BMG .50 cal Bullet Pen

Posted by Michael Hardin on

How to make a Parker Style ink pen from the BMG .50 cal shell casings from Stadium Pen Blanks.

Currently there are several options for the BMG .50 cal shell casings available here at Stadium Pen Blanks. Options are plain shell casings fresh from the media tumbler...

Or engraved with the seals from United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and coming soon... Space Force. 

You can also get custom engraving images or names on your shell casings.

The BMG .50 cal Bullet Pen provides you with a .50 cal shell casing and you can use a 3.625"x 0.5" round derlin rod or wooden dowel. Maple or Birch dowels rods work really well.

What is not supplied: thicker larger sierra clone pen kit.

What is not needed from the kit? You will not need the finial combo top and clip or the tube from this kit. Save those for future plans and projects.

What tools are needed to make the Custom BMG .50 cal shell casing pen? Drilling on the lathe with a collet chuck with a 1/2" collet.

THREE drill bits are needed. Sizes are: 25/64", 9mm, & 7mm. As you can see, I am using Fisch and Colt 5-Star drill bits that are 150mm long.

Test fit your derlin rod with your shell casing. The derlin rod will be slightly too long by about .125". Mark the excess needed to be trimmed to make the derlin rod fit flush with the tip of the shell casing.

If your BMG .50 cal shell casing is not a near perfect round, you can use a large round metal rod (large screwdriver or punch rod) to fix the out of round. Insert the metal rod in to the casing and role it around the edges at an angle. The brass will bend out in to a round opening. The larger the diameter of the rod the better your result.

Using your collect chuck on the lathe with the 1/2" collet, secure the 1/2" derlin rod in the collet with 30mm of the derlin rod sticking out of the collet chuck. With a parting tool, trim the excess derlin rod length so that the derlin rod will fit flush within the shell casing.

Using a sharpie to mark your drill bits for the exact depth does help make it easier. Some may suggest tape, but that can lead to clogs of the drilled shavings as the flutes are blocked by the tape. A little acetone will remove the sharpie from the drill bits when you are finished.

First Drill Bit: Drill to a depth of 20mm with the 25/64" drill bit. (trying to get a pic of the caliper at 20mm was quite tricky)

Second Drill Bit: drill to a depth of very close to 58mm with the 9mm drill bit. (again... trying to get a pic of the caliper at 58mm was quite tricky)

Third Drill Bit: drill a depth of very close to 70mm with the 7mm drill bit. (once again, trying to get a pic of the caliper at 70mm was quite tricky)

After the three step drill process is complete, test fit your nose cone and transmission into the drilled out derlin rod. There should be a snug fit into the derlin with the transmission. There should be a free flow feel of the transmission extending and retracting the ink.

Remove the transmission and nose cone from the derlin rod. Using 100-grit sand paper, rough up the exterior of the derlin rod.

At this point, I like to use a few tiny drops of Loctite Blue Threadlocker on the threads of the transmission to the nose cone sections. This will help accidental separation of the transmission and nose cone body, but still allow the separation of the threads to change out the refill.

Using 5-minute epoxy, mix bout about a table spoons worth of epoxy per shell casing and pour about one tablespoon of the mixed epoxy directly into the shell casing. Then insert your derlin rod into the shell casing with the non-drilled side going into the shell casing.

You may need to put a clamp or weight or tape over the top of the derlin insert to ensure it does not rise up out of the shell casing while curing.

Allow enough time for the epoxy to cure. Using a half sphere Steel Dapping Block of Half Spheres, you can round over the rough and sharp edges to the shell casing. Find the 1/2" half sphere and insert the neck of the shell casing in to the sphere. With a hammer use a very light tap to gently round over the tip of the shell casing. To much force and can lead to a neck that is rounded too far to match the large sierra clone kit components. Too much force can also cause extra pressure on the neck causing the derlin to shrink and the shoulder of the large sierra clone insert will no longer fit properly.

A countersink bit can be used to clean up the neck tip of the shell casing. 5/8" or 3/4" countersink bit will be needed.

Then insert your assembled nib section with transmission and ink refill installed in to your shell casing with derlin rod.

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