man pointing gun and focusing at target

How to Build a Backyard Shooting Range Backstop: Your Ultimate Guide

Are you itching to take your love for firearms to the next level? Picture this: your own property transformed into a homemade shooting range where you can practice your skills whenever you please. Sounds like a dream, right? But, hold on. Before you can start setting up your range, there's an essential piece of the puzzle to consider - the backstop.

In this blog, we're going to show you how to create a backyard backstop that's not only effective but also budget-friendly and easy to set up. Let's dive right in.

How to Build Your Backyard Shooting Range Backstop


young boy trying to aim gun
Credit: Envato Elements/ nikmock

Follow the steps below to build your own home shooting range backstop:

Step 1: Choose the Right Location

Before you start, pick a suitable spot in your backyard, ideally in an area where you have a natural dirt berm backstop like a hill. This ensures that any stray shots are safely contained within your property line.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Here's what you'll need:

  • Plywood sheets
  • 2x4 inch wooden boards
  • Backstop filler material: This can be a mix of sand, dirt, or rubber mulch.
  • Screws and nails
  • Saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Safety glasses

Step 3: Build the Frame

Follow the steps below to build your frame:

  • Get Your Materials: First, grab some 2x4 wooden boards from your local hardware store. For a safer alternative, consider using railroad ties. This is perfect if you're using rifle bullets for shooting.
  • Decide the Height: Think about how tall you want your backstop. Most people go for about 6 feet, but it's up to you. Measure and cut two boards to match this height.
  • Determine the Width: Now, figure out how wide your backstop should be. Usually, it's 8 to 10 feet, depending on your yard. Measure and cut the remaining two boards to match this width.
  • Assemble Your Frame: Lay the two tall boards on the ground, side by side. Then, place the shorter boards horizontally at the top and bottom to create a rectangle.
  • Secure It: To keep everything in place, use screws and a screwdriver to attach the top and bottom boards to the vertical ones at each corner. Make sure the frame is sturdy and all connections are tight.
  • Check for Level: Use a level to ensure that your frame is perfectly vertical and horizontal. Adjust as needed to ensure it's straight.

Step 4: Attach Plywood Sheets

Once you've built your wooden frame, the next step is to add plywood sheets to the front of it. This will be the main surface of your backstop.

Start by placing the plywood sheets against the front of your frame. Make sure they align with the edges of the frame for a snug fit. You can use screws or nails for this part – whichever you find more convenient. Be sure to drive them in flush with the plywood surface to prevent any protrusions.

Step 5: Fill the Backstop

Now that your plywood sheets are securely attached to the front of your frame, it's time to fill the space between them with your chosen filler material. Make sure that everything is tightly packed and evenly distributed. The goal here is to create a dense and resilient barrier that can act as a bullet trap.

Step 6: Add an Extra Layer (Optional)

For added safety, you can attach a layer of rubber mulch or old stacked tires to the front of your backstop. This extra layer helps in absorbing the impact and extending the lifespan of your backstop.

Step 7: Test Your Backstop

Before using your backstop, make sure to test it by firing a few shots to ensure it effectively stops bullets and prevents ricochets. You don't want accidents to happen while shooting, with bullets potentially exiting from the other side. This is a good way to ensure its effectiveness.

Additional Tips to Keep in Mind


army guy aiming gun into the distance
Credit: Envato Elements/ StudioPeace

To ensure ultimate safety, keep the following tips in mind:

1) Prioritize Safety

We can't stress this enough: firearms safety should be your unwavering priority. Always treat your firearms with the utmost respect and adhere to responsible gun ownership practices. Additionally, before you start shooting, double-check that the shooting lane is empty, with no one nearby. To ensure this, position the shooting bench far away from the shooting range area.

2) Choose the Right Ammunition

Use appropriate ammunition for your shooting range. Avoid steel-core or armor-piercing rounds, as these can damage your backstop and pose a higher risk of ricochets.

3) Regularly Inspect Your Backstop

Make it a habit to inspect your backstop before each shooting session. Look for any signs of wear, tear, or damage, and address them promptly.

4) Keep a Safe Backstop Distance

Maintain a safe shooting distance from your backstop. Ensure that you are positioned at a distance that allows bullets to hit the backstop at the intended angle.

5) Be Mindful of Neighbors

Be considerate of your neighbors' peace and safety. Let them know about your backyard shooting range plans, and always ensure that your shots remain within your property boundaries.

6) Noise Mitigation

Shooting can be loud. Consider using noise-reduction measures like acoustic barriers or ear protection to minimize disturbance to your neighbors and yourself.

7) Stay Informed

Keep yourself updated on local and state firearms laws and regulations. Laws can change, so staying informed ensures you remain compliant.

What Type of Shooting Targets Can You Use at Your DIY Gun Range?


paper shooting target with bullet marks and bullets
Credit: Envato Elements/ Mehaniq41

Now that you've got your home range backstop set up for your new range, let's talk about the types of targets you can safely attach to it. The right target can make your shooting practice more fun and effective. Here are some options:

1) Paper Targets

Paper targets are a classic choice. They come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, including bullseyes, silhouettes, and game animals. Attach them to your backstop with staples or clips, ensuring they're securely fastened.

2) Cardboard Targets

Cardboard targets are durable and can withstand multiple shots. You can buy pre-made cardboard targets or make your own by cutting cardboard sheets into desired shapes.

3) Steel Targets

Steel targets are popular for their satisfying "ping" when hit. Ensure that you use AR500 steel targets specifically designed for shooting practice. Hang them securely on your backstop and follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines.

4) Clay Targets (Clay Pigeons)

If you're into long-range shooting, clay targets provide a dynamic experience. A mechanical clay pigeon thrower can help launch targets for practice.

5) Reactive Targets

Reactive targets provide instant feedback when you hit them. These can include spinning targets, swinging targets, or even water-filled containers that burst upon impact.

6) Homemade Targets

Get creative! You can make your own targets using materials like balloons, paintballs, or even fruits (for biodegradable options). Just ensure they are safe and won't cause debris to scatter.

7) Digital Targets

For a high-tech experience, consider using digital target systems that detect shots and display your hits on a screen. These are great for precision training.


And there you have it, your very own backyard shooting range backstop! Remember, safety and responsible firearm use should always be your priority. Now go ahead, enjoy your shooting practice in the comfort of your backyard, and have a blast!

And for even more shooting fun and precision, consider trying EasyShot paper shooting targets. EasyShot targets provide a fantastic way to enhance your aim and accuracy while keeping track of your progress. They're designed to make your shooting practice enjoyable and rewarding for both experienced and novice shooters. Shop with us today.

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