Back stop ideas for private range

I’m looking at buying myself a bush block not far from where I live now and I would want to clear a 50 or 100m range for plinking and sighting in. I would need to build myself a back stop and want some ideas on a cheap and easy way to do it.
I’ve seen enough Hollywood to know you really only need a dining table or a car door to stop bullets at close range, but once you move back to 100m they become sniper bullets and will go through just about anything.
I’m not completely mad and so I would never shoot like AR15 bullets, probably just .223, .22 and slugs and a few 303 etc when working up loads or sighting in.

There are lots of trees on the block I’m looking at and some would need to come down for the range to go in so I could use them in the back stop, the block also is on a bit of a slope so maybe digging the backstop down into the hill a bit is an option too.
Anyway ill throw this out to you lot, what do you think is the best / cheapest / easiest way?

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I would think creating an earth mound would be nearly the only thing that you could call really acceptable. Hiring an earth mover is not cheap I know. But the earth mound is really the only thing that is continually DIY repairable at no cost. So if you take into account a life long cost is would probably work out cheaper than anything else.

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Contact some earth moving / mud carter companies. They are always looking for places to dump fill. Probably get it cheap or free.


Getting them to dump there also means they take care of all the geotechnical engineering. No need to worry about slope failure. Also their liability if something goes wrong with the mound.

Bwahaha that’s so ‘I’m in university and everything is peachy and right’ statement. When you graduate, you’ll be given a can of WD40 and a roll of Gaffer tape. Hint, hint. It’s called ‘Welcome to the industry, kid’ pack. :wink: uhhh I too was like that many moons ago.

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You lost me at the point where you said that you “would never shoot like (sic) AR15 bullets, probably just .223 and a few 303 etc.”
Pray tell; just what do you think an AR15 fires?
And 303? Apart from the weight of the ammo’, .223 replaced the likes of 303, 30-06 etc.
Without knowing where you intend developing this “plinking” range, what does you State allow in the way of constructing a range? Safety template, and all those other devilish details.

Haha, they’ve been feeding us too many videos of failure to get us well and scared.

Sure, sure…

Just taking the piss with the 223 / AR stuff mate, all legal requirements will be met.
Really just after advice on the mound / backstop construction.

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I have thought about some different back stop ideas for just creating a small one that doesn’t take up the size of what an earth mound would.
The ideas I have been tossing around is some sort of material that could hold sand in the middle perhaps a foot or so deep as that is sort of self healing. Its the what could you use that could contain the sand and self heal so to a point so a big hole is not created and all the sand come pouring out.

I had thought of using tires and filling them with dirt etc. That would be kind of self healing.

If you have neighbours not too far away, I have heard of people setting up 4 or 5 tyres with some timber sheets in between to shoot through and reduce sound. Not sure if it’s worth your time on the block you’re looking at, but I just thought I’d throw it in

You could go in/under ground. Something like this
Instead of using concrete pipe, old tyres do an excellent job of forming a tunnel. Not only that, but they soak up the sound, just like a suppressor :slight_smile:

That tunnel idea is not likely to be much fun for plinking though. As has already been said, if your block is relatively close to an area where people are building houses etc, there’s usually earthmovers looking for places to dump soil. In the grand scheme of things, it wouldn’t cost that much to get someone in with an mid size excavator to build you a good mound. It would a good investment I reckon. Much better than having hundreds of old tyres laying around that are going to cost you $ money to get rid off at some point down the track…

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Yeah the tires are ugly too

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I reckon that, you would only want to shoot a 22 down that concrete pipe. I think that it would be like a echo chamber / muzzle brake and the noise back at the shooter would be deafening.

Yeah, it seems like a bit of overkill for a range

Using tyres is a good idea, but stack them on their side with an overlap and fill the centres with dirt as you go, about 3 to 4 tyres deep and as many wide as you like, then back it with more dirt into a ramp behind. Have made a few berms like this and they work very well and are quite stable, Cheers.


Sleepers with a dirt mound behind them

I’ll have to get you to come and safety it for me mate