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I needed to test a gun this weekend and could not get a lane at any range without waiting for a couple of hours. Didn't feel like driving a good hour away to shoot, then if I had an issue that bench tools would fix have to come back and fix, then drive again or wait for a lane. So I found a 5 gallon bucket with fine sand in my well insulated shop works great. Stops a 9mm in 6 inches or less. With the plastic lid snapped on there isn't any blowback. Now we are making one out of a piece of 10" steel pipe about 5 feet long with welded baffles and sand for rifles. Outside it is just a small pop and the neighbors don't complain.
Been wanting one of these for a long time but commercial ones are just to expensive. Saw a youtube vid that showed that most bullets can't get passed 6 inches of sand so the idea just kind of came to be.
 

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Sounds ok, as long as there are no city or local ordnances against the discharge of a firearm in your locality. Otherwise, might be a problem if for some reason someone decided to complain.

Jim R
 

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I needed to test a gun this weekend and could not get a lane at any range without waiting for a couple of hours. Didn't feel like driving a good hour away to shoot, then if I had an issue that bench tools would fix have to come back and fix, then drive again or wait for a lane. So I found a 5 gallon bucket with fine sand in my well insulated shop works great. Stops a 9mm in 6 inches or less. With the plastic lid snapped on there isn't any blowback. Now we are making one out of a piece of 10" steel pipe about 5 feet long with welded baffles and sand for rifles. Outside it is just a small pop and the neighbors don't complain.
Been wanting one of these for a long time but commercial ones are just to expensive. Saw a youtube vid that showed that most bullets can't get passed 6 inches of sand so the idea just kind of came to be.
If it stops a 9mm in 6 inches, I would have to think that a rifle could go 3 times that deep, for say a 308. Be careful if you plan to shoot anything big --- I seriously question 6 inches for "most" calibers.
 

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Here is a BOT test they shot a 9mm, 45, .223, 308, 12 guage slug and a 45-70 and they were all stopped in about 6" or less. Based on that I think you should be just fine for almost anything. I really don't see any real problems if your careful. I also don't see any problem if someone where to complain, it's safe and the noise isn't too loud.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot7_4.htm

Lessons learned:
1. It's still fun to shoot stuff.

2. Sand is a very good barrier. Nothing we shot penetrated more than 6 inches into the sand. Does that mean I would hide behind 6 inches of sand and let someone shoot at me? No way!! I'd rather have 60 feet of sand in front of me.

But 6 inches seems to work pretty well for the rounds tested.

3. To our surprise, the pistol rounds penetrated deeper than the rifle rounds. Why?

The pistol rounds held together better as they were ball and didn't have enough velocity to break them apart. Therefore, they held together and penetrated better.

The rifle rounds were traveling at such a high velocity that they broke up into pieces and this stopped their penetration quicker.
 

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When I was in the military we had "clearing barrels". 30 gal drums 3/4 filled with sand with a lid held on by a clamping ring. Lid had a centered 6 inch hole to "shoot" through. Usually set on a stand that angled the barrel at a more natural angle (60*). They would stop an "accidental" 5.56, 38, or 45 but the noise factor was bad. You also had to contend with a bit of back blast as all the pressure had to come back out through the 6 inch hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The bucket is full to the top. After a few rounds I opened it and dug down and nothing went more than 6". Overall there is probably 18" of sand. Blast wave is minimal since there is no hole the gun is going into. The rifle trap which we are building is a piece of 5 foot long 10" heavy wall steel. (3/8") and it will only get used as a last resort. Even though the BOT video shows rifle bullets breaking up in 6 or less inches there is no way I am trusting a plastic bucket to stop something moving 1800 mph.
Funny thing about Florida law and discharge of weapons in the city. Up until last year it would have been highly illegal per city law. Florida preempted all local law when dealing with firearms and as long as you are not shooting towards a dwelling or across a road it's legal to do this. Still I am not going to go outside and start blasting away. Gunfire attracts attention nobody wants.
 

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that makes sense, did not think of how abrasive sand is + velocity, there would be nothing left of a rifle round.

Sounds like a good plan to me then, esp with more than double the 6 inches.

Somebody test it with a steel core mosin shot, just to see..
 

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pit waste from a concrete plant is that stuff that gets cleaned out at the end of the day, that stuff that gets dribbled on ground, stuff that leaks out of the plant while batching, you know, waste. Made of sand, gravel, and cement slime. If you mix it up with enough water before it sets it just reverts back to component parts, not concrete. Well, I've been using this for my back stops for years. Noting goes thru it. I've not tired a bmg, but .30-06, 5.56, .44m out of long barrels dosent' even think about it. I have to keep putting new boards on the front, but not to often.






I also have two of these up by the house, just infront of the wood pile. I only shoot "I can't miss" shots at them. Never any qucik draw & shoot, never over 12 yards, always easy shots. They direct the blast down into the dirt and work fine. One is ok for up to moderate rounds (9mm, .45acp) the other is ok for .357 & .44's. .223's bite even the heavy steel so I don't use them anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
that makes sense, did not think of how abrasive sand is + velocity, there would be nothing left of a rifle round.

Sounds like a good plan to me then, esp with more than double the 6 inches.

Somebody test it with a steel core mosin shot, just to see..
Not in my shop. I have shot a surplus steel core mosin round clean through a 18" dead fully seasoned heartwood pine tree that would flatten a 357 solid bullet and hardly leave a mark. The mosin looked like a drill bit went through the wood. Big difference in 1100fps and 2500fps.
 

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I think the sand would still stop the steel core mosin round pretty quickly but I don't blame you for not testing it indoors. If someone really wants to know just fill a bucket with sand and head to an outdoor range. ;)
 

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This post made me start thinking.
I have an area on my property where I shoot. Angle of shots, valley, and dirt mound backstop make me feel pretty safe...but. A trap in front of the dirt mound would be better.
I found info in this thread and research on you-tube helpful. Guy on You-Tube had something like LOPs' idea only filled with sand. The difference being the addition of horse stall rubber matting to seal the bullet hole to prevent sand leakage.
So I made a box out of 3/4" plywood. Box inside thickness is 6 inches. Front is 3/4" plywood with 1/4" rubber mat behind it. Mine is 21 x 26 (size I had) this took 2 1/2 five-gallon buckets of sand to fill. HEAVY when full.

Tested today
9mm Speer Lawman FMJ at 7 yards.........no pass-through
30-06 150 gr Silvertip at 50 yards........no pass-through
sand does not leak out the holes.
Cheap functional trap. Thanks guys.
PS - spar varnished to add some longevity. Probably shoot it up b4 it rots anyway.
 

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The bucket is full to the top. After a few rounds I opened it and dug down and nothing went more than 6". Overall there is probably 18" of sand. Blast wave is minimal since there is no hole the gun is going into. The rifle trap which we are building is a piece of 5 foot long 10" heavy wall steel. (3/8") and it will only get used as a last resort. Even though the BOT video shows rifle bullets breaking up in 6 or less inches there is no way I am trusting a plastic bucket to stop something moving 1800 mph.
Funny thing about Florida law and discharge of weapons in the city. Up until last year it would have been highly illegal per city law. Florida preempted all local law when dealing with firearms and as long as you are not shooting towards a dwelling or across a road it's legal to do this. Still I am not going to go outside and start blasting away. Gunfire attracts attention nobody wants.
This sounds like a fabulous idea. I have several friends down here in the Florida Keys who I'm sure will be interested as well. Rebootit, would you kindly provide me with a source reference to the new Florida law you mentioned? It's obvious to me that I need to catch up on that. Thanks so much!
 

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This sounds like a fabulous idea. I have several friends down here in the Florida Keys who I'm sure will be interested as well. Rebootit, would you kindly provide me with a source reference to the new Florida law you mentioned? It's obvious to me that I need to catch up on that. Thanks so much!
Not to resurrect a dead topic but when this was asked I was still in and out of the hospital and pretty much out of my mind jacked up on pain killers. Its been a hell of a strange 18 months. Anyway Florida law actually allows backyard ranges. As long as a bullet does not leave your property your good to go. I'm not saying you won't get a visit from officer Friendly, you probably will, but the law is on your side.

Here is a link
 

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When I was in the military we had "clearing barrels". 30 gal drums 3/4 filled with sand with a lid held on by a clamping ring. Lid had a centered 6 inch hole to "shoot" through. Usually set on a stand that angled the barrel at a more natural angle (60*). They would stop an "accidental" 5.56, 38, or 45 but the noise factor was bad. You also had to contend with a bit of back blast as all the pressure had to come back out through the 6 inch hole.


I bought a couple of those stainless steel weapons clearing boxes from a military auction that have the ceramic bricks covered in Kevlar that's used for discharging guns inside. They have the stands with them but I've not mounted them yet to use them but I'll get around to it sometime.








 
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