How to get steel shot for slingshots for free.

BB. actually stands for “ball bearings” which are used in machines to allow shafts to spin with minimal resistance. The best example is the wheel bearings in your car. The driveshaft goes through a hub to drive the wheel. The ball bearing is a ring containing one or two rows of ball bearings. Wheel bearings on the average car go out every couple years so mechanic shops throw away lots of spent wheel bearings.

For an example a Dodge Neon front wheel bearing has 36 balls inside each wheel bearing and there is one on each side.

All you have to do is collect spent bearings from local auto shops and break them open to collect the ball bearings.

How to get the ball bearings out. This is not exactly a high tech process. You need three things, old towels or chunks of canvass (you will destroy these), safety glasses, and finally a sledgehammer (3 to 8 pound work well). Wrap the bearing loosely with your fabric and stand it on edge on the concrete. Don your safety glasses and take out your frustrations. The housing’s of the bearing are case hardened steel that will normally shatter instead of bending. Shake out the pieces and pick out the bearings. You will need to clean the grease off of them with a rag.

How to get wheel bearings. Find out where all your local auto repair shops are and go on a field trip. At each shop ask to speak to the manager and explain what you are trying to do. Honesty and being respectful goes a long way. If the shop is busy come back later in the day. Smaller shops are more likely to help you out than big corporate chains but ultimately it is up to individual managers. Some shops may already have arrangements with local scrap metal collectors to take away metal garbage, respect that and move on, scrapping is a difficult business to make money at and we don’t want to be stepping on their toes. When a shop agrees to help you make it as easy as possible for them by taking a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, cut a large hole in the lid and clearly label it with a bold permanent marker “Spent Bearings”. Come back to empty your bucket about once a week, more often with a bigger shop, less often with small shops. Most important thing is to be as unobtrusive as possible. If the shop is busy don’t interupt business to get your bearings, come back later.

You will get bearings once in a while that have rods instead of balls, these are called needle bearings. It is sometimes hard to tell with type they are until you break them open do you will just have to deal with tossing them.

Another source for cheap ammo for practice is glass marbles from dollar stores. One thing to note about glass ammo is that it isn’t advisable to use it in rocky or urban areas since the marble can shatter and spray glass if it hits a solid object.

As with any other weapon use logic and be safe when using your slingshots.