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Education / Training Silent pellet traps – Part 2

Silent pellet traps – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Wow! The response to this subject has been strong. I guess many people just wanted to know something about these traps before spending the money.

So, we’re having this discussion about silent pellet traps and you still wonder whether they’re worth the money. Believe me, I have tried to find an alternative to duct seal. Modeling clay has less than half the resistance and cannot be depended on when the guns go over 20 foot-pounds. But what about plumber’s putty? It looks something like duct seal and it’s a lot cheaper.

Yes, and it also has less than half the stopping power. You’re better off with wet newspaper. Also, plumber’s putty dries out when in contact with air and soon becomes a crumbling mess! If there is a better material than duct seal, no one has discovered it yet.

This close-up of the center area of my trap shows the latest pellets on the surface. Those deep holes are where pellets from a 20 foot-pound (or better) airgun have recently impacted. Under each of them there are hundreds of pellets that have gone before – thus preventing new pellets from over-penetrating. The blue colors are synthetic pellets I’ve recently tested. Here you can also see the thousands of tiny fragments of lead the sticky material has trapped.

Are they worth the price?
I don’t care where you buy them, silent traps cost a lot of money. Even if you build your own, as I did, the materials are not cheap. Duct seal, which goes by the name ballistic putty and Impact putty costs $2.50-3.00 per pound everywhere. And I used nine pounds for my trap, so there’s $27, alone.

But, yes, silent traps are worth the money – in the same way that chronographs are worth the money. You hate shelling out the cash initially for something that you can’t shoot, but these are the tools that will make you a better airgunner. Like it or not – they are essential. A silent trap has these advantages.

1. It’s silent. With a quiet airgun, you can shoot anywhere without detection.

2. This is one of the only traps that works with steel BBs.

3. This trap also works with plastic airsoft BBs.

4. A well-seasoned trap like mine can take a hit from a very powerful air rifle without danger.

5. You can test airguns safely indoors with a good silent trap.

You can make up your own mind on this issue, but for me – testing hundreds of airguns every year – there is no question about the value of silent pellet traps. In fact, I don’t just own one; I now have two – my homemade one and now a commercial model! I cannot do what I do without them.

32 thoughts on “Silent pellet traps – Part 2”

  1. B.B.–Scott-I’ll try this again-wrotr this 4 times yesterdsy but not getting thru-now I read the post and the reply on the 350 rws mag-to refresh things the question was which caliber would you buy to punch holes in targets out to 50yrds. I know all about using lite pellets in the 350-they don’t work. I have been using pellets in the 10 gr. range-crossman premiers-kodiak, kodiak match jsb exact heavy and baracuda match. So far I,ve gotten a couple of 5 shot groups that can be covered by a penny at 30 yrds-but now I want to go to the 50 yrd mark. I have to send my 350 back to rws and would have the opportunity to get the new rifle in .22 vs.177 which I now have at no charge. So B.B. new gun which cal would you get ? And you still need to see the movie Shooter-it will probably be a permenant on your list–Thanks again for everything-Scott–p.s. why the word verification –it reminds me of my youth and too much tequila——

  2. BB I shoot my Beeman 2004 quite a lot and am getting pretty good with it, but I find even with target paper I get rips instead of clean holes. Making it hard to measure group size. Is there any particular target you would recommend or is this a trade of I have to except with a quiet low velocity gun.

  3. BB, Thank you for the information on duct seal traps.

    Have you done any work on simply quieting steel traps? Perhaps lining the outside with something in order to reduce the noise they make? I am sure they could be a lot quieter if only you found the right sound-deadening material, and I want to see if someone else has done the work.

  4. Ed,

    There is no tradeoff with your gun because it is not low velocity for a target gun. Use targets made by the National Target Company and you will get clean holes. Many so-called target-paper targets aren’t really on target paper at all.


  5. Steel trap,

    Yes, some work has been done to quiet steel traps. Modeling clay or duct seal can be applied to the back of the trap to stop the resonating sound when the pellet hits. Also, the trap can be tucked inside a sound-reducing enclosure such as a cardboard box. That will direct the sound waves towards the shooter, only.


  6. Re: duct seal. I called around to a few electical supply houses and got 5# blocks for $8 each. I cut and fit two of them in a Crosman 0850 trap. Works great.

  7. The cheapest Duct Seal I found online, the kicker was the shipping fee being so reasonable. They also sold cases of 1 lb blocks if you don’t want so much.


    Product Code Product Name Unit Price Quantity Of Units Sub Total
    31-605 Duct Seal, 5 lb. Block $11.42 10.000 $114.20
    Total Before Tax $114.20
    Tax $0.00
    Ship Fee $5.00
    Total After Tax $119.20

    The GoodMart Team


    GoodMart Lighting and Electrical Supply
    45 Main Street, Suite 403, Brooklyn, NY 11201
    (877) 402-6100 Toll Free
    (347) 402-6100 Fax

  8. off topic: i’ve read positive info from your blog history concerning the BAM rifles. chinese manufacturers are not known for their barrels. do you know if they are using rifled barrels from other reliable sources (german manufacturers, etc.)? or have they just refined their own process.

  9. I use a shelving unit with 1/2 steel plates at a 45′ angle as my trap. Found the steel (which would stop just about every thing under a 30/06.) I have a prone and standing height. Everything is contained and lead dust is controlled by the fabric hanging behind the cardboard front.
    There is no noise because the plate doesn’t vibrate or move, totally permanent, sits at 30feet in my basement. It absorbs pellets from a gamo 440, 392, recon, and izh 46 like joey chestnut does hotdogs.

    Just giving some ideas

  10. I have a beeman 2004. Try:

    Backing the target with cardboard

    Stretching the target with tape or weights

    Using pointed pellets

    I also found mine had too much grease in the valve and the power went way up when I cleaned it out. It cannot be said to cut wads like a .38, but it does not leave the long tears. I am using real target paper though.

  11. B.B. The only concern I have with the quiet trap is the cleaning (pellet removal). I am a fussydud and try to remove all spent pellets. I use knives, picks, combs, pliers, vacuums, etc,. Can you give me an easy fix to my cleaning concerns? Thanx, Don.

  12. Hi BB,

    Nuglor here. For some reason I’m having trouble logging in. Anyways, my question is this. I have a tuned Condor .25 that shoots in the 70-80 fpe range. How thick would I need the putty to be effective?

  13. BAM barrels,

    The Chinese have been able to make good barrels for several decades, as evidenced by their BS4 target rifle. But they didn’t seem to think it was worth it for a sporting rifle.

    BAM seems to have a different attitude about quality. They seem to strive for it like a western company would.

    They make their own barrels and they are very fine.


  14. Enjoy your site very much. Keep up the good work. Re backing board, I have a steel plate about 4 mm thick. Will that be enough for a Gamo CFX .177 shooting from about 10 yrds?

    Ed S

  15. Thanks for your prompt reply. OOOps make a mistake, went to the garage and measure the plate, it’s only 2 mm thick. Sorry about this, my fault!!

    Ed S

  16. Re: duct putty. I removed the ballistic curtain from the Crosman 0850. It is very short lived anyway. Two inches of putty stops my B40 .22 at 38 feet even after thousands of shots. I don’t clean it, I will replace it when a pellet gets through.

  17. I have a couple of questions and really do not know how to go about it.

    I’ll give this a try.

    I own a RWS 48and need to know;

    1. What size are the three screws that hold the scope mounting rail to the receiver?

    2. Where can these be purchased should they be a custom size?

    Thank you

  18. B.B.,
    I haven’t made a comment for some time but I want you to know that I still faithfully read the blogs.
    I still have occasional questions but I have found that if I just read the blogs eventually most of them are answered . I want you to know that I depend a great deal upon your experience and wisdom regarding airguns and as yet I have never found you to be inaccurate. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  19. Love my silent trap. I made it according to Dr. Joe Matusic’s plans which were available on the web until he sold the rights to Archer Airguns (archerairguns.com) It takes pellets from all my airguns, including a CF-X .22 at 10m. Duct seal is still in great shape after many 1000’s of shots. It’s portable, quiet, and SAFE!! If you can’t afford one, look at the pictures and cobble one together with scrap lumber.. it doesn’t have to be pretty, just be sure to put in enough putty!!

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