Introduction: Safety Backstop for a Pellet Rifle’s Pellet Trap

Supplies needed -  
Three - wood pallets (strip the top and bottom (skid) slats from one and reserve )
Nine  -  5/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. x 6 ft. wood fence pickets
Four - concrete blocks for a base
One – ribbed black plastic carpet runner (2 ft. x 6 ft)
One – ¼ in x 4 ft x 6 ft. rubber mat
Four  - bags of rubber tire mulch
Six -  dense fiberglass insulation boards (about 2 in. x 18 in. x 18 in., wrapped double in wood pellet        bags)
Box of ceiling tile staples
Box of 1-1/4 in. exterior Phillips wood screws
Lots of scrap bricks, concrete border, and concrete blocks (counter balance and safety backstop)
3/16 in. nylon cord and a roll of duct tape

Tools needed – 
Electric drill
Staple gun
4 ft long level rule
Saber saw

Instructions  –  
Remove the top and bottom slats from one of the pallets, remove all nails, etc. 
Measure the outside edges of the pallet that you’ll use for the bottom, front to back and side to side.
Align the concrete blocks outside edges to those measurements and level them four ways (side to side, front to back, and to the other three blocks.

Step 1:

Place the bottom pallet on top of the leveled blocks, centered.
Fill in the front three openings between the top slats with the ones removed from the third pallet.  Use the wood screws, and use only one per end.  Turn the remaining pallet on its end, and screw in a slat into the top and bottom to make a box to hold the insulation. 

Attach the pickets to the top pallet using the wood screws – three screws per picket, top, bottom and center.  Make them touch side to side, align the first picket in the center of the pallet, and work toward the outside edges.  The flat bottom will be even with the front edge of the top slat (the end cap you added will extend past the bottom of the picket).  Measure 18 in. from the top end cap, and cut the pickets to that level.  Place the bottom of the top pallet in the first gap between slats of the bottom pallet   Using the nylon cord, tie the top pallet skid  (bottom slat) to the rear of the bottom pallet, using three cords (each side and center, using two loose taut-line hitches.  Adjust the cords so that the top pallet leans forward about 25 degrees. 

Measure the length needed to secure the side and center supports from the top pallet to the bottom pallet, to keep the 25 degree forward lean in place. Cut the remaining pickets to that length, and secure to the runners (three thick upright pieces that the slats are attached to) with three screws in the top and bottom (see illustrations following).

Front view with pickets attached and top trimmed even:

Step 2:

Side view, showing back – note 3 cords attached with a taut-line hitch, slat top of pallet, pickets cut to support back.

Place the wrapped pressed fiberglass in the two slots made in the back.  Four pieces will fit in the bottom, two on each side stacked.  Four (two side by side, backed by one each) will fit behind the top pickets.  Secure the top ones with duct tape.  Place the Rubber mulch bags behind the top pallet, two by two, then stacked on top of each other.  Secure with duct tape.

Images: Bag of rubber tire mulch                                  Mulch stacked behind backstop

Step 3:

Secure the rubber mat to the top of the pickets (takes two people, one to hold, one to screw the mat to the picket tops) using the wood screws.  Once it is secure to the top, begin to add a screw about every 9 inches along the outside edge from top to bottom, smoothing the mat from edge to edge along the way down.  Once at the bottom, press in (like a carpet runner on stairs) to the angle, and screw in the selvage to the bottom pallet.  Slide the plastic runner under the edge of the mat, and trim so it fits side to side even with the outside edge of the bottom pallet.  Allow the remaining end to fold over the front face of the bottom pallet (see illustration following).  Secure the runner with ceiling tile staples.  Secure the loose face of the mat with ceiling tile staples as needed.   Drape the remainder of the runner over the top of the mat, and behind the top fiberglass insulation.  Secure with ceiling tile staples. 

Plastic carpet runner used to catch rebound pellets, and wood / paper splinters

Step 4:

Front view, finished air rifle pellet backstop.

Step 5:

Rear view, air rifle pellet backstop .  The backstop is complete.

It can be used with the quiet pellet trap for air rifle target practice (suspend it on for 18 in. long 2 in. x 4in. boards to make a shelf suspending it.  It can be used with spinner targets, the same shelf can suspend a foam field point archery target, or hand a blowgun target backstop – see suggested uses, below.

Step 6:

Suggested uses:

Shown -
Air rifle sighting target in silent pellet trap.                     Air rifle auto-reset spinner target
Alternate small spinner targets.                                       Foam cube target for field point archery practice
Competition blowgun target mount

Not Shown -
Wood round for Knife & Tomahawk throwing practice

Weekend Projects Contest

Participated in the
Weekend Projects Contest

Great Outdoors Contest

Participated in the
Great Outdoors Contest