View Full Version : Shooting Range Construction

January 16, 2000, 12:16 AM
I'm lucky enough to have been able to build a 25 yard shooting range out behind my house. I built it using two 8 inch by 8ft poles 3 1/2 ft in the ground with good used railroad cross ties lag bolted to the poles. I then placed a 4X8 ft sheet of 1/2 inch plywood across the face of the cross ties. I have shot it with handguns and with .223 and 30.06 rifles and as long as the rounds impact into the cross ties have had no penetration through as of yet. If the rounds go between the ties it will come out on the other side. I have placed some scrap plywood on the back side just to see if anything is coming through. The range is slightly downhill so anything that does penetrate goes into the backside of an old dried up stocktank. Any suggestions on how I might be able to improve it or make it a little safer? The nearest neighbor directly behind the backstop and tank dam is well over a mile away and on a slightly higher hill. All of my neighbors know I shoot and most are aware of my setup. (and have been ask to come by and shoot sometime) No one has complained YET, but if I do have to deal with the county Sheriff I want as many of my ducks in a row as possible.

David Schmidbauer
January 16, 2000, 12:25 AM

I had almost the same type set-up as you at my prior house (current house allows me to shoot out to 300 yards into a hillside backstop :D). The only thing different was I had two rows of railroad crossties. I tested the penetration with a .375H&H Mag loaded with hot Barnes-X bullets fired from 7 yards. Those did not come out the back.

A word though. As you shoot the ties will be whittled away. Eventually it will get to the point where penetration will happen more and more. (this was the reason for my 2 rows). The ties will eventually have to be replaced. Just prior to my move my some of my front ties could have used replaceing but hell... I was moving so why. The backstop's second row was still intact and stopping bullets but if the front ones were not replaced eventually the back ones would cease to stop bullets.

Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

January 16, 2000, 01:48 AM
I know you may not want to hear this, but grab a shovel! :D That is unless you have access to a bobcat or dozer.
Nothin' stops a bullet like good ol' dirt, but be sure to throw most of the rocks out to help curb ricochets. I've got dirt backstops at the 100, 125, and the 150 yard lines at my range, with no problems at all. :)
Good luck with whatever you decide!

Screw the Anti's!!

Art Eatman
January 16, 2000, 02:54 AM
Yeah, grab your shovel. You'll cut down on the amount of dirt if you build some sort of board or rock retainer around your dirt. "A wheelbarrow a day keeps the lawyers away."

It will help if you mount your targets as low on the backstop as possible.


January 19, 2000, 06:31 AM
why notset up a few sand bags behind your targets as an added precaution?

Jake 98c/11b
January 22, 2000, 07:57 PM
Yep, sandbag the back side or build a second wall behind it and fill the void with dirt.