50 Cal. Bottle Opener

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Introduction: 50 Cal. Bottle Opener

When my brother gave me a bag of bullet shells to make cufflinks for his wedding, I had no idea how many things I would be able to use them for. Lately I ran out of the shells so I went to a shooting range and bought some of their empty brass. I bought a few 50 cal. shells one of which has become a bottle opener fit for Rambo.

The opener came from the craft store for $6.00. At first I tried to solder the opener onto the shell but it began to melt. Next I tried the type of glue you have to use with a little water moisture to get it to set. That came right apart. Finally I got some two part epoxy paste. You mix them together 1:1 and it sets over night. I had this stuff laying around from a past project but I think I paid around $13.00 for it.

To get a sense for how big this shell really is I took pictures of it next to a 9mm hand gun shell.


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Have you thought of using a .50 cal shell for a ring?

Whoa! That's heavy. Thanks. Never thought of making a ring. I should give it a try.

I've made one, and will be making a few more for  gun-themed charity auction. I was able to locate spent rounds for about a $1 a piece locally (I found them for $0.25 each, but I'd have to have waited and the event is this weekend). The bottle opener kit I located at Michael's Crafts thanks to Mrballeng. They were $5.99 each. If you are interested in these, you can locate them as cheap as $4.70 a piece in bulk for similar items at beading, pen making, and other craft supply shops. Additionally, a little research suggest that there are better epoxies if you are completely obsessive. There are multi-metal epoxies, and brass epoxies, but a solid performer and price winner would have to be a golf shafting epoxy available at many sporting goods stores, and any serious golf-exclusive retailer. That stuff runs about $10 for a pint of combined, two-part epoxy. I thought this was an easy, and cool instructable. My only addition to the process would be the following additional steps.

1) Crimp shell casing at opening to more accurately reflect the rounded rectangle of the bottle opener kit.
2) Epoxy or use locktite on the two threaded sections of the bottle opener kit.
3) Tape the outside of the shell to protect from overflow epoxy, if any
4) add epoxy first, then place kit into shell casing, but do not seat, or press kit body into shell
5) then carefully add more epoxy along side the bottle opener kit "shaft" (shut yo mouth)
6) then "seat" or "tamp in" the kit into the shell with a wooden, resin, or rubber mallet to avoid marring finish on bottle opener end. Let sit for however long it needs to to dry.

.50cal Bottle Opener.jpg

I decided to go ahead with the bulk-make for this weekend's Montrose Beer & Gun Club 11th First Annual Charity Cook-Off & Musical Extravaganza. We raise money for kids who wish things were better. There is a silent auction that is a significant arm of that fundraising efforts. So ....

I made six more. I decided to change them up a bit.

1) I added some junk nuts to the shaft to take up some space, and add some stability to the design by creating more surface for the epoxy to adhere to. I just glued them on with regular glue --- 2 to each bottle opener kit shaft.

2) I super-glued the threads on the kit head and butt piece.

3) I decided to try some cheaper, and more forgiving epoxy than I used before ($3.25 is enough to do three as configured, and would have done all 6 had I used more junk nuts on the shaft as I will in the future). As you can see, I used a two part, liquid epoxy from Locktite that is a slow cure epoxy --- a 60 minute adhesive. It is messy, but doesn't really become unworkable for around 30 minutes, and it cleans up with rubbing alcohol (cheap and not too noxious).

Thanks for an awesome instructable Mrballeng!

I am guessing these will pull around $20 a piece at our group silent auction. $120 bucks for the kids, and the total cost to me $46. I am betting I can get the price down to around $6.50 per unit on the ones to come.

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This is a sucess story. I've posted alot of projects though I'm not sure how many actually get reproduced. You made it with only bare bones instructions and for a good cause to boot. My hat off to you. Brent

I dropped them off at the silent auction, they decided to put these on the fixed price table. I told them to list them at X but reduce it to Y if they did not sell within and hour of the close. Within 30 minutes, the guy who runs the auction for the charity cook off came to me and asked for more. I did not have any more, of course, but they had all sold. He offered to sponsor the cost for as many as I can make for next year's fundraiser. Again Mrballeng --- thanks, and the kids who wish things were better (Make-A-Wish) thank you, too.

Good luck with the auction. I'm thrilled this worked out for you.

Again you have outdone yourself! Nice ible! Have a splendorous day!
Sunshiine

So how do you take a bullet casing which is brass (yellow metal) and end up with something that looks chrome (white metal)? Is it a coating, a chemical process?

Thanks,
Jerry