Rubber mulch shot box plans

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    Tominco
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    Hi Guys and Girls! 
    I thought I’d take the time to share my target shooting box with you. I hope you enjoy!
    It’s basically rubber mulch in a plywood box that marries up to my saw horses. This was inspired by Ted and his chrony setup where he filled a cardboard box with rubber mulch. I just made mine beefier! I’ll be posting measurements for the shot box, the shelf, and the saw horses below.  The shot box has a replaceable 1/4” thick MDF clipboard that slips down into a slot. If/when you want to clean out some pellet lead, you just put the box on its back and slip the clipboard out to gain access to the rubber mulch.

    1 bag of rubber mulch (~$7) will fill it with almost none left over. But, It’s heavy (34lbs) and it’s overkill (IMO). I’ve shot this with .22 and .25 pellets as well as 22lr, 5.56 rifle, and 9mm handgun. The 9mm went the furthest into the mulch. While it does stop these PB calibers, that’s not what I built it for. With that in mind, I think it could be about 1/2 the depth and still work just fine. I also added a piece of aluminum to the back of the box to serve as a “You shall not pass!” backstop. If I had to do it again I would have put the metal inside the box right up against the back wall. This would give it more strength to stop a projectile.  The shelf could also be used by itself to set targets on. Knockdowns? Silhouettes? Chrony? I CONSTANTLY use these saw horses in my shop! If you end up making these for yourself, you might want to make 2 or 3 of them…  or 4 or 5 (I have 4 of these and sometimes have to break out my other 2 fold-up ones as well) :) They are very strong, stackable (optional), have a shelf to hold plywood for cutting or marking, and a sacrificial 2×4 that can be adjusted to level (if needed) via 2 leveling screws (optional).  
    Here’s the leveling screws. 1 philips and 1 torx on each end. I rarely use them but, it’s nice to have them there just in case. 

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    Shot Box

    Dimensions
    3/4 x 10-1/2 x 13-3/8 Base *
    3/4 x 10-3/8 x 13-3/8 (x2) Sides *
    3/4 x 10-1/2 x 11-7/8 Back
    3/4 x 10-1/2 x 12-1/8 Top
    1 x 1 x 12-1/8 Assembly pieces
    1/4 x 9-5/8 x 12-1/2 MDF Clipboard
    1/8 x 10-1/2 x 11-7/8 Aluminum sheet (same dimensions as Back)
    I also added a handle to the top of mine. My plywood doesn’t match because I just used whatever scraps I had lying around. 
    *The sides and the base have a 1/4” slot cut in them that is 3/8” deep. It is 1” back from the front and must line up after assembly. This is what the clipboard will slide into. It’s best to cut the slot into all the pieces at the same time for the most consistent results. 
    The top piece should line up flush with the back of this slot.

    I sacrificed a clipboard and just screwed the clip part into the 1/4” MDF. As long as I shoot below the metal I’m ok. I failed to do this while shooting some sighters during a Manabe challenge. LOL! I also ran a line of pellets off the left side cutting a slice right into everything while running some chrony strings. It just goes to show you that you should always have a proper backstop! Once you blow a big hole in the clipboard, just cover it up with some duct tape and you’re good to go again. At some point you’ll have to replace it. So, when you cut your clipboard to size, cut a bunch of them! 

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    Shelf


    Dimensions
    1-1/2 x 4-1/4 x 18
    3/4 x 3 x 18
    3/4 x 1-3/16 to 1-1/8 x 14-1/4 (x2)*
    3/4 x 3/4 x 12-7/8 (x2)
    *Size may vary with final box dimensions.  When you attach the shelf to its base, It’s important to find the front-rear balance point of your base/shot box combination and attach it there. Otherwise you have a lot of weight trying to tip everything forward or back. 

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    Saw Horses

    I tweaked the dimensions for my purposes. The way I cut them out, they line up with my tablesaw for an out-feed and are nice height for skill saw cutting and staining. I have also made in and out-feed ramps for my planer and used some plastic pipe and 2×4’s cut to proper height to make sheet goods sliders for when I’m cutting them on the table saw. I take no credit for the design. These are from “Woodsmith” Magazine. Here’s a link with detailed plans, cut angles, and measurements…http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/2007/02/23/wb/ 
    Here are my tweaked dimensions (for 1 saw horse)
    1-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 36 Replaceable Insert
    1-1/2 x 2-1/8 x 36 Spacer
    3/4 x 3-1/2 x 36 (x2) Rails
    1-1/2 x 3-1/2 x 32-3/4 (x4) Legs
    3/4 x 10-3/4 x 11 (x2) Gussets*
    1-1/2 x 2 x 28-1/2 Plywood Rest
    5/8 or 3/4 x 2-1/2 x 28-1/2 Plywood Catch 
    * My gussets are larger than the plans call for. I knew I’d be pushing the weight limits from time to time. I also had to cut out a different shaped area for stacking.
    It’s best to have a chop saw to make some of these cuts. I also did not add the Hex Bolt to anchor the sacrificial board. But, I’m thinking about adding it in to anchor the Shelf. 
    I also added the plywood holder. It comes in handy from time to time to place plywood or other things on and adds some stability to the legs. I use it mostly for holding the sacrificial board when I’ve got other attachments on. 

    I just used long screws to go through the plywood rest and into the legs. Then I added the plywood catch with some shorter screws. If I did it again, I might consider pocket screws instead. 
    The nice thing about the shot box is that it is strong and portable. You don’t need to build all the other stuff if you don’t want to. I like this setup because when I’m shooting from a bench it lines up at approx the same elevation. So, I’m not shooting at a downward angle. 
    Please let me know if you have any questions on this. I tried to include everything I could but, may have missed something. 
    I hope you enjoyed. Shoot me a + if you did! ;)

    Thanks and Happy Safe Shooting!
    Tom
     

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    PaulWI
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    Wow great write up Tom.

    I have been pondering making a mulch box big enough to hold a legal sheet of paper, yours looks exactly like how I would want to make one. I will be using your measurements to build mine for sure.
    Rubber mulch is so much better than duct seal for plenty of reasons.

    Tom are you noticing any problems with the much settling down enough that you have to keep your shots below a certain point?

    EDIT : just read were you addressed my question, sorry.
    Are you able to shoot Ed Canoles 100 shot targets with your setup? I might modify the height of the box to accommodate for the settling

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    Tominco
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    Thanks Paul! :)
    It was quite a bit of time getting all that together. Mine holds a standard 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. I’m not sure about the Ed Canoles targets. But basically, if I keep my shots below the metal clip I’m ok. 
    I think going taller and maybe not so deep would be a good idea if you’re using it only for pellets, and especially if you’re using true legal sized paper (11×17).
    Also, You might consider drilling a few 1/16″(+/-) holes for some thumbtacks (pushing them through can be a pain in the fingers). When it’s windy, the target sheet flies around and that MDF really fights the staple gun. 
     

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    manabeknives
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    Nice Post Tom
    I am sure lots of people will benifit from these plans to make their own pellet trap.
    Great pictures…easy to follow your process.
    Need to build one of these…my bullet trap is too messy and leaves bits of lead everywhere….yours seems to contain the debris a bit better
    Thanks Tom
    Mike
     

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    Ted
    Participant
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    Great post, Tom!  Accuracy at ya!  ;)

    Mike, duct tape is a fantastic debris-catcher.  Wrap it around any surface that the pellet passes through, and the pellets will slip through, leaving the barrier almost intact.  When holes start to widen from repeated shots, just tape over again.  

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    Tominco
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    Duct Tape, Wd-40, Vice Grips, and creativity will get you far in life. 

    Hmmm… Fill a volley ball with rubber mulch, duck tape all around it, shoot, patch holes with duct tape as needed. Simple, done. 
    Add red paint and a hand print….
    WILSON! NOOO!!!!!!! LOL! :D

    Thanks for the +’s and kind words!

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    PaulWI
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    [quote=Tominco]Thanks Paul! :)
    It was quite a bit of time getting all that together. Mine holds a standard 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. I’m not sure about the Ed Canoles targets. But basically, if I keep my shots below the metal clip I’m ok. 
    I think going taller and maybe not so deep would be a good idea if you’re using it only for pellets, and especially if you’re using true legal sized paper (11×17).

    Tom I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about I thought 8 1/2×11 was “legal”. Anyhoo it’s too late to make it taller now, you got me all light up and I made most of it already, just got to get some mdf for the front and I finally will have a proper trap. I have been shooting into a Rubbermaid container which works but not for a full sheet of paper.
    Thanks again for the plans.
    Paul

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    Tominco
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    PaulWI
    Tom I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about I thought 8 1/2×11 was “legal”. Anyhoo it’s too late to make it taller now, you got me all light up and I made most of it already, just got to get some mdf for the front and I finally will have a proper trap.

    That made me LOL! Right on man, thanks for sharing! It really makes me smile to know that you got all worked up and knocked one out already. 
    Share a pic when you’re all done? 
    Tom

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    linsfreak
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    Do the pellets bounce around off all the rubber? I use that clay, its just a little expensive.

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    Tominco
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    Linsfreak,
    In my experience, no. I think they just burrow into it until they come to a stop. It’s all a matter of absorbing energy and the rubber mulch (shredded tires) does that very nicely. 
    When I took the clipboard out to take pictures of it, I found some .25 cal pellets in decent shape and only into the mulch by about 1-1/2″. I’ve never seen any laying right on top (as if they bounced back). 
    Tom
     

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    PaulWI
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    Tom you wanted some pics of the trap, well I just finished it. thanks again.
    Paul

    looking at the target I should be able to shoot all but the 1,10,91,100 ring  without hitting the inside frame supports

    Didn’t have short enough screws for the box to go from the inside, or the target clips so it looks a little sloppy.

     
    EDIT : Update, just got done trying it out and the 1/8″ high density fiber I used instead of the 1/4″ mdf works great, punches a nice clean hole. Going to lower the paper clips so I can tuck the sheet into the bottom slot, see if I can avoid using thumb tacks.

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    Tominco
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    That is BEAUTIFUL! I especially like the black color and the red “reminders.” Reminds me of the red strip commercial “Hooray Beer!” 
    Great job Paul! :D 
    Thanks for sharing. I would have written back sooner but I’ve been quite busy lately. 
    Tom

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    linsfreak
    Participant
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    Nice paul….You should sell them. Im In for whoever sells them.

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    Bruce
    Participant
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    I have done just about the same this you guys did only I use a  12×12-24″ long card board box packed with rubber mulch. Only thing wrong with mine is a shower. Never let cardboard get wet. I might have to build me a wood box.
     

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    Spectre59
    Participant
    Member

    Great idea.  

    PS:  Damn that’s a lot of Quickcrete in the shop, makes my back ache looking at it all.

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    Ginuwine1969
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    Hey PaulWI:  What is “1/8 high density fiber I used instead of the 1/4″ 
    printing paper?

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    KenSkylight
    Participant
    Member

    Hi Guys.

    I use old cloths or rags.
    Costs you nothing and serve their purpose best.
    Here are a few photos of my shot box.
    I have the front with metal reinforced.

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    linsfreak
    Participant
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    posted before but I bought mine. Piece of steel on back. This piece in front of steel…..

    http://www.precisionairgunsandsupplies.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=12x12BallisticRubberTile

    Then clipboard cut out for target.

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    TDK
    Participant
    Member

    Rubber mulch is definitely the way to go. My two recommendations: don’t use anything splintery for the front (like plywood), and don’t make it unnecessarily heavy if you plan on moving it a lot.

    I went with a hinged front design that made changing front covers easy. After trying a few different rubber type mats, coroplast came out on top for long term durability. Thats what you see stuck to the front frame. This one was made from 1x6s so its 5.5″ deep.  From what I’ve read, this should stop .25s even without rear reinforcement but I only have .177 and .22. I’m hoping someone will do some mulch depth testing with a high fpe .25 and even .30.

    Considering how nice this smaller trap is, i’d be more inclined to just add a metal plate to the back of this one than to use a deeper trap if it was needed.

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    scrane
    Participant
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    If you just fill a corrugated cardboard shipping box ( ~ 12″ x 12″ x 8″ ) with rubber mulch it works very well too, and takes only about five minutes to “build”.

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