Bullet Shell Valve Caps (all Credit and a Tip of the Hat to Mrballeng).




Introduction: Bullet Shell Valve Caps (all Credit and a Tip of the Hat to Mrballeng).

About: If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all.

 I was in my shed today and my eyes fell upon my stockpile of spent rifle cartridges. I recalled Mrballeng's instructable for using 40 cal. shells to make valve caps.

Step 1: Select Some Shells.

I have 40 cal. shells among others, and after a quick rummage through the pile, I  realised that they all looked similar in dimension around the base.

Step 2: A Quick Check With the Vernier.

A quick check with the vernier caliper confirmed my suspicions. As shown, the O.D. of these cases are: .270 WIN brass and plated - 11.9mm. .44-40 WIN - 11.8mm. .22-250 REM - 11.8mm. .243 WIN - 11.9mm. .303 British - 11.5mm. I have a good selection of prospective valve caps.

Step 3: Tools and Materials.

Basic stuff found around the workshop, except maybe the pipe cutter. This one was only a few bucks at the hardware store.

Step 4: Mark and Cut the Shell.

I measured up the shell by sizing it up to the valve cap I wanted to use. The area around the base (strangely known as the head) is quite thick as you will see if you look inside the shell after cutting it open. You need to allow for this when measuring up to cut so that the valve cap will sit flush inside when inserted.

Step 5: Prepare the Shell.

The shell needs to be deburred so the valve cap fits properly, and cleaned so the glue will stick to it. Flat file on the end, (hand 2nd cut I think). Small round file inside (poke it around inside the flash hole while you are at it). Then clean inside with scotchbrite and metho to remove burnt stuff. Don't scrub the outside or you will scratch it. Polish it up when it is finished if you think it is required. Ready for gluing.

Step 6: Test Fit.

I drilled a hole through the end of the valve cap by twisting the cap back and forth on a 3mm drill bit held between my fingers. No power tools required. This along with the flash hole will provide a good "key" when filled with glue. Then I test fitted the cap without gluing yet, and removed it again by screwing it onto a tyre valve and pulling.

Step 7: Glue.

Time to glue. I used two part epoxy. It's nice and runny (for a while) and gets into all the nooks and crannies. Use whatever you think is suitable, noting the curing time required.

Step 8: Finished.

Let the glue dry for the specified time. Rip your old valve caps off (if you haven't already pilfered them for the project), install new high powered, go fast caps, and rule the streets.

So that's it for my first (someone else's idea) instructable. I make/fix stuff all the time, and have used ideas from this site a few times, but have never kept a record or photographed anything. It's about time I gave something back.
I welcome all comments regarding quality of layout, photos, instructions etc.

Again I must give thanks and full credit (and a patch) for this idea to Mrballeng.

Step 9: Caarntedd's Guessing Comp.

Check this out. Guess how many spent cartridges are in my bubblegum machine. Closest guess gets a patch. If you nail it you get two patches. One guess per customer.

A clue? Pick a number between 300 and700.

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    6 years ago

    Thanks, these will make a great gift for several friends. One of them is nearly impossible to shop for, but I'm sure he'll love these.


    7 years ago

    Is this right 531


    8 years ago



    10 years ago on Introduction

    Cool stem covers, I particularly enjoyed your novel way of cutting the casing
    with a pipe cutter. I would have used a hacksaw and spent hours leveling
    and smoothing the the edge.

    BTW me guess is 439 casings.

    I got that value by counting what was visible in your clear picture
    ( all your pics are clear and in great focus ) and multiplying by 5.
    That is four sides and a center less one that you cut and used.



    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The winner! I thought there would be more guesses after 200+ views, but I think nobody is really interested, or could be bothered to read the whole I'ble.

    BTW, I said guess, not measure,calculate or estimate! :D

    Anyway, the total at the time was 421. You are very close regardless of the lack of response. Congratulations and thank you for showing an interest in my stuff.

    There can be a lot of negative reaction to anything involving firearms, so I hope that is not the reason for the lack of response. I was just trying to reuse/recycle something that I had lying around.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It's a small icon that gets added to your profile. Members receive them for certain achievments or milestones reached. Pro members are also allocated some patches that they can give to other members as a reward or gift. The member that gives the patch can choose one from the instructables patch library or make their own patch to give away. Click on a few user's profiles and see the patches that they have received. (I only have one so far.)