Jump to content

light a survival fire with a shotgun shell.

Recommended Posts

If you are caught out hunting (without matches Mike), and can't make it back, and need a fire, could you cut open up a shotshell and use the powder as a fire starter.   I wonder if you piled the powder from several shells under some tinder, then chambered one of the, now empty, shells and held the barrel to the powder pile.  Would the primer send enough of a spark down the barrel to ignite that powder pile?

I'm sure the survivalists have figured this all out and can tell us exactly the proper procedure.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 232
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • erik meade


  • rprovines


  • brymoore


  • Backlash



You could also try pulling a lighter/matches out of your pocket and starting the fire. Just sayin'...

I think the small bast from the primer would blow your little pile of tinder all over the place.

Never tried it. I always make it a point to always have matches and/or lighter, a small compass and a pocketknife EVERY time I am in the woods.

Learned that the hard way in Maine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

using powder is a good idea - regardless of spark source, you'll need some tinder to start with - I usually carry a mag stick, lighter, matches, candle, dryer lint and a few other things in my kit.

Go to Wally World and get a nalgene bottle, some fire starter sticks, space blanket, etc and put together and emergency kit.

Here's what's in mine:

Basic survival kit:

2 nalgene qt bottles – 1 for emergency water, 1 for stuff

compass – and knowledge to use it – map of specific area too…

simple first aid kit – a few band aids, some butterfly stitches, some big pads.

2 sports/energy bars

1 small clump of dryer lint – for starting fires

2 large trash bags – heavy gauge plastic, 55 gal bags – tarp, tent, poncho, body bag…

1 handy bag from MRE – contains tea bag or other hot beverage mix, 1 pack sugar, teeny bottle tobasco, pack of matches, some TP, moist towelette, 2 chicklets – all in vacuum packed, waterproof bag

contents of second nalgene bottle:

magnesium fire stuff, waterproof match case with matches & striker, mini bic

mini mag light, fire starter stick tinder stuff (wally world)

space blanket

thumb saw


16 oz “beverage bag” from MRE kit


25’ of 1/8” cord with pull stopper thing I had laying around

sturdy knife – 4” drop point blade, 4 ½” handle

tin cup

nylon belt bag for bottle

beener clip on cap – light, useful

missing is the floss and needle – I have some 50# test gel spun fishing line I may use for thread…

aside from the knife and compass the most expensive item was the saw at approx. $8 - for a total of $25 at wally world, you can get most of these items or suitable substitutes.

these items travel with me when I hike in for a deer hunt, it fits in my fanny pack along with water for the day and lunch, spare ammo – I also carry a .22 pistol as mentioned above. My clothes are suited for the weather and task.

If I am backpacking, many of the items stay home but are replaced by proper sleeping bag/pad, tent, etc. – first aid gets larger.

An MRE contains enough food for an average person for one whole day – full meal with heating device – kinda like a smack pack ice pack only for heat - snack, hot beverage, TP, gum, utensil (spoon) – they are cheap (or free if your sister is a gunny in the marines wink.gif) and have a good shelf life – 1 year or so

Upgrades are easily adjusted for length of stay in the woods and allowable space

It’s not a complete kit or anything but a pretty good starting point...

If you're contemplating a packable gun - the AR-7 is hard to beat - I haven't shot one but the total break down/stock storage is hard to beat - the design has out lasted it's last 3 owners...kinda like jeeps...I was in a local shop and was oogling a marlin lever action .22 that has a single knob to break into 2 parts - very handy if I were packing in somewhere and already had a large caliber bolt action in say, .308, 20" bbl iron sights, 3-9x40 scope on removable mounts - not that I've been thinking about it or anything...

as with this posting, it's easy to over-prepare but some ABF I know has taught rubbed off on me (and almost humped my leg) and I'm getting more into "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." mentality - to a point - for me, I'll scale my "possibles bag" to suit my planned situation - if I plan to be a week in the woods before I'm missing, it's a very different contingency plan than if I'm out for a few hours...

a 20 ga/.22 over under is a very handy woods gun depending on your hunting preferences - I prefer my 16 ga shotty with a .22 pistol while grousing or a 30-30 deer gun/.22 pistol during deer season

I recently saw a similar kit that uses a backpacking pot/pan that locks together - not sure if its waterproof but I like the idea of having a pot/pan handy for melting snow/boiling water.

For some reason bugging out has been on my mind lately - at least being prepared to bug out has.

Link to post
Share on other sites

See how simple it can be?



"I do wish you'd listen, Wymer. It's perfectly simple. If you're not getting your hair cut, you don't have to move your brother's clothes down to the lower peg. You simply collect his note before lunch, after you've done your scripture prep, when you've written your letter home, before rest, move your own clothes onto the lower peg, greet the visitors, and report to Mr. Viney that you've had your chit signed. "

Link to post
Share on other sites
bosco mctavitch
matches, duct tape, vitamin I, very small headlamp and a pocketknife.  You guys carry too much stuff, no wonder you need to start a fire...be careful, carrying too much survival gear is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are goofy.

I was just saying, suppose you lost your survival kit, (cause maybe was it was stolen by the racoons)   If all you had was the shells, would that be enough to make a fire.

I know you could just pull the RV out the in the woods and turn on the stove, but that ain't the point.


Link to post
Share on other sites
Go to Wally World and get a nalgene bottle,

Don't they cause cancer or something?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As no one has emerged with actual experience in the matter, this calls for some experimentation and real world data. Erik, you should probably head out to your yard and give it a try. If possible, please videotape the results. Also, it would be beneficial to experiment with powder derived from several different loads. While all are likely to be doomed to fail to ignite from the spark of the primer in the barrel, some load and primer combinations might yield either effective, or amusing results.

Good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Go to Wally World and get a nalgene bottle,

Don't they cause cancer or something?

If racoons have stolen your survival kit, you've got more to worry about than cancer, wally world or a bottle...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Uncle Sam taught me to use powder salvaged from ammo to start fires without a match; use a piece of wire (which we had in abundance, commo wire, but a wire saw from one of them fancy survival knives would work) and tie both ends in loops and make a sawing motion on a piece of wood. The wire will get hot enough to ignite the powder.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...