Bullet Trap

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Hispeedal2, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I want to build a bullet trap to reclaim lead. Since I am reclaiming, I don't want a metal "dust maker". I have read of some people making them from rubber mulch. I thought sand would be a good idea. The box of truth found that a 2x6 frame filled with sand will stop anything up to 45/70.

    One issue- what to make the impact face from? I thought about a rubber mat that would stay together pretty well after being shot through a few times. As long as one was to move the POI on the face, it should last pretty well. The other issue is sand is heavy and will likely poor profusely through the smallest of holes.

    One design is a box turned sideways. Sand piled inside to catch bullets. It does require digging out your lead. I think a sandbag of sorts may help keep the sand piled up to catch well. One issue- I don't always want to shoot "downward". I would rather shot "man level" when practicing for those scenarios.

    Any thoughts? Anyone built one that works?
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A bullet trap?

    what do you expect to be firing and recovering, Al??

    a trap using steel plate angled at 45 degrees to direct lead projectiles down into a water trap? That would lead to less bullet contamination than a sand trap. Just a thought, that may or may not be practical idea.
  3. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I wish to recover everything I shoot... up to 45/70.
    .223, .308, .45, .357, .44 are my regulars. Must be capable of stopping FMJs.

    Water isn't a bad solution, but a bit unpractical. The 45 degree angled steel is another design I saw. I thought it was pretty good idea. A "sand trap" of sorts underneath built like a box makes a nice clean way to get at the lead. Only concern would be lead splash for rifle rounds when firing close. A few household rules that specify handgun only under 100 yds would work I guess.
  4. groovy mike

    groovy mike Immortal

    My plan to build this summer is a table with a screen top. Top layer of screen is heavy half inch screen. Beneath that is a smaller size screen.

    On top of the table I will put two boxes filled with sand. Newer boxes go in back. Older boxes get shifted forward. I will tack targets to the front facing box.

    As the boxes disintegrate from rain and being shot, the sand will fall through the screen but lead will stop on top of the screen.

    As I remove an old wet disintegrated box, I will replace with another box of sand (in back). Cardboard bits that don't disolve should stay on the top screen for easy disposal. Lead should collect easily on the lower screen. Sand should fall through to a collection tray (sheet of plastic?) on the ground to be recycled into the next box.

    That's my plan, but I have not yet built it.
    jollyrodger13 likes this.
  5. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    My trap is just a big hill of dirt but it works. The recovery part is where the fun starts.

    I've got a couple big metal grate baskets with different size openings. These sort out the surface lead from the range hill pretty easily. I only bother with large lead (.38 and larger) bullets and leave the jacketed stuff to avoid frustration later. It's just not worth the effort unless you are really lead poor.

    Once sorted the lead goes into 2 liter water bottles full of water with a squirt of dish soap and ride around in the truck bed for awhile. This loosens most of the accumulated crud. After a good rinse they get set out to dry... thoroughly, before they go in the big pot and on into muffin molds for use in the electric pot.

    If you're just after casting lead you'd get more with less effort scrounging wheel weights (Even with about 40% non-lead it's a tough source to beat, and zinc brings more than lead at the salvage yard.) or trading scrap cartridge brass for lead at the recycler.

    Happy trapping!

    groovy mike likes this.
  6. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Here is what I am trying first:
    24"x24"x8" box filled with sand. The theory is based on this:
    The Box O' Truth #7 - The Sands O' Truth - Page 1

    I am going to use plywood for the back and front. The front will also have a rubber screwed between the plywood and frame- theory being that the rubber will close up better and keep the sand from draining off.

    I think* 24x24 will be large enough that I can move the POI around to avoid shooting out the center.

    If that fails, I think a 15"x15"x36" box made of lightweight plywood filled with rubber mulch. This is my back-up because the price of the sand trap is about $20. The rubber mulch alone will cost me over $100. Hopefully "Plan A" works.

    I will report back.
  7. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Ok, I ended up building plan B and cancelling plan A.

    I started out with a wooden box that was 36"x24"x24". It was entirely too heavy to be portable. We only had enough rubber mulch to fill to about 18 inches. Not wanting to waste the effort, I pulled out the Sig P220 and left off 8 rounds into the center to see what happened.... zero penetrations. We dumped the mulch and rummaged through. We found 6 .45 slugs (2 are still somewhere in the mulch) so pristine that you could almost load them again.

    We disassembled the box, cut it down to 20"x20"x36", and reassembled (we were getting pretty good at crate building by this point). It took 3 more bags of mulch (11 total) to top her off. Weight is about 100 lbs.

    This morning I fired off about 5-6 rounds from the SCAR 16.... no penetration. I tried a few within 3 inches of the top... no penetration.

    From others' experiments I am sure that 36" depth will stop pretty much anything. Pistols bullets are problematic as they tend to keep their weight longer and penetrate deeper than hyper velocity rifle bullets.

    I'll post back in with pics later. I stained the top part of the box and need it to dry in order to do the bottom. I think a spare piece of tin on top to keep the water off would be helpful too. It's main sitting spot (where mostly pistols are shot) deserves a matching wooded stand IMO. It will blend into the woods really nice. I can use saw horses or just lay it on the ground when I do rifle shooting. at longer ranges. A few handles might be a good idea.... heavy.
    jollyrodger13 and STANGF150 like this.
  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

  9. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I should have posted this sooner.

    Here is a pic:

    I am a few hundred rounds into it. I think the front piece should last between 500 and 800 rounds before needing a replacement. The only penetration was a 44 magnum that was fired too high (wifey) and skimmed over all the material to exit the back.

    I definitely want another one to set on the rifle range.
    jollyrodger13 likes this.
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