Make a Duck Call Out of Spent Shotshells in 3 Steps

Turn empty your shotgun shells into whistle calls for teal and wigeon

shotgun shell duck bell tutorial
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.

1. Heat the brass head of the shell.

Illustration: A blowtorch heats brass.
Use a blowtorch to heat the brass.Robert L. Prince

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. Repeat with a second shell.

2. Get rid of the primers.

Illustration: Use a screwdriver to partially flatten the metal flanges.
Use the screwdriver to partially flatten the metal flanges.Robert L. Prince

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. Do the same on the other brass head. Then hold the pair together, and blow through the holes to get an idea of what your call will sound like. After step 3 the sound will be louder and sharper.

3. Hammer the two case heads together.

Illustration: Tap the brass head with a hammer to widen the circumference.
Tap the brass head with a hammer to widen the circumference.Robert L. Prince

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.