Introduction: Shotgun Shell Locket V2

About: I've always liked pulling things apart - it's the putting back together again that I have some issues with!

As the title suggests, this is my second version of a shotgun shell locket. The first one was a little more complicated as I included a hinge with the first version. This time, the lid fits into the main body of the locket and is pushed into place. It's a lot simpler to make than the first version and I think just as effective. It's also a deeper locket as it uses the whole cap (what I call "shell" in the title. I know that the title is a little misleading, but shell is more explanatory than Cap. I will however use cap in the rest of the ible').

The only tricky part is to find something slightly larger than the shell to expand the opening to allow the lid to fit into place. I used a socket but I’m sure that there are other (and better) ways out there.


Step 1: Things to Gather


1. Shotgun shells. I’d suggest you get a few different types. I have found that trying to fit the lid into the same brand shell can be tricky. Using a different brand and cap should make the job easier. You can get shells from Etsy, or your local gun range for free.

2. Some thin, copper wire for the loop

That’s It for parts!


1. Solder

2. Mini blow torch

3. Pliers

4. Small grinding stone wheel. I used a Dremel one

5. Small metal cutting wheel. Again I used a Dremel one.

6. Vice

7. Socket – needs to be slightly larger than the diameter of the cap.

8. Polish

Step 2: Removing the Cap From the Plastic Shell


1. Clamp the shell in a vice.

2. Heat the end up with a small blow torch. I usually heat them up for about 10 seconds, moving the flame around all of the time, and then leave for about another 5 seconds.

3. Carefully remove by grabbing the end with a pair of pliers and pulling.

4. Next remove the cap in the end of the head with a nail punch or something similar

Step 3: Making the Lid


1. Grab another shell. It's best to use a different type (brand) of shotgun shell that the body. I have found that it can be sometimes hard to fit the lid into the body if the shells are the same brand.

2. Place one in the copper pipe cutter and carefully turn the shell while tightening the cutter. It helps if you put something solid down the shell like a socket. This will ensure that the shell stays true and pressure is added evenly.

3. Once the head is cut through, it's then time to remove it. Do this the same way you removed the cap for the body.

Step 4: Smoothing Out the Insides of the Caps


1. Once you remove the cap there will be a little bit of plastic still stuck to the head. Pull this off with some pliers.

2. Once the plastic is removed you will find that there are some spiky pieces of brass on the inside of the head. These hold the cap into place. You will want to remove these so the inside is flush.

3. To remove the spiky bits, you will need to grind these off. I used a small stone grinding wheel but I'm sure that there are better ways to go about this. Keep on grinding until the spiky bits are gone.

4. Do this for both the lid and the body of the locket

Step 5: Moding the Primer

Hopefully you didn't throw the primers away as you will need to put these back into the shotgun cap.


1. Grab hold of the primer with a pair of needle nose pliers

2. Set-up the dremel or drill so it has a small cutting wheel attached like the below image. My Dremel died so I have had to rig up my drill to do the cutting.

3. Carefully run the primer around the wheel. You don't want to cut it flush with the top of the cap. The image below of the cut primer shows that I kept just a little of the body of the primer intact.

4. File down any sharp edges

5. Push the primer back into the hole in the cap . The cool thing about this is it should lock into place. This is why you want to keep a little of the body on the primer. Initially I soldered these into place but the solder just leaked everywhere. By not cutting the primer flush, means there is enough left for it to lock in the hole. You might need to push the primer into place with a screwdriver as the fit can be tight.

Step 6: Expanding the Body of the Cap

In order for the cap lid to fit inside the body section of the locket, you will need to expand the opening. There are probably other ways to do this but I found using a socket slightly larger than the cap opening allowed me to stretch the opening just enough. You don’t want to have the opening either too tight or too loose or it won’t work. Take your time and you will be able to find the sweet spot for the lid


1. Find the right socket and place the cap on top of it.

2. Next, use a vice and carefully push the socket into the cap. Do this in gradual steps and loosen the vice and turn the socket a few times so it goes in evenly.

3. Once you have the cap about 5-7mm over the socket, remove from the vice and with a blunt screwdriver, carefully lever it off the end of the socket. I used the vice again here to hold the socket whist I lightly tapped on the end of the screwdriver with a small hammer.

4. Repeat a few times, always turning the socket.

5. Test and see if the lid will fit in the cap. If it fits and can be pulled off with your nail and a little force then you have the hole exactly the right size. If the lid won’t fully fit, you will need to continue to widen the hole. You might need to use a slightly larger socket to help stretch the cap.

Step 7: Making the Ring


1. With the copper wire, make a small loop and cut the excess wire off

2. Hold the loop into place with a 3rd hand and add some flux to the join

3. With a small blow torch heat-up the section and solder onto the locket