HOWTO make headphones out of old bullets


Brass tends to corrode rather quickly in contact with skin. Some sort of coating (or silver plating, perhaps? Maybe gold?) may be needed.

The cables also lack strain relief, reliability will be impaired. Even a piece (two overlapping pieces of different length) of heat-shrink tube would do a good job. (Heat-shrink holds shape after cooling down; a good trick to get a cable to have a L-shape or other kink is to put a piece of heat-shrink over, shrink it on, and before it cools down shape the cable. Alternatively, shape it when cooled and then reheat so the tube can soften and then harden again into the new shape.)

That said, on the todo list it goes…! Hope it can work even with 9mm ones…

Link is 404ed.

Yet another way to stand in line at the TSA when they detect gunpowder residue.


If you have to worry about corrosion, you clearly aren’t shooting enough people.

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The more expensive defense ammo is usually nickle plated. Shiny silver.


Autoplay video is antisocial.


Are the percussion caps still in there?

Nickel is allergenic. The skin may not react well to prolonged contact.

However, there’s some noise out there about stainless steel casings. Not sure about what grade it is (304? 316?), so it still may corrode if exposed to chlorides-containing sweat (human sweat is worse than seawater, pretty unpleasant environment for metals).

Most likely yes. Their load of primary explosive is spent, all that remains is a metal cup with a little residue.

Sometimes the purpose of having ammo is to have it many years later in case it really becomes necessary. Long-term storage capability, which includes all sorts of worries about material compatibility and corrosion characteristics, then gains quite some importance.

(And then there are the reloading issues and salvage of spent casings.)

Besides, this topic is about reuse of spent cartridges for jewellery/accessory purposes, which is a completely different can of worms, even if the underlying corrosion and metallurgy issues are the same.

Wash it clean with acid. Don’t use nitric, it will eat through the metal fast. Be careful with temperature and concentration as even hydrochloric can eat through brass fast. Maybe phosphoric would be the best?

And/or line it with epoxy or another barrier layer. Which will also solve the corrosion issues.


316L doesn’t generally corrode under normal piercing conditions. It’s pretty much the go-to for body jewelry.


Yes, I had a chunk of it in my shoulder for a while after that ill-advised attempt to fly Superman-style. It’s however more expensive than 304, and therefore I have some doubts if it is used for ammo casings…

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I used to wear a nickle silver ring…

I don’t think they make stainless steel cases. They do make steel case. Usually it is lacquered. They make zinc plated too.

They also make aluminum cased. You could anodize it colors.

You could - you know, just buy some .50 cent ear plugs that would work even better.

Or stop screwing around and get some real protection like mine:

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Do they make Titanium cased shells? That’s nicely hypoallergenic. Might be a bit exotic for shooting, though…

Not that I am aware of. It would be expensive and what I understand it is hard to work with.

There are plastic cased rounds though… That would be pretty hypoallergenic.

Generally speaking, the rifles barrel/breech is what contains all the pressure of the round going off. The case material isn’t that relevant. Brass is preferred due to strength, low corrosion, re-usability, and its softer than steel so it won’t erode the parts it slides against.


That makes perfect sense, thanks!. I dunno crap about ammo apart from how to turn it into stuff. :smile:
Brass 12-bore shells do make nice plugs/gauges and lacquering them as well as trimming a silicone tunnel to fit over the part that sits in your ear solves the corrosion issue. Wouldn’t use them for long-term wear though.

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I know you can hard chrome plate brass. That would look cool. It isn’t fender shiny, but a sort of nice bright grey with a blue tint. They used to do it to brass paintball barrels.


That’s a neat idea. Combined with the the black silicone sleeve it would give a very definite pump-action shotgun vibe, like those silver/grey ones with the hardened rubber fittings.

Something for my to-do list for next time I get a bag of spent brass. :smile:

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Doitdoitdoitdoitdooeeeeeet! :smiley:
…and post photos!

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So no one bit on my humblebrag about my nice ear protectors?

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They’re very nice. Can you pick up Test Match Special on them? :wink: