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Building a backstop on property

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by brianjronk, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. brianjronk

    brianjronk Marysville, WA Active Member

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    I live on 5 acres on the Tulalip Indian Reservation (i.e. can legally shoot) and the back of our lot is right against a thick tree line. Help me by throwing out some ideas of what to do for a back stop. Would a couple dump trucks of dirt get me a berm that would be sufficient?

    Ideas?
     
  2. Mouse45

    Mouse45 Salisbury New Member

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    Dirt is natures bullet stop. There is not much else you can use. We had some rail road ties at our family range untill we found that the 300 wby wasen't even slowing down going through them. Now its a big pile of dirt.
     
  3. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    A big dump truck can carry 10-15 yards of dirt, depending on whether it's wet. Even gravel is a lot heavier per yard when it's wet. I don't think you'll find that 20-30 yards is all that much dirt. A bullet wouldn't penetrate it, but you want something you can't miss, so take a good look at it, and at the distance you want to shoot before you decide it's enough.

    Whatever you do, wet it thoroughly after it arrives. Wetting is nature's way of compacting dirt.
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Another way is to rent a small cat and to push up a berm to the size you want. Or look in your local newspaper for someone that does cat work. You can scrape both in front of the berm and behind.

    The trouble with getting a load of dirt in a dump truck which a 4 axle dump truck can haul as much as 15 yards of dry soil or about 15 tons worth ( I drive dump truck for a living) The soil will cost you plenty as will the delievery. And you will not be able to dump it any higher then about 6-7 ft. You might get higher with a good driver and 3-4 loads if he can dump and trail the first load then back up onto that load to dump and trail out the next. And so on. The highest I have ever been able to get loose dirt with a dump truck is about 8 ft. and remember at the top of the peak it won't be much of a stop.
     
  5. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    Lower the shooting range ground level, instead of pile up dirt.
     
  6. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Lowering the grade could create a pond if you don't have good drainage.
     
  7. Shuban

    Shuban Guest

    Just right answer.
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Not unless you have enough slope, or a bar ditch you can slope to, to create drainage for the low spot you're digging. If you're on flat ground with nowhere to release the water, you'll have a muddy pond.
     
  9. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    If it is at all possible, I would excavate a firing lane and use the spoils to build the berms. Why possible? Drainage is a relly big deal where you live. Most of the underlying soil is glacial till and will not drain naturally, you will really need to plan the drainage well. Or has been stated above, you will create a pond/swamp. If you do excavate (just a dozer is enough) save to top soil to face the berm. bullets can bounce off hard clay like a rock if there is too little slope.

    There is one more advantage to excavating, that is you get side berms that will deflect some of the noise and keep your neighbors happier.
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    You gonna excavate a trench that's 50 or 100 yards long and deep enough to deflect sound at the shooter's position?

    My land is hilly and I have a natural backstop. To the back and one side I have natural deflection, but on the downhill side the neighbors are on their own. Fortunately they shoot too, and I always call the two that are affected before starting.

    You may just have to accept the fact that some neighbor may hate the shooting (may not even believe in owning guns) and decide how you're going to deal with it if that happens.

    I don't know about Wash., but here in the county I have a right to shoot. I'm just careful about which hours of the day, and as I said, let the neighbors know it's me in advance.
     
  11. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    True, make sure your neighbors are okay with it, if any around.

    Because not all of them live out in the wood to shoot, some people live there for peace and quietness. :laugh:
     
  12. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN Georgia - USA Well-Known Member

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    My sound suppressor only private range.

    The red clay backstop is about 135 yards away from my shooting position.
    It's not as tall or wide as it's going to be, but it's a good start. I plan on pushing
    it back a little further and scooping out more of the soil along the bullets flight path.
    It does need to remain dry and smooth enough to allow the grass to be cut and bailed.

    Hope that helps.
     
  13. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    We live in the woods, for the peace and quiet. Youngest daughter says it is "too quiet",,,however, we also have a large acreage so we can shoot and hunt and do as we please without bothering anyone.