Not only do I write articles (when I have time) for Joe For America, but I also own a firearms manufacturing company, Black Swamp Firearms (www.blackswampfirearms.com). A few years back I was trying to figure out the most cost effective way to build an indoor range at my house and one for the shop as well to test fire our weapons prior to shipment. I quickly determined that there were not a lot of options out there. You had snail traps, foam blocks, rough media you could pile into the formation of a hill, or the cheapest of all, a 5 gallon bucket of sand (the redneck bullet stop). I quickly ruled out the 5 gallon bucket of sand, for many reasons. The rest of the options were not inexpensive and had their own drawbacks. Then at Shot Show 2013 I met Gary Mol and his innovative Bullet Bunker (www.thebulletbunker.com). The Bullet Bunker comes in many sizes to accommodate the space you are shooting in and the type of weapons you are shooting (everything from 22lr to and safari rounds to full-auto). The design is basically a steel box, with a black mat (face) at the front that is made of a rubber-type material. Once the bullet penetrates the self-healing face it enters several hundred (to several thousand) pieces of 2-3”, randomly packed, medium (“medium”, not “media”) made from the same material as the face. As the bullet hits the internal medium it deflects inside the box, losing its momentum until it completely stops. After you have shot about 5,000-6,000 rounds (depending on the caliber rounds you are shooting at it) you will unbolt the steel collar around the front of the Bullet Bunker and all the media and some of the bullets will fall out. A majority of the bullets will have settled to the bottom of the box, making reclamation easy. The face will also need replaced at this time, as it can only self-heal so many times (you try being shot 5,000 times and see how you look). Once the new face is in place, bolt it back on to the Bullet Bunker and pour the medium back in through the sliding door located at the top. (*You’ll want to add some extra medium at this time, and periodically check your medium level as you shoot. The medium will break down/settle after repeated shooting. If you don’t do this you run the risk of a bullet being shot at the top of the face and not being stopped by any medium. The bullet may, or may not, be stopped by the steel at the back of the box.) That in a nutshell is the design of The Bullet Bunker, but does it work???
We purchased the Freedom model ($2,634.98 MSRP), which is the most popular model based on its size and the variety of bullets it can handle. Instead of having it delivered, we opted to pick it up ourselves from their manufacturing facility in Port Clinton, OH (they have now relocated to Norwalk, OH for expanded manufacturing capacity). Once we were back in the shop we unloaded the Bullet Bunker with the help of our trusty tractor (these things are heavy). Since we wanted the Bullet Bunker to be mobile, we had them include the stand with wheels on it, so we could easily move it out of the way if we needed more room in the shop. Over the past year we have shot: 22lr, .380, .9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, 223/5.56 (AR-15), 7.62×39 (AK-47), .308, and even my 375 Ruger (safari gun). We have shot one round at a time at it and we have shot as fast as you can dump a 30rd. magazine semi-auto, followed by another 30rd. magazine. You can barely notice the penetration marks on the face and we have yet to empty the box. There are also no signs over penetration through the back of the box either. Periodically we drop in some extra medium, as mentioned above.
In conclusion, I’m very impressed with the design, functionality, performance, and low maintenance of The Bullet Bunker. I plan on buying another Freedom model for my house in 2015 (or maybe the Goliath). The only downside to the Bullet Bunker is the weight, but you need some decent mass to stop a bullet being launched at 3,000+ fps. Basically, what I’m trying to say is make sure you have some friends to help you move it, or hire a good moving company. Keeping its weight in mind, I highly suggest having the Bullet Bunker on stand with wheels. It’s worth the additional cost and will keep you from having to call your friends every time you want to move it. I’d also suggest purchasing an additional face when you make your initial purchase and also some extra medium. With increased capacity in their new facility, and brand awareness of the Bullet Bunker building, I expect to see these guys around for a long time. Plus, the Bullet Bunker team is very easy to work with and they are very helpful in designing the right system for you. If you’ve been thinking about adding an indoor range, buy The Bullet Bunker. It’s one of the best investments a shooter can make.
Mr. Ags writes for Joe for America and welcomes your feedback: [email protected] and on Twitter: @blackswampradio