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  1. #1
    General Airborneguy's Avatar
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    Default Tires for backstop

    We're planning to "rehabilitate" my buddies range at his place upstate. Since my stepfather owns a repair shop, I have unlimited access to used tires. Does anyone have any experience building a backstop out of used tires? I've looked up a few example online but I'd like to hearthe downsides, if any.
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  3. #2
    General thecelt's Avatar
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    No actual experience, but when stacking them, id fill them solid with dirt... I could imagine it being a lot of work, but would make for a decent backstop.
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    The artist formerly known as jhm8071 NirvanaFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecelt View Post
    No actual experience, but when stacking them, id fill them solid with dirt... I could imagine it being a lot of work, but would make for a decent backstop.
    Filled with dirt, I'd think they would make a pretty good backstop. You may have to have two rows that are offset though. You wouldn't want a round squeaking through where two tires come together.
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  6. #4
    Captain 3324's Avatar
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    The downside is the "structure" of it. As celt said, the tires should be filled. A tire house I used to shoot at in the southern tier used sand as the filler, dirt would work as well. Stagger the rows, obviously, and go at least 3 deep.

    But if there is no structure of posts set in the ground to hold them in place, eventually, they will begin to sag and the whole thing will fall apart.
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  7. #5
    General Airborneguy's Avatar
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    Our plan so far is to fill them with sand to create a wall behind and around the current dirt berm. So they would be exposed, but not on the shooting side.

    I'm seeing comments on a few forums that buried tires will eventually self-combust? Is that realy true of a structure comprmosing 100 tires at most?
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  8. #6
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    Davis in Goshen uses tires as their backstop in the indoor range. I was talking to RSO about it a few years ago and I think he said it was about 10 or 12' deep and they still get a round or so making it through every now and then. I'm not sure if they are filled or not. Filled with sand, I think you would be GTG with at least 3 rows, 4 would be better. Then again, it also depends on what you're shooting... pistol and small caliber rim fire would probably be good with two rows. No experience with this so take anything I've said with a grain of salt (or sand as the case may be).




  9. #7
    Captain 3324's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
    Our plan so far is to fill them with sand to create a wall behind and around the current dirt berm. So they would be exposed, but not on the shooting side.

    I'm seeing comments on a few forums that buried tires will eventually self-combust? Is that realy true of a structure comprmosing 100 tires at most?
    Is this more like a bunker to contain the existing dirt berm? If that's the case I would think you could do away with any "structure" and just lay the tires around the berm. Maybe 2 tires on the bottom row, 3 on the next (to account for the slope of the berm, 4 on the next, and so on. Fill with dirt or sand and they should not move.

    As for the tires doing a spontaneous combustion thing in the ground...... never heard of this one but there is a lot of stuff I don't know. Sorry, can't help here.
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    General Airborneguy's Avatar
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    Pretty much just to clean up and contain the existing berm. He had someone dump a huge pile of dirt and has just let it overgrow for the last few years. I suggested squaring it off, cleaning some of the junk off, and building the tires out as side-containment walls.
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  11. #9
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    Buried tires always seem to find their way to the surface. During the winter, frost heaves the heaviest of objects. Tires will fill with water through rain and snow melt and freeze (expanding) and thaw repeatedly causing the structure to eventually become unstable. This might not be apparent for the first few years, but eventually you will see the effects of frost heaves on your tire structure.

    What about shredding the tires (after removing any steel belts)? If you have access to an unlimited supply of recycled tires this might be a great way to repurpose them for a great backstop.

  12. #10
    Colonel loki34's Avatar
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    I use tires with no issues at all, stops everything we shoot at them.

  13. #11
    General Airborneguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterswimmer
    What about shredding the tires (after removing any steel belts)? If you have access to an unlimited supply of recycled tires this might be a great way to repurpose them for a great backstop.
    Do you anything about how to shred tires? I'd definitely look into that but I'm guessing we can't do it ourselves without special equipment. These aren't "recycled" tires per se, just used tires from the shop that haven't been picked up yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
    Do you anything about how to shred tires? I'd definitely look into that but I'm guessing we can't do it ourselves without special equipment. These aren't "recycled" tires per se, just used tires from the shop that haven't been picked up yet.

    I believe rental centers have commercial grade chippers/shredders that will do the job. Gotta make sure the steel belts are removed first.

    Tire Shredders | Komar Industries | Tire Shredding Solutions

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    Colonel androokwomo's Avatar
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    No experience here, but I did some some Colion Noir videos on Youtube where he essentially was in a shoot house made up tires stacked about 10' high. Clearly it's doable. Stronger and sturdier with fence posts, but sounds like it's totally doable. Enjoy!
    Heh!!

  16. #14
    Captain soylentBlue's Avatar
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    I have heard that .22s will bounce off steel-belted tires and come back at you. I don't know if that is true - just something I heard.

  17. #15
    General Airborneguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by androokwomo View Post
    No experience here, but I did some some Colion Noir videos on Youtube where he essentially was in a shoot house made up tires stacked about 10' high. Clearly it's doable. Stronger and sturdier with fence posts, but sounds like it's totally doable. Enjoy!
    I don't think my friend wants to put much money into this yet, but my eventual plans will include some sort of posts. My wife and I are hoping to purchase land in PA in a few years. A range will be priority #1!
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  18. #16
    Captain 3324's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soylentBlue View Post
    I have heard that .22s will bounce off steel-belted tires and come back at you. I don't know if that is true - just something I heard.
    Now that Blue mentions it, I think that tire house I shot in had no steel belted tires in it.

    I'm sorry, Airborne, that was damned near 20 years ago and I only shot there, was not involved in construction.

    Any Hornell Sportman's Club members on here that can weigh in on the old tire house?

    But then, if all you are using the tires for is to shore up the existing berm you should not have a problem anyhow.
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  19. #17
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    I have not experienced this directly, but I have heard stories of a bullet bouncing back off of tires. Do some google searching. Here are a few links that I found.

    shooting a tire - WaltherForums
    Tires for a backstop - good idea? - THR

    We have large tires, from large front end loaders, stacked up for 100 yard backstop at Greene Rod and Gun Club. I can't quote page and paragraph of any law, but I was verbally told EPA or NYSDEC won't allow tires to be filled with dirt since it would be considered to be buried. I'm guessing it is illegal to bury tires.
    Sir Michael Foster, judge of the Court of King’s Bench, wrote in the 18th century, “The right of self-defense . . . is founded in the law of nature, and is not, nor can be, superseded by any law of society.” Cicero said 2,000 years ago, “If our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right;”

  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tapper3 View Post
    Now that Blue mentions it, I think that tire house I shot in had no steel belted tires in it.

    I'm sorry, Airborne, that was damned near 20 years ago and I only shot there, was not involved in construction.

    Any Hornell Sportman's Club members on here that can weigh in on the old tire house?

    But then, if all you are using the tires for is to shore up the existing berm you should not have a problem anyhow.
    That was a fun place to shoot. Yeah they used old army truck tires filled with sand and no steel, 4x4's in the center and catwalk on top.

  21. #19
    Colonel androokwomo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
    I don't think my friend wants to put much money into this yet, but my eventual plans will include some sort of posts. My wife and I are hoping to purchase land in PA in a few years. A range will be priority #1!
    PA - wouldnt we all love to go there. Check with any local Amish folks. Can pick up lumber from the cheap.

    Salvage yards are probably full of fence posts.
    Heh!!

  22. #20
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    We did the tires filled with Dirt...... No issues,

  23. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuccx2001 View Post
    We did the tires filled with Dirt...... No issues,

    I stacked tires four high and filled with sand. Probably 1000 rounds of 308 into it. Jacketed surplus and hand loaded hunting rounds. Never had one exit. 125 yards max range. Even the jacketed ones stop within 6 inches.
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  24. #22
    Corporal UVAC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffc607 View Post
    I have not experienced this directly, but I have heard stories of a bullet bouncing back off of tires. Do some google searching. Here are a few links that I found.

    shooting a tire - WaltherForums
    Tires for a backstop - good idea? - THR

    We have large tires, from large front end loaders, stacked up for 100 yard backstop at Greene Rod and Gun Club. I can't quote page and paragraph of any law, but I was verbally told EPA or NYSDEC won't allow tires to be filled with dirt since it would be considered to be buried. I'm guessing it is illegal to bury tires.
    Jeff, good to know this. I was thinking of using tires as a reinforcement/retaining material for a new berm at the New Berlin Club. My plan was to fill them with dirt, but I guess with this info we will do something else. Thank you!
    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Range Safety Officer and Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor. Approved Chenango County Concealed Carry Course Instructor.

  25. #23
    Captain Jeffc607's Avatar
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    I google searched for "illegal to bury tires in new york". I did not specifically find a new york law, but found some more related links, including federal EPA.
    Tires as shooting backstops - Target & Prop Design and Construction - Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
    Frequent Questions | Scrap Tires | US EPA
    Tire Fires | Scrap Tires | US EPA
    Science and Technology | Scrap Tires | US EPA

    I then searched "NYSDEC tires" and found more info. Mosquito breeding and fires seem to be the recurring theme.
    Waste Tires - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
    http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials...le_19_2013.pdf
    Sir Michael Foster, judge of the Court of King’s Bench, wrote in the 18th century, “The right of self-defense . . . is founded in the law of nature, and is not, nor can be, superseded by any law of society.” Cicero said 2,000 years ago, “If our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right;”

  26. #24
    General Airborneguy's Avatar
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    In your final link, interestingly in section 1911, it states that burial at a landfill is prohibited, but the wording of the section does not imply to me that merely combining tires with dirt to create mounds would be considered creating a landfill.
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  27. #25
    Captain Jeffc607's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
    In your final link, interestingly in section 1911, it states that burial at a landfill is prohibited, but the wording of the section does not imply to me that merely combining tires with dirt to create mounds would be considered creating a landfill.
    Environmental bureaucracy and opinions aside, speaking only in terms ricochet risk, filling tires with rock or some other hard substance I would agree would be a bad idea. Filling the tires with sand, like others have said above, should absorb the bullet fine, especially if typical automotive tires where the bullet will penetrate the tread. The sand should also prevent the mosquito risks with standing water. Bullet holes should provide a path for any water to drain out. Keep road flares and other sources of fire away, and should be good to go. As far as using the very large tires from earth moving equipment, perhaps the bullet may have more trouble penetrating the thick rubber??? Sounds like a job for the mythbusters with their high speed camera's.

    I apologize ahead of time for those that have never heard of theboxoftruth web site since you may be on his site for hours reading all of his experiments. Here is a link to an interesting penetration experiment with drywall and sand. The Box O' Truth #7 - The Sands O' Truth The Box O' Truth Although this test does not use tires, I can imagine the same or similar penetration depth into sand-filled tires.
    Sir Michael Foster, judge of the Court of King’s Bench, wrote in the 18th century, “The right of self-defense . . . is founded in the law of nature, and is not, nor can be, superseded by any law of society.” Cicero said 2,000 years ago, “If our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right;”

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