How to build an Airsoft backstop for $15

| July 29, 2016 | 6 Comments

This is the third part of a series about Airsoft for gunfighters.

Airsoft is great for practicing things you normally wouldn’t be able to do at a static range. Moving, drawing, and firing as you explode off the “X,” shooting from the ground or from behind/under cover, or even at another human being.

However, one of the problems with shooting Airsoft indoors is that the plastic BBs will fly everywhere upon impact with a hard surface. These ricochets could be a safety hazard, but they are definitely a hazard for breaking stuff inside your house.

I built a backstop out of a plastic storage container that minimizes ricochets/broken pellets and also makes for very easy cleanup.

You’ll need:

  • A 10 gallon / 40 L plastic storage bin (or equivalent). Lid is a bonus, but not necessary.
  • A piece of cardboard
  • An old towel
  • Tape (at least an inch thick, two inches would be better)
  • Paper

You’ll use the tape to secure the paper to the bin, but also to indicate the spine on the target. The paper itself can be anything, I used some cheap wrapping paper we bought on sale after Christmas. It could be a silhouette target, butcher paper, another piece of cardboard, or even newspaper. You won’t be shooting at the paper, you’re using the paper as a backer for the strip of tape.

Steps for those of you who don’t want to watch the video:

  1. Wrap the cardboard in the towel. The towel keeps the Airsoft pellets from ricocheting around. The cardboard gives the towel some structure so it stays inside of the container
  2. Put the towel-wrapped cardboard into the container.
  3. Tape paper around the opening of the container on at least three sides. Taping the bottom keeps pellets from rolling out of the container.
  4. Tape a strip down the center of the paper. This represents the spine, and your point of aim.

When you’re done, throw the paper away and put all your supplies in the bin. You can put your safety glasses, Airsoft pistol, etc inside, too — and just store the whole thing.

Two other points: wear eye protection when shooting, and shoot with adequate ventilation.

Depending on what you have around your house this might be free to make, but it’s easy to make an indoor Airsoft backstop for about $15.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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6 Comments on "How to build an Airsoft backstop for $15"

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  1. FC says:

    I once did the same with a cadboard box that was originally a case of copy paper. Instead of your approach, I suspended about 8 layers of cut open paper grocery bags. Which lasted almost 6 months.then i used small towels suspended from “the top,” and that lasted aboit a year. For two years now, I’ve used random fabric to torm the backing, with mild success. I gave up in that box when the backing fell to the bottom mid session. Luckily, the book case shelf the box was sitting on was dedicated to the box, as all seven 6mm plastic balls went through like butter.

    I now have two Crossman traps with steel stop plates, cost about $30 each.

    I want to start traing on D1 targets used by GSSF and the IDPA targets. I never thought of carboard behind the towel, so I’m interested in how long the setup will last. Maybe adding pine plywood behind the towel and carboard will get the size to full size targets.

    Respectfully,
    FC

    P.s. I used to post under JRC, but somebody else was posting under that, so I’m going with FC.

  2. Martin says:

    Maybe your airsoft pistol is more powerful than mine, but I have simply used a cardboard box with an extra layer of cardboard inside on the back. The pellet penetrates the front of the box and embeds or bounces off the extra cardboard layer inside box. The box is sealed up so all the pellets stay inside. Once the front of the box starts to get too torn up, you just replace the box.

  3. TJ says:

    Going to have to build one of these. I just bought an airsoft AR that mimics my real steel gun for use in FoF training. Currently trying to track down a good airsoft version of my EDC pistol for same reasons. Thanks for the article and video!

  4. TJ says:

    Built mine up last night. Works great! Been doing home defense drills with an airsoft mock-up of my 5.56 AR build. Next up is getting an airsoft version of my EDC.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Nice! What are you using as the target face? Wrapping paper, or a “real” paper target, or something else?

      • TJ says:

        Wrapping paper as the backing with a 8″x11″ target taped to the front of that. I actually used it the other day to sight in my airsoft AR to match the offset of my real steel AR at the distances of my domicile.

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