Tuesday, August 05, 2014

DIY 12 Gauge Bandolier

Since my pipe shotgun has no magazine, I decided to make a bandolier to go along with it. I did not want it to be very heavy or carry many rounds. Most bandoliers are made from nylon webbing with stretch fabric loops, and the rounds are situated very closely together. I've used these before and I'm not a big fan of them. The fabric can lose its stretchiness over time, its cumbersome to reload the loops, and the rounds are so close together that it can be difficult to grab a single round. Another commercial option is shell pouches, or a side saddle that mounts to the gun. But I felt like making something out of scraps I had flying around.

I made a simple bandolier using two layers of nylon webbing I had saved from some old duffel bag carrying strap. The loops are short sections of 3/4" PVC pipe that a 12 gauge shotgun shell fits snugly into up to the brass. The back webbing lays flat and the other piece goes over the PVC sections. The PVC  and nylon webbing are glued together with clear silicon caulking. I have 10 loops on this bandolier so can carry 10 rounds.

To make this I started by cutting the sections off of the 3/4" pipe that are the same length as the nylon webbing width. The webbing I had was 1.5" wide.

Once the first is cut I use it as a template on the PVC pipe to mark each successive cut. I used a miter saw to cut the sections. I don't actually have a miter box anymore, just the saw. I held the PVC pipe in my vise to keep it secure. 

Once the ten pieces were cut, I put a piece of 80 grit sandpaper on my bench top and rubbed the cutoff sections to get rid of the plastic burrs and rough spots. This was somewhat effective to clean them up but I think a dedicated PVC deburring tool would have worked much better. If I were doing much more than 10 loops, It might have been worth it to get one.

To clean up the burrs on the inside edge I ran a box cutter blade around the inside rim at a 45 degree angle.  The little curl of plastic came off in one ribbon.

After they were smoothed I layed one piece of the nylon webbing out and glued each pvc section to it with a single bead of silicon caulking. I rubbed each peice around a little to ensure the silicon was embedded well into the nylon webbing. I spaced them out fairly widely since I only had 10. I let this cure overnight. The next step was to add the top nylon webbing to secure the loops. I put several beads on each PVC section and on the nylon backstrap. I pressed everything down into place. I was worried that I would need to use clamps but the silicon is viscous enough that it held everything generally in place. Again, I let this cure overnight.You can see some of the silicon at the junction of the two straps here:

The final step was to trim everything to length. Nylon webbing can be cut with ordinary scissors. It can start to fray once cut but this is easily rectified by fusing the cut ends with a match flame. I cut the bandolier to length with some overlap. I used a plastic strap adjuster to make the bandolier into a loop - this can be tightened or loosened as needed.It needs to be run through the adjuster twice to stay firmly in place.

Tested it out and it looks like it will work well. Not bad for a few dollars in materials.

To adjust how tightly the shells fit, one can place a small piece of scotch tape on the inside of each PVC piece, or lightly sand the inside of the peices with some sandpaper wrapped around a finger.

1 comment:

Gunner Jacky said...

Don't you find it really dangerous sometimes to have these type of firearms could be dangerous and risky. One must be quite sure before trying all this things at your home. You can also give it a try to firearms training centers to know everything in depth and detail.
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