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Thread: Railroad ties for a backstop.

  1. #11
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    Sand! Yes, ties and sand, or sand and dirt. The ties behind.

    Sand! Yeah, a memory. Unable to go ashore from the school I was attending during WWII, I went exploring this island and found hundreds of big bullets, .30 , .50, 20mm and bigger in the sand dunes. It was a sweet moment during a terrible war.
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    I would use the railroad ties to make a back wall and side walls. Then I would fill that area in with dirt/sand using the railroad tie walls to keep the dirt/sand it in place.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long_Shot View Post
    Not sure why but Georgia DNR (Department of Natural Resources) will not allow wood of any kind as a back-stop. The told me it would, "Splinter and hurt someone else." What a pathetic joke they are huh?
    OK, I am old and slow guess I miss how the DNR has anyhting to do with approving a backstop?
    is this going on State land?
    how do they need to approve it?
    over the years several materials have been used to preserve rail road ties, some of which are now considered hazardous materials, and of course they now use salt to preserve a lot of them, this could be detrimental to the surrounding land if it leached into the ground or ground water.
    but on private property I was not aware that DNR came into play on such approvals.unles sit had to do with runoff contmainating a water soucre.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishinkeylargo View Post
    I would use the railroad ties to make a back wall and side walls. Then I would fill that area in with dirt/sand using the railroad tie walls to keep the dirt/sand it in place.
    DITTO! thats exactly how i would use them.
    the soil will stop the projectiles much better than the rail road ties and last a heck of a lot longer as well, and reduce the possiblity of richochetes. (bounces, i know i had to mispell that!-LOL)
    Southern4x4 likes this.
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    When I was a kid we used to get old railroad ties for free. The only catch was we had to take a truck out where they were doing the work to pick up the ties. If you're going to handle them might I suggest gloves and a long sleeved shirt. They soak those things in creosote (at least they used to) and it can be a little tough on the skin. If you shoot into it enough it's eventually going to deteriorate though.

    As far as backstops are concerned I don't think anything stops a bullet as well as dirt. A lot of time you can get that for free too - construction companies often have to pay to dump dirt and you'd be surprised how many of them will take advantage of a place to dump clean fill dirt for free. An acquaintance of mine had some construction going on not far from his home and he wanted to level his lot. He went over and talked to them, and not only did they give him the fill dirt, they came over and did the leveling with a bulldozer for nothing. JAT
    dogranch and Southern4x4 like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long_Shot View Post
    Not sure why but Georgia DNR (Department of Natural Resources) will not allow wood of any kind as a back-stop. The told me it would, "Splinter and hurt someone else." What a pathetic joke they are huh?
    Frankly, I like the idea of shooting enough rounds to turn a stack of railroad ties into a mass of splinters.
    Anybody wanna chip in on ammo so I can try it out?
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    I've been using larger cut logs, tree stumps essentially, out at the farm, but I'm only shooting 22's and handgun rounds. Behind them, just the gradual slope of the terrain. They work very well as there are easy to switch out. RR ties would do the same, but be tougher (bigger) to move. If I were shooting high-powered rifle ammo, I'd definitely want something more.
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    I dug an area out 80 yards long by 25 yards wide and 10ft deep. The pistol backstop
    is the dirt wall with spoils piled up on top. Here's a shot of the pistol end.
    [IMG][/IMG]



    The biggest fear you should have is about where an errant shot will go. On flat ground, at
    25-30ft if you go over a 5' tall back stop with a dead level shot, a pistol round will go
    100 yards before hitting the ground. Then it will bounce and continue on. If you missed
    because you angled the gun up.... well it could go 1/2 mile or more.

    SO... don't rely one just the backstop. That's the 1st line of defense. You should be in a spot
    where the natural terrain will stop the rounds even without the backstop. And where a miss
    won't land in an orphanage, hospital, school, highway or neighbors house! If you've ever been to
    an inside range and seen where the ceiling has been peppered with errant shots, you know
    what I mean.
    troutkiller likes this.

  9. #19
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    Eight ties high and four ties deep is a stopper indeed. If I had such an opportunity I'd stand the ties on end like fence-posts and pile the sand and dirt out front.
    There a few ties lying about at our range that once held bowling balls. The ties and bowling balls alike are all shot to pieces now.
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  10. #20
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    I've used bales of hay before as a backstop. My target area where I do most of my shooting
    is very crude and simple: I put up a pallet, put a cover over the pallet to use as a background
    and attach my targets to that. Behind the pallet, there are several bales of hay and there
    are plenty of trees behind that. If the weather becomes abnormally dry, the haybales might
    not be such a good idea; I wouldn't want to start a fire by igniting the haybales. Railroad
    ties are soaked in highly flammable material. Could this also be a fire hazard with the wrong
    type of ammunition?
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