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  #1  
Old 11-19-2007, 01:47 AM
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My New Silent Pellet Trap



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Since I purchased a Beeman P-3 .177 caliber pneumatic air pistol, I have been contemplating putting a trap upstairs so I could sit on the couch and practice with it to improve my pistol skills. There are many options like steel pellet traps (have a little one marketed by the S/R Industries Beeman), commercial silent traps, home-made traps of different styles (mine is of the "silent type," a metal baking dish press-fitted into a wood 2x4 frame and filled with duct seal).
True, I could go downstairs and enjoy the already made trap I have down there, but several reasons factored into my decision. One, I like the "Improved Silent Pellet Trap" (ISPT) that Dr. Joe Matusic made, a licensed variation of which is now marketed by Archer Airguns. Those deeper traps, using a clipboard to hold onto the target are really neat, not just nice, neat! Another was JetGirl on the RimfireCentral forum, and her desire for an attractive, elegant pellet trap for her 6mm BB gun. The bird-house design that finally resulted was quite fitting for her style and needs. Tom Gaylord's K. I. S. S.-principle design of the 1x3 with a cookie sheet sandwiched between the trap and 3/4" plywood backing exhibited his belief in the strong-simple approach. Still, I kept coming back to Dr. Matusic's design and decided I would like to try building something like it.
First, I had to assess my own needs and style. I try to put the practical ahead of the flashy when all possible; so in the looks department, well, I decided that my trap would not really have to look as beautiful as those made by Dr. Matusic. Looking at my choices in wood, I did end up using the best 1x8x6 Eastern pine board ( $5.43 ) I could find at Home Depot, accepting the lousy trade off of a slight bowing over the best knot-free sections it offered. That bowing is evident in my trap, and is positioned on the inside of the trap. So in the looks department, it will have the plain-Jane appearance of Gaylord's trap, only deeper.
Second, I wanted depth. I have a cat, love her dearly, but I know just how "curious" she can be. Since it was being built to shoot my low velocity, estimated 400 fps w light pellets, P-3 pistol and not the higher velocity TF-99 .22 or Gamo Shadow 1000 at a close range of about six feet, I'm looking at long-range, keep ‘em in the trap/box safety for retaining pellets and the little chads of paper that will be punched by same. I'm thinking of draping a cloth over the trap when not in use to "hide" it and keep prying paws out (I hope).
I could have bought a simple clip or two and attached that to the wood to hold onto the targets like I did my original pellet trap, but I usually use a cardboard backer when I shoot into it to keep the paper in line. The Matusic ISPT uses a clipboard, and I like it. I did not, however, have the tools to router a slot for the clipboard like in his design, and because I have put this project off, I was not going to spend the extra time trying to do it by hand, too much time-using labor. So, I opted for attaching it to the face of the target. Ultimately, this was another reason for the added depth.
Third, health and weather concerns. I have leg and back pain and inherited arthritis. The concrete is hard on my legs/feet, so can going up and down the steps after a while. Secondly, I don't want to be carrying/re-positioning my shooting table to sit and shoot all the time downstairs. Most of the rifle shooting indoors is done at 30 feet, so I keep the table there, although putting one back at 45 feet is under consideration too, if I find a good stable metal table really cheap. When winter comes along, I really slow down, and even with only a few shows on TV that interest me, I'll end up snuggling into the sofa come colder temperatures rather than bouncing downstairs to rip off 100 pellets or so in a shooting session. Plus, it's cheaper than heading down to the indoor shooting range where it costs me to shoot the powder-burning pistols or .22 rimfire rifle.
To put this project together, I had to buy a small pack of #6 x 1" black screws to attach the clipboard. I opted for the Bugle head Drywall screw, self-drill type which is black in color, matching the Grip Rite 1-5/8" Coarse Thread Drywall Screws I had on hand to attach the sides and tops. Black was chosen to keep from being distracting over zinc-plated screws. My late grandfather's saw, Dad's jig saw, an extension cord, drill, a pair of sawhorses I had fabricated, a short level, three clamps, pencil and tape rule were utilized. When it comes to me and tools, well, it's safe to say that we should not spend too much time together.
The biggest expense was the filler, that is the Duct Seal. Gardner/Bender DS-110 1lb Pug Duct Seal, six times at $1.98 ea, was picked up in the Electrical aisle of Home Depot. That was the amount Gaylord mentioned that he used in his KISS 6x9 trap. An advantage pointed out was that over time, the question of the mild steel plate, aka cookie sheet, came into play. As the pellets would pile up and fuse together it would actually strengthen the trap. Because I know that Mr. Murphy can FUBAR many things, I decided that it was worth it, so I looked around in my flea market/yard sale stuff and then remembered I had an ideal candidate, a cookie sheet that is neither pretty, or had sold for the pricely sum of .10. I've been told I should not sell things that cheap, but "ya live and learn," and hopefully have fun! Kismet, fate, destiny, or just a freaky quirk of life kept it around for me, so I pulled it and slated it for cutting of the backplate for my project.
For targets, I have a target program, TargetMaster 2.0 from AmmoMan, as well as the many targets in JPEG, Bitmap, PDF format I've found on the Internet over the past several years, as well as one's I make goofing around on WordPerfect. I've thought about using the letter "O" in capital size perhaps and enlarged in font size for the aiming point. Maybe six or eight of these, spaced appropriately to be safe within the confines of the cut-out on the clipboard, and keep strays away from the outer edges of my trap.
As for the paper, while Dr. Matusic had recommended using recycled 24-lb paper, I guess I am more particular. The best option I had found was the Georgia Pacific white 110-lb card stock Wal-Mart sold in packages of 150 sheets. While gathering prices and preparing for this project, I stopped off at the local Staples store and saw they have 67-lb card stock and 110-lb varieties. For paper reports and other important matters, I recommend using the 24-lb paper, but for use as target paper, try the heavier 67- and 110-lb card/cover stock. Yes, they are more expensive, but you can achieve some more clear-cut holes too. The Staples-brand 67-lb is available in cream ($6.49/125 sheets), which closely simulates the color of the heavier tag-card of commercial targets.
Certainly, I must have a thank you paragraph. The most obvious, is to Tom Gaylord, Dr. Joe Matusic and JetGirl for their influences in my latest pellet trap project. There are several on the RimfireCentral forum who posted pictures of their traps, and I am sorry I cannot remember all of their names at this time. There are several who had their own web sites with photos of their home-made traps, shooting bench set-ups and other helpful hints over the past few years as I have browsed looking for anything useful, practical, simple.

A couple of pictures, with more to come. Note I did not cut out the clipboard yesterday.



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  #2  
Old 11-19-2007, 06:36 AM
Tom W.

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Nice job!

I made one out of a electrical box over 10 yrs. ago with duct seal,double thickness,and not only does it stop any airgun,it will stop most .22 lr. also.It won't stop the aguila SSS ammo though..don't ask how I know that
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:52 PM
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Thanks.

Worked on it today, taking pictures along the way. Cutting out the cookie sheet and plywood backer was a little problematic (operator error in judgement) but fairly straightforward. Once I get a few more pictures uploaded, I'll post them here. When you pull the Duct Seal out of it's wrap, it really reminds you of Play-doh... LOL

A good heavy-duty electrical box makes a great container. Might not want to try the Super Maximum's on it either.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:20 AM
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More Pictures

It occured to me that I had not come back with photos showing the end result of my work on the New Silent Pellet Trap, so here they are.










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Old 07-02-2008, 04:20 PM
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Nice job! I like it. I'm still looking at the P-3 for an indoor practice gun for when winter comes back around. Let us know how it shoots. Larry
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2008, 11:47 AM
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Paper for targets

I've been trying the 110 lb paper from Wally World and it does work better than 24 lb, but I still get a LOT of tearing at 10m with 400 fps .177 wadcutters. I'd sure like to find something affordable that cuts more cleanly.
Have fun,
Steve
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2008, 02:27 PM
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i just use a phone book..
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:14 PM
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varmitgetter wrote :

"i just use a phone book.."

I have too, get's to be a mess at times thou (not that cleaning out the trap isn't . . . LOL)
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:07 AM
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nothing that a shop vac can't handle. At least for me anyways.
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:06 PM
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Thanks that is a great looking job!
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varmintgetter View Post
i just use a phone book..
I have a phone book hanging over a wire. The wire is wrapped around two screws and spans the width of a 2' x 4' piece of Luan (1/4") thick. The Luan is in front of a 2' x 4' piece of 1/4 plywood. This set-up is in front of a bookcase at the end of the hall. I can loosen the wire and lower the phone book if I want to change the height of the target. I draw targets on typing paper and tape the target to the phone book.

When the phone book gets too mangled. I just put up a new one. I collect old phone books now for this purpose.

Your set-up is great and very portable. Gives me ideas.... You did a super job.
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2008, 09:36 AM
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I made one yesterday out of a meterbox I got from a junk pile. I have to get pics for ya
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:38 PM
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nice job. I stole your design re: the duct seal. I am using an electrical enclosure for a container. it is silent and does a good job of retaining the pellets.
thanks for the tips,
mike
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2008, 12:10 AM
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Smile Made one too!

This looked like a great idea, so I made one too. I don't have a clip for hanging targets yet, but I've a couple of ideas in mind.

T191032 was kind enough to give me a little advice, which was helpful.

Mine has interior dimensions of 12" x 16" - I wanted something pretty big to shoot at

I had some scraps of 1 x 6 lumber and an off-cut of 3/4" plywood for the box, and some left-over paint (that is what drove the color). Two pieces of galvanized flashing metal for $0.95 each at Home Depot, plus 9 or 10 chuncks of duct seal. The duct seal is about 3/4" thick, maybe a little more. The back is oversized on two sides to accomodate holes for hanging on a fence or garage wall; the other two sides are flat to sit on a table or whatever is convenient.


First photo shows the box before the duct seal. Second shows the completed trap.


Thanks to T191032 for showing the way!

Last edited by JHinman; 12-24-2008 at 12:11 AM. Reason: correct typing error
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  #15  
Old 12-25-2008, 03:54 PM
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Nice job!
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