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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions you may have on building a target backstop that would reduce if not all but eliminate the sound generated from the impact of a 40 grain 22LR bullet traveling at 1070fps. 🙄 I was thinking about a REALLY dense foam or possibly rubber however I’d much prefer to avoid sending fired rounds back in my direction…..or any direction for that matter. My goal is to be as surreptitious as possible and the whack of the bullet hitting a 4X4 is more then I’d like.
 

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I cannot recall where I saw it, but there are several folks who have created backstops (behind paper targets to capture the bullet) for all sorts of stuff, including 5.56 cartridges that they fire inside their homes/basements! It sounds a bit outrageous to me given lead toxicity to do this in your home, but some people do it. I think a lot of Airgun folks do it but thats somewhat different situation. I think it involved using boxes filled with chunked up pieces of hard rubber with an armor plate backstop. Obviously there is wear and tear on the box. I know it isn't much to go on. I really do not think there is going to be a easy way to silence any bullet striking a AR500 plate target no matter the speed in any practical manner. Paper targets in front of a soft barrier that will stop a bullet before striking a metal armor (for safety) at the backside of the barrier may be possible to achieve.
 

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I had a buddy who shot his 22lr in a city neighborhood and no one knew. He used a 50gal drum. let's image the diameter is 3 feet - he cut a 2 foot diameter hole in the bottom of it. Layered the inside of the drum using what most people would call "paper mache" and then used a pretty thick wire mesh (see below) to help hold the paper mache against the drum's wall. He only made the inside thickness about 4 or five inches thick so that you could still see a couple of inches of the drums bottom protruding past his inner fill material. The science is that those couple inches of exposed drum bottom reflect the sound back and the wire mesh breaks up the sound wave and the paper mache would absorb the sound when his barrel was placed about 1/2 to 3/4 the way into the drum. His back drop was just loose dirt and only paper targets. If you stood behind him the sound was not bad, but the sound was totally muffled when listening from the front. Makes me wonder if a muzzle break / compensator would work even better in this situation as it helps to throw the sound left and right.

Example thick wire mesh
Grille Mesh Fence Wire fencing Line
 

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Well you might have a talk with your 'Target" before you shoot to hold down the screaming, I mean cracking,
Seriously if it's your land can you build up dirt berm high enough and deep enough? Like posted above by others rubber mat or rubber mulch on range side of berm might help with peneration into dirt. You could put shrubs, flowers or something else nice on other side to dress it up.
 

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Morter sand in a large plastic trash can 55 gal+/- may work but I haven't tried it. With round nose bullets the plastic might close back up enough to hold the sand. It wouldn't last forever but you could rotate it and make it last a little while. You will probably still get a little whop but the dead blow sand behind it should deaden most of it. A salvaged plastic chemical drum may work also. The plastic could split though.

I have a few 20 gal plastic drums around here somewhere I may give it a try sometime. I've been using wood stops on my short range and replacing it every month or so is getting old. If it works it may be a good way to recover the bullets also.

No more than a 22 has a square plastic 5 gal gas can might be enough if filled with sand.
 

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Yes, the impact of the bullet on a piece of lumber is much louder than the report of the rifle.
Well, don't shoot lumber!:) I have a piece of 4x4 out in the garage I test fire .22's on for function. closest neighbor helped me with an experiment. Said it sounded like I has hammering something in the garage. Tried it while running the oil less air compressor, and he said he had to strain to hear it.
Cardboard box full off packing peanuts?
 

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Back in the '50's I used to shoot with a friend of mine who's father was a member of the FDNY. We would shoot .22's in his basement at a stack of doors or some kind of lumber till we shot thru enough to hit the concrete wall and the bullet would ricochet back hitting pipes or his mom's washer.It was fun but not very safe. We never thought of safety just plinking aspirin.As far as the OP sand sounds like a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The sand definitely sounds like something to try. Figuring out how to keep it in the container could prove challenging.
 
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Sounds like the reported fps is subsonic perhaps in conjunction with a suppressor.
rubber mulch in a cardboard box. Replaceable front end of the box. No need to reinvent the wheel. check out the air gun forums. I’d use an AR500 plate at the back for safety, just in case. Be careful of lead contamination.

TD
 
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