Today we have a guest blog from Canadian reader Hank who we all know as Vana2. He talked about a more permanent rubber mulch pellet trap that will last longer than my cardboard box trap and I asked him to write this guest blog about it.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at blogger@pyramydair.com.

Take it away, Hank.

A new pellet trap

by Hank (Vana2)

This report covers:

  • A new pellet trap
  • The design and construction
  • Summary

new pellet trap
Rubber mulch pellet trap. The wooden bezel mounts on two pins and has magnets to secure the target.

A new pellet trap

Winter in Canada is the indoor 10 meter shooting season for me and I needed to replace my old duct seal trap. Duct seal works well, but it’s next to impossible to reclaim the lead so I started looking for an alternative.

After reading BB’s praise for a rubber mulch trap and some discussion with Benji-Don and Roamin Greco, I decided that I would make one that would meet my needs.

I wanted something more durable than a cardboard box and because I print all my targets on regular copy paper I need a good way to support and hold the target. 

I thought that I would design in some convenience (’cause I’m lazy LOL!) while I was at it. The picture (above, right) shows how the magnetic bezel tilts forward on its mounting pins to allow a fresh target to be dropped in place – no tape, clips or pins required.

My rubber mulch pellet trap consists of a plastic tote (12×18 inches, 11 inches deep – with a locking lid), an old cookie sheet, some scrapes of wood, miscellaneous hardware (screws, spacers cut from a piece of pipe, fender washers, nuts and magnets) and about 30 pounds of rubber mulch. As it was, the only out of pocket expanse was $20 for the rubber mulch.

The design and construction

new pellet trap lid
Pellet Trap Design – the layout and the finished lid.

For my trap the three main design considerations were:

1-to reinforce the lid,
2-provide a metal surface so I could use magnets to hold the target in place and
3-have some way to align and hold all the loose bits (target and backing board) together.

I also wanted the cardboard backing sheet to support the target.  A metal cookie sheet meets all the requirements.

The picture (above, left) shows the layout of the lid. I located the cookie sheet (and the target) low on the lid to have as much mulch above the area where the pellets hit as possible. I’m hoping that the weight of the mulch will help fill in any cavities created by the pellets. The green circles show the location of the magnets mounted in the bezel that secures the target.

In doing the layout, I positioned the cookie sheet as low as practical on the lid (you need to allow for the wood framing inside and the tote itself), located the two pins (those two black & red targets on the layout) that will be used to support the target and backing boards, traced where the 8 ½ x 11 inch printer paper target will sit and marked the (one inch smaller, the 7 ½ x 10 inch cross hatched area) for the cut out in the cookie sheet.

The picture (above, right) shows the black outline of the printer paper target and the cutout in the cookie sheet that leaves ½ inch all around for the magnetic bezel to hold the target in place.

The picture (below) shows the back of the lid cutout, framing, the clip and the pins that hold the backing board(s) in place.

The whole area behind the cookie sheet has been cut out of the plastic lid to accommodate the backing board. The cookie sheet is screwed to the wood frame (sandwiching the tote lid between them) to reinforce the lid.

The clip is a piece of metal (could be wood or plastic) mounted on a screw with a spacer and a spring. It’s there to hold the backing board in place while the lid is being put on the tote – it saves some fumbling around as gravity doesn’t want to cooperate. A piece of tape or a strong magnet would work as well.

The pins do a couple of things. On the outside of the lid, they are the mounting points for the front bezel and they position the target (relative to the cutout in the cookie sheet). On the inside of the lid, they position and retain the backing board – again, to save fumbling around.

The pin is assembled as follows: Starting from the outside of the cookie sheet there is a screw with a spacer (to mount the bezel) that passes through the cookie sheet, then another spacer, a fender washer and a nut. I used a #6 screw, two ¼ inch long .250 diameter (cut from pipe) spacers, a ¾ inch fender washer and a 6-32 nut. 

new pellet trap lid frame
Support frame and backing board hardware.

1new pellet trap backing board
A fresh backing board in place ready to be mounted on the tote.

Summary

So that’s the pellet trap that I have come up with. A cardboard box filled with rubber mulch will work fine but I think the couple of hours I put into modifying a tote will be more convenient in the long run.

I’m all set – lots of pellets, targets and a box of backing boards that I cut on the table saw – let it snow!

Take care and shoot safe!

Hank