The editor discusses our responsibility to stop every pellet

As I hope you know, the law obliges us to ensure that every pellet we fire stays within the boundaries of the land where we have permission to shoot. This is never more important than in our back garden, where our pellet catcher must trap and hold each and every shot safely. Of course, there are many commercially available pellet catchers in the shops, but many of us choose to make our own.

The best is a three-sided box made from concrete paving slabs, filled with soil or sand. This soft filling allows the pellet to bury in deeply, absorbing all the energy so that the chance of a rebound or ricochet is almost zero. The opening of this pellet trap should be so large that your chance of missing it is slight, and this is where it has a huge advantage over the typical 6”x6” metallic one. If you choose the latter, it’s a very good idea to place some large paving slabs around it, so that if you do miss, the pellet will splat harmlessly against them, and a wooden fence behind a small pellet trap is no good at all because your pellet might well fly straight through.

Some people have made up boards for pinning on targets, but this is not a safe option. Pellets will often rebound from wood, especially ply or particle board, and could hit you in the eye, so be warned. To combat this problem, people have covered the board in carpet, but this is also broken down quickly by repeated hits, rendering it useless. To make things worse, you might not be aware that pellets have broken through the board and so you are now causing potential danger.

My wife doesn’t want ‘ugly targets’ spoiling her garden design, so I need portable target holders that are strong and safe, whilst being easily movable. I’ve been using a bucket full of sand for some time, which works well, but of course, is getting broken down badly and needs replacing. Following a recent reader’s suggestion, I’ve been trying out a ‘breeze block’. Pinning a target to it was easy, with four short pins, and as the reader said, it does trap pellets well. Only time will tell just how long it will last, but a real positive for me is just how easy it is to move. I have a big concrete slab behind it for safety’s sake, which isn’t so easy to move, but I like the safety it offers. I had that behind the bucket, too. So, for now, this is my choice and I’ll let you know how I get along.

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