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Old February 5, 2014, 07:23 PM   #1
Inyaface13
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How can I make shooting .22lr safer on a smaller residential property?

I live in a residential area that has no laws against residential shooting on an owned property, just maybe a "disturbing the peace" call every now and again. My yard is a little over an acre with houses pretty close on both sides and a line of houses enclosing dense trees about 6-9 square acres behind my property. I am trying to make shooting my .22lr Marlin 795 and Ruger SR22 as safe and worry free as possible. I know .22lr ammo is well known for ricochet and I am having a hard time figuring out a solution to catch the bullets so they don't take a unwanted hike through the woods. I see the smaller rimfire bullet traps at local outdoor shops and they seem durable, but not fail safe and how dangerous can .22 ricochet be??
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:32 PM   #2
NoSecondBest
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First, you might want to check your conservation dept laws about discharging firearms. Most states have laws against firearm discharge within 500 ft of an occupied dwelling. Second, this is about the worst idea I've ever heard of from a safety standpoint. If you were an indoor range with an engineered backstop, ceiling, etc it might be appropriate. Other than that, this is a disaster waiting to happen. Bad idea in every way. FYI, I'm a certified firearms safety trainer, RO, and worked as a safety professional for many years. I think I'm stating just more than my opinion.
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:36 PM   #3
Justice06RR
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I would suggest making a suitable backstop where you will shoot, like a berm. Basically make a mound from sand or dirt as high as you can (5-6ft should be plenty) and as wide as you can.

Other than that, just use common sense and discipline when shooting. I'm sure others will suggest other options.

I shoot at a friend's backyard that has neighbors on all 3 sides. What we do is we shoot from an elevated position in his back porch and shoot towards the ground. You can try that approach also.
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:39 PM   #4
Justice06RR
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Quote:
First, you might want to check your conservation dept laws about discharging firearms. Most states have laws against firearm discharge within 500 ft of an occupied dwelling. Second, this is about the worst idea I've ever heard of from a safety standpoint. If you were an indoor range with an engineered backstop, ceiling, etc it might be appropriate. Other than that, this is a disaster waiting to happen. Bad idea in every way. FYI, I'm a certified firearms safety trainer, RO, and worked as a safety professional for many years. I think I'm stating just more than my opinion.
This depends on the county or city laws.

I have shot at a few private properties of people I know. As long as you are doing it safely and follow the laws, it can be done safely. In my state, as long as we are outside city limits and not shooting over a street or towards another house/property, you are ok. It was verified by the deputy. I even shoot with a friend who is a county cop and he is ok with it.

Read this also:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/2...r-has-gun.html
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:46 PM   #5
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.22CB Caps?

They make less noise than a FWB single spring air rifle.

When our kiddos were in JROTC, we built a 'bullet trap' using carpet and mud flap strips. Ten meters was about the length of the patio.

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Old February 5, 2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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If possible shoot "quietly".

Last edited by atlantadad; February 5, 2014 at 08:39 PM.
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:59 PM   #7
Inyaface13
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As of right now, I have a smaller quater-inch steel plate leaning towards me at a 45 degree angle with some solid logs lined up on the side that's facing the houses. It looks safe and I fire towards the ground from a standing position into the dense trees where no houses can be seen, but do exist. I wasn't sure of a better material I should use for a back stop and my last resort was a sand/dirt pile..and I am also saving up used rugs/carpet I find to maybe make a dense wall behind the steel plate. I rarely fire my guns on my property so they are really just gathering dust and the closest firing range is literally 100+ miles away which is unexplainable at best..

I've had two occasions where officers showed up on disturbing the peace laws and nothing more and living in upstate SC people are always firing guns. I am just a little more aware of my surroundings and don't want to worry when I get a chance to use my firearms and if another officer was to want to see what I am using to catch my rounds, he would see that there shouldn't be a problem with stray ammo.
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Old February 5, 2014, 08:11 PM   #8
kilimanjaro
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Unless your basement is big enough to shoot in, I'd just put the .22 in the truckster and drive out of town a few miles.

You are legally liable for every round leaving the muzzle of your rifle, and your post states " I know the .22 is well known for ricochet.". That post is going to be Exhibit A in a courtroom someday, and you are going to rue the day you thought a 210-foot square acre in a residential area was enough land to shoot a firearm on.

The .22 Long Rifle is lethal up to and beyond ONE MILE. Just in one direction with ricochets up to 30 degrees off aim line, that is going to cover about 600 acres. Your homeowner's policy probably quits at about 6 inches.

Your County has an ordinance about this kind of thing, I guarantee it. If not, the State certainly does. "Shooting in an unsafe manner" covers a lot of ground, good buddies and local deputies notwithstanding.
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Old February 5, 2014, 08:59 PM   #9
NoSecondBest
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Quote:
This depends on the county or city laws.

I have shot at a few private properties of people I know. As long as you are doing it safely and follow the laws, it can be done safely. In my state, as long as we are outside city limits and not shooting over a street or towards another house/property, you are ok. It was verified by the deputy. I even shoot with a friend who is a county cop and he is ok with it.
Conservation dept is a state dept, nothing to do with county or town. Often call the Department of Environmental Conservation or Natural Resources. Usually the fish and game dept who sets the rules.
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:07 PM   #10
Inyaface13
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I just checked out an aerial view of my surroundings and I underestimated the size of the land behind my bullet trap..there is at least 25-30 acres of dense trees between my target on the ground and the houses on an adjacent road behind my house, but my next door neighbors house is under half an acre distance from where I am shooting in the opposite direction. Still considering all of this I don't plan on shooting on my property anymore until I can gather some more steel and and dirt to make a fail safe setting in my yard.
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Conservation dept is a state dept, nothing to do with county or town. Often call the Department of Environmental Conservation or Natural Resources. Usually the fish and game dept who sets the rules.
He's already stated more than once it's legal where he is.

"Fish and Game" has nothing at all to do with target shooting on private property
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:30 PM   #12
skywag
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"""" but my next door neighbors house is under half an acre distance from where I am shooting in the opposite direction"""


What in the world does that mean?
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Old February 5, 2014, 11:20 PM   #13
Inyaface13
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The nearest house to mine is about 60 yards in the opposite direction in which I am shooting.
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:25 AM   #14
NoSecondBest
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"Fish and Game" has nothing at all to do with target shooting on private property
It certainly does if you're within a restricted distance to a neighbors property. I read his post and it doesn't say the state allows it. It could be read that there are no specific residential restrictions. It's also possible he didn't check into all levels of government that cover this type of activity. The old say "ignorance is no excuse".
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:31 AM   #15
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My grandfather had a .22 range in his garage in a medium sized city in the south.
No complaints as the garage deadened the .22 short report. You could likely shoot from across the garage through a window and out into an embankment with little report and a little planning.
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Old February 6, 2014, 08:41 AM   #16
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I love target shooting as much as anyone however, if someone were shooting within 60 yards of my home, in any direction, I would have a problem with it. The steel plates make it even more dangerous in my opinion.
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Old February 6, 2014, 08:49 AM   #17
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I live on one acre with neighbor's houses fairly close to the borders of my lot similar to what the OP described. There's no way I'd shoot even .22 Short in my neighborhood. In fact, I don't even like firing my high-power springer air rifle, although I've done it a few times. I have a Beeman P1 pistol which fires 177 pellets at 600fps. That's about the limit of what I would feel comfortable shooting within one acre of land with houses not too far from the border of my lot.
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Old February 6, 2014, 10:14 AM   #18
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The commercial made bullet traps work quite well, as do home made ones, they are not rocket science. I have a home made one what easily handles 45's, deflecting them down into the dirt, the addition of a truck mudflap on the front is even better. If noise disturbes them you can get a piece of plastic road culvert to shoot through, it will baffle the noise and direct it down range, although it will appear louder to the shooter it will certainly reduce the noise to neighbors. Or buy a good pellet rifle and shoot as much as you want.
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Old February 6, 2014, 10:25 AM   #19
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The police response probably means you have an unfriendly neighbor. If he continues complaining you may need legal assistance to come to an agreement. Doesn't mean you have done anything wrong but sometimes a defense is necessary.
I live in a semi-rural area with many acres of woods behind my property. Since I am in the woods I have a lot of fallen branches, especially after ice/snow storms. My backstop is simply a big pile of branches and other scrap wood. I shoot paper and steel spinners. The only neighbor inquiry was one who asked if he could shoot back there.
Not everyone lives in such a situation. That was one of the attractions when I bought this place. I feel very fortunate.
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Old February 6, 2014, 10:37 AM   #20
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I'm similar to you Rifleman, the biggest "inconvenience" from my neighbors is if they want to shoot with me. Currently I have a large bale of hay (5x6 I think) that serves as a 50 yard backstop for arrows and bullets, don't know what it would take to shoot through it but it would be a lot. and after 2-3 years I'll burn it and put another one in its place and go again.
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Old February 6, 2014, 11:05 AM   #21
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Check your local laws. If legal, build a backstop, then I'd start considering an air rifle orr co2 pistol.
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:43 PM   #22
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FYI: In Florida, if that projectile stays on your property you are legal!.....That would even include downtown Miami.

This is NOT N.Y.!
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Old February 6, 2014, 02:08 PM   #23
OuTcAsT
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Dog runner, that's quite interesting, could you point me in the direction of the Florida statute that specifies that ? FWIW the OP is in South Carolina.
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Old February 6, 2014, 02:59 PM   #24
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First, I think the OP sounds like a neighbor from hell. If my afternoon was disturbed by the sound of repeated gunfire 100 feet from my window I would be furious, and call the police. After the first call to the police is logged, any evidence of stray rounds becomes lawsuit fodder for reckless endangerment.

Second, a bullet trap is great, as long as you and everyone who ever uses it never misses. But if you are loading and unloading a gun in your yard, there is simply too great a chance that someday a bullet will go over the target and into a residential area. Not to mention ricochets. This is a lethal weapon with a long range, not lawn jarts.

Third, if you shoot toward the same ground for a reasonable period, there will be lead in the ground. Regardless of what you think about that, you and your real estate agent are legally obligated to disclose that fact. And if your agent hears about it from your neighbor, he STILL has to disclose it to perspective buyers. That's a stupid reason to fail to sell your home when you need to.

"Ensuring your backstop" means a 10 foot plus berm, long distance or other geographical barrier. Not a wood pile or bullet trap. Shooting in a suburb is rude and dangerous. Put up a badminton net or take up woodcarving - this is a dumb thing to do in the yard you describe.
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Old February 6, 2014, 04:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogrunner
FYI: In Florida, if that projectile stays on your property you are legal!.....That would even include downtown Miami.
So that means it would be legal to set up a bullet trap in my back yard in the middle of Miami and shoot my AR-15 all day long, provided the bullets were all captured in the trap? I find that extremely difficult to believe. Not saying you're lying or anything, but I'd sure like to know a little more.
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