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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, i'm not sure where to post this question, but i'm a revolver fan... so figured I'd start here. I'm building a 100 yard firing range on my land and I need some suggestions for bullet containment. Currently, I have tuck tires stacked about 5 foot high in one row, and some lighter car/suv tires staggered behind them. They seem to do a good job at stopping my 180gr Remington .44 mags... I was able to account for every bullet fired by inspecting in, and around the tires. However, my brother out-laws want to sight in their rifles on this range as well... I don't think that what I currently have will do the trick. They want to use fill dirt in and around the tires, but I think we'll have a tough time trying to maintain the dirt when we have to remove and replace tires as they are destroyed. Has anyone ever tried what I've described for high-powered rounds? and if so, what kind of media other than dirt would you suggest for ease of maintenance?

Mulch?
Bark?
Packing peanuts?
Bubble wrap? lol
Hell... maybe a bunch of cardboard?
 

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I don't think there is any thing better then good ole dirt.
 

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I recommend the NRA manual on range construction.
 
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I would suggest the Army's manual on range construction. You will need to draw up your range safety fan and keep it on hand, just in case someone complains that bullets from you range ended up doing some damage somewhere.
 

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Could always just line the ground with tarps/plastic and then do the same to the inside of the tires, so that you have a tube of plastic filled with dirt with tires on the outside. Just a thought as I am going to be building a tire shooting backstop as well in the next couple of months.
 

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Sir, building and maintaining a range is a never ending process. Dirt stops bullets, dirt will wash and settle it does not matter what you put it in or behind. I have a private range and several friends have built their own over the years. Tires are probably one of my least favorite things to use. You will shoot them out and they are a pain to replace. You will shoot the tires out in the center. That means taking everything above them down and starting over. You will learn that everyone that comes to shoot can't hit the backstop I do not care how large it is. Also know that you are responsible for where the bullet goes and what it does. That is why my range and many are private. The only way a shot is fired on my range is if I am standing there. All rifles, handguns or slug guns are shot on paper at 25 yards first, then 50, and then 100. Watching limbs cut 30 feet above the back stop a few times taught that all bore siighted guns are not. A tractor with a front bucket is cheaper rented or hired than youu think and saves money in the long run. Allowing a contractor to dump dirt removed when digging basements, landscaping, etc can give you dirt for a backstop. Some will bring a machine and pile it for you.
 

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I'll be watching this thread with interest, I've got a place that I shoot pistols and sight my
hunting rifles in at but the only backstop I have besides some hay bales I have put up are
the trees in the woods behind it. I'd love to make some improvements to it and building
a dirt berm would be time consuming and costly to some extent (I'd have to rent some
earth moving equipment) but it might justify the cost. My shooting range if you would call
it that has a maximum longest shot of about one hundred yards at most. I usually attach
my targets to some old pallets and behind those are the hay bales.
 

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Just my two cents which aint much... I would do like some others have suggested and look at The US Army and NRA Guidlines on building a range. The first thing I would do here in Arkansas is get an airel view of my area especially if there will be rifles shot on the range. You need to know how close the closest dwelling is in direct line of the far end of your range. It is either 2 miles or 3 miles here in my State. anything closer and you are not supposed to build one. Some of my friends in law enforcement looked into it when our local range was closed down a few years ago back in my hometown. Yes they were looking into setting up a range for them as well as some of the public it wasnt a private range by an individual. A friend of mine has an inlaw that built his own and he went to the power company and bought the used,broken phone poles and put several in the ground and then using the big huge bridge spikes he stacked railroad ties up infront of the poles in the ground and went up like 12 feet. He had to have some equipment thats true and after that he had dirt brought in from construction sites and where ever and piled up on BOTH SIDES and that is how he made his. I dont know what the cost was back then it will be more now this was probablly 10 years ago. Good Luck and keep us posted.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sir, building and maintaining a range is a never ending process. Dirt stops bullets, dirt will wash and settle it does not matter what you put it in or behind. I have a private range and several friends have built their own over the years. Tires are probably one of my least favorite things to use. You will shoot them out and they are a pain to replace. You will shoot the tires out in the center. That means taking everything above them down and starting over. You will learn that everyone that comes to shoot can't hit the backstop I do not care how large it is. Also know that you are responsible for where the bullet goes and what it does. That is why my range and many are private. The only way a shot is fired on my range is if I am standing there. All rifles, handguns or slug guns are shot on paper at 25 yards first, then 50, and then 100. Watching limbs cut 30 feet above the back stop a few times taught that all bore siighted guns are not. A tractor with a front bucket is cheaper rented or hired than youu think and saves money in the long run. Allowing a contractor to dump dirt removed when digging basements, landscaping, etc can give you dirt for a backstop. Some will bring a machine and pile it for you.
Neighbor, what you say makes perfect sense. Thanks for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll be watching this thread with interest, I've got a place that I shoot pistols and sight my
hunting rifles in at but the only backstop I have besides some hay bales I have put up are
the trees in the woods behind it. I'd love to make some improvements to it and building
a dirt berm would be time consuming and costly to some extent (I'd have to rent some
earth moving equipment) but it might justify the cost. My shooting range if you would call
it that has a maximum longest shot of about one hundred yards at most. I usually attach
my targets to some old pallets and behind those are the hay bales.
Just a thought... a large load of topsoil, plenty of grass seed and some wheat straw should do the trick. Need a good grassy null.
 

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Some other things to think about when building your range. Try to have it running north and south instead of east and west. A range that runs east and west will have you shooting into the sun morning or afternoon, and that screws first or last part of day for shooting. Planting trees down both sides of the range helps with noise and wind. Try to find out who owns the land down range from you and if city, county, state, etc. have any long range plans for your area. Real bummer to make the investment and have a subdivision built down range. Also look at using steel for a handgun/ 22 backstop. I shoot against 4' square steel plate set on a 45 degree slant for 22's and handguns. 1/4" to 3/8 steel plate in 4x8 or 4x4 ft square plates can usually be found at scrap yards. I bought a 4'x5' plate that was 1/4" thick for $45 this month. It will turn 44 mag bullets when set on a 45. Do not let your rifle shooter friends shoot it. Centerfire rifles need T1 or better steel to stop bullets. 223 rounds eat miild steel plates. Another reason nobody uses my range unless I am there. Your "Friends" will destroy your stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update on the range.

I managed to get ahold of about 75 used tires from a few buddies in town. They didn't cost me a single dime. The shop actually made money by allowing me to take their tires. In the process, I was able to accrue a 5 gallon bucket of wheel weights so that I could make 38lbs of lead ingots! nice catch huh?

I stacked a few staggard rows about 6ft high and 20ft wide. I had one tandom of good ole Georgia clay hauled in and dumped right in front of the tires. A thin sheet metal wall was constructed behind the tires out of some old construction materials. It took a team effort, but we filled the stacks of tires to capacity with the clay and we filled the gaps and the perimiter. Basically, what I have is a clay mountain. The tires act more like a filler than anything else. You can't even tell their are tires inside the mound unless you pay close attention. I knew that rain was coming soon. So i constructed a silt fence around the mound to prevent the clay washing off. After I was satisfied with the mound and the fence, I began to shouvle up some healthy top soil from the existing earth. I will try to get a good layer built over the clay. The mound will need healthy plantable soil in order to sustain a good root system. For the next step, I will fertalize the soil and seed it. Also, to help cut back erosion, I will cover the mound in wheat-straw after the seed and fertalizer.

As for the land behind the backstop, I own everything behind it for about another 200 yards. There are nothing but trees and brush for about 200 yards behind the backdrop. Also, my range faces from south to north. That worked out perfectly. I didn't plan it that way, but I didn't think about that either until mentioned. I hope to get some pictures up soon.

Oh, and it will with make a great machine gun nest when the Red Coats come to take our guns lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got to test out the firing range today. I am thoroughly satisfied with its construction. My father just bought a brand new Remington 700 and needed to sight in the scope. I had a scope for my .44 super redhawk that I had never had an opportunity to sight it in. My dad went through 10 rounds of 30-06, 10 rounds of .40 s&w and I put about 20 .44 mags down range. The mound worked great. There were zero exits. All rounds were tucked safely away in the clay/tire mix. We didn't quiet make it to the 100 yard point... that is only because our equipment surpassed our skills by a large margin lol. This was my first experience with a scope, and my dads first bolt action rifle... He mostly prefers the scary guns that piss off liberals lol
 
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