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Old January 22, 2011, 06:13 PM   #1
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Using rubber conveyor belting as partial backstop?

Would shooting at rubber CV belting be a ricochet hazard?

The indoor pistol range at a gun club uses the typical angled steel and trough below to catch bullets but has 1/2" thick conveyor belting just behind the targets. I'm guessing the belting is used to prevent / limit a bullet from ricocheting off the backstop towards the shooter. Some of the belting has a pretty big hole worn through behind the target, other places have bullets 1/2 stuck through the belt ( mostly 22 ) and there seems to be a fair number of undamaged jacketed round nose bullets that were fired but fell to the ground. ( 45 ACP )

The targets are stationary and the shooter must move down range to get a closer shot. ( not a issue as it's pretty much a self serve type deal and I've never came across others wanting to use the range at the same time )

This system has been in place for decades and seems to work. I want to make a similar setup for home use ( 38 +P at 21 ft ish distance ) but am wondering if belting is the best choice. I recently came across 3/8 thick and 3/16 thick belting so material is in stock. The whole mess will be mounted on a trailer for portability. I'm thinking of a shooting area 10 to 15 ft wide, 10 ft tall with wings that fold out at a 45* for a extra 3 ft per side / top. Fabrication isn't a issue.
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Old January 28, 2011, 05:24 PM   #2
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We put some heavy-duty industrial ones (from a quarry, so they are 3/4 thick) as safety berms at the firing line. When we tested the nylon reinforced belts a .22RF penetrated 3 layers & partially penetrated the 4th.
I'd take that into consideration when planning the installation.
They are heavy as all get out BTW, specially when lifting a 15' long section & holding it in place while attaching mounting hardware.
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Old February 1, 2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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My indoor shooting tube is 30" in diameter & 52' long. The end is 2 thickness' of 1/2" conveyor belt, backfilled w/ sand. This makes the target convex. 45 auto, 38 spcl, 22s sometimes stick in the belting. Once, I had a 380 fmj roll to a stop by the shooting station. It was scuffed on 2 sides as it bounced down the tube. I think angling the belt @ 45 degrees would be a good idea.
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