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Author Topic: Setting up an indoor shooting range  (Read 4203 times)
HNT5
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« on: April 01, 2008, 03:55:34 PM »

I need some help setting up an indoor shooting range in the basement. I was hoping you guys and or gals could offer some ideas or inputs. I am wondering what to make my back stop out of. My first concern is for safety (must safely absorb a hit with minimal chance of recoil), 2nd is for ease of manufacture (minimal skills, tools and readily available components) required, 3rd is low cost (this takes away from the airgun budget as a whole) and last the ability to move it should the need arise.. The backstop needs to be able to withstand the occasional unintentional hit from a medium to high power spring gun (15 ft lbs). Ideally the design would lend itself to the occasional repair before requiring replacement. The vast majority of my shooting will be at 12 ft lbs or less.  One thought I had was to cover a piece of plywood with some old carpeting. The carpet would help absorb the impact as well as the noise of a stray shot.  I am open to even unconventional suggestions
Any help that gets me started would greatly appreciated.
Regards
Nathan
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gamo2hammerli
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2008, 05:23:04 PM »

I just use a phonebook....I stick targets or a sheet with dots on it to shoot at.  I have over 1500 shots in that phonebook (It's getting pretty heavy...)...I use mainly one side...and I leave the target on the phonebook and tape a new sheet on it....   I just shoot about 9 meters distance...about 25 feet I would guess.  How far are you shooting?...If you shoot further....you'd need a backstop, just in case you have a miss....or the pellet have a mind of its own.   :p   Sometimes I tape soup cans on the phonebook to hear the clank when the pellet hits....and to check the penetration (Power or the air rifle).
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Gamo: Expotec .177 + Big Cat .177 + Viper .177 + Whisper .177, Hammerli Titan .177, Diana model 24 .177, RWS-Diana P5 Magnum pistol .177, Crosman: G1 Extreme .177 + Storm XT .177 + Sierra Pro .177 + 1377 pistol .177, Air Arms S410SL .22, BSA Scorpion T10 .22, FX Cyclone .177, Remington Air Master 77 .177 + BB\'s,
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2008, 04:46:25 PM »

The plywood and carpet idea may work out ok if the carpet was something tight-knit.  I use plywood by itself as a back-up if I miss my homemade version of a silent pellet trap.  A few shots that were way off have made it through the plywood, but I'm sure there isn't much energy left after that penetration.  I have heard a few guys using heavy grade canvas or nylon as a back stop too.  My first target was a 3" phonebook, but I was slowly chewing through it.  My silent pelet trap a copy of Archer's silent pellet trap as seen at http://www.archerairguns.com  If you have the $$ and want a nice target then get one of those.  Or you can build a simple box and fill the back of it with electrical putty...either way you will have a solid and safe target to shoot at.

-Josh
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HNT5
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2008, 05:04:29 PM »

Thanks Josh, I have a homemade silent trap and was thinking of making another larger version and filling it with Duct seal. I've used old phone books and catalogs held together w/ duct tape before. They work pretty good but they do get chewed up kinda quickly.  I have some small scrap plywood and old carpet I may make a trial small version of a back stop to test how it handles an impact. I just worry about richochets (sp?) and damage to the wall (foundation). If the wife sees any chips in the basement walls my indoor shooting will  come to an abrupt halt! LOL Seriuosly, my wife is totally supportive of my shooting and wants me to be able to shoot in the basement. But I need to do it right.
Thanks
Regards
Nathan
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Dave CAG
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2008, 11:57:56 PM »

 

Hi Nathan



Put space between the plywood and the carpet about 6"-8" the pellet hits the carpet the carpet swings
and takes the energy out of the pellet before it hits the plywood. if it bounces of the plywood it hits the carpet.
and drops to the floor.

Behind the carpet you could
Build a square out of 2"x3" the size of your target about 12"x12" inside.
Glue it to the plywood and fill it with plumbers putty that you can get from the hardware store.
the safest trap I can think of !!


Dave CAG

L.I.F.T. : Long Island Field Target
Web site: Cobra Air Guns
http://www.airgunsbbguns.com/


Each Air Gun should have a purposes it is not all about velocity or power its
about walking away after a day of shooting,Smiling looking down and saying
"God I Love this rifle"






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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2008, 01:09:47 AM »

I'm shooting in a 10m range in my basement, very useable, but knocked together with what I had on hand.  My backstop/target holder is simply a 3 layer thick sandwich of 2x4's, about 24" square.  I staple gun targets to it.  It's mounted to the foundation wall (concrete, 14" thick, 1/2" bars @ 12 o/c) with tapcons.  This absorbs shots pretty well, though I get the odd roller coming my way with essentially 0 energy.  

I've put a few shots into the concrete wall on occasion, and they leave almost no mark.  These are CP HP's doing about 900fps.  I'm left with about a 1/4" diameter dark ring of lead at the impact point, and a slightly lighter color to the concrete for maybe 1/2" diameter.  Just the dark surface concrete blasted clean.  No real cratering or indentation.  22 may do more damage, but it seems that .177 at practical power levels do almost nothing.

My setup isn't ideal, a silent trap would be better.  It suits me pretty well, tho.  The biggest hazard it presents to me is the lead contamination in the target area.  Not too worried about that, since the target area is in an old water cistern (thus the heavy concrete), and it's separated from the rest of the basement by a door.  Keeps the kid and cats out.

J
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ac12basis
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2008, 04:40:27 AM »

What I did in the past which is essentially FREE is:
 
- Get a cardboard box, like the ones that photocopy paper comes in.  Or any similar size box.
- Put a piece of thick wood in the bottom.  This is the last chance to stop a pellet.  And wood is good enough for my LOW power air guns.  As you get into higher power guns, you may need to use a piece of metal plate for this.
- Layer in newspaper, magazines, etc.  Forming a layer at least 6 inches thick.  Have the top 1/2 inch be newspaper.  Magazines can be so dense that a wadcutter will hit it and bounce back.  For high power springers, as much nice glossy magazines as you can find.
- In the top 2 or 3 inches, put wadded up newspaper or rags.  The purpose for this is to catch the "bouncers" from bouncing back out of the box.  Important if you use magazines, not as important if you only use newspapers.
- Put the cover back on
- Tape/staple a 10"x10" cardboard backer to the cover.  This is a replacable target backer.  After you shoot a bunch, the box cover will just have a big hole, and won't be able to support the target.  If your target is made with photocopy paper, the target needs to be supported from behind, for the pellet to punch a nice clean hole.  As the hole gets ragged, you just replace the backer w a fresh one.  Almost anything you buy has cardboard that you can use.
- tape/staple your target to the backer.

- Periodically check the trap and replace the newspaper/magazines as they get chewed into.  You always want to have lots further to go before you get to the back of the trap/box, so you don't accidentally shoot a pellet and it goes out the back.
- Moving the target around the front of the box will help by not having the pellets hit the same place.

The quick and dirty pellet stop is an old phone book or THICK catalog.
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SGTMEATSAUCE
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2008, 07:03:31 AM »

I bought a Beeman trap good for 1000 ft per sec at 50 ft, I stuffed it with a thick rubber Nerf football and use only hollow points. As a back drop I have a piece of 3/4 inch plywood with rubber floor pads I bought from PepBoys which are floor pads for mechanics, they were 19 bucks on sale for 4 3x3 ft pads. I wrapped those in carpeting mostly to quell the sound. I print my targets off the internet for "free".
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2008, 09:25:12 AM »

I've put over 1,200 pellets into my home-made backstop in less than six weeks, it was designed for (1) low noise, (2)ease of repair and low cost.  Even though I set it just outside my garage door (opened 12-13 inches) for better lighting, residents of surrounding townhomes have not voiced any concerns whatsoever.  
Notes: >>> Wear eye protection when using.<<<  All dimensions are approximate because I was in a hurry to complete!    
Purchased two 92.5" framing studs (looked over 20+ at Lowe's for straight-edge ones with NO knots) and a box of 2" drywall screws.  Rough cut both studs into four 16-inch sections and two 14-inch sections, with Skilsaw.  Laidout four horizontal 16s on garage floor and backed with four vertical 14s, marked screw locations then drilled 5/32 holes clean through 14s so screws would clamp tight.  Assembled>>>carefully<<This provides a 224 square inch backstop, 3 inches thick, that is quiet, for less than $10.00 plus labor.  It works very well with DOMED pellets, do get an occasional "rebound" with wad cutters due to low penetration, then one pellet impacts another.  After approximately 750 shots I decided to replace center 16s that were getting pretty chewed up along edges. Guess I'm overly cautious due to proximity of shooting range to numerous neighbors.  Replacement took 10 minutes since 16s were precut.  
Oh by the way my first 100 shots were fired with door down to assure no penetration would ever occur, wife was nervous, door is still undamaged after 1200+ shots.
Curtis
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howie1a
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2008, 09:38:30 AM »

I built a box like one I seen here it has a clip board for the targets that slides into a groove on the sides of the box and the back has 1 layer of elec. duct. seal can be had from the depot so far nothing can get through the duct seal to the back of the box and it's made of  3/4 inch oak and I have a over size steel plate behind my pellet trap it's quit too. Also no bounce backs the pellets stick into the duct seal it works real nice.When I was a kid I used to shoot from the under house garage through the door (it was open ) into the basement about 65 ft. with a 22 lr. into 2 thickness of 2x12 fir lumber nailed to the cinder block basement wall till I wore a hole through the 2x 12 and the cinder bloot wall into the dirt outside the foundation ,That ended my basement target range and I ended up plastering the wall .
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Howie1a
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2008, 10:41:46 AM »

My indoor trap is an old Crosman pellet trap. Once I shot out the curtains in it I stuffed it with old carpet cut to just fit. Stacked them ten layers deep. I cover the front with cardboard and replace as needed. Has thousands of pellets in it and the carpet is starting to where out. I'll cut some more from old carpet and be good to go for another year! Could also put carpet in a home made box of any size. Just make it deep, ten layers layers lasts a long time. Cheap and silent!
jeff
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