Some might be familiar with the phrase, "Beat your swords into plowshares" and this hack is a nice twist on the concept. Perhaps beating bullets into bar end plugs will become part of the bike hacker lexicon. Reader Josh provided the following text and pictures.
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I first saw this hack on a bike my previous boss had. He had an old cruiser bike that he got off a farm somewhere in the Midwest, and it had the same. As soon as I saw the shells in the bar ends, I knew it was the solution for me.
I do still like the feel of the bare aluminum bars instead of tape, tho. Even in the winter.
There's one shot you can see that's taken from the side (first picture below). I took that one so you could see how after a crash or two, the two metals got scraped in a way that the shells don't come out as easily as they once did. When I originally put them in, they were tight enough not to jostle out, but loose enough that a fingernail and a little bit of force could pull them out. I don't really store anything in there, so I'm ok with them just staying put. I don't recall having to sand or grind the shells or the inside of the handlebar tube at all, but it was a close enough fit that I thought at first that it might not fit without it. Working it around at an angle was enough to get it there.
I got the empty shells from a local gun store. They collect old shells, and reload them. This is a cheaper way to get ammunition than buying it new. What it meant for me is that they had a bunch of different guage shells for me to try out. I don't think I paid anything for the empty shells, but if I did, it would have been 2 bucks or less.
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