Introduction: Cutting Shotgun Shells for Crafts. WARNING!!!! ONLY USE USED ALREADY FIRED SHELLS!!!!!

Picture of Cutting Shotgun Shells for Crafts. WARNING!!!! ONLY USE USED ALREADY FIRED SHELLS!!!!!

WARNING USE ONLY USED SHELLS!!!! USING LIVE SHELLS CAN RESULT IN PERMANENT INJURY OR DEATH!!!!

Using a pipe cutter to cut shotgun shells for crafting. I use them mainly in leather crafts but will work for any craft that needs just the head off the shotgun shell! I have seen and tried several other ways of cutting shells and find this way to be faster and neater for me. There is less need for filing after cutting this way. I tried a dremel with a cutoff wheel, grinder and drill with a cutoff wheel and using a pipe cutter is faster, neater and Safer.
Tools needed
1. Pipe cutter. with grooves on the bottom 2 wheels, the 1 with no grooves Will Not a work!!!!
2. Vise grips or vise. to hold the plastic of the shell
3. Punch or Nail This is used to knock the primer out of the cut head
4. A Socket or something similar. To place cut shell on to punch out primer

Step 1.
Put Used shell in pipe cutter with the head in the bottom grooves and tighten cutter until cutting wheel is just behind the head. Just tighten snug and Not Tight. You want the pipe cutter to just hold the shell firmly at this point.

Step 2.
Adjust Vise grips or vice to clamp the plastic of the shotgun shell, firmly so it won't slip.

Step 3.
With pipe cutter still just snug, turn the pipe cutter towards you, several turns(3-4) this is to set the groove that the cutter will travel as you continue to tighten the cutter.

Step 4.
Tighten pipe cutter 3-4 turns and again turn cutter on shell, continue with this step. Tighten cutter, turn cutter several times as you get used to how this works. Then you'll be able to go faster as you get the feel for the process.

Nocking out the Primer
Again I must Say
DO THIS ON A USED SHELL ONLY!!! THE PRIMER WILL FIRE IF DONE WITH A LIVE SHELL!!! EVEN IF YOU HAVE EMPTIED OUT THE SHELL AND POWDER. THE PRIMER IS STILL LIVE AND CAN DO DAMAGE!!!!!! IT IS LIKE HAVING A LIT FIRE CRACKER

STEP 1.
Place cut head on a socket, face down with primer center the hole in the socket. You want the primer to be able to drop when punched.

Step 2.
With cut head on socket, and face of head down, you will see the primer shaft sticking up and it has a small hole in the center. Put punch or nail in the center of primer and hit with a hammer, gently enough to knock the primer out but not hard enough too bend the head. It's OK to use 3-4 hits with a hammer.

Step 3.
This step is only needed if you bend the shotgun shell head, while knocking the primer out. Place the head on the socket or other flat hard surface, with the head up facing you. Hit shell gently to bend it back. Do Not do this on you counter top or wood surface, as it will dig in to that surface. Use socket, flat metal, vice or even cement floor or sidewalk.

This is my first Instructable and wish I had taken more pictures. Thanks and hope this will help those with cutting Shotgun Shell or any size shells. Will try and answer any questions that you might have, as I've cut several hundred shotgun shells.

****I was ask how to cut the back of the primer, instead of removing the primer. I use a dremel with a cutoff wheel to cut the primer and a grinder wheel on my dremel to smooth any shape edges on the back of shell head or primer. You could use a metal hand saw or a bench grinder or even a hand file.

Comments

JenniferB294 (author)2017-07-01

How are you attaching the shells to the leather bracelet?

GullReefClub (author)2016-05-09

Spent shotshell primers can be easily knock out with a small punch and hammer again only use spent (shot) shotshells

ndeshai (author)2015-01-20

First off ROLL TIDE ROLL! Any idea how to get a 12 gauge 'head' with the primer still intact? Not the whole metal casing but just the top

ALD3 (author)ndeshai2015-01-20

Do Not use heat on the shell at anytime, as heat will fire the primer.

GullReefClub (author)ALD32016-05-09

If you are using fired shotshells they your concerns about the primer are for naught.

mdeblasi1 (author)ALD32016-05-02

Should you do the grinding under water to avoid heat?

ALD3 (author)ndeshai2015-01-20

First I must tell you that any time you mess with a live shell it is DANGEROUS!!!!! DO NOT HAVE THE SHELL POINTING AT YOU, while working on it But if you must and are aware of the danger. First cut the plastic end off the shell with a razor knife, carefully and with shell pointing away from you or anyone else. When you have it almost off the shots will start to fall out. Empty the shots into something to keep them from going everywhere. . When you have that done, you are safer but still have a big fire cracker in your hand. Cut the plastic at the metal and you will have the metal with a live primer. The live primer is still dangerous and can still fire, like a big fire cracker and maybe bits of metal flying out. It can blind you or possible take a few fingers off.

ndeshai (author)ALD32015-01-21

I am so so sorry! I wasnt clear what i meant. Today is the first time i have tried anything like this. I am wanting to get rid of the part sticking out of the back end but keep the hit primer. I loved ur instructions, by far the easiest I have seen :) added pics to be clearer sorry again

ALD3 (author)ndeshai2015-01-21

Thanks for your comments on my Instructable. Very easy and the more you cut the faster you get. I sit with a small box of shells and an empty small box and cut them watching TV.

ALD3 (author)ndeshai2015-01-21

OK now I understand, you have a used/fired shell and want to cut the back of the primer. Easiest way is to use a dremel or drill with a cut off wheel or grind it down to where you want it.

JohnL34 (author)2015-05-14

Great advice on a way to cut the shells. What is the name of the cutter, I have looked at a couple dozen cutters and nothing that has the rollers yours does, most have the two rollers on the bottom. Thanks for any information.

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Bio: Have been doing leather craft for years, I had gotten burned out after doing so much leather and quit about 15 years ago. Had packed ... More »
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