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Range Glossary of Terms

Armor piercing

"Black tips." Armor piercing rounds are designed to penetrate metal. A/P rounds should only be fired into a custom trap. The M855/SS109 steel tipped round is not armor piercing.


Angled panels which may be suspended from the roof structure or mounted on the walls or floor. The baffles ensure that direct shots do not exit the range enclosure and protect Range Users & equipment. Savage Range Systems recommends that baffles be installed at an angle of 15 degrees or less to the direction of fire.

Ceiling height

Height from the finished floor level to the bottom edge of the ceiling baffles. This is a critical dimension for the baffle design. The height from the finished floor to the roof structure is critical to the HVAC and lighting design and costs related to hanging the baffles.

Dynamic firing line/tactical range

Also referred to as a 'walk down' range in which the shooters are able to move downrange from the furthest firing point and shoot towards the trap from any downrange position. A static target line is commonly used in a tactical range. Baffles in a tactical range are 'heel to toe', i.e. continuous from the furthest firing position to the trap.

Firing positions

Standing, bench (at a bench or kneeling) or prone. The firing positions being proposed dictates the baffle design. Unless otherwise specified, the following heights (above floor level) are used for determining the baffle requirements:

  • Standing - 60"
  • Bench - 36"
  • Prone - 12"

Foot Pounds of Energy (FPE)

Foot Pounds of Energy is the energy produced by the bullet at the muzzle.

Footprint of trap

The actual floor space required for the bullet trap. Savage Range Systems recommends a service/maintenance corridor of at least 3' behind all steel bullet traps. Important Note: When using overhead target systems, the target can be positioned within the footprint of the Snail® Trap. Please refer to the drawings when determining the distance from shooter to target.

Leading edge

Any edge that may result in a potential ricochet.

Range width

The inside finished dimension from sidewall to sidewall, left and right of the shooter.

Safety ceiling

A "horizontal baffle" 12' wide positioned over the shooter to absorb an errant discharge. Where there are multiple firing points, there may either be multiple safety ceilings or tactical baffles.

Shooting distance

This refers to the distance from shooter to target at the furthest point down range. Typical shooting distances are 50 feet, 25 yards, 25 meters, 50 yards and 100 yards.

Static firing line

One in which the firing position on the range does not change, all shooting is from a single firing line. Retrievable targets or multiple target lines are commonly utilized. Baffles for this range are spaced increasingly further apart as they approach the trap.

Tracer rounds

Tracer rounds are ignited to show the path of a bullet. Although they can be used with a Wet Snail® Trap, tracer rounds are not recommended for use indoors. Tracer rounds should never be used in rubber traps.


Don't show again

There is more than just the initial purchase price to consider when you consider installing a bullet trap for a range.

Per Million Rounds - Based on a 12 lane range firing 60,000 rounds per week for 15 years.

An informed decision to purchase a shooting range includes a look at the initial purchase price AND the long-term costs. All operational costs - upkeep and maintenance, along with repair, replacement parts and disposal of environmentally sensitive materials - need to be considered.

Costs to consider include:

  • Installation
  • Operational costs
  • Disposal of any material, such as rubber, used to absorb the bullet's energy
  • Mining/Cleaning of the trap
  • Disposal of bullets, jackets and fragments
  • Longevity of the trap and its ability to sustain a steady volume of fire

Automatic Bullet Recovery System (ABRS)

For easy collection, Savage Range Systems pioneered the Automatic Bullet Recovery System (ABRS) with the Snail® System Bullet Trap.

As bullets decelerate, losing energy, they finally fall to the bottom of the chamber and exit through a bottom slot. They are then carried along a conveyor to a collection drum, behind the trap, to be either disposed of, or recycled. Just one more reason why a Savage Range System is considered the safest and most efficient shooting range available.

Snail® System Deceleration Chamber

In 1991, Ron Coburn invented the Snail® System - a bullet trap that decelerates a bullet rather than disintegrating it on impact.

The heart of the Snail® Trap is the deceleration chamber. Low angle entrance ramps guide the bullet into a circular chamber where it revolves, losing energy, until it drops down for collection.

This simple, yet ingenious, solution virtually eliminates lead dust for a safer range environment and has revolutionized the entire shooting range industry.

Snail® Systems Deflection Ramps Make the Difference

The Wet Snail® System, with low angle ramps and round deceleration chamber, results in virtually no airborne lead at the trap.

Unlike other steel traps on the market, Snail® Traps have always used low angle ramps (12° for rifle and 15° for pistol) that guide the bullet into the round deceleration chamber, where the bullet loses energy and safely drops into a collection area, ready for recycling. A .30-06 bullet will make approximately 130 revolutions in 2-3 seconds.

In the Wet Snail® Trap, a mixture of biodegradable lubricant and water encapsulates any lead particles that may be generated before they become airborne and inhaled by the range users. This results in a safer and cleaner environment for the shooter.