Short range backstop or berm options

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Short range backstop or berm options

Postby FJ540 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:17 am

What's the most efficient and cost-effective (i.e. cheap!) way to make a berm for a moving course of fire?

At Ft. Knox we had "bays" with high walls of mounded dirt, but that'd take a conditional use permit for the earth moving in my county (Crow Wing) and despite the safety benefits to all concerned, I don't think they'd go for it if I tried. I'm also not sure where I'd get any volunteers to truck in 20,000 yds3 for free. :lol:
Last edited by FJ540 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby FJ540 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:38 am

None of those options is all that cost effective when we're talking about several hundred yards.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby Randygmn on Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:19 am

Nothing is going to be inexpensive when talking about such a large area.

I’ve seen rubber tires packed with dirt. Can also use railroad ties behind a few layers of tires. That’ll require much less dirt than making the berms entirely out of sand/dirt.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby Ghost on Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:22 am

You could buy or DIY some HESCO barriers/bastions but again you still need to fill them.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby xd ED on Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:30 am

Can you use existing soil for the impact berm?

Could you grade the shooting lane(s), or grade/ trench the area beyond the impact berm lower and use the soils for berms?
..lowering an area of 100' x 100' a depth of 2' displaces 750 cubic yards of soil...
...that could create a peaked berm 89' long x 15' high, with 1:1 slope; you could make it longer, or higher with the same volume of matl. if you have ballast- (logs, old ties, tires?) for a base/ toe of the berm.
Might not be the ideal spec for an impact berm, but its a lot more protection than some shoot at
...lowering a 100' foot shooting lane 2' would create a 14' peaked bear per linear ft of berm/ shooting lane
....a 150' lane, lowered 2' creates a 17' peaked berm per linear ft of berm/ shooting lane.

Beaverbrook did this with sandy soils; (I don't think they brought any in...)

I'm curious about the need for a permit:
Is it because you'd be bringing in material?
...triggered by a certain volume?
...required if you're regrading the interior of your property?
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby FJ540 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Dirt moving is limited to 100 yards a year without a permit (because we have stupid city people who can't keep their noses out of other people's schitt), unless it's for an exempt activity such as building a road. I'm not sure they'd buy that I needed to regrade 700yds of the East edge of my lot for a "road". :lol:

I'm zoned Ag, so I have statutory protection from just about every possible nuisance complaint they could dream up. Proficiency with firearms is a vital component of keeping livestock safe from predation. :mrgreen: But building the facility I want is not exempt in itself.

Grading is a possible option. I have a mix of mostly sandy soils. The firing line is also elevated in relation to the backstop end of the range by a factor of 15-20'. Lowering the range below grade with a dozer would produce the needed spoils for the berms, but would fall under the CUP for earth moving and the county would likely put onerous conditions on such a conditional use. I'd rather keep them out of it entirely, as it's supposed to double as a wildlife clearing when not used as my rifle range (at least until January of 2021 when my SIFA covenant is terminated).

The Hesco gaylords look like an interesting option if their price isn't unfavorable. I wonder if that's something which could be acquired "used" or maybe surplus new? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesco_bastion
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby Ghost on Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:43 pm

Looks like you can buy HESCO’s on Alibaba.

You could make a redneck HESCO, make a “frame” of hay bales/plywood/cattle panels/burlap and then pack sand/dirt/clay inside it many options.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby FJ540 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:10 pm

The real deal ones are a mere $700 each! :shock: Some people need to be drawn and quartered for fleecing via our government contracts.

I looked at some home-brew ideas for them and some suggest using cheap tarps inside cyclone fence or remesh (which I already use in my apple tree cages). I just wonder how well tarps would hold up to UV exposure?


It's taken me 7 years to get the logging done, so I suppose taking another 7 to get the berms how I want them wouldn't be so bad. :rotf:
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby xd ED on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:44 pm

If you’re going to create a wildlife area, certainly digging some ponds would be beneficial to all creatures. Every thing needs water, and you got to put all the removed soil someplace...
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby Ghost on Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:48 pm

xd ED wrote:If you’re going to create a wildlife area, certainly digging some ponds would be beneficial to all creatures. Every thing needs water, and you got to put all the removed soil someplace...

The government may pay you to do that too. We put in 15 duckponds on the farm and the government paid enough to cover the cost of the dozer we bought to make them. They also doubled as a motocross track when they dried out in the summer.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby FJ540 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:37 pm

I actually have a pond that was dug as an exempted extractive use for spoils for my road. I want to expand it and when the stuff that's currently surrounding it is relocated (once the stumps are gone from where that stuff is going), I can expand it.

Grants for ponds are iffy in CWC. They just don't have the budget and there's a TON of natural wetlands (I have 3 acres of swamp I didn't build).
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby Holland&Holland on Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:44 pm

Ghost wrote:
xd ED wrote:If you’re going to create a wildlife area, certainly digging some ponds would be beneficial to all creatures. Every thing needs water, and you got to put all the removed soil someplace...

The government may pay you to do that too. We put in 15 duckponds on the farm and the government paid enough to cover the cost of the dozer we bought to make them. They also doubled as a motocross track when they dried out in the summer.


Interested to hear more about this.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby Ghost on Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:50 pm

Holland&Holland wrote:
Ghost wrote:
xd ED wrote:If you’re going to create a wildlife area, certainly digging some ponds would be beneficial to all creatures. Every thing needs water, and you got to put all the removed soil someplace...

The government may pay you to do that too. We put in 15 duckponds on the farm and the government paid enough to cover the cost of the dozer we bought to make them. They also doubled as a motocross track when they dried out in the summer.


Interested to hear more about this.

It was some program with the DNR in Iowa. They also planted 1000+ trees in a floodplain which didn’t even last 6 months before either the deer ate them or they flooded out.
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Re: Short range backstop or berm options

Postby Scratch on Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:46 pm

Do they give grants for ponds? I've always wanted to have a pond and would love to be able to afford one!
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