Written by Michelle Henderson – July 18, 2019
How Do I Know What’s the Best Bullet Trap for My Gun Range?
Every shooting range project presents a unique set of circumstances that must be considered when selecting the bullet trap. Knowledge of the various shooting activities to be conducted on the range is very important. Determining if the range will have a fixed firing line or if the shooters will advance downrange to engage targets will dictate what type of trap is acceptable. In some instances, the bullet trap selection will also be guided by available space in the range. The first steel bullet trap manufactured commercially was the venetian blind type. Venetian blind traps were a great improvement over plate-and-pit backstops and perform satisfactorily for marksmanship ranges. A series of angled impact plates direct bullets downward into a deceleration chamber where the bullet’s energy is depleted through friction. The trap is free standing and only requires 36 inches of floor space.
Gallery ranges gained popularity for police training more as a result of the introduction of the steel escalator bullet trap than from any other single factor. This trap features a sloping armored plate surface that guides incoming bullets into a deceleration area rather than the rounds hitting the exposed leading edges of the venetian blind trap. The steel escalator bullet trap was proven to be a better alternative and became the industry standard for many years.
During the early 1980’s, federal, state, and local regulations began to increase with regard to lead and its impact on the environment. By then, Meggitt had already begun researching new technologies with the intent of improving overall bullet trap performance. Through extensive research and testing, Meggitt developed the world’s first practical environmental trap to significantly reduce bullet fragmentation and lead dust at the trap area — the rubber lamella trap.
The rubber lamella trap features a patented design of multiple layers of rubber strips suspended from a steel support frame. Bullet velocity of incoming rounds dissipates and is absorbed through friction within the lamellas and the bullet is captured virtually intact. Range applications for the rubber lamella trap include crime labs, residential ranges, and other low volume applications.
After the introduction of the rubber lamella trap, bullet trap technologies evolved into the current and most effective environmental bullet trap, the Reclining GranTrap™. Meggitt holds nine patents on this technological design that created a revolutionary advance in bullet trap performance. Meggitt’s GranTrap utilizes granular rubber as a containment medium.
The rubber granulate material, called GranTex™, is supported by an inclined structure and covered with a self-healing rubber cover. The cover allows projectiles to penetrate into the GranTex while keeping shooting debris and other contaminants out. The GranTrap bullet containment system safely deenergizes incoming rounds and contains them intact with virtually no lead dust or bullet fragmentation. This is ideal for ranges that will be conducting tactical training or firing close range or at acute angles in the range. In addition, Meggitt’s GranTrap is superior in reducing range noise by eliminating bullet impact and deceleration on steel plates.
To learn more about bullet traps and to find the one best for your range, visit this page.