Home Blog  
Air Guns Rubber mulch trap: Part 1

Rubber mulch trap: Part 1

This report covers:

  • The trap
  • Fill the trap
  • The test
  • Time for the .22 rimfire
  • Four bullets
  • Penetration
  • Why?
  • Summary

Boy, do I have one for you today! By the end of this report you will understand how BB Pelletier can get two blogs out of something simple like this rubber mulch pellet trap. Remember the other day that I told you how great these rubber mulch pellet traps can be.

The trap

As I said before, the trap is nothing more than a cardboard box. You will never find one that’s exactly like you need, so get the best you can. My box measures 14.5-inches wide by 10.5-inches high by 11.5-inches deep. I said the ideal box was a cube 12-inches on each side, but this was as close as I could come.

Fill the trap

I bought 1.5 cubic feet of black mulch at the local home center, which I figured was just black tires ground up but not dyed. Maybe that’s why it was less than $4?

I put a cardboard divider inside the box in the middle, so it sits at around 5.75-inches deep. It fit the inside of the box perfectly, except it was taller than the box, so the top flaps didn’t close.

Then I filled both sides of the box with black mulch. The cardboard shifted a little on top but at the bottom it remained in the middle.

The test

My plan was to shoot 5 shots from a powerful air rifle into the box, followed by five from a .22 rimfire rifle if the first five pellets didn’t penetrate the box. Remember that guy who told us that at 50 yards even his 55-grain 5.56mm bullets didn’t penetrate. That’s the beauty of rubber mulch. None of his .22 long rifle bullets made it through. Of course I would be shooting from about three feet away instead of 50 yards, so there is something to learn from this.

I backed the box with my steel bullet trap in case some bullets got through. So the divider would tell the story of the middle of the box and the back of the box would tell the rest.

The most powerful air rifle I have at present is the .22-caliber RAW HM-1000X. I loaded 5 JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets into the magazine and then shot the box close to its middle, so the pellets would encounter the most resistance.

box pellets
Five pellets from the RAW went into the box…

box back
…and didn’t go out the back. On the right is the backer board on the steel bullet trap.

Time for the .22 rimfire

So, the box stopped all pellets from the RAW HM-1000Xgoing through. Now it was time to test the .22 long rifle rounds. I shot 5 CCI standard speed rounds into the box.

box rimfire
Five .22 long rifle shots went into the box…

box back rimfire
…and four rounds went right on through! One bullet stopped at the back of the box.

box rimfire bullet
What do you suppose that is?

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

Four bullets

Yes, four .22 rimfire bullets passed right through the box, but one was caught as it tried to break through the back.

rimfire bullet
And there is the bullet that didn’t make it all the way through.


Wait a minute, BB. What about that cardboard divider in the middle of the box? What happened to that?

Funny you should ask. BB pulled it out and photographed it for you.

All the .22 rimfire bullets got through the divider (bottom group), and at least one of the .22 pellets got through.


Why didn’t it work? Why did the box fail so bad? Well, BB has kept one picture from you, that if you had seen it would have told you things were going to go south. Let’s look at it now.

box mulch
The mulch.

You see, dear readers, this isn’t rubber mulch! BB Pelletier was so intent on saving money that he bought a bag of regular garden mulch by mistake. It is called black mulch on the bag and thrifty BB thought that the tires just hadn’t been died colors. That’s why this bag was only $4 when the brown rubber mulch next to it was marked almost $7.

But I had it and was ready to do the test, so I thought, what the heck? Let’s see what this stuff does. Now that we know, we can compare it to real rubber mulch that BB will buy and try in the same box next time. Now you understand why there has to be a Part 2.


Is there a lesson today? You bet there is. Saving money at any cost doesn’t. And although I haven’t yet done the rest of the test I am almost certain I will be able to say, accept no substitutes for rubber mulch.

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.

114 thoughts on “Rubber mulch trap: Part 1”

  1. B.B.,
    As someone who has had to lug many dozens of bags of mulch home for his wife’s garden projects, I can identify with trying to save on “mulch money,” and I got a real kick out of this post; it made me smile; thank you! 🙂
    Take care & God bless,

  2. BB,

    Why did I get the impression that there supposed to be something heavy on top to compress the mulch? I had to read the previous article /blog/2015/04/worlds-best-pellet-trap/ So is there a Texan or other big bore air rifle for the next test?


    • I found that if the rubber mulch is too loose, it will let things penetrate a bit more. So it needs to be packed into the box firmly. Too tight, and I imagine it will not allow new pieces to fall into the holes left behind by the passing pellets or slugs. Like anything you use as a trap, too many shots in the exact same spot creates a hole which leaves less material in the way to stop the next shot, so it is important to make sure new mulch is falling into the empty spots, or you can move your targets around, or you can pack or redistribute the mulch when you are putting new cardboard over the holes from your last session. To me, that’s where the plastic bin with the locking lid really shines. The lid (with a big hole cut out) holds down the sheet of cardboard that you attach your target to. When that’s all shot up, you lay the bin down, lid-up, open the lid, and before you replace that front sheet of cardboard, you can agitate that top layer of mulch, which fills in holes and redistributes it. Then put in a fresh piece of cardboard, close the lid, stand the box up on its side, and it’s like new again. If I were using a cardboard box, I would flip the box around to encourage the mulch to redistribute itself and fill in any holes again. It works really well, it’s quiet, and easy to sweep up any spills.

      • Roamin,

        I (now) have a suitable plastic tub with a locking lid and 40 pounds of rubber mulch.

        Will be putting it together soon (working in the garden at the moment – the 7 foot tall tomato plants went crazy and we have a hundred or so pounds of tomatoes to deal with first… spaghetti sauce, salsa, etc., etc.).

        I’ll be putting a couple of old cookie sheets backed with plywood as a final barrier in the trap.

        There will be a cardboard face to support the targets but behind that I’ll be using a 1-2 inch thick sheet of ethafoam (or urethane foam, not styrofoam) packing material to act as a mulch retainer. I have used that before on steel pellet traps. The main advantage of the soft foam is that the pellet holes “heal” quite well, it also deadens sound and stops fragments from exiting the trap. It lasts reasonably well.


        • Hank, so much to say. Thanks for the response.

          Wow. 40 pounds. You won’t need to lift weights hauling that around! When it’s time to reclaim the lead and sift through 40 pounds of rubber mulch, please do not call me for help. ;o)

          I am experimenting now to find the minimum depth I need to stop pellets from my modest arsenal. Right now, a 6″ x 6″ x 6″ box is doing the job admirably. The next project is to build a “box” of sorts out of the FedEx boxes that I am using as a primary backstop, which are about 6″ deep and 16″ x 16″. Two of those back to back (12″) should stop anything that I can dish out, but may not be enough for more powerful guns. We’ll see with B.B.’s next installment. The ethafoam sounds like a good idea. Where do you get it? However I have to say, I don’t get much stuff coming out of the trap, because I find that I am putting fresh cardboard pretty often so I get nice holes in the targets. And instead of foam, I have a couple of layers of cardboard over the mulch that holds the mulch back. A bit of firm pressure holds it all together.

          Finally, how the heck do you grow a 7 foot tall tomato plant? Please share on that. I could grow one and that would keep me happy in August. I love a tomato salad with feta and good olive oil and vinegar!

          • Roamin,

            I wanted a single-box solution so I got a plastic tote thats about 24x18x12 deep. I was thinking that the more mulch above the area of impacts the better the chance it will settle to fill in any cavities caused by shooting. Following that reasoning I’m going to position the target low on the box rather than centered. I’m hoping that the weight of the mulch will be enough that I can leave it un- compressed.

            You can buy planks (IIRC 24×102 inches) in different thickness and density from places that do shipping. I bought some (years ago) for archery targets. You want to buy the 2- pound density as it heals better than the denser stuff. Urethane foam scrounged from seat cushions works as well.

            Think that the plants do so well because the garden has 18 inches of mushroom compost and an automatic irrigation system. All the needed nutrients and water are available. The hot days and cool nights really helped but I think the irrigation system made the biggest difference. The tomato plants are ONLY 7 feet tall because I been cutting them back LOL! The cucumbers went nuts as well.


    • Bill,

      I use a burlap bag crammed (tight) with plastic bags as an arrow butt.

      Works well, stops an arrow from my crossbow or hunting bow (about 3 inches penetration) and allows the arrows to removed easily.

      Broadheads are another story. The bag would stop them but it would get cut up pretty quick. Also, depending on the type of broadhead you are using they may get damaged.


  3. B.B.

    Penny wise and pound foolish is a human trait.
    Glad you are human.

    OK so “black mulch”, just bark I assume fails. Now you need to use real rubber mulch, and if you can find it, test large chunk rubber mulch vs. small chunk rubber mulch. I picture 3-5 more blogs about the cheap pellet trap.


    How do you bring airguns on a HOG?

  4. Hi everybody,

    I shot the Weihrauch HW75 (P2) yesterday. I shot 6 targets with 10 shots each at 10 meters (standing and one-handed).

    The best score I got was 83/100 (my all-time record is 91/100).

    Here’s an idea: We could do a kind of competition here in the blog from time to time. BB could name a category (e.g. recoiling spring pistol, recoilless air rifle, …; distance x) and everybody who has the right gun and shooting range could take part. We could send photos of our targets to BB or post them here in the comments.


      • B.B., imagine all the data we could assemble to further the concept of “best pellet” as you once suggested. We could eventually do contests where we all choose the same pellet to test out in many guns at the same time. Or different pellets among the folks who have the same guns.

        • Roamin
          Read my comment below.

          And a note. People for the most part know thier guns favorite pellet.

          What should be done is say what pellet our targets was shot with when we post our results.

          That would be a bunch of valuable information in its own.

        • Roamin,

          Sorry to hijack another thread but again, no ” reply” button.

          If you like, you can PM me at hankDOTvanderaaATgmailDOTcom might be easier 🙂

          To answer your questions…

          The two plain targets are “sighters” for checking zero. They are plain so the can’t be confused with the 5 scoring targets,

          Your observations about averaging are correct but the number still has meaning for me. When hunting you typically get one opportunity to put the POI on the POA, so the delta is critical. My averaging 5 shots gives me an idea of (luck aside) how close I’m (usually) getting, after all, a miss is a miss no mater which way it went.

          Your 2 inch example, (1 inch off in each direction) is quite realistic from a hunting perspective where you are shooting fast, off-hand or leaning against a tree. Still, the average is correct.

          Knowing what I can/can’t do gives me confidence in the shots I can make and the wisdom to pass up ones I’m not sure about.

          A big concern is that people assume what they can do on the bench applies to shooting off-hand in the woods. The notes at the bottom of the target are to help me remember what I was doing in that session.

          I did warn you that my methods are wierd 😉


          • Weird, schmeird. Whatever works for you, is right. For the contest, however, small groups should get rewarded with a good score, but small groups right at POA should get the highest score.

      • RR,

        I don’t really expect to “win” very often.
        But it’ll be interesting to see what people and their equipment can come up with.

        An fun competition might be something like “non-recoiling air rifles”. We could see whether the PCP users are, on average, better than people who use recoil-compensated springers (e.g. FWB300, Diana Giss system).
        Or just make it a free for all. Any air rifle is allowed. I guess there might be a few surprises 🙂


        • Stephan,

          To make it fair, we are going to have to break it into various categories. Otherwise some of these folks will eat our cornflakes. We cannot have somebody with a Crosman Fury going up against a TX200 MK3. A pistol going up against a rifle likely will not work. We would also expect someone using open sights would have a hard time against someone with a 10-200×60 scope. Let’s see what we can come up with.

          Pistol – Sproinger – Open Sights
          Pistol – PCP – Open Sights
          Pistol – Sproinger – Optical Sights (dot, crosshair, etc.)
          Pistol – PCP – Optical Sights
          Pistol – Unlimited – Rig Over $1000

          Rifle – Sproinger – Open Sights
          Rifle – PCP – Open Sights
          Rifle – Sproinger – Optical Sights
          Rifle – PCP – Optical Sights
          Rifle – Unlimited – Rig Over $1000

          Now, as for ranges I would suggest 25 yards for pistols and 50 yards for rifles.

          Then comes the debate of rested, unrested, standing, sitting, prone, pistol one handed, pistol two handed, etc.

          That is enough thinking on my part. My brain is hurting. Someone else pick it up.

          • RR and all

            You left out one handed and two for pistols and supported and off hand for both.
            I would have a hard time getting the fifty yard range and wouldn’t mind seeing a 10 meter test for target and would be target rifles.

            I was thinking that a monthly match might be about right. Suggestions for format the first week of the month and then a week to argue the merits and allow BB to select one,, then two weeks to do our shooting.


          • RidgeRunner, first your shoulder, and now your brain. Take it easy, will you?

            How about a category where we are competing essentially against each other for most personal improvement. In other words, if I have a 10 meter range in my basement where I shoot all winter, ff my best the first week (qualifying round) is score X, and then the following month I score X + 9, that improvement is what I am judged against every one else. I think this will give newbies some reward for initial improvement. And you can use any gun you want at whatever range you want, as long as you are using the same combination to compare your prior score to.

          • RR
            Read my comments below.

            And remember what you always say in your round about way. Keep it simple. That’s what is needed so we can all get a chance to shoot for that paticular time and if we want to our not.

    • Stephan,
      I think that’s a capital idea, and I’m sure B.B. will come up with something really cool for the implementation of it. I believe that even those who choose not to compete will enjoy seeing the results. 🙂
      Nice shootin’ with that P2,

    • Interesting idea Stephen!

      I would suggest that everyone use the same target, one piece of paper with five targets and shoot five shots per target to be scored.

      I have often thought of suggesting something similar. I judge the accuracy of an airgun by what range it will (consistently) group ten shots in a one inch circle. Would be interesting to see the maximum effective range (MER) of various airguns.

      Being hunting oriented, the one inch circle represents the kill-zone on most small game and it makes sense (to me anyway 🙂 ) to know what the maximum effective range is – presuming there is adequate power at that range.


      • Hank,

        I may or may not have some targets that fit that description. I will have to look see. That is another thing BB will have to decide, “kill zone” or groups.

        • RidgeRunner,
          Yes, “kill zone” or groups is a major decision. Yet Hank did bring up an interesting point here:
          “Would be interesting to see the maximum effective range (MER) of various airguns.”
          Yeah, that would likely be of interest to many here…including me.
          I was messing with my XS20S yesterday on my new 50-yard range; that’s three times the range for which I intend to use it (I got it for night time pesting in the 15-yard range), but when I saw I could hit the can-on-a-stick consistently, I decided to try a group. As you have mentioned, it takes a lot more concentration to shoot a 15 fpe sroinger than a 12 fpe, or especially a 7 to 8 fpe (like the HW30S); I put 3 shots in an inch, and then blew it on the 4th shot, opening the group by another inch and a half. Still, in the hands of a “good” shooter (i.e. better than me), that gun likely has more of an MER than I expected. And for targets (not hunting), the HW30S has more range than I expected. I think how well (or not so well) various guns shoot at extended ranges (as we’ve seen already in many of B.B’s reports, the ones where he goes out to 50 yards) would show some interesting data points.
          Blessings to you,
          & keep those ol’ gals in line at RRHFWA,

          • Dave,

            It would be interesting if manufacturers were required to add the MER and the cocking force (if applicable) beside their velocity claims.

            …Yeah, it shoots supersonic but you can’t hit anything with it LOL!


          • “It would be interesting if manufacturers were required to add the MER and the cocking force (if applicable) beside their velocity claims.”
            Yes, Hank, that will happen about the same time politicians are required (by law) to speak the truth and only the truth…I guess we’ll see all that when pigs can fly, LOL! 🙂

        • RR,

          This is the target I have been using. I use it for determining the MER and also for checking my performance.

          Any comments or suggestions for improvement???

          My (weird) scoring system is based on the measured distance between the POA and POI. Groups are important for what they show but I am really interested how close I can put the pellet to where I want it to hit. The standard scoring system based on if the pellet hole touches a ring is OK but having an actual measured distance is more to my liking.

          I total up the measured distances (POA to POI), reference how many shots and calculate the average and record the numbers in this format: “Average/Count/Total Distance”. A usual session is 5 shots per target for 25 shots total – with half a dozen or so sighters to warm up with.

          Works for me.


          • Nice target. Looks like it would be best for a scope because you can line up your crosshairs with the corners of the diamonds. Did you come up with that yourself?

            I have been using the single and the 5-bullseye NRA targets from P.A. with open sights and a six o’clock hold.

          • “Any comments or suggestions for improvement???”

            Hank, I’m thinking about your target and scoring method. Please correct me if I misunderstand. If you measure the distance between the Point of Aim (POA) and Point of Impact and average them, I think you are missing something. Let’s say you shoot 4 shots in literally one hole an inch low–an astounding group–average 1″. Then let’s say I shoot 4 shots, one an inch to the left, one an inch to the right, one an inch low and one an inch high–astoundingly BAD–but average 1″. You can adjust your scope to put all 4 shots on the POA so that your second group is POA=POI. I have to practice more–a lot more. But I get the same score as you on the first try. So group size should be counted for something because if you can get consistent group sizes and position, you could adjust the sights to get as close as possible to POA. I can sometimes get a great group, but I’m still working on pulling it all together and getting them to go in the same place from one shooting session to another.

            On your target, I’m wondering why the lonely bulls on the left and right don’t have diamonds? I’m also trying to imagine a target that would work well with a scope as well as open sights and the best I can think of is to make the diamond a heavy black outline instead of all filled in, perhaps two nested heavy black diamonds (like B.B.’s benchrest target but on an angle) and then the heavy black outline of a circle inside of that. Very fine black circles inside that for scoring. One could use the circle for the 6 o’clock hold with open sights and the corners for the reticle on a scope. You’ve inspired me to work on this over the weekend.

      • Roamin,

        No “Reply” option to you message above so I’m here 🙂

        Yes, that is my target. I shoot (mostly) scoped rifles and like the diamond shape to help align the cross hairs. It works well with a single target (especially if the center is shot out) and even better with an array of targets because the cross hairs can reference multiple targets.

        I’ve been experimenting and like the heavy black diamond (because it is easy to see even with low mag scopes) with the white center that shows the pellet holes better.

        I use an 8×10 matrix of smaller diamond targets when tuning or testing. The advantage of using an array is I sight on the target below the one I am hitting so that I never loose the small dot that I use as my aim-point.


    • Hi Stephan,

      Here’s my own attempt at who knows how long at 10m (the full length of my apartment plus balcony!) I shoot two-handed with my left hand over my right (dominant) hand, but my right thumb riding on top of my left.

      I used the same aim point and same pellets for both targets and shot the HW45 at high power, Pellets were H&N Match Green, and you can see that they were starting to tear the paper (ignore the top tears – those happened when removing the target).

      The targets are based on what we use (25 years ago) at Air Cadets with the .22 No. 7 Lee-Enfields (with their post front sights). We used standard targets for the Anschutz with the round inserts up front.

      • chanman819,

        cool, somebody else who has the HW “twins”.

        That HW75 group looks tighter than mine (not sure what size these targets are).

        The HW45 Black Star looks really cool, but I like my “regular” one, too. I never shoot the HW45 at low power either because it doesn’t seem to have any benefit.

        I don’t really shoot pistols two-handed that much. With springers, it seems to mess up my hold and with pneumatics or co2, it doesn’t seem much easier, if at all.


        • Stephan,

          The solid black circle is about 10.5cm from outside to outside. I have short fingers, so I find it much steadier to use a two-handed grip. (You know what they say about people with short finger. They don’t like Beretta 92s).

          I think next time, I’ll switch to solid circles for the 6 ‘oclock hold with the HW75. That should help tighten up the horizontal spread.

          The elevation for the HW45 might just be dialed in for low power. Follow-through is definitely much harder with the springer!


  5. LOL! My Scottish ancestry has caused me a few financial issues before also.

    Enjoy your road trip! Wish I could make it. Be sure to tell us all about it and bring back something cool to blog about.

  6. I’ve been using rubber mulch for years, very effective. In fact I cleaned the lead out recently and hope to give Tom the 6 lbs of lead harvested at the show. Leaving out this morning for Malvern.
    Are there any plans to get together this evening?

    Praying everyone has a safe trip and good fellowship upon arrival,

  7. Going to comment down here. I was going to respond to each of you all above about the little shooting competition Stephan suggested.

    First I think it’s a great idea. Me and Chris USA did one years ago. Probably at least 8 years ago. Maybe more. Can’t remember now.

    But we both had pretty heavy modded. 25 caliber Marauder rifles. And we both modded them different ways. We both agreed on 100 yards and the best 10 shot group won out of 2 ten shot groups from each of us. We used whatever target we wanted and we both agreed to bench resting and we said we needed to have the results by the weekend. Saturday of that week to be exact. So we had multiple chances (notice I say chances) 🙂
    to make the best group we could. Plus that gave us the chance through the week after our work day and the best weather we could have. We had fun. Something I won’t never forget.

    And I’m going to post this right now and continue with part 2 of my comment next.

  8. Ok part 2
    Not everyone will have the same target. I suggest a piece of plain white copy paper with a (×) or a (+) or a dot or circle or even a target you like put on that white copy paper. And we can do 5 shot groups or 10 shot groups.

    Then one week we can say it will be bench rest and either a rifle and what power plant rifle or a pistol. And so on. We can keep notes of what type of gun and style (like bench or standing or kneeling and so on) we choose. That way we don’t repeat each week.

    And obviously we all won’t be able to compete every week because we don’t have that type of gun.

    And we should use whatever sight we are comfortable with for what category we decide to shoot for that week.

    Then the distance will be another thing. Some won’t be able to shoot out to say 50 or a hundred yards so you set out that week. Then some will want to shoot at 10 yards and others not. So simply the ones that don’t want to shoot at 10 yards set out that week.

    Basically someone makes a suggestion for that week and the ones that want to shoot do. But we make a log of what we have shot and don’t repeat that type of shooting.

    The main thing is we make it happen so we all can come up with a type of shooting we would like to try and just keep it happening. We can always post our targets Saturday for the type of shooting we are doing for that week that way we have the weekend to see the results.

    I’m exited. Don’t know about you all. We got to do it is all I can say.

      • RR
        Right hav’n fun is the name of the game.

        And here’s a kicker for ya.

        You know there are people out there that have some kick butt springer’s out there that can give the pcp’s a run for thier money.

        After we get into it and shoot multiple different types of guns and styles and distances with certian power plant guns and they are logged. Then we can do a mixed power plant and say bench them or kneeling at so and so distance.

        You just never know. Maybe we all will get surprised at what power plant comes out winning.

        This could be a very good way to collect data where it isn’t all on BB all the time. I think we all could learn from this in many ways.

        • What would be the best way to organize and archive the data for future reference? There must be a database software that can automate this stuff somehow. Does Stephan scan everything into his software for scoring?

          • Roamin
            I’m sure a spread sheet could be set up for that week’s competition. The type of power plant and all that other data for each shooters submitted targets and ammo they use.

            Or we could have dedicated report that we could pull up that we log each weeks targets on we shoot with our gun set up and and ammo listed we use.

            So every week we enter our results we do on that blog report. Or each week could be broke up into another blog report number that we log our info.

            So basically some body could click on report one or week one or report five or week 5.

            That way we a person could pick what week they want to pull up and even make comments on. Basically how the blog already works.

    • Perhaps B.B. can open a separate blog on a certain day of the week specifically for posting results, so we can keep them separate from our other conversations.

  9. Hoowhee! Stephan sure kicked off something! All these responses! Poor BB is going to have to sort through all of this mess now and put together something!

    I do kinda like the competing against yourself idea. That is essentially what most of us have been doing all along. It does not help with the braggin’ rights though.

    Yeah, some of us are lucky enough to be able to stretch it out as far as we want to go and others are kinda cramped for such space. If we are doing that point blank range shooting, we had best limit FPE. The muzzle blast off of my HM1000X .357 might rip the target up. Another problem I will have is I don’t do that ferrinner measurin’ stuff. I’m just an old timey Appalachian-American. What is that in feet and inches?

    With all the gals hangin’ ’round here at RRHFWA, I could probably shoot in almost every group I listed.

    • RR
      Wonder if we will be getting any surprises if we do a full auto or rapid fire semi-auto catagory with bb’s or pellets. My Steel Storm is one of my more accurate full auto-and semi-auto guns I have and the semi-auto Marauder kicks butt at rapid fire.

      See it doesn’t just have to be a pellet gun shooting at 10 meters. It could also be a bb gun shooting in that same catargory. I know a few people that got some 499’s that will give a pellet shoot’n gun a run for its money at 10 meters or even farther distances with some.

      The book is wide open now. It will be a fun eye opening exsperiance I’m thinking.

    • RidgeRunner, I thought of how far I have come with my little Embark, going from patterns to groups, to smaller groups and I thought it would be a way to encourage the new airgunners among us, who don’t shoot trime-worthy groups yet. Sort of like handicaps in golf.

      • RG,

        There are many airguns that just will not shoot that good, but it is a truth that the more you practice with a particular (whatever) the better you will get with it. You and others might be surprised with how well you will do in the low powered sproinger shooting. Some of us “old hands” like myself probably are not that good.

        • True. Last night, I was shooting and getting all kinds of curious-looking groups. Several shots scored 7s and even one 6. Then I thought of what Hank said about hunting accuracy, so I put up a fresh sheet of 5 bulls. I shot one pellet at each bull. Five tens, a few of which went dead center. Amazed, I shot another pellet at each target, and this time, more tens, but adjacent to the first shots. Go figure why I can’t shoot ten 10s at a single bull, but I can do it with 5 bulls. But it shows that the potential is there. And I realized something about this little Embark that I was about ready to bend the barrel on, but I’m saving that for when B.B.is back from his show.

    • “Dave, With all the gals hangin’ ’round here at RRHFWA, I could probably shoot in almost every group I listed.”
      RidgeRunner, just make sure to spread the love, spread the trigger time around, or else some of those gals may get jealous…and like my wife always says, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!” 🙂

  10. Ok all.

    And here is the other thing. We need a honest judge of the group size to determine the winner that week.

    Well of course that would be BB.

    But how will BB be able to determine the true size of the group without having a size refrence on the target group.

    Probably need to pick a coin that everybody for the most part has access to everyday. Or do we all place that type of a pellet that was shot in that group we submitted?

    Or the coin and the pellet?

    I say the coin and the pellet. Both give another type of good info.

    • I agree that B.B. is the ultimate enabler, he should also be the ultimate arbiter. But since nothing is at stake except my pride (where did I put that, anyway) and bragging rights, we should be able to be on our own honor and encourage each other to keep improving.

      I like the idea of the coin and pellet, but we have a lot of readers from all over the world. Which coin? Probably best to use a ruler.

      • Roamin
        I usually I lay a ruler by my group when I post a picture of a target.

        But then some will use metric and others will use inches.

        A pellet that you place on the target would probably be best. That way you see what pellet the person uses and it will give size refrence on the target.

        • I have a small (6″) clear plastic ruler that shows inches on one side and millimeters on the other, which will be perfect. Plus the pellet, and some pocket change. That and $5 might buy a coffee.

    • Roamin,

      There is, it is called the RSS Feed and you can get to it here /blog/comments/feed/ Unfortunately it does not work any longer on Firefox but you can add an RSS reader from here https://github.com/aureliendavid/rsspreview

      It seems to work fine on my smartphone but I am not sure about others.

      Also other web browsers may or may not work so you may need to find an RSS reader add in that will for your browser.


      • Dear Mike, I clicked on the link for the rss feed on my android smartphone (is uses a version of Chrome for web browsing), and an html page filled with test shows up. I need an rss reader for my phone I think. But the one you recommended is for Firefox. I will look on the Google appstore to find an RSS reader.

        Anyone else have any recommendations?

        • Roamin,

          Sorry that did not work out directly but I hope you can find an RSS feed reader that will set you up.

          If you have access to a personal computer it may be easier to setup.

          Good luck to you,


  11. I think it would be cool if PA could set up a database so folks could log in and enter their results. The data set could be: the contest name, or no contest, their username, pellet, distance, group size, gun, date, short comment. Folks could then sort the results based on what they were interested in. Obviously the data set could get extensive, but keeping it short and simple would not be too much work for the IT folks.

    A few standard sorts could be picked from a menu to help make it easy such as gun, distance, group size, and pellet.

    A target picture would be nice but would add a lot of weight to the data base. The blog comments would be the place for the picture.

    Just my ruminating for the day.


    P.S. If I was choosing I would have the data set in metric to keep it simple.

    • Paco
      Why do something that’s been around forever.

      Time to do something different I say. And this isn’t the GTA. If I wanted to do something like they do then I would be on that blog right now.

  12. I predict that neither the pellets not the .22 rimfire bullets will get through 12″ of rubber mulch. But interesting that the 6″ of bark stopped most of the RAW pellets.

  13. So, in the interest of participating in this grand experiment (the silent pellet trap), I went to Lowes this afternoon. Nine dollars and change per bag of shredded rubber mulch…check. Note: bag says .8 cu. ft. / bag. Cardboard box department…12″ X 16″ X 16″ box (I don’t want to miss the box. Besides, 16″ of rubber mulch instead of 12″ is insurance to guarantee domestic tranquility, if you know what I mean). Box says it’s 3.0 sq. ft., so four bags of mulch, right (0.8 X 4 = 3.2 sq. ft.). With my veterans discount, i walked out for less than $40.

    So, is it quiet? Yep. Surprisingly so. How long will it last with a variety of spring piston guns and a couple PCP’s? Give me a few months and we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m not missing the “plink-plink” of the steel pellet trap…and neither does my wife.

    St. Louis, MO

    Taped up box so it doesn’t leak rubber mulch dust (another investment in domestic tranquility). In fact, this stuff smells really bad, so taping up all the box seams is to keep the stink in, too. BTW, four bags doesn’t fill the box and I didn’t even try to pack it down. Either the bags don’t really hold 0.8 sq. ft. or the box holds more than 3.0 sq. ft.

  14. Program scrambled up the paragraphs. First paragraph starts with “So, in the interest”. Second paragraph starts with “Taped up box…”. Third paragraph starts with “So, is it quiet?”. Then the signature. Sorry.

    St. Louis, MO.

    • Motorman, the bags must have been outside and got some moisture in there. Once the mulch dries out it just smells faintly of old tires. You will be amazed how many pellets the trap can absorb. I had a little 4″ x 8″ x 8″ box and 4″ of mulch absorbed over 750 pellets from a light target pellet rifle at 10 yards. And I was drilling at the same spot. Only when I moved up to .22 from a Beeman R9 at 10 yards did I finally get through the 4″ of rubber mulch. Rob proved that this stuff will stop supersonic bullets from a 5.56 x 45 NATO (.223) AR-15. You will love it.

  15. Guys,

    I am in Arkansas for the show. Just got here and had dinner and you guys are overwhelming me! Tht’s great except I’m too tired to do NYTHING ABOUT IT.

    Keep commenting and I may catch up next week! 😉


    • Roamin
      You mentioned somewhere above that we should also include who is closest to the bull.

      I agree that’s a important part of shooting and that is basically what I look for when I dail in a gun.

      But remember we are going to use our gun in a competition that someone else came up with.

      First I’m not going to sight my gun for that competition and mess up what I already know about that setup.

      Next and this is something I would do. I will establish a new hold over or under for that competition to try to get as close to the bullseye on the target I submit if that’s what way we want to go.

      I myself say we should kind of follow BB’s example of how he shoots a gun so we don’t shoot out the aim point on the target. We should just aim for the bullseye and where the ten shots fall that’s it. That target is done.

      That keeps it simpler when judging the targets also. What you think?

      • I think you may have a good point. I also think we consider everyone’s ideas, including looking at how “postal matches” have been done in the past, and then follow B.B.’s lead. We can always make adjustments as we go along to make things work better and improve the fun for everyone.

        • Roamin
          You got to keep in mind that everyone has different equipment.

          I say it still should be a pretty open book so whoever wants to submit a target can.

          Basically someone says let’s try this for this week. Like say shoot at 25 yards with a springer and standing unsupported or bench resting or whatever. Then it will always be up to the shooter to use what target they want that they are comfortable with.

          That way we show what works for that shooter. And then maybe others will learn from that.

          If we go beyond that then we are controlling the competition. And that’s exactly why I don’t compete any more. Yes air guns.

          Let’s put it this way. I have drag raced among other types of racing. I’m still a heads up run what you brung guy. The light goes green and the one to the other end first wins.

          You see where I’m going with this. If you want to join in a paticular week with what ya got then do it. If not set out.

          That way will show what each shooter has to give. Not what we think they should give.

          Set up the type of gun and distance and what type of of position we shoot from and be done. The person that gets the pellet from the start line to the finish line with the best group wins.

          Pretty easy right. 😉

          Oh and about your comment above about the ruler and change and coffee. How about this. Let’s put a 1/4-20 nut by our group we submit. And for the metric guys a 8 mm × 1.25 nut by the group they submit.

          That will give a group size refrence. But thinking more. Maybe the 8 mm × 1.25 nut should be used. Everybody should be able to get one of those. 🙂

          • All good ideas, GunFun1. In addition, I think it would be good to also have a challenge over time. Let’s say the challenge is “any distance-any gun.” Then maybe you have a qualifier round where you submit a target that shows your current best. Then a month later, we submit another target and show our improvement at the same range with the same gun. Bragging rights and electronic claps on the back go to those most improved. I envision some beginners earning a lot of encouragement from the “regulars” that way. But also, the competition is additional motivation to practice more.

            And personally, I like the coin idea. I was joking around with my cup of coffee comment. I think using a coin is fitting for this blog, and it isn’t hard to find out the diameter of most coins. I would say, be like B.B. and use whatever coin tickles your fancy. We may learn something about some other folks’ cultures. I still probably have some old Drachmas around here…. ;o)

            I am immensely enjoying this discussion, by the way. Thank you. And thanks to Stephan for sparking it.

        • Roamin
          Same for me. Enjoying totally in all aspects. 🙂

          We need to do it soon. And the first 4 or 5 weeks need to be kept simple types of shooting.

          Like bench rest at 10 yards or something with a spring gun. That way people will feel more comfortable to try and I’m thinking that everybody probably has one spring gun.

          The more complicated it gets then only mostly certian people will be participating. So I think simple first. Then as we all get into it we can make some tuff stuff happen later on.

          This reminds me of something about when Chris USA was getting into the blog and shooting. He was shooting out at 50 yards but I was trying to get him to shoot out at a hundred yards which he was able to do. He thought that it was a long distance to shoot a air gun.

          I finally convinced him to try it. Told him to practice it for a few days at a hundred yards. Then try some 50 yard shooting again. He was surprised how easy 50 yards was now. And forgot to add. And this is most important. Chris got very good at shooting at 100 yards.

          So yes this will be a good way for people to try something out of thier comfort zone. And you just never know. They might find they are good at it. It makes me remember when I competed in the fun fly competition with the RC planes. I was a pretty good flyer but there was other people that could fly way better than me. Guess what I did. I practiced. Guess what else I did. I started winning those fun fly competions and winning trophys. But in the end what counted is I learned and improved. And yes I did beat those other better flyers once in a while.

          This is good stuff.

  16. I think if something is to get off the ground, the KISS principle needs to be employed. Reduced scale N50 targets sized for the chosen yardage. Five sighter bulls and twenty five bulls for score. Tom announces and releases the pdf for the target on Monday. Shoot closes X days later. Unlimited practice, but only one target submission for score. Only one shot per bull. Much easier to score than trying to get a bunch of people to ‘measure’ group size with varying eyesight, measuring tools, interpretation of holes, etc. One shot per bull is as close to binary (yes/no) scoring as we could hope for. If everyone agrees, just cherry pick the best 10 (but still on the same target sheet) for score.

  17. Pac
    Sounds complicated to me.

    Right now if you said what a contest today would be. Like what power plant and what position to shoot from and what distance.

    I grab the gun set out the target I use and shoot.

    What is trying to make happen is for everyone to shoot how they shoot at any given time. That is what will show how maybe a person’s target choice might work better than anther persons choice.

    What I just mentioned would be the real results from each shooter. Plus I thought Stephan said group size in the begining. After all that’s what we always talk about on the blog.

    Group size tells how the gun performs with a paticular pellet and of course how good the shooter is.

    Trying to hit the bullseye would be resighting the gun or finding the right windage and elevation hold. Plus if you do that like BB say’s then you shoot out your aim point.

    And yes KISS is the way. The more rules you start adding and targets selection doesn’t make it simple anymore. Oh and I don’t have a printer or lap top at home. So that wouldn’t be simple for me to print the target someone chose.

    So probably what I would do if a target type was suggested I would just post a picture of my group with the type of target I choose. Then I would be disqualified from that days contest but you would still see my group. And that’s what counts.

    • I thought I was speaking plain English, but I’ll try this again. The reason BB’s use of group size has value to us is because one person (BB) is doing the measuring. Now, introduce dozens making the measurements and precision goes out the window. That’s why in the proposed situation we need to add accuracy to have meaningful value. One shot per bull precludes losing the aim point. Hitting subsequent bulls is a more reliable indicator of precision and accuracy. As to getting the pdf printed, any library or a dozen other places can do that.

      • Paco
        I guarentee you that if I shoot at my target be it a dot or a circle or a × or + you will be able to tell how big my group size is without any measuring. And the location of the group to the aim point will be no problem to determine either if we go that way.

        Guess that’s why I always liked the heads up drag racing. Run what you brung and the first to the finish line wins.

        No rules. Rule. And if that ain’t straight forward I guess your speaking different English than me. 😉

      • Paco
        Not going to wait for a reply.

        Here is the reason why I’m being picky about the type of target we shoot at.

        I size my targets to what sight I’m using. BB just went through this with the peep sight shooting he did at different distances.

        That’s why I’m being adamant about the target choice option.

        The rest of how we shoot is no big deal. Easy peasy right. It will be interesting to see what kind of groups we get. And it will be interesting to see how many people actualy hit the bullseye even if we don’t choose to do it.

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.