aim from back at my firing line.






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  3. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    I would build a frame out of some kind of lumber (2X4s?) with the same angles at the joints (i.e., 45 degrees), with a 1/4" (whatever is a little thicker than your plate) dado in the wood you are using on the hypotenuse. Use sufficient cross pieces to stabilize your contraption and you should be good to go. I assume you will have an adequate backstop behind your bullet trap?
     
  4. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    Presumably the bullet will strike the plate and skid down to the bottom. Put a sandbag or piece of soft wood or similar there to absorb that and make it recyclable.

    Also you should consider a pair of 2x8s framed on the back of the plate. In case you should get a hot load or something that penetrates the steel plate. It would also support the plate and help prevent it from getting a crack or tear or hole in the plate.

    Nemo
     
  5. Smilodon

    Smilodon Active Member

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    The simplest thing would be to build a 26" tall target stand with a couple stakes to stick in the ground like a yard sign. Then just prop the metal up on the stand. You can dig a small trench for the end of the plate to sit in to prevent it from walking. That should handle a .22lr without any problem.
     
  6. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    There is a distribution of where bullets or bullet fragments will go, but skidding along the surface of the plate, in effect with an angle of incidence of 45 deg and an angle of reflection of 0 seems unlikely to me to be near the center of the bell curve.
     
  7. HJB

    HJB Active Member

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    Harhib likes this.
  8. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Hickock45 shoots his steel with all sorts of
    powerful centerfire pistol calibers.
    Even shotguns with slugs!
    My question is for a backstop for .22 rimfire
    rifles only.
    The 0.25" thick general fabrication-grade steel is
    plenty tough, and won't get dented or dimpled.
    Especially when the bullet's path is not even close
    to perpendicular to the impact surface.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    No, this will be it.
    So, it's for my use only, not teaching kids or newbies.
    A 15" by 26" safe backstop ought to catch any
    flyers I might have, and if I ever shoot past 25 yards
    I'll be in a very stable position, prone or across a bench.

    The only kind of errant shot that could miss the steel
    would be an accidental discharge-- putting my finger on the trigger before taking aim. And THAT kind of fudge-up would require a HUGE tall backstop to contain. A dozen feet tall and wide. Not feasible for my yard.
     
  10. HJB

    HJB Active Member

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    Just thought I would pass that along but totally your decision. Good luck and stay safe.
     
  11. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    +1 of the 45-degree angle because it will add longevity to the plate. I agree with 26” on a 45 degree angle via cosine and squares. Put a few bags of rubber mulch under it to help contain the lead debris. If you want neat and portable, build a 15”x26” tray out of 1x6 to hold the mulch and let the plate work as a lid. Add (removable) wheels and/or handle(s) for portability if desired.

    If you can acquire industrial conveyor belting then you could just go for a 1x8 box between the plate and belt and fill the space with rubber mulch. There would be practically no lead spatter and almost no dust.
     
  12. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I have a towable (behind a riding lawn mower) garden card that supports up to 200 lbs.
    That would handle this 40-lb. hunk of steel and what might end up being 20 more pounds of lumber for the frame that will hold it tipped at a 45 degree angle .
    I could either use the cart to tow the backstop out to the right place and put it down on the ground manually, letting the flattened / fragmented lead just go to the soft black dirt, OR, maybe I could put a layer of sand 2" deep in the cart, and just leave the backstop in the cart (when the cart's not needed for lawn care duty).