Pellet Traps – The Okay and the AWESOME!

Over the years, I have used countless ways to stop pellets.  Phone books.  Pillows.  Wood boards.  Scrap Carpet.  But, recently two more viable methods have surfaced on the forums.  The first was electrical duct seal.  You can buy it for around $2 per “brick” at your local hardware store.  I used 4 bricks of it to make this trap.

It is made from 1″ pine, nailed and glued together.  I cut slits into the interior near the front to hold 5.5″ Gamo tarets (they are inexpensive).  The handle is positioned in the center of gravity for the trap, as it is much heavier to the rear due to the duct seal.  The hinge on top allows easier access to the duct seal.

The trap looked great, and did its job fairly well.  But, here are some things I did not like about the design.  First, duct seal is somewhat messy, and a pain to work with.  You need to pack it in the back evenly, and you need to be keen about not firing in the same place for too many shots, or you’ll “drill” a hole through it.  Of course, I eventually did this, and blasted the wood out the back of the trap.  Repairing it was easy enough.  But it isn’t exactly done quickly.  You need to measure, cut, and install the wood.  Then there is the weight – the trap starts out at nearly 10 lbs, and it only gets heavier as the lead starts to stack up.

There had to be a better way.  There is!  But, I didn’t think of it, and I can’t remember who did.  But, that person deserves an “attaboy” because this next design is the cat’s ass.  It is done with nothing more than a cardboard box, rubber mulch, and a roll of tape.  The box in this photo is 12″ long, 6″ high, 6″ wide.

pellet trap 1 

The mulch is designed to be used as a shock-absorbing material to be placed under outdoor play areas for children.  I’m pretty sure it is cut up old tires.  I got mine from a local yard-and-garden shop.

pellet trap 2

The box is stuffed tight with this mulch, and it does an EXCELLENT job of quietly stopping pellets.  Even .30 cal, 78 fpe pellets can be fired into this thing.  In fact, they don’t even make it to the half-way point.  The heavier lead eventually slips through the mulch to the bottom of the box.  So, you can tell how far the pellets get by shaking the box.  The elastic properties of the mulch not only do a better job of stopping pellets, they also prevent the pellets from “drilling” a hole though the media.  I have fired over 100 shots into the exact same spot, using my .25 Bobcat, and every pellet still stops at the same depth.

Maintenance:  The lead energy eventually starts to break up the rubber, and you’ll notice that the tightly packed box starts to get looser.  No problem.  I simply pack a few more pieces of mulch through the “shooting hole” until it is stuffed tight.  Then I put another target over the hole, tape it up, and resume shooting.  Yes – I decree that these mulch pellet traps are as perfect as you can get.  They are cheap, quiet, easy to make, easy to maintain, and do a heck of a job at stopping lead.

So – with that said.  I’m giving one away! :)  It is the twin brother of the one you see in the photos.  Any comment below enters you to win.  I’ll randomly select a winner in a week.


154 Responses to “Pellet Traps – The Okay and the AWESOME!”

  1. 6kneiser says:

    I just bought a .22 rim fire trap, but now I am contemplating returning it and making one of these!

  2. Bako1208 says:

    I’m already cutting up old water hoses

  3. Rick2 says:

    Good deal. I’ve been thinking of a cheep way to do it. Now to just figure out how to make the legs on my bypod to stop in the outward position to lower my Disco to the floor a little above the Chrony.

  4. baloo says:

    Fantastic idea!! Thank you Ted

  5. Sancho says:


  6. Tbuggey says:

    I read your comments and watched the video on taking the FX Bobcat for a spin.

    The question is what does it COST to get into this game??

    Seems to me;

    Bobcat $2000 with the regulator
    Vortex $900

    Extension Tube ??
    Air Supply fill Station or Tank
    Camera and Mount

    Seems like a $5000 number would cover it.

    Is that about right ??

    Thanks for the comeback


    • Rick2 says:

      You know how it is. The difference in men and boys is the cost of their toys.HA HA I have a RWS 34 and a Benjamin Discovery both in .22. I look at the Bobcat and just slobber all over the place but that is just how it is sometimes.

    • Ted Ted says:

      I costs less than $500 to get into the PCP airgun game (see my review of the Benjamin Dicovery). If you want to outfit yourself with the Cadillac gear, it will run you around $4000 to get up and running. The FX Indy is an option for those who don’t mind pumping, or do not have a source for high-pressure air.

      • TomE says:

        Hey Ted, I just wanted to thank you for your enthusiasm, it’s contagious. I’m waiting for a Verminator Extreme .30 cal Kit with tank, raptor comp., etc. delivery… much more excited to go pcp than all the powder I’ve done.. maybe you could curb some of that enthusiasm for awhile to give my checkbook a breather…;) AOA has been great.. I learned to appreciate it all from your vids. & writing..

      • DealFair says:

        Thank you for the Benjamin Discovery review! I’m going this route for introduction into airgunning. Ordered the TKO muzzle break and am going to set it up like you have, except I have a good mildot AO scope to put on it. Then it’s going to be full out war on English Sparrows. I really appreciate your informative videos. Cheers, Deal Fair

    • todd says:

      I just brought a fx Indy .22 and took it out for the first time I went from a $400 spring to a $2500 Indy don’t think about it man just do it you won’t regret it I was smacking down finches at 50 m no worries

  7. Deacon says:

    Looks like a winner !

  8. Rick2 says:

    I have a trap made out of wood and they just don’t last. You will soon enough state seeing dents in the wood and if you use Pine it will come apart. I’m looking for a large size military ammo box made out of steel that I cut the front out of and put the target in. They also have handles. The duct seal is great. Enough of it will stop anything.

  9. Gatorproof says:

    Hi guys,
    I live in Florida and no basements. We are 90 miles from the Atlantic and we are below sea level.

    However, when I cut my yearly firewood, I leave about a dozen Oak rounds, cut 12″ long at each of my 25,50,75 @ 100 yard target areas.
    They sit on a big “Y” also from a Oak tree. Staple a target fresh from being copied on my Brother Pro printer. Works great and for air and powder burners.
    No waste, we burn the old rounds in our fire pit for parties.

    We also play air gun poker. We setup 2x8x16′ planks, with
    A full deck of cards stapled to them, then draw a number out of a hat. Winner shoots first. We do the card game at 25 yards. Each player builds a hand. However,if your shot is not completely inside of a colored spot of the suit, that card is pulled and we play with what is left.
    Really enjoy your site Ted. Gator

  10. thud says:

    Hey! I can finally log on….Win. Nice pellet trap. I been using old tool catalogs. Will defiantly have me one of these soon. Thanks for the info, & the site.

  11. greasemonkey88 says:

    That is awesome. But shipping has to be a bitch. Lol at least you don’t have to box it up to ship it just slap a shipping label on it.

  12. richman says:

    Too mulch of a good thing! Thanks for sharing.

  13. drewciferpike says:

    Do you find that the pellets blast themselves into pieces, or does the rubber dampen things enough to help them stay together? I’m simply concerned with lead dust. I like the duct seal only because nothing “strays from the trap”.

    • Ted Ted says:

      Pellets stay far more intact than using duct seal, because they do not “pile up”. The mulch trap works very similarly to a children’s ball pit. :)

      • drewciferpike says:

        Eeeeeeenteresting… I might just have to give this a spin. We just moved, and The Boss wants me to build a play area for our son. It looks like the rubber bark that will be covering his “park” might start slowly thinning over time…

  14. Lighthorse Lighthorse says:

    Cool Idea :-)

  15. Tbuggey says:

    I know this is probably the wrong place to ask

    I am interested in EXTREME Bench rest and would appreciate your comment on the “ROLLS ROYCE” combination of equipment.

    Including some sort of Pellet Measuring device.
    Air Tanks, regulators.
    The whole dream list to play with the big boys.

    Thanks for the comments and if I should address this some other way
    Let me know
    Thanks Again


  16. ChrisMiller says:

    Any Ideas for making an archery butt?

  17. darrenf1 says:

    I like it!

  18. sockfoot says:

    I had been looking/thinking about a good pellet trap. Nice to hear more than one person’s one attempt with no comparisons.

  19. Ben says:

    This is a great idea.

  20. acesover8s says:

    That’s a really cool idea! Now to get a gun that’s accurate enough lol

  21. pellgunfool says:

    Being quiet is very important to me because the houses in my neighborhood are just 30 feet apart but the backyards are 150 feet deep. The noise from steel plates comes from their vibration when struck by a pellet. This can be greatly reduced by welding several chain links to one side of a steel plate (mine is 3/8″ thick) and setting it “link side” into formed wet cement 4″ thick. The links “lock” or “key” the plate to the cement and this nearly eliminates the vibration when struck by my .25 cal condor.
    At full power (80 fpe) it makes only a clicking sound. I set this into a 30″ deep plywood box which contains the pellet splatter. This set up requires no maintenence except dumping the lead out of it once every 30 years. (or something like that)

  22. Mitchell Thomas says:

    Hello Sir. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year to you sir. Are you going monster cat hunting in australia?

  23. Darrell Perry says:

    Another excellent article Ted. I thought the wooden trap looked good until I read on down about the one with rubber mulch. That would be a perfect project to make with and for my grandson and myself to use. He is nine and learning pretty well, no blackbird is safe. Do you think there would be any problems using steel BBs from his pump up Daisy.

  24. shpreeves says:

    Great idea, After reading this, I made a steal trap, 1/8″ thick welded in a rectangle shape filled the box with that rumbler mulch cut 1″ insulation board to the 12″X12″ opening, attach my targets and after a few thousand shots, I switch out the foam boards….Thanks for the insight TED!!!!

  25. shpreeves says:

    Ted, I tried using your website to order a maurader and it won’t let me add the promo code? I was wondering if the 15% expired?..

  26. Doug Doty says:

    I got a steel .22 rimfire trap and it is loud and pellets fragment and ricochet the pellet fragments back out of the trap. This is a cardboard box and still yet a superior design. Love it.

  27. mcduff28 says:

    I have been doing this for years but I use old shirts instead of mulched rubber and I have never had a passthru.

  28. hurakan says:

    I just finished making a version of this with a cheap pine box from Michaels and some mulch from HomeDepot. About $20 bucks all said. Easily stops my .25 syn-rod from 5 yds, pellets barely make it 8 inches in. Silent and cheap. Thanks again for the heads up, Ted.

  29. entomophile entomophile says:

    Wow. I might like that better than my own pellet trap.

  30. VIPER251 says:

    Great design I will defiantly try it out with my Beeman silver Kodiak x2

  31. sean mcdaniel says:

    I am so making this tonight.
    I made my own pellet traps out of the duct seal myself and it is heavy.
    This is an outstanding alternative.

  32. TheBullsEye says:

    pick me pick me :)

  33. mentolio says:

    Great idea! I’ll be making one of these babies.

  34. mobilemail says:

    Go ahead and send me the official autographed “Ted” model. Your videos are awesome!

  35. jimmyD says:

    Thanks again Ted, an old dog just learned another new trick,always enjoy your videos and I’ve gained much from all you’ve shared.

  36. Rider54 says:

    A rubberized pellet trap, what a great idea! Made one today, works great.
    Keep the videos coming! They’re very informative and great to watch!
    Thanks Ted!

  37. Reid moon Reid moon says:

    I have been using stacks of old news papers for years. Roll together a stack around 6-8 inches thick. And line the back of my trap. It makes it easier to retrieve used pellets that I cast into fishing weights.

  38. JonL says:

    Very nice! I’ve been rocking the duct seal trap for some time. I may have to make myself one of these rubberized ones!

  39. fugly says:

    Will definitely try this, albeit with an <$500 airgun. Means I will be making a much larger hole that you make.

  40. Jiffy Jiffy says:

    Hey Ted,
    Nice target maybe I’ll have to make myself one of those. I’m just getting back into shooting my air guns (it’s been awhile). I would be willing to bet you and I are the same vintage and we both live in WI. I’ve enjoyed your posts and videos. Keep up the good work.

  41. jhm757 says:

    Ted: great videos, I’m planning on getting a .25 mrod to get me started with pcp air rifles, saving up, want to get everything at once gun, scope, chrono, and air tank, and lots of pellets,that pellet trap would be nice too!

  42. Little Turtle says:


  43. Brad Copeland says:

    I have also used a steal box approx. “6×6″ filled with wax about 3″deep stops fragments .

  44. rangy96 says:

    thanks for the great idea!

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