Top 13 Survival Uses For Fired Ammo

Ryan Dotson
By Ryan Dotson January 19, 2021 09:35

Top 13 Survival Uses For Fired Ammo

As a survivalist and hunter, I go through a good amount of ammunition. This includes both bullets and shotgun shells.

Whether I am out tracking down game or enjoying target practice after a stressful day, there are shell casings left over. With such an abundant resource, I would not be a good prepper and survivalist if I threw them away.

The obvious solution is to reload my own ammunition. While I know how to reload ammo and have the supplies, I simply don’t have time to reload all of it. If times were tougher and I was hunting every day, I would take the time to reload everything.

In the meantime, there are lots of additional ways to repurpose brass casings and plastic shotgun shells.

There are many crafty projects for these leftovers, but I wanted to put together a list of practical uses. Most of these would be ideal for a survival scenario.

Related: How to Make Shotgun Shells at Home? (With Pictures)

Working With Brass Casings

Brass is a fairly soft metal, so it is relatively easy to cut and bend it. You can use it for decorative purposes, but it is more functional in bearings and seals for machinery. It does not spark, so you can use it around volatile substances like gasoline. It melts easily, so you can melt it down to form it into other shapes.

For cutting brass you can use just about any saw or heavy blade. You can use a grinder, a file, or even rub the casing on concrete to sand it down. For a flat piece of brass, you just need to cut off the closed end with the primer. From there you just hammer it flat. You can drill through it with any kind of bit or can even use the point of your knife to punch a hole.

Repurposing Shotgun Shells

Shotgun shells are made of plastic, so they are even easier to cut. Any sharp blade will do. You can cut just above the brass to remove the plastic.

However, the cleanest way to remove the plastic is to heat the brass. If you flip a clothes iron upside down and set the brass portion on top, it will start to heat up. With just a little heat, the plastic will pull free leaving the brass portion separate. Be sure to clean out your shells first so there is no residual left to catch fire.

Here are the functional ways you can reuse your casings and shells:

Emergency Whistle

In a survival scenario, it is vital that you have a way to alert people of your presence. This could be to alert rescuers, or it could be just to communicate with your family.

13 Survival Uses for Fired Ammo

A good survival whistle is perfect for this.

The sound will cut through the wind better than just yelling, and it won’t wear out your voice.

Long casings for pistols are best, but you can cut the taper off of rifle casings as well.

Cut a notch with the edge closest to the opening perpendicular to the length of the shell. The other side of the notch should be 30 to 45 degrees off parallel. Find a stick that tightly fits inside the casing. Make sure the end of the stick is completely flat. Then shave down the side facing the notch so there is a little gap for air.

When you push in the stick, it should make a whistling sound.

Sinkers For Fishing

13 Survival Uses for Fired AmmoIt is always nice to have a variety of different weights available to attach to your fishing line.

Brass casings work great for this. Just fill your brass with sand and pound the open end shut.

Cut a hole for your line and you are ready to fish.

Related: How to Catch Fish with a Jug


Larger casings will work better for this project if you want a good amount of volume. These work great for tripwire perimeter alarms or just to let you know when the wind is blowing.

Just cut off the closed end and punch holes to attach strings to each shell. String them up on a frame and you have chimes.

Dog Tags

13 Survival Uses for Fired AmmoWhen I refer to dog tags, I really mean just a metal label. It could be for your pets, to label your keys, or it could be for labelling products in your garage. You just need to cut off the primer end and pound the casing flat. Punch a hole in one side. Then just stamp any info you would like using a normal metal stamp.


Sometimes you need a spacer or a shim to fill in a small gap on equipment or in the joints of a wooden project. The thin sheets of brass you get from flattening a shell casing is perfect for this job. Just put in as many sheets as you need for the thickness and cut off any excess brass.


13 Survival Uses for Fired AmmoTo make arrowheads out of brass casings, start by flattening the casing.

Cut off the end and then pound it flat. Cut out the shape you want remembering to have a good shape to attach the arrowhead to an arrow shaft. Sharpen both edges and you are ready to go hunting.


If you have a piece of equipment made of a harder metal like steel, it may need a seal to maintain pressure. A soft metal can be cut to shape and installed in the junction to seal and maintain pressure.

Colored Lens For A Flashlight

Having colored light at night can be helpful in a survival scenario.

13 Survival Uses for Fired Ammo

Red light does not disrupt night vision like white light does. Green light is ideal for hunting hogs at night. Any color can be used to turn your flashlight into a signal.

Just remove the brass from the plastic shell and flatten the plastic with a heat gun. Then cut it to the correct size and attach it to your light.

Drawer Handles

Shotgun shells make good handles as they are brightly colored and easy to grab. For tools or equipment, just add epoxy inside the shell and press the tool or equipment lever into the epoxy.

Let it dry and you are good. For drawer pulls just put a screw in the epoxy with the pointed end facing out.


13 Survival Uses for Fired AmmoBrass is great for bearings in machinery to prevent metal rubbing on metal. In some cases, you can use the primer end as is. In others it would need to be melted down to cast a bearing.

Related: 25 Powerless Appliances for Your Homestead Kitchen


For quick buttons just cut off the primer end of a shotgun shell or brass casing. Then drill holes and you are good to go.


13 Survival Uses for Fired AmmoShotgun shells are ideal in size and shape for emergency candles. They are small enough to put in your pocket, but large enough to stay lit for an hour or so.

The shell itself keeps the wax from getting all over everything. Just add a wick and some melted wax and let it set up.

Push Pins

If you are planning a foraging grid or a route for bugging out, you will need to mark landmarks on a map.

Push pins are easier to use if they have a shell casing attached. Just find push pins that fit inside the casing and glue them in place. They are less likely to end up in your carpet or your foot that way.


13 Survival Uses for Fired AmmoBrass Grommets are needed at the corners of tarps and other things to prevent them from fraying when attached to cordage.

You can cut the primer end off of either shotgun shells or brass casings.

Then pop out the primer itself and you have your grommet.

As you can see, there are lots of uses for your discarded brass casings and shotgun shells. You just need to take the initiative to try out a few of these projects. Start collecting all of your casings and shells. When SHTF, you will be ready to use these to their maximum potential.

You may also like: 

Improvised Suppressors When SHTF: Keeping Quiet When It Counts

This Homemade Device Can Power Up Your Entire House 7 Days in a Row (Video)

What Really Happens to Your Guns in Winter (it could get you killed)

The Lost Art of “Cut Shells

How To Turn Used Car Batteries Into A Survival Power Bank

Ryan Dotson
By Ryan Dotson January 19, 2021 09:35
Write a comment


  1. Stu January 19, 11:36

    You’re kidding me right? In a time where ammo is non existent on shelves, and most expensive component is the brass, this article actually suggests destroying them. No time to reload all of them? Yet you have time to make a whistle. Makes absolutely no sense. Brass casings were made for Bullets. Don’t destroy them. My goodness if you don’t want them then I can privately give you my address and please send them to me. Seriously don’t do any of this.

    Reply to this comment
    • Illini Warrior January 19, 13:06

      day that ammo reloading goes underground is only a few short weeks/months away – we’ll be seeing powder & primers smuggled into the country at a premium sacrifice – save that brass >. We’ll be needing it ….

      Reply to this comment
      • Bill January 19, 18:03

        By the way, reloading supplies and equipment aren’t a good idea for the ol’ bugout bag. Getting bullets, powder, and primers on the road is not likely, and keeping the materials in separated form is useless. Load up and have your supplies in cartridge form well before you need it! The weight of what you carry isn’t much different, while the level of preparation is vastly different. In the same way, have a whistle ready, if you need one (and you might). That is much better preparation than waiting to make one.

        Reply to this comment
        • Oracle January 26, 18:42

          Bill, I agree that once the ammo is gone reloading for someone bugging out won’t work. But, what is the whistle for? To give up your location to anyone who wishes to do you harm? I believe whistles are useful for the average day hikers who wander off trail and need the government in what ever form to come rescue them. Post shtf we will be dependent on stealth, not tweeting whistles. Save the brass, it is possible you could trade it to a reloader… nothing should be just thrown out if there is even a remote chance of it holding value later.

          Reply to this comment
          • red January 26, 22:32

            Oracle: Yo, I think the town of Oracle got 10 inches of snow!

            Why screw up a casing for a whistle when just blowing over the top makes it a whistle. Whistle were used every effectively by Viet Cong and NVA officers. While the officers hid from our troops,they commanded their people with whistles. Someone said we countered by using their codes to tell the NVA to retreat, or sent them to the worse places for them. niio

            Reply to this comment
            • Oracle January 26, 23:23

              Red, that figures. Oracle AZ is a strange little town. Are you near there?

              Reply to this comment
              • red January 27, 03:18

                Oracle: 10 miles by road. The shortcut is a few miles more 🙂 the fastest way, of course, is jump down the cliffs. Nice town, tho it’s forgotten its mining past. Too many artsy fartsy types. niio

                Reply to this comment
                • Oracle January 29, 12:20

                  Red, the “strange” I was referring to is the over abundance of “artsy fartsy types”.

                  Reply to this comment
                  • red January 30, 04:14

                    Oracle: Hey, I resemble that remark! 🙂 People gasped at me for telling off a black woman on obama and other things. She tried to make problems for me but even in Oracle, was given the bum’s rush. niio

                    Reply to this comment
    • clergylady January 19, 21:55

      The whistle is made much as we made willow whistles as a kid.
      I’ve made shotgun drawer pulls for small cabinets. Loved the look.

      Reply to this comment
    • red ant January 20, 11:20

      It seems to me. That they may be saying here, is that you can use the old or beat up cartrages to make cool stuff. I don’t think nor did I read any where that you need to use good ammo for this.
      Wow… Here’s the brain factor again.

      We are called preppers. Well this is part of prepping.
      Having something around to do because you got shot by some jack ass and know you can’t fight any more. So now you make whistles.

      Quit beating everything down. Just because you can’t or don’t want to do it. Dose not mean we are the same. I like all that I read and learn.

      Knowledge is power…

      Cant just read it and then add to the knowlage. So negative. Yes I can see some negativity, some not every dam thing said here.
      I’m sure glad I don’t prep with some of y’all. Would have to just go solo, can’t take it any more. DAM…

      It’s funny you don’t have a prepper survival site.
      Hell if ya did it would be called.
      I can’t do it survival site…

      Knowledge is power, no matter what it is.

      What’s that I hear, a whistle. Sounds like a 30-06 casing. Good thing he learneds how to make a whistle. Just might save your life…

      Reply to this comment
      • Oracle January 26, 18:45

        Red Ant, try to not be so negative. 🙂

        Reply to this comment
        • red ant January 28, 00:46


          OKAY I will be a snowflake and not be so negative about snowfakes


          Better get stronger then those that are coming to your door.

          Hey you can make a whistle out of a spent ammo casing. Pretty cool…

          Reply to this comment
          • red January 28, 05:02

            red ant: Melt them away. but remember, you catch more flies with honey tan you do with vinegar. A man in his early 20s just moved into town. Loves some of what biden is doing, so I straightened him out. He hasn’t talked to me since, bt when he sees me, he waves. He’s learning. Once the mexicans in town talk to him, he’ll learn about demoncrats. BTW, he’s white and from Phoenix. But, all those armed, angry conservative Mexicans he has for neighbors like him, he’s good people, but he’s going to change. They told him they didn’t want any perverts (liberals) around LOL niio

            Reply to this comment
            • red ant January 28, 17:31


              I like vinegar, it preserves the fly’s that I catch.
              But yes, I get it.

              Some one has to be the wild child.

              Reply to this comment
              • red January 29, 11:48

                red ant: take all the fungus gnats you want. There’s a pelosi-type whiner called bandit skulking around. Remember, the idea with gnats is to have fun. think injun. If someone from Mexico harasses me I ask them if their mother still sucks goats in tijuana. for injuns and miners, that’s called being friendly. To a perv like any lib, it’s hate speech. when bandit trashed me, I didn’t reply, just said hello ms pelosi to indivat I saw him as a vindictive girly-boy. I ended it by telling him he could take off his tinfoil hat now. Have fun! the best jabs had a point so sharp it takes a moment for the pain to set in. niio

                Reply to this comment
                • Bandit February 6, 20:00

                  Red: Damn, I must have really gotten under your skin for you still to be whining about me! Dude, let me say first, I’ve been reading this website for about a year. I come here as much for the comments as for the article. I thoroughly enjoy most of what’s written by you, Chuck, and a few others. My wife and I are very into this, have been for over a decade. We live in Florida. All that aside, politics can quickly ruin things. We are not typical liberals. Our politics are middle of the road. We’re NRA members and support the border wall. We also hate trump because he’s an unhinged lunatic that just tried to steal an election that he lost fair and square. There was no mass election fraud. He’s a nutcase and a liar, plain and simple. Am I happy about his supreme court picks? Yep. They will hopefully protect our constitutional rights, especially the second ammendment. The problem I have here is the off the rails, Qanon conspiracy theory garbage being spewed. The republicans who voted to impeach trump showed integrity and the presence of a spine. Loopy nuts like Marjorie Taylor Green don’t belong in government. She should have been expelled from Congress, not just the committees she was on.

                  Reply to this comment
                  • red ant February 7, 11:15

                    Not worth the time.
                    To anyone…

                    Reply to this comment
                    • red February 7, 15:45

                      red ant: Nazis get under my skin like they do yours. More, they work for the dems to destroy great sites like this. I dialogue with people from all over the world.
                      A lot of folks do not like the US, but are horrified that we now have a pedophile in chief. Each times dems own the country, a lot of people starve to death and liberals shrug it off because it reduces the world population. that was Hitler’s attitude, the earth is man’s only god.
                      right now, thanks to Trump, hundreds of slavers, most of the pedophiles, are being arrested. For how long, no one knows because the dems think slavery is just fine, as long as it reduces the population.

                    • Bandit February 8, 08:13

                      Red Ant, I didn’t start this crap. You think my comment was despicable? I think the garbage Red is spewing is despicable. What’s with all the Qanon conspiracy theory garbage about pedophilia?? It’s bullshit and lies. You want to stop this nonsense? That would be fine with me too. But it works both ways. How about we ALL stop with the politics?

                    • red February 9, 00:45

                      red ant: Do not try to reason with spoilers. Wasted life means they need to waste our time to whine and lie. Remember, take aim, laugh, and ignore them otherwise. One major sign of someone who was sexcually abused at an early age by a close family member is spoiler. The hate mongers who need to ruin life for all of us. niio

                  • Oracle February 7, 15:18

                    Bandit, from where did you get your news over the last four years? What do you think about Trump’s successful mid East peace efforts?

                    Reply to this comment
                    • Bandit February 7, 17:27

                      Oracle, He did good in the middle East. Those countries bent to our will because they want the weapon systems we’re selling.

                  • red February 7, 15:39

                    bandit: Um, you need to understand plain English. Whining and laughing at are two different things. I don’t whine, I get redskin. You whine, cry, and carry on. do you belong here? As a whining girly-boy, all you do is cause dissent. I lived for year in dem states and as an American Indian, I have the scars to prove it. My ex in Mexico is frightened thanks to you because biden decided America needs more little kids to torture. Hunter is your bro. He’s wanted for dealing slaves. Rep. Greene is more a hero now than before. Now she has all the normal people on her side. As someone who had family in Nazi Germany and -Austria, I know they spoke the truth when they taught me the dnc is America’s Nazi Party. Like the saying goes about biden supporters, not all biden voters are pedophiles, but supporting him shows they approve of fondling children.

                    Reply to this comment
                  • Oracle February 7, 17:43

                    Bandit, yes God used Trump to fulfill Bible prophecy by restoring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and by the end time peace agreements also. So, what do you think about the unprecedented economic boom during Trump’s time in office? Such as, America gained 7 million new jobs – more than three times government experts’ projections. Middle-Class family income increased nearly $6,000 – more than five times the gains during the entire previous administration.The unemployment rate reached 3.5 percent, the lowest in a half-century. More Americans reported being employed than ever before – nearly 160 million. Jobless claims hit a nearly 50-year low. The number of people claiming unemployment insurance as a share of the population hit its lowest on record. Incomes rose in every single metro area in the United States for the first time in nearly 3 decades. I don’t recall those facts ever being mentioned on CNN, so I’m wondering if you are familiar with that info.

                    Reply to this comment
                    • red February 7, 22:37

                      Oracle: this is for the backstabber, bandit. Evendentally he’s afraid of me replying to his strage, anti-historical conspiracy theories.
                      bandit: Meine Stiefmutter, zwei Tanten und eine Schwiegermutter waren alle im Schutzstaffel. Alle waren bitter darüber, dazu gezwungen zu werden, genau wie Schwarzenegger. Jeder, der die Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus studiert hat, kann sie mit der DNC vergleichen und sieht, wie Menschen wie Kennedy Nazi wurden und sie nie verlassen haben. Warum so viele Dems davon begeistert sind. Alles, was Sie tun, basiert auf dem, was Hitler tun würde. Das wurde mir auf Deutsch beigebracht, bevor ich alt genug war, um in den Kindergarten zu gehen. Übrigens, mein IQ ist 144. Und im Gegensatz zu Verlierern sehe ich keine Notwendigkeit, Leute zu geißeln, die nicht einverstanden sind, aber ich verräter auch keine Verräter.

                      Meine Stiefmutter, zwei Tanten und eine Schwiegermutter waren alle im Schutzstaffel. Alle waren bitter darüber, dazu gezwungen zu werden, genau wie Schwarzenegger. Jeder, der die Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus studiert hat, kann sie mit der DNC vergleichen und sieht, wie Menschen wie Kennedy Nazi wurden und sie nie verlassen haben. Warum so viele Dems davon begeistert sind. Alles, was Sie tun, basiert auf dem, was Hitler tun würde. Das wurde mir auf Deutsch beigebracht, bevor ich alt genug war, um in den Kindergarten zu gehen. Übrigens, mein IQ ist 144. Und im Gegensatz zu Verlierern sehe ich keine Notwendigkeit, Leute zu geißeln, die nicht einverstanden sind, aber ich verräter auch keine Verräter.

                      As I’m studying psychology, I understand you quite well. Worse for you, I’m a student in good standing with the psych professors LOL. No, most preppers are very sane and do not support the enemies of the US. Most of mine, all preppers, study current events via the perspective of Dakar Times, Epoch News, al Jazeera (which strongly favors the dnc, to see what the dnc is actually doing to assist terrorists), and so on. We watch what’s happening in Mexico because the PRI is the maritos party of the dnc. Most of us are farmers and ranchers or just plain traditional American Indian, no matter our color.

                      More bad news, most preppers would fit in very well in any American Indian nation in 1800. Some adjustment required, of course. And most would be welcome as new citizens.

                      So, Nancy, you’ve been exposed, again, as a wannabe prepper. Right now, all you are is bitter and spiteful, and those are emotion that get us killed by you allies, the nazis in the dnc.

                    • red ant February 8, 03:27

                      Hey danBit
                      After reading your despicable post. I SAY THIS…

                      Why are you even here.
                      Why do you need to run your mouth about shit that really no one wants or needs to hear.
                      Are you just one of those people that have to hear them selfs ramble on about sinsless crap that only you really wants to hear. If you are any kind of a “man” you would stop this vomit that you are spraying from your mouth.
                      You can say as you wish but words that you say are poison and carry no knowledge in the survival community. You will surly be left behind and fall pray to the “left” over humans that will roam the earth. No more than a disease of life.

                      Red is a good man and he is my brother and all the others that come on here and you want to belittle him with your political bull shit and your jack ass thinking. Need to grow up.
                      You can’t even back anything up.
                      If you could, you would not speak of those so called scum bags that are part of the death of you and me. You think that any one of those scabs that set up there proclaiming them self as the controllers of the earth. Do you think they care one speck about you. Well they don’t.
                      Do all of us a big survival favor, “just leave”. Be a “man” if you can.

                      (Don’t reply back, you just need to leave.) danBit

                      We are survivors of that, that is of good knowlage, not of poison…
                      We agree and disagree but we still care about each other no matter how bad our fillings get hurt. But, we don’t need “your” poison…

                      Sad you just might of been an asset to some one…

                  • Oracle February 8, 23:22

                    Bandit, you said above “There was no mass election fraud”. Below I’ve inserted a video to help you see a small portion of the election fraud that actually took place. I fear many Democrats have been terribly mislead by the mainstream media’s propaganda news reporting. This past year has shown us that we have no control over those in the media who lie to us, but we do have control over not allowing ourselves to be mislead by those with a self-serving political agenda. We must seek out alternative, yet trustworthy news sources in order to keep a balanced and correct understanding of what is happening. Here is the link, please take the time to view it.

                    Reply to this comment
                    • red February 9, 03:11

                      Oracle: Family in Germany sent us the map, made at midnight EST, showing Trump had won. They were horrified to learn later biden suddenly surged and now are angry about his ‘win’. I get emails from around the world demanding to know why America allowed the fraud to steal the election. In the end, we win. niio

                  • red February 9, 00:41

                    beenie: Stop hiding from me. Stop whining, put down the crack pipe, Ms Pelosi. You were the one who snotted on herself and then refused to allow a reply. That’s a major sign of a coward. I do not insult, I observe and make observations. No, I never said a lot of what your mind pretends I said. Nor have I gone behind you back, but made certain everything I had to say would be seen by you, the backstabber spoiler. You have no clue about what’s going on in reality, so stop pretending. I do because I never met a stranger. I was raised by preppers in a very anti-American Indian (read dem0 state. You either were a prepper or dead. I survived a lot of years in liberal lala land. You never had to suffer for anything. I have plenty of a scars to prove I survive on my feet. You can grab ankle for the dnc all you want. Normal people do not. As for my IQ, obviously it’s far higher than yours. This is why I can sigh and pat the mean little whining brat on the head and ignore him. Profession: Framing, ranching, woods, desert aggie, cattle, goats, hogs, then Army, then drove truck, went to college, studied all my life and it continues. College: Editor, manuscript researcher; writer; mentioned in some 330 collegiate manuscripts. Assisted in most of them. Interests: Everything. Politics: Constant studies. Life: Lived in 23 states and several nations. Speak: English; Dietsch; Spanish, some Russian, Susos Kanona. In other words, I lived. You need to get a life and stop acting like a soiled brat. Change that diaper.

                    Reply to this comment
  2. MikeyW January 19, 16:00

    You can only reload so many times before the brass is no longer safe to reload. Don’t be so personally critical. He’s not saying he has time to do any of these things while not having time to reload; he’s just saying these are things you can do with brass.

    Reply to this comment
  3. mack January 19, 17:24

    you can use fired shotgun shells to shoot other gauges in your shotgun,cut plastic off and put a 12 ga. hullworks great on all

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck January 20, 21:57

      I’m sorry, maybe my mind is still on the electricity being turned off in third world SoCal, but I cannot visualize how one can shoot a 16 ga. shotgun shell by inserting it in a 12 ga. shell and then inserting it into the chamber of a 12 ga. shotgun. Have you ever actually done this?

      It isn’t quite the same as using a chamber insert where the chamber insert actually has a 16 ga. sized chamber for the shell to fit in.

      Please describe in detail how you got the 16 ga. to fire when the base of the 12 ga. shell was between the firing pin and the primer of the 16 ga.

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty January 22, 06:01

        Dang, you guys lost power again?
        I know you’re kinda stuck out there right now, but I’d be looking seriously at relocation with all that’s happened out there with the fires, blackouts, government control, earthquakes, drought, riots, heat waves, etc.
        Praying for you and your family. Stay safe.

        Reply to this comment
  4. Omega 13 January 19, 19:53

    You could always just recycle the stuff, too.

    Reply to this comment
    • Omega 13 January 20, 20:17

      Really? Why the thumbs down? You can reload only so many times. Turning it into wind chimes is just stupid. Get a little cash for it.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck January 20, 23:58

        End of the World, Omega, not normal times. Besides, have you priced what you get for recycling these days? Price you get is lower than the cost of the gasoline to get there.

        Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty January 22, 05:56

        Otoh, somebody who wants a “rustic look” and 💖 recycling might be willing to PAY for your bullet whistle or shell casing wind chimes. Or making such might be a good project for older kids to give as Christmas presents post secession/economic collapse/teotwawki. All valid reasons for saving otherwise used up cartridges.
        You might be able to collect some in hunting areas or at firing ranges too.

        Reply to this comment
  5. City Chick January 19, 20:35

    With ammo so expensive these days, the ideas here would actually make sense as very memorable gifts for some lucky person! I have a fishing lure that is made out of a beer bottle top which I keep on my hat. Why not a bespoke ammo pendant & button earrings set for Christmas next year?

    Reply to this comment
    • clergylady January 19, 21:57

      CC id wear the earrings.

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck January 21, 00:03

      CC: Give your friends and relatives a real gift, real ammunition. (That is if you can find it at a price below exorbitant.) Ammunition gifts at today’s prices are only for really close relatives or exceptionally good friends.

      If I were to receive a drawer pull made out of a shotgun shell, I am afraid my remark would be “Gee, thanks. Taking remedial junior high shop, I see.”

      Reply to this comment
      • City Chick January 21, 03:30

        LCC – understood, but around these parts it’s hard to find ways to properly accessorize one’s field attire or one’s camo. That said, in my book, the best gifts are always homemade.

        Reply to this comment
        • red January 21, 13:52

          CC: Have you consulted Gucci? 🙂 A while back they had a bugout bag that was popular in Manhattan. niio

          Reply to this comment
    • Tee January 21, 02:10

      My husband made me brass, Mauser, stripper-clip earrings. I get compliments on them often. VERY FEW people even know what stripper-clips are.

      Reply to this comment
      • City Chick January 21, 03:32

        Tee, I like your style! I know you wear them with pride!

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck January 21, 19:35

        But Mauser stripper clips, even if they are 7.62 mm have a useful purpose. If you have a revolver in 9 mm., stripper clips are useful to hold 9 mm bullets while you are loading the cylinder. They are the original Tuff Strips for revolver reloading. I haven’t actually reviewed the rim diameters of the 7.62 mm automatic pistol round vs. the .32 H&R magnum, but knowing that a .327 Federal can also chamber and fire .32 app rounds, I would suspect that a 7.62 stripper clip would function the same if one had a .32 caliber revolver from .32 shorts and longs up through .327 Federal.

        Inasmuch as I do have a .32 caliber revolver, those Mauser stripper clips might have been put to a more useful purpose than decorative ear pieces.

        Reply to this comment
  6. sgoeser January 19, 21:11

    Since I got bags of brass on my reloading bench and since I can’t get primers this maybe fun.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Red Rover January 20, 01:21

    There is a lesson to learn from the ammo and reloading component shortages. These shortages are reminiscent of the shortages during a recent former nameless President. When ammo and components are once again available at reasonable prices stockpile a minimum that you are comfortable with. Purchase as you expend it and if you want to reload, get the powder, primers and bullets and set them aside. Reloading makes good winter/bad weather projects. Think ahead several years! Don’t get caught again.

    Reply to this comment
    • Stu January 21, 02:28

      My prediction is IF things get back to some kind of normalcy and components are available again most will say oh well there is plenty now no need to stock up and make sure I have plenty in case things get harry again. Then things get Harry again and they say crap I need stuff. And I will say you dumb ass why didn’t you stock up when you could. So goes the stupid person not willing to PREP.

      Reply to this comment
      • Oracle January 26, 19:22

        Stu, my prediction is things will never get back to some kind of normalcy. We are now on the downhill slope into the aeration pond and things are about to get bad. Stock up on everything. I’m in the buying of hand tools mode right now. Three of everything.

        Reply to this comment
        • red January 26, 23:30

          Oracle: What is normal? Dems lie and people die. Right now even ‘liberals’ in other nations are calling us idiots for allowing a dem win. Normal would be adhering to the constitution, but the dnc calls it a living document and uses that against us. Right now, there’s big grassroots push on demanding honest elections. Recalls should match it, as well as support for Greene’s impeachment papers. Sheep will cower and hope someone else does the job. And, blexit is very hot yet, talking to people, convincing them blacks are going to be endangered if the dnc keeps its power. Journalists are, at last, pointing out what the dnc does and says is what Hitler did and said. niio

          Reply to this comment
          • Oracle January 29, 12:16

            Red, it’s certainly interesting to see what is happening, also infuriating.

            Reply to this comment
            • red January 30, 04:11

              Oracle: As God wills. Read Washington’s 3rd prophecy from Valley forge. It tells what’s going to happen. In the end, we win, but every liberal is dead, wiped out when the cities are ruins.

              Even dems in congress are begging biden to stop, to be quiet. the worse biden gets, the stronger Trump looks. Right now, he’s higher in the polls than any president, ever.

              Even bernie the nazi jew said biden is going too fast and the midterms will be a landslide for conservatives. niio

              Reply to this comment
              • Oracle January 30, 12:10

                Red, yes, Inshallah.I saw yesterday where China and Russia have placed their newest and most powerful EMP weapons in readiness. Their use would certainly level the playing field here at home. They would be doing us a favor to wipe out the dens of liberal serpents hold up in the large cities. I do not fear seeing the entire economy and society collapse and let us start over. I would miss talking with you guys on here when the Net goes down, but, all things considered… Our electronic demise and loss of our position as a feared superpower could be the reason America is not mentioned in end time prophecy.

                Reply to this comment
                • red January 31, 01:46

                  Oracle: Chicoms need a new war, one they know they’ll win. so far, they keep losing when trying to invade Siberia, India, and may lose Tibet and a lot of places they colonized. Ethiopia demands they get out, and is right now, making it stick, so the chicoms fund a Muslim rebellion. right now our Navy near Taiwan is being threatened by chicomes. Right now they have so much internal strife and deaths it’s phenomenal. Remember, one great thing about being feared, we’re a lot safer than most of the nations. Keep your ear cocked about March. No real clue what’s happening, but folks tell me the military refused to act tho they knew what was happening 3 Nov and since, because they feared a civil war. They might if 71% of adults indicate they’re willing to tolerate martial law for a time. niio

                  Reply to this comment
                  • Oracle January 31, 12:17

                    Yes, there is much happening with China right now, and I don’t see it ending well. I’m glued to international news sites daily. Have stepped up my preps even more. I should correct you in saying “we are feared”, we are are no longer feared since we now have a bumbling and mumbling fool in office. Hopefully, when the time comes to defend our nation, preemptive or not, our military commanders will do what is necessary without waiting on Slow Joe to remember where he is and who is President. Martial Law will do you and me no harm, but it sure could clean up some of the trash that needs to be taken out.

                    Reply to this comment
          • Oracle January 29, 12:22

            Red, when things get so abnormal that even the media recognizes it, then we are bad off.

            Reply to this comment
  8. left coast chuck January 20, 22:22

    If I had good brass, not cracked or so seriously deformed that it wouldn’t chamber, I wouldn’t waste it on any of these uses. If I couldn’t use it in any firearms I owned because it was a caliber that I didn’t own and in an EOTW scenario, my chances of augmenting my battery might be slim, I would save it for trading to someone for either more useable brass or for loaded ammunition that I could use.

    Formed brass is a valuable resource to folks who reload. Too valuable to use for making whistles or drawer pulls. The only time I would put brass to such use would be if it were dented so badly that it wouldn’t chamber or if the mouth were split so that it wouldn’t hold a bullet any longer. Or, if the primer were Berdan instead of Boxer. Then brass is suitable for amusing trinkets and toys.

    This column is supposed to be for end of the world scenarios. The title of this article is “Survival Uses”

    If you want to acquire thin material for making shims and other types of thin applications, go to a print shop. Ask them if they use metal plates. If they do, ask if you can buy a couple or however many you may want to buy of their old plates. Lots of times a plate will only have a one time use because it advertises some even that only occurs once or the customer has closed their business and won’t be getting reprinting done. The aluminum metal plate is very durable and can easily be cut with tinsnips to the desired shape. It can either be punched if holes are needed or drilled. You don’t have to do a lot of hammering and flattening. It is already perfectly flat if it hasn’t been folded, but even then, it can be used for washers and shims.

    Don’t pay over a buck a plate for them. If he wants more than a buck a plate you should just thank him and try another shop. Sometimes you will be doing him a favor by cleaning out his shop. If he offers you more than you want, free of charge, take them and thank him. You can barter them or if it isn’t the End of The World, you can recycle them for money.

    When I had my printing company, a gentleman came by every quarter and purchased my aluminum plates from me. Of course, he paid me less than he was selling them for, but that was okay, because otherwise I would have had to take them to a scrap dealer myself or send an employee. It became worthwhile for him to do the hauling because he stopped at every print shop in town that used metal plates and by the time he got to the scrap dealer he had a pickup truck full of aluminum plates.

    When I disposed of my plant, I kept several dozen of my plates to use in the manner I described. They are handy for making a myriad of items. The aluminum is easily worked and is rust free, although over time the coating on them will wear off and eventually they will form aluminum oxide just like any aluminum product left outdoors in the weather.

    They will not make body armor that will deflect or stop bullets. The gun club experimented with circular saw blades to see if we had a cheap source of gong targets. The sharpening shop had a huge stack of blades that were no longer suitable for sharpening and was happy to get rid of a bunch of them.

    The club president tried them out at 100 yards and a .38 special bullet easily penetrated a saw blade. In addition, one had to be exceedingly careful handling them. They may not have been sharp enough to cut wood satisfactorily but they still cut fingers quite nicely if one were not careful in handling them. Because they were so easily penetrated by even the lowly .38 special, we decided they were not suitable for our use at the range as gong targets.

    I am not denigrating the .38 special. There are lots of folks pushing up daisies who were dispatched with the relatively mild shooting .38 special. In this day and age of hopped up and boozed up miscreants where one wants them to stop their aggression, while the .38 sp will do the job, I personally prefer something more impressive if I have a choice.

    Reply to this comment
    • Oracle January 26, 19:44

      LCC, don’t you dare denigrate the .38 special. I’ll tell you as I told a fellow who made fun of my .38 snubbie I had strapped to my ankle once. He was a diehard .45 acp fan and thought nothing less in caliber was worth carrying. After several minutes of his badgering me, I challenged him to a dual in where we would take turns. I told him I would be happy to shoot the first round with my “little peashooter”.38 and if the didn’t die then he could shoot me with his .45. He declined my gracious offer.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 4, 23:46

        I agree. I definitely would not want to be shot with even a lead roundness 130 grain .39 special nor shot, for that matter with any kind of instrument that launches a projectile, including a slingshot.

        When I hear people denigrate the .22 long rifle as a defense round, I usually can put that to rest by saying,”Say, why don’t you run at me from the 15 yard line and we can put your theory to the test.”

        Reply to this comment
        • Oracle February 5, 11:58

          Chuck, yep, big caliber big talkers get quiet when confronted with small caliber lead to flesh reality. I’ve been shot with s slingshot, used to have slingshot wars when I was a kid, many a bruise on me. Lucky I’m not blind. I just bought a Daisy B52 slingshot a couple of weeks ago to fire a lead sinker with fishing line attached to it over an oak limb 40 feet up. For a new Shortwave radio I just got I needed to hang a Balum for my OCF Dipole antenna East and West legs. Using the slingshot I fired the sinker and line over the limb, lowered the sinker down, attached the end of a spool of 3/16″ Dacron rope to it and pulled the Balum up to just under the limb and tied it off.. Using the rope I can raise and lower it as needed to repair or change anything.My wife wanted to know why I bought a slingshot at my age, I told her it was for the antenna, but I didn’t mention that I also wanted another sling shot to play with. Once a man, twice a child.

          Reply to this comment
  9. left coast chuck January 21, 00:07

    Ah, yes, nothing so romantic as eating dinner by the light of a shotgun shell candle with the mouth-watering aromas of burning plastic wafting past your nostrils as you take that first taste of Silver Oak 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon following the gustatory pleasures of a piece of Wagyu beef melting in your mouth.

    Reply to this comment
  10. red January 21, 03:16

    Much thanks. Shells can be reloaded only so many times before they’re done. Good article for the future, and for shells found that are ‘weathered’ or beaten.

    We polish worn brass to make hawk bells for pow wows. They make a good whistle just by blowing hard across the opening. niio

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck January 21, 19:46

      Red: With careful annealing before they are too brittle to work, the life of brass cases can be extended quite a bit beyond what is normal life expectancy.

      Extending the life of the cartridge cases is one reason for not always loading your cases to extreme pressures but to take the middle road in velocity — or to actually load only to the amount needed to do the job. While a .223 loaded to 2000 feet per second probably will not operate the mechanism of your super accessorized semi-auto, it will work just fine in a bolt action .223 or single shot Thompson Center .223. The small game hit with a 50 grain, soft tip .223 bullet won’t know the difference between it and a 62 grain soft tip .223 going 3000 fps. You will, however as there will be more meat that will be usable and less bloodshot meat that may not appeal to your taste. In addition, it takes less powder to drive the 50 grain bullet at 2000 fps than it does the 62 grain at 3000 fps.

      Conservation of supplies is an important consideration in an EOTW situation.

      Along with being a revolver fan I am also a bolt action fan. Both have capabilities that the semi-auto doesn’t possess. That is the ability to digest any ammo that will push the bullet at least ten feet from the muzzle upon discharge.

      Certainly semi-autos and even full autos have their place in modern warfare, but the time tested revolver and bolt action, I think will endure in an endue of the world scenario when all the semi-autos have been worn out — or perhaps their owners will have run out of ammo before that.

      Reply to this comment
      • red January 22, 07:46

        LCC: Yep, agreed. I strongly prefer a bolt action. We’re cruising estate sales now, especially of those from cities. there’s always shells and so on, usually still boxed.

        The hidden gardens are coming on. It’s spring here, and even the cactus are getting watered to make them grow faster. A neighbor planted cholla around her property. Looks nice, flowers very nice, good eating. One touch and any wannabe free lance socialist is covered in some nasty, brittle thorns. the front here is now a food forest, mostly cactus, wolfberries, and desert hackberry. A pan of water set out for javelina brings them around after dark. They’re only shy during hunting season, and adept at guarding their turf. All in all, the place is shaping up, but I need more adobe for blocks. niio

        Reply to this comment
  11. Stu January 21, 15:26

    I used to sell extra brass at junk yard when prices were decent. Now I wish I didn’t sell any of it. It can always be traded for other items. Other ammo components, food, or whatever you may need. Someone somewhere will always need ammo and they will have an abundance of items you need. It is the new gold these days. A hundred new unprimed rifle casings are upwards of seventy bucks, if you can find them. A month ago shotgun shells were still on the shelves, not any more. There are still chimes, dog tags and whistles for sale and affordable. And plenty of arrowheads. Save your brass

    Reply to this comment
    • red January 21, 18:04

      Stu: I collect silver coated brass because it’s healing. Old times loved copper, zinc and brass because of that. Yes, always, save brass. Have you tried pawn shops and estate sales? I found a lot of shotgun shells at estate sales. niio

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck January 23, 18:32

        Red: That’s not silver on the cases, it’s nickel or for some ComBlok countries it’s actually polished zinc or some other crappy amalgam. I picked up some nice shiny .30-06 at the range thinking I had gotten some premium nickel plated .30-06. Boxer-primed match ComBlock ammo. A rare item, indeed. About a week later, I discovered that the bright shiny silvery color had turned a very funny mottled grayish color. It certainly wasn’t the nickel plated premium match ammo I thought I had scored.

        If you are buying estate shotgun shells, look for a dark ring just above the brass base. If you see a dark ring, save that ammo for practice.

        A relative had some. I watched his shot column follow along behind a pheasant before it dropped genuine the pheasant still fairly intact because it wasn’t moving as fast as the pheasant flying away dead ahead of him and his slow moving shot column.

        It was an interesting phenomenon to watch. What caused me to look in his direction was the funny sound the shot made as it exited the barrel of his shotgun.

        I imagine if the shot had actually reached the pheasant, it would have seriously wounded the bird and brought it down but most likely the wound would not have been fatal.

        I wouldn’t want to use it for self-defense. While it might stun the bad guy and give him a nasty wound, lacking a face shot, I don’t think any such wound would be fatal. It might not even be fight stopping.

        Wouldn’t want to use it for hunting either. I don’t want my shots merely scaring the bird or animal to death, I want it to do the job for which it was built.

        Might be okay for scaring crows out of your newly emerging garden but I wouldn’t count on it putting them down permanently, By the way, if you are shooting crows, be sure to have your hunting license with its federale upland game stamp on it. Some desk wonk back in the District of Corruption decided that crows were upland game birds and in order to preserve them for future generations they had to have a federale game stamp if they were to be taken. Personally, I just thought it was a scheme to limit sport hunting, raise more tax money and hinder small family farms with more regulation. And, no more shooting them with a .22 rifle. You must use a shotgun in order keep crows out of your corn fields.

        I always considered upland game to be birds and animals that one took for the pot. I suppose if hungry enough one could eat crow but inasmuch as they are basically rats with wings, I suspect the expression, “He had to eat crow” has a basis in fact that crow is not very pleasant eating. Hope, like possum, that I am never that hungry.

        Although in an ETOW situation, they should make satisfactory dog food and keeping dogs around for their original purpose, to warn of approaching strangers, either humanoid or animal will be important after the world as we know it ends. Also to serve as emergency meals not quite ready to eat.

        Reply to this comment
        • red January 25, 18:04

          LCC: Ah, my mistake: Not shell casings, bowls, silverware, and so on. When Irish immigrants pulled themselves up out of poverty, they wanted things like from home. In Europe, they used pewter and other crap. Here, brass was coated in silver. Basically, we could pick it up for junk brass price, it was that common. When I worked as a security in a junkyard, I asked. They told me to take it. The family has it stocked, several hundred lbs in PA and more here. They made it by the ton!

          Crows as dogfood? Makes me wonder if they would eat it. You live in my ‘area’, you know doves are feathered rats. Crows and others are wily, but not doves. The old-timers did not shoot them or ravens. When hunting, they called to them and gave them the guts and head of what they got. The birds learn fast and after a while, when a hunter went out, the birds would help find game. Orca and wolves, the same.

          Shells and casings, found a few places at old shooting ranges. It’s not like PA, they can stay clean even after years on the ground. Plastic crap, no; the sun wrecks it. But, even bad casings have their use, as medicinal. That was another thing at the junkyard, going through trucks and SUVs they gave us, usually two a week. Where other guards went diving for coins, I checked and found bullets, shells still loaded, fishing tackle, and once a small pistol, but it was so rusted it probably would have killed me. When checking, always feel up, under the seats for surprises like that. Knives, machetes, throwing spikes.

          Estate sales are great for finding things. With so many coming from out of state to retire, their kids usually just put everything out. Last one, 5 unopened boxes of shotgun shells, a buck each. Chainsaws, tools, and so on, but his guns went fast. Yard sales, same, but ammo will be a lot more, as will guns. niio

          Reply to this comment
  12. Freakie One January 21, 18:14

    You’all ain’t got to worry about it much I don’t think. China Joe is coming for all your guns and is outlawing ammo.

    Reply to this comment
    • Red Rover January 21, 21:57

      It doesn’t look to me that people are worried about loosing their guns. First of all there would not have been nearly 40 million 4473s completed last year if there was a fear of loosing them almost as soon as they were purchased and these comments appear to indicate more of a desire to have more ammo to shoot and more components to reload ammo so there can be even more shooting. If people were worried this behavior doesn’t seem likely. JMHO

      Reply to this comment
      • red January 22, 08:07

        Rover: I don’t agree. Silence is telling. The Pedophile in chief put that anti-gun nut in charge of weapons laws. See what Hitler did. duly elected, even if by fraud, he immediately outlawed as much as he could. Where people did not like his laws, he had strongarm support, just as the dnc does. BNLM and antifa are called the KKK and brownshirts of the dnc.Children are spying on family. neighbor on neighbor. Hitler came into a broken economy. The Weimar did all it could to destroy the Germans and even allowed in thousands of ‘refugees’. Right now, mexico is defending our border by trying to force thousands of guatemalans and others back over their own southern border. Even the maya, who hate Mexico, are helping. On the other hand, Trudeau in Canada is working hard to make sure we get plenty of Muslims coming in.

        Reply to this comment
      • Oracle January 30, 12:14

        Red Rover, I’m still buying, but I’m also still worried over Biden’s puppet strings being controlled by those who would weaken our nation in preparation for a takeover of Blue Helmets.

        Reply to this comment
        • red January 31, 01:49

          Oracle: Austria is talking leaving the EU and joining Switzerland as an independent nation. Brexit people are discussing closer ties to the Swiss. I’m not worried about the UN, per say, as I am the chicoms. they own a lot of politicians around the world. niio

          Reply to this comment
  13. Tee January 23, 01:45

    LCC, the stripper clips where not damaged. I can take them off my ears and they are ready to load the old VZ 24. They are WAY COOL as earings though.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck January 23, 18:36

      Tee: Very happy to hear that really cool artifacts of a bygone era were not damaged in the process. While they may not have much collector value presently aside from what I described, Some day, some collector will want to have some to go with his collection of old militaria.

      I can imagine that they are a real conversation piece no matter where you wear them.

      Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty January 24, 03:23

      Hiding your stuff in plain sight…I like it!👏👏👏🤠 Tipping my hat to you.

      Reply to this comment
    • red January 25, 12:28

      Tee: I knew a Vietnamese who had 4 holes in each ear. She said they were for skinny throwing spikes. maybe they didn’t do a lot of damage, but they sure scared off the sort you do not want around. I’ve seen piano wire twisted into a round cord and worn like a necklace, seen the advantage of those heavy metal belt buckles. All good things to know. Keep up the good work teaching folks. niio

      Reply to this comment
  14. Oracle January 26, 19:14

    Seeing as how you all are not in my area, and won’t be a competitor, I’m gonna let you in on something for the procurement of ammo. Contact anyone on Facebook or in your local paper who is having a garage sale and ask if they have ammo for sale. You would be surprised how many people have ammo available that they had not considered selling until you asked. Many garage sales are based on houses being cleaned out by family members of those who are deceased or being moved to nursing care. Large caches of ammo (and guns) can be stored away and just waiting for you to inquire about it. Bring cash. And just like camping or hiking in the wilderness, when you leave after making the score, leave no trace.

    Reply to this comment
    • Oracle January 26, 23:43

      Okay, after reading all of the other posts here, I see my suggestion about garage sales has already been made in various forms. To quote RoseAnne RoseAnne Danna, Never Mind.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Freakie One January 27, 22:15

    You guys look into air guns? They’re starting to get pretty powerful and don’t need powder or primers. They’re also up to .50 cal. and come in multiple configurations. Something worth considering in my opinion.

    Reply to this comment
    • Oracle January 28, 12:50

      Freakie, if they were good enough for the Lewis and Clark expedition, they should be good enough for us. A .46-caliber air rifle built by Girandoni was carried by Lewis and Clark. It weighed 10 pounds but was powerful enough to kill game such as deer and wild boar.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck February 1, 22:50

        The only problem with pre-charged pneumatic airguns is the pre-charging bit. The Girandoni was capable of firing 20 shots before needing repumping (or charging as the airgun folks like to say)

        There is an airgun in the marketplace in .22 caliber that is recent that comes with a hand pump. I named it in the discussion following the article by the lady who espoused buying BB guns for self defense. I read a couple of reviews and both remarked that pumping the air rifle was physically challenging. You are talking about pumping to, as I recall, 3,000 p.s.i. Until you reach that magic 3,000 number you are compressing air by squeezing it down from approximately 15 psi to something just a little under 3,000 psi by manual force.

        And, additionally, unlike smaller caliber pcp airguns, the sound of that much air being discharge from a .35 caliber rifle on up in size is no longer silent.

        From .25 caliber on up, the noise level increases quite a bit. Not as loud as a 7mm mag or some of the other hotshot magnum rifles but certainly loud as compared to my Benjamin .22 which at three pumps for target practice doesn’t make as much noise as when I sneeze.

        Reply to this comment
  16. Oracle February 2, 15:41

    Chuck, when I graduated from my Red Ryder BB gun, I moved up to a Benjamin Multi-Pump .177. I must have put a hundred thousand rounds through that gun over the years. i cooked many a squirrel, dove, and quail over my campfires that I killed with that little rifle. I saw a new one for sale at the MFA store recently, they are asking $179.00, wow. I’m tempted.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck February 4, 23:56

      Oracle: Get the Benjamin in .22 caliber. It is not affected by zephyrs so much as the .177 and puts down small game better than the .177. It is also just as quiet as the .177.
      Some folks claim the same airgun in pistol form with the detachable shoulder stock is the ideal device for small game in an EOTW situation.

      That said, I would still prefer something that makes a bigger noise and impression on someone who just might want to look into your backpack to see if there is anything in there that they feel they deserve more than you.

      Reply to this comment
      • Oracle February 5, 14:46

        Chuck, I agree, but my dad once told me accuracy first, caliber second. Even being hit by a lowly .22 can leave us in a bad mood. If we shoot squirrels with a 50 cal. it should keep the thieves at bay. Would have to vacuum up the squirrels.

        Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment