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dabloniarz
12-03-2009, 03:05 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for the ideal specs for a backstop that's Garand proof? Earthen berm construction, possibly with a railroad tie retaining wall (more to retain the dirt than stop the round) seems simple and economical, but how big should it be (height, width, depth)?

Has anyone built one that would care to share their experience?

Mike308
12-03-2009, 03:17 PM
What will be behind the berm? How far will you be shooting from?

Rondog
12-03-2009, 03:20 PM
Build the tallest and thickest dirt berm you can possibly come up with. Then make it bigger. Those bullets are hard to stop.

This is a 100 yard range at my gun club. I think a lot of the ranges there are basically dug into hillsides with either a big front-end loader or a trackhoe. Great place to shoot.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1724.jpg

dabloniarz
12-03-2009, 03:54 PM
What will be behind the berm? How far will you be shooting from?

Well, the answer is, I don't know yet. I'm moving soon and am looking for rural property with some acreage. Assuming I find something in an area that's appropriate for target shooting, I'm thinking about building a small target range. I'm not a competitive shooter, so I wouldn't be shooting a lot. Mostly sighting-in, test firing, teaching my son basic marksmanship, occasionally a little plinking for fun. I've got a couple Garands and would like to be able to build a range that can safely backstop them.

For purposes of discussion, let's say 100 yards or less on flat terrain. I know .30-06 can carry a long ways downrange (a couple miles or more) if nothing stops it. Let's also assume that there's nothing to worry about down range. If that's not the case, the range won't be built.

Mike308
12-03-2009, 04:18 PM
You are probable looking at 25ft high and 30-40 ft wide and at least 15ft thick at the top. Think of an incline ramp with a place to park your car at the top. Should be a heavy clay type of soil so it doesn't erode easily. If you can get most of it to grass in that would be better.

Frankly it isn't worth the effort as this will cost you a pretty penny. If you can get land where you shoot to a hillside that is ideal. One of the highest cost for a range is building the backstop or berm. If you have a rolling hill area then you just have dozer work and level the area pushing the dirt for the berm. If you have to haul in fill material you better have 30-40K to put out on dirt and dozer work. A small berm is harder to build than a larger one,Cheaper in material but more difficult to pile up.

E-7Ret.
12-03-2009, 04:50 PM
Make the dirt really thick, like about four feet, unless you want holes in the railroad rails, especially if you get some AP. I put one clean through the web of a rail at 100 yards.

CNCprogrammer
12-03-2009, 06:05 PM
AP will punch thru 5/8" mild steel @ 100 yards all day long. "Hatcher's Notebook" lists the penetration of '06 ammo thru different materials. Makes me laugh every time I see someone in a movie hiding from '06 or 7.62 behind a tree or car or cinder block wall.

plattincreek
12-03-2009, 08:03 PM
Mine is about 20 ft tall, 25 yds wide and about 4 ft. across at the top. At the bottom it must be about 30 ft. thick. It is a little hard to tell as it is partially cut into the side of a hill. I have hillside on one side, berm on one end, partial hillside on the other end and a hay field on the other side. Took a buddy with his Cat about an hour to level everything out and build the berm.

78jeep
12-03-2009, 08:32 PM
a 30.06 round could "possible" travel 3 1/2 miles. its whats past the berm that counts. I know every one says " I'll make sure they all go in the berm " but sooner or later one will always get out. its just a matter of time, but one will go over the berm.

dabloniarz
12-04-2009, 08:52 AM
Thanks for the input, guys. My brother-in-law has a dozer and a dump truck and can get fill dirt on the cheap.

I'll be looking at property with an eye toward finding a place that's suitable for shooting, so your feedback is very helpful.

twobravo
12-04-2009, 09:56 AM
Mine is 25' long, 15' high, 15' wide, sand/dirt with grass growing on it. Nothing but trees behind it for 2 miles.:)

plattincreek
12-04-2009, 09:58 AM
One other thought for you. Target placement has a lot to do with keeping them in the berm. I have a 30" by 40" paper target stand, swinging steel plates and falling plates at my range and the target (impact) area is always at five ft. or lower on the berm.

Rondog
12-04-2009, 10:06 AM
One other thought for you. Target placement has a lot to do with keeping them in the berm. I have a 30" by 40" paper target stand, swinging steel plates and falling plates at my range and the target (impact) area is always at five ft. or lower on the berm.

A very good point! Even though my club's berms are big and thick (see my photo above), I prefer to put my targets as close to the berm as possible, to avoid ricochets. My bullets hit the dirt as soon as possible.

Some guys will move their target stands closer to the bench for pistol work, but I keep my stands at the berm and move the bench and all my stuff closer to the targets. I drive a Silverado pickup, and you can drive right up to the berms on all the ranges, so why not?

Guess I'm just anal, but every time I hear a bullet ricocheting off through the sky, it's not one of mine!

Bigdog5981
12-04-2009, 12:38 PM
How would loose sand in front of the target and berm work to stop ricochets.

Rondog
12-04-2009, 01:00 PM
How would loose sand in front of the target and berm work to stop ricochets.

Not necessary, IMO. Just shoot straight into the berm, and don't shoot at the ground at an angle. But I don't think the sand would make a difference.

Watch this video of mine, pretty eye-opening about ricochets, at least I think so. Tracers are fun to watch anyway. That's my grandson on the twin .30's. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoQTFbPbg_g I think it's pretty interesting how the different types of tracers perform, I sure wouldn't want to be downrange of all that! There's a ton of non-tracers in the air too.

E-7Ret.
12-04-2009, 03:13 PM
Also, when it has rained, NO playing Sands of Iwo-Jima in the puddles!!!!!