Making jewelry is generally a very safe activity, but there are a few special considerations when working with bullet casings:
Rule 1. NEVER do anything with live ammunition but shoot it from a gun!
Rule 2. Watch out for live primers!
If a misfire occurs at the range, the primer may still be live (even if the bullet and gunpowder are no longer in the casing!). This means the primer is still able to react, if it experiences sufficient force.
In this case, the gunpowder is gone, so the reaction will not be very impressive. HOWEVER, it will be very frightening if it’s not expected and could possibly damage your drill or drill bit!Before using any bullet casing in your jewelry, check for one of the dimples shown in the second, third, or fourth bullet casings of the picture above. These dimples are left by the firing pin (size and shape varies with different firearms). They indicate the primer is no longer live- these casings are safe! If you don’t see one of these dimples, or if the top of your casing looks like the first casing, don’t cut it or drill into it, and don’t use it in your jewelry!
(Our shop thoroughly inspects all of our casings for live primers- but we are human! We strongly recommend the crafter double checks.)