Thinking of shooting in my basement thoughts .

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anthonyone

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
4
I am thinking of getting a bullet trap and shooting my 22's in the basement .Not alot of rounds but is it not a smart idea because of the lead .Some of my friends so its ok others say don't do it .
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
Joined
Dec 30, 1999
Messages
4,378
I'd be worried about airborne particles that proberbly aren't healthy - lead included. Noise would be and issue as well and of course, in such a contained area, splatter is a good possibility so eye protection would be a must.
 

lfpiii

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
632
Bad idea. 1st lead from the bullets will not only contaminate your basement but it will also contaminate your house. Health issues for family and later if you sell the house you will lose 20k - 40K in value. 2. sealing the basement and installing a professional vetilation system will cost arround 20K. 3. If you live in an incorporated area shooting a firearm can be a felony even on your proprty.

An option might be drainage pipe. I know of several people including a shooting range that used pipe. A pit is duge for 6' or 8' diameter pipe. You chose the length of your range. At the far end the pipe is attached to a pipe connection box. The box is filled with dirt or sand to be the backstop. At the other end you build a small shooting room. There are many companies that make ventilation systems that will work with the pipe.

A guy outside of town made a 4 person range for under 12k. He did save money by doing all the digging. It is a very nice range. Sometimes you might be able to get the pipe for free if you just haul it away.
 

JHRosier

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
116
anthonyone":2c0mrpqe said:
... not a smart idea ....

1:Smoke, fumes, lead contamination issues.
2:Danger to others in the house when you have an accidental discharge.

Jack
 

Enigma

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
1,995
BlkHawk73":2bf3qmwh said:
I'd be worried about airborne particles that proberbly aren't healthy - lead included. Noise would be and issue as well and of course, in such a contained area, splatter is a good possibility so eye protection would be a must.

+1; you will turn your home into a toxic waste site.
 

tek4260

Buckeye
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
1,883
I'm not disputing the dangers of lead, but what about us who cast at home. Seems it couldn't be any more dangerous than that in reguards to lead fumes. I cast on the back deck, but I know others who do it indoors in and enclosed carport or utility room with a fan placed in the window to pull the fumes and get them out of the house.

Toxic waste site???? Should we all dress up like we work deep in the CDC when we take our kids out to shoot the 22's? :roll:
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
You can shoot in your basement, I do it all the time. I shoot a Airsoft gun and a Pellet rifle though. Discharge of firearms is illegal in most cities so you have to be careful of that.

My airsoft gun is not one of the toys, it is a real full weight, full blow back action, precision target grade gun. They run about $200 and I am able to shoot all winter long for pennies. This one runs on Green Gas, it is a propane/silicone mix.
 

Cholo

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
5,605
Don't now about .22's, but I used to shoot these in our trailer back in '77 out of my 6" S&W 28. I don't have any (tic) ill affects (twitch, urrrrrrrp) that I know of. I think (twitch) CCI made these plastic "bullets" (tic). My wife didn't think too highly that I used our towells, I mean her towells, as a backdrop in the cardboard box (Yeeeeowww...tic) Plenty accurate at minute of trailer distances. They're still primed, as that was their only propellant:

PlasticBullets.jpg
 

22/45 Fan

Hunter
Joined
Dec 8, 2001
Messages
2,123
This topic comes up fairly often. The real negative to shooting any .22 or even primer-propelled centerfire rounds in your house is lead contamination, You will have to provide a very high level of ventilation to protect yourself and any residual lead will be a tremendous detriment to the house's resale value if it's discovered by a house inspector.

There are lead-free primers and lead-free ammunition on the market and these should be mandatory if you shoot in your own home.
 

JHRosier

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
116
Lest anyone think that they can skirt the lead issue by shooting non-lead bullets, the primary source of lead contamination is from the primer compound.
I don't know if non-lead primers are available for handloading. I've not heard of them being offered as a component yet.

Further, there is no such thing as "lead fumes" when you are casting bullets. I don't know where this stuff gets started.
Lead will not boil and make "fumes" until it is well above the temperature that we normally cast. Most lead pots are not even capable of heating the lead anywhere near the boiling point.
Lead oxides can be a source of contamination if they are not reincorporated with the melt by careful fluxing. I use an ordinary pine stick about 3/4" square to gently stir the mix and scrape the sides of the lead pot. Once the stick gets nicely carboned up, it doesn't smoke and does a great job of reincorporating the oxides back into the mix. I have used the same stick for a couple of years. In olden times, I put a piece of beeswax into the mix for flux. I sorta worked but produced a large volume of smoke. The stick breaks down very slowly after it gets blackened and leaves maybe a half teaspoon of fluffy gray ash after stirring the pot for a half hour of casting. I give a quick stir after each three or four pours.
BTW, the stick will catch fire if you leave it in the mix. :lol:
If you are casting at the correct temperature and properly fluxing the melt, you will have no serious issues with lead contamination.
If you do skim small amounts of oxides and contaminants from the top of the melt, handle them carefully and put them in a closed container for later disposal.

A vibratory case tumbler can be a major source of lead contamination.
The primer residue is scraped off the inside of the cases as a very fine powder that will wind up all over the place when you sort the polished cases from the used tumbling media. This is an operation that really should be done outdoors and away from children, pets, and food.

Common sense and reasonable cleanliness will keep you out of trouble, most of the time.

Jack
 

Eli Chaps

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 5, 2009
Messages
18
This is one of those , "say it out loud" moments. See I think when we're letting our minds work, we can talk ourselves into all kinds of stuff and it seems to make perfect sense.

But if we stop, take a deep breath, and just say it out loud. It starts to sound different.

Now, let's say it out loud, "I'm thinking about discharging a firearm in my basement..."
 

tomiswho

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Messages
323
At one time, in another home, I used to shoot into the crawl space with my 1022, until I noticed that I was tearing up the foundations cement blocks. I never worried about the environment impact (let the tree huggers handle that) and I wasn't concerned about "discharging a firearm in the city limits" because I doubt my neighbors could have heard, and if they did, they sure wouldn't turn me in. I think the drainage pipe deal, with an electric return for targets, and an exhaust fan would be the ticket. Some sound insulation, so the neighbors don't know might be good too. (or just shoot with a can) I've shot my pellet gun often in the garage where I am now.
 

Axehandle

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
1,419
You guys bring back memories of shooting a suppressed MAC 9/11 in a friend's Dad's basement 30 years ago.... Stood a few railroad cross ties against the concrete block wall and went at it.... It would walk off the cross ties before it wrapped you up... So quiet you could hear brass rattle on the concrete floor... The lack of noise made those shiney things coming back off the block wall seem not so dangerous. Not the smartest thing we ever did but it makes for good conversation about things not to do.... :D
 

Bell Swamp

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
35
We had a .22 shooting range in our basement back when I was a small child. That may explain a few problems 50 years later. The other range we kids had was unknown to our parents until my brother missed once and blew a hole in the ceiling above my father's desk. It consisted of an old grape crate stuffed with old Life or Post magazines. I kept it under my desk. I would fire into it with my '03 Springfield, and my brother would use his .303 Enfield. The bullets stopped just fine. We did have to refresh the magazines occasionally. This was in a small bedroom, and we did not have any hearing protection. I certainly do not recommend shooting in a poorly ventilated area or shooting without hearing and eye protection. It will catch up with you eventually. If you do want an indoor range, do it right and make sure that the ventilation is superb and that the lead can be isolated.
 

Enigma

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
1,995
tek4260":2ra40hag said:
I'm not disputing the dangers of lead, but what about us who cast at home. Seems it couldn't be any more dangerous than that in reguards to lead fumes. I cast on the back deck, but I know others who do it indoors in and enclosed carport or utility room with a fan placed in the window to pull the fumes and get them out of the house.

Toxic waste site???? Should we all dress up like we work deep in the CDC when we take our kids out to shoot the 22's? :roll:

The difference is lead dust. You can still create hazards due to casting, but the dangers arise when you vaporize lead as the bullets strike the backstop. Also as sated earlier, you have lead contamination from primer compounds. This is what led the ammo manufacturers to create the 'NT' (non-toxic) primers.
 

SamV

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
957
OK everyone, I have a question. would you have the same problem with pellet guns? I have been known to plink in the garage with one. I would like to get a nice airgun pistol, Baikel, and set up a trap in the basement for 10 meter shooting. those pellets flatten and sometimes fragment too.
 

slippingaway

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
525
SamV":21wa84ci said:
OK everyone, I have a question. would you have the same problem with pellet guns? I have been known to plink in the garage with one. I would like to get a nice airgun pistol, Baikel, and set up a trap in the basement for 10 meter shooting. those pellets flatten and sometimes fragment too.

As was said before, the biggest problem with shooting indoors is the primer compounds becoming airborne. Lead has to be either inhaled or ingested to cause problems. Lead pellets hitting a pellet trap might fragment, but they're not forming airborne dust. I think you'll be fine with pellets, but I'm sure some would disagree. If you really want to cover all bases when shooting pellets indoors, instead of using a regular metal trap with the angled steel plate, shoot into a box filled with phone books or magazines, or some heavy rubber like old truck mudflaps.
 

tomf52

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
49
The issue of bullet splatter and potential lead dust can be addressed easily. Go to cas boollits.com and search "bullet traps". Crumb rubber mulch in a can or box captures fired slugs with hardly any deformation. Lead free primers are available, though somewhat more expensive. An alternative to the muzzle blast lead is shooting through a length of carboard sonotube hooked to an exhaust duct through a window or hole in the wall. Legality in your location is something you have to research and/or deal with. An inexpensive range can easily be constructed in your basement.
 

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