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How much sand to stop #7½ lead shot ?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Hammer1, Dec 28, 2011.

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  1. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    Have built sand boxes to stop rifle and handgun bullets in the past.

    Am looking at building a sand box to stop trap loads.

    How much thickness of sand would be needed to stop Remington STS Handicap loads of 1-1/8 ounce of #7½ lead shot or similar loads at 13 yards ?

    .
     
  2. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    You'd be better off with a metal trap, shotguns will blow that sand all over the place.
     
  3. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    It would not take more than 3 inches of sand to stop 7.5s pellets, sift the sand and WALLA good shot, getting it to stack up in a 48-60 in high back stop is the trick.

    But I like your idea.


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  4. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    I have built sandboxes for stopping rifle and handgun bullet rounds before.

    Make the box out of 4 foot by 4 foot 3/4 inch thick plywood with two boards in the front where the bullet will penetrate.

    Between the front plywood and the sand, insert a solid heavy dense foam rubber piece, perhaps six inches or more in thickness. The sand is behind the foam rubber. The foam rubber acts as a self-sealing piece such that the sand does not leak out of the bullet holes.

    Every year or two, replace the outer most piece of plywood on the front as it gets pretty ratty with enough holes.

    Put a foam board, as used in schools for presentation boards, on the front to staple targets or patterning paper.

    I have never had anything, including African-caliber Nitro Express solids, pass through 2 foot of sand in such a box.

    But was wanting to make another sandbox, a portable ones on wheels, for stopping experimental trap loads. And wanted to make it lighter weight for rolling around on the concrete floor.

    .
     
  5. kgp912kgp

    kgp912kgp Active Member

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    Looks like I found what I'm going to be doing for New Years while I wait for the ham to finish smoking. I wonder if carpet foam 2 or 3 sheets would work for the seal?
     
  6. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    When the shot hits that plywood it might just come back at you. Shot doesn't penetrate like a bullet does all the time. HMB
     
  7. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    One could put a couple of layers of thick corrugated board with a couple of inches between each layer in front of the first plywood board to catch a ricochet. Maybe insert a layer of R32 fiberglass insulation between the corrugated board and the plywood.

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  8. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting project, and I'm curious about the results, especially the covering you use to face the backstop. I may be missing something, though; but it sounds as if you're planning to reclaim the shot, or someone suggested it. Wouldn't silica get embedded in the shot, and if so, couldn't it damage the bore of your trap gun?

    best...mike
     
  9. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    Actually no interest in reclaiming the shot, at least for several years.

    Interest is in having a backstop to catch all the shot when testing patterns.

    .
     
  10. RickN

    RickN Well-Known Member

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    Hammer1, wouldn't the African big-game caliber go thru 2' of sand?

    That surprises me, but I've never tried it.
     
  11. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    Keep in mind a couple of things about shooting the African rifle caliber bullets into the sand.

    One... This is not shooting the bullet into a small sack of sand that is two-foot deep. This is a box 4 foot x 4 foot by 2 foot deep of sand. Think of the total weight of the sand. Also, the sand is compressed by weight and the plywood box walls. The foam self-sealing wall is pretty compressed too. There is no place for the sand to get displaced to. The bullet stops pretty solidly like it was hitting an impenetrable wall.

    Two... Behind my sandbox is the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide which has enough rock, size, and mass to provide a little more insurance.


    By comparison, shooting these same bullets into stacked, bundled, soaking wet newspapers... They will go in 4 to 4½ foot deep.

    Years ago I let my African rifles be used at a John Linebaugh seminar that author John Taffin attended. Taffin wrote up the results of the various handguns and rifles used and their bullet performance in the soaking wet newspapers. These were published in magazine articles and also got reported on various internet forums. It is very interesting both how deep some bullets will go and how shallow others will stop when fired from the same gun. You begin to appreciate why so many African PHs still insist on solids.

    Always be sure of a solid backstop no matter what you shoot.

    .
     
  12. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Hey Hammer? There was something about your project that was making my head itch, y'know just nagging away?

    You said: "But was wanting to make another sandbox, a portable ones on wheels, for stopping experimental trap loads. And wanted to make it lighter weight for rolling around on the concrete floor."


    Cool, I thought, but then considered your plans at 4' x 4' x 2' that's 32 cubic feet. Then I looked up dry sand and it's 100Lbs per cubic foot. That's more than 1 1/2 TONS.

    Just saying....mike

    OOPS! I did, and it wasn't the calculations, but the measurement he provided. 4 feet square by two feet deep, 4x4x2=32x100=3,200 if it's damp or wet sand add some more.
     
  13. Clay Gauge

    Clay Gauge Member

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    Boarder Bandit.......check your calculation again!
     
  14. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    The difference between catching a bullet and a shotgun charge is the difference between one 22-50 cal hole with the bullet and at 13yds a 2-3" or bigger hole surrounded by a bunch of smaller individual pellet holes with the shotgun pattern. That big hole in the middle is going to be hard to seal up by itself which is why I said the sand will be hard to keep in. Something rigid enough to give some resistance to the center of the pattern the single pellets on the outside will bounce off of and probably back at you. Not as simple as first glance. I still say a metal plate angled at 45* with a trap at the bottom would be the best and lightest. If built rigid the lead shot will just deform on contact and fall into the trap. It will have to be heavy or have some way of securing it otherwise it will move when hit.
     
  15. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    A friend at a local steel company says he can provide such a steel plate.

    May go that way.

    But not sure that will build as much character in my boys as them moving a couple of tons of sand every time I want to move the backstop.

    By the way, the two-foot thick measurement for sand was for my current stationary backstop for rifle and handgun bullets. Was expecting to use less sand for the portable shotgun pellet stopping box.

    .
     
  16. Border Bandit

    Border Bandit Well-Known Member

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    Projects have a way of expanding, Hammer. Like the time my son started a pot of Chili with 6 Habanero's, that expanded into a vat before the spoons wouldn't melt...grin

    best ....mike
     
  17. tachyon

    tachyon Member

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    I agree with silverbullet express that the best option would be an angled steel plate.

    What works for rifle bullets is usually not appropriate for shotgun pellets. A few years ago a friend made a backstop that was basically a box made of 3/4 inch plywood with sand inside. First shot was a target load from 16 yards. About half the pellets bounced back at him. Fortunately it was very cold and most were stopped by his heavy coveralls.

    A couple of years ago our student newspaper wanted to do a story on how "indestructable" their uniform skirts were. Acid, sandblasting etc. They put a skirt at 16 yards and shot it with a target load. The waistband of the skirt was doubled for the seam and it stopped a number of pellets. (a hunting load put a nice hole in the skirt). Of course they published the picture of the skirt stopping one of the pellets.
     
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