When creating a firing range at home or in any sort of populated area, it is necessary to include bullet traps, regardless of the calibre of bullet being used. A bullet trap is a contraption that is designed to deflect bullets into the ground; this acts as a safety precaution to catch bullets that may have ricocheted or gone through a target and acts as a legal precaution by collecting fired bullets for accountability. Bullet traps can be purchased commercially, but with access to the right tools and materials, you can make a very effective bullet trap for yourself.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 12" by 18" piece of steel, at least 3/8 of an inch thick
- 4 pieces of 12" long 2x4 hardwood
- Band saw/table saw/rotary saw
- Hand drill
Drill a hole in each corner of the steel plate; these will be used for screws. Cut two pieces of 12" 2x4 wood, then use the saw to cut a 45-degree angle on one end of each piece. Cut two more pieces of 2x4 wood to 8.5" long each, then cut each of these at a 45 degree angle on one end as well.
Lay one of the 12" pieces of wood down so it is sitting on the surface that measures 2x12 (this means the uncut edge of the wood acts as the base). Align one of the 8.5" pieces of wood so that it is standing "on end" on top of the uncut edge of the 12" piece, forming a right angle. Make sure that the cut side of the wood is facing the inside of the angle, and set the wood pieces to be flush. Use a drill to screw the two pieces together. Repeat this process for the other two pieces of wood. You should now have two wooden right angles, and all four of the 45 degree angle surfaces should be facing the same way.
Screw the steel plate onto the wooden frames so that each screw goes through the holes in the plate and into one of the wood surfaces that was cut at 45 degrees. You should now have a bullet trap that is shaped like a triangular prism and, when viewed from the side, forms a right triangle with two sides of equal length. Paint the trap, if desired. To use the bullet trap, place it so that the steel plate is held up by the frame. Staple a target across the front of the frame and fire into the target. The steel plate should deflect the bullets downward at a 90 degree angle, safely ricocheting them into the ground.
Tips and warnings
- This bullet trap is perfectly suitable for .22 calibre bullets, and works well with some larger calibres. However, if you think you will be firing .44 magnum or larger ammunition, replace the steel plate with a thicker piece of steel.
- Always take safety precautions when dealing with firearms. Check with the local and federal laws concerning gun use before testing this device.
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