Introduction: DIY Bullet Headphones

Picture of DIY Bullet Headphones

Dear DIY Fans,

This little Project is about crafting your own Bullet Headphones. They do not just look unique and stylish but also sound pretty well. It is a weekend project, wich is not expensive at all, but it requires some basic crafting skills.

I produced an aesthetic video, that will guide you through the main steps and hopefully will be some Inspiration.

If you like my very first Instructable, please vote for me in the FIRST TIME AUTHOR CONTEST 2016.
Thank you!

Step 1: DIY Video

Step 2: Drilling

Picture of Drilling

Use 2 caliber .45 ACP cartridge cases and drill a hole (2mm drill bit) diagonally among the rim below.
I recommend clamping them into a vice to assume maximum stability during the drilling process.

You can use a puncher to create a little dent for the drill bit, but it is not strongly necessary as long as you start with a low drilling speed.

Useful advice:
Make sure to protect the jaws of your vice to avoid damage on your cases.

Step 3: Sawing

Picture of Sawing

Saw the cases down to a length of 7 - 10 mm and sand down the edges roughly by using a course sanding sponge. I shortened them down to a length of 9mm in the video and i think it is the optimal size.

Useful Advice:

You can also use sandpaper to clean the sawing edges but a sanding sponge is not very expensive and will produce a smoother result.
(You could also use whats called a "debuting tool" from gun stores, to clean up the edge after it is cut off. Thank you H2Okee for giving this advice down in the comments!)

Step 4: Increase the Internal Space

Picture of Increase the Internal Space

Use a 9mm drill bit to increase the internal space to create room for the copper wires and to lower the weight.
Keep drilling until you can see a circular hole on the bottom and make sure to check the depth a couple of times during the process to avoid drilling through the bottom.

Step 5: Polishing (most Satisfying Step)

Picture of Polishing (most Satisfying Step)

I recommend to attach a wooden staff with a thickness of 10mm and a length around 3-5 cm into your screwdriver and to stick the cartridge case on it. Now use a fine sanding sponge to reveal the shininess and the golden color (satisfaction guaranteed). I took a few centimeters of my grandmas wooden cooking spoon (she was okay with it). It turned out to work just fine for my needs.

Useful Advice:

I highly recommend using this method for polishing, because of the speed and the even result.

Step 6: Varnishing

Picture of Varnishing

Varnish the cases to protect them from external influences and to retain the metallic shininess.
I recommend using Zapon Lack. Small varnish lines during the daub process will disappear within drying.
Also varnish the inside to create a thin isolation-layer .

Step 7: Prepare the Original Headphones

Picture of Prepare the Original Headphones

The exact model number is Panasonic RP-HJE120E1R. These Headphones are pretty affordable and they have really good sound (literally thousands of positive amazon reviews).

Clamp the ear buds into a vice (with good protected jaws) and lift them softly out of their shell (watch the video in minute 3:26). You can now cut off the copper vires from the ear buds but I advice doing a quick photo of the connections at first. It will be easier to match each wire to it`s contact on the ear bud later in the soldering process. You can finally remove the old Shells.

Step 8: Marriage

Picture of Marriage

Remove 1cm of the rubber isolation of the cable wire to reveal the fine copper wires. Then cover the end of the cable wire with shrinking tube (1cm long and 2mm thick). The picture above will give a good idea of the exact distances.

You can now stick your prepared cable wires through the hole of the cartridge case until you can see the black shrinking tube from the inside. A drop of superglue in the inside will provide final fixity.

Step 9: Soldering and Assembling

Picture of Soldering and Assembling

You can now finally resolder the wires to the contacts on the ear buds. Make sure to match the cables right. The photo you took a few steps before will help you with that. Time for a quick soundcheck.
You can now push the ear buds into the cases by hand or with a vice. They will stick together perfectly, even without any glue. You did it.


Soldering is more difficult than it looks. If you do not have some experiences with it, I recommend to ask a friend.

Step 10: Thank You

Picture of Thank You

I just want to thank you for reading my DIY Post. I hope I could inspire you for this little DIY project. I love these Headphones and I felt like I had to share it within an equally aesthetic video. If you want to support me and future projects, please subscribe to my Youtube channel and give me some feedback in the comments.

Please send me a picture if you could successfully rebuild the Bullet Headphones.



Jonathanrjpereira (author)2016-05-02

If only I had some bullet shells

You can go to a gun store and get new empties (Which are actually meant for reloading but you can use them for this!) They sell these in any size that can be reloaded! 9mm would be good.

Carpenter Guy (author)2016-06-05

Absolutely AMAZING!!!

shai.rotbard made it! (author)2016-05-06


Nice :)

DDW_OR (author)2016-04-26

could do one side as brass and the other side as aluminum, Left and Right side.

LoganB22 (author)DDW_OR2016-05-02

Good idea, better then engraving more marks into the casing. Like L/R.

LoganB22 (author)2016-05-02

That looks so easy, except getting the spent cartridges. How would I be able to do this with the flat non-tangle wire earbuds? What would you recommend to cut the wire hole?

cbjack (author)2016-04-30

Loved it, now I can recycle some of the casings I see at the gun range. Very well done, very clear instructions and the music was not intrusive. Good work!

Meglymoo87 (author)2016-04-29

COOL! :)

Natalina (author)2016-04-29

Clever project! And wow amazing documentation - way to rock your first instructable. How do they sound compared to the original headphones? Curious if you can notice a difference.

JoeP70 (author)2016-04-29

Nice photos and narrative presentation. Going to have to try this out, after I bring home some brass from the next range session...

deswiger (author)2016-04-28

I HOPE THEY COME IN A 50 CAL. SIZE FOR ALL OF US WHO LISTEN TO HARD ROCK WITH OUR EARS NEXT TO THE SPEAKERS WHILE TEST FIRING OUR 60mm MORTORS........ just kiddin', nice job. Thanks for the share, got to try this. Semper Fi.

deswiger (author)deswiger2016-04-28

Sorry for yelling....... ;)

Solateska made it! (author)2016-04-27

Ive skipped over varnishing and I regret it. The brass has changed its color 2 days after sanding. The Soundquality hasnt changed remarkably. I enjoyed crafting them.

Kiwi464 (author)2016-04-27

are there any other calibers that this would work for. 45. is'int a very common one in NZ.

KenStone (author)2016-04-27

Great post. Great idea, Great photos. I really enjoyed this one. You really thought out the procedure before making this and it shows.

chevy (author)2016-04-26

I wonder if i can make a pair of ear plugs, when i ride my motorcycle .

H2Okee (author)2016-04-26

Congrats on the creativity, they look and I'm sure they are functional. Two thought for you as I am a reloaded of ammo, 1.) what you referred to as a cartridge sleeve is properly called a case, not a big deal as the pics help me understand what you are referring to, 2.) You could use what's called a debuting tool to smooth the edge of the case after its cut off, that's their purpose and they are very inexpensive at gun stores that sell reloading tools, if you don't have access to this tool your method works fine. I found your project creative and unique. ?

Thank you for the feedback. I am sorry for my bad english and I am sure there are probably many more mistakes in my instructable. I am going to do my best to find some of them the next days. Thanks for the advice again.

LeonS5 (author)2016-04-26

Where would you buy the bullets?

That's actually a good question, I want to answer here. I bought mine at eBay (10 cartridge sleeves for about 5€).
I know that some online Shops sell bigger packages of sleeves (50+). But you can write to your local gun clubs, if they can give you some. If you live in germany, I can send you a few of mine. I got some left. Hope I could help you at least a little bit.

im not in germany but thanks for everyones responses ill try this

djmoose (author)LeonS52016-04-26

what you would do is go to a shooting range and ask for bullet shells after they have been shot or get one gun and one bullet and shoot it

H2Okee (author)LeonS52016-04-26

LeonS5 you don't need bullets, just 2 spent cases. Bullets would be somewhat dangerous for you to use. Go to the nearest shooting range and ask, I'm sure someone will give you 2 of them. Maybe they will let you shoot 2 rounds and then give you the spent cases and you can say the ones you used for your project we actually shot in a gun by you. Cool!

J SquaredA (author)2016-04-26

very nice. very professional :)

JoeA9 (author)2016-04-26

I know that at the top you said to use 45 ACP. Do you know if it would be possible to use any larger caliber such as .50 action express?

know I said I would answer in private messages, but I think some
questions might be relevant for everyone, so I will answer them here

#JoeA9 If you want to use the exact original Headphones I used in the video, you should use a caliber with a shell head diameter of exact 12mm.
Because one of the biggest advantage of the combination of these particular Headphones and the .45 caliber is, that you can push them together after soldering with gentle violence and they will stick together without glue. So if necessary you are able to open them again just in case something went wrong during soldering. (The .50 has a head shell diameter of 14mm, so they will not fit perfectly).

Ok. Thank you. I must have missed the diameters of the shell heads during my reading. That and I don't exactly have a supply of shells right here in my pockets (no complaining if I did). I'll have to do some measuring when I get home. Thank you for the answer and the great instructable.

RodrigoM13 (author)JoeA92016-04-26

I guess you can, but it will weight more and may not fit in your ear, you can use a .50 bmg if you want...

JoeA9 (author)RodrigoM132016-04-26

I wasn't thinking quite that big. I was thiking about something like .50 AE, But thanks.

woofman (author)2016-04-26

Like everyone else, I like the production values, though the pace is a bit plodding for me. It matches the music, which is also a bit lethargic. Truly love the careful videography however.

70cyclone (author)2016-04-26

Well now I have something to do with some of the brass after I go to the range :)

Romyr John AndreiP (author)2016-04-26

is it safe to bring at airports?

since there is no explosives it should be OK. just give the cartridge shells a GOOD washing first.

HavocRC (author)2016-04-26

Wow dude everything was amazing, from the camera work to the easy instructions! You definitely earned my vote and everybody else's! Good luck in the contest!

I'm still wishing I had a real camera so I can make my instructions better :(

Lemme guess, Canon Rebel T6i?

IamTheMomo (author)2016-04-26

Not only is this a fun project (I sent a link to it to my son who has the capability to make them), your video is the best I have ever seen on Instructables, or YouTube either, for that matter! Beautiful music and absolutely gorgeous photography are the key, and you wield it all perfectly. So of course I voted for you! I would warn anyone to not allow children to wear these at school, or sadly, it would end with instant expulsion most likely. I like the originality, and the whimsical nature of this set, and if son-shine made me a set, I'd wear them with a smile! Good luck in the contest!

DouglasK5 (author)2016-04-26

they look great. i'm wondering if the bit of glue on the wire inside the shell would be enough to hold up support to keep the wire from being yanked out during heavy use. for anyone wondering about source starline makes great brass cases.

WilliamB227 (author)2016-04-26

I watch quite a few DIY videos and this one has the best production values I've seen so far. Great job

ErikCraftor (author)2016-04-26

Just wondering, is there any and higher quality headphones I could use?

rogeer (author)2016-04-25


jOker58 (author)2016-04-25

this is a great idea I will definitely vote for you

tomatoskins (author)2016-04-21

Those turned out looking great! I love making something store bought my own. You did this beautifully! I can't wait to see what else you come up with to share! Welcome to the community!

you did a really good job are you going to do something like that again if so post it on this site again so that i can look at your porject thanks again

Many thanks, Buddy. I really appreciate your feedback.

binnart1234567 (author)2016-04-25

wow thats so cool how did you do that you must be really smart to do something like that can you give me some advise please just email me back thatnks

sssha30081997 (author)2016-04-25

cool idea dude

divagirl12334 (author)2016-04-24

These look super I haven't tried them yet but I think they would be cool to make.

Super_seal (author)2016-04-23

Great job! these are fantastic! what a great idea!

Yonatan24 (author)2016-04-23

Wow! Your video was really good, And they look amazing! Keep up the good work!

About This Instructable




Bio: DIY projects, personal Tipps, Instructions and well made Videos. That`s basically all what I`m here for! :D Want to support me? Show me ... More »
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