How to Make a Duck Call Out of Spent Shotshells

Turn your empty shells into duck dinner bells

shotgun shell duck bell tutorial
Watch Your Tone: Whistles made from low or high brass heads will make different sounds, so keep a variety on your lanyard.Levi Brown

This loud, breathy whistle is a charmer for teal and wigeon. It’s a snap to make with a few common tools and pairs of spent 12-gauge shells. Each requires either one low brass head shell (approximately 5⁄16 inch tall) and one high brass head (approximately 5⁄8 inch tall), or two low brass head shells.

Instructions: Whistle work

duck bell tutorial step one
Heat the brass head.Robert L. Prince

Step 1: Heat the brass head in the flame of a propane torch. Wearing a work glove, hold on to the brass and gently pull the plastic case away with pliers. Remove the plastic cup inside the brass head by reheating the brass and then scraping away the plastic with a flat-tip screwdriver.

duck bell tutorial step two
Use the screwdriver to partially flatten the metal flanges.Robert L. Prince

Step 2: Place the brass head (with primer down) on a 1-inch stack of cardboard. Punch out the primer. Use the screwdriver to partially flatten the metal flanges that held the primer of each brass head. Hold the pair together and blow through the holes. The final sound will be louder and sharper.

shotgun shell duck bell tutorial step three
Tap the brass head with a hammer to widen the circumference.Robert L. Prince

Step 3: Widen the rim of the high brass head to accept the other head: Use a rotary tool to grind the rim of a 9⁄16-inch socket slightly so the ground rim barely fits into the brass head. Tap it with a hammer to widen the circumference of the brass, then remove. Lastly, tap one brass head into the other.