Bullet Trap question

  • Last Post 18 February 2021
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John Hill posted this 15 February 2021

I cast my own bullets and have built a good bullet trap.  It is a 20" square cube made of 3/4"plywood on all sides except the front.  I have covered the front with heavy "horse mat" material from Tractor Supply. The trap is filled with shredded tire landscape mulch from Lowes.  It is under a protective piece of metal roofing to keep the water out.  I staple the paper targets to the horse mat front.

It works great.  It stops and catches .223, .38 sp, .45 ACP, 9 mm and thousands of rounds of .22LR. The small rounds that get tightly grouped have really perforated the front but since it is so perforated, the .45 really punch some holes and are causing the weight of the mulch/lead to bulge out the front. Nothing comes out the holes yet.

I can tilt the trap on its back and unscrew and remove the horse mat front to replace it.

My question is what material would someone recommend to replace the mat for a front that would last longer.



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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 15 February 2021

a friend and i had a 50 yard indoor range to test 22rf stuff ... we used as the backstop a sheet of 1/4 steel plate angled at about 40 degrees to bounce the bullets into a sandbox under the plate.

for the front baffle, we put a roll of roofing tarpaper on a roller above the plate and when it got full of holes we just rolled down another 3 feet and trimmed off the shot-up length with a box cutter.

the tar paper was also excellent to tack our targets to ...

hope this gives you some ideas.


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John Hill posted this 16 February 2021


Thanks for the ideas.


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Shopdog posted this 16 February 2021

No help from me. Use an almost endless supply of plywood "drops". Shoot'm full of holes,moving target around,then pop another piece on.

Good luck with your project.

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Ed Harris posted this 18 February 2021

Try 5/16" thick solid rubber gym floor tile from Home Depot.  I cut these to fit over the front of my TWO Outer's bulLet traps.


As FYI I also reinforced the backstop plate by having a 12"x12"x1/4" thick piece of mild steel boiler plate welded behind the impact area to prevent its being peened outward when firing stuff a bit heavier than .22 LR.  It holds up well to indoor use of .32 ACP and .38 Special lead bullet ammo at 10 metres in the cellar.  Not as elegant as Giorgio's wine cellar, but adequate to check velocity and function fire.  If you shoot .45 ACP or .45 Colt you need also to tie a pair of 25-lb. shot bags together and drape them over the back to keep the bullet trap from bouncing around!  


73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 18 February 2021

I have a commercially produced trap - about 18"x18" at the front.  1/4" plates angled back to a 2"x2" hole (4 sided pyramid) to which a cast snail shell is welded.  Bullets hit, skid to the center back hole and whiz around the snail shell grinding up and falling into a can.  Takes 44Mag full loads well.  Self emptying into the can!

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