Posted: 5/20/2002 4:08:15 PM EST
I've been building a range on my property, and am trying to improve it a bit.
The area I live in is rural, but there are a few houses around so I'm trying to be as safe as possible. The place I'm building my range is way down in a holler, and I'm shooting straight into a hillside. I had to drop a few trees to get a shooting lane, and was going to use those as a backstop. However the only thing I'm really worried about is richochets. Number one, the logs are round, and number two once they season, they might be pretty hard.
I thought about using tires filled with sand as a backstop, but really don't want that many junk tires laying around.
So I was thinking about using square straw bales with plywood or corkboard for the front to attatch targets to. I figure they're fairly dense, especially once they get rained on a bunch, and would slow a .223 or .308 down quite a bit. And that if I stacked it up two bales thick, it would more than do the trick.
We had a shoot at paspecops place last fall. he hauled a bunch of bales of hay behind the targets to help prevent random rounds from bouncing off the hill behind the targets.
That worked fine until FMJ + ROCK = SPARK and one of the bails caught on fire. It was a PITA to put out. And it wasn't even from one of the machine guns.
Just an FYI.
Ya, thought about that. But after it sits out and gets rained on and such I think they'll be fine. I've opened up sqare bales that have sat out for a year our so, and they're always still moist and mildewey on the inside. Plus where my range sits, it's pretty damp as it sits down at the bottom of a pretty steep draw (carries some water when it rains hard). So I'm not to worried about the fire issue.
The only problem with dirt, is where I'm putting my range, it's too hard to get any heavy machinery in to move dirt around.
Hence why I thought about stacking old tires up and filling them with sand. But again, I'd hate to have to dispose of them when they get shot up as well. I thought about sandbags, but figured they'd deteriorate too fast.
Any other thoughts, suggestions?
I'd just use the natural hillside as it's pretty tall. The only thing that worried me about doing that (which is why I tried to figure out a good backstop) is that an FMJ might hit a rock and ricochet.
guess you'll have to use the old-fashioned method: elbow grease and back muscles!
it ain't worth the risk. personally, fire risk aside, i think the bales would deteriorate far too quickly. but that's just MHO. this isn't something you half-ass. i'd say if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. not just what's convenient.
remove the rocks. hey, farmers had to do it to plant!
A good 4wd truck should be able to haul dirt to your range location. That is if you are using the location that we shot at during the Mid-MO shoot.
I happen to have a 4wd that I would be more than happy to use to haul dirt in with. Heck for that matter we could have a build a range shoot at your place. Have people come with trucks, shovels, firarms, and ammo. Heck, with 5 or more people we could do it in 4 hours or so.
I would cut down some trees and pile them up. Use fence posts behind them to keep them from rolling and to hold them up. Then I would pile dirt in front of the trees.
If you wanted dirt hauled in you can probably get a dump truck load of top soil pretty cheap. That way you could avoid having rocks and crap in the dirt. Have them dump it as close as they can and we can move it with trucks or elbow grease. Cheaper still would be hauling in dirt yourself with trucks.
Heck, send me an email and we can talk more about this. Like I said before....I am more than happy to help you build the range.
edited to add...using straw would work for a short amount of time. The straw will eventually rot out and make a mess. Besides...dirt would work better and look better.
Soil is your best bet. Use and/or modify natural features. The creek/water feature isn't for drinking water is it?
I sunk railroad ties vertically 8' apart then stacked 2 courses of ties horizontally, then installed a sheet of treated plywood on the front. Some .308 rds have made it through and fell within 2'. I have about $100 in the whole thing. Gene
I use bales of hay when practicing with my compound bow, sometimes they go through the bale.......
a .308 round will penetrate a car door, I doubt very seriously a bale of hay will stop a .308 or a .223
an approved back stop is dirt, and even then the dirt should be replaced after a while because it will lose it's capacity to stop a round. Using the trees in front of the hill should work, stack em up like a wall and put a piece of plywood in front of them.
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