.223 Survival Whistle





Introduction: .223 Survival Whistle

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Because yelling will make you lose your voice, it’s important to carry a whistle just incase you get in a jam. For example: When I went mountain biking with a group of friends I crashed plenty of times. Luckily, none were serious. However, if I had a bad crash, I would of had to wait until someone pedaled back to me. Unless that is, I could signal them somehow.

To signal for help with a whistle you sound three blasts. Do this in a consistent interval until help comes. The plus side to this whistle is you’ll have a conversation starter when help finally comes.

Step 1: File Out a Notch

Before you start, clean out the brass with dish soap and cotton swabs. Clean inside and out until the swabs come out completely white.

Grip the shell in a clamp. Make sure to clamp the primer side of the shell or it will collapse. Also if you don’t have a wooded clamp you can improvise to protect from scratching up the brass with something like an old leather belt.

Using a ¼” triangle file, file a notch ¼” down from the taper line on the shell. Make sure to keep the leading edge of the file at 90 degrees. See the pictures. Keep filing until the trail edge of the file is flush with the shell wall. 

Remove any burs.

Step 2: Prep the .22 Shell

Use a pair of diagonal cutting pliers to remove the primer side of the .22 shell. Next take a scrap piece of brass from another shell and solder it halfway onto the business side of shell. See the pictures.

Use metal shears to cut off the excess. Smooth out any rough edges with a hobby file.

Step 3: Place the Prepped .22 Shell

Insert the half covered side of the .22 shell into the opening of the .223 shell. For best results you have to make two things sure. 

One: the end of the .22 shell lines up with the notch cut in the shell.
Two: the opening of the .22 shell is parallel to the notch cut out in the .223 shell.

Solder the .22 shell in place. Be careful not to over do the heat or you might melt the solder away from the half cover.

File the blowing end flush with a hobby file. Next use a polishing wheel with polishing compound to buff the whistle to a shine.

Step 4: Tie It Off

Take a section of nylon cord and melt the ends together side by side. Place the melted end against the shell and secure it with a constrictor knot. Another option is to drill small holes at at the primer end and fit a paper clip to make a keychain. Sort of like I did on my keep sake pendant instructable.

Thanks for reading.



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I need on of these! We shoot guns, and we always have extra bullet shells. This is a good use for them!

Would a 30-06 Springfield with a 9mm inserted inside the 30-06 work?

Nice, They look so easy to make!

I bet you could use a .50 BMG case with a .45 Colt case for a really big whistle. Or maybe something like a 20mm

Good thinking. I'll have to try it.

Is it possible to build one without the .22 shell? I happen to be an 11 year old (with knowledge and tools) and i don't exactly keep my .22 shells. more the centerfire rounds... like .204...

Will this work with a .243 cartrege

Very cool whistle, i hope i can find a shell off that size in my country any bullet over 9mm its illegal so its dificult to find even a emty shell

There are some folks, on there, who sell empty brass for people to make craft projects with. I have some various types... but they're all bigger than .223

The good thing is that, on the website, you can get quite a few for just a few US Dollars. Pay through paypal, or other method, and have them shipped right to you.

In New Zealand at least, it's illegal to have shell casings without a firearms license, I imagine that it'd be similar elsewhere.