This is probably going to be an ongoing series, so I’ll try to keep the numbers in order as we go along. The first thing you need to know, and I say know, not assume, is exactly what’s legal to shoot in your area. There are so many things that can enter into this equation; and the last thing you would want is the police showing up at your door.
Here in Lake Havasu, the city ordinances are posted online, there is a clear section on “BB guns” which includes pellet, airsoft, etc., basically anything shot with air. It is expressly forbidden to shoot any “BB gun” inside town limits. That’s what the law says. So how do I get away with doing it? Well, I kept reading the ordinance until I got down to the various exceptions. One exception states that target practicing with an airgun is permissible provided that all the projectiles are trapped and do not leave your property. Even with this clearly written ordinance, I still contacted my local police department and asked them to come down to preview what I had in mind and to make them aware of who I am and what I do. They were very accommodating and appreciative of me being proactive. This way, if and when anyone were to call them (and I’m pretty sure they’ve been called more than once), they have me in the files as having been inspected and cleared to be doing what I’m doing. The only caveat that I have is to stay under the noise restrictions, which I seek to do at all times.
Trap That BB!
So with the legal formalities out of the way, it was time to look at how to accommodate the city ordinance and be able to shoot in my yard. Airgun Depot carries several great options to facilitate this. What you are shooting will determine the best options. Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.
BB guns and airsoft guns are some of the least expensive “shooting” options for youngsters out there. I started with an old pump BB gun back when I was 8 or 9. I bet many shooters can remember those days as well. Unfortunately BBs (plastic or metal) are some of the most difficult projectiles to trap. They are hard and do not flatten and drop like lead. Rather, they bounce unpredictably and can even cause serious injury to the shooter, bystanders, and maybe even the family pet! It’s important that they be trapped and that reasonable measures are taken to keep them from bouncing all over.
Two of the most reliable traps that I’ve used are the Crosman Target Trap for BB’s and Pellet, and the UTG BB & Pellet Trap with Ballistic Curtains and steel plate. Both traps use exactly the same concept. They utilize 3 fabric curtains that slow the projectiles down as they “catch” them and drop them in the bottom of the trap. If that doesn’t work, there’s a steel plate at the back to catch the stubborn ones that make it past the fabric curtains.
Both traps have plastic side walls and hold a piece of properly sized cardboard at the front where you can attach a target. Any corrugated cardboard can be cut to size to replace the original target face once it’s worn out. The target curtains are also replaceable on both traps.
How do they hold up?
Well, they actually hold up really well if you are shooting BBs. They both work exceptionally well with airsoft guns and BB guns of all power levels. I’ve shot thousands of BBs into these traps and you will eventually wear out the ballistic curtains, but that’s about it. More importantly, they do exactly what’s most required, and that is to trap the BB and prevent it from ricocheting out of the trap and possibly causing damage or injury. I’ve had one of each of these traps for years and they are still performing their very important duty. When I shoot BBs, airsoft or steel, these are generally what I use.
What about pellets?
When it comes to shooting lead pellets, things get more interesting and there are more options. We’ll start taking a look at those in part 2, so definitely keep an eye on the blog for more articles about how to shoot safely and trap that projectile!