Shotgun Shell Survival Containers

Introduction: Shotgun Shell Survival Containers

This short instructable will show you how to make small containers out of shotgun shells. Inside 1 shell, you can fit quite a bit.

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Step 1: Materials

For this instructable, you need:

A knife

2 USED shotgun shells (Any gauge or bore you choose. I used 20 gauge.)

Blaze orange duct tape or electrical tape (Optional)

Reflective yellow duct tape or electrical tape (Optional)

Step 2: Choosing Your Shells

I used 20 gauge shells. In the gravel pit beside my house, there was loads of 20 gauge shells around. They work best for this project because they are smaller and less bulky than a 12 gauge shell ( .615 diameter for the 20 gauge compared to the .729 diameter for the 12). Any shell works, but size was not the only choice for the shells. For you ammo experts, you may know why already. Ever wonder why 20 gauge shells are yellow? It is to distinguish them from other gauges. Since 12 and 20 gauge guns are the most popular shotguns (at least in the USA), when you see yellow, you should automatically think "20 gauge" and not incorrectly chamber it into a 12 gauge gun. If you dropped these containers in the woods or in murky water, green and red 12 gauge shells can be hard to see. Now I suppose you could use shells that are blue, white, or pink, but yellow is still easier to see.

Step 3: Prepping the Shell and Construction

Get out your knife and make a cut around the base of the shell. Low brass shells work best because the low brass shells typically have a plastic ring that rises on the inside to reinforce the base. A low brass shell should look like the above. Pull the brass out and save the plastic, too. Keep the other shell intact. To close, insert whatever, take the brass and insert it, plastic ring first, into the crimp of the other shell. Above, I have included what the closed shell should look like.

Step 4: Optional Materials

If you want to make these things really look good, put a strip of blaze orange tape around the shell. These will be even more visible. Or you can wrap them with yellow reflective tape to make them glow in lights so if you drop one at night you can shine at them with a flashlight.

Step 5: Using Them

You can make a few of these and carry them as lightweight survival packs. To open, just pull out the loose brass piece. Inside, you can fit:

14 strike anywhere matches

Some fishing line and hooks

A small pocket knife


Some paracord

Just about anything!

However, I am NOT suggesting that these make up your whole survival kit. If you feel the need to carry a small belt axe, carry a small belt axe. If it does not fit, keep it somewhere else. You would not leave a gun behind on a hunting trip, would you?

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    3 Discussions

    Dom Toretto
    Dom Toretto

    4 years ago

    What type of shotgun shells did you use


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great idea! I'm curious to see more info on how you close the shell to keep contents dry and secure. Have any photos you can add of some shotgun shells you've done this with?