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I'm looking to build my own shooting range. I live in the middle of the country and I've talked w neighbors. This will be a 400 yd range, w individual steel bullet traps at every 100 yds. At the end of the range I'll build a berm for a backstop but what material will last the longest and what is most effective at bringing projectiles to a definite hault. I've heard tires, railroad ties and obviously a mound of dirt. The range I go to now has a 20 ft tall 15 ft wide berm w concrete blocks sitting atop the berm. I could easily find some fill dirt. I've got a bunch of dead ash trees that need cut down...could I use logs? Burying under dirt mound? Are there websites that help lead u in the right direction?
 

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I started a thread a few years ago on the same subject. Several members give great advice. Try searching my threads for more info.

There could be environmental issues with tires should you ever decide to sell the property. Rail road ties work well, as does heavy clay. I think the best back stop is as much dirt as you can put down.
 

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I started a thread a few years ago on the same subject. Several members give great advice. Try searching my threads for more info.

There could be environmental issues with tires should you ever decide to sell the property. Rail road ties work well, as does heavy clay. I think the best back stop is as much dirt as you can put down.
I found your thread. You got a lot of awesome info there. Definitely enough to get me going. Have you been able to do much work on your range? I'm really excited about making it. We've got some equipment that I can do a lot of the dirt moving on my own. Will make the "u shaped" berm and will gradually dig out the ground so the impact area is a big lower then ground level.

Here's the property. Top of picture is north and property goes to north side of the wooded area in the nw corner. Range will start around the top of green paper and will shoot south. There are no homes south for 2.5 miles but there are 2 county roads. Without having it surveyed, the lay of the land slopes down to the south so when being below ground level I'd still like around 10-12' tall berm. I think I'd be fine. My family has farmed the ground for years, my parents and other family is around our farm so I plan on having it for a while so I'll be going w a base of tires w mounded dirt. A reinforced wall of railroad ties or telephone poles would be an extra layer of penetration that will be done done the road.

Thanks again for your help!
 

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I would say just have sand dumped in for your berms. It would be nice to have some walls built though, so you could pile the sand easier and not waste so much of it where you don't need it, like the sides and back. I would use RR ties if possible, although old tires are going to be cheaper. I made a small "berm wall" from tires and I hated it. I asked for free tires, which I got lots of, but they didn't stack well because they were different sizes, and filling them with dirt was a pain because I couldn't easily get "inside" the tire.

My property has a 30' high man made berm running along the entire northern border that has a railroad track on top, so I lucked out there, and surrounding my range is steep hills so it's pretty safe which is good, because there are houses a lot closer than your area.

My range is at the bottom of a bowl though, and I'd love to get some sand brought in to make a C berm, or gravel brought in to keep the weeds out but that will be impossible because of the hill. I can shoot as far as 250 yards, but I do a lot of pistol shooting on my range and I'm still trying to figure out the best thing to do about weeds. My solution so far is to have large tarps covering the ground up close to make it easier to see and pick up brass for reloading. It works very well, but tarps are expensive.... I suppose cheaper than having gravel brought in though....

Post some pics when you get it going!
 

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I was able to get some work finished on my range. I've taken a job in TX, but still own the property in SC.

I dumped several dump truck loads of dirt behind my target. There is nothing behind my target for 8k feet, and I'm shooting at a downward angle. When time allows, I'm going to clear 2 acres for a food plot and pile the trees behind the target for a barrier.
 
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