8 Factors You Should Consider When Purchasing Empty Shell Casings for an Art Project

Stepping into the realm of artistry often means thinking outside the box and using unconventional materials. Empty shell casings can lend a unique touch to your artwork, bridging the gap between aesthetics and statement-making elements. But before diving headlong into your project, consider these essential factors when sourcing empty shell casings.

1. Material Composition

Every casing material, whether brass, steel, or aluminum, imparts its own essence. Brass gives off a warm, golden sheen, perfect for evoking nostalgia or luxury. Steel, with its muted grey, can bring a stark industrial vibe. Aluminum, being lighter, can be perfect for artworks requiring flexibility and movement. Think deeply about the emotions you want your piece to evoke and choose accordingly.

2. Sizing and Calibration

From the tiniest .22 caliber casings to large .50 caliber ones, the size of the casing can drastically affect the aesthetics and balance of your artwork. Think of them as the brush strokes of your creation. Do you want them to be bold and prominent or subtle and intricate? A mix can also introduce depth and layering to your piece.

3. Source Origin

Where you source the casings from can influence their condition and history. Military surplus, shooting ranges, or purchased new from a manufacturer—each source lends its own story. Think about the narrative you want to weave into your art. Is it a tale of reused materials, a statement on warfare, or simply an aesthetic choice?

4. Primer Status

For safety reasons, always ensure the shell casings you purchase are fully deactivated and do not contain active primers. This is especially crucial if your artwork will be displayed in public spaces or transported. It’s not just about adhering to laws but ensuring the safety of all.

5. Surface Treatment

Some shell casings undergo surface treatments for aesthetic or preservation reasons. This can range from polish and lacquer to patinas for an aged look. Depending on your art project, you may want untreated casings you can customize yourself or pre-treated ones that fit your vision directly.

6. Quantity and Availability

How many shell casings will your art project require? Ensure that your chosen supplier can provide the quantity you need without significant delays. It’s always a good idea to purchase a few extra, just in case of miscalculations or last-minute design changes.

Depending on where you live, there might be regulations surrounding the purchase, possession, and use of empty shell casings, especially in bulk. Do thorough research or consult with local law enforcement to ensure you’re not inadvertently breaking any laws.

8. Environmental Impact

If sustainability and environmental impact form a core part of your ethos as an artist, consider this when sourcing shell casings. Are they recycled or repurposed? Are they sourced from manufacturers who practice sustainable methods? Your art can make a statement not just in its final form but in the materials and methods used to create it.

Empty shell casings present a unique opportunity for artistic expression. They carry history and symbolism and offer a tactile element that few other materials can. As you embark on your creative journey using these casings, remember that the choices you make in sourcing and selecting them can deeply influence the narrative and impact of your artwork. Equip yourself with the right knowledge, prioritize safety, and let your creativity soar.

Here at Precision Brass, we offer empty ammo casings or shell casings that can be used for a variety of projects, including art projects. If you’re looking to create a unique and edgy piece of art, visit our online shop to see our current selection of casings. If you have any questions, call or email us.