How to Make a Bullet Trap

The ability to practice target shooting at home can save money and time. Because many people do not have access to open land for target shooting, it is legally important to account for all bullets fired. One method of doing this is making a bullet trap. A bullet trap is designed to stop bullets mid-flight safely by directing them to ricochet straight down into the ground. Bullet traps can be made with a variety of materials and in a number of methods, but there is a basic design that should fit most shooter’s needs.

Drill holes in the steel plate at the four corners large enough to accommodate your screws.

Measure the steel plate when positioned at a 45 degree angle using the protractor. The distance between the front of the plate and the point where it touches the ground is the base length. The distance between the top of the plate and the ground is the leg length. Combined, the leg and base will make up two sides of the right triangle that will be the frame of the bullet trap.

Cut all boards with 45 degree angles using the miter box and saw on one end; on the opposite end, a 90 degree cut should be used.

Assemble the bullet trap frame with screws.

Attach the steel plate to the bullet trap frame using screws.


Bullet traps are designed for specific calibers. The minimum thickness that should be considered for the steel plate if planning to only shoot .22 caliber rimfire ammunition would be three-eights inch. If you plan to shoot centerfire ammunition, at least one-inch thickness is recommended.


Follow all safe firearm handling rules when shooting at a bullet trap. Immediately discard the steel plate if any wear, dents or ruptures appear. Investigate the laws where you live to determine if you are allowed to shoot on your property.