Prep Time: 15 mins
Exec Time: 20 mins
I am seldom enthused by the modern pellet trap offerings.
"Silent traps" that rely on duct seal to reduce the noise are a pain to clean the pellets from and, in the end, you are left with a lump of contaminated material that is impossible to recycle, or extract the lead from. Little shards/shrapnel are extremely difficult to find/remove.
Cardboard boxes filled with rubber mulch work real well, until you need to clean them/extract the lead. Dumping everything in water works so-so, as it is a long and messy process and you end up with a bunch of wet mulch that takes a few days to dry. If you put it into new cardboard boxes, these get wet and loose all resistance.
Also the raffia web that is most useful to hold the mulch in while allowing the pellets to enter but not allowing them to go out is not easy to get.
I've also tried the "curtain" type of traps, where hanging pieces of cloth are supposed to slow down the pellets enough so that the rear steel plate backer can stop them. Useless by the 100th round, curtains were replaced with genuine sown Kevlar cloth, in itself a pain to do because cutting and sewing Kevlar is not precisely easy. And it was still a mess.
Normal, "assemble yourself" pellet traps rated for 0.22" RF cal. have the great defect that they have a junction where the rear of the slanted plate and the horizontal plate meet, and lead shards/dust escape through there.. NOT ideal.
Those that are welded are, by far, the best option, but they are not truly portable, weighing in excess of 20#
So, when I saw this pellet trap at a Cabela's store:
Picked the box up . . . . Hmmm, light enough
How does it go together? Pretty easy.
Hmmm, well there is a well to catch the spent pellets!
Rating? apparently 0.177" pellets, but when you read the small print, it is 0.177" lead pellets at under 800 fps from a distance of at least 10 yards.
Still, the design was good, it had "Possibilities".
When I reached home, I took some measurements and contacted the good people at Online Metals to see if they would be so kind as to cut steel plate to measure.
They agreed, and so I ordered four 0.19" x 7" x 7 1/2" ANSI 4130 annealed steel plates (yes I will be constructing a few more later) and they came out at $25 ea.
Great service and great prices. Online Metals recently became part of the Thyssen-Krupp corporation so, you could say that they know a thing or two about steels. ;-)
In 3 days I had the plates and then "cooking" started.
And if you do not want to use the swingers, you can use a standard target:
A suitably sized cork stopper can be used to plug both "exit" holes:
Anyway, it took about 10 mins to order the plates from Online Metals. And ordering the "Air Strike" pellet trap can be done directly from Do-All Outdoors or from a number of online retailers at between $17 and $20 per unit. Personally I would not spend more than 5 mins to save $3, but to each his own. Shipping may or may not add to your cost.
Marking, drilling and tapping, and then assembling everything took about 20 minutes.
3/16" plate will stop almost every airgun pellet, just do not use "penetrator" pellets, with steel balls, or bronze points, or other gadgets like that, and you will be fine.
While not completely silent, it is much easier to clean and to retrieve the lead from. Babies can sleep at two doors' distance and not be bothered by the noise.
Do NOT use for ANYTHING OTHER THAN AIRGUNS AT UP TO 35 FT-LBS ME WITH LEAD PELLETS
DO NOT EXCEED 35 FT-LBS MUZZLE ENERGY
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES WHEN SHOOTING AT LESS THAN 30 YARDS
I hope you enjoy this short project. I did!
Keep well and shoot straight!