Modern Sporting Rifle Evolution
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kb31416

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I saw a product at the NRA convention in Indy in 2014.  It was a large steel box that had a guy in a video doing full auto mag dumps with an M16, one after the other, right into it at point blank range.  He had a very large pile of standard capacity 30 round magazines, and probably burned his barrel out doing the demo.  It was an intriguing concept, but it was several thousand dollars and over 1000 lb.   So what was inside the box?   Answer: shredded used tires.
I live far from a range, and although I am in an unincorporated rural area where I can legally shoot, there are some neighbors nearby, and I don't want to disturb the peace too much if not absolutely necessary.   This device, if scaled down, would be perfect for doing function testing and limited chronograph work.
1. Media: shredded tires are available at the local Menards home & garden store in the guise of "playground mulch".   This saves me the trouble of locating derelict abandoned tires and trying to shred them myself.   The particle size is also smaller, so it will pack better in the eventual container.
2. Container: My first thoughts were for a 55 gallon drum, but enough mulch to fill this would have been quite expensive, and it would be very heavy.    I could not find a 10 or 20 gallon steel drum, so I decided to try a 5 gallon bucket.

Version 1.0, used 5 gallon bucket with lid, and 1 cu ft of mulch (fits the bucket volume perfectly, about $5).  I decided to test from a .22 on up.  A passing test is the bullet is absorbed by the bucket:

a.) .22 LR, pistol, pass
b.) .22 LR, rifle, pass
c.) 9 mm, pistol, pass
d.) 38 special, 6" revolver, pass
e.) 357 magnum, 6" revolver, pass
f.) 223, 55 grain M193, 20" AR15, pass
g.) 223, 75 grain OTM, 20" AR15, pass
h.) 30-06, 150 grain M2 ball, M1, pass

These tests were with the bucket on the ground and firing into it with the ground under it as the back stop.  If it would stop an M2 round from an M1, I considered it passed.
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kb31416

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I set the bucket trap up in my garage so that I could do testing outdoors, and with the garage door closed, the sound would be contained.    I attached it to my hand cart, and sat it on top of a pine log more to prop it up than anything else.
After doing some testing using the bucket, I had some unexpected results.
1. Some 300 AAC rounds fired from a 16" barrel AR exited the bucket.   The loads were 150 grain M80 pulls, with 17 grains of 4227, and should be supersonic.   No projectiles left the garage, but the projectiles were partially flattened from impacting my concrete garage floor after exiting the bucket through the bottom.  They were tumbling, and had expended most of their energy after leaving the bucket.  They impacted either on their sides, and one even going backwards.
2. A few weeks later, I function tested a 6.5 Grendel, also a 16" barreled AR15.   Rounds were steel cased 100 grain factory loads.  These are the rounds that ventilated the garage door.
Photos to follow. 
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kb31416

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Garage door:
IMG_28421.jpg 

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kb31416

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Version 2.0:
I found a larger bucket, probably about 10 gallons volume.   This required 2 bags of playground mulch (2 cu ft), at about $5-6 per bag.   I had recently found some AR500 gong targets on ebay, so I found one that was 1/2" thick and 10" diameter (~$25).
I put about 2" of mulch into the bucket to serve as a cushion for the steel gong, then filled the rest of the bucket with mulch, making sure to compact it to the extent that I could.
So far, I have only tested the Version 2.0 bucket with 9 mm, 357 AR, and 350 LGD, but nothing has exited.   This summer, I will test with my M1 again using M2 ball, and will bring it to my cabin in WI so that I can test it with 300 WIN MAG.   If it passes these tests, then I will be confident that it will do what I need for it's intended purpose of function and chronograph testing of my various wildcat loads, all of which should be less energetic than the 300 WIN MAG.
IMG_28431.jpg 
IMG_28471.jpg 
IMG_28461.jpg 

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lizARdman15

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I laughed, then I thought, Hmmmm.

Necessity is the mother of invention!

You need to think 55 gallon drum sized with a AR500 plate mounted in the center of the bottom to really prevent any "accidents" that may get by. I am guessing that the bullets go fairly straight in to the rubber, or does it deflect much? That may change things.

I am impressed with your ingenuity!  The holes in the garage door add a touch of character.

Still though, I like just walking out in my backyard and popping off rounds when needed.
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kb31416

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No bullets exited the sides of the bucket in version 1.0.   I expect that they go relatively straight.
The objective is eventually to set up in my basement so that when I am doing load development, I can just load a few rounds and test them immediately, without having to load a ladder of 5 or 10 rounds per rung, some of which may not work, may not cycle, etc., and then have to be pulled, etc.
Last part of the basement ballistics lab is a large box (fridge box or similar) that I can install a small fan driven HEPA filter in to catch lead bearing dust from primer smoke or vaporized bullet bases.   I don't want to convert my house into a Super Fund site...    Shoot into the horizontally mounted box with the filter/fan at the end, and bullet absorbing bucket trap on the outlet.
Only downside is that my dog is very gun shy.   How on earth did I get a gun shy dog??!!??

Fin 8 17 2012 a.jpg

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lizARdman15

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Reply with quote  #7 
Gun shy dogs are the sweetest, though.

They snuggle really well. Any time they hear a gun shot, they bore a hole into you trying to get away.[biggrin]

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a way to break a dog from being gun shy.

Sounds like you really have a plan.

Just don't forget to put your hearing protection on after getting all that set up, or...

WHAT!!!
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Moleman

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Reply with quote  #8 
Saw a nice home made one.  8"x8" square tube with a 1/4" wall and a 1/2" AR500 plate on the bottom.  It was about 5' long section of the tubing set at an angle on a frame with wheels on it so it could be moved around.  Top foot empty then 4' of rubber mulch.   Top plate had a tube welded on it to stick the barrels in and was lined with carpet.  There was also a cleanout towards the bottom so you could occasionally take out the bullet chunks.   I can step out the back door of the shop and shoot so I've never made one.
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Druidhillarmory

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Reply with quote  #9 
Sounds like a great idea. I have 175 acres to shoot on but it’s a trip on the side by side to get down the hill to the range. I would love a setup where I could just go down to the basement and chrono loads instead of in the cold. Please keep us updated on how things work out on it. I too have the same issue with gun shy dogs except when they jump on you, it’s a bit more painful at 150lbs plus and I have 3 of them.
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Bajabusdoc

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Reply with quote  #10 
What about " using wet mulch "
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kb31416

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I had not considered the wet vs. dry issue.  Wet might be beneficial, given that all of the bullet energy will end up as heat, and water would absorb it without risking igniting the rubber.  This is ultimately intended for my basement, so I also don't want something that is wet and subject to mold growth.   The test mulch that I have now is damp, not dry, but also not saturated wet.
Anyway, an interesting variable to consider.
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Nomadic

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Reply with quote  #12 
I would think most dogs would be gun shy because we don’t give them any ear protection. Fire off a gun in your garage without any ear pro and see how fast you want to get away

(Not meant to be snarky, just food for thought)
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Bajabusdoc

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Reply with quote  #13 
Add salt to prevent mold. The wet would also reduce dust to a small extent.....I have old walnut shell medium I would think that might work also. If too wet the rubber/media would not be compressible and bucket would explode with energy transfer
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bowyer

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Reply with quote  #14 
This assumes safe surroundings and securing the dog so he can't run into the next county.

How to break a dog of being gun shy: Start out small,i.e. 22LR being careful always the dog will not get muzzle blast. Feed the dog once a day. When it starts eating ,fire a shot.If he stops eating and tries to run/hide remove the food.

Repeat each day until he stays and eats, Give him praise.
Use louder gun, same procedure.

Blanks can be used for all of this. If you live where you can't reasonably do this , you will have to decide if he is just going to be a pet or pay for a dog trainer who can do this.

I have always started with a small caliber and never had  a gun shy dog started from a pup. I did have a pointer given to me who was a great hunter but only if no gun was involved. I did not know about this procedure at the time and the only thing that kept him alive was he was very  protective of my baby sister. He had some other onerous habits that otherwise would probably have led to his early demise!

I had a friend who had successfully used this procedure to cure gun shyness.
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Bajabusdoc

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Reply with quote  #15 
Plus one. My dad raised black lab hunting dogs. As a above but he would always have another person off to the right fire the gun. When he got to the shotgun phase the person would start 20 yard a way and then move closer. (So the dog was never scared when my dad had a gun) This did two things. The only time my dad fired was hunting. The dog was always excited whe my dad had a gun. The dog assumed that everyone else missed and was never excitedly running around and would sit quiet in the blind unless my dad shot. He would turn and look at my dad when he missed as if to say "where's the bird you never miss" great memories of that dogs dumbfounded looks!!!
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kdbarker

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Reply with quote  #16 
I built and tested a shredded rubber bullet trap several years ago and posted a video of the project back in 2014. Since then we have expanded this concept into a bench sized unit.

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kdbarker

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Reply with quote  #17 
Here is a line drawing for the bench style bullet trap with an expansion chamber deep enough to mount a megneto speed style chronograph to your muzzle for indoor load development work. 

I plan to incorporated the use of a steel drum placed inside the trap to hold the rubber with a hinged hatch cut out on the side of the drum for periodic maintenance (removal of accumulated bullets, etc...). This will cut down on the amount of rubber used and should add a factor of safety overall.

The use of a "self healing" target is a great solution to hold the rubber in place and should allow many shots into the trap before replacement of the self healing target is needed.

I know BIGGDAWG has built this style bullet trap and uses it regularly in his development work. He has posted videos of test firing rifles using this style trap.

Bullet trap 01.jpg


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kdbarker

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Reply with quote  #18 
Here is just one of the videos by BIGGDAWG using his bullet trap, built based on the above posted plans...


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kb31416

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Reply with quote  #19 
Nice work.  I wish that I had found this site a few years earlier.
The box type trap is similar to what I have planned for the next step in my basement ballistics lab.  The biggest difference is that the actual trap is still going to be the bucket with the ground rubber and the AR500 gong at the bottom for the just in case stop.  The box part will be just card board for a few reasons.  1. inexpensive.   2. light weight for when I want to de-commission it.   3. lot's of empty space/volume.
I want most of the volume to be empty space so that I can capture as much of the propellant gasses as possible.   Why? Lead in the gas from the priming compound, plus vaporized bullet bases.    I found a small fan at Walmart (about $25) that will draw enough air to draw most of the gasses, even those escaping from the breach, back into the trap box.  It is designed to be ceiling mounted, so I should be able to mount it in the cardboard by some means.  The fan has a HEPA filter that should capture any air born lead in this gas stream.    Lots of empty space in the box will (may?) let me use my Caldwell chronograph in cases where the magneto speed will not work (pistols, etc.).
I plan to paint the inside of the card board box white with flat paint that is course and porous, sort of like the old 70's textured ceiling paint.  I will then spray sticky spray glue over this surface.   Any lead dust that settles out of the air prior to entering the HEPA filter should stick to this surface.    To de-commission the unit, painting over the inside surface will encapsulate any lead residue.
Am I being over concerned about lead?   Maybe, but I don't want my house to become a superfund site.
Thoughts?
As for my dog, our first/only hunting trip was for squirrels using a 22.  He was probably 20-30 yards away when I shot the squirrel, and he seemed to know what happened to the squirrel (it died), and what caused it (the rifle).   I don't think that the noise bothered him at that distance.  I brought the squirrel to him, he took it, and walked straight back to our house without stopping or even looking back (about 4-500 yards).   He has been scared of guns ever since.    He is about 10-1/2 years old now, so close enough to being an old dog that I doubt he will be interested in learning new tricks.   If I ever get another dog, I will have to try and do a better job of training him.
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