Make an Arrowhead From a Spent Shell Casing

Here's a pretty simple way to produce a good quality arrowhead, fairly quickly and without too much difficulty. This is everything I used to make mine: A shell casing (Note: It needs to be of fair size. I started out with a .22 and it proved to be too small. I ended up using a .223/5.56 casing, 30/06, .308 should work just as well.), Wire cutters, A File, Patience,Wooden Arrow (I used a practice arrow), Pocket knife, Pliers, And some carpenters glue.

Step 1: Remove the Primer From the Shell

Its much easier said than done, but not at all a sisyphean task. Ok, this is where the file and patience come in. File About an 1/8in above the extractor groove. The brass isn't extremely hard and with perseverance and patience the primer will come right off.

Step 2: Cut and Crimp the Shell

Take the wire cutters and cut the tip of the shell in four places equally spaced, so you have 4 bendable flaps of brass. Flip the shell over and use the wire cutters to crimp the bottom like in the pictures.

Step 3: Whittle the Arrow Down

Using the pocket knife, whittle down the shaft of the arrow.

Step 4: Combine the Two Pieces

Ok, when you put the two pieces together, you need to rotate the shell. The two points that you crimped will start to dig into the wood, securing it to the shaft. Rotate it once or twice, and take the carpenters glue, or some type of glue, and pour it into the open part of the shell. Then finish screwing it onto the arrow shaft. Optimally, You want the wooden tip of the arrow, now inside the shell, just below the brass flaps on the shell. Wait 5 minutes for the glue to start drying.

Step 5: Close the Tabs

Take the pair of pliers and close the brass tabs around the wooden tip. If its got any small jagged edges on the arrowhead, you can smooth them out with the file Now your ready to test it

Step 6: Test It Out

The proof is in the pudding I suppose. The arrow will pack quite the wallop. I was using a fiberglass bow with about a 30lb draw weight. I used a practice arrow, the shell added a fair amount of weight to it and gave it a pretty nice feel. The arrow penetrated the foam target I was using about 4 inches at 10 yards.



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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Not a bad idea, though I would use spent brass in making more ammo or, if in a "society breakdown" scenario, improvised ammo. Granted if you are down to the point where you can't get the stuff to make improvised powder and primer as well as bolts/rebar for improvised bullets, this proves there is still a use for casings after all. Arrows are a lot easier to make then bullets after all.

    2 replies

    >> shooting bolts and rebar through yoru gun would quickly reduce the barrel to rubish..... i'd be using copper pipe, wheel weights from cars, fishing lures, heck, even aluminum, before i used steel. it's not good for barrels.


    Well I was basing my knowledge from a military book that detailed that way to make improvised ammo. I didn't know about using those items.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very well done Instructable, I've thought of doing this before, I just never have any shells because I never go shooting!