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Posted: 6/16/2002 7:55:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2002 1:31:43 PM EDT by ShamusMcOI]
Well, the last time I asked this question I was contemplating using straw bales as a backstop. Well after the advice I've received I've decided to maybe go with some other options.

Again, I'm basicly trying to stop ricochets.

First off. Does anybody think that using logs would be a bad idea? My only fear was that as a round surface, and the fact I would be shooting at it from an angle, that the rounds might bounce off. As far as going through the logs, I'm shooting straight into a dirt hill behind the logs.

If I go with dirt, how deep would it have to be? I was thinking about piling the dirt in front of the logs. But what do you think would work good for keeping the soil in place (i.e., so it doesn't just wash away)? Maybe building some kind of wall with plywood?

I've got access to free clay soil, but it may have some tiny rocks in it. Should I be worried about pebbles, or just bigger rocks in the soil?

Anyway, any other thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 1:25:17 PM EDT
another great way to hold your dirt/clay in place it to recycle old tires, laced and filled with dirt.. Two rows can comfortably go to 5 ft and 3 rows can go to around 7 ft. Fill tires with dirt/mud/clay as you lace them and if using multiple rows keep them back to back but staggered as in example enclosed.. Super strong and will last a lifetime..
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 1:28:35 PM EDT
Actually you can go even higer if you drive rebar stakes along inside edge of every 5 or 6 tires (different edges)(stabilizes in all directions).
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 1:52:54 PM EDT

how much money ya got ? vs how good a scrounger are you ?

this is not complicated, but costly & tyme consuming, get about 50 railroad ties in good condition, 2 railroad rails abt 15'- 20' long, stack 12 ties high perpendicular to shooting angle (90 deg), then stack 12 more ties on each end at a 45 deg. angle to line of fire, bury rails in Earth after leaning over top of ties, at about 30 deg angle leaving enuff room to line the rest of the ties on top of the rails, this was done by a friend in Commiefornia abt. 30 years ago..., but then he also had a 5/6 acre junk yard, he bought salvage from the Navy, railroads, telephone co. & almost any large scource........

just an idea....., ooooh, he later lined it wyth sand bags when neighbors started moving in........

Link Posted: 6/16/2002 2:23:58 PM EDT

I personally went with a solid dirt burm, it's made out of a clay like material with some natural pea sized rocks mixed in. All the big rocks were removed prior to building it. I would stay from the round logs as the ones I had were prone to richochets, railroad ties are a good idea but alot more work is involved, not to mention money,they go for $10 a tie around here.
To figure out the depth of your berm, buy the book improvised munitions, the army field manuel one, it's got a description of what the thickness of certain materials needs to be in order to stop certain rounds.Hope this helps.

Link Posted: 6/16/2002 3:16:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 007:

I personally went with a solid dirt burm, it's made out of a clay like material with some natural pea sized rocks mixed in. All the big rocks were removed prior to building it. I would stay from the round logs as the ones I had were prone to richochets, railroad ties are a good idea but alot more work is involved, not to mention money,they go for $10 a tie around here.
To figure out the depth of your berm, buy the book improvised munitions, the army field manuel one, it's got a description of what the thickness of certain materials needs to be in order to stop certain rounds.Hope this helps.





Ya, I was afraid about that with the logs. I had thought about the railroad ties. Still an option, but like I said I think I have access to free clay dirt.

Have you had any problems with the small bits of rock in your clay? The guy who has the dirt said that there is a bit of rock in there, but no real big chunks (excess clay from digging a lagoon).

As far as the thickness goes, I'm wondering if 2-4 feet thick would be enough since I'll still stack logs behind it.

This project is going to be alot of work, but this is why I bought a house with land.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 5:17:27 PM EDT

No problems with the small rocks,but the clay/sandy dirt tends to run off a little, cuz we get so much rain. I add new dirt about once a month, to replace what was lost and to cover up the spots that have accumulated alot of lead.

The berms on a hill so it's only about 4-5 ft deep, I can't remember exactly but the manuel says something like 3-6 ft to stop a 50 cal, depending on how packed and what type of soil it is.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 11:52:51 AM EDT
When my Dad and I built the range at his farm, we dug into a hill in an old pasture, then set up railroad ties as a backstop / erosion control. It only took a weekend to build (though if you go this route you will need a tractor with a front loader or a bobcat). The range is only a year old now, but it works great. There have been no ricochettes, and it is holding up nicely.

Good luck!

Brad
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 12:09:24 PM EDT
007,
don't bet on that ol pal, whyle tilling an area at my former residence here in Arizona, on what was military training grounds during WWII, i found two .50 calibers AP bullets, i have no idea whether they were fired from an airplanes MG or an MG on a tank, but they were only about 4-6 inches deep, i saved them & polished thep, i am going to make a plaque to display them as a memento from a tyme long gone, & great world wide war !!!........


Link Posted: 6/18/2002 12:15:04 PM EDT
This would probably be a good source of ideas:
store.nrahq.org/nra/product.asp?dept%5Fid=115&pf%5Fid=AR+14860
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 12:15:49 AM EDT
The NRA range manual says soil is the best backstop. If you have an 8-10 ft tall berm, it will be thick enough.
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 12:55:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2002 1:00:12 AM EDT by medcop]
If the logs were big enough you could saw them flat on the "strike" side or use RR ties. Then you could pile dirt behind them. I would put poles in front of and behind the logs to hold them in place if you put dirt behind them.

OR

You could take the logs and pile dirt in front of them. If you put dirt in front of them you would only need to put poles on the back side of the logs to hold them in place.

It would all depend on if you want to shoot into the wood or into the dirt.

RR ties would be the best as they would last a very long time.

Range with dirt behind logs or RR ties



Range with dirt in front of logs


I would not worry about small rocks in the dirt. Also if you used RR ties they have holes in them from teh spikes and you could drive in stakes through them instead of in front or behind them.

Shooting into regular wood logs (trees) would work. However, they will eventually dry out, rot,and fall apart from shooting them. Like I mentioned above RR ties will last a really long time.

The cheapest and most easy way would be to just have logs stacked and dirt in front like the second picture. Knowing the area of your range the logs would stop the dirt from running away. You may have to add a little dirt every few months at first until it gets packed down after a few rains.

medcop
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 6:14:55 AM EDT
Man...I wish I had your problem. How about investing in some steel sheeting and angling it down so the bullets go into a pit? There must be information on this internet on how to do what you want to do.....
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 7:38:21 AM EDT
Recycled tires are still the cheapest and will outlast anything else.. Easy to get, easy to handle and you're recycling...
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