Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What sizes of curtain panels are available?
Panels are a standard 8 feet in width but can be made wider to replace existing panels. They can be ordered from 30 feet to 50 feet in length which typically is dictated by the total length of the curtain. You want all panels to be the same length for ease of installation and replacement. They are bound on the edges with heavy-duty reinforcing webbing with brass grommets spaced every 12 inches around the perimeter. Panels weigh just under a pound per linear foot so a 50 foot panel only weighs about 45 pounds.
2. How do we calculate how many panels we need?
The first consideration is how high and how low is the area which you need to cover. As to height, consider that standing on the 16 yard line of a trap field, the gun muzzle is approximately 5 feet above the ground. ATA set targets are seldom shot more than 15 feet off the ground at 35 to 40 yards.
Our experience at Redlands, where the curtain is at 90 yards, is that the majority of the patterns impact the panels between 16 and 28 feet above the level of the shooting stations’ surface at 90 yards. Because there is a berm behind the curtain blocking the area below, 50 foot poles with 41 feet out of the ground puts the top of the curtain at 39 feet. We used four horizontal panels runs for coverage from 7 to 39 feet.
Keep in mind that it is possible to shoot under the curtain but the pellets will not carry very far past the curtain as they are rapidly losing trajectory based upon what would be an almost level shot.
As to width, a single field can be covered at 80 yards with approximately 180 feet of linear curtain (4, 45 foot wide panels). For two fields, if they are parallel and approximately 25 to 30 yards on center from post three, they can be covered with approximately 200-225 linear feet of panels as the center area serves both fields. Regardless of the number of fields, if you shoot lines from posts 27 one and 27 five through opposite front corners of your trap houses, that line should indicate the ends of the curtain for ATA targets. If you shoot wobble, you will want to extend that to 15’ outside the line of the widest shot you would take on the widest target.
3. What size utility poles do we need?
Wood utility poles come in several ratings. However, it is the guy wires that actually provide the strength to resist the wind loads. It is the wind loading that requires the strength because the fabric and its rigging for each 4 panel run, 50 foot span would be less than 300 pounds. Assuming that your maximum height will be about 39 feet, you would need 50 foot poles buried 8-10 feet deep. Depending upon the class of the pole available and the delivery costs, you may need to budget between from $500-$1200 per pole. The 2 guy wires per pole that actually deliver the strength are attached front and back at the top and about 2/3rds up the pole with end poles guyed on the ends as well.
4. What does pole installation and rigging cost?
A two-man utility pole contractor crew who has a pole setting truck and a boom truck for rigging will probably cost $2000 to $2500 per day. Depending upon the type of installation and the type of soil, the crew should be able to install and rig 2-4 fields per day. In addition you will have hardware, steel cable and guy wire anchors to budget. Most private clubs actually install the panels using volunteers and a rented lift. Once the first couple are installed, two men can usually install a panel in about 30 minutes using hog rings to attach the panels to the horizontal cables.
5. How long does it take to get delivery of the panels?
The manufacturing process itself consists of the fabric company ordering the thread which comes in 50 pound spools, loading the 100 spools on their knitting machine and calibrating it, knitting the fabric, sending it out to be dyed, heat set and coated, shipping to a contract industrial sewing facility to have the edge reinforced hems with grommets installed and then shipping from that facility to your facility. While we have a dedicated knitting machine for ShotStop and are constantly knitting we usually run about 8 to 12 weeks from the point you place your order but if other orders are in queue, it could take up to 6 months.
6. Are there other types of fabrics that can stop shot?
ShotStop fabric is knitted by a specialty, high tech knitting textile manufacturer here in the United States. We have tested numerous off-the-shelf fabrics in hopes of finding a less expensive alternative. None have come close to meeting the strength standards necessary to withstand the impact of 100 million shotgun pellets. When you consider that each shot averages 400 pellets, then a squad shooting 125 targets equals 50,000 pellets. Just 10 squads per week is 500,000 pellets times 52 weeks or, 26 million pellet impacts in the year. We estimate our fabric to withstand 700,000 pattern impacts, which would be at least 280,000,000 pellet impacts.
7. Why is the fabric so expensive?
Most heavy tarp-like fabrics made in wide widths and in volume are woven like a bed sheet. ShotStop is knitted like a sweater. This gives ShotStop fabric the ability to flex at the point of pellet impact and also to flex when hit by a pattern. This flexibility is necessary for the durability of the fabric. We use a high tensile, 440 denier polyester thread that is knitted on a 100 needle knitting machine specially adjusted to make ShotStop fabric. Because of the complexity of the knit pattern and the heavyweight thread, fabric production goes very slowly. The machine can only produce about 500 lineal feet per week running a single shift. It typically runs double shift. Once a sufficient quantity of raw fabric has been knitted, it is then shipped to a dye house that runs the material through large, heated vats that add color, UV protection and melamine to bind the fibers in the threads which adds significant strength to the material. Once it comes back from the dye house it is then ready to ship to our sewing contractor who actually creates the panel by cutting to the ordered length, and installing the reinforced hem and grommets. It is then ready to ship to the club.
8. Does ShotStop fabric come with a warranty or guarantee?
The only warranty we can offer is that our panels will be free from defects in workmanship. Because we have no control over how the fabric is installed or what people shoot at it, we cannot guarantee how long it will last. We do tell clubs that they need to exclude shot larger than 7.5 and no more than 1300 FPS. Obviously, this takes some monitoring particularly if the club shoots a lot of “games” where shooters like their special hot loads. To review our Purchase Agreement that contains our warranty and exclusions please request a copy.
9. What other clubs have installed ShotStop?
ShotStop curtains have saved clubs from being closed all across the US and Canada and has been installed in Brisbane Australia at the gun club that hosted the trap and skeet competitions for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. To see a sample of clubs that have installed ShotStop curtains, click on "References" in the menu.
Club members installing ShotStop panels at Newman California.
Looking down the paved road for easy lead recovery at the Cardinal Center
HiViz for TV target breaking at Brisbane Australia.
The completed ShotStop curtain at Newman CA covering 6 fields.
Club member installing ShotStop panels at Escalon Sportsman Club.
More Questions? Just call:
805 402 7238