Rubber Mulch Pellet Trap FAIL

Forums General Discussion Rubber Mulch Pellet Trap FAIL

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    hokieben
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    I’ve been enjoying my rubber mulch trap in the basement for the last couple of months. It’s just a cardboard box with two bags of mulch, but gives me a nice large area to place my targets and USUALLY does a fine job of stopping close range shots from my .22 Trail NP2. When I first put it together, I filled it completely full and duct taped all of the seams to make sure that nothing got out. I figured the mulch would settle some, so I marked off a section about two inches from the top to remind myself not to hang the targets too high. I was taking a few shots this morning when I noticed one shot sounded extra loud… up until this point, I’ve had total confidence in the trap, so I really doubted that I had shot through it. Well, I pulled the trap away from the wall to find five holes in the drywall… doh! I cut a hole in the top of the box and found that the mulch had settled down six and a half inches from the top, which was almost exactly where I was shooting. The ones that made it through must have just skimmed the top of the mulch. Oh well, nothing a little spackle and paint can’t fix.

    Learn from my mistake and don’t forget to top off your rubber mulch traps after they have had some time to settle. Anyone else have a story about pellet trap failure or indoor shooting mishaps?

     

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    Aftica
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    It’s very good that episodes like these get mentioned, good experience for people to keep in mind. I mostly shoot outside, but I have made a pellet collector/deflector “looks like a tuba” that I do some target shooting on inside the barn.

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    AirgunBill
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    That is why my indoor trap has a steel backer plate. Safety First!

     
     

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    jlc
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    Photos did not insert correctly, content deleted

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    AEAC
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    I blow through my mulch boxes from time to time and it always seems to take me by surprise. I have the settling thing from time to time too but never unless the box itself bulges in the middle after repeated hits. Mostly when it happens to me, it’s from shots in the same hole or that I haven’t picked a thick enough box.

    Tip: Starbucks makes nice thick ones that won’t sag under the weight of the mulch and they’re always happy to give them up.

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    Tominco
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    If you’d like to make a new, more effective one… This thread.
    Definitely get yourself a bombproof backstop behind you rubber mulch box such as a plate of metal. Also, when you fill your shooting box, fill it in layers and shake it back and forth as you go. This will settle the mulch down tighter. You’ll experience much less settling while shooting and your pellets will not drive themselves as deep into the mulch, since it will have less void space.
    Stay safe!
    Tom

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    JohnL57
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    When I was a teenager  I got a Crosman Co2 semi-auto, can’t remember the model, but it was something like the 1077. I stuffed  a box full of crumpled paper and set up a range in the garage. Shot some really nice groups and when I looked behind the trap saw a nice hole completely through the 3/4″ plywood garage door! Luckily I didn’t hit anyone passing down the alley. I patched the hole with duct seal and had much more respect for my backstop after that!

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    hokieben
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    “AEAC”I blow through my mulch boxes from time to time and it always seems to take me by surprise. I have the settling thing from time to time too but never unless the box itself bulges in the middle after repeated hits. Mostly when it happens to me, it’s from shots in the same hole or that I haven’t picked a thick enough box.

    Tip: Starbucks makes nice thick ones that won’t sag under the weight of the mulch and they’re always happy to give them up.

    
After reading this, I took a closer look at my box and noticed that it is bulging somewhat in the middle… that must have contributed to the excessive settling. Thanks for the tip on the Starbucks boxes. In my house, we have a constant supply of diaper boxes (3 kids in the last 4.5 years) which are also very sturdy. I think I’ll try one of those for my next trap.

    I really like the boxes that Tom and Bill have put together and I’ll definitely put that on my list of projects to do, but for now, I think a good sturdy cardboard box will suffice… assuming I keep an eye on the mulch level. I also made a point to place my trap in front of an exterior wall that is backed by cement and dirt and I’m glad I did.

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    Alan
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    This brings up an issue far too many ignore—what if it doesn’t work?

    I use a Do-All .22 caliber bullet trap I bought on Amazon for about $75. In the field, it has never caused me a concern, although some lead “tidbits” bounce out of the trap, even at 50 yards. I know this, because the shoot-n-see targets have little dings from the ricocheted tidbits. 

    The first time I used it indoors while using my crony, a pellet ricocheted out of the trap. It hit the front of the crony hard enough to dent the metal case, and shower me with some fragments. Good thing I had shooting glasses on! Hence forth, I only use the trap outdoors, and down range 20 yards or more. 

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    AirgunBill
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    Here is my ‘Silent Pellet Trap’ made using duct seal and made to be more portable and less bulky than my rubber mulch trap.

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    hokieben
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    Nice duct seal trap, Bill. I really like how it folds up. I used a duct seal trap before trying rubber mulch, but I didn’t like the hassle and expense of trying to clean out the pellets and replace the duct seal after it got all shot up and crumbly.

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    Smaug
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    The thing I didn’t realize about rubber mulch is that the big pieces get blasted into smaller pieces, which causes the settling.

    Cleaning them out is a hassle too. (I haven’t tried the water in the wheelbarrow trick yet)

    I have a Champion rimfire trap that I use now when it doesn’t need to be quiet. The mulch trap is just a back-up now.

    The junk mail trap was just as good, but requires a bit more maintenance than the mulch trap: change the junk mail and vacuum up the the shredded paper every couple hundred shots. Build the trap by getting a box and stacking it full of vertically-oriented ad papers. I still get a Korean newspaper to my house every day (I’m not Korean), a Sunday paper I didn’t order, and about 5 coupon papers every week, so no shortage of junk mail. Still gotta collect the pellets every now and then, though.

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