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Thread: Sandbox bullet trap

  1. #1
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Sandbox bullet trap

    This is the second version of the sandbox trap that I've made, trying to make it smaller and lighter. This seems to work very nicely and is quite portable (bail out sand and put it in wheelbarrow). Can also be moved easily with basically any tractor loader/skid loader or even a 3-point hitch if you buy a couple pins for it. These of course still need a proper backstop.

    I use old 1/2 plywood used for concrete forms and whatnot for the face.

    Unfortunately a 2x8 is not quite thick enough. Heavyweight 44 SWCs at LOW velocities like 950 FPS like skeeterload will penetrate, while faster loads like the Keith load will not.

    M855 perpetrators, M2 30-06 ball, and 9mm ammo don't get though interestingly. I borrowed the fine masons sand from my kids' sandbox.

    If I were to make it again I would use a 2x10 or 2x12 side and equip it to be carried by a tractor's 3-point hitch.

    Fine sand weighs about 100 lbs per cubic foot. So keep in mind how sturdy the carpentry needs to be if you scale it up. These are so cheap to make (lumber was a salvaged deck mostly) that you can afford to make one for each alloy you use and one for jackets. This makes it so recovery is very easy...basically infinite recycling of bullets.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    rancher1913's Avatar
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    make sure that sand does not end up back in the kids sand box, there will be a lot of lead "dust" mixed in it. have you thought about a piece of steel mounted at a 45 so it deflects the bullets into a sand box of some sort below.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Does much sand leak out of the plywood target backer? How many hits will it take before needing replacement?

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I built something like that for a temporary backstop a few years ago. Sand does leak out the holes in the front. The sand will also "splash" out the top from a high hit.
    If it gets wet, it will get really heavy.
    A layer of rubber attached to the front will help seal it some but is not a perfect solution.
    You still have to empty it to recover the lead or move it much.
    Even with the downsides, it is still a workable solution. Much better than no backstop at all.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Mine is very similar. Made with 2x10 sides and bottom. 3/4" ply for the back as I had a scrap piece but thinner would work too. Put a 2x6 on the top to reduce sand flying out and to leave a slot that I use to fill the trap or top it off.

    Mine is on one of those cheap garden carts and I can move it where I want. Added lifting eye bolts for the tractor as well as it will get a lot heavier as it collects more lead.

    I use a horse stall mat for the front.

    Nothing gets through 9.5" of sand.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Cool project.

    I wonder if some sort of stretchy sheet rubber on the inside of the panels would slow down the leakage as the shot holes multiply.

    Or, switch over to shredded tire rubber instead of sand with sheets of rubber on the inside of the flat panels.
    The sheet of rubber lets a boolit go through, then tries to close up behind it.
    It'd work like trying to drill a hole in a old style inner tube.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit-chat. This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE !!
    Get back to your oars. The Captain wants to water ski.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    Cool project.

    I wonder if some sort of stretchy sheet rubber on the inside of the panels would slow down the leakage as the shot holes multiply.

    Or, switch over to shredded tire rubber instead of sand with sheets of rubber on the inside of the flat panels.
    The sheet of rubber lets a boolit go through, then tries to close up behind it.
    It'd work like trying to drill a hole in a old style inner tube.
    I think the tire rubber would be a good alternative to sand. I have no idea how deep it would need to e to remain effective.
    You can get the shredded tire material as mulch in bags at most places that sell mulch. It would probably be a bit lighter as well and unaffected by water.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    You will need a lot more tire mulch to stop a bullet and sorting out the lead will be a tad more difficult. But at least it is light.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    The gun club here used to cut conveyor belt pieces for target holders. It's somewhat self healing, at least for a while. I would imagine a couple layers of it would make a good face for this type of trap.

    I've never had to build a trap. What would be a recommended size for one? I know the answer depends on what I'm shooting and how good of a shot I am, but looking for a ballpark answer. Maybe 4 ft square for 25yd pistol or 100yd rifle?

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    A couple of indoor shooting ranges in this area use piles of tire much as a backstop. Every so often, they have a company come in and sift out the lead.
    I don't know how thick the rubber pile is that they use.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaNapper View Post
    Maybe 4 ft square for 25yd pistol or 100yd rifle?
    The bigger it is, the more you can move your bullseyes around, and the less often you'll have to repair it.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit-chat. This ain't your Grandma's sewing circle.
    EVERYONE !!
    Get back to your oars. The Captain wants to water ski.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    This is a really good idea. I may have to give it a try. How much sand does yours use, about a 5 gallon bucket? Boy that would be slick if it could be portable enough to use regularly at the target range, then I could truly recycle my bullets. Maybe a tarp under the target to catch the stray sand?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    If sand gets wet the resistance to bullets goes down. Tests were run with a 50 cal on a variety of materials and sand varied by type and moisture content.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  14. #14
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Catches 500 grain 45/70 boolits

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Is that half a propane tank? Any problems falling off those cross sticks?

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I also have sand bullet traps in my backyard.
    I started with a 2x6 depth but that didn't work too well for rifles.
    I ended up with 2x10's for the sides with scrap 1/2" plywoood for front and back.
    I also mounted them on braced vertical 2x4's about 3 ft. high so that I can put a wheelbarrow under it and when I unscrew the front plywood the sand would fall into the wheelbarrow through some 1/4 metal screening.

    I also use scrap cardboard on the front so I can use push pins to mount the targets.
    My traps are 24" w x 18" h.
    When the front plywood gets too shot up and sand starts leaking out I screw another piece of plywood over the old one.

    Yes, it would be great if there was some relatively cheap "healing" type product that could be used.

    Horse stall mats may be the answer but are not cheap unfortunately.

    Those that use horse mats, do the "heal" fairly well?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    I purchased some self healing material. Have not had a chance to test it as that project is a ways down the list. Maybe someone else has tried it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I use rubber mulch in 5 gal buckets, I get 20 to 30 lbs of of bullets before the lids have to be replaced.
    I recently bought a bucket of Flex Seal Paste to repair the lids so far the Flex Seal is holding up better than the original lids, I I can get 2 to 3 times more use before cleaning out the traps it will be a huge time saver.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by ioon44 View Post
    I use rubber mulch in 5 gal buckets, I get 20 to 30 lbs of of bullets before the lids have to be replaced.
    I recently bought a bucket of Flex Seal Paste to repair the lids so far the Flex Seal is holding up better than the original lids, I I can get 2 to 3 times more use before cleaning out the traps it will be a huge time saver.
    I use rubber mulch in buckets also. Found out that a few layers of the plastic bags that my water softener salt comes in work well directly under the bucket lid. Seems to be self-healing to keep the mulch from leaving even after the bucket lid is mostly shot away.

  20. #20
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    Is that half a propane tank? Any problems falling off those cross sticks?

    close observation will show the tabs I wielded on the tank the fit in receivers on the 2x2. There is also a brace straddling the crossbar and holding up the tank.
    the crossbar is cut at an angle to stabilize the system

    This is my journey is trapping 500 grain 45/70 boolits

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...70-boolit-trap

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