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Education / Training With airguns home IS the range! — Part1

With airguns home IS the range! — Part1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The indoor range
  • Quiet airguns
  • The 499
  • Quiet traps
  • Build your own trap
  • What about more powerful airguns?
  • You don’t have to just shoot paper indoors
  • Safety
  • Distance
  • Pellet trap
  • Lighting
  • Shooting table
  • Shooting at home is fun!
  • Your turn

Some of you are sitting at home right now, bored out of your gourds! Have you forgotten that you are airgunners? This is your time to shine!

This is a refresh of an article I wrote for the website in 2006 — 14 years ago. Things have changed a lot since then, so I have updated it.

The indoor range

With the right airguns, it’s not only possible to shoot at home, you’ll wish you’d started years ago. I’m not talking about your backyard today. Some folks have large private backyards that let them shoot without disturbing their neighbors. But many people like me are squeezed into closer quarters with neighbors who may call the police if they see someone outside with a gun. However, a home is still a castle, and yours can have a shooting range inside.

Lucky, indeed, is the shooter with a large basement, attic, garage or shed. These are ideal places, because they are usually away from the other family members. That also increases the margin of safety. But, you don’t have to have a private space! I don’t have any of these and 90 percent of my shooting is indoors.

Any interior room with sufficient distance can be quickly turned into a range. I have set up ranges in bedrooms, living rooms, hallways and even in an empty adult classroom in a modern office building.

Quiet airguns

The secret to shooting in small spaces with thin walls is to shoot quiet airguns. There are several to choose from. If you like pistols, a multi-pump like the Crosman 1377 is perfect. On three pumps it is very quiet and will not disturb folks. You may only have 15 feet to shoot, so the lower velocity is no problem.

For long-gun shooters, I just tested the Lil’Duke BB gun for you and we all saw how well it shoots. But Any Daisy Red Ryder-type BB gun is quiet. You just have to keep the range short, which is not difficult indoors. The Lil’ Duke stock is well-suited to small children and can be used by folks all the way up to adults.

Bada Bang
When this one hits the market this summer you’re gonna be surprised!

Bada 1
The first 4 shots I fired were from the Lil’ Duke with open sights at 12 feet. I aced the target, hitting all 4 paddles in 12 seconds. The blue light flashes to let you know the target is turned on.

If you can tolerate a little more noise the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine is ideal. It’s accurate plus it’s a semiautomatic. 

Need a pellet rifle? Consider the TR5. For my money, the TR5 Pro is the one to get. Or, if you want a CO2 repeater consider the Umarex Fusion 2. It’s quiet and accurate at a bargain price. I tested the Fusion and I hope to test the Fusion 2 soon.

The 499

If you want to shoot as quietly as a mouse’s cough, Daisy’s Avanti Champion 499 is the world’s most accurate BB gun, and probably also the quietest. It can shoot 10 BBs through the hole of a Lifesaver candy at 5 meters (16.4 feet). It is easy enough for a six-year-old to cock and light enough to shoot all day, though the adult-sized stock may have to be cut shorter for youngsters. Be sure to also buy the Avanti Precision Ground Shot that is made specifically for this BB gun. It’s what makes the magic happen.

A great target pistol that’s fun indoors is the V10 Match pistol from Air Venturi. It’s a single-shot pistol that has a single stroke pneumatic system — one pump is all it takes. Sig’s new ASP Super Target is another fine single stroke and this one is easier to pump! Of course the single-stroke Beeman P17 can’t be beat! When used with a quiet trap the only noise from these guns will be their quiet discharges. 

Quiet traps

You need to catch all pellets or BBs when you shoot indoors. Pyramyd Air’s Quiet Pellet Trap is perfect for both types of ammo, though the impact putty compound does need to be cleaned from time to time. The same trap also works for steel BBs. I will be discussing the safer BBs in a bit.

With a metal trap the impact sound is often louder than the gun’s report, but with these quiet traps, there’s almost no sound at all. The trap makes zero noise, yet it is suitable for powerful pellet guns up to 1,000 f.ps. in .177 and 800 f.p.s. in .22.

Shop Outdoor Gear

Build your own trap

Okay, I will state the obvious. You can make your own quiet BB/pellet trap if you want. I have certainly written enough articles about how it’s done!

To protect the wall behind the trap, I recommend a plywood or chipboard sheet at least three times the size of the trap. It will stop any stray pellets or BBs from hitting the wall or door behind the trap. That’s very uncommon, of course, but when others shoot your guns or when you shoot a gun you aren’t familiar with, it’s good to have the extra protection.

What about more powerful airguns?

You can shoot more powerful airguns in your house, but you’ll need a stronger trap to contain them. Pyramyd AIR stocks a steel pellet and rimfire trap that is ideal. It’s strong enough to stop a 40-grain bullet from a .22 long rifle cartridge. It’s also strong enough for any smallbore (.177, .20, .22 and .25) airgun made. However, when the velocity of a lead pellet exceeds about 600 f.p.s., the pellet starts breaking up on impact, and that generates both lead fragments and lead dust.

You may not want lead dust in your home, so stick with guns that shoot slower than 600 f.p.s., or use a quiet pellet trap for guns shooting from 600 up to about 1,000 f.p.s. The Quiet Trap generates no lead dust if the pellets are cleaned out after use.

You don’t have to just shoot paper indoors

We did not have safe BBs in 2006 when I initially wrote this article, but we have them today. You have a choice of two — the lead Smart Shot or the Air Venturi Dust Devil 2 that has just come out. You know from my recent testing of both BBs in the Lil’ Duke that they can be quite accurate at close range. While I haven’t yet tested the new Dust Devils in the M1 Carbine I am expecting to see the same results — if not even better. That Carbine is a shootin’ machine!

I can’t recommend the larger action targets for indoors because it takes too large a backstop behind them to stop the BBs, but the Slynger Metal Silhouettes can be placed inside a steel trap and shot with either a BB gun shooting safe BBs or a low-powered pellet rifle like the Crosman 1077. My advice is to use the hole that’s in the base of each target and somehow attach them to the metal trap with monofilament line. That will save you the trouble of fishing them out from behind the washing machine.

If you do shoot at metal traps or targets, remember to have a plan to keep the house clean. It won’t do to loose your shooting privileges over stray BBs and steel dust. You can place the targets or traps deep inside large cardboard boxes and they are great at catching any stuff that comes back out.


safety glasses.

6. You must use an approved pellet or BB trap. Cardboard boxes filled with newspapers will not contain your shots for very long. In fact, they won’t contain even one shot from a powerful airgun such as an AirForce Condor. A Condor will shoot through a 2×4 or the wall of a house and still have enough force to severely dent appliances such as washing machines or refrigerators.

Construction of the range


The ideal distance for an indoor range is 33 feet or more, because so many airgun sports shoot at 10 meters. If you don’t have that much room, use smaller targets like those made for BB guns and use whatever distance you do have. I have 16 feet in my garage, which is the international competition distance for BB guns.

Pellet trap

The trap should be ideally about the same height as the muzzle of the gun. If several people are using the range and are both standing and shooting off a bench, locate the trap at about four feet off the floor. Shoot straight into the trap, not on an angle, to prevent ricochets.


It’s important to have good light on the target. The shooting area should be not as well lit, so the targets appear very bright in comparison. A clip-on light with an aluminum reflector that you get for a few dollars at any hardware store is a great way to light the target. A single 75-watt floodlight bulb is bright enough if placed within eight feet of the target. A 500-watt halogen work light is even better! That’s what I use.

Shooting table

You’re going to want something on which to put your guns, pellets and other items, so plan for a shooting table at the firing line. The table should mark the line that no one passes when shooting is taking place.

Shooting at home is fun!

If you follow the safety precautions outlined in this article, shooting at home can be great fun. You will be surprised how much it increases your opportunity to shoot.

Your turn

Okay, I got you started but this report is really for you. Tell us what you shoot at indoors and especially how you stop the BBs/ammo/pellets and keep the place clean!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

170 thoughts on “With airguns home IS the range! — Part1”

  1. B.B.,

    If this social distancing goes longer than expected maybe an article regarding something I’ve heard of called “Postal Shoots” might become popular. Fortunately one doesn’t really have to shoot as a group. Even if one is shooting alone is enjoyable.


    PS: Section You don’t have to just shoot paper indoors 3rd paragraph 2nd sentence: “It won’t do to loose (lose) your shooting privileges over stray BBs and steel dust.”

    • Siraniko and Chris,

      The local 4H Club regularly participates in “postal matches”. They use a specific target which can be scanned by a special “reader” which records the score. This is especially nice for the small rural communities scattered about who cannot afford or have the time to travel to matches all over the place. They use it for 10 meter 3 Position and 10 meter air rifle and air pistol Precision.

      It is great for their level of competition, but when you reach the higher stratus such as the Olympics it becomes too susceptible to cheating. A shame.

      • RidgeRunner,

        If you cheat to win then you lose the fun. What is the point of cheating then? I agree at high levels of competition it is a great temptation due to the prize at stake. But, after all is said and done the “winner” will know what he/she did unless the winner is an amoral type of person.


        • Siraniko,

          To win at those levels earns scholarships, endorsements, sponsorships, advertising, etc. In other words, money. They are not doing it for fun. It is amazing what some will do for such.

          This is what happens with almost all sports. It has happened with 10 meter shooting and field target. Field target almost died because of it. At one point if you did not have a $5000 air rifle with a $3000 scope, you did not stand a chance. People stopped coming to matches. They had to reinvent the sport, creating various classes so that the squirrel hunter was not competing against the professional.

          With 10 meter, if you want to rise above a certain level you have to invest a considerable sum into the sport and eat, sleep, live, breath 10 meters.

          • RidgeRunner,

            You are partially correct. BB is 100% correct. We have had three World Class Athletes in our family; two are blood relatives and one by marriage. All three are now retired as active competitors but all three still love the sports they devoted first 400 then 800+ hours per year of their time to; from the age of 6-7. Yes there were full scholarship, endorsements, and sponsorships but that wasn’t the reason they competed thank God!
            I agree with you about some of the “Adult” sports being driven by a monetary arms race rather than simply for the joy of the sport.

            I think we are all currently or soon to experience a hard lesson on what should really have always mattered.


            • Shootski,

              I was referring to why there are those who would cheat. It is not just in sports, but in all facets of life. I have had my work used by others to advance themselves.

              I do admire true athletes. I understand the drive, motivation and determination it takes to excel. It angers me when I hear of those who “cheat” to win. It soils all.

              • RidgeRunner,

                I remember a Flight Training partner who’s Moto was: If you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying. He had better grades than i did…he also died in a crash that was ascribed to pilot error. Many get away with cheating for sure but I couldn’t; must of been my upbringing! Folks taking credit for other folks work and ideas is the lowest form of thieving in my book.
                We had many parents ask us how we made our kids practice so hard. We could only laugh and share our system: At the begining of each season we would ask them if they were going to train, we would tell them that we would pay for the first 6 months if they signed a contract. The contract said you owe us continued attendence at training for three months or end of contract whichever was less. For the early morning practices if their was no light on under their door chaufer dad would go back to bed. Their coach, later that day, would call and we would have them do the talking on why they were absent. I’m not certain how many parents used our system but our kids have used similar self responsibleness in raising their kids so it must not have been horrible! They do say they feel they don’t fit well in the general US society!


                • Shootski,

                  All well said, and I agree completely.

                  Unfortunately, right now we live in a time when cheating and laziness is rewarded and even celebrated as never before. If one can succeed by hook and by crook, that is better than succeeding by actually earning it.

                  Additionally, honesty and humility are long gone as valued traits. Before a class a few years ago some students of mine were naming great football players, and I said I thought Walter Payton was the greatest player ever regardless of position (and this in the Chicago area). They completely disagreed, and it became clear to me they thought “Sweetness” didn’t even consider himself great because he never talked himself up in interviews.

                  I taught the Stanley Kramer masterpiece “High Noon” for years and watched as my students time and again didn’t understand the Gary Cooper/Will Kane character. They associate bragging with strength and being humble with weakness.


      • On the Gateway To Airgun forums they have ongoing regular postal matches.

        At 5 meters for people with limited ranges, and 10 meters.
        And I think they have longer distance matches to.
        Both rifles and pistols

        All can compete, co2, pumpers, springers, pcp. They have categories for optics and iron sights.

        And provisions for shooters with disabilities.

        Shoot, then scan or photograph your target and upload it to the thread.

        You can shoot many, and upload your best target, or shoot one and done.

        One year I actually very well with a Crosman Mk2.

        It’s a lot of fun

        • Ian,

          What is really fun about it is that there are no trophies, plaques or prizes. All you might get out of it is braggin’ rights and that only lasts until the next shooter comes along and outshoots you.

          I have earned the rating of N.U.A.H. Expert. I think I need to do a lot more shooting.

            • That is one reason I like the N.U.A.H. competitions and others like it. You are really competing against yourself.

              It does require an investment in your airgun. When you are shooting at a target one hundred yards or more away, a Wally World sproinger special is not going to do it. However, if you know your three T’s (tinker, tweak, tune) you would be surprised what you can do it with.

              Several years ago before there were AF Condors and Condor SS’s a guy out on the left coast built his Talon SS into a Condor SS and was shooting 1 MOA at over two hundred yards. He probably had as much in his Talon SS as a Condor SS would cost, but they did not exist yet.

              I myself have been thinking about getting a Maximus.

              The “collector” in me wishes I had a walnut stocked Discovery right now.

              • If you keep your eyes open they do pop up on the used pages every so often.

                On the vintage finds:

                I was cruising a pawn shop Tuesday after work just for kicks to see what was on sale, and what the virus panic had done to prices.

                I saw standing in the rack a vintage ruger 1022 with a folding stock.

                I looked it over, the gun dates to 1980, the stock was a black warrior folding stock from the same time.

                There was a little surface rust on the barrel, but nothing some 0000 steel wool and oil wouldn’t cure.

                The price was reasonable, less than $150 out the door.

                We got to talking about how things were effecting his business. , and how slow it was in some areas.

                He cut the price a little more, and threw in the regular stock the gun was pawned with too.
                The stock was painted black, but I found nice walnut under the paint.

                The 1980’s guns were all metal, no plastic like the newer ones.

                I didn’t NEED it, but the price for this vintage one was substantially less than a new one.

    • Siraniko/BB: I totally agree with the enjoyment of shooting alone. When I renovated my in-laws house that my wife and I were bequeathed, I made sure that included in the massive remodel was a “ballistic closet.” It’s got a very small door and is maybe only a foot wider than the steel Champion Pellet Trap that is on a track shelf with a small amount of elevation adjustment. Plumbing runs are protected by 3/4″ plywood backed by stainless steel sheet and cement backer board as is the wooden wall on the left side. The other two walls are the original cast cement. The whole interior is painted flat black.

      I have a shooting table and gun cabinet just a wee bit short of 10 meters away, the depth of the basement. Two lights, one a flood over the table and a an halogen work light is under and illuminates the target.

      I shoot paper bulls by National Target. They are 10 M Rifle targets. Shoot them with my long air rifles as well as my pistols. Shooting is made easier with a castered office chair so I can move around as needed.

      I shoot about 5600 rounds over the winter months when bicycling is inhibited by weather. I sweep up the lead spatter and dust regularly and keep the trap emptied into plastic coffee creamer or coffee container. When I fill one, I call a friend who is a Civil War re-enactor and black powder shooter and he casts the spent pellets into period ammo. Thus, I recycle my mess!

      The concentration on a singular target POA is a welcome change from the conglomeration of things that distract me, otherwise, in a multitude of directions. I’m retired now, and shooting when I was working for the State of Ohio was REALLY a relief from chaos.

      My only thought has been, over the years, of having a metal fabricator make me a custom Champion-style Pellet Trap with a larger “mouth: to accommodate all 12 bulls and a deeper “chest,” or “belly” to hold more spent pieces. Perhaps with attention to the dynamics of how the shot pellet enters the “chest” and is stopped? It’s an intellectual exercise that would probably cost more than I’m willing to pay.

  2. My indoor target/trap is a metal box, usually used for keeping coins, keys etc, those coloured with a lock. Inside is filled with a piece of Dow (constructing material), on which I attach the target face. When I open it I use the cover as a base, with some weight on it. You can choose the size of the box. In any case this works for me and my HW45/75. It can also withstand 20fpe…

  3. Here is my traps from a previous article and comments. (scroll down in the comments until you see 2 separate pics of wood boxes) Worded descriptions are also in the comments.



  4. BB,

    When I first got the 92FS with laser (pellet pistol),… I shot a piece of 2×2 about 3″ long, standing on end, from 24 feet. The pellet came back 20′ to my right, bouncing off a wall,….. went another 10′ over my head to the wall behind me,……… and landed 20′ to my left into my kitchen, on the floor.

    So yes,… as you stated in your article,…. give careful consideration to all factors. I like the wood boxes with a congregated cardboard target backer (linked above). Nothing will bounce back through the card board.


  5. 🙁

    This may be RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns, but Mrs. RR will not let Mr. RR shoot inside. Period. I can’t really complain though. She does let me hang many of the old gals around the great room. They fit the décor.

    You don’t have to just shoot paper indoors – last sentence
    You can place the targets or traps deep inside large cardboard boxes and they (are) great at catching any stuff that comes back out.

  6. For anyone that weighs and/or head sorts pellets,…. now would be a good time. Warning though,….. doing so will eliminate the handy excuse of,… “Huh?,.. That must have been an off pellet”. 😉

    If I have it (read: actually did it) I like shooting sorted ammo. I consider it as just one more variable eliminated.

  7. I use three different traps in my shop at 18 feet, max distance. Box filled with tire mulch works great for all my airguns up through my .25 Marauder. I have tested it outside and it will contain .22 LR standard velocity, but I don’t recommend people doing that. My old Sheridan trap works well and is safe for up to .22 rimfire. Years ago I built a steel trap that is safe with full house LEAD ONLY .44 magnum and will safety contain 1200 fps 400 grain .45-70 LEAD ONLY rounds. However, the .44 Magnum and .45-70 ARE NOT fired in the shop. I don’t have a big bore airgun, but my steel trap would stop any reasonable airgun pellet/slug. I do not get any splash back from my homemade steel trap as pellets are deflected down into sand in the bottom of the trap. Other than one of my sons, I never let others shoot in the shop.

  8. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, as I have a 50 foot range in my shop. I use the Outers RF trap, and have it placed in front of an old aquarium tank stand/cabinet. I put a bar along the top of the cabinet and drap a doubled carpet scrap which covers the entire area behind my trap. I can close the cabinet doors to hide the trap from view when I’m not using it. i also shoot at a Devin Manufacturing AG trap which is a minature biathilon trap with paddles like the one BB shows above. It is a copy of the full size biathilon RF traps they also make. I like it better ,but then the company is located in my home town. I also use my set-up to practice with my slingshot as well. A magnet stick recycles the BB’s and ball bearings.

    • Robert from Arcade,

      I have shot at the Devin full size system at the Bowhart Ranch in Montana and my two miniature Devin at home all the time. I cant remember if they use the Devin at Fort Kent in Main?


      • shootski: I also have had a full size target outside that I shoot at for about 20 years. I pin my paper targets over two of the holes with magnets, slide the reducer over to expose the bigger holes, and use a piece of 2×4 to hold down the paddle arm. I also have removed the paddles from those two spaces. The plate then stops the pellets when they go thru the paper targets. Devin Manufacturing still makes their targets in Arcade,NY. in the good old USA. BTW, The little target also has snap in reducers that make the holes even smaller that mimic the full size traps . I also like your tunnel idea, and have thought about doing one for myself. I have my own back-hoe.

        • Robert from Arcade,

          Thank you for the tip about the snap in reducers i will call Devin and get some. Devin’s miniature Biathlon target is a bit more expensive than the China made competition but far more functional.
          The back-hoe will make quick work of the trench. I have a friend with a D6T who will dig the addition basement and the tunnel cut. I was amazed at how much less the precast is compared to a pour in place structure. The quality control is much better in precasting than on site delivery of Mud these days.

          Thanks again,

  9. B.B.
    A Costco corn flakes box stuffed with old rags works fine. A little duct tape and some spray mount
    and an 8.5×11 copier paper with the red 3/8 dot stickums. 5, 10, or 15 yds, indoors. My man servant cleans up, usually. “No shooting in the house?” You should see the side of the refridgerator at my house. Oh, oh better get Maaco..
    Seriously, I hope R.R. has a nice outdoor range. Which reminds me of the last time I would shoot into cardboard boxes filled with old clothing in the yard. I had the shot lined up, about 20yds or so, but i noticed what looked like a paint brush tip sticking over the edge of the box. I held the shot, and who do you think was taking a knap in the box? I came very close to killing my cat then. Now I am much more thorough checking the range.
    Be careful social distancing out there.

  10. B.B. and all,
    Shooting indoors, with a Duct Seal pellet/BB trap, you can fill up spent cartridges with pellets, they stick and stay in there! These are .45cal that I picked up at the range. A hit make an unmistakable sound when you get one inside, too. You know you got one before you look away. It’s hard to see the cartridges from 10 yards, so if they’re set into a card so they’re easier to see, and you can see the hole in the paper you miss. Isn’t that hammer cute? That’s for cutting the perfect holes, using the sharpened cartridge that is shown, stuck into the putty on the left of the paper. It’s best to strike through the paper into the end grain of a board to keep your edge from dulling right away.
    A .177 pellet under 600fps is best and is safe. How many can you get inside in a row? Can you split a pellet across the lip? Can you do it with a pistol? Can you do it with a .22 cartridge?
    Be good you all, have some fun plinking indoors.

    • With my kids, I used to re-load 12 GA shotshells with a primer and push them into holes I drilled into a 4×8′ sheet of plywood leaned against a fence (just the primers/no powder or shot). Then we’d shoot with our airguns to try and hit the primer to make it go off. We had a 100 acre farm so we had no neighbor problem. Safety glasses were required but I don’t remember any BBs ever ricocheting back at us. This was in the ’90s, when the kids were teenagers.


      • Joe,

        I made one a few years back that uses .22 nail gun/stick charges. Quite stout, spring loaded and works great. A 3″ machine screw acts as the firing pin with fender washers on the head as the target.

        I need to make it more reactive with something a talc powder canister on the discharge side so as to make a big POOF! of dust kick up. At 50 yards, the sound is a bit disappointing even with the more powerful choices because the sound is directed away from the shooter. It does not shoot anything as there is no projectile in play.

        It was just something I wanted to see if I could do and everything I needed, I got free at work. I need to get it out and use it again this year.


  11. B.B.
    Unless I’m mistaken, your close to Joshua. Have you heard of their JROTC marksman team? One of only two schools in Tx to have what I believe is an Olympic grade scoring system.

  12. So since I shoot a lot of Field Target and also my vintage pumpers, I really enjoy shooting those at longer distances than I can in my gargage…plus I have 3 kids and 3 pets, so finding an empty spot to shoot indoors now is a little difficult. So what to do? Simple, I pick up my darts and spend some quality time tossing them at my dartboard.

  13. B.B.,
    You’re “preachin’ to the choir,” man! My little 5-meter indoor range has been upgraded in the ways you suggest in this report. Our mini-farm has plenty of outdoor room, but the house…not so much. My wife and I each have an office, and there is also a “Sun Room,” which has 14 windows; I could have had a nice 10-meter range in there, but my wife took that over as a room for all her plants (due to all the sunlight; I couldn’t argue the logic of that. =>). That left me with only my office, aka, the Gun Room, as a place for an indoor range. It’s a small space, but I drew a very crude diagram of how to work on the diagonals to maximize the range of a small room. I can close off the door to the hallway for safety, and I use safety glasses, of course. This range gets used everyday! (while the outdoor ranges only get used on the weekends) It is well suited to the guns used there: .177 HyScore, .177 Tempest, .22 Crosman 130, .22 Crosman 38T, and two Crosman 1322s…one with a shoulder stock and one pistol. All these guns are under your recommended 600 fps. Occasionally, I will shoot my old Sheridan in here, but I only use 2 pumps, so it’s fine. The three traps are just resting on the shelf (which was built wide enough to hold them all side-by-side); I generally move the one I wish to use to the middle position.
    Thanks for another great report. =>
    Take care & God bless,

    • …and here’s my cheesy drawing; but at least you get the idea; anyone can do something similar.
      P.S. I put the pellets for the gun I am shooting on top of that drawer that holds the air pistols and pellets.

      • As you can see in the picture, there are actually clothes in there; that is my clothes closet; so in order to make this little range, I had to get rid of a lot of clothes…I think it was worth it! =)~

      • Dave,

        That’s an impressive arrangement. It reminds me of a teenage Olympic archery hopeful I saw a piece on years ago.

        He lived in the suburbs, so in order to construct a 70 meter (roughly 77 yards) range at home, he put the backstop and target in a corner of his fenced-in back yard. With the back yard access door of the attached garage open and the front overhead door of the garage open, he could stand in a neighbor’s yard across the street to get 70 meters. As I recall he had to cordon the range off at critical parts to prevent a gruesome accident.


        • Michael,

          have you checked on how legal in your locality that shooting across the public street is? I know in our Eastern digs that is strictly FORBIDDEN. Out at the Western ski shack they don’t call them streets, and the public is seldom seen out in the snow season, lol!


          • Shootski,

            At least in Ohio,… shooting (from) a road,… shooting (too close) to a road,… and most certainly shooting (across) a road are all very big no-no’s. At some point,… common sense needs to come into play.


            • Chris,

              Much of that is to prevent poaching, no?

              My uncle, an avid deer, pheasant, duck, turkey and goose hunter said once, “It takes a really low person to shoot a deer from a truck window.”


      • RidgeRunner, that thing is at least 13 years old; it was a gift from a friend when I set up my first indoor range at our old house. It says “Marksman Products” on the back. It originally had an orange ram swinging target on a rod that went across the trap; but that was too big a target for indoor use, so I took it out and just used the trap for paper targets. =>

          • Oh yes, “the inverted ‘T’ target”…it makes it very easy to find where a new gun is shooting.
            RidgeRunner has obviously seen them before, but for those who haven’t, you set the top of the middle of your front sight at the bottom of the center of the inverted “T.” I think these may be more popular in Europe…B.B. would know more. =>

            And more on the way to use it; initially, you aim only at the middle portion of the “T” and adjust the sights till you get your windage right; then, you aim at the bottom of the “T” to get your elevation correct; in the end, you aim at the bottom center of the “T” and all your pellets hit the junction of the “T”. It’s a very nice system…once you get used to it. I make my own “inverted ‘T’ targets” with a magic marker and a ruler. =>

              • Chris,
                To me, the advantage is in your focus. Attached are a couple of “T” targets I shot today as an example. My new HyScore pistol is nice, but it does have significant recoil (more than you would expect for its power level. Last night, I noticed it was shooting quite a bit to the left; I couldn’t figure out why till I looked at the dovetail for the rear sight; the sight has drifted a little over 1/16″ from where I had “set” it, despite that setting it means using a hammer and a brass drift. I didn’t think I needed to Loctite the sight in place, but I was wrong.
                Witness the two targets; I started with the one on the left. Since the elevation did not move, I only needed to focus on windage, and these targets are perfect for focusing on one thing at a time. Note the two holes furthest to the left; they are 2″ off the center line at which I was aiming. 2″ at 5 meters (197″) is “X” at the 8″ sight radius of the pistol: X = (2*8)/197 = 0.81″,,,so I was pretty close in my guess that my rear sight has shifted about 1/16″ to the left. Using a hammer and the brass drift, I started moving the rear sight back to the right; as you can see on the second target, I went a little too far, and had to go back to the left a tad; the last three pellets are all touching the center of the “T,” which told me my windage was back to being spot on; their vertical dispersion doesn’t matter, because, since I was only working on windage, I only focused on the front sight being centered in the rear notch and also centered on the middle of the “T.” I wasn’t even paying attention to where I was elevation-wise; with the “T,” I work on one thing at a time. =>
                Take care, time to all read B.B.’s next report,

  14. B.B.,

    Some might find a metal trap challenges the concept of “quiet.”

    Even though I don’t shoot anything above 30 fpe, I bought a bullet box trap made by a local shooter who was also a welder by trade, so it is steeply angled on the sides, top and bottom and is made of 1/2 plates. The problem was that it rings like a bell in my basement. After some experimenting I settled on very large freezer bags filled with sand placed against the sides and top and pressing upwards on the underside. I deadens the sound considerably.


  15. BB,

    Unfortunately my Precast Concrete shooting tunnel, back East is currently on pandemic hold. Since I normally shoot/have shot outside in all four seasons. As well as having shot during the long/short Dry and Rainy seasons in other parts of the World I don’t understand the need to shoot inside other than for neighborhood/law enforcement issues. Good quality clothing and shooting mat and you can shoot anytime.

    But if you can’t see yourself shooting in the COLD, heat, humidity, rain, or SNOW: but you don’t have the space or permissions to shoot inside the domicile I found this as a possible solution before settling on the concrete underground tunnel. http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=392298575998&category=63698&pm=1&ds=0&t=1583966120000&ver=0

    With a bit of McGivering it could be equiped with AC or HEAT!


  16. BB,

    I built my pellet trap using scrap plywood, 3/4″ on the back and 1/2″ on the sides, and filled it with rubber mulch. The front is 1/4 ply and easily removable.
    So far has worked really well, no bounces or noise, and the pellets have not touched the back wall yet even when using a 0.22s at around 25 fpe. On the flip side, it is heavy, that is why the handle.

    (First time attempting to post a picture – sorry if not there.)

    • Henry, very nice! I assume you can slide the 1/4″ ply out and replace it when the center is all shot out? My trap is similar and I just have pieces of cardboard cut and duct tape those over the large hole that eventually occurs after a few hundred shots. My trap has two 3/8″ rubber sheets backed up by a piece of 1″ aluminum plate. The rubber sheets make the trap silent. Job good.

      • Thanks Geo,
        I used for several years a sturdy cardboard box that I patched as needed with duct/blue tape. The problem is that it got heavy with the mulch and a few thousand pellets and flimsy, so when it was time to rebuild it I decided to turn it into a small woodworking project. And yes, the front has only one screw to keep it there and slides up when is time for replacement.

        I thought about cutting a large round hole for the pellets, but then I got lazy and used my old Diana 34 and Urban to do that.

        Of course, I always use eye protection. Although counterintuitive, it is particularity needed when using low power pellet guns. I have a different small trap for BBs, they could be too dangerous with this one.

        • Henry,

          I made a post on that point earlier. Make sure whatever you are shooting at can yield to the projectile,… (and) the projectile can continue to move forwards. If not,….. DUCK! 😉


        • Henry,
          You mentioned that you use your old Diana 34 and Urban to punch holes in your trap. I also have a Diana RWS 34P in .22 caliber, and a Gamo Urban PCP. I could never shoot the Diana accurately enough for my pesting needs. The Urban on the other hand, has been a tack driver…literally. I rarely miss a pest with it.
          I would be interested in hearing your experiences with these rifles. You are not new to the blog so I’m sure you have read my tales of woe with the Diana 34.

          • Well, Geo791, before I answer your question I have to tell you that I live in a large urban area and therefore my shooting is limited to indoors and occasionally the backyard, with extra backstops and a low noise / low power airgun. On occasion, I visit a friend’s farm and then everything changes.

            My Diana 34 is in .177 and I bought it in 1992 so, for all practical purposes it might be quite a different rifle than yours. Initially I found that it had the potential to be a good shooter, but I was very inconsistent with it. Then, I discovered by trial and error my own version of the artillery hold and things improved a bit, but it still was not good enough for my taste. I made my own compressor and installed a Vortek kit, hoping to reduce buzz and vibration. The kit did work as intended, smoothing things out with a very minor reduction in power. I ‘almost’ like it now, but it is still not easy for me to shoot it consistently. It takes a lot of effort and concentration.

            Then it came into the scene a WH30S, also in .177. What a sweet gun! Since then I seldom get the D34 out of the cabinet. But, back to your question.

            Looking to explore the ‘dark side’ I bought the Urban and in my opinion this inexpensive rifle is simply amazing. I would prefer to have a better trigger but I can live with the one in it. I took it to the farm a couple of times and it seems that it wants to hit the targets, no matter the distance. The problem is that I do not get to do this very often. Once in a while I use it my 10m indoor (three car garage) range just to keep the valves in working order.

            In summary, and this is just my opinion, I find the Urban powerful, precise and handy. A great rifle for the money. The D34 has a lot of power for a springer, has a good trigger and is very well made but it is a bit ‘hostile’ to shoot.


            • Henry,
              Thanks for your input. I am in total agreement with your statement in the last paragraph. That’s exactly the way I see them also.
              You mentioned the trigger on the Urban could be better. That is true, and the trigger out of the box does have an excessive amount of creep in the second stage. The adjusting screw was bottomed out in my Urban, so I was not able to improve the trigger using the stock screw. I replaced the 3mm x 8mm long screw with a 3mm x 10mm long screw. 10mm is too long if the screw is bottomed out. I filed the length down to 9mm long and when bottomed out, the trigger near perfect with no creep and a crisp break. It is now comparable with the fine T06 trigger on the Diana 34. I believe the stock trigger in the Urban is what’s called a “lawyer trigger”.
              Thanks again for answering my questions.

  17. Thank you BB for another inspiring report!
    May I suggest yet another way to avoid lead dust while shooting inside: shoot lead-free ammo! Now before you all reflexively “Boo!”, just think how much more free you would be to have no brain-dead-lead guilt at all about washing orange cheese doodles down with your beer and scratching your privates, or whatever, all while handling those pellets or BBs in your toddler’s play room. Yes, non-lead pellets are more expensive, but might be worth it. And if you want to go full-Bernie they’re not more expensive: out of a low power gun into a foam or rag box target, most of those pellets can be just dusted off and re-shot.
    That’s my opinion,

    • Mike,

      I will never go “full Bernie”,…. not even 1%. As for lead free pellets,… it all sounds good. FPS should be better. FPE would not be as good. While I might be wrong,… that harder material (non-lead) makes it a bit harder to clean the barrel. While BB might like never cleaning a barrel,.. (and will admit I have done very little),.. a higher FPS guns might not fair well with the lead free variety of ammo.

      I am just not “sold” on them yet. And,.. of course,… accuracy at distance is always a factor. That is something that I am always pushing,… distance accuracy.


        • Mike,

          Yes,.. lowered powered might be where they shine. Pistols too. I am not opposed to lead free at all. I like the idea. I shoot higher fps PCP’s and a lead free version would only increase the fps. Lead by itself gets bad enough at higher fps,.. let alone a harder alloy.


      • Chris,
        Well, if you’re not The 1%…
        FWIW, yes, I have to clean the barrels a LOT with lead-free ammo! Like every 50 rounds or so, or the groups open up and I get flyers too. Back when I shot lead pellets, I didn’t notice much difference before vs. after cleaning barrels. Lead is the wonder metal, for sure. Cleaning is easy though, just a pass with an oiled patch. I should try those cleaning pellets, that would be even easier…
        FPE, and delivery of energy to target, is so much less that I go up a caliber for the “task”, when such tasks become necessary.
        I hear they are coming out with lead free slugs; they might do better at distance than LF pellets?

        • Mike,

          Yes,.. slugs are quite high on my interest list. For the average air gun, most are too heavy and the ones that do better, too short. Cutting weight and increasing length might really do the trick. Going all lead or all alloy have their pro’s and con’s.

          I would like to see a slug that is a combination of lead (easy on the barrel), combined with lighter material (also easy on the barrel). Maybe even a frangible version. A lead jacket and light core might interesting but opens up balance/uniformity issues. Sabot rounds are another option,… like a .22 lead free bullet shot from a .25 barrel.

          Slugs in air guns are for the most part a high powered PCP option and slugs like a different twist. At any rate,.. it will be interesting to see what comes out in the future.


          • Chris USA,

            With bullets…

            “Cutting weight and increasing length…”

            That’s what well made Lead hollow points do! Remember that every time another step is added to the process of makng a thing the cost goes up and the quality control problem is increased disproportionately.


            • Shootski,

              Being in QA a good portion of my working career,… I realize this. There may be as much “gimmicky” stuff in the re-loading world as there is in other hobbies. I am not familiar with reloading and was amazed at all of the intricacies that I found on the Corbin site.

              I do like to explore things that will make us air gunners reach out further, with more FPE and better accuracy. In reality,… I just try to keep up with the (real) experts that are actually (doing) something on that front. 😉


              • Chris USA,

                Just like RidgeRunner (see his post some way down) I looked into Corbin. I remember spending money with the Corbin brothers at least two decades or more ago, before the Internet was all it is today. So i bought their books on swaging. I was enthralled at the time with the idea of making my own bullet (slug) designs. I studied the concept and talked to some local bullet casters and the cost to benefit always stoped me from investing in the Corbin equipment. Back then folks were already lobbing cast Lead bullets out to 500+ yards with their DAQs and hitting target(s) but it still didn’t make the investment worthwhile. I went back a few times and checked to see if anything was really new under the Sun: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/bullet-swaging-i-need-the-real-facts.244924/
                And now i have done it again and unfortunately the numbers of $$$$$ are even more dismal compared to buying bullets. The selection of swaged bullets from manufacturers large and small is better than they ever were and cheaper! Personally, for selfish reasons, I hope the bullet/slug R&D progress continues and is done by folks with way deeper pockets than mine. It still seems to be way more expensive to get into swaging Lead and most certainly alloy; then there is the cost of supplies to continue swaging that seem to still be tightly controlled. That is the final nail in the coffin of home swaging for me, the first time, the second time, and this time.
                Don’t stop searching because of anything shootski says Chris. Just keep your eyes wide open.


                • Shootski,

                  Thanks for the additional perspective. I will not be swaging or reloading either way. I will keep an eye out as things develop in the air gun slug/bullet arena though.


    • Mike,

      “Out of a low power gun into a foam or rag box target, most of those pellets can be just dusted off and re-shot.” I had no idea. Good to know.


        • Berserkeley Mike,

          I just gotta ask: “…but for some exercises maybe accuracy isn’t needed.”
          When isn’t accuracy (maybe) needed? Could you give some examples?


            • Gunfun1

              I would guess that steel bb would keep shape as long as the impact was in really soft stuff. I’m just recently the owner of my first tin of alloy pellets…okay the Crosman pellets are mostly all Lead alloy…so i will see what I think of no-Lead.

              Extra sharp, for sure!


          • Shootski,
            Oh, let’s see…
            Remember back when you were a toddler; maybe it wasn’t so important that you actually get to the table (your target), but that you simply toddle around and not fall over. That is me shooting. Sometimes I just like to practice looking for the target, bringing the rifle to bear and getting a shot off smoothly, without dropping anything or hurting myself. Sometimes I practice lefty. Sometimes I’m just getting on paper with a new optic or a change of something. Sometimes that Pest Who Shall Not Be Named in the garden just needs a 2-pumper anywhere in his ample butt to move along. In those cases I’ll use the recycled ammo.

            • Mike,

              Got it!

              I guess i work to hard getting to the range each time and those five black circles that all need to drop or i lose time; or get to ski extra laps. I also hunt so that’s another time probable misses are taboo. I just never think about shooting and knowing near misses are likely.


    • Mike,

      From your nom de plume I would guess you to be a left coaster. If my rememberer is working right, you really do not have a choice about lead pellets, do you?

      • RidgeRunner,
        AFAIK, we can still shoot lead from pellet guns. I think there are some locations in the state that mandate lead free, but not in our backyards. So for now, for me it is a “lifestyle choice”, up there close to but not quite with, diet and orientation. Speaking of which, my wife just spit out a non-lead pellet from her roasted rooster neck. That jerk was waking me up earlier and earlier every morning, compromising my constitution; now I know where exactly I hit him…

        • Mike,

          LOL! I have a rather of sick sounding rooster around here. I almost laugh when I hear him crowing, usually throughout the day. Of course maybe he is the lone rooster in a large henhouse.

  18. I learned about tire rubber mulch here on the blog and have used it in my pellet trap. It works well, but a little heavy. It is also fairly easy to clean the lead out. I have a 16 ga. sheet steel plate in the back followed by 3/4 inch plywood just in case. The only problem I have had was on a previous trap with tire mulch and shooting too close to the top of the mulch. With enough shots in the same location it can eventually leave a tunnel and allow the pellets to hit the back of the trap. If I keep my shots 6 inches below the top of the rubber mulch then there is enough weight from the mulch above to keep the tunnel collapsed. My trap weighs 49 pounds though.

    Here is a picture of my trap and a simple gun stand made from cedar fence boards that is handy hold your other guns while shooting.


    • Benji-Don,

      The pellet trap and rifle rack are sweet but i could hardly keep my eyes off the tackle in the background…how do you find the time to airgun ;^)


      • Michael,

        Move the BSA front and center!,……. problem solved! 😉 And/or,… Clamp in vice and bend what can be bent. Break out the 3 # mini sledge. When finished,… lay it in the driveway and run over it several times. Finally,.. dig a shallow hole in the back yard and give it a proper send off.


          • Michael,

            No,.. I am not familiar with it. I did have to look it up to be sure before commenting. For me,… if I was to have that much trouble with an air gun,… I would have to leave it alone,… or do as I suggested. I do not think that I,… in good conscientious,… could sell it off either.

            Then again,… some people are happy with 3″ groups at 25 yards too,….. 😉


              • Michael,

                Being a bit artistic (leaning) myself,… I could appreciate that. But then?,… do a 180 or 360 bend? BB says they are dead soft steel,…. so a tubing bender might work,… a heavy duty one! Or,.. a torch and 2″ pipe to wrap it around. I will say right now,… I would have to try at least 1 pellet in it just to see what would happen. 🙂


                • Shootski,

                  Thank you. I have ran across that image before,.. maybe here. It was good to see that again. I had forgotten about it.

                  I was jokingly referring to a C bend (180), back at the shooter,.. or a _O_ (360), projectile exiting forwards.

                  No doubt,… any bending can not allow the barrel ID to be reduced by very much, if any.


                  • Chris USA,

                    We used to bend exhaust headers and pipes. We packed the inside with very fine sand to keep the ID from collapsing or deforming during the bending process. If you choose the correct fill media (soft enough) it should work for barrels without damaging the rifling.
                    Note: I have never bent a rifle barrel with this technique so I could be totally wrong on saving the lands and grooves!


            • Chris,

              I would never sell to to anyone. I would never be able to look myself in the mirror again.

              It is, incidentally, the only air gun I ever bought that was intentionally misrepresented to me. It was advertised as just professionally rebuilt. But when I got it, it had no breech seal and was missing one spring or another in its action (sear wouldn’t catch).


              • Michael,

                And you do not regularly advertise the seller’s name and contact information?

                You could send her to The Home to live out her years in comfort and enjoyment. Not all of the ladies here are really good shooters, but they get shot some anyway.

    • Don,
      Nice gun rack. The trap appears to be quite thin. My Gamo Urban will shoot completely through 1 1/8″ of solid rubber. 4″ of rubber mulch would definitely not stop pellets from my Urban.

      • Geo,

        My trap has 3.5 inches of rubber tire mulch. That is thin. The last time I cleaned out the lead I had shot hundreds of shots with my .22 Marauder. There were no dents in the sheet metal backing. As I said I need to make sure I am well below the top of the mulch or a tunnel can form in the mulch when shooting in the same hole. That is why I added the sheet metal for added safety.

        I have also shot my .22 RAW that is at 50 fpe. With that I stay in the bottom half of the target. So far no visible damage from the outside. The next time I clean it I will check the sheet metal for damage and let you know.

        The plywood I used also was from a counter top with a Formica top. I don’t know how much that is adding for strength.

        It also has a 1/4 inch plywood front to hold the mulch in place. With just cardboard it would spread and not hold up. The front plywood does not add any resistance to the pellets after a few shots in the same spot.

        If I make another one it will have more thickness and a much smaller height and width to cut down on the weight.


        • Don,

          For a .22 M-rod and RAW,… I would say that you have a pretty good set up there! I am impressed. I would have thought that it would have not held up to either.


          • Michael,

            Not sure what tires they are using. I don’t remember any steel belting the last time I cleaned the lead out. The mulch works well. I do have a sheet of 18 guage sheet metal as added safety behind the mulch.


            • Don,

              My tire mulch has steel threads in it, now a bit rusty. The one time I bought it was for some out-of-the-way landscaping in my backyard. My wife and I were tired of mulch rotting and then needing to be replaced. The next year we swore off mulch period.


  19. After we lock up, I have a 110 yard indoor climate controlled range.
    I use a 12 inch x 12inch electrical box lined with ductseal for my pellet trap.
    And a 4mm thick aluminum sign that is 3ft x 3ft as a backstop around the trap.

    In the house, in the extra bedroom, I can get 10 meters from one side of the bedroom, into the walk in closet.
    In the house, for 10 meter shooting, I just use the trap.



  20. 45Bravo,
    Lots of secure storage for your pellets and shooters too. You need to get a track mounted up above and a RC vehicle to run your target carriage down range and back! No one will ever know!


    • I am the manager..
      I open my storage, roll out my rolling toolbox/shooting bench.
      I set my trap and backstop at my desired distance.
      And go to town.
      In the top toolbox locking drawers, I keep my frequent shooters.
      Crosman Mk1, S&W 78, P17, & Listone Victor (Alfa Proj pcp)

  21. BB
    True we are lucky to have the home as a range with air guns. Going to a gun range is ok. But much more fun shooting at home.

    I’m glad air guns have always been a part of my life. And will do what I have too to keep it that way.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like firearms. But you can’t use them in ways you can a air gun.

    And by the way some nice air gun traps the readers have posted.

  22. One more thing regarding indoor shooting. It seems that PA finally sells the Umarex T4E series. Having one of these (PPQ) for two years I urge everyone, if the price is not an issue, to get one. Especially if you own the firearm. Absolute match, capability of firing rubber .43 caliber balls, or chalk, even hard plastic ones. Very difficult to find something better for home practice with less danger and more realism.

  23. B.B. and Readership,

    Public Service Announcement!
    We had a late trash, recycling, and organics pickup today and i realized that the carts are a perfect transmitter of the Corona Virus! They are plastic (3 days virus life) and people touch the lid hinge that is usually used as a handgrip to pull them around. The collection truck lift and/or the collectors hands touch thousands of them in a day along their route. Talk about a STEALTH COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION SOURCE!
    Please everyone, wash your hands before you put the carts out and wash those hands when you roll them back off the street!


  24. Lighter Bullets/Slugs?,

    I know very little about re-loading, but while over on the HAM site and reading an article on fragmenting air gun slugs (hand made),… there was a link to Corbin and the wide array of reloading stuff they offer. Bouncing around the site a bit,.. there is lighter weight balls (lighter than lead) that can be inserted into a jacketed bullet. This retains the high BC shape and being lighter,.. allows for increased fps. Here is the 2 links I looked at:



    I thought that some might be interested as we were talking about lead VS alloy pellets and slugs, fragmenting and the use of lighter weight materials. The links explore of what can be done with a core and jacket and the explanation of putting it all together into one projectile.


    • Chris,

      I used to do a lot of reloading a loooong time ago. When all other variables are removed from the equation, the lighter your projectile, the less powder is used. You do not want chamber pressure to raise it’s ugly head.

      I have not checked out Corbin for quite some time. I wonder if their setups can handle making the solid copper projectiles. I am certain that swaging is used at some point in their manufacture.

      • RR,

        I was amazed at everything that is/can be involved with reloading. It looks to not be a matter of what can you make,.. but rather a matter of what can’t you make. It does not look like a cheap hobby. Like airguns, firearms and for that matter,… most any hobby,…. the “pit” can be bottomless! 😉


        • Chris,

          Indeed. Most start with a basic setup. Next thing you know they are buying better presses, more dies, casing polisher, better scales, different powders, bullets, primers… My dad had a small camper he used as his reloading room.

          However, if you want to put five rounds in less than a one inch CTC group at 300 yards, you are going to have to reload.

  25. Speaking of reloading …I believe it was the late writer Peter Capstick , who wrote about mini -sniping with airguns . He used empty 9mm and .308 cal casings for targets. I do the same with the steelcased emptys of those.

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