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Some history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swagger_stick

This swagger stick made for Marines is sold by Sgt. Grit, an Oklahoma City based source of USMC memorabilia.
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That one is made from a 1/2" dowel, total length 18", a .50 caliber brass shell casing and a .30 caliber round for the tip.

I have a retired friend who, for the past 20 years has done more for inactive and retired Marines than anyone I know. Except for a few more coats of 100% tung oil, it is finished. This one has a 20mm brass cartridge for a grip, the 20mm round for the tip and a USMC tie tack on the end of the brass. I used a 3/4" cherry (heartwood) dowel. Total length is 24". It should be ready to ship next weekend, after a few more applications of tung oil.

When finished, I will add the photo to my gallery and here. I'm not a great craftsman, but I am pleased with this swagger stick. Here is the brass setting up a few weeks ago, and the stick tonight with the first application of tung oil drying.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool! I like it CASS! Where do you get all the used brass?
I found a website, http://www.oldsargesdropzone.com/, which so far has delivered as promised or better than promised.

These are dummy / practice rounds. No primer, no powder or explosives, and a feaux hollow projectile of thick stainless steel, but painted. Paint remover and then steel wool take the paint off easily.

It is a bit tricky to remove the projectile (epoxied into the brass) without scratching the brass, but it can be done. I use a hacksaw to cut the solid steel base off the projectile, exposing the hollow interior which facilitates attaching to anything.

I use a punch (flat end for countersinking nails) to drive in the primer just a little. Then you can perfectly center a drill bit to drill through the primer end into the hollow part of the brass. That brass drills extremely hard, it heats up, and again, it is difficult to accomplish without scratching the brass but if you think through the process (depending on the tools at hand), it can be done.

So far, I have purchased .50 cal, 20mm, and one 40mm from Old Sarge.
 

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Rad, the future recipient of this lives in Columbus. He is the Commandant of the Ohio Marine Corps League I think, and he has just survived an annual event there that he planned and executed with very little assistance according to his significant other. She knows about the surprise, but he is unaware. The week after the Ohio MCL event, he hosted the twentieth annual 1st ANGLICO reunion at Quantico, again with very minimal assistance. That early June date conflicts with two grandchildren birthdays, unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Rad. Now, besides a few more old Marines, I want one myself. I don't want to diminish the fine cherry heartwood's color. But, (there's always a "but", right?) I'm seriously considering buying a woodburning kit. The 3/4" dowel isn't well suited to carving. Some Marine artwork could be burned if the pattern were coarse enough to show plenty of wood.

Without a pencil, the circumference should be 2.3 (?) inches or so, enough for some art.

I would have to practice on some cheap 3/4" dowels.
 

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Thanks Rad. Now, besides a few more old Marines, I want one myself. I don't want to diminish the fine cherry heartwood's color. But, (there's always a "but", right?) I'm seriously considering buying a woodburning kit. The 3/4" dowel isn't well suited to carving. Some Marine artwork could be burned if the pattern were coarse enough to show plenty of wood.
Without a pencil, the circumference should be 2.3 (?) inches or so, enough for some art.
I would have to practice on some cheap 3/4" dowels.
Now, since you said it, you have to keep me updated as to your progress! Have you done wood burning before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Never have attempted woodburning as an adult. I played with a child's set about 55 years ago just a bit. Today at a woodcarver's trade show here, a lady told me what I needed, and I picked up the equipment at another booth. She's going to give me some pointers at their Thursday evening meetings.

I'll keep you posted Rad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No woodburning yet! Other projects keep bumping that one.
 

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Very nice swagger stick! I'd like to try a more rustic version of that sometime. I've got access to some very straight Alder and

might be able to find a used cartridge or something.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In Vietnam, we referred to the swagger stick as a "short-timer's stick." Out in the boonies, you couldn't have a nice one like some of the guys back in Chu Lai or DaNang. So after digging up a booby trap with punji stakes once, I removed the metal rod with barb and wrapped some electrical tape around it for a grip. That's still my favorite swagger stick.
 

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Swagger sticks seem to be coming back over here a couple of stickmakers have started making them and riding crops .I will tryto find the pics and post them
 

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Nice job CAS14. I had a swagger stick I pick up in Okinawan in the 60's. Sadly I lost in a move. I have often thought of making one but have not done it yet.
 
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